What Should You Do When One of Your Loved Ones is in Their Last Moments?

  • Pray for a good ending (ḥusn al-khātimah) and an easy death for them.
  • Remind them of their good actions and instil hope in them.
  • Remind them of the blessings of the next world so that they yearn to meet Allah.
  • Keep them and the surroundings clean and if possible keep them in state of wuḍū (tayammum if wuḍū is not possible).
  • Try to gently perform Miswak in their mouth.
  • Remove any images of living objects, impurities, and anything that will prevent the angels of mercy and blessings to attend.
  • Ensure pious people are around them.
  • Apply a nice scent (e.g. bukhur) in the room.
  • Turn them towards the qiblah.
  • Gently encourage them to recite the shahādatayn indirectly (by praying next to them) until they pray it once. Repeat the process if they talk again.
  • Give sadaqah on their behalf.
  • Recite softly near them in abundance the kalimah of tawḥīd & shahādatayn, Sūrah Yāsīn, Sūrah al-Fātiḥah, Āyat al-Kursī, Sūrah al-Ikhlāṣ, Sūrah al-Falaq, Sūrah al-Nās, and other portions from the Qur’an and various supplications and adhkār from the Sunnah.
  • Try to comfort them.
  • Do not wail or cry over them in a raised voice in any circumstances.
  • Once they have passed away, recite:
إِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ ، اَللّٰهُمَّ اْجُرْنِيْ فِيْ مُصِيْبَتِيْ ، وَأَخْلِفْ لِيْ خَيْرًا مِنْهَا

To Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, recompense me for my affliction and replace it for me with something better. (Muslim)

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ (لَهُ) وَارْفَعْ دَرَجَتَهُ فِي الْمَهْدِيِّينَ ، وَاخْلُفْهُ فِي عَقِبِهِ فِي الْغَابِرِيْنَ ، وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلَهُ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ ، وَافْسَحْ لَهُ فِي قَبْرِهِ وَنَوِّرْ لَهُ فِيْهِ

O Allah, forgive him, raise his rank amongst the guided ones, and be his successor in taking care of his descendants who he has left behind. Forgive us and him, O Lord of the worlds. Make his grave spacious and fill it with light for him. (Muslim)

  • Close their eyes and jaw, (tie and secure if needed). Straighten the limbs as best as possible. Remove any jewellery or accessories.
  • Speak well of the deceased.

How Can You Benefit Your Loved One After Their Demise?

  • Pray for their forgiveness (and continuously do so).
  • Ask Allah to have mercy on them and raise them to the highest abode.
  • Pay their debts and any dues including any missed fasts, zakāh etc.
  • Return any items the deceased may have borrowed.
  • Fulfill any sharī‘ah-compliant bequests/wishes they’ve made.
  • Distribute their assets between the heirs, in accordance to the sharī‘ah.
  • Ask any person you feel the deceased may have hurt or may have had ill-dealings with, to forgive the deceased.
  • Give sadaqah on their behalf (short-term and long-term).
  • Perform Ḥajj/‘Umrah on their behalf.
  • Recite the Qur’ān and perform any other nafl (optional) deed on their behalf, or gift the reward of such actions to them.
  • Live your life with piety and taqwā, as your piety will benefit them.
  • Follow their good legacy.
  • Visit their grave to make salām on them.
  • Keep good ties with their associates and friends.
  • Observe patience (ṣabr), support each other and hope for reward on this calamity.
  • Do not wail or cry over them in a raised voice in any circumstances.
  • Avoid all innovations and non-sharī‘ah-compliant customs.

How Can You Support the Family of the Deceased?

  • Visit them to offer you condolences. Call or message the family if you are unable to physically visit them.
  • Encourage them to be patient.
  • Say the following to them:
إِنَّ لِلّٰهِ مَا أَخَذَ ، وَلَهُ مَا أَعْطَى ، وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بِأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى

“Whatever Allah takes belongs to Him and whatever He gives belongs to Him. Everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world).” (Bukhārī)

  • Give a heartfelt du‘ā’ for them and their loved ones.
  • Share your good memories of this person, especially if it’s something that you think they may be unaware of e.g. how the deceased may have helped you.
  • Drop off a meal for them if possible or get it delivered to them.

    When the news of the martyrdom of Ja‘far (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu) came, the Prophet ﷺ said: “Prepare some food for the family of Ja‘far, for indeed what has befallen them has preoccupied them.” (Tirmidhī)

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