Instructing The Dead After Burial etc.



As-Salamu `alaykum:

Questions:

1) can you verify is it not permitted for non mehram men from seeing a woman's face before burial to say good-bye, even if they were like her children?
2) can a husband hold, kiss his wife good-bye to help heal is pain?
3) I performed talqin ,that is saying the kalima La illaha ilalallahu muhammadur-rasulallah aloud near my dead aunt to advise her, some objected saying this was bidat, please can you clarify is there any authentic evidence for what i did ? 4) I thought it was okay to recite quran by the dead after they have had ghusl -so i recited sura yaseen by my aunt for the peace of her soul and to counter the cries of any crying so as not to pain the soul, also after the burial was completed and water was sprinkled over the grave and the two portions of sura baqarah were recited by the Maulana i went ahead and opned by copy of the quran and recited sura yaseen and prayed for her soul. May Allah SWt accept this. But again people objected saying there is no authentic evidence from the sunnah to recite quran over the dead or at the graveyards and all this is bidat, they say that there may be a hadith instructing''recite sura yaseen over your dying'' but they refute that there is any basis to recite over ''the dead''. Please can you help clarify the matter.


Replies:

1) can you verify is it not permitted for non mehram men from seeing her face before burial to say good-bye, even if they were like her children?


If she wore the face-veil before those relatives in life (assuming they were relatives), she should be allowed to be veiled from them after death. If she did not wear it before them in life, she should still be allowed to be veiled from them in death for her own dignity and privacy as well as for the sake of following the Sunna. Intended exposure / display of the face of the deceased, male or female, to the public before burial is an unIslamic practice (so is the display of a photograph). The result of such a practice would be that those responsible for it have left the Sunna, entered the realm of not following the way of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, and deprived themselves and those involved of a great blessing.

2) can a husband hold, kiss his wife good-bye to help heal his pain?


Yes, but Allah Most High heals the pain of loss and grief through the Sunna manner which emphasizes restraint, letting go trustfully, thanking Allah Most High at all times and turning over everything to Him. Such patience at the time of mourning ensures Divine support and untold reserves of mercy.

With regard to washing and shrouding the female deceased, the best persons to do this are the female relatives.

3) I performed talqin ,that is saying the kalima La illaha ilalallahu muhammadur-rasulallah aloud near my dead aunt to advice her, some objected saying this was bidat, please can you clarify is there any authentic evidence for what i did ?


Al-Tabarani in his Mu`jam al-Kabir (8:249 no. 7979) and al-Du`a' (p. 364-365 no. 1214), Ibn Mandah, al-Raba`i in Wasaya al-`Ulama' `inda al-Mawt (p. 47), and al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' (Risala ed. 1: 47) all narrated with their chains from Abu Umama, Allah be well-pleased with him:

The Messenger of Allah, upon him blessings and peace, said: "When one of you dies and you smooth the earth over him, let one of you stand at the head of his grave and say: {O SO-and-SO, SON OF SO-and-SO (feminine)}, for he hears but does not answer. Then let him say the second time: {O SO-and-SO, SON OF SO-and-SO (feminine)}, for he sits up completely. Then let him say the third time: {O SO-and-SO, SON OF SO-and-SO (feminine)}, for he replies: 'Guide us aright, O you upon whom may Allah have mercy!' but you do not hear. Then let one say: 'MENTION THAT WHICH YOU HELD TO WHEN YOU LEFT THE WORLD: THE WITNESSING THAT THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH and MUHAMMAD IS THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH; and THAT YOU CONSENT TO ALLAH AS YOUR LORD, and TO ISLAM AS YOUR RELIGION, and TO MUHAMMAD AS YOUR PROPHET, and TO THE QUR'AN AS YOUR GUIDE.' Then verily Munkar and Nakir take each other by the hand and say: 'Let us go rather than stay with someone who has been instructed his argument.' For Allah and his Prophet are his advocates without [need of investigation by] the two [angels]." A man said: "Messenger of Allah, what if one does not know [the name of] his mother?" He replied: "Let him relate him to his mother Hawwa."

It is also mentioned by `Abd al-Haqq al-Ishbili in al-`Aqiba, while Abu al-Hasan al-Khal`i in his Fawa'id and Imam al-Qurtubi in al-Tadhkira bi-Ahwal al-Mawta wal-Akhira (Dar Ibn Kathir ed. 1: 192-193) both narrate it through the Hafiz al-Qasim ibn Fadl al-Asfahani al-Taymi with his chain from Abu Umama.

Al-Qurtubi then adds (1:194):

"Our teacher, Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn `Umar al-Qurtubi, said: 'It is imperative that one direct the dead in his grave when he places him in it, to answer the questions correctly, by saying at that time: {Say: Allah is my Lord, Islam my Religion, Muhammad my Messenger.} For he is being asked about that, as the reports inform us. This has been our practice in Qurtuba." Al Qurtubi mentions it again in the same book, in the chapter on the hearing of the dead.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya affirmed the hearing of the dead in his great book on the soul, al-Ruh (Dar Ibn Kathir ed. p. 70-71), after which he said:

"There points to this also [i.e. to the hearing of the dead], what has been the usage of men, formerly and to the present time, of dictation to the dead one in his grave. If he did not hear that and benefit by it, there would not be any advantage in it, and it would be vain. Imam Ahmad, Allah have mercy on him, was asked about it, and he approved it and adduced arguments for it from usage. There is related on this subject a weak report, which al-Tabarani narrated from Abu Umama..." Then he mentions the above report. He contradicts himself by critiquing this practice as non-Prophetic in Zad al-Ma`ad (1:503-504) although, even there, he cites Imam Ahmad's reply to al-Athram that the early Muslims of Sham practiced this.

Ibn al-Qayyim continues in al-Ruh (p. 71):

"Although this report is not firmly established, nevertheless, the continuity of its practice in all [Muslim] countries and ages without objection is sufficient warrant for its practice. For Allah Most High never caused a custom to persist, so that a people who encompass the eastern and western parts of the earth, and who are the most perfect of peoples in intelligence, and the most comprehensive of them in sciences, should agree to address one who neither hears nor reasons, and approve of that, without some mistrustful one of that people disapproving of it. Yet, the first of them made it Sunna for the last, and the last imitate the first therein."

That is, if the Companions and Tabi`in practiced it then we are but followers, and those who object to this practice, rebelling out of ignorance and laziness, are treading the path of innovation and leaving the practice of the Righteous Predecessors.

Al-`Ajluni mentioned in Kashf al-Khafa' (1:376=Maktabat al-`Ilm al-Hadith ed. 1:361-362) that al-Suyuti said in al-La'ali' al-Masnu`a: "The chain of the hadith of instructing the dead in al-Tabarani is weak, however, it was put into practice by some of the early Muslims in Sham who narrated it. Because of this, it is considered desirable by most of the companions of Imam Ahmad [cf. Ibn Qudama, Mughni (2:191-192) and al-Diya' al-Maqdisi who considered this hadith strong in his Ahkam]."

Al-`Ajluni commented: "and by most of our [Shafi`i] colleagues as well." This is confirmed by the Ahl al-Hadith and the Fuqaha' among the Shafi`is as documented by al-Sakhawi in his entry in al-Maqasid al-Hasana and his teacher Ibn Hajar in Talkhis al-Habir (2:135-136) who graded al-Tabarani's chain "passable" (salih) and cited additional chains as narrated by Ibrahim al-Harbi in Ittiba` al-Amwat from Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Shahin in Dhikr al-Mawt cf. Ibn al-Mulaqqin also in Khulasat al-Badr al-Munir (1:274-275 no. 958).

Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-Ma`ad (Risala ed. 1:504) and al-Suyuti in Sharh al-Sudur (Dar Ibn Kathir ed. p. 154) also cited a similar report by Sa`id ibn Mansur in his Sunan from Rashid ibn Sa`d, Damura ibn Habib, and Hakim ibn `Umayr.

4) I thought it was okay to recite quran by the dead after they have had ghusl -so i recited sura yaseen by my aunt for the peace of her soul and to counter the cries of any crying so as not to pain the soul, also after the burial was completed and water was sprinkled over the grave and the two portions of sura baqarah were recited by the Maulana i went ahead and opned by copy of the quran and recited sura yaseen and prayed for her soul. May Allah SWt accept this. But again people objected saying there is no authentic evidence from the sunnah to recite quran over the dead or at the graveyards and all this is bidat, they say that there may be a hadith instructing''recite sura yaseen over your dying'' but they refute that there is any basis to recite over ''the dead''. Please can you help clarify the matter.


The practice of the Umma is stronger evidence than a textual transmission, hence what you did and what the Mawlana did is Sunna and you should pay no attention to ignorant detractors.

See also, in addition to what we mentioned above:
http://sunnah.org/ibadaat/funerals.htm and the fatwa by Shaykh Nuh `Ali Salman in Reliance of the Traveller w32.0

5) is there any evidence or reason to suppose if somebody dies in ramadan that they are protected from questioning, or punishmnet and go straight to heaven?

The only evidence suggesting glad tidings (of an unspecified nature) is that such a person died in the midst of a great act of worship, which is a sign of Divine mercy. and Allah knows best.

Was-Salam,

gibril
[2006-06-02]







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2006-06-02





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