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Illness is a blessing
Illness is also a great gift and there are many benefits from it although by looking at it may seem as if it is giving you difficulty, but in reality it is a source of rest and easiness and the illness that is of the body is actually a great source of medicine for the recovery of the soul.

What is real illness ?
The real illness is the illness of the soul and is something that should be feared and should be seen as a fatal illness. What should really happen is that a person should think of the illness or difficulty as a gift and accept it gladly, if not then at least have patience and understanding and hence by being impatient and complaining why lose the reward that has come your way and by being impatient the illness is not going to disappear but you will lose the reward and gain another problem and many people who are naive use wrong phrases and obtain sin and some in fact even say words of Kufr by blaming Allah of being cruel (may Allah protect us from this). These people destroy their world and afterlife due to these sorts of statement.

Sins are forgiven and reward is given for illness and difficulties
The Holy Prophet SallallahoAlaihiWasallam has stated that the difficulty that a Muslim suffers upto the extent that a thorn pricks them, then Allah Ta´ala forgives his sin [Bukhari, Muslim] and the Holy Prophet also states that if a Muslim is taken ill due to illness or suffers any other sort of difficulty then Allah drops his sins like a tree drops it´s leaves [Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim], and the Holy Prophet also states that Allah has set a grade for a Muslim and if they do not reach that grade due to poor actions then Allah tests them by either their health, goods or children and then gives them patience and then makes them reach their intended grade [Ahmad, Abu Da´wood] and he also states that on the day of judgement when Allah rewards themfor their patience the people who had rested and relaxed in this world will wish that only if scissors would have cut their skins and given them that sort of difficulty so that they could be collecting the reward [Tirmizi].

Visiting people who are sick
To visit someone and enquire about their health is Sunnat. It is quoted in the Hadiths that there is a lot of virtuousness in this and the Holy Prophet has stated that when one Muslim goes and visits his other Muslim brother and because he is ill then until his return he has been gathering the flowers from Jannat [Bukhari, Muslim]. It was the Holy habit of the beloved Prophet that when he visited someone he used to say ´Laa Baasa Tahurun Insha Allaho Ta´ala´ meaning ´there is nothing to worry about, Insha Allaho Ta´ala this illness will purify you from your sins´ [Bukhari, Muslim]. The Holy Prophet says that whenever you go to see an ill person ask them to pray for you because their prayer is the same as the prayers of the angels [Ibne Maja] and he has also stated that when one Muslim goes to visit another ill Muslim then they should pray this Dua seven times ´As alullahu Azueem Rabbal Arshil Kareem Ayyashfeeka´ if death doesn´t come then you will get better.

Rule: If you are aware that if you go to see someone about their health and the patient will not like it then do not go [Durrar].
Rule: If you went to visit someone and you saw that their situation was bad then do not show this in front of the patient nor shake your head so that the patient will know that their health has deteriorated, but talk to the patient about things that would enlighten them and make them feel better and do not put your hand on their forehead unless that is their request [Durrar]. Rule: To go and visit a Fasiq (wrongdoer) is also allowed because visiting is a right of Islam and a Fasiq is still a Muslim. If a Christian or Jew is a Zimmi (citizen of an Islamic country) then it is allowed to go and visit them [Durrar]. There is disagreement between Ulema as to whether one can visit fire worshippers if they are Zimmi. A Hindu comes under the same ruling as a fire worshipper and is different to the ruling of those who are followers of the book (Christians, Jews). There are no Zimmis who are Hindu, Christian, Jews, idol worshippers in the subcontinent of India [Bahar-e-Shariat].
The coming of death
One day we will leave this world and death is going to come and we are going to go from here and hence we should prepare for the afterlife where we are going to stay forever and this time should always be remembered and not forgotten.

How should one live here ?
The Holy Prophet has stated that live in this world like a traveller who is on a journey, meaning he lives like a stranger and he doesn´t waste time on different routes because he knows he will be wasting time and will not reach his desired destination. In the same way a Muslim should not get stuck in the worldly affairs nor should they get involved with such connections which will divert them from the real destination and objective and should always remember their death as this reminds them of not getting too involved with worldly affairs.

When can one ask for death ?
It is quoted in the Hadith Sharif ´Aksiru Zikr Hazihimil Lazzatil Maut´, meaning think about a very difficult death but don´t ask for death as this is forbidden and if you must ask for it then say ´Oh Allah, keep me alive until life is good for me and give me death when that is the better for me [Bukhari, Muslim] and a Muslim should always have a pious thought in relation to Allah and always remain optimistic for his mercy. It is quoted in the Hadith that no-one dies except with the thought they have had, because Allah has said ´Anaa Inda Zanni Abdibi´ I treat my servant with the thought they have for me. The Holy Prophet once went to a young person who was close to death and the Holy Prophet said ´How do you see yourself? The young man replied ´ Oh messenger of Allah, I am optimistic of Allah and scared of my sins´ The Holy Prophet replied ´Those who have both in their heart i.e. optimism and fear then Allah will give him both, meaning fulfil his optimism and take care of his fear´. It is a very tough time when the soul is being extracted, all the actions are dependant on this time and above all faith is in danger because Satan is in desperate attempt to take your faith and whoever Allah protects from his deceit and protects their faith is the one who has reached their desired destination. The Holy Prophet has said that who´s last submission is ´La ilaha illallah´ meaning the first Kalima will go into Jannat.

When death draws nearer
Rule: When death is near for a person and you have seen some of the signs then it is Sunnat to lay the person on their right side and face them towards the Qibla. It is also allowed to keep the person flat and point his feet towards Qibla and tuck his head slightly up so that he will face the Qibla and if this is not possible as it would cause the ill person difficulty then leave them as they are [Hidaya, Alamgiri, Durr-e-Mukhtar].

Praying the Kalima

Rule: At the time of near death when the soul has not yet departed then pray this loudly ´Ash Hadu An La ilaha illallahu Wa Ash hadu Anna Muhammadan Rasoolullah´, however, do not instruct the ill to pray [Alamgiri, Fatahul Qadir].
Rule: Once the ill has prayed the Kalima then stop praying it loudly, however, if they say something else then start praying the Kalima again because their last words should be ´La ilaha illallahu Muhammadur Rasoolullah´ [Alamgiri, Johra].
Rule: The person praying the Kalima who is close to the ill should be a pious person, not a person who will be happy at the death of the person and therefore to have pious people around at the time is a very good thing and at this time to have ´Surah Yasin´ being prayed and sweet smelling perfume is Mustahhab, such as Luban or Incense sticks etc. [Alamgiri].
Rule: At the time of death a woman on her menstrual cycle or after-birth bleeding can be present [Qazi Khan, Fatahul Qadir, Alamgiri]. However, if a woman has finished her period or a person for whom it is obligatory to bathe should bathe first and should not be present otherwise. Also you should make sure that their are no photographs or dogs in the house and if there are then throw them out immediately because where there are photographs or dogs then the angels of mercy do not enter. At the end time pray for the dying as much as you can and for yourself and do not say anything bad from your tongue because this is the time where angels say Ameen to your prayers, when you see that the ill person is in extreme difficulty pray ´Surah Yasin´ or ´Surah Ra´ad´ [Bahar-e-Shariat].
Rule: If at the dying time (Allah forgive) a phrase of Kufr is said then a Fatawa of Kufr is not be given because maybe due to the difficulty, they are not in their senses and have said it unconsciously [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Fatahul Qadir, Alamgiri] and it is also a strong possibility that you may not have understood their words fully as they may miss bits out as they may be in the difficulty of death [Bahar-e-Shariat].
What should be done when the soul is extracted
Rule: When the soul has come out then get a wide strip of cloth and take it underneath the jaw and over the head and tie it so that the mouth does not stay open and also close the eyes and straighten the hands and feet, this action should be done by the one in the house who can do it most carefully, either father or son [Alamgiri, Johra etc.].
Dua when closing the eyes
Rule: When closing the eyes of the deceased, you should pray this Dua ´Bismillahi Wa Ala Millati Rasoolillah Allahumma Yassir Alaihi Amrahu Wa Sahhil Alaihi Ma Ba´dahu Wa´as´id´hu Bili Kaa´ika Waj´al Maa Kharaja ilaihi Khairam Minima Kharaja Anhu´ [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Alamgiri, Fatahul Qadir].
Rule: Put something heavy on the deceased stomach such as metal or soil to prevent it from blowing up [Alamgiri] however, ensure it is not heavier than necessary so that it may cause inconvenience [Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].
Rule: Wrap a cloth around the whole body and then lift it onto something with four legs so that the body is not stuck to the floor [Alamgiri]. Rule: You should ensure that the bathing, Kafan and burial is done quickly because there has been strong emphasis on this in the Hadith Sharif [Johra, Fatahul Qadir].
The dead person´s debts
Rule: If the deceased has any debt or anything owing then it should be cleared as soon as possible because it is quoted in the Hadith that the deceased is worried about their debt and in one narration it is stated that the soul remains stuck until the debt is cleared.
Rule: If a woman has died and a child is moving in her stomach then the stomach should be cut from the left side and the child taken out.
Rule: A woman is alive and her child in her stomach has died and it is going to be fatal for the mother then the stomach should be cut and the child taken out, however, if the child is also alive then regardless of the difficulty the stomach should not be cut [Alamgiri, Durr-e-Mukhtar, Bahar].

Method of bathing the deceased

Bathing the deceased is Farz-e-Kifaya and that is if some people gave the body a bath then all are no longer responsible [Alamgiri]. The method of bathing is that first of all where the body is going to be bathed i.e. table, stool or four legged furniture should be made sweet smelling by walking around it three, five or seven times with incense or nice smelling smoke and then lay the body on the furniture and cover the naval to the knees with a cloth. Then the person washing the body should wrap some material ...
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