Loudly Lamenting the Dead
The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “He who slaps his cheeks, rips his pockets, or calls out the cries of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance is not of us.” [Sahih Bukhari]
It is the beauty of Islam, and Allah’s favour on us, that He (subhana wa ta’ala) did not leave us unguided in any matter of life. For every situation, we were told how to earn Allah’s pleasure. Thus, there is also an etiquette to mourning in Islam.
Sorrow is a natural feeling and the flowing of tears is from the tenderness of the heart. These are allowed and were experienced by the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) on the death of his baby Ibraheem, and no one had a softer heart than he. But to shout and wail, hit oneself, tear one’s clothes, and in general act out of control in grief is not a part of the Islamic etiquette of mourning.
When we do deeds according to how Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has asked us to, we draw closer to eternal happiness in Jannah. As Muslims we made a bargain with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in which we sold our lives and our wealth in exchange for life in Paradise. [Al-Quran 9:111]
Suppose somebody sells their car. Once the payment has been made, does the seller have any rights left on the car? Would it be fair for him/her to continue to use it as he/she pleases and even give it to the buyer’s enemy to misuse? Then we should keep in mind that since we have sold our worldly lives and wealth to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in exchange for Jannah, we no longer get to do what we please with ourselves or our assets. We have to conduct ourselves according to how Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) wants us to, rather than how Shaitaan, Allah’s enemy and our enemy, incites us to.