Is it okay to feel sad on the passing of a family member?


Question: If someone is going through difficult times or family losses and they are sad inside, but they are thanking Allah swt, but they are feeling sad inside, is that hypocrisy?

death funeral

No it is not hypocrisy. We are humans. We are weak. We are not other ones who say, ‘no, no, no. The best way for a human to be is to be completely not feel anything. Not think anything. To be nothing.’ It is not that. You understand? Because, look to see now, you go through certain thing, say a family loss. Someone in your family has passed away, are you supposed to not feel anything? You feel that it’s okay to feel sad? You have to feel sad. It is very understandable. It is very normal. You know, you have faith to say, ‘innalilahi wa inna ilaihi Rajiun.’  But there is still that human part of you  that is losing something that you love. You understand? Did the Holy Prophet (asws) feel sad when his wife, Siti Khadija passed? He did. Did he feel sad, when his uncle passed? Abdul Mutallib. Yes he did. Did he feel sad when his sons, he had sons which are known to us, that they passed? Yes he was sad. Was he sad when his uncle, Hz Hamza passed? Yes, he was sad. Alhamdulillah, we are following such a Prophet. He’s a human Prophet.  You understand? That we are not following someone who says, ‘no. I become completely cold. I am not supposed to feel anything. Everything is transit. Everything is passing…everything…’ No.

You feel sad, but now as believers we take that and immediately we put it to Allah. Meaning what? We feel sad but we don’t take it to an extreme. We don’t become that sadness to be the only feeling that we have. We are sad. We don’t take it to extreme.  Which is why mourning, in Islam it is forbidden. Mourning as in what? You are crying and you are wailing.You are crying and you’re crying and you’re crying, and there are traditions in almost every religion that you have to have that. It doesn’t mean that the Muslims don’t feel sad, that there is no mourning period. There is a mourning period. What is it that we are doing? Three days, seven days, forty days, isn’t it? Then seventy days. These are mourning periods. What is that mean? Mourning period for us? We mourn, meaning what? We think about the death and we think about Allah. We think about our death and we think about Judgement Day.

So the loss is not just something that is in front of you and you say, ‘why is this happening? I don’t have that which I love anymore and I feel sad.’ No, you take it and you connect it to something which is much bigger than you, or that person into something that is real. So there is a mourning period. But that mourning period doesn’t mean now that you are going to cry non-stop, you are going to go crazy, that there are so many other ways, other traditions, it becomes a ritual, that it becomes just that. It’s an action but there is no real intention. Some, they even would pay people to cry at funerals. Isn’t it? Sometimes they put it in Islam too.

This is wrong.  Paying people, first time I saw it, I was a kid, and I said, ‘is this crazy?’ These people they don’t know who this one is, they don’t care, but they are professional criers.  They have been paid to cry and they are professional. They study years how to cry properly. Long cry, short cry. I’m not kidding you. There is a whole science to it. And it seems, nobody thinks that this is weird? They wear different clothes. So this is all about show. To show, to make a show. So now, we are sad but we cannot make a show. There is a mourning period where, because the passing of someone, we have to be sad because we lost that person but we have to enter into the reality of what that loss means. Meaning that we have to look and use that person’s passing as an example of what’s going to happen to us, as a lesson for us. Meaning we have to look at that death as a reality, as the ultimate reality that is going to happen to you whether you are believer or unbeliever, death is going to happen to you, that that is a reality so prepare for it. Prepare for that threshold, death is just a threshold. You are going to pass through it into the real world.

That’s what Hz Ali is saying, from the Holy Prophet (asws), ‘man, he is sleeping. When he dies, he will wake up.’ So now we are all sleeping, so we are going to wake up. So, when a person in front of us is going through that, we must wake up. A little bit, at least. Not to fall back into more Ghaflat and to be in a more drunk situation by not connecting what that passing meant to our life. So, now we are going to look at the death, we are going to prepare, we cannot hate it, we are not a nation that hates death, understand?

So, death, it is a death. It is a funeral. We are not like other traditions, where when a man dies, the whole funeral; I am looking, is this a party, or is this a funeral? Is this a dead body, or is this a live body? If anything, they want to make sure that death is nothing. There is no such thing as death, it’s just a continuation of the life that they want to have in this world, but better. That’s not death. So nobody understands that. Nobody understands that. So you haven’t come a long way since the time of Firaun. Firaun, they are buried with all their things that they want, isn’t it? They are even buried with their slaves, with their gold, with everything, saying that next life’s going to continue just like this. It is not. The next world is completely different.

It is like the baby that is in the mother’s womb, Rahim, not womb, in the mother’s womb, in the Rahim of the mother and he’s going to enter into a new world and, say that somebody’s saying to him, ‘you know, you’re going to pass to the next and you’re not going to have water around you, you’re going to have air.’ And he said, ‘what? No. I don’t like that. My life after this will continue the way that I want it.’ So he’s preparing to come out from his mother with bags of water.

We are going to enter into another world that is completely different from this world. And are we preparing for that? Those who hate death, who makes the funeral of their loved ones, that it is anything but death, they are just sleeping, they look so peaceful. They are sleeping. Meanwhile, they are putting poison into the body, they are draining the blood, they are pumping poison, they are cutting the tendons here and there to make the person to smile, they are putting make-up, etc, etc…it’s a whole show! It’s a whole industry that is nothing for show. And it’s not showing death. It’s not making a person to wake up. It’s making a person to hate death. To run away from death. That when death is mention, in so many religion, when death is mention, they says, ‘God forbid!’  What do you mean, God forbid? He made it halal. He didn’t make it haram. Everyone, not only halal, it is obligation. It is not only halal, it is wajib. It is farz for everyone to die. That one of the reason why Hz Isa is going to return to this world, is to taste death. Every nafs must taste death. That’s why the Sufis, people in Tasawwuf, we want to die before we die. To make our nafs to die, before we have to go through the death.

So we are not a nation that hates death. We are a nation that is loving the Real world. not this fake world. And death, it is a doorway to that. While we are in this fake world, we obey Allah, we obey His Prophet,  we obey His messenger, the rightly guided leaders and we do good to each other. We uphold the laws and the justice to make this world to become a just world for people to live. Not to run after this world also. So, yes, it is natural to feel sadness, but we don’t make that sadness into an idol that we start worshiping. In that way, everything will come to a balance, to a full circle, insyaAllah ar-Rahman. This much is enough. 


WaminaAllahu Taufiq. Al-Fatiha.

 Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York

20 Jamadilakhir 1436H

April 10, 2015

This entry was posted in Hoja Lokman Effendi (2015). Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Is it okay to feel sad on the passing of a family member?

  1. Pingback: السؤال: هل من الصواب أن نشعر بالحزن لوفاة فرد من العائلة؟Is it okay to feel sad on the passing of a family member? | Sahibulsaif-Arabic&English lessons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s