Abu Hurairah radiAllaahu anhu reported: A black woman (or probably a young man) used to clean the mosque. Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam missed her (or him) and asked about her (or him). He was told that she (or he) had died. He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Why did you not inform me?’‘ (It seemed as if) they (the Companions) considered the matter insignificant. Then he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Show me her (or his) grave.” When it was shown to him, he offered (Janazah-funeral) prayer over it and said, “These graves cover those in them with darkness, and Allah illumines them for the inmates as a result of my supplication for them.”
Various other reports confirm that the person concerned was a woman named Umm Mihjan.
There are a couple things that jump out at me from this Hadith. The first is that it was a woman who was allowed to clean to the masjid, and when she passed away, she was missed for it. This strikes me particularly because I had read a few days ago, elsewhere, about how women should not be cleaning masjids, it should be left to the men to do…and that it’s Islamically impermissable. There is probably more than this single story which led to that ruling…but I’m still curious. I must do some investigation on this issue.
The other thing that strikes me is how a person is missed for the value of his or her actions. There is no deed too small or big, so long as it’s well-intentioned and sincere, that we can do to ensure a positive legacy upon our death.