I was honoured to be invited to the Qur'anic reading for my Kuwaiti/Iranian friend's second Mom. She passed away last Saturday but my friend only found out a day ago. She immediately called her lady friends and we gathered at her place for the ceremony.
The lady, may God forgive all her sins and bless her with paradise, was in her very early 70's.
The melodic voices of the Arabic speaking women were enchanting, many words I recognized as they read from certain passages of the Qur'an.
I have never been to a Shia ceremony before so this was a new experience for me. The ladies were very kind and explained some of the differences between Shia and Sunni to me. I found out that they can pray to five members of "special people" of the Prophet's family. Similar in some ways, to Catholics praying to the Virgin Mary, also most Christians pray through Jesus the Christ when praying to God Almighty. They act as intercessors on behalf of the one praying.
I have been to several ceremonies in Toronto praying for the departed soul. The prayers and reading of the
Qur'an are for the benefit of the soul of the departed. It will be added to her good points.
In Islam, each soul is responsible for their own actions and each good and bad point is recorded that the person thinks and does. Thus, it is better if a person does more good than bad. It is only due to the Mercy of God that anybody will get to Heaven.
As many of you know, Judaism, Christianity and Islam share a link through Father Abraham and have so many similarities in their belief patterns. In fact, the eldest child born of Abraham was Ismael, son of Haggar, the slave woman whom Sarah his first wife, gave to Abraham so that Sarah could have children through this younger woman. As far as Christians are concerned, Isaac is the child of the promise. In Judaism, Isaac is also considered the important son.
It was a very lovely ceremony and very peaceful and I hope that it comforted my friend in her loss. We had some tasty snacks after the ceremony. One of the ladies had made some very tasty dates mixed with other ingredients. This was the first time I had tasted dates this way. Delicious!
The ladies were delightful and I enjoyed meeting them very much. One of the ladies asked her son to bring me back downtown so we all had an extra time together in the car.
Very fine and dedicated people and good friends to my friend. I was so pleased to see such a strong support system for her.
Thanks for reading my blog and come back another time, if you wish.