Following the Funeral, and Matters relating to Illness and Death
894. Al-Bara' bin `Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has ordered us to visit the sick, to follow the funeral (of a dead believer), respond to the sneezer (i.e., by saying to him: Yarhamuk-Allah after he says: Al-hamdu lillah), to help those who vow to fulfill it, to help the oppressed, to accept the invitation extended by the inviter; and to promote greetings (i.e., saying As-Salamu `Alaikum).
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith has already been mentioned with slightly different wording. Here it has been repeated owing to its relevance to this chapter. See Hadith No. 847.
895. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Every Muslim has five rights over another Muslim (i.e., he has to perform five duties for another Muslim): to return the greetings, to visit the sick, to accompany funeral processions, to accept an invitation, to respond to the sneezer [i.e., to say: `Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah bestow His Mercy on you),' when the sneezer praises Allah].''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith has already been mentioned. See the commentary on Hadith No. 240.
896. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Verily, Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious will say on the Day of Resurrection: `O son of Adam, I was ill but you did not visit Me.' He would say: `O my Rubb, how could I visit you and You are the Rubb of the worlds?' Thereupon He would say: `Did you not know that such and such a slave of Mine was ill but you did not visit him? Did you not realize that if you had visited him (you would have known that I was aware of your visit to him, for which I would reward you) you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked food from you but you did not feed Me.' He would submit: `My Rubb, how could I feed You and You are the Rubb of the worlds?' He would say: `Did you not know that such and such a slave of Mine asked you for food but you did not feed him? Did you not realize that if you had fed him, you would certainly have found (its reward) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked water from you but you did not give it to Me.' He would say: `My Rubb, how could I give You (water) and You are the Rubb of the worlds?' Thereupon He would say: `Such and such a slave of Mine asked you for water to drink but you did not give it to him. Did you not realize that if you had given him to drink you would have found (its reward) with Me?'''
Commentary: The person who is more beneficial to the slaves of Allah is loved most by Him. Allah likes it very much if somebody serves His creatures and treats them well. He will give him the best reward for it. Here, one has been urged in an effective and eloquent way to visit the sick and to treat the needy nicely.
* This Hadith is a clear-cut proof refuting pantheism for it is clear that this Hadith differentiates between the Creator and the creature in terms of feeding, giving water to drink, visiting, etc.
* This Hadith confirms the speech as Divine attribute.
* That Allah rewards His slaves for their good deeds, and never wrongs a thing.
* The duty of looking after the Muslims and their interests seeking the pleasure of Allah.
* The duty of visiting the sick.
* The duty of offering food for the hungry needy Muslims.
897. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Visit the sick, feed the hungry, and (arrange for the) release of the captive.''
Commentary: Islam calls upon its followers to co-operate with one another in good things. Like the previous Ahadith, this Hadith too, should be viewed in the same context. Herein, believers are enjoined to endeavour for the liberation of a fellow-Muslim who becomes a prisoner of war or is taken captive by disbelievers in any way. This instruction of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) is also meant for the help of that person who is involved in a false case or is undergoing jail term on this count. Similarly, it is the duty of the community to extend help and co-operation to a Muslim suffering a financial difficulty so that he becomes self-sufficient.
898. Thauban (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "He who visits his brother in Faith, will remain engaged in picking the fresh fruits from the garden of Jannah till he returns.''
899. `Ali bin Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "When a Muslim visits a sick Muslim at dawn, seventy thousand angels keep on praying for him till dusk. If he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels keep on praying for him till the morning; and he will have (his share of) reaped fruits in Jannah.''
Commentary: Both, this Hadith and the preceding one, lay stress on the virtue of visiting a sick person so as to obtain the Divine reward. The Hadith mentions "dawn'' and "evening'' to mean at all times, and not necessarily at those particular times.
900. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A young Jewish boy who was in the service of the Prophet (PBUH) fell ill. The Prophet (PBUH) went to visit him. He sat down by his head and said to him, "Embrace Islam.'' The little boy looked at his father who was sitting beside him. He said: "Obey Abul-Qasim (i.e., the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)).'' So he embraced Islam and the Prophet ü stepped out saying, "Praise be to Allah Who has saved him from Hell-fire.''
Commentary: Herein, the example of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) inspires us to visit even a sick disbeliever and invite him to accept Islam. Besides, the Hadith tells that the company of the virtuous does bear fruit and that we should continue to hope that the heart of a disbeliever will turn to Allah at any moment. Furthermore, we come to believe that parents, though not clinging to the right way, may tell their offspring to pursue the truth.