Punish the Dead Person When Others Cry?

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Does Islam Punish Someone
for What Other People Do?

Here is a question (combined with similar questions) on the punishment of some in the grave for actions of his relatives after he dies:

Subject: wail over the dead, good or bad

Salam, Sheik Yusuf,
I have a short question. I read a book that the Quran says something like "those who died while no on on this world cries for him, paradise won't welcome him" And it mentions prophet, peace be upon him, wives cried so much for him when he passed away.
But then another book says, a hadith in Bukhair says, Prophet, peace be upon him, "The dead is punished for the wailing of his relatives over him" and also "Umar used to beat a stick and throw stones and put dirt on faces of those who wail over dead"
So question is, "Which is correct? Or is it something else?" Please tell us.

Thank you, salam alaykum (name withheld)

 

Grave Side Actions Against Islam
Regarding general acts expressing despair, lack of acceptance of the Qadr of Allah and other acts of shirk & kufr
Including excessive wailing, slapping the cheeks, tearing the clothes, pulling out hair and shaving it, and praying for destruction

Bismillah Rahman Raheem
Salam alaykum,
Thanks for writing with your question. You said "Just a short question" - but it needs a LONG answer. LOL

Actually, you did the thing all of us are supposed to do when we have a question about something in Islam. And that is to ASK. I am proud of you for that.

Guess what else? I also had the same question many years ago. It bothered me that someone who was dead in the grave, could be punished for what the people do after he is dead. That bothered quite a bit.
So, I asked - just like you did.

The first thing we found out is, there are two very different meanings between the word "cry" and the word "wail".

To cry is normal and our prophet, peace be upon him, cried while hold his own son, Ibrahim who had died in his arms. This is well known and recorded in hadeeth.

The word "wail" means; screaming, hollering and shouting while showing a horrible face and being in total despair.

People used to do this to show how much loss they felt because someone died. They would even pay "professional wailers" who would put on a show of despair and anguish for all to see, even tearing off their garments and pulling out their hair.
This is what has forbidden by Islam, not crying. I becomes very obvious when you have a better image of what is being demonstrated at the grave yard.
Also, this form of exhibition causes others to feel devastated, lost and without hope. People even loose their faith in God (authubillah) because they have lost hope in Allah's Qadr or predestination.
All of those actions are signs of jahiliyah (ignorance) and kufr (dibelief).

Women were discouraged from going out to the grave yards because they were the ones usually expected to show such demonstrations of exceeding remorse. Waling - screaming - shouting - horrible faces of despair - tearing at their clothing - pulling out their hair (and collecting a nice pay check afterwards) - does this sound like something Muslims should permit at grave sites (or anywhere for that matter)?
Of course not.

What about the one who would be punished in the grave for what these women are doing?
That was easy once the scholar explained it. Our prophet, peace be upon him, was referring to the one who had approved of that for his household and did not not stop them from it while he was alive.
Obviously, it is clear in Quran and hadeeth, our religion never punishes someone for what others do - UNLESS they were the ones who got them started or encouraged them to do it.

Quran: Chapter 2, verse 286:
Transliteration: Lā Yukallifu Allāhu Nafsāan 'Illā Wus`ahā, Lahā Mā Kasabat Wa `Alayhā Mā Aktasabat, Rabbanā Lā Tu'uākhidhnā 'In Nasīnā 'Aw 'Akhţa'nā, Rabbanā Wa Lā Taĥmil `Alaynā 'Işrāan Kamā Ĥamaltahu `Alá Al-Ladhīna Min Qablinā, Rabbanā Wa Lā Tuĥammilnā Mā Lā Ţāqata Lanā Bihi, Wa A`fu `Annā Wa Aghfir Lanā Wa Arĥamnā, 'Anta Mawlānā Fānşurnā `Alá Al-Qawmi Al-Kāfirīna

Allah doesn't put a burden on anyone beyond their capability. Each will have the good of whatever they gained, and each will bear the results of what they have earned. "Our Lord, do not blame us if we forget or make mistakes. Our Lord, don't lay on us a burden like what You laid on those before us. Our Lord, don't task us beyond our ability to bear. And excuse us, and forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are our Mullana (Protector), so grant us victory over the disbelievers."

[plus or minus translation of the meaning to English]

And here at the end of Zalzalah (Earthquakes)
Quran: Chapter 99, verse 7
Transliteration: Faman Ya`mal Mithqāla Dharratin Khayrāan Yarahu

So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it,
Quran: Chapter 99, verse 8
Transliteration: Wa Man Ya`mal Mithqāla Dharratin Sharrāan Yarahu

And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.

And one of the most famous hadeeths from our prophet, peace be upon him:
"Verily actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended. So the one whose ‘hijrah’ (migration) was to Allaah and His Messenger, then his ‘hijrah’ was to Allaah and His Messenger. And the one whose ‘hijrah’ was for the world to gain from it, or a woman to marry her, then his ‘hijrah’ was for what he made ‘hijrah’ for.
Narrated on the authority of 'Umar, radiallahu anhu, and collected in the Kitabul Iman, by Imam Bukhari

And regarding the ways people come up with stuff that does not belong in Islam:

"the best guidance is that of Muhammad, peace be upon him, the worst deeds are newly-invented matters, and every newly-invented matter is an innovation. And every innovation is misguidance. And all misguidance is in the Fire.”
Collected in the two saheehs of Muslim & Bukhari

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Whoever innovates something in the religion that is not in it, his innovation will be rejected."
Narrated on the authority of Ayesha, radiallahu anha and collected in the two saheehs of Muslim & Bukhari

And these two:

1663: Ibn 'Umar said,"Sa'd ibn 'Ubada fell ill and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to visit him with 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn 'Awf, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas and 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud. When he arrived, he found him in a stupor and said, 'Has he died?' They said, 'No, Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wept. When the people saw the Prophet weeping, they wept. He said, 'Listen, Allah does not punish on account of the tears of the eyes nor for the grief of the heart, but he punishes or shows mercy on account of this,' and he pointed to his tongue.'" [Agreed upon]

1658: Ibn Mas'ud, radiallahu anhu, reported the prophet, peace be upon him, said:"Someone who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and shouts the cries of jahiliyya (ignorance) is not of us." [Agreed upon]


All of this makes clear sense to me. No one is taken to task for what they don't know, or for what others do. But those who introduce something into the religion of Islam or have people violate principles of Islam, certainly it makes sense they should be punished not only for what they do, but also for those who they inspired to do the same evil acts.

I was amazed at the answer and came away shaking my head and thinking, "That is why we must always have scholars to help guide us on our journey through this life". Our scholars (the true, dedicated ones) are the very backbone of continued knowledge for Islam. May Allah reward them and keep them guided for all of us, ameen.

May Allah forgive any mistakes from me and make this a blessing for all who read, ameen.

Salam alaykum,

Yusuf Estes

Here is a much more detailed answer if you are interested, inshallah. This is from Imam An-Nawawi's Collection, Riyadh-Us-Salaheen:

On forbidding wailing over the dead, slapping the cheeks, tearing the shirt, pulling out the hair and shaving it, and against praying for destruction

Riyad as-Salihin (Gardens of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

Chapter 302:

On forbidding wailing over the dead, slapping the cheeks, tearing the shirt, pulling out the hair and shaving it, and against praying for destruction

1657. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "The dead person is punished in his grave for the wailing done over him." [Agreed upon]

1658. Ibn Mas'ud reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Someone who strikes his cheeks, tears his garments and calls out the cries of the Jahiliyya is not one of us." [Agreed upon]

1659. Abu Burda said, "Abu Musa was ill and fainted. His head was in the lap of one of the women of his family and he was unable to reply to anything. When he came to, he said, 'I declare myself free of those from whom the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, declared himself free.' The Messenger of Allah declared himself free from women who slap their faces, shave their heads and tear their clothes." [Agreed upon]

1660. al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "Anyone who is wailed over is punished by the wailing over him on the Day of Rising.'" [Agreed upon]

1661. Umm 'Atiyya Nusayba said, "At the time of the oath of allegiance, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, imposed on us that we should not wail." [Agreed upon]

1662. An-Nu'man ibn Bashir said, "'Abdullah ibn Rawaha fainted and his sister began to weep and say, 'What a paragon he was!' and this and that, repeating them. When he recovered consciousness, he said, 'You did not say anything without it being said to me, "Are you really like that?"'" [al-Bukhari]

1663. Ibn 'Umar said, "Sa'd ibn 'Ubada fell ill and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to visit him with 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn 'Awf, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas and 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud. When he arrived, he found him in a stupor and said, 'Has he died?' They said, 'No, Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wept. When the people saw the Prophet weeping, they wept. He said, 'Listen, Allah does not punish on account of the tears of the eyes nor for the grief of the heart, but he punishes or shows mercy on account of this,' and he pointed to his tongue.'" [Agreed upon]

1664. Abu Malik al-Ash'ari said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When someone who wails fails to repent before she dies, she will be raised up on the Day of Rising with trousers of tar and a mangy chemise." [Muslim]

1665. Usayd ibn Abi Usayd at-Tabi'i from one of the women who gave homage who said, "Among the things the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made us agree to regarding correct behaviour in respect of which we promised not to disobey him were not scratching our faces nor wailing nor tearing our shirts nor pulling out our hair." [Abu Dawud]

1666. Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is no one who dies whose mourners then stand and say, 'O chief! O master!' or similar things without two angels being delegated to him to prod him in the chest saying, "Were you really like that?'" [at-Tirmidhi]

1667. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Two things people do have disbelief in them: attacking lineage and wailing over the dead." [Muslim]

 

 



Comments   

#2 Habibeh 2014-12-27 12:36
Crying or wailing what's the difference? Crying is natural, and wailing is also natural for some people who are more expressive. A child doesn't cry silent tears, a child wails loudly when very upset, and can carry on for a long time, till the child finds solace and calms down. This tendency, to wail loudly, is something that women do, as you have mentioned, but Islam acknowledges the emotional nature of women. And how does wailing compare to the many serious sins that one is likely to commit? Look at the heart of the person who has lost someone they dearly love, perhaps a child, perhaps suddenly, and if they want to wail, in order to express their pain, why is that so objectionable? Yes, we have to submit to the Will of God, but we are humans, and just because we express deep sorrow by doing such things as wailing, hitting one's head or fainting or whatever, it doesn't mean we are necessarily objecting to God's Will.I am sure God Himself would understand!
#1 ben adamson 2012-12-02 19:23
I found a lot of information here and it surprise me so i wnat to share this with some friends who used to attack Islam and now we are seeing something very different

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