Common mistakes in funerals

Since 2012-11-29

Invented heresies and common mistakes in funerals, graves, and consolations


Invented heresies and common mistakes in funerals, graves, and consolations
In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
All Praise be to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness and seek refuge in Him from the evils of ourselves and the evils of our actions, whomever Allah guides is not to be misled, and whomever He misleads is not to be guided. We testify that there is no god except Allah alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, all the prayers and peace of Allah be upon him.
Muslim brother … Muslim sister
This is a brief statement for clarifying some invented heresies and common mistakes in funerals, grave yards, and consolations. A lot of people make such mistakes either by ignorance or imitation. May Allah forgive us all.
I wanted to state them for the sake of giving advice for the sake of Allah, His Book, and His Messenger, and for the Imams of Muslims, and the public. This is a warning against the invented heresies and mistakes that might thwart deeds or reduce rewards. Some may even lead to disbelieving in Allah or associating Him with partners, Allah Forbid! I was keen to mention but what has spread and became clear and manifest.
Invented heresies and common mistakes in funerals
1- Neglecting death, not remembering it, and keeping our minds off it. Death suffices as a preacher.
2- Only those who are dying write their will. Those who write it earlier are told "you should be optimistic all your life. Do not write your will. Death is far from you." Glory Be to Allah! Who would guarantee you to live for just seconds?
Who knows! Where are those people from the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him: "No Muslim should stay two nights with something that he wants to write a will about, without having his will written under his head." Ibn 'Umar said: "since I heard this from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, there is not a night passed but that I always had my will written." [Narrated by Muslim]
«ما حق امرئ مسلم له شيء يوصي فيه. يبيت ثلاث ليال إلا ووصيته عنده مكتوبة. قال عبدالله بن عمر: ما مرت علي ليلة منذ سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ذلك، إلا وعندي وصيتي» رواه مسلم
3- If the deceased is buried, his family would rush to receiving consolations, making ceremonies, and obsequies. On the other hand they neglect paying off his debts, and executing his will. Those people forget that a believer's soul is hanging to his debts until they are defrayed. By Allah, it is a great sin to rush to heresies and leave the duties.
4- Calling the Angel of Death 'Azrâ'il, which has no origin in Islam.
5- Reading the Holy Quran beside the deceased from the moment he passes away until he is washed, or reading SuratYâsîn especially during the moments of death. So, what about who hire someone to do so.
6- Putting the Holy Quran by head of the dying person, or on his chest; and also putting it over his body after his death.
7- Lamentation, screaming, and crying loudly to tell people of one's misfortune, and rejecting the Divine Destiny. Just like the saying of some people: "He does not deserve this misfortune; O Allah! What have I done to thee to hit me with such a calamity… tell me Allah… Tell me Allah... What do you want from me, what is my sin to deserve this?"
If they were told to be patient, they would say: (we were patient, for how long will we be patient). People must accept the Divine Destiny, thank Allah, and say (Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.).
8- Thinking that spouses should not wash each other. It is evident that some companions were washed by their spouses.
9- When the deceased is carried to be prayed upon, and then to his grave; he is covered with a cloth on which âyatul-kursi (the verse of the throne) or some verses of Quran written on it.
10- Praying and burial in some times on which prayer is discommended. Those times are: from sunrise till it goes high, from noon till the sun starts going down, when the sun is about to set till sunset. The first and last times are about 15 minutes. The second is seven minutes.
11- Praying obligatory and optional prayers in the tomb or in the Masjid confined within the tomb. There is a Hadith: "all of the earth is considered a Masjid, except for the tomb and the bathroom." [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani]
»الأرض كلها مسجد إلا المقبرة والحمام«رواه الترمذي وصححه الألباني
Another Hadith says: "Don't pray in tombs." [Narrated by Muslim]
»لا تصلوا إلى القبور...«رواه مسلم
Besides, praying, invoking, and reciting the Quran beside the graves are means of setting partners to Allah, as His Eminence Sheikh IbnBaz – May Allah have Mercy on him- wrote in (The Researches Magazine, vol.37, p.16). The only exception is the funeral prayer which is permissible to be prayed in the graveyard.
12- Delaying funeral prayer, either for a legitimate excuse such as waiting for some relatives to come from far places, or for an illegitimate purpose such as reading Holy Quran completely and forwarding its reward to the deceased. The Sunnah is to set out for funeral processions, and if some relatives arrive they may pray on the grave.
13- The deceased siblings advance for praying on the right beside the Imam. The origin about this matter is to pray behind the Imam as everybody else, not beside him, just like any prayers.
14- Bringing the deserter of prayer to Muslims to pray on; this is forbidden and considered cheating and deceiving Muslims. Such people, when they die, are not washed, nor shrouded, or prayed on. Also, he is not to be buried in Muslims' cemeteries.
Muslims do not inherit him, and he does not inherit Muslims. His wife is not permissible for him to be intimate with, his slaughtered animal is not permissible to be eaten from, and he has no legal guardianship over his children. Forgiveness is not to be asked for him, nor is mercy to be invoked for him because he is a disbeliever (in the best of the two opinions of scholars).
15- Ignorance of the way funeral prayers are performed.
16- Not performing funeral prayer on aborted fetuses of 4 months old. This is wrong because if an aborted fetus is 4 months it must be washed, prayed on, and buried because his spirit was breathed in him, and not before that.
17- Believing that if the deceased was righteous his weight would be light over the shoulders and this has no origin.
18- Slowing the funeral. The Sunnah is to go moderately fast according to the Hadith "Make haste at the funeral…" [Agreed upon]
»أسرعوا بالجنازة...«متفق عليه
19- Raising voices with the praise of Allah during the funeral, such as saying (O, neglector, remember Allah. O people present, pray upon the Prophet, there is no God but Allah, there is no God but Allah); not to mention negligence, laughing, and having fun- and this is either cruelty or gloating over others' grief.
20- Collective invocation after the funeral is finished.
21- The renouncing of some people in escorting the deceased, and their carelessness about the great reward. In a Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "He who attends the funeral till the prayer is offered for (the dead), for him is the reward of one qirat, and he who attends (and stays) till he is buried, for him is the reward of two qirats. It was said: What are the qirats? The Messenger said: They are equivalent to two huge mountains." [Narrated by Muslim]
»من شهد الجنازة حتى يصلي عليها فله قيراط، ومن شهدها تدفن فله قيراطان، وما القيراطان؟ قال: مثل الجبلين العظيمين«رواه مسلم
Those people have thrown away so many Qirats.
22- Believing that the funeral prayer is a cure for envy. If the envious is prayed upon, the envied is cured. This is just ignorance.
23- If someone dies, his family collects all personal belongings and takes them out of the house claiming that it is impermissible to use them.
Invented heresies and common mistakes in graves
1. Burial at night is disliked. The truth is that there is no wrongdoing to bury the dead at night.
2. An invented heresy is to dig the grave and prepare it before dying, beside the grave of someone he loves, and leaving a will to be buried in it.
3. A common mistake during burial is seeing some people gathered by the grave with no reverence or solemnity.
4. Calling for prayer and iqâma (second calling) in the grave when the deceased is laid in it, or sending blessings on the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. This has no origin; it was reported to say In the Name of Allah, and on the religion of The Messenger of Allah), or (In the Name of Allah, and on the Suunah of the Messenger of Allah), when the deceased is laid in his grave.
5. Saying (He was buried in his last resting place). This is wrong; the last resting place is either Paradise or Hellfire. This resembles saying, when someone dies: (Allah took hold of him) which is disliked by our righteous forefathers. As for saying about the deceased that (Allah needed him) this is disbelieving. Saying: (the grave is tight) is not true at all, the grave is tight for disbelievers, believers have their graves widened. So, a Muslim should not say this phrase that gives the wrong conception that the tightness of the grave is general; which is not true.
6. Saying at the time of burial: {Thereof (the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again.} [SuratTaa-Haa20:55]
{مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَى} طه: 55
7. Thinking that the dust dug from the grave must be all returned at burial.
8. Refraining from filling the grave with dust, with the ability to do so. It is permissible to pour dust thrice upon the grave.
9. Raising the grave above the ground more than one span of hand.
10. One of the people attending stands at the deceased' head and instruct him by speaking out loud (O so-and-so, son of so-and-so, remember what you died on). There is absolutely no authentic Hadith in instructing after burial.
11. Neglecting asking for forgiveness and invoking for keeping the deceased firm after burial. This act of the Sunnah is no more performed.
12. Writing on the grave, whether a name, a date, Quran, etc.
13. Slaughtering when the deceased is taken out of the house or laid in his grave. This is called slaying (Aqr) in Islam. It was forbidden by saying: "There is no Aqr in Islam." [Narrated by Abo Dawud]
»لاعقر في الإسلام«رواه ابو داود
14. Disrespect for the dead by:
a)    Sitting on the grave.
b)   Stepping on the graves. Some people do not care about stepping on the graves of their deceased and other graves without showing any respect for the dead.
c)    Answering the call of nature in cemeteries. This is done by some people who have no morals, so they climb the wall of a grave and excrete in the grave, and hurt the dead with his rancid and impurity.
d)   Throwing litter in graves especially deserted ones.
15. Putting fronds on the grave.
16. Using electrical lights in the graves.
17. Sanctification of the surroundings of the graves of righteous men, the stones and the trees, and thinking that trees are evidence of righteousness, and those who cut them will be hurt.
18. Paying partnership visits to graves, with the purpose of invoking the dead, asking them for their needs, and getting blesses from them, vowing for them, and circumambulating their graves. By Allah, this is the ultimate associating with God, the manifest error, and the greatest injustice. It thwarts the deeds, casts lowness and desertion on man, and makes him deprived from forgiveness and gratification. The invented visits are the ones intended for praying beside by the graves, or charity, reciting the Quran, or beseeching help by them and their esteem (invented heresy is the messenger of disbelieving, and once an invented heresy is made; a Sunnah is lost). To Allah we complain.
19. Traveling to graves, even the grave of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Traveling is permissible for the purpose of visiting his Masjid. Then, as one arrives; he is allowed to send blessings to the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, and his two companions.
20. Restricting cemetery visits to Fridays and the two Eids (bairams).
21. Throwing a stone on the grave, or leaning on it at the time of greeting the dead.
22. Greeting the dead using the name of his mother during visits, like saying peace be upon you son of the woman so-and-so.
23. Pouring water on the grave and probably on other graves, too.
24. Reciting the Holy Quran on the graves.
25. Saying (if it were not for the grave of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, in His Masjid, the Masjid would not have been honored, or that the visitor sees lights or revelations at the grave when visiting it and that he attains some light).
Some say it is permissible to ask for forgiveness at the grave of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and their evidence is the words of Allah Almighty: {If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad) and begged Allâh’s Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allâh All-Forgiving (One Who forgives and accepts repentance), Most Merciful.} [Surat An-Nisâ' 4:64]
{وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً} النساء: 64
Transliteration:Wamaarsalna min rasoolinillaliyutaAAabiithniAllahiwalawannahumiththalamooanfusahumjaookafaistaghfarooAllahawaistaghfaralahumualrrasoolulawajadooAllahatawwabanraheeman
They also say that it is permissible to make petitions with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and his grave. They say you must pack your bags to visits His grave, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and such nonsense said by mythical grave worshipping Sufis. And there is no Sufism in Islam.
26. Making frequent visits to the grave of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, when entering his Masjid in Medina.
27. Neglecting and refusing visiting the graves.
28. Putting a bouquet of flowers on the grave. This is invented heresy, too much respect for the dead and it is imitating the disbelievers.
29. The saying of the grave worshipping Sufis that he who performs pilgrimage and does not visit the grave of the Prophet, Prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, his pilgrimage is faulty or that his pilgrimage is not accepted. They also say that visiting his grave and asking blessing with it, as well as kissing its dust or visiting the graves of other righteous men; is the tested cure. They adopt some fabricated Hadiths that have no origin, such as:
(He, who performs pilgrimage and does not visit me, has shunned me).
(Whoever visits my grave, deserves my intercession)
(Whoever comes to Medina for visiting me, deserves my intercession on the Day of Resurrection)
(If you are confused in some life matter, visit the grave residents)
(If it were not for you; the universe would not have been created)
(I was a Prophet, and Adam was still in mud and water)
(Invoke with my esteem, my esteem with Allah is great)
(Allah has created the light of your Prophet before anything)
The petition of Adam with Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in the poem (If it were not for Muhammad, I would not have created you)
They also claim that Al-Bûsîri- the writer of the association with Allah poem- got sick and saw the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, who gave him a jubbah. He put it on and was cured. They call it Al-Burda and the Innocence, which is lying and slander. They only fabricated those lies to raise the rank of this poem that hold their Association with Allah Belief (Between my grave and my pulpit, there is a garden from the gardens of paradise).
The word grave is incorrect. The right word is house. The word grave is made by the Sufis. All of the above is fabricated lies attributed to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as well as many other lies.
Invented heresies and common mistakes in consolations
1- Holding funeral ceremonies in streets, putting carpets, lights, and disrupting activities. The Sunnah is to console the family of the deceased anywhere: their house, a street, a market, or a home.
2- Holding a banquet that gives an impression of a wedding rather than an obsequy for the guests present. You see dishes coming in and out. Jarîr said: "we considered gathering in the house of the dead man and preparing food as a kind of lamentation." [Sahih Al-Albani]
»كنا نعد الاجتماع إلى أهل الميت وصنيعة الطعام بعددفنه من النياحة«صحيح الألباني
The right thing is to make a banquet for the family of the dead, not to be made by them. Perhaps some would say: if I don't hold a banquet people will call me a miser. The answer to that is: It is not important what people would think. The important thing is the Islamic ruling. As for the reward reaching the dead, it can be done by giving the meat to widows and orphans or giving them money. This benefits the dead, and there is a consensus that the reward would reach him.
3- Eating the consolation food. If the invitation is not answered; the family of the dead would be furious at him.
4- Distributing sections of the Quran to the attending people to complete reciting the Quran with the reward to be sent to the dead. This is invented, not to mention its being done in an atmosphere of smoking, gossiping, and mess- the thing that exposes the words of Allah to humiliation and abuse.
5- Not to pay condolences but after the burial. He who consoles before that is reprimanded and told: "do not make haste with your consolation." This has no origin. Consolation starts by death, whether before or after burial.
6- Offering no consolations during the Eid, or not to congratulate in Eid when some relative is recently dead.
7- Limiting consolation to three days only. This is wrong. It was reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has paid his condolences after three days, in the Hadith of Abdullah IbnJa'far (May Allah be pleased with them both). Consolation was allowed for entertaining the grieved. So, it is permissible even after three days.
8- Saying in consolation (the rest of his life is in yours); (the remainder is in your head), which is different from the first. Some people would say to the family of the dead: (what is taken from his life is increased in your life).
9- Saying: (Recite Surat Al-Fâtiha on the soul of so-and-so) and that after finishing dinner or lunch, and saying: (O Allah, make the reward of this food for the soul of so-and-so).
10- Saying: (And we dedicate the reward of reading Surat Al-Fâtiha or Surat so-and-so to our dead and all the dead of the Muslims). It was not the tradition of our righteous ancestors to read any verses of Quran and dedicate them to the dead; because Quran has been revealed for the living.
11- Offering no consolations to the families of sinners who committed suicide, died drunk, or during committing adultery, or so. The origin is to console. What is wrong with consoling their families to ease their grief!
12- Advertising in papers about the place of the funeral ceremony, and sometimes Quran verses are written such as the saying of The Almighty: {"O (you) the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction!} [Surat Al-Fajr 89:27]
{يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ} الفجر: 27
Transliteration: Yaayyatuhaalnnafsualmutmainnatu
This is obituary which was forbidden by Islam.
13- Some women start crying and wailing when they arrive to the house of the dead. They make everyone cry, which is the forbidden lamentation.
14- Spreading the message of the invocation of completing reciting the Quran. It contains the invocation of the middle of the month of Sha'bân night, the New Year's Eve, the last day of the year, the Day of 'Ashûrâ', the farewell of Ramadan and the socalled the routine of mourning. It has such nonsense, absurdity, and Sufis rites that only Allah knows of. Everything contained in this message is wrong, it was written by Ahmed Muhammad Al-Barrâk.
15- Describing the dead as being forgiven, given mercy, a martyr, a Paradise resident, or moved to the Highest Companion and the like. This is not permissible because such things are only known to Allah. It is the creed of Sunnah and the consensus that people are not to judge any one to Paradise or Hellfire. They only ask reward for the righteous, and fear punishment for the sinner. So, it should be said: may Allah forgive him, or: may Allah have mercy on him, and such words of invocation for the dead.
Prepared by: Ahmed ibn Abdullah As-Salami


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