Monday, 11 June 2018

Praying in the Lahd (Niche) of Grave


بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على نبيه الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

 

The burial of a Muslim is a very critical time during which the people present, especially the deceased’s relatives, should make abundant prayers to Allah for his or her forgiveness. In a Hadith narrated by the third caliph, sayyidina Uthman b. Affan (radi Allahu anhu), he says:
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا فَرَغَ مِنْ دَفْنِ الْمَيِّتِ وَقَفَ عَلَيْهِ فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ اسْتَغْفِرُوا لأَخِيكُمْ وَسَلُوا لَهُ التَّثْبِيتَ فَإِنَّهُ الآنَ يُسْأَلُ
When the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) finished burying the deceased, he would stay at him (i.e. his grave) and say: “Seek forgiveness for your brother, and ask steadfastness for him, for he will be questioned now.” (Sunan Abi Dawud: Kitab al-Jana’iz #3221)
It is also mentioned that when lady Fatima bint Asad (radi Allahu anha), the wife of Abu Talib and mother of Amir al-Mu’minin (karrama Allah wajhahu) died, the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) himself dug the lahd or niche of her grave, entered it to lie therein and began praying to Allah:
فَلَمَّا بَلَغُوا اللَّحْدَ حَفَرَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِيَدِهِ ، وَأَخْرَجَ تُرَابَهُ بِيَدِهِ ، فَلَمَّا فَرَغَ دَخَلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : فَاضْطَجَعَ فِيهِ ، ثُمَّ قَالَ : " اللَّهُ الَّذِي يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ حَيٌّ لا يَمُوتُ ، اغْفِرْ لأُمِّي فَاطِمَةَ بِنْتِ أَسَدٍ ، وَلَقِّنْهَا حُجَّتَهَا ، وَوَسِّعْ عَلَيْهَا مُدْخَلَهَا ، بِحَقِّ نَبِيِّكَ وَالأَنْبِيَاءِ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِي ، فَإِنَّكَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ وَكَبَّرَ عَلَيْهَا أَرْبَعًا
When they reached the lahd (niche inside the grave), he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, dug it and removed the dust himself. Then, he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, entered and lay in the lahd and supplicated to Allaah, 'O Allaah! You are The One in whose power is death and life, and for Whom there is no end, forgive my mother Faatimah. O Allaah! Make her house of the Hereafter vast; I beseech You in the name of your Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, and all the past Prophets. O Allaah, the most Merciful of the Merciful ones!' After this, he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, called out, Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is the Greatest) upon her four times.’ (Mu’jam al-Kabir of al-Tabarani)
Although there may be a slight weakness in the chain of this Hadith due to the narrator Rawh b. Salah (however, Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim declared him trustworthy as mentioned by al-Haythami in Majma al-Zawa’id, and all the other narrators are trustworthy), nevertheless, it is correct to act upon this Hadith. The Sunna of a living person entering the niche of the grave at the time of burial and supplicating to Allah from therein for the forgiveness of the deceased who is to be buried in that grave should be revived in our times, and Allah knows best.

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