It can be difficult losing a loved one. The helplessness experienced during this time of your life is almost incomparable to anything else.
However, there are still things you can do for them in this life, despite them being in their graves.
Aside from reading duaa, there are a few things you can do for those that have passed away.
This is a form of ongoing charity that allows the deceased person to reap benefits. For example, if sadaqah is given by building a well, the well will provide water to thousands of people for many years. Specific types of Sadaqah Jariyah are mentioned in hadith.
Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Verily, among the good deeds that will join a believer after his death are these: knowledge which he taught and spread, a righteous child he leaves behind, a copy of the Qur’an he leaves for inheritance, a mosque he has built, a house he built for travelers, a well he has dug, and charity distributed from his wealth while he was alive and well. These deeds will join him after his death.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
The savab (goodness) and blessings from each person will be passed on and touch the individual who has passed away.
Through his actions and words, the Prophet ﷺ reminded us to maintain ties with the friends and family of our loved ones.
A man from the Banu Salamah came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “O Messenger of Allah, is there any way of honouring my parents that I can still do for them after they die?” He said, “Yes. Offering the funeral prayer for them, praying for forgiveness for them, fulfilling their promises after their death, honouring their friends and upholding the ties of kinship which you would not have were it nor for them.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Amr Ibn Aws narrated from Abu Razin al-‘Uqali that he approached the Prophet ﷺ and said, “O Messenger of God! My father is old and cannot make Hajj, Umrah or travel.” The Prophet ﷺ replied, ‘Make Hajj and Umrah on behalf of your father.’” [Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]
This extends to physical debts too.
Abu Hurairah (AS) reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “The soul of the deceased believer remains pending on account of the debt till it (the debt) is repaid.” [Tirmidhi]
Although there are many different views on the best way to settle the deceased person’s debt, there is no denying its importance.
The fact that we are able to complete these tasks on behalf of the departed and receive the reward at the same time, allowing us and the deceased to find closure, is ultimately due to Allah’s mercy and love.
May Allah allow us all to reunite with our loved ones in the hereafter.
If you are struggling to deal with grief and need to speak to someone some resources are below: