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Losing of loved ones
I am very familiar with grief. With its smell that lingers and its sour taste on the lips kissing you with every remembrance and every memory. It is something inevitable that each one of us will experience; whether it is separation in this world because of conflict or changes beyond our control, or because of death.
When it comes to worldly separation, we’ve seen families separate, take each other to court and some even kill each other because of wealth or other kinds of fitna. Sometimes beloved companions become detested enemies because of betrayal, envy, or revealed ill intentions. It truly breaks the heart when family or friends who were once closest to you are now the ones against you.
Yet despite all that, the loss through death is the one that hurts the most. It is inevitable. It is permanent. And death- you never really get used to it. There is no point where you can say you have lost enough people that it doesn’t hurt anymore. It hurts. It always will. This is why Allah Subhanahu Wataala gives glad tidings to those who are patient with such tests; their reward is going to be enormous in the hereafter.
"We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. Give good news to those who patiently endure."
Surat Al Baqarah, Verse 155
Naturally then, the fear of losing loved ones is so vivid within me. Whenever death struck and depending on the dearness of the person to me, it would last me many months and even years before I could even say I am over it. Yet the worst fear of all is losing my beloved parents. The dearest people to my heart. The two individuals that I am absolutely terrified to lose.
I grew up witnessing my parents struggle with major health complications for a big part of their lives that had both of them take pills like sweets to be devoured morning, noon, and night alhamdulillah. Yet whenever either of them got more ill, I would always think, ‘Is this it? Is this goodbye now?’ And my heart would remain in distress until I could finally see them better.
I remember during the Corona period, my mother lost two of her siblings to Corona in less than a year; one of whom was my favourite uncle. This was in addition to several other relatives who had also contracted the virus and had been very ill from it.
Within the months that followed our entire home was affected with flu, sore throat, and several other symptoms of Corona. My mother was the worst for she was really struggling to breathe and her coughing would be heard throughout the day and night. The initial tests she did stated that she had pneumonia with an indication of Corona. This was exactly what had happened to my uncle. My fear tripled and I spent my days crying endlessly. I really thought this is it. My parents having Corona and major health conditions? It was only by Allah’s mercy that they would survive. My tears would flow effortlessly and with no warning but I tried to hide them as much as I could.
But then one day it became too overwhelming for me to keep it to myself. I remembered mama two during her last days; how I stayed away because it was too painful to see her waste away. How that haunted me for many years after, because I kept thinking did she really understand I stayed away and couldn’t meet her eye to eye because I never wanted to lose her? And that I felt so helpless for I couldn’t take away her pain? Did she really know how much I loved her?’ Questions questions…
I, therefore, decided to talk to my mother about it. But when I got to her, I was weeping and the first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘What if you die?’ In retrospect, I now realize how wrong that question was for it to be directed to a sick person. But in moments of weakness, we rarely think clearly before speaking. Now my father- who is such a firm and brave man- awoke from his sleep from my crying, thinking that someone had literally died. When he was told I was crying because I was worried about them, he clicked his tongue and went back to sleep 😂 (I love my dad because he reminds me of Umar Ibn Khattab; tough people with unwavering strength and perseverance. It is he who has taught me to never fear anyone or accept any kind of injustice. Whether I implement that is another story 😂) And even though he knows when to be gentle and merciful, I could sense that he expected better from me.
My mother on the other hand hugged me and she said, ‘Then we’d be dead. You must prepare yourself for it because it is inevitable. We’re all going to experience it sooner or later. You have to be strong.’ Then to comfort me, she went on to mention people we know who were (previously) critically ill yet still made it through and others who died for no other reason than that their time had arrived. She wanted me to be more hopeful of Allah’s mercy and keep making dua for them.
My elder sister, whom I consider the epitome of patience (Allah ybarik feeha) said, “It is like we’re all on a journey on a train. And at some point, different people will have to alight at different stages because their journey has come to an end. Yet that doesn’t mean the rest of us will come to a halt because someone alighted from the train. We go on with our journey regardless, because we haven’t yet reached our destination. We have no choice but to move on.”
I still marvel at their words because despite knowing the reality of death and what our Deen requires from us, I am in awe of their firm faith. With their strength. With their good expectations on acquiring better with Allah in the next life. Most times I wish I was as strong as they are.
I am still trying, and mostly failing at being that strong. My mother says she is most worried about me among her children (despite being a middle child) after they’re gone because of my fragility. And of course, it is something I will perhaps have to work on throughout my life yet I realize I should always seek Allah’s help through it all.
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, “if only I had done such and such” rather say “Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).” For (saying) ‘If’ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.'” (Sunan Ibn Majah 79)
I strive to be stronger with firmer faith. This is why I bring those fears to Allah Subhanahu Wataala. The only One with answers. The only One with relief. The only One who can really strengthen me.
For those who’ve died…
Ya Allah, Ya Rahman, Ya Rahim…there are people in the graves; people who loved us dearly and we loved them just as much. People who we continue to miss even years after their demise…Ya Allah, please forgive them. Please have mercy on them and make their graves to be beautiful gardens from the gardens of Paradise that are filled with wonderful scents never smelled before. Ya Allah please elevate their status, make them among those who will enter Jannah without accountability, and most importantly Ya Allah, reunite us with them beautifully in the highest level of Jannah, Ameen.
For our loved ones in this life…
Ya Allah, please protect our loved ones from all harm and evil of this world. Protect our bonds with them from betrayal, ill intentions, misguidance, envy, and any kind of fitna. Enrich our relationships with your love and nurture within us sincerity and compassion towards one another. Ya Allah, allow us to stay in good relations with them till our death and reunite us thereafter in your eternal paradise.
Ya Allah, when it is time for us or our loved ones to depart from this world, grant us (and them) the strength and patience to bear the loss. Grant us firm faith and comfort in the belief that we shall meet once again at a better place with better lives in your Jannah Ya Rab.
And Ya Allah, if anyone pretends to love us while they backbite/slander/envy/have ill intentions towards us, we seek your protection from them, Ya Allah. Grant us insight in recognizing them for who they really are and as early as possible, ameen.
For our parents…
Ya Rab, before you take away our parents grant us an opportunity to serve them, assist them, make them happy and make their dreams come true. Ya Allah, please grant them long, healthy lives filled with your love, mercy, and peace. Allow them to witness and be part of our success and prosperity in this life while in a good state of health and mind. Allow them to be present during milestones of our lives; career advancements, marriage, parenthood, and the growth of our connection with you. Guide us to serve them without any hesitation or complaints or exhaustion. Ya Rab, please bless us with an opportunity to visit your Holy Lands Makkah and Madina with them and all our siblings, while in good health and make us among those whose ibadat will be accepted. Ya Allah, protect us from being among those who neglect their parents during old age.
Ya Allah, when it is their time to depart from this world, please take them without testing them with illnesses that will humiliate or shame them before other people. Ya Allah, make them die gracefully without suffering or needing anyone but You. Only take them when they are very pleased with us and you are very pleased with them. Ya Allah, grant them and us, beautiful endings.
Oh Lord, for any good that we do, let them have a share of it for they have nurtured us in the best manner as you required of them. And when you do take them, grant us the strength, patience, and comfort to bear their loss. Guide us to remember them with dua and sadaqat after their departure and reunite us thereafter in your Jannah, in the most beautiful way. Ameen Ya Rabbal Alaameen!
Whenever calamity strikes and we lose one of our loved ones, may we always remember this hadith and may we be among those believing slaves, Ameen!
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Allah, the Exalted, says: ‘I have no reward except Jannah for a believing slave of Mine who shows patience and anticipates My reward when I take away his favourite one from the inhabitants of the world.”‘ (Riyad as-Salihin 923)
P.S: Alhamdulilah my parents and family survived the Corona virus. Alhamdulilah. Please keep them in your duas.
That said, I am also kindly requesting that you make dua for one of my loved ones who’s been critically ill, admitted to the ICU for a couple of days now. I will realllyyy appreciate your duas.
Thank you so much for your time! May Allah accept our good deeds, strengthen our imaan and make us among His most beloved servants, ameen!
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