The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When a person’s child dies, Allah the Most High asks His angels, ‘Have you taken out the life of the child of My slave?’ They reply in the affirmative. He then asks, ‘Have you taken the fruit of his heart?’ They reply in the affirmative. Thereupon he asks, ‘What has My slave said?’ They say: ‘He has praised You and said: Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un (We belong to Allah and to Him we shall be returned).’ Allah says: ‘Build a house for My slave in Jannah and name it Bait-ul-Hamd (the House of Praise).’” [Tirmidhi]
One of the greatest worldly calamities for a person is to lose his or her child. None but those who have gone through it know what it is like. This hadith highlights the great merit of exhibiting patience at this time of calamity. Rather than wailing and complaining, one should submit to the Will of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and try to remember His promised reward. Children who die before reaching the age of puberty cause their parents to be brought to Jannah through them. An attitude of patience brings great reward from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).
How does one reconcile with such events? Another hadith tells us the story of a pious man who loved his wife very much. When she died suddenly he was devastated. He shut himself off from society, refusing to talk to or see anyone. Finally, a woman sat outside his house and refused to budge until he talked to her regarding a problem that she had.
She told him that a friend of hers had given her jewelry for safekeeping which she would often wear. She had had it in her possession for a long time but now her friend had come to ask for it back. The problem was that since she had had the jewelry for so long she had gotten used to having it and didn’t want to give it back.
The man immediately replied from inside the house that she must return her friend’s amanah (possessions given in trust). He also realized that the problem she had come to discuss with him was just to make him realize how in fact he must reconcile with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) taking back what belonged to Him.
Death is only a temporary separation for family members going to Jannah. People going to Jannah will be reunited therein where they will never suffer separation again.