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Friday, April 09, 2010

VISITING AN ILL PERSON

Sayyid Abdulhakim bin Mustafa Arwasi 'rahmatullahi aleyh' says in his booklet Safar-i-akhirat: Visitors to an ill person must not stay very long. Even if they are people loved by the ill person, they must leave early. If an ill person asks, they must stay a little longer and, asking for permission after a while, they must leave if he does not ask them to stay. It is not right not to let anyone enter a seriously ill person's room. Pious people must enter the room and stay there long enough to say the Sura [1] Ikhlas once, even if the ill person does not want them to. You should not deprive the ill person with the excuse that the doctor said that no one must see him or talk to him. Pious people must enter his room and recite the Sura Yasin-i-sherif. It would be useful even to say it secretly. People with an ill person must not say exciting things that may worsen his illness; they must not tell stories or start conversations on such topics as newspapers, property, trade, politics and governments. The person on his deathbed must eat what is halal [2]. As far as possible, he must eat things prepared after saying the Basmala [3] and other prayers by vigilant-hearted people who have ablution. People with an ill person must tell religious tales and quote the words of the Awliya [4], of savants, and of pious sages. They must elevate his love for these people. Talking about the Awliya-i-kiram 'rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajma'in' causes Allah's compassion. When the symptoms of death are seen, children, people who are junub [5], and menstruating women must not be allowed into his room. Great care must be taken not to leave any pictures in the room, nor even in the house. Some savants or pious sages must be with him and try to get him to say the Kalima-i-tawhid (saying "La ilaaha illallah") without forcing him. He must not be oppressed to say it; those who are with him must say it loud enough to let him hear, but he must not be annoyed. If he says it once he need not be coached to say it again. If he says other things, he must be reminded to say the Kalima-i-tawhid once more. That is, his last word must be the Kalima-i-tawhid. It is sunna [6] for those who are with him to have him say, "la ilaha illallah," once without forcing him. It is preferrable for those who will remind him to say the Kalima-i-tawhid not to be his adversaries or inheritors. If no others are available his inheritors can do it.

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GLOSSARY

[1] sura(t): a Qur'anic chapter [a chapter of the Qur'an]. [2] halal: (act, thing) permitted in Islam. [3] Basmala: the phrase "Bismi'illahi 'r-rahmani 'r-rahim" (In the Name of Allahu ta'ala the Compassionate, the Merciful). [4] Awliya: (pl. of Wali) a person loved by Allahu ta'ala. [5] Junub: i) a person who needs a ghusl ablution. What causes a person to become junub is prescribed by Islam. Ii) state of a Muslim needing ablution of his whole body (needing a ghusl). [6] sunna: act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta'ala, done and liked by the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) as an 'ibada (there is thawab if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it causes sin if continually omitted and disbelief if disliked; the Sunna; i) (with fard) all the sunnas as a whole; ii) (with the Book or Qur'an al-kerim) the Hadith ash-sharif; iii) (alone) fiqh, Islam.

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