Losing a child

Losing a child

“Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.”
[Qur’an: Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:156]

 

When you lose a child, it often feels as though you are alone. This can make it feel even more difficult. What can sometimes help, is knowing that many others have also been affected.

Losing a child at an early stage is, unfortunately, common. Miscarriages often occur before a mother has even realised that she is pregnant; twenty percent of all pregnancies are miscarried, with the majority occurring in the first trimester of pregnancy. What is sometimes more difficult is if you have had recurrent miscarriages and this too, affects 1%.

Other mothers may carry their child for longer but then have a stillbirth. Eleven babies are stillborn in the UK every day; more than 30% of these stillbirths occur at term when mothers are expecting to hold a healthy baby. The reasons leading to miscarriages and stillbirths are not always known.

In addition to the above, six babies die every day in the UK, in the first few precious weeks of their lives. Older children are lost too, through accidents, conditions that they are born with and cancers too.

Each child is different and each loss is different, but all are equally treasured. The Muslim Bereavement Support Service understands that these children are not forgotten and the loss may sometimes feel no less, many years on.

Losing a child is one of the most difficult things to have to go through. The loss can leave you feeling empty and alone.  It is a common cultural belief is that it is not acceptable to outwardly express grief. Some may even have been advised against crying or showing their emotion, preventing you from sharing your heartbreak with others.

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) suffered many losses in his lifetime, including six of his seven children and his beloved grandchildren, too.

When Zainab’s (RA) son was dying she called for her father, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

The child was lifted up to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) while his breath was disturbed in his chest. On seeing that, the eyes of the Prophet (SAW) streamed with tears.

Sa’d bin ‘Ubadah said “O Messenger of Allah! What is this?”

He (SAW) replied, “It is compassion which Allah has placed in the hearts of His slaves, Allah is compassionate only to those among His slaves who are compassionate (to others)”

[Bukhari]

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also cried when his son Ibrahim died as an infant.

Ibrahim was in his last breaths and the eyes of Allah’s Messenger started shedding tears.

Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf said, “O Allah’s Messenger (SAW), even you are weeping!”

He (SAW) said, “O Ibn ‘Auf, this is mercy”. Then he (SAW) wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim! Indeed, we are grieved by your separation”.

[Bukhari]

The greatest man to ever walk the earth, the man who is closest to our hearts grieved for his children and grandchildren, so it is okay for us to do the same. However, we must always remember Allah in our grief and refrain from saying anything that would displease Him. This is demonstrated in the following ahadeeth, Ibn ‘Umar (RA) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) visited Sa’d bin ‘Ubadah during his illness. He was accompanied by ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Auf, Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas and ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him).  The Messenger of Allah (SAW) began to weep. When his companions saw this, their tears also started flowing. He (SAW), said, “Do you not hear, Allah does not punish for the shedding of tears or the grief of the heart, but punishes or bestows mercy for the utterances of this (and he pointed to his tongue)

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

We need to be patient and seek reward in our hardship. Allah, the Almighty, knows of our pain and will reward us greatly for exercising patience. Indeed, He promises Paradise for those who adopt sabr.

And (He) will reward them for what they patiently endured (with) a garden (in Paradise) and silk (garments).
[Surah Insan 76:12]

All of the above show that it is okay to grieve and to feel upset at a loss. If you would like to speak to a sister in confidence, please contact us via telephone or email.

 

Hope From Allah

 

No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, except that Allah expiates some of his sins for it.

[Bukhari]

Losing a child is an incredibly difficult experience to go through, but as Muslims we are fortunate to be promised the best reward for our patience.

When a person’s child dies, Allah the Most High asks His angels,

‘Have you taken the life of the child of My slave?’

They reply in the affirmative.

Allah then asks them, ‘Have you taken the fruit of his heart?’

They reply in the affirmative.

Thereupon He asks, ‘What has My slave said?’

The Angels say, ‘He praised you and said ‘Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon (To Allah we belong and to Him we will return)’

At that Allah replies, ‘Build a home for my slave in Jannah and call it ‘Bayt-ul-Hamd’ (Home of Praise)’.

[Tirmidhi]

As is clear from this hadith, losing a child is a great loss and Allah (anticipates) how great a test this is. Alhumdulillah, by adopting patience at the time of losing a child, the parents have guaranteed themselves Jannah.

Allah has promised that on the Day of Recompense, your child will return to you and not be at peace until he has secured your place in Jannah.

“By Him in whose hands is my life, a child will pull its mother to Jannah if she is patient”.

[Ibn Majah]

Not only are children a source of paradise for their parents, they currently reside in Jannah and are being cared for by the great Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

Samura bin Jundub reports:

Allah’s Apostle very often used to ask his companions, ‘Did any of you see a dream?’ So dreams would be narrated to him by those whom Allah wished to tell. One morning, the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said ‘Last night, two persons came to me (in a dream) and woke me up and said to me ‘Proceed!’ I set out with them…’

He (SAW) mentioned things and places that he had seen, and then he said, ‘We proceeded and we reached a garden of deep green dense vegetation, having all sorts of spring colours. In the midst of the garden there was a very tall man and I could hardly see his head because of his great height, and around him there were children in such a large number as I have never seen. I said to my companions, ‘Who is this?’ They replied ‘Proceed! Proceed!…’

Then among the things that the two companions (angels) said to him (SAW) was: ’The tall man whom you saw in the garden is Ibrahim (AS) and the children around him are those children who die with Al-Fitrah (the Islamic Faith).’

[Bukhari]

 

SubhanAllah, what a beautiful picture this depicts;! Our beloved children are so well cared for in Jannah by Allah’s best friend! They are playing in the beautiful Gardens of Jannah and enjoying all of its bounties.

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