Seventeenth Letter Child Condolence: It is a letter of condolence to the people whose children die at a young age. It is a glad tiding that the children who die before reaching the age of puberty will be given to their parents as cute children.
The Seventeenth Letter
[The Addendum to the Twenty-Fifth Flash]
A LETTER OF CONDOLENCE
ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD
And in His Name, be He glorified!
And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.
My Dear Brother of the Hereafter, Hafiz Halid Efendi!
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And give good news to the patient, * Those who when afflicted with calamity say: To Allah do we belong and to Him is our return.1
My brother, your child’s death saddened me. But, “the command is Allah’s,” contentment with the Divine decree and submission to Divine Determining is a mark of Islam. May Almighty Allah grant you all patience. And may He make the deceased a supporter and intercessor for you in the hereafter. I shall explain Five Points which are truly good news and offer real consolation for you, and pious believers like you:
The meaning of the phrase, immortal youths2 in the All-Wise Qur’an is this: with this phrase, the verse indicates and gives the good news that the children of believers who die before reaching maturity will remain perpetually as eternal, lovable children in a form worthy of Paradise; that they will be an everlasting means of happiness in the embrace of their fathers and mothers who go to Paradise; that they will be the means for ensuring for their parents the sweetest of pleasures like loving and carressing children; that all pleasurable things will be found in Paradise; that the statements of those who say that since Paradise is not the place for reproduction, there will be no loving and carressing of children are not correct; and that gaining millions of years of pure, painfree loving and caressing of eternal children in place of a short time like ten years of loving children mixed with sorrows in this world is a great source of happiness for believers.
One time, a man was in prison. They sent one of his lovable children to him. The unhappy prisoner suffered both his own sorrows, and since he could not make the child comfortable, he was grieved also at his hardship. Then the compassionate judge sent a man to him with a message which said: “For sure this child is yours, but he is my subject and of my people. I shall take him and look after him in a fine palace.” The man wept in anguish. He said: “I won’t give you my child who is my solace!” His friends said to him: “Your grief is meaningless. If it is the child you pity, he will go to a spacious and happy palace in place of this dirty, stinking, distressing dungeon. If you are grieved for yourself and are seeking your own benefits, if your child remains here, you will suffer much distress and pain at the child’s difficulties in addition to your single dubious, temporary benefit. If he goes there, it will be of manifold advantage for you, for it will be the cause of attracting the king’s mercy and will be an intercessor for you. The king will want to make you meet with him. He surely will not send him to the prison so that you can see him; he will release you from the prison, summon you to the palace, and allow you to meet with the child there. On condition that you have confidence in the king and you obey him....”
My dear brother, like this comparison, you must think as follows, like other believers when their children die: the child was innocent, and his Creator is All-Compassionate and All-Generous. He has taken him to His most perfect grace and mercy in place of my deficient up-bringing and compassion. He has released him from the grievous, calamitous, difficult prison of this world and sent him to the gardens of Paradise. How happy for the child! If he had stayed in this world, who knows what form he would have taken. Therefore, I do not pity him, I know him to be fortunate. There remains the benefits for myself, and I don’t pity myself for those, and I do not grieve and be sorrowful. For if he had remained in the world, he would have secured ten years of a child’s temporary love mixed with pains. If he had been righteous and if he had been capable in the matters of the world, perhaps he would have helped me. But with his death, he has become like an intercessor who is the means to ten million years of a child’s love in eternal Paradise and to everlasting happiness. Most certainly, one who loses some dubious, immediate benefit and gains a thousand certain, postponed benefits does not display grief and sorrow, he does not cry out in despair.
The child who died was the creature, possession, servant, and together with all his members, the artefact of a Most Compassionate Creator, and belonging to Him, was a friend of his parents, put temporarily under their supervision. The Creator made the father and mother servants of the child. In return for their services, He gave them pleasurable compassion as an immediate wage. Now, if as the requirement of mercy and wisdom, that All-Compassionate Creator, Who owns nine hundred and ninety-nine shares out of a thousand of the child, takes the child from you and puts an end to your service, to cry out in grief and despair due to that apparent single share in the face of the true owner of the thousand shares in a manner that recalls complaint, does not befit a believer; it befits rather the people of neglect and misguidance.
If the world had been eternal, and man was to have remained in it eternally, and separation had been eternal; grievous sorrow and despairing woe would have had some meaning. But since this world is a guest-house, wherever the dead child has gone, you, and we too, shall go there. Moreover, this death is not particular to him, it is a general highway. And, since separation is not for ever, in the future, both in the Intermediate Realm and in the hereafter, he will be met with. One must say, the command is Allah’s. He gave him and He took him away. One must say, “All praise be to Allah for every situation,” and offer thanks in patience.
Compassion, one of the most subtle, beautiful, agreeable, and sweet manifestations of Divine mercy, is a luminous elixir. It is much more direct than passionate love; it swiftly becomes a means to union with Almighty Allah. Metaphorical love and worldly love are transformed into true love with the greatest difficulty, and find Almighty Allah, but compassion binds the heart to Him in a shorter, purer fashion-and without difficulty. Both father and mother love their child more than all the world. When their child is taken from them, if they are fortunate and if they are true believers, its turns their faces from this world and finds the True Bestower of Bounties. It says: “Since the world is transitory, it is not worthy of the heart’s attachment.” Wherever the child has gone, a person forms an attachment with that place, and this gains for him high spiritual rank.
The people of neglect and misguidance are deprived of the happiness and good news of these Five Points. You can see from the following how grievous their situation is: they see their only child in the throes of death and due to their imagining the world to be eternal and as a result of their heedlessness and misguidance, they think death is non-existence and eternal separation. They think of him in the earth of his grave in place of his soft bed, and due to their heedlessness or misguidance, they do not think of the Paradise of mercy and heaven of bounty of the Most Compassionate of the Compassionate; you can see by comparison what despairing sorrow and grief they suffer. Whereas belief and Islam say to the believer: his All-Compassionate Creator will take this child of yours who is in the throes of death from this base world and take him to Paradise. He will make him both an intercessor for you, and an eternal child. Separation is temporary, do not worry.
Say, the command is Allah’s. * To Allah do we belong and to Him shall we return,
and bear it patiently.
The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One!
S a i d N u r s i
1. Qur’an, 2:155-6.
2. Qur’an, 56:17; 76:19.
- How should a child be trained and religiously educated? How should we teach Allah to children?
- Twenty-First Letter: It explains the importance of treating one’s old parents or relatives compassionately and mercifully.
- How can I increase my love of Allah and the Prophet in me? I want my love toward them to be bigger.
- First Fruit: The place of love in the realm of beings; the targets where love and fear should be directed at. What is the fear of Allah? How is it achieved?
- Is extreme love of children not permissible? We always hear that it is necessary not to love children so much.
- AFFECTION TOWARD PARENTS
- Third Stopping-Place: The point of views of the people of misguidance and the people of guidance on the worldly life.
- How should we treat old aged parents? We may have difficulty in being patient against their wrong behaviors. What would you advise?
- What does it mean to love ones child, a friend, and parents for the sake of Allah? What are the criteria of loving for the sake of Allah?
- What are children's rights over their parents?