It is recommended that the people should make three rows ( The minimum number of people for a row is two persons) while offering a funeral prayer, and that these rows should be straight. This is based on a report from Malik ibn Habairah who said: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'Every believer who dies is forgiven by Allah if a group of Muslims comprising three rows prays for him'." That is why, if there were not many people attending a funeral prayer, Malik ibn Habayrah would make them stand in three rows. This is narrated by Ahmad, Abu Daw'ud, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi, and Al-Hakim, who considers it a sound hadith.
Ahmad said: "If the number of people present at the funeral prayer is very small I would still prefer that they make three rows." He was asked: "What if there are only four people present?" He replied: "They may make two rows, with two persons in each line." He did not like three rows with each of them consisting of only one person.
A larger gathering of people for the funeral prayer is preferable, as is reported by 'Aishah who said: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, 'If a Muslim dies and his funeral prayer is attended by a group of a hundred Muslims, and they all sincerely pray for his forgiveness, he is forgiven'." This is narrated by Ahmad, Muslim, and Tirmidhi.
Ibn 'Abbas reported: "I heard the Prophet, peace be upon him, saying: 'If a Muslim dies and a group of forty people, who do not associate any one with Allah, pray for him, their prayer is accepted and he is forgiven' ." This has been narrated by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Daw'ud.
Somebody asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is the best among the people?" Allah's Apostle replied "A believer who strives his utmost in Allah's cause with his life and property." They asked, "Who is next?" He replied, "A believer who stays in one of the mountain paths worshipping Allah and leaving the people secure from his mischief."
A person who misses a part of a funeral prayer should make up the missed takbirs--making them consecutively. This is preferable, but if he cannot do it there is no harm. Ibn 'Umar, Al-Hasan, Ayyub Al-Sukhtiani, and Al-Awza'i are of the opinion that such a person is not required to repeat the missed takbirs, and he should finish his prayer with the salutations led by the imam.
Ahmad said: "If he cannot make the missed takbirs, there is no harm." The author of Al-Mughni prefers this opinion and remarks: "It is supported by a saying of Ibn ' Umar and there is nothing on record from the Companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them) to contradict it. It is reported by 'Aishah that she said to the Prophet, peace be upon him, "O Allah's Messenger, sometimes when I offer a funeral prayer, I cannot hear some of the takbirs by the imam?" He replied: "Say the takbir that you hear and do not worry about the ones that you miss. You do not have to repeat these later on." This statement is quite explicit. These are consecutive--uninterrupted--takbirs and, if missed, they need not be repeated like the ones in the 'Eid prayer.
There is a consensus among the jurists that funeral prayer is offered for all Muslims, male or female, and young or old. Ibn Al-Mundhir said: "The scholars are in agreement that if it is established that an infant is born alive, that is, by his crying, sneezing, or moving etc., then, if it dies, a funeral prayer should be offered for it."
Al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah reports that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "One may ride one's mount behind the funeral, and walk on foot a little ahead of it or to its right or left. A funeral prayer should be offered for an aborted baby, seeking for his parents the mercy and forgiveness of Allah." This is reported by Ahmad and Abu Daw'ud. Another narration reads: "A person on foot may walk behind a funeral, or ahead of it, or on its left side or right side or still nearer to it." According to another report, "A rider should ride behind the funeral, whereas one on foot may walk anywhere. And a funeral prayer should be offered for a child." This is reported by Ahmad, Nasa'i, and Tirmidhi, who consider it a sound hadith.
A miscarried fetus, less than four months old, may not be washed, nor may a funeral prayer be offered for it. It should be wrapped in a piece of cloth and buried. The majority of jurists are in agreement on this point.
On the other hand, if a miscarried fetus is four months old or older, and the existence of life in it is established, then there is a consensus that it should be washed and a funeral prayer offered for it. But if its life is not established by its movements or other evidence, then according to Malik, Al-Awza'i, AlHasan, and the Hanafi school, funeral prayer may not be offered for it. They base their opinion on a hadith transmitted by Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and Al-Baihaqi on the authority of Jabir that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "If in a miscarried fetus life is established by its movements, a funeral prayer should be offered for it, and it is entitled to its share of inheritance." According to this hadith offering a funeral prayer for a miscarried fetus is conditioned upon proof of its life evident in signs of life, such as its movement, etc.
Ahmad, Sa' id, Ibn Sirin, and Ishaq are of the opinion that in the light of the above hadith, a miscarried fetus may be washed and a funeral prayer may be offered for it. The words used in this hadith are "a funeral prayer should be offered for a miscarried fetus" because it has a soul and is alive. The Prophet, peace be upon him, informed us that a fetus receives a soul when it is four months old. Others refute this argument with the assertion that there is confusion in the chain of narrators of this hadith, and besides, a stronger hadith contradicts it. But this alone does not constitute a valid argument.
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The example of a mujahid in Allah's cause--and Allah knows better who really strives in His cause--is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the mujahid in His cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty."
I asked Allah's Apostle, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the best deed?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." I asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents." I further asked, what is next in goodness?" He replied, "To participate in Jihad in Allah's cause." I did not ask Allah's Apostle anymore and if I had asked him more, he would have told me more.
Allah's Apostle said, "There is no hijra (i.e. migration) (from Mecca to Medina) after the conquest (of Mecca), but Jihad and good intention remain; and if you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately.
Ash-Shawkani said: There are no fixed times for these prayers. One may use any of these after all the takbirs, or after the first or second or third takbir, or divide it between each two takbirs, or say any of these prayers in between each two takbirs in the light of the practice of the Prophet, peace be upon him. It is also said that supplications should be done in the words given in the above reported hadith for both male or female dead persons.
It is preferred to supplicate for the deceased after the fourth takbir, even though the supplicant rnay have done so after the third takbir. This is based on a narration by Ahmad on the authority of ' Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa who said that when his daughter died, at his funeral prayer for her he made four takbirs. After the fourth takbir, he stood supplicating for as much as he did in between the other takbirs. Then he said: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to do the same in a funeral prayer."
Ash-Shafi'i said: "After the fourth takbir one may say, Allahumma la tuharimna ajrahu wa la taftinna ba'dahu. 'O Allah! Do not deprive us of reward for (supplicating for) him/her, nor put us to trial after him (or her)'."
Ibn Abu Hurairah said: "After the fourth takbir the elders used to say: Allahumma Rabbana atina fi ad-Dunya hasanatan wafi al-Akhirati hasanatan wa qina 'adhab an-Nar. 'O Allah! Grant us good in this life and good in the life to come, and save us from the torment of Hell Fire."
All jurists with the exception of Abu Hanifah are in agreement that the two salutations (saying assalamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullah), one to the right and the other to the left, are obligatory. Abu Hanifah, however is of the view that they are required, but not obligatory as a condition. Those who hold it to be obligatory argue that the funeral prayer is a prayer (salah), and as such it cannot be terminated except by salutations (to the right and left).
Ibn Mas'ud said: "Salutations at the end of a funeral prayer are similar to those said at the end of any formal prayer. The minimum that would suffice in this respect is to say: "As-Salamu 'Alaikum" or "salamun 'alaikum" (the peace be with you or peace be with you)."
Ahmad is of the opinion that one salutation - the salutation to the right - is sunnah, and there is no harm if one says it while looking straight ahead. This is based on the practice of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and his Companions who ended their funeral prayer with one salutation. No difference of opinion among them is on record on this issue.
Ash-Shafi'i holds that two salutations, turning one's face first to the right and then to the left, are commendable. Ibn Hazm said: "The second salutation is remembrance of Allah, and an act of virtue."
(That she said), "O Allah's Apostle! We consider Jihad as the best deed. Should we not fight in Allah's cause?" He said, "The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj-mabrur (i.e. Hajj which is done according to the Prophet's tradition and is accepted by Allah)."
It is sunnah for the imam to stand opposite the head of a male body, and opposite the middle of a female body. This is based on a hadith reported from Anas that he offered a funeral prayer for a male standing opposite his head. As soon as the body of the man was removed, a female body was brought in for funeral prayer. He led the prayer standing opposite the middle of her body. Thereupon he was asked, "Did the Prophet, peace be upon him, stand where you stood in the cases of a man and a woman?" He answered: "Yes." This is narrated by Ahmad, Abu Daw'ud, Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi, who regards it as a sound hadith. Al-Tahawi said: This is the most preferred position, because it is supported by other reports from Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him.
If there are a number of bodies, including both male and female, they should be placed in separate rows, between the imam and the direction of the Ka'abah, with the best among them nearer to the imam, and a single funeral prayer may be offered for all of them.
If the deceased include both male and female, a separate prayer for each may be offered. But it is also permissible to offer one prayer for all of them at once. In such a case the male should be placed immediately before the Imam and then the female in the direction of the Qiblah.
It is reported by Nafi' from Ibn 'Umar that he offered a funeral prayer for nine of the deceased, males and females. He placed the males closest to the imam and then the females in the direction of the Qiblah. He placed all of them in one row. The funeral of Umm Kulthum, daughter of 'Ali and the wife of 'Umar, and her son called Zaid, was led by Sa'id ibn al-'As, and among the people attending this funeral were Ibn Abbas, Abu Hurairah, Abu Sa'id and Abu Qatadah. The little boy was placed before the imam. A man said: "I do not like this arrangement, and looked towards Ibn 'Abbas, Abu Hurairah, Abu Sa'id and Abu Qatadah, and said to them: "What is this?" They replied: "This is the sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him,. This was narrated by Nasa'i and Al-Baihaqi, and Al-Hafiz says its chain of authorities is sound.
Another hadith says that if a funeral prayer is offered for a child together with a woman, the boy should be placed nearer the imam and the woman next to it in the direction of the Qiblah. And if there are men, women and children, then the children should be placed next to the men.
A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)." He replied, "I do not find such a deed." Then he added, "Can you, while the Muslim fighter is in the battlefield, enter your mosque to perform prayers without cease and fast and never break your fast?" The man said, "But who can do that?" Abu Huraira added, "The mujahid (i.e. Muslim fighter) is rewarded even for the footsteps of his horse while it wanders about (for grazing) tied in a long rope."
I said, "O Allah's Apostle! We have slaughtered a young sheep of ours and have ground one Sa of barley. So, I invite you along with some persons." So, the Prophet said in a loud voice, "O the people of the Trench! Jabir had prepared 'Sur' so come along."
(the daughter of Khalid bin Said) I went to Allah's Apostle with my father and I was wearing a yellow shirt. Allah's Apostle said, "Sanah, Sanah!" (Abdullah, the narrator, said that 'Sanah' meant "good" in the Ethiopian language). I then started playing with the seal of Prophethood (in between the Prophet's shoulders) and my father rebuked me harshly for that. Allah's Apostle said. "Leave her," and then Allah's Apostle (invoked Allah to grant me a long life) by saying (thrice), "Wear this dress till it is worn out and then wear it till it is worn out, and then wear it till it is worn out." (The narrator adds, "It is said that she lived for a long period, wearing that (yellow) dress till its color became dark because of long wear.")
Al-Hasan bin Ali took a date from the dates of the sadaqa and put it in his mouth. The Prophet said (to him) in Persian, "Kakh, kakh! (i.e. Don't you know that we do not eat the sadaqa (i.e. what is given in charity) (charity is the dirt of the people)."
Ahmad records that Abu Sa'id reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Any Muslim who makes a supplication containing nothing that is sinful and nothing that involves breaking ties of blood relationships, will be given for it by Allah one of these three things: He may accept his request, or assign its reward for him in the next world, or turn away from him an equivalent amount of evil." Those who heard it said, "We would, then, make many supplications." The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied, "Allah is more than ready to answer what you ask."
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Your supplication will be answered if you are not impatient, and if you do not say, 'I supplicated but my supplication was not heard'." (Malik)
Abu Hurairah also reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "None of you should say, 'O Allah, forgive me if You wish, (or) O Allah, have mercy on me if you wish.' Rather you should be firm in your request, for (Allah does whatever He wishes) and no one can force Him to do otherwise."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, loved comprehensive supplications but used other supplications as well. The Qur'anic supplication, "Our Lord, give us good in this world, and give us good in the hereafter," is just such a comprehensive supplication.
A man came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and said, "O Messenger of Allah, which is the best supplication?" The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Supplicate to your Lord for forgiveness and security in this world and in the Hereafter." He came again the next day, and then again on the following (third) day and asked him the same thing. The Prophet, peace be upon him, gave him the same answer, and then said, "If you are given forgiveness and security in this world and in the Hereafter you have attained success." Another version says: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, 'No supplication made by a person is better than asking "O Allah, I ask You for security in this world and in the Hereafter"'." (Ibn Majah)
Allah's Apostle said, "Horses are kept for one of three purposes; for some people they are a source of reward, for some others they are a means of shelter and for some others they are a source of sins. The one for whom they are a source of reward, is he who keeps a horse for Allah's cause (i.e. Jihad) tying it with a long tether on a meadow or in a garden with the result that whatever it eats from the area of the meadow or the garden where it is tied will be counted as good deeds for his benefit, and if it should break its rope and jump over one or two hillocks then all its dung and its foot marks will be written as good deeds for him; and if it passes by a river and drinks water from it even though he had no intention of watering it, even then he will get the reward for its drinking. As for the man for whom horses are a source of sins, he is the one who keeps a horse for the sake of pride and pretense and showing enmity for Muslims: such a horse will be a source of sins for him. When Allah's Apostle was asked about donkeys, he replied, "Nothing has been revealed to me about them except this unique, comprehensive verse: "Then anyone who does an atom's (or a small ant's) weight of good shall see it; And anyone who does an atom's (or a small ant's) weight of evil, shall see it.' (101.7-8)
Jabir said, "We used to say Allahu akbar when we went up a high place, and subhanallah when we went down a valley." (Bukhari)
Ibn ' Umar reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, returned from hajj (or 'umrah). When he approached a path high up in mountain or one that was difficult, he would back up three steps and say. "There is no god but Allah, He is One. He has no partners. To Him belongs all dominion and praise, and He has power over all things. We are returning repentant, worshipping, prostrating, praising our Lord. He kept His promise. And gave victory to His servant, and defeated all the confederates alone."
Al-Hussain ibn Ali reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "The security for my community against drowning is to say, while boarding a ship (or a boat), 'Bismillahi majraiha wa mursaha inna rahhi laghafoor un raheem (Bukhari), wa ma qadarullaha haqa qadrihi, wal ardu jami'an qabadatuhu yaumal qiyyamati was samawatu matwiyyatun hi yameenihi subhanallahi 'amma yushrakun (Qur'an 11.41) (In the name of Allah, whether it move or be at rest! For my Lord is, be sure, Oft-Forgiving, Most merciful! No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him, On the day of Judgment the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand, Glory to Him! High is He above the partners they attribute to Him!)" This is reported by As-Sinni.
The Prophet passed by some people of the tribe of Bani Aslam who were practicing archery. The Prophet said, "O Bani Ismail ! Practice archery as your father Isma'il was a great archer. Keep on throwing arrows and I am with Bani so-and-so." So one of the parties ceased throwing. Allah's Apostle said, "Why do you not throw?" They replied, "How should we throw while you are with them (i.e. on their side)?" On that the Prophet said, "Throw, and I am with all of you."
It is not permissible to embark on a voyage when the sea is stormy and agitated. According to a hadith reported by Abu 'Umran al-Jawni some of the Companions told him that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Anyone who sleeps on a house-top that has no fence, and then falls and dies, he forfeits the protection of Allah, and anyone who sails while the sea is rough, and then perishes, he forfeits the protection of Allah." (Reported by Ahmad with a sound chain of authorities)
On the day (of the battle) of Badr when we stood in rows against (the army of) Quraish and they stood in rows against us, the Prophet said, "When they do come near you, throw arrows at them."
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." Abu Huraira added: Allah's Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them).
Abu Sufyan said, "Heraclius sent for me when I was in llya (i.e. Jerusalem). Then he asked for the letter of Allah's Apostle and when he had finished its reading there was a great hue and cry around him and the voices grew louder and we were asked to quit the place. When we were turned out, I said to my companions, 'The cause of Ibn Abi Kabsha has become conspicuous as the King of Bani Al-Asfar is afraid of him.' "
There is a consensus that burying a dead body and covering it is a collective obligation (fard kifayah). If some Muslims bury the dead body, it would absolve the rest of them from this obligation. Allah, the Almighty, says: "Have We not caused the earth to hold within itself the living and the dead?" Qur'an 77.25-26
The majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible to bury the dead anytime during the day or night. The Prophet, peace be upon him, buried at night a man, who used to remember Allah aloud during the night. Similarly 'Ali buried Fatimah at night. Abu Bakr, 'Uthman, 'Aishah, and Ibn Mas'ud were buried during the night as well.
Ibn ' Abbas reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, went into a grave one night and was given a lamp. Then he lifted the body from the side toward the qiblah, saying: "May Allah be merciful to you. You used to cry a lot and often recited the Qur'an." After this the Prophet, peace be upon him, said four takbirs."(Reported by Tirmidhi, who considers it a sound hadith) Tirmidhi said: "Most scholars consider the burial of the dead at night permissible, provided the rights of the deceased are not neglected.
The same applies to offering a funeral prayer for the deceased. The Prophet, peace be upon him, commanded his followers not to bury the deceased at night if it is feared that any of his rights might be neglected. Night time burial in such a case is disliked.
One day the Prophet, peace be upon him, delivered a sermon and mentioned one of his companions who had died and had been wrapped in a short shroud and buried during the night. The Prophet, peace be upon him, expressed his disapproval of burying someone at night unless one is compelled to do so. (Muslim) Jabir reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Do not bury your dead during the night unless you are compelled to do so." (Ibn Majah)
My uncle Anas bin An-Nadr was absent from the Battle of Badr. He said, "O Allah's Apostle! I was absent from the first battle you fought against the pagans. (By Allah) if Allah gives me a chance to fight the pagans, no doubt Allah will see how (bravely) I will fight." On the day of Uhud when the Muslims turned their backs and fled, he said, "O Allah! I apologize to You for what these (i.e. his companions) have done, and I denounce what these (i.e. the pagans) have done." Then he advanced and Sad bin Muadh met him. He said "O Sad bin Muadh ! By the Lord of An-Nadr, Paradise! I am smelling its aroma coming from before (the mountain of) Uhud," Later on Sad said, "O Allah's Apostle! I cannot achieve or do what he (i.e. Anas bin An-Nadr) did. We found more than eighty wounds by swords and arrows on his body. We found him dead and his body was mutilated so badly that none except his sister could recognize him by his fingers." We used to think that the following verse was revealed concerning him and other men of his sort: "Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah...." (33.23)
His sister Ar-Rubbaya broke a front tooth of a woman and Allah's Apostle ordered for retaliation. On that Anas (bin An-Nadr) said, "O Allah's Apostle! By Him Who has sent you with the truth, my sister's tooth shall not be broken." Then the opponents of Anas's sister accepted the compensation and gave up the claim of retaliation. So Allah's Apostle said, "There are some people amongst Allah's slaves whose oaths are fulfilled by Allah when they take them."
There is a consensus that a body may be buried during any of these three times whenever there is danger of it decomposing otherwise. If there is no such danger, its burial during these times is still permissible, according to the majority of scholars, provided that it is not done so on purpose, as reported by Ahmad, Muslim, and the compilers of Sunan on the authority of 'Uqbah who said: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade us from offering prayer or burying our dead at three times: at sunrise, until the sun rises high in the sky; at noon, when the sun is above one's head until it declines a little; and when the sun begins to go down until it sets." The Hanbali school holds that in light of the above hadith burial during these times is undesirable without exception.
The purpose of burial is to hide the body in a pit in order to prevent its stench from fouling the atmosphere, and to save it from being eaten by various beasts and birds. If these conditions are met and this purpose is served, then one has carried out one's responsibility . It is encouraged, however, to make the depth of the grave equal to the height of an average man. This is based on a hadith reported by Nasa'i and Tirmidhi (who considers it a sound hadith) from Hisham ibn 'Amer who said: "We complained to the Prophet, peace be upon him, on the day of the battle of Uhud, saying: 'O Allah's Messenger! Digging a separate grave for every body is a very hard job.' The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'Dig, dig deeper, dig well, and bury two or three bodies in each grave.' The Companions asked him: 'Who should be put in the graves first?' The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'Put those most learned in the Qur'an first.' My father, the narrator added, was the third of the three who were put in one grave."
Ibn Abi Shaibah and Ibn Al-Mundhir reported that 'Umar said: "Dig a grave deep enough for a man's height and make it broader." According to Abu Hanifah and Ahmad the grave should be deep enough for half of the average height of a man, but if dug deeper, it is better.
Lahd is a crevice on the side of a grave facing the qiblah, which is covered with unburnt bricks like a house with a roof. A regular grave, on the other hand, is a pit dug in the ground, with the body placed in it and then sealed off with unburnt bricks and covered to form a ceiling. Either of these two methods is permissible, but the first one--lahd--is preferable in the light of a hadith reported by Ahmad and Ibn Majah on the authority of Anas who said: "When the Prophet, peace be upon him, died, there were two grave diggers. One usually dug the lahd and the other a regular tomb-like grave. The Companions said: 'Let us seek guidance from our Lord.' Then they asked each of them to dig a grave, and decided the grave of the one who finished first be chosen for the burial of the Prophet's remains. The one who dug the lahd finished first, so they buried the remains of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in a lahd."
This hadith shows that both forms are permissible. The fact that the lahd is preferable is indicated by a tradition transmitted by Ahmad and the Compilers of the Sunan on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas who reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'Lahd is for us, and digging a pit (i.e., a regular grave) for others."'
Zaid bin Thabit said, "When the Quran was compiled from various written manuscripts, one of the verses of Surat Al-Ahzab was missing which I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting. I could not find it except with Khuzaima bin Thabjt Al-Ansari, whose witness Allah's Apostle regarded as equal to the witness of two men. And the verse was: "Among the believers are men who have been true to what they covenanted with Allah." (33.23)
The author of Al-Mughni said: "If one sees or hears something that is forbidden while attending a funeral, and one is capable of countering and rectifying it, one should do so. If not, then one may do one of two things: voice his disapproval of it, and continue with the funeral which will free one from any responsibility of any such disapproved acts, without abandoning the good for the bad. The second course open to a person in such a case is to leave the funeral procession, especially when one is able to leave it, so that one's continued participation will not lead one to hear or see a forbidden thing."
That Abu Sufyan told him that Heraclius said to him, "I asked you about the outcome of your battles with him (i.e. the Prophet ) and you told me that you fought each other with alternate success. So the Apostles are tested in this way but the ultimate victory is always theirs."
Covering graves or tombs is not permissible, because this involves unnecessary expense for an invalid cause, and may mislead the common man. 'Aishah reported: "The Prophet, peace be Up('ll him, left on a raid. I covered the door with a piece of cloth. The Prophet, peace be upon him, noticed the cloth when he retumed. He pulled at it until he tore it. Then he said: 'Allah did not order us to cover stones and clay'.'' (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)
There are many sound and clear hadith conceming the unlawfulness of building mosques over graves or putting lights on them. Abu Hurairah reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'May Allah destroy the Jews, because they used the graves of their prophets as places of worship.'' (Bukhari and Muslim)
Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, cursed the women who visit graves and those who build mosques and place lights on them.'' (Reported by Ahmad and other compilers of the Sunan except Ibn Majah. Tirmidhi considers it a sound hadith) Abdullah Al-Bujali said: "I heard Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, five nights before his death, saying: 'I declare myself innocent before Allah of having an intimate friend from among you. Indeed, Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic, has taken me as an intimate friend just as he took Ibrahim as His intimate friend. Had I to take an intimate friend from among you, I would have taken Abu Bakr as my intimate friend. Before you there was a group who tumed the graves of their prophets and their righteous ones into mosques. Do not tum graves into mosques. I forbid you to do that'.'' (Muslim)
Abu Hurairah narrated: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'May Allah curse Jews and Christians for they turned the graves of their Prophets into places of worship'.'' (Muslim Bukhari and Muslim)
'Aishah reported: "Umm Habibah and Umm Salamah mentioned to Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, a church in which they saw drawings while in Abyssinia, whereupon he said: 'Those people used to build a place of worship over the grave of a righteous man among them when he died and make such drawings in it.These will be the worst of people in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.'' (Bukhari and Muslim)
The author of Al-Mughni said: "It is not permissible to build mosques around graves because of the statement of the Prophet, peace be upon him, 'May Allah curse the women who visit graves and those who build mosques and place lights over them.''' (Reported by Abu Daw'ud and Nasa'i)
If it were permissible, the Prophet, peace be upon him, would not have cursed those who did it. Moreover, this practice wastes money and encourages adoration of graves similar in spirit to the adoration of idols. Because of this report it is not pemmissible to build mosques over graves. Besides, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "May Allah curse the Jews who tumed the graves of their prophets into places of worship," in order to wam others against pursuing a similar course. (Muslim and Bukhari)
'Aishah said: "The only reason the grave of Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, was not made prominent was to stop people from tuming it into a mosque." Designating certain graves as places of prayers is similar to adoring idols and seeking their pleasure. The worship of idols started with the adoration of the dead, making images of them, touching them, and offering prayers at their graves. (The commentator on this said: "It points to what Bukhari narrated from Ibn Abbas conceming the reason why the people of Noah worshipped idols. They were known as Wadd, Sawa', Yaghuth, Ya'uq, and Nasr. These were pious people of whom they made images in order to remember them after their death and imitate them. Due to the lack of knowledge that became prevalent among the people, Satan made it appear beautiful to worship their images and likenesses, and to honor them, wipe over them, and approach them. Wiping them is passing one's hand over them to invoke their blessing and intercession. The same was done to the graves of nghteous people. This practice was initiated by idolaters, and then passed on to Jews and Christians and then to Muslims. Such objects are equivalent to idols.")
For thirty days Allah's Apostle invoked Allah to curse those who had killed the companions of Bir-Mauna; he invoked evil upon the tribes of Ral, Dhakwan, and Usaiya who disobeyed Allah and His Apostle. There was revealed about those who were killed at Bir-Mauna a Qur'anic verse we used to recite, but it was cancelled later on. The verse was: "Inform our people that we have met our Lord. He is pleased with us and He has made us pleased."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade the slaughtering of animals at graves, which was practiced in the Days of Ignorance out of arrogance and self conceit in order to flaunt one's wealth. Anas reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'There is no slaughtering (of animals on graves) in Islam.'' (Abu Daw'ud) Abdul Razzaq said: "They used to slaughter a cow or a sheep by the grave."
Al-Khattabi said: "During the Days of Ignorance the people used to slaughter camels by the graves of generous people. They used to say: 'We would like him to be rewarded for his deeds. He used to slaughter them when he was alive and feed them to his guests. We slaughter these camels at his grave to feed the lions and birds, so that he may continue feeding others even after his death as he used to do while he was alive'." A poet said: I slaughtered my she-camel at the grave of my king, with a bright sharp sword, meticulously cleaned by polishers, on the grave of someone, who, had I died before him, would have willingly slaughtered his mounts by my grave.
They believed in resurrection after death. Some people believed that if a camel was slaughtered by the grave of a person, he would be restored to life mounted on it on the Day of Resurrection, whereas otherwise at his resurrection, having no mount, he would have to walk on foot.
"Some people drank alcohol in the morning of the day (of the battle) of Uhud and were martyred (on the same day)." Sufyan was asked, "(Were they martyred) in the last part of the day?)" He replied, "Such information does not occur in the narration."
When the Divine Inspiration: "Those of the believers who sit (at home)," was revealed the Prophet sent for Zaid (bin Thabit) who came with a shoulder-blade and wrote on it. Ibn Um-Maktum complained about his blindness and on that the following revelation came: "Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) except those who are disabled (by injury, or are blind or lame etc.) and those who strive hard and fight in the Way of Allah with their wealth and lives)." (4.95)
Imam Malik and some Hanafi scholars, and, according to one report from Ahmad, most of the scholars hold it permissible for women to visit graves. This is based on the following hadith from 'Aishah, "What should I say to them, O Messenger of Allah when visiting graves?" As mentioned above Abdallah ibn Abi Mulaikah is also reported to have said, "Once 'Aishah returned after visiting the graveyard. I asked, 'O Mother of the Believers, where have you been?' She said: 'I went out to visit the grave of my brother Abd ar-Rahman.' I asked her: 'Didn't the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, prohibit visiting graves?' She said, 'Yes, he did forbid visiting graves during the early days, but later on he ordered us to visit them'." This is reported by Al-Hakim and Al-Baihaqi, who also remarked that this hadith was narrated only by Bistam bin Muslim al-Basri. Adh-Dhahabi said that it is a sound hadith.
Anas reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a woman crying by the grave of her son, and said to her, 'Fear Allah, and be patient.' She replied, 'What do you care about my tragedy?' When he went away, someone told her, 'Indeed, that was the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. ' The woman felt extremely sorry and she immediately went to the Prophet's house, where she did not find any guards. She called out: 'O Messenger of Allah! I did not recognize you.' The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, 'Verily patience is needed at the time of the first affiction'.'' (Bukhari and Muslim) This supports the argument in favor of the permissibility of women visiting graves, for the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw her at the grave and did not show his disapproval of it.
The purpose of visiting graves is to remember the Hereafter, which is something that both men and women need. Men are by no means more in need of this reminder than women. Some scholars disliked it for women to visit graves as they are less patient and too emotional. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "May Allah curse the women who are frequent visitors of the graves." (Reported by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi, who said that it is a sound hadith)
Al-Qurtubi said: "The curse mentioned in this hadith applies only to those women who visit graves frequently. The reason for this curse lies perhaps in the fact that it involves infringement of the rights of the husband, and leads to adornment and exhibition of their beauty to strangers, and shouting, yelling, and other similar things." It may be said that, "If no such harm is feared from women visiting graves, then there is no valid reason for preventing them from visiting graves, for indeed remembrance of death is something that both men and women equally need." Commenting on Al-Qurtubi's view, Ash-Shawkani said, "This statement may form the basis for reconciling apparently contradictory hadith."
I saw Marwan bin Al-Hakam sitting in the Mosque. So I came forward and sat by his side. He told us that Zaid bin Thabit had told him that Allah's Apostle had dictated to him the Divine verse:
"Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and those who strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah with their wealth and lives." (4.95)
Zaid said, "Ibn-Maktum came to the Prophet while he was dictating to me that very verse. On that Ibn Um Maktum said, "O Allah's Apostle! If I had power, I would surely take part in Jihad." He was a blind man. So Allah sent down revelation to His Apostle while his thigh was on mine and it became so heavy for me that I feared that my thigh would be broken. Then that state of the Prophet was over after Allah revealed "...except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame etc.) (4.95)