How to offer sympathy & condolences
How to offer sympathy & condolences
From among the rights of a Muslim on other Muslims, is whenever a Muslim suffers some calamity or whenever a Muslim is involved into some catastrophy, he should be consoled and he should be advised patience.
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said . Whosoever condoled a calamity-striken person, Allah grants Thawab as much to the condoler as the stricken.
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) also said : The woman whose child dies, and some-body consoles that woman and advises her patience, Allah will bless the condoler with a covering in Paradise.
Ibn Majah and Baihaqi quoted that a Muslim who condoles another Muslim in his sorrow, Allah grants that condoler the best dress in Paradise.
Ibn al-Saniy quotes from Hazrat Umran Bin Husain(R.A.) that the Nabi Moosa(A.S.) submitted to the Allah Ta'ala : "O Allah, A person who condoles a woman whose child is dead, what sort of reward he gets. Allah Ta'ala said : I will accommodate him under the shade other than with Me.
In regard to condolence, interpreters say that it can be done for three days. After three days, one should refrain from condolences. But, of course, condoIences should be done even after three days if the condoled was on journey.
The following words for condolences are proven in the Ahaadeeth:
'A'zama-Ilahu Ajraka wa Ahsana 'Azaa-ka wa Ghafara Li-Mayyitika wa Alhamaka Sabran wa Ajzala Lana ZaaLika Bis-Sabri Ajran'
"May Allah enhance your recompense and be generous in your calamity and forgive the deceased and induce you with patience and multiply for us and for you recompense through patience."
In this connection are those words ascribed to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) which he conveyed to his daughter and a letter which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) addressed to Mu'az Bin Jabal(R.A.) by way of condolence at the death of his son and also those words which somebody uttered after the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) ;it is thought that these words belong to Hazrat Khidar(A.S.). Quoted below are the expressions from Hisn Haseen:-
Expressing sympathy to the bereaved family:
One of the sons or daughters of Hazrat Zainab(R.A.) fell seriously ill. She sent a man so that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) may wish to come. At that time the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) was engaged in some religious work. So he conveyed through his messenger that tell his daughter that : Ultimately everything belongs to Allah. If the child is in the lap of the mother, even then he is His property. And in case He takes him away from the parents, even then also he is His property. And in Allah's estimation everything is for a time limit. No variation occurs in this principle. So, better exercise patience and hope for the reward. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)'s words are so unique and so much dominating over the principle of religion that even secretariates are insufficient to explain them or interpret them. Therefore;expressing sympathy to the bereaved family by greeting with Salaam and saying the following is Sunnah.The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) conveyed in reply to Hazrat Zainab(R.A.) the below mentioned:-
Inna Lillaahi Ma Akhaza Wala-hu Ma A'ta wa Kulla Shai-in 'Inda-hu Be-Ajalim Musamman FaMurha FaI. tasbir wal-Tahtasib.
" To Allah belongs what He takes and to Him belongs what He gives.And there is a set time by Him for everything. Do exercise patience and expect reward(from Allah)."
Letter of condolence to the bereaved:
The following is a letter of condolence sent by Rasulullah(Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) to Hazrat Mu`aaz bin Jabal(R.A.) when his son passed away. The same idea should be adopted when expressing sympathy by letter.
"I begin in the name of Allah,Most Kind,Most Merciful. From Muhammad, Allah's Messenger to Mu'az- Ibn-Jabal. May the peace of Allah be on you.l praise Allah before you,the One besides whom there is none worthy of worship.
After praising and glorifying Allah, (I say the following.) May Allah give you great reward and may He guide you to exercise patient endurance and may He (also) guide us and you to be grateful to Him
Surely, our souls, wealth and families are wonderful gifts from Allah Azza Wajalla which He has loaned to us so that we may take benefit from them for a set period; and he takes them away after the termination of that period Thus, gratitude becomes binding on us when He gives, and patience becomes obligatory when He takes away.
Your son was also from among the wonderful gifts (of Allah) and a loan (from Him) AIlah enabled you to enjoy him in away that was both enviable (to others) and pleasing (to you); and now, in return for great reward, mercy and forgiveness providing you exercise patience- he has taken him away from you. So do exercise patience and do not let your bewailing and complaining destroy your reward, for you will be sorry (if this happens) Know that bewailing and complaining does not help bring back anything nor does it repel grief and sorrow. And whatever is to happen is set to happen. May you be in peace."
Condolence of Hazrat Khidr(A.S.):
According to the Hadeeth, the day Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu- alayhi-wasallam) passed away, a powerful-looking, beautiful and handsome man with a white beard came leaping across the necks of people till he reached where the sacred body of Rasoolullah (Sallatlaahu-alayhi-wasallam) lay. He wept bitterly and turned towards the Sahabah (RA) and said the undermentioned words. Abu Bakr (RA) and Ali (RA) said that he was Khidr (AS). The words are as follows:
"Surely, Allah alone grants patience in every misfortune and compensation for anything lost and substitute for anything destroyed. Return to Allah alone and flee towards Him only in times of difficulty His gaze is set on you (and He does not forsake you). Understand this because a genuinely unfortunate and miserable person is one who is not given any compensation for his misfortune."
Condolence of the Angels:
When Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu-alayhi-wasallam) passed away, (then according to the Hadeeth), the angels expressed their sympathy to the Ahle Bait and Sahabah (RA) in the following words:
"Peace be on you all and the mercy of Allah and his blessings. Surely, Allah grants sabr and patience in all misfortunes and He alone grants a substitute for anything lost. Hence, rely on Allah alone and have hope in Him alone; For, only that person is a true loser who loses (his) reward and Thawaab. And the peace of Allah be upon you and His rnercy and blessings."
Generally, two sentences are ascribed to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) at the time of condolence, have patience and have hope for Thawab. The aim is that one should say such words to a calamity striken person through which he may feel consoled and his perturbance and impatience is soothed.