The reward for patience upon the death of a child

Allah mentions in the Qura’n:

Surely We will test you with a bit of fear and hunger, and loss in wealth and lives and fruits, and give good tidings to the patient. Who, when a suffering afflicts them, say: “We certainly belong to Allah, and to Him we are bound to return.” Those are the ones upon whom there are blessings from their Lord, and mercy as well; and those are the ones who are on the right path. (2: 155-157)

 

From the above verse we learn that Allah tests His servants in various ways, one of which is through the loss of beloved ones. The verse also gives glad tidings to those that are patient with blessings and mercy, as well as being upon the right path. When any affliction befalls them, these righteous individuals say:
 

إِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَ إِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ

We belong to Allah, and to him we are bound to return.

 

On the loss of a loved one, especially a child, we should keep in mind the following words of Um-Sulaym. In a lengthy narration, she breaks the sad news to her husband of the death of their child in the following words.
 

‘O Abu Talha! Tell me, if some individuals give something to the inhabitants of a household to borrow, and then ask for it back, can they refuse to give it back?’
 

‘No’, he replied. Um-Sulaym said ‘Be patient (upon the death of your child) and hope to be rewarded from Allah.’(1)

 

Allah’s messenger peace be upon him has also informed us of the great rewards one will receive upon being patient upon the death of his/her child.

 

Abu Musa, Allah be pleased with him narrates that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him said, ‘When the child of the slave of Allah dies, Allah says to His angels ‘You took away the child of my slave?’ They reply ‘Yes’. Allah then asks ‘You took away the fruit of his heart?’ They reply ‘Yes’. Allah then asks ‘What did my slave say?’ They reply ‘He praised You and said ‘Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon (Certainly we belong to Allah and we shall definitely return to Him).’ Allah then announces ‘Build a house for my slave in paradise and call it the house of praise’.(2)

 

In another narration, it is mentioned that the prophet peace be upon him would hold gatherings which his companions would attend. One of the companions had a small child who would stroll along and come from behind his father, the father would then sit his beloved child in his lap. This child of his then died, and due to immense sadness the father stopped attending the gatherings due to the fact that the gatherings would remind him of his small child coming and sitting on his lap. The prophet peace be upon him asked about him one day and said ‘Why can I not see so and so?’ The companions informed the prophet peace be upon him that his son who used to come to the gatherings had passed away. The prophet peace be upon him then met him and asked him about his son, on which he informed the prophet peace be upon him that he had passed away.
 

In one narration it is reported that the prophet asked him before his son had passed away, ‘Do you love your son?’ to which he replied ‘May Allah love you the way I love him!’ This reflects the immense love the father had for his child.

 

After the companion informed him of the death of his child and the prophet consoled him, the prophet peace be upon him then said to him ‘Which of the following two options are better, that you take benefit from him all your life, or that tomorrow (on the day of judgement) whichever door of paradise you go to you find him there before you, opening the doors of paradise for you?’ The companion replied ‘I’d rather have him get to the doors of paradise before me and find him opening them for me’. The Prophet peace be upon him replied ‘Then this reward is for you’. (3,4)
 

In yet another narration, one companion asked ‘Is this reward especially for him or for all of us?’, the prophet peace be upon him replied ‘All of you’. (5)

 

Ibn Abbas Allah be pleased with them narrates that the messenger of Allah peace be upon him said ‘Who ever loses two children from my followers (and is patient) will enter paradise.’ Upon this Aishah Allah be pleased with her asked ‘And the one who loses one child?’ The prophet peace be upon him responded ‘And the one who loses one child (shall also be forgiven) O the one who has been given the ability (to ask relevant and good questions)’ Aishah then asked ‘And the one who does not lose a child?’ The prophet peace be upon him said ‘And the one who does not lose a child, I shall be an asset for him (on the day of judgement and intercede for him/her), they have not suffered a loss greater than me.(6)
 

On a more general note, there is great reward upon being patient on the loss of any loved one. Abu Hurayrah Allah be pleased with him narrates that the messenger of Allah, Allah send peace and blessings upon him said that Allah says ‘The reward for my slave when I take away a beloved one from him from the people of this world, and then he is patient and hopes reward from me is Paradise.’(7)

 

On an even more general note, Allah is ever bestowing his favours on his slaves, be it in the form of bestowing him with a means of happiness upon which he is grateful or elevating his status through putting him through difficulty. Suhayb Allah be pleased with him narrates that the messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him said, ‘The affair of the believer is unique, every situation he finds himself in is good. If Allah blesses him with something which makes him happy he is grateful, which is good for him (as Allah will reward him for his gratefulness). If Allah afflicts him with something which saddens him he is patient, which is good for him (as Allah will reward him for his patience).’(8)

 

Whenever Allah takes away a blessing from us, we should know that Allah is only doing what is best for us, whether we understand it or not. With specific regards to the loss of a child, remember the story mentioned in the Quran about Khidr peace be upon him, where Allah mentions quoting Khidr after he had killed an innocent child and was explaining the reason to Musa Allah send peace upon him:
 

As for the boy, his parents were believers. We apprehended that he would impose rebellion and infidelity upon them. We, therefore, wished that their Lord would replace him with someone better than him in piety, and more akin to affection (18:80,81)
 

At the time when Allah took away the child from his parents, the parents were unaware that this child would grow up to not only become rebellious himself, but impose rebellion on his parents. Allah then replaced this child with much better children, who would be assets for their parents faith in future. The lesson we learn is that Allah’s decisions based on His wisdom, which we many times cannot understand.

 

(1) عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ: مَاتَ ابْنٌ لِأَبِي طَلْحَةَ، مِنْ أُمِّ سُلَيْمٍ، فَقَالَتْ لِأَهْلِهَا: لَا تُحَدِّثُوا أَبَا طَلْحَةَ بِابْنِهِ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَنَا أُحَدِّثُهُ قَالَ: فَجَاءَ فَقَرَّبَتْ إِلَيْهِ عَشَاءً، فَأَكَلَ وَشَرِبَ، فَقَالَ: ثُمَّ تَصَنَّعَتْ لَهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا كَانَ تَصَنَّعُ قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ، فَوَقَعَ بِهَا، فَلَمَّا رَأَتْ أَنَّهُ قَدْ شَبِعَ وَأَصَابَ مِنْهَا، قَالَتْ: يَا أَبَا طَلْحَةَ أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ أَنَّ قَوْمًا أَعَارُوا عَارِيَتَهُمْ أَهْلَ بَيْتٍ، فَطَلَبُوا عَارِيَتَهُمْ، أَلَهُمْ أَنْ يَمْنَعُوهُمْ؟ قَالَ: لَا، قَالَتْ: فَاحْتَسِبِ ابْنَكَ، قَالَ: فَغَضِبَ، وَقَالَ: تَرَكْتِنِي حَتَّى تَلَطَّخْتُ، ثُمَّ أَخْبَرْتِنِي بِابْنِي فَانْطَلَقَ حَتَّى أَتَى رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَأَخْبَرَهُ بِمَا كَانَ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «بَارَكَ اللهُ لَكُمَا فِي غَابِرِ لَيْلَتِكُمَا» قَالَ: فَحَمَلَتْ، قَالَ: فَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي سَفَرٍ وَهِيَ مَعَهُ، وَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، إِذَا أَتَى الْمَدِينَةَ مِنْ سَفَرٍ، لَا يَطْرُقُهَا طُرُوقًا، فَدَنَوْا مِنَ الْمَدِينَةِ، فَضَرَبَهَا الْمَخَاضُ فَاحْتُبِسَ عَلَيْهَا أَبُو طَلْحَةَ، وَانْطَلَقَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: يَقُولُ أَبُو طَلْحَةَ: إِنَّكَ لَتَعْلَمُ، يَا رَبِّ إِنَّهُ يُعْجِبُنِي أَنْ أَخْرُجَ مَعَ رَسُولِكَ إِذَا خَرَجَ، وَأَدْخُلَ مَعَهُ إِذَا دَخَلَ، وَقَدِ احْتَبَسْتُ بِمَا تَرَى، قَالَ: تَقُولُ أُمُّ سُلَيْمٍ: يَا أَبَا طَلْحَةَ مَا أَجِدُ الَّذِي كُنْتُ أَجِدُ، انْطَلِقْ، فَانْطَلَقْنَا، قَالَ وَضَرَبَهَا الْمَخَاضُ حِينَ قَدِمَا، فَوَلَدَتْ غُلَامًا فَقَالَتْ لِي أُمِّي: يَا أَنَسُ لَا يُرْضِعُهُ أَحَدٌ حَتَّى تَغْدُوَ بِهِ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحَ احْتَمَلْتُهُ، فَانْطَلَقْتُ بِهِ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ فَصَادَفْتُهُ وَمَعَهُ مِيسَمٌ، فَلَمَّا رَآنِي قَالَ: «لَعَلَّ أُمَّ سُلَيْمٍ وَلَدَتْ؟» قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ، فَوَضَعَ الْمِيسَمَ، قَالَ: وَجِئْتُ بِهِ فَوَضَعْتُهُ فِي حِجْرِهِ، وَدَعَا رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِعَجْوَةٍ مِنْ عَجْوَةِ الْمَدِينَةِ، فَلَاكَهَا فِي فِيهِ حَتَّى ذَابَتْ، ثُمَّ قَذَفَهَا فِي فِيِّ الصَّبِيِّ، فَجَعَلَ الصَّبِيُّ يَتَلَمَّظُهَا، قَالَ: فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «انْظُرُوا إِلَى حُبِّ الْأَنْصَارِ التَّمْرَ» قَالَ: فَمَسَحَ وَجْهَهُ وَسَمَّاهُ عَبْدَ اللهِ(بخاري: بَابُ مِنْ فَضَائِلِ أَبِي طَلْحَةَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ رَضِيَ اللهُ تَعَالَى عَنْهُ)

 

(2) عَنْ أَبِي سِنَانٍ، قَالَ: دَفَنْتُ ابْنِي سِنَانًا، وَأَبُو طَلْحَةَ الخَوْلَانِيُّ جَالِسٌ عَلَى شَفِيرِ القَبْرِ، فَلَمَّا أَرَدْتُ الخُرُوجَ أَخَذَ بِيَدِي، فَقَالَ: أَلَا أُبَشِّرُكَ يَا أَبَا سِنَانٍ؟ قُلْتُ: بَلَى، فَقَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي الضَّحَّاكُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَرْزَبٍ، عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى الأَشْعَرِيِّ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” إِذَا مَاتَ وَلَدُ العَبْدِ قَالَ اللَّهُ لِمَلَائِكَتِهِ: قَبَضْتُمْ وَلَدَ عَبْدِي، فَيَقُولُونَ: نَعَمْ، فَيَقُولُ: قَبَضْتُمْ ثَمَرَةَ فُؤَادِهِ، فَيَقُولُونَ: نَعَمْ، فَيَقُولُ: مَاذَا قَالَ عَبْدِي؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: حَمِدَكَ وَاسْتَرْجَعَ، فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ: ابْنُوا لِعَبْدِي بَيْتًا فِي الجَنَّةِ، وَسَمُّوهُ بَيْتَ الحَمْدِ

هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ، وَاسْمُ أَبِي سِنَانٍ عِيسَى بْنِ سِنَانٍ (الترمذي: بَابُ فَضْلِ المُصِيبَةِ إِذَا احْتَسَبَ)

 

(3) مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنَ قُرَّةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ: كَانَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا جَلَسَ يَجْلِسُ إِلَيْهِ نَفَرٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِهِ، وَفِيهِمْ رَجُلٌ لَهُ ابْنٌ صَغِيرٌ يَأْتِيهِ مِنْ خَلْفِ ظَهْرِهِ، فَيُقْعِدُهُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ، فَهَلَكَ فَامْتَنَعَ الرَّجُلُ أَنْ يَحْضُرَ الْحَلْقَةَ لِذِكْرِ ابْنِهِ، فَحَزِنَ عَلَيْهِ، فَفَقَدَهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: «مَالِي لَا أَرَى فُلَانًا؟» قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، بُنَيُّهُ الَّذِي رَأَيْتَهُ هَلَكَ، فَلَقِيَهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَسَأَلَهُ عَنْ بُنَيِّهِ، فَأَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّهُ هَلَكَ، فَعَزَّاهُ عَلَيْهِ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: «يَا فُلَانُ، أَيُّمَا كَانَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ أَنْ تَمَتَّعَ بِهِ عُمُرَكَ، أَوْ لَا تَأْتِي غَدًا إِلَى بَابٍ مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ إِلَّا وَجَدْتَهُ قَدْ سَبَقَكَ إِلَيْهِ يَفْتَحُهُ لَكَ»، قَالَ: يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ، بَلْ يَسْبِقُنِي إِلَى بَابِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَفْتَحُهَا لِي لَهُوَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ، قَالَ: «فَذَاكَ لَكَ»(النسائي، باب في التعزية، و إسناده صحيح)

 

(4) عن مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنُ قُرَّةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، أَنَّ رَجُلًا أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَمَعَهُ ابْنٌ لَهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ: «أَتُحِبُّهُ؟» فَقَالَ: أَحَبَّكَ اللَّهُ كَمَا أُحِبُّهُ، فَمَاتَ، فَفَقَدَهُ، فَسَأَلَ عَنْهُ، فَقَالَ: «مَا يَسُرُّكَ أَنْ لَا تَأْتِيَ بَابًا مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ إِلَّا وَجَدْتَهُ عِنْدَهُ يَسْعَى يَفْتَحُ لَكَ؟»(النسائي: الْأَمْرُ بِالِاحْتِسَابِ وَالصَّبْرِ عِنْدَ نُزُولِ الْمُصِيبَةِ و إسناده صحيح)

 

(5) عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ قُرَّةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ: أَنَّ رَجُلًا كَانَ يَأْتِي النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَمَعَهُ ابْنٌ لَهُ، فَقَالَ لَهُ: النَّبِيّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” أَتُحِبُّهُ؟ ” فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، أَحَبَّكَ اللهُ كَمَا أُحِبُّهُ، فَفَقَدَهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَقَالَ ” مَا فَعَلَ ابْنُ فُلَانٍ؟ ” قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، مَاتَ، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِأَبِيهِ: ” أَمَا تُحِبُّ أَنْ لَا تَأْتِيَ بَابًا مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ، إِلَّا وَجَدْتَهُ يَنْتَظِرُكَ؟ ” فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، أَلَهُ خَاصَّةً أَمْ لِكُلِّنَا؟ قَالَ: ” بَلْ لِكُلِّكُمْ ” (رواه أحمد و إسناده صحيح)

 

(6) عن ابْن عَبَّاسٍ، يَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، يَقُولُ: ” مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ فَرَطَانِ مِنْ أُمَّتِي، دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ ” فَقَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ: بِأَبِي، فَمَنْ كَانَ لَهُ فَرَطٌ؟ فَقَالَ: ” وَمَنْ كَانَ لَهُ فَرَطٌ يَا مُوَفَّقَةُ ” قَالَتْ: فَمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ فَرَطٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِكَ؟ قَالَ: ” فَأَنَا فَرَطُ أُمَّتِي، لَمْ يُصَابُوا بِمِثْلِي “

(رواه أحمد ،قال الشيخ شعيب الأرناؤوط: إسناده حسن)

 

(7) عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ: أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: مَا لِعَبْدِي المُؤْمِنِ عِنْدِي جَزَاءٌ، إِذَا قَبَضْتُ صَفِيَّهُ مِنْ أَهْلِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ احْتَسَبَهُ، إِلَّا الجَنَّةُ “(البخاري: بَابُ العَمَلِ الَّذِي يُبْتَغَى بِهِ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ)

 

(8) عَنْ صُهَيْبٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ، إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ، وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ، إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ، فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ، صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ»(مسلم: ٢٩٩٩)

 

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Tayyib HMC FInder

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