The lives of the Prophet (sa) and his companions are practical guides for us. We can study their lives and draw lessons for ourselves.

Reading about the Islamic will, one would like to see some examples. What better examples than the ones with whom Allah (swt) is pleased? Let us look at what instructions the companions left.

The companions were strict adherents to the Prophet’s (sa) advice. Therefore, in their last moments, almost every one of them instructed that there should be no wailing.

When death approached Amr ibn Al-Aas (rtam), he said: “If I die, do not let any wailing woman or fire accompany me.” Likewise, Qais ibn Asim (rtam) said: “If I die, do not wail over me, for there was no wailing over the Messenger of Allah (sa).”

The companions feared fame and attention in their lives and left this world being concerned about the same.

Hudaifah ibn Al-Yaman (rtam) instructed: “If I die, do not inform anyone of it, for I am afraid that that would be a public announcement. I heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) forbidding making public death announcements.”

From where did we borrow obituaries published in daily newspapers, the media coverage of the funeral, and the shows aired in remembrance?

Pass by a graveyard and you will find marble slabs displaying the name and details of the deceased in finest calligraphy. It is a flourishing business that has not escaped profiteering.  People have to negotiate prices to bury their dead. Much attention is given to the exterior, while our real concern should be what is happening inside. The money that is spent on marbled graves, fancy plaques, and cultural practices following one’s death could be invested in a good cause.

Sometimes, the burial is delayed because a loved one is flying in from another country or the deceased is to be transported from one place to another. That can mean delaying the burial for three or even more days. If the person died on a Friday, he is deprived of the virtues of the day. His body is stored in the morgue, while the loved ones arrive or arrangements for his transportation are made.

Read the instructions left by Abu Huraira (rtam). He said: “If I die, do not set up a tent over me, and do not follow me with fire; hasten to send me to my Lord, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) say: ‘When the slave or righteous man is placed on his bier, he says: Take me forward, take me forward. But when the bad man is placed on his bier, he says: Woe to you, where are you taking me?’” (An-Nasai)

This reminds us to not only be concerned with our wealth and properties, but to also leave funeral instructions, so that nothing that displeases Allah (swt) is done in our last moments.