Death is a phase that everyone would be going through in the end. In Islam, death is not the last resort for the living but as a connection to the next world: Hereafter. We are all eventually living in eternity after death. But death is not the important thing here. What we did while we live before death is. Islam has its own tradition regarding death, and it is also affected by the culture and society.
One of the tradition is 40th day after death. It is considered as an important time. Here are what makes the importance of 40th day after death in Islam.
1. Time When the Deceased Truly Left the World
According to Islam, every deceased Muslim linger on Earth 40 up to 40 days after their death. Before the day comes, the deceased soul remain in the house, preparing to say good bye to their family. And the 40th day after death marks the time when they left the world.
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2. As an Islamic Tradition
It’s a tradition in Islam for the family of the deceased to give food in the first seven days after death, as well as the 40th days.
“Indeed, the sunnah of giving food as shadaqah during seven days is a habit that still stand until now (it is the period of Imam Suyuthi in the 9th century of Hijriyah) in Mecca and Medina. Surely, that habit was never left since the period of companions until now, and that tradition is taken from Salaf Ulama since the first generation, they are companions.” (The book of Al Hawi lil Al Fatawi)
3. Send Prayers to the Deceased
It is strongly recommended not only for the family but also for the relatives and friends to send as many prayers as they could to the deceased. It will make their process to the Hereafter easier.
As narrated by Al-Thabrani in Al-Mu’jam, “From Ibn Mas’ud radhiyallahu ‘anhhu, Rasululah shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said : “People who do dhikr to Allah between the neglicent to Allah, equality with patient people between people who escape from war.” – (Shaheeh Al-Jami’ Al-Shaghir)
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4. Doing Shadaqah As Sunnah
Giving shadaqah for the sake of the deceased not only part of culture but it is also considered as sunnah. During the first to seventh days after death, the dead will be tested in the grave, and the sunnah will help them.
5. Giving Hospitality to the Guest
When the 40th day of death come, many people will come to the house of the deceased to send their condolence. The guests wish for them to stay healthy and strong during the hard times, so the family must give them the best hospitality as a gratitude.
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6. A Good Time for the Family to Send Prayers
A dead person can no longer do any good deeds to lighten their test in the grave. The only person to help them is their family. When a person died, all their good deeds will be stopped unless for three things: amal jaariyah, a useful knowledge, and children who don’t stop sending prayers and doing good deeds for them.
7. Time Where the Deceased is Tested by Allah
In the grave, the deceased will be tested for the sins he committed.
Imam Thawus said : A died person will get test from Allah in his grave during seven days. For that, they should (who are still alive) arrange banquets (shadaqah) during those days. Ubaid bin Umair said : “ A believer and a hypocrite will face test together in the grave. For a believer will get test during seven days, while a hypocrite will get during fourty days in the morning.” (Al Hawi lil Fatawa as Suyuti)
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8. Remind Us of Death
Death shall not be feared since eventually every living will be dead. Death is also not a last resort, but only a portal to the eternity. Every time death come to a person we know, it should be treated as a reminder that we will be dead someday. By remembering death, we will live better and do even more good deeds.
9. Doing Shadaqa
Shadaqa that are done in the name of the death will be beneficial for him.
“Indeed people who have died are defamed in the grave during seven days, then they (the companions of the Prophet) loved to (shadaqah), served food as the replacement of them who have died in those days.” (Imam Suyuthi in the book of Al Hawi lil Al Fatawi)
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10. The Islamic Law for the Remembrance is Mubah
Some people said that 40th days after death is a Hindu tradition, but Islamic sharia has its own saying about it. 40th days after death is mubah, it means when we do it we will not be rewarded not committing sin.
11. It is Allowed in Islam
And Islam allowed Muslim to set a certain date to remember the 40th days after death in Islam. As long as there is no other beliefs or culture involved that against the principal of Islam.
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12. To Gain the Blessing from the Angels
When Muslims gather to do dhikr and recite Quran on the 40th days after death, the Angels will come around them.
“Not gather a people while doing dhikr to Allah SWT, except they will be rounded by angels.”
13. Repentance from the Sins
The remembrance could should also be used as an opportunity to repent from the sins.
“Whoever read Yasin only for searching Allah’s blessings, he get forgiveness for his past sins. Because of that, you should read Yasin for people who have died between you.”
So those are all the importance of 40th day after death in Islam. Indeed, every good Muslim will always remember death and committing many good deeds so that their way to the Hereafter will be fine and smooth.