By: Imam Ahmad Rida Khan al-Baraylawi
A question was asked to the Great Mujaddid Ash-Shah Imam Ahmad Rida Khan al-Qadiri (رضي الله عنه) regarding the Duties of Children towards deceased parents. He stated the following points:
1. The first and foremost duty of the children after the death of the parent is that he should immediately arrange and take part in Ghusl, Salat al-Janaza (Funeral Prayer) and Burial which should be done in accordance with the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) and hope for them to receive the Mercy of Almighty Allah.
2. He should always make Dua and Istighfar for them at all times and never be unconscious about it.
3. He should give out Sadaqah and Khayrat (Charity) and always send the rewards of good deeds (Aa’mal-e-Sawleh) to them in accordance to his personal capacity. When performing Salah and keeping Fast (Roza), do likewise for them. Actually, for any good deed performed, the Sawab should be forwarded to them and all deceased Muslims and this will not affect the benefits one will receive, in any way. On the contrary, the Sawab of such acts will be beneficial to himself, his parents and all the deceased of the Ummah.
4. If the parents left behind any kind of debts or credits it should be paid in full immediately from one’s personal wealth, which should be regarded as blessings of this Duniya (material world) and Aakhirah (life after death). If you cannot afford to pay, assistance should be taken from the family, close friends or charitable Muslims.
5. If he has not performed Hajj, firstly, try to perform his Hajj-e-Badal (Hajj on his behalf) for him personally, or send someone as a representative to do so. If he has any previous Zakah to be paid, do so immediately. If he has any outstanding unperformed Salat (prayers) or Roza (Fasting) perform the Kaffarah for him. The children should, in all aspects, try their best to execute the duties of their parents which were left undone.
6. Whatever desires and wishes were made by the parent should be carried out even though it may displease you and the Shariah does not compel you to. For example, if he has made a Wasiyat (bequest) to give half of his wealth or belongings to a dear friend, non-inheritor or total outsider, even though in accordance to the Law of the Shariah, one-third of the wealth or belongings cannot be given to anyone without the consent of the heirs, it is best for the heirs to execute the Wasiyat and priority to the wishes and happiness of the deceased.
7. If he has taken an oath, carry it out after his death. If the parents had sworn an oath that their child must not do a certain thing or not meet with a certain person or must not go to a certain place, it must not be discarded after the death, saying :”Well, they are not alive so I can do certain things.” Wrong! One should abide by it as he did while they were alive, as long as it does not conflict with the Shariah.
8. Visit their graves every Friday and recite Surah Yaseen at the graveside loudly and pass the Thawab of recitation to them. While travelling, never pass their graves without greeting and performing Fatiha.
9. As long as you live, be kind to their relatives.
10. Maintain friendship and respect for all their relatives.
11. Never, at any time, insult anyone’s parents, so that they may not insult yours.
12. The most difficult duty is never to commit any sin and inflict harm to them in their graves. All deeds of the children are taken to their parents in the grave. On seeing the good deeds, they are very pleased and their faces glitter with happiness. On the contrary, if they see the bad deeds or sins, they become very sad.
O! Merciful and Most Forgiving Allah! The Almighty and All Powerful! On account of your most Beloved Prophet, Mercy of the Universe (ﷺ), protect us from sins and grant us the guidance and courage to always do good. Fill the graves of our elders and deceased with Light and happiness. O Allah! You are the All Powerful, we are the weak. You are the Wealthy and we are the poor. Protect us. Aameen!