A few days ago, one of my cousin’s youngest daughter, 6 years old, was killed in a tragic accident in Pakistan. A water tanker accidentally ran over her small precious body while playing with her friends in the street right in front of her house. Her parents are, quite understandably, in a complete state of shock, especially her mother who carried her lifeless, fragile, flattened body to the hospital in her own arms. I cannot even imagine what her parents are going through right now and the pain they must be feeling.
I pray she continues her play with new friends in paradise in the verdant garden as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said about children who die before puberty:
“We set off, and we came to a verdant garden, in which were all the colors of spring, where there was a man who was so tall that I could hardly see his head in the sky. Around the man was the largest number of children I had ever seen…As for the tall man who was in the garden, that was Abraham. As for the children who were around him, these are all the children who died in a state of fitrah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (7047)
I also hope Allah accepts her as a martyr as the hadith says:
الشُّهَدَاءُ خَمْسٌ الْمَطْعُونُ وَالْمَبْطُونُ وَالْغَرِقُ وَصَاحِبُ الْهَدْمِ وَالشَّهِيدُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ
“The martyrs are five: Those who die of the plague, stomach illness, drowning, being crushed, and the martyr in the cause of Allah.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1063)
Death is not the end but a doorway to transfer from one form of existence to another. Eventually, we all must go through it.
We don’t deserve our children, they are gifts and favors from Him and can be taken back anytime from any parent no matter their station. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) buried all his children in his own lifetime, which included at least two infants, except for Fatima. So we should cherish the time we have with them and fill it with love, care, and play while we still can, because we don’t really know how long we have with them.
Many years ago, I came across a hadith which has never left my mind on this topic from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari:
Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “When a person’s child dies, Allah says to His angels, ‘You have taken the child of My slave.’ They say, ‘Yes.’ He says, ‘You have taken the apple of his eye.’ They say, ‘Yes.’ He says, ‘What did My slave say?’ They say, ‘He praised you and said “Innaa lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return).’ Allah says, ‘Build for My slave a house in Paradise and call it the house of praise.’” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (942)
Finally, such tragedies could be seen as a form of mercy for the parents because there are some hadiths which speak of children, who died before puberty, interceding on behalf of their parents.
It was narrated that Abu Hassaan said: I said to Abu Hurayrah, “Two sons of mine have died. Will you not narrate to us a hadith from the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that will comfort us in our loss?”
He said: “Yes, their children are the little ones of Paradise, and one of them will meet his father – or his parents – and take hold of his garment – or his hand – as I am taking hold of the edge of this garment of yours, and he will not let go until Allah admits him and his father to Paradise.” Narrated by Muslim (2635).