Last Sunday we received news of the passing of our dear uncle Imtiaz Ansari, may Allah have mercy on his soul. He was the kindest of men with the purest heart of all those I knew, embodying the highest of prophetic character. He exemplified the meaning of brotherhood in Islam, embracing anyone in the community with open arms and an infectious smile. I recall the following two hadiths of our Prophet ﷺ;
It is related that Anas said, “A funeral procession passed by and they were praising the dead man. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘It is mandatory.’ Then another passed and they were speaking ill of the dead man – or he said, something else. He said, ‘It is mandatory.’ It was asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, why did you say it is mandatory for this one and mandatory for that one?’ He said, ‘The testimony of the people [is accepted]. The believers are the witnesses of Allah on the earth.'”
[Sahih Bukhari; 2499; Book of Testimony]
It is related that Abu’l-Aswad said, “I came to Madina during an epidemic and people were dying quickly. I was sitting with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab when a funeral passed by and the dead man was praised. ‘Umar said, ‘It is mandatory.’ Then another passed by and they praised the dead. ‘Umar said, ‘It is mandatory.’ Then a third passed by and they spoke ill of the dead. ‘Umar said, ‘It is mandatory.’ I said, ‘What is mandatory, Amir al-Mu’minin?’ He said, ‘I say what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Any Muslim to whose goodness four people testify will be admitted by Allah to the Garden.” We asked, “And if three do?” He said, “Three as well.” We asked, “And two?” He said, “Two also.” Then we did not ask him about one.'”
[Sahih Bukhari; 2500; Book of Testimony]
The Prophet ﷺ taught us that an indicator of a man’s destination in the next life is the opinion people have of them upon their death. From the kindness I knew of Uncle Imtiaz, I have no doubt that he was from the righteous. May Allah grant him Jannah Al-Firdaus.
Insha’allah the janazah will be taking place tomorrow at Birmingham Central Mosque immediately after jumu’ah.
I request you read surah Al-Fatiha for his soul and pray that Allah enter him and us into his mercy. Ameen.