Practicing patience, particularly patience and endurance in the loss of a child or close relative is highly rewarded in the hereafter. Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran:

“…Only the patient will be paid back their reward in full without measure.”1

According to the Holy Quran and the narrations from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and his progeny, all good deeds are set with a specific reward. However, according to this verse, no one but Allah is aware of the amount of reward for the truly patient. As protectors of religion, the Imams practiced the highest level of patience. They not only remained patient in the event of  tragic events, but even praised the Lord and were satisfied of the Lord’s decree upon them.

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (PBUH) had a son named Isma’el. He was the eldest child. When Isma’el reached his youth, he was already a wise young man with many virtues; people thought that he is the son who will continue his father’s legacy, and become the next divine leader of the people. While at the peak of his ingenuity, he fell ill and died suddenly. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) did not leave his house and asked his companions to perform the burial ceremony.  The Imam served a decent meal for the group who performed the burial. The companions were surprised of the Imam’s calmness and ultimately asked about his grief over the loss of his young son. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) responded:

“You have heard the verse about the great Prophet (PBUH&HP), which says: “Surely you shall die and they (too) shall surely die”2.  According to this verse, death is an inevitable divine fate even for the pure and pious ones.” The Imam helped his companions understand that despite the horrifying incident for the loss of his son, he is fully satisfied with what Allah (SWT) has decreed for him.

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) had another son who was very playful.  He would often run or walk ahead  of his father in the city of Medina. One day, some food got stuck in his throat causing him to choke and die in the presence of the Imam. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) cried for the loss of his son, although he refrained from moaning or complaining of his death. He turned to the body of his son and said:

“If you were taken, then I got [an opportunity] to stay, and if you got inflicted, then I was saved”. Then he turned to the women crying and moaning loundly, calmed them down and asked them to stop the screaming for the sake of Allah. He then took his son for the burial and said: “Praise be onto the One who takes our children away.  Our love for Him only increases.”  

After the burial, Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “We are the nation whom Allah gives us that which we request of Him for someone. And if Allah desires something for someone we love, we too are satisfied, even if it is unpleasant for us”. In other words, we ask Allah to give us what we love for our family and friends. And we will remain patient and satisfied at whatever hardship befalls our family and friends, knowing it is Allah’s decree upon them.

Selection taken from The Guiders of the Light Path (The life of Shia leader, Imam Ja’far al-SAdiq  (PBUH)) by Ayatullah Mohammad Taqi Modarresi

The Roshd website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 25th of Shawwal, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the sixth Imam of Shiites, the discoverer of realities and the truthful leader, Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (PBUH).

Footnotes:

1. Holy Quran 39:10

2. Holy Quran 39:30

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