Saturday 25 November 2023

Post burial etiquette as taught by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Except for one's own death, man is always in a hurry - impatient to get over things as soon as possible. This impatience is observed more often than not in the burial of one's acquaintances. No sooner the dead body is lowered down and the grave closed, men become restless to leave the graveyard as early as possible, what they do not realize that the person being left behind in the grave will be subjected to questioning by the angels, called Munkar and Nakirr (in Islam) and will undergo unimaginable test unknown to the living. 

Munkar and Nakir (Arabic: منكر ونكير) (English translation: "The Denied and The Denier") in Islamic eschatology, are angels who test the faith of the dead in their graves. If the deceased answers correctly, the time spent awaiting the resurrection is pleasant and may enter heaven. Those who do not answer as described above are chastised until the day of judgment.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had always warned and cautioned his companions to the torment of the grave and whenever he accompanied a dead to its grave, would stay back and pray for its forgiveness and advised his companions to follow the suit too.

One of the Hadiths of the revered Prophet about post burial etiquette is mentioned in Sunan Abi Dawud (Book # 21 Funerals (Kitab Al-Jana'iz) / كتاب الجنائز / Chapter # 1202 Praying for Forgiveness for the Deceased by the Grave at the Time of Departing (Burial) / باب الاِسْتِغْفَارِ عِنْدَ الْقَبْرِ لِلْمَيِّتِ فِي وَقْتِ الاِنْصِرَافِ ) as Hadith number # 3221, quoted herein under:

Narrated by thman ibn Affan: Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) became free from burying the dead, he used to stay at him (i.e. his grave) and say: Seek forgiveness for your brother, and beg steadfastness for him, for he will be questioned now.

Arabic Text:
حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُوسَى الرَّازِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامٌ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بَحِيرٍ، عَنْ هَانِئٍ، مَوْلَى عُثْمَانَ عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ، قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا فَرَغَ مِنْ دَفْنِ الْمَيِّتِ وَقَفَ عَلَيْهِ فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ اسْتَغْفِرُوا لأَخِيكُمْ وَسَلُوا لَهُ التَّثْبِيتَ فَإِنَّهُ الآنَ يُسْأَلُ ‏"‏‏.‏ 
Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)

One does not know how terrible would be the end game be in the grave, but once Prophet Muhammad ﷺ passed by a grave, he stood by it with anguished face and uprooted a small plant and planted on the grave. His companions asked the reason why. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ replied that he could hear the cries of the dead from inside the grave who was being subjected to torture for he did not care his urine falling on his clothes while urinating. This is but one example - the way we lived our life will have a reciprocating treatment in the grave. So, beware of our actions now before we face the torment of the grave.

Also, stay for a while when the grave is closed and supplicate as much as possible for the forgiveness of the dead of his sins and specially pray so that his stay in the grave is eased and is saved off the torment of the grave. 
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may refer to our exclusive page: Collection of Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to read posts written on general matters.

You may refer to our exclusive page: Collection of Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on Warnings / Cautions to read posts written on similar matters.

You may refer to our reference page:  Hadiths related to Muslim Women for more Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ about Muslim women

You may refer to our reference page: As Salat / Prayer for more related Hadiths attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ 

You may visit our post: Collections of Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ about Rewards for more Hadiths on specific subject of Rewards.

You may refer to our reference page: Collection of Hadith e Qudsi attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ for more Hadith e Qudsi

You may refer to our reference page: Collection of Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ about oftn asked queries and special matters for more answers to queries and some special matters as mentioned by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ 

You may refer to our reference page:  Etiquettes attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ   for more etiquettes as taught to us by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

You may refer to our reference page:  Supplications attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ for more supplications attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ 

Please also refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah / Hadith of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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