When a person departs from this realm in to the realm of the hereafter, either they are relieved of the world or the world is relieved of them. When a good person passes away, they are relieved of the fatigue, pain and trouble of the world. When a bad person dies, then we learn from the hadīth that not only humans but even the animals and beasts are relieved of their presence.
It was narrated from Abu Qatadah bin Raib’i that he used to narrate:
أَخْبَرَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ حَلْحَلَةَ، عَنْ مَعْبَدِ بْنِ كَعْبِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ بْنِ رِبْعِيٍّ، أَنَّهُ كَانَ يُحَدِّثُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مُرَّ عَلَيْهِ بِجَنَازَةٍ فَقَالَ ” مُسْتَرِيحٌ وَمُسْتَرَاحٌ مِنْهُ ” . فَقَالُوا مَا الْمُسْتَرِيحُ وَمَا الْمُسْتَرَاحُ مِنْهُ قَالَ ” الْعَبْدُ الْمُؤْمِنُ يَسْتَرِيحُ مِنْ نَصَبِ الدُّنْيَا وَأَذَاهَا وَالْعَبْدُ الْفَاجِرُ يَسْتَرِيحُ مِنْهُ الْعِبَادُ وَالْبِلاَدُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ ” .
A funeral passed by the Messenger of Allah and he said: ‘He is relieved and others are relieved of him.’ They said: ‘What does relieved mean and what does relieved of him mean: He said: “The believing slave is relieved of the hardships and troubles of this world, and the people, the land, the trees and the animals are relieved of the immoral slave.”[Sunan an-Nasa’i 1930]
In a verse of the Qur’an, Allāh says
And the sky and the earth did not weep over them, and they were not guided. [Surah Ad-Dukhan 44:29]
May Allāh make us from amongst those that when we depart people weep over our departure, and not rejoice at being relieved of us.
[This excerpt is based on a talk delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 16th November 2018]