Lesson 47: Shedding tears, Supporting the Family of the deceased, making Duā for the deceased
Note: the hadiths from this lesson were taken from the Book Bulūghul Marām
Anas (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated, “I attended the burial of one of the daughters of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He was sitting by the side of the grave and his eyes were shedding tears” [Related by Al-Bukhārī ]
Note: All of the children of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) (may Allāh be pleased with them all) died before him except Fatima (may Allāh be pleased with her).
The scholars have differed over which daughter it is in this hadith as there were several daughters (Ruqayya, Umm Kulthuum, and Zainab) who died before him. However, it is mentioned that it being Ruqayya mentioned here is unlikely as the messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was away at the battle of Badr.
This hadith also shows that shedding tears at the death of someone is NOT classed as being the same as wailing (see lesson 46). This hadith is mentioned here to show that shedding of tears is permissible and is part of the compassion one has for the deceased and one may not be able to control that emotion.
Likewise, when the son (Ibrahim) of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) died, The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “Indeed the eyes shed tears and the heart is saddened but we do not say anything except that which pleases our Lord and Indeed we are saddened by your departure O Ibrahim”
Likewise, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said Allāh does not punish one on account of grief in his heart or for his tears but rather for what he says with his tongue
Likewise, one of the grandchildren of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was dying and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) shed tears
Jābir ibn ‘Abdullāh (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “Do not bury your dead during the night unless you have to do so.” [Related by Ibn Mājah. Muslim reported a similar narration, Jābir said in his narration, “The Prophet disapproved that someone is buried at night, unless the funeral prayer has been offered for him”]
What is the ruling on burying at night? (e.g. Harām/forbidden vs makruuh/disliked). Shaykh Al-Fawzān says it is not impermissible to bury someone at night, Abu Bakr was buried at night and also Fatima (may Allāh be pleased with her) was buried by Ali (her husband, may Allāh be pleased with him) also at night. Therefore, these examples indicate that it is not harām/forbidden to bury at night, and the wording of the hadith itself indicates that it is not impermissible (as one can still do it if necessary) but that burial during daytime is better.
If burying the deceased at night is going to cause problems with shortcoming such as difficulties with the washing, shrouding or the funeral prayer, then it is disliked doing this at night.
However, if there are no such shortcomings when burial at night then it is possible to do it (as it was done for some companions as mentioned)
There are also narrations that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also buried some companions at night
Hadith of ‘Abdullāh ibn Ja’far (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated, “When we received news of Ja’far’s death; when he was killed (in the Battle of Mu’tah), the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Prepare some food for the family of Ja’far, for what has befallen them is keeping them preoccupied” [Reported by the five Imams except for An-Nasāī]
The story of Ja’far Ibn Abī Tālib (The brother of Ali Ibn Abī Tālib) and his battle with the Romans. Ja’far was form among the early companions and also migrated to Abyssinia. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent an army of the Muslims (approx. 3,000 men) to fight the Romans (approx. 100,000 men) and leadership was given to Ja’far. He died and was succeeded by Zaid ibn Hāritha (the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) as leader. When Zaid died, he was succeeded by Abdullāh Ibn Rawāha as leader. When Abdullāh died he was succeeded Khalid Ibn Walīd.
The hadith indicates that the neighbours should look after the family of the deceased (e.g. making food for them, taking are of any guests etc).
NOTE: in some Muslim groups, they do the OPPOSITE, that when someone dies the family of the deceased is made to cook food for everyone else! This is a sin, an opposition to the sunnah and is also a very large burden for the family of the deceased in such a difficult time. This is NOT how it should be.
Note: the hadiths from this lesson were taken from the Book Bulūghul Marām
Sa’d Ibn Abī Waqqās (may Allāh be pleased with him) said (during his death illness) “Make a lahd for me and cover it with un-burnt bricks, as you did with the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).” [Related by Muslim]
Who was Sa’d Ibn Abii Waqqaas?
What did this request mean? What is a Lahd?
Al-Baihaqī translated on the authority of Jābir (may Allāh be pleased with him) a similar narration and added, “and his grave was raised one span from the ground.” [Ibn Hibbān graded it as Sahiih]
NOTE: the surface of the grave is raised one span above the ground so that its location can be known.
This hadith shows that the graves of the Muslims may be as the hadith mentions (i.e.one hand span). HOWEVER, going beyond this is not legislated nor permissible
This (i.e. raising the grave by a hand span) marks it as a grave and prevents people from walking over it or digging into/around it by accident.
Note: This is also how the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was made. Allah made the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) the best of creation and choose for him the best, then how about the one who says elevating graves beyond this is better?!
Jābir (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) prohibited whitening a grave with plaster, to sit on it or to build over it (such as a dome). [Related by Muslim]
Whitening a grave with plaster: i.e. beautifying it. Modern day examples include using marble material etc. Beatifying a grave can lead to exaggeration in the matter of the grave as it becomes closer to a shrine and attracts people.
NOTE: Building upon a grave includes headstones (this is a very common modern day occurrence na’uudhubillaah).
It is also impermissible to sit on top of the grave area as this is against the honour of the deceased.
Islam allows us to bury the person, raise the grave by a hand span, and use some rocks or stone to identify where the head is. This is how the early Muslims including the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) were buried.
Lesson 45: Making Duā for the Deceased, the Funeral Procession, and the reward of taking part in the funeral
Recap of last lesson (44)
Hadith of ‘Auf Ibn Mālik (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) offered the funeral prayer, and I memorised this supplication (that he said for the deceased) “O Allāh! Forgive him and have mercy on him (or her). Grant him ease and respite. Make his resting place a noble one, and facilitate his entry. Wash him with the most pure and clean water, snow and hail. Purify him from sins as a white garment is cleansed of dirt. Give him in exchange a home better than his home (on earth) and a family better than his family. Grant him entrance to Paradise and protect him from the trails of the grave and the torture of Hell Fire”” [Related by Muslim]
This indicates there are 5 pillars to the funeral prayer
The takbīrāt (opening takbīr and 3 more, see Lesson 38 for how to do this)
recitation of the Fātihah,
sending salutation upon the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
Duā for the deceased
To give the salām
There are also some conditions of the funeral prayer (See Lesson 38 for more)
That the deceased and those praying over him/her are Muslim
Must be performed upon purification (as standard for normal prayer)
The conditions that apply to general prayers also apply here to the funeral prayer (e.g. facing the qibla, covering the private parts etc)
Issue? Can the Janāzah be performed during prohibited times e.g. after Asr but before maghrib?
Hadith of Abū Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “If you offer the funeral prayer for a deceased person, supplicate Allāh sincerely for him” [Related by Abū Dāwūd]
Hadith of Abū Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “Hurry up when you carry the dead body (the Janāzah), for if the deceased is righteous, you would be taking it to something better, and if he or she is an evil person, then you will be getting him or her off your necks.” [Agreed upon]
There are only two possibilities for the deceased:
If he/she was good and righteous then burying them quickly will allow them to be amongst the blessings of the grave
If he/she was evil then burying them will remove the harm of having them among the people
Walking slowly in a procession (like in some cultures) is not permissible
The hadith may have two meanings, either to walk quickly with the body when burying them or to make the entire process quickly (e.g. all of it such as washing etc)
There may be necessary reasons for delay in burial such as identifying the body, to establish if the person has actually died/to confirm death, if the close relatives haven’t arrived then a small delay may be applied. Generally speaking the process should be quick and not delayed unnecessarily