Even the Dead... : Basic Needs, Even after Death - Pre-conceived Notions And Suspicions

07 April 2011

By Al-Ikhwah Al-Mujahidun

ONE of the most oft-mentioned accusations against the Shari'ah is that it would harm humans rights. How wrong can be one be?

Those who are willing to do away with pre-conceived notions and suspicions, and to learn, would be pleasantly surprised to know that not one aspect of a person's life misses the protection that the Islamic Law or Shari'ah accords.

The rights of a human being – as the creation of Allah Ta'ala – are fully covered before he is born.

This is true, because Islam tells the Muslims to guard their chastity and to marry righteous people, thus to give an unborn child righteous parentage.

Further, his or her right to the protection of their lineage is protected because Islam tells the Muslims that a child cannot assume the name of somebody other than his or her father - and that is he or she is conceived within the wedlock. Another ruling applies when the child is born out of wedlock.

In fact, even after death people still have rights and they are protected by Islam. The following is an excerpt of a comprehensive booklet about human rights in Islam and the misconceptions surrounding the subject, called "Misconceptions on Human Rights in Islam" by Abdulrahman Al-Sheha.

Islam has clear rulings about human rights that are beyond any man-made chapters of human rights.

Basic Needs

Take peace and security, for instance.

Islam offers self security, family security and protection. Members of the Muslim society at large must not be frightened, or threatened by words, threats or weapons of all types. This is based on the Hadith of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

"Whosoever frightens a Believer (in this life) it will become incumbent on the Almighty Allah to make such a person insecure (and frightened) on the Day of Judgement" (At-Tabarani)

Food and decent sustenance are secured for people in an Islamic society by availing decent and suitable work opportunities for the work force in the society. As for the individuals who can no longer work due to old age, inability to work, chronic disease or the lack of bread-earner in the family, such individuals become entitled for public aid from the Islamic government.

Zakat represent a full mechanism of social integration among the various individuals of the Islamic society.

Then, there is the right to basic education for all.

In fact, education in the Islamic society is not a mere right for its individuals. It is rather a required duty from every capable person. All capable, intelligent and skilled individuals in the Islamic society are required to educate themselves religiously and in worldly affairs.

Proper and adequate health facilities are also a right. Equality is a right.

Islam removes all the impositions of barriers and classes among the members of the Islamic society in order to enable them to enjoy and practice their legitimate rights. No discrimination of any type is allowed in Islam. Lineage, colour, region or language must not give individuals any special class or status in the Islamic society.

Even after Death

In fact, we should point out here that the human rights according to Islam reflect continuous process that never ceases even after man's death.

Man is entitled to be properly washed, or rather bathed gently, upon his death.

Man is also entitled to be wrapped in one, or a set of three to five, white, new, clean shrouds, and he is entitled to a funeral prayer to be offered as a farewell to his body and soul in this life.

Furthermore, after death, a deceased is further honoured with the following rights: the grave of a Muslim must not be dug up for no significant and honourable reason, nobody is allowed to sit on top of the grave of a Muslim and nobody has the right to walk over the grave of a Muslim deceased.

In fact, a Muslim is even entitled for the protection against gossip and ill memories after his death. This is based on the following Hadith of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): "(Only) mention the good things of your deceased and shun away from mentioning any defaming items (they were known with while alive)."

There are more rights for a Muslim as follows: when he dies, he is entitled to the prayers, supplications and charity donated on his behalf. A Muslim is also entitled for the full execution of his will and whatever he promised or pledged to do while alive, but could not fulfil it due to abrupt death.

This is based on the Hadith of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

"A man asked Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), ‘Oh Prophet of Allah! My parents died. Is there anything I can do to please them and be good to them, even after their death?' Allah's Messenger replied immediately, ‘Yes. Pray for their souls. Honour their friends and be generous to them. Remain in touch and on good terms with their kin and kith, and fulfil their pledge of allegiance (which they committed themselves to do while they were alive)'."

In another hadith, Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, "The most beloved people to Allah are the most useful [or beneficial to others]. The most beloved actions to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala is a pleasure you bring to [a broken hearted, suffering] Muslim, or to relieve such a sufferer from his suffering, or to pay his debt, or to dismiss his hunger [by offering him a decent meal to eat].

It is even better for me to walk with a Muslim brother to accomplish his need than to enter seclusion in a Masjid for an entire month.

Whosoever controls his anger [in this world] Allah I will cover his vices. Whosoever controls [suppresses] his anger, which he is capable of harming others with it, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala will fill his heart with satisfaction [or happiness] on the Day of Judgement.

Whosoever walks to support the evidence of a Muslim brother [definitely] Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala will fasten his footsteps on the Day when footsteps are [very] flinching. Surely, evil character and behavior will spoil [or ruin] the [good deeds and pious actions] as vinegar spoils honey."



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