Pairs, Visiting Graves, Gratitude
Issue 816 » November 14, 2014 - Muharram 21, 1436
Ya Sin (Ya Sin) - Chapter 36: Verse 36
"Holy is He ..." suggests that God is free from every conceivable imperfection, flaw or weakness. He is also free from having any partner or associate. Generally speaking, the Quran employs such expressions while refuting polytheistic notions. This because every polytheistic notion essentially amounts to ascribing some kind of flaw or imperfection to God. Those who take others as God's associates assume that He is unable, on His own, to govern the universe that He Himself created. Alternatively, they conceive Him to be like a worldly sovereign with a retinue of favourite courtiers, sycophantic companions, and pet princes and princesses who have some share in several of His powers. Accordingly, the Quran repeatedly affirms that God is free from all such flaws, defects and imperfections that the polytheists ascribe to Him.
This verse presents yet another argument in support of monotheism. Attention is drawn to the division of human beings into males and females, which is a cause of their procreation. A similar division in the animal species also accounts for the continuation of their species. The same kind of gender coupling is operating in plant life. In a sense, the same also holds true for inanimate objects, as they too are comprised of pairs. We know that matter consists of positive and negative electrical charges and that they produce energy. Only an imbecile can attribute these elaborate arrangements to mere accident and coincidence. It is also hard to conceive that several gods would have created numerous pairs and bound them together so perfectly. The fact of this binary division and the resultant birth of new objects unmistakably points to the Oneness of the Creator.
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, vol. IX, pp. 257, 258
Abdallah ibn Buraidah reported from his father that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "I had forbidden you to visit graves, but now you may visit them. It will remind you of the Hereafter." [Muslim, Ahmad]
Aishah also reported: "I asked: 'What should I say when I pass by a graveyard, O Messenger of Allah?' He replied, 'Say, "Peace be upon the believing men and women dwelling here. May Allah grant mercy to those who have preceded us and those who are to follow them. Certainly, Allah willing, we will join you"'." [Muslim]
Imam Malik and some Hanafi scholars, and, according to one report from Ahmad, most of the scholars hold it permissible for women to visit graves. This is based on the preceding hadith from 'Aishah, "What should I say to them, O Messenger of Allah when visiting graves?" Abdallah ibn Abi Mulaikah is also reported to have said, "Once 'Aishah returned after visiting the graveyard. I asked, 'O Mother of the Believers, where have you been?' She said: 'I went out to visit the grave of my brother Abd ar-Rahman.' I asked her: 'Didn't the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, prohibit visiting graves?' She said, 'Yes, he did forbid visiting graves during the early days, but later on he ordered us to visit them'." [Al-Hakim and Al-Baihaqi]
Anas reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a woman crying by the grave of her son, and said to her, 'Fear Allah, and be patient.' She replied, 'What do you care about my tragedy?' When he went away, someone told her, 'Indeed, that was the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.' The woman felt extremely sorry and she immediately went to the Prophet's house, where she did not find any guards. She called out: 'O Messenger of Allah! I did not recognize you.' The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, 'Verily patience is needed at the time of the first affliction'.'' [Bukhari and Muslim] This supports the argument in favour of the permissibility of women visiting graves, for the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw her at the grave and did not show his disapproval of it.
The purpose of visiting graves is to remember the Hereafter, which is something that both men and women need. Men are by no means more in need of this reminder than women.
"Fiqh-us-Sunnah" - As-Sayyid Sabiq
If we want to find happiness, let's stop thinking about gratitude and ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving.
Parents have been tearing their hair about the ingratitude of children for ten thousand years.
Even Shakespeare's King Lear cried out, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!"
But why should children be thankful - unless we train them to be? Ingratitude is natural - like weeds. Gratitude is like a rose. It has to be fed and watered and cultivated and loved and protected.
If our children are ungrateful, who is to blame? Maybe we are. If we have never taught them to express gratitude to others, how can we expect them to be grateful to us?
We must remember that our children are very much what we make them. So let us remember that to raise grateful children, we have to be grateful. Let us remember "little pitchers have big ears" - and watch what we say. To illustrate - the next time we are tempted to belittle someone's kindness in the presence of our children, let's stop.
"How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" - Dale Carnegie, pp. 142-144