The Sunnah of placing the deceased in the grave

Question: In our country, when a Muslim dies, people supplicate to Allaah to have mercy upon that dead Muslim on the same day of death, then after seven days, and then after forty days, repeating it thrice. Some scholars have said that in their country when a Muslim dies and is placed into the grave, people just say, “May peace and blessings be upon the noble Prophet,” and then they return home, without any Du‘aa’ (supplication). They just supplicate to Allaah for the dead while offering Funeral Prayer. We want to know what invocatory practices of Sunnah we should follow for the dead Muslims.

Answer: First, dedicating the first day or the first seven days after death, or the fortieth day to supplicate to Allaah for the dead is an act which has no base in the Qur’aan or the Sunnah. This was not a practice of the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allaah be pleased with them) or any of the Salaf (righteous predecessors); it is a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated… read more here.

Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday (Mawlid)

Question: The people here hold an eleven-day celebration in commemoration of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) in Rabee‘ Al-Awwal. They gather the Muslims together and do acts that express joy until the day of the event. However, some scholars say that there is no good in this. I would, therefore, like to ask you what the ruling on this is; do you do in your country anything in celebration of his birthday?

Q 2: What is the ruling on rejoicing at the occasion of celebrating the Mawlid in this month?

Answer: Celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said… read more here.

The heavens and the earth were created for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Is it true?

Question: Muslim brothers, I want you to enlighten me and answer a question that worries me greatly about the beloved and chosen Messenger of Allaah, Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him, his family and Companions. Muslim brothers, I heard some Shaykhs in the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) ceremonies saying that if it were not for Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the heavens and the earth would not have been created, and that Allaah created him (the Prophet) before Adam (peace be upon him) by thousands of years. They also say that Allaah (Exalted and Glorified be He) has created the sun from the light of the Prophet’s forehead, the stars from the light of his teeth, and many other similar things which I cannot recall. I also hear that “Laa ilaaha illaa Allaah, Muhammad Rasoolul-Allaah” (There is no god but Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah) is written on the gate of Jannah (Paradise). I have asked some scholars about these sayings, some confirmed them, but others did not. This has put me in confusion; which of the two parties should I believe? I feel afraid and always distracted. I remember when I went this year on the occasion of the Prophet’s birth to Daar Al-Qur’aan in Amman to celebrate this blessed night.

Shaykh Hazim Abu Ghazalah was narrating part of the Prophet’s biography (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), saying that whenever he visits the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) he approaches the iron window surrounding it, pretending to remove dust, but he in fact distracts the attention of guards to seek blessings. He added that one of his friends once brought him some dust from the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and that the smell of this dust is more fragrant than perfume.

As I heard this story, I remembered an incident that happened to me ten years ago when I went with some friends to visit the Church of the Resurrection. The purpose of the visit was to have fun and flirt with foreign Christian women there, may Allaah forgive us all. There, in that church, we met one of the monks who offered us some perfume and told us it was the water with which Al-Maseeh (Jesus, peace be upon him) was baptized. I do not know what made me link between these two incidents in my mind, but I really suffered.

Back to the Shaykh, he then started celebrating with the attendees by standing, jumping, and bending in irregular movements to the extent that Allaah’s Words, which they were reciting, were hardly heard from them. I did not like this scene, so I left. But doubts started to afflict me whether I did right or wrong. The same incident was repeated on Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) and all other religious ceremonies.

I beseech you by Allaah to guide me as I am suffering greatly. I would also like to ask Your Eminence: Am I or any Muslim permitted to see the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from the window? I was lucky enough to visit it and stand by the window. I wished I were a butterfly to be able to draw closer to his grave, not for any other reason but to be close to him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). I believe that the grave is made of dust and that Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and his Messenger are in the heart of every believer. I wish I can visit the sacred places just to watch the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the Sacred Rawdah (the area between the Prophet’s pulpit and grave)and the Sacred Ka‘bah, but I cannot afford the journey, and Allaah burdens not a person beyond their capability.

Answer: Firstly, Celebrating the birth of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is an act of Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) that was not observed by him (peace be upon him), any of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, or his Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allaah be pleased with them)… read more here.

Innovations during the 17th night of Ramadaan

Question: Some People recite the birth story of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and Soorah Yaaseen and Soorah Al-Faatihah, dedicating them to those who were martyred in the Battle of Badr on the 17th day of Ramadaan. They gather in the Hanafee Masjid and supplicate to Allaah for their sake. They also recite the birth story of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), Soorah Yaaseen and Soorah Al-Faatihah then make supplication. Is doing so sanctioned by Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law) or not? Please, show us the truth about this matter with citing evidence! May Allaah reward you!

Answer: Texts of Sharee‘ah denote the sublimity of the status of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his lofty position. He is the Khaleel (close friend) of Allaah and His most beloved one. He is the last of Allaah’s Messengers and the best of all His creatures. They also indicate that none will truly believe until his love for Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is superior to his love for himself, parents, children and all mankind. There is no other Shar‘ (law) except that with which he was sent and he conveyed to his Ummah (nation). Allaah did not take his soul except after religion was completed and the grace of Allaah upon His servants was perfected… read more here.

Claiming that the heavens and earth were created for the Prophet and the ruling on seeking blessings from the dust at his grave

Question: There is a widely-circulated tradition observed by common Muslim people in our country and some of the upper class as well. They hold an annul remembrance gathering to commemorate the Mawlid (birthday) of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Someone starts the gathering by reciting some Aayaat of the Noble Qur’aan while sitting and then some scholars speak about the birth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) until the end when they tell people to stand up in reverence of Ahmad (one of the names of the Prophet, peace be upon him). They believe that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not like humans, for – they believe, he is created from Allaah’s own Light, that he is present everywhere, seeing everything, and that he is everywhere, witnessing festivals of his birthday and listening to what they say. They stand up and chant:

O Prophet, peace be upon you!

O Prophet, peace be upon you!

O Messenger, peace be upon you!

O beloved, peace be upon you!

Allaah’s Blessings be upon you!

Was this present wide-spread custom practiced at the time of the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet) and their Taabi‘oon (Followers, the generation after the Companions of the Prophet) or not?

Is remembering the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) using these words and paying him reverence when mentioning his birth something good or bad? Sunnah or Bid‘ah (innovation in religion)? Right or Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship)?

Please, elaborate on the topic by citing examples of the practices of the Sahabah and their Taabi‘oon (may Allaah be pleased with them all).

Answer: First, holding a celebration to commemorate the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) is a Bid‘ah that goes against the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Rightly-guided Caliphs and the Sahaabah (Companions), may Allaah be pleased with them all.

It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whoever does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islaam), will have it rejected. His Eminence Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez ibn `Abdullaah ibn Baaz issued a detailed Fatwaa concerning the ruling on celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)… read more here.

Greeting the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) at his grave

Question: Did the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet) use to stand when greeting the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? When is it permissible to greet the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) while standing? If greeting him while standing is permissible at the blessed Rawdah (the area between the Prophet’s pulpit and grave), why it is not permissible if a person is away from it?

Answer: Standing in an upright position beside the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when greeting him with peace is not for the sake of paying salutation to measure against it the necessity of standing up when greeting him at any other place… read more here.

Ruling on standing up when greeting the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

Question: Did the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allaah be pleased with them) forbid the people from standing to greet the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?

Answer: It was never the habit of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) to stand up when greeting the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when visiting his grave, or at any other time… read more here.

Permissibility of sending peace and blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

Question: If paying salutation is Bid‘ah (innovation in religion), can we prevent people from invoking Allaah’s peace and blessings upon the honorable Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?

Answer: Invoking Allaah’s peace and blessings upon our Prophet and his fellow Prophets is not Bid‘ah as was mentioned by the questioner. They are lawful acts as evident from the previously stated proofs… read more here.

Greeting the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) more than once

Question: Some people believe that it is obligatory to invoke peace and blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) once in their lifetime and anything that exceeds this is Mustahab (desirable).

Answer: Invoking Allaah’s peace and blessings upon the Prophet is Fard (obligatory, based on a definitive text), for Allaah’s Command in His Saying (Exalted be He)… read more here.

Ruling on celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid)

Question: Celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday): a meeting is held in commemoration of that occasion in which people talk about the life of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), offer prayer, mention the qualities of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and invoke Allaah’s blessings on him. They recite an invocation of blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by heart (they stand, stretching their arms, and recite an invocation of blessings upon him by heart).

Answer: Holding a celebration to commemorate the birth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is impermissible, for being a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) that was never done by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the Rightly-guided Caliphs, or any of the scholars of the best three generations… read more here.

Death of the disobedient amongst the inmates of Hellfire

Question: Will Allaah cause the disobedient people of this Ummah (Nation) to suffer real death, if they enter Hellfire? What is the meaning of “They will never taste death therein”? Has this been mentioned in a Hadeeth?

Answer: (a) Neither Kuffaar (disbelievers) nor Mu’mineen (believers) or the disobedient among believers will die after their first death when their time comes in the Worldly life, whether it is real death or unreal death like sleeping… read more here.

People in Barzakh

Question: Is the Hadeeth stating that the People of Barzakh (period between death and the Resurrection) see and speak to each other authentic?

Answer: We know of no reliable report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning this issue… read more here.

The return of the soul in the Worldly life

Question: I would like to tell Your Eminence that I have read the book entitled Al-Qawl Al-Jalee fee Hukm Al-Tawassul bil-Nabee wa Al-Waliy by the Salafee Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Salaam Khadir. This book was corrected, and some comments were added to it by Shaykh Ismaa`eel Al-Ansaree, and it was printed by the press of Presidency of the Departments of Scholarly Research, Ifta’, Da`wah and Guidance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On the twelfth page I found the following narration: What is reported by Ibn Abul-Dunya with his Sanad on the authority of Thaabit on the authority of Anas who said: We visited a man from Al-Ansaar, and he was sick and unable to move, so we did not leave till he died, we covered his body with some of his clothes. He then said: I unveiled his face, and we did not leave until we ate with him.

Kindly, what is your opinion regarding this? Is it possible to return the soul by seeking the help of one of the `Awliya’? I hope you explain this issue in the light of texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, may Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) guide and bless you and us with good, and make the Hereafter better for you than this worldly life.

Answer: Firstly, this story is utterly baseless, for which we know not any evidence. Supposing that it is valid, it could be said that the act of death that happened was not real as far as these people are concerned, and that his soul was not really captured, such as in the case of those suffering heart failure. In this case the soul of the patient is not captured, rather he enters a state of stillness followed by movement of the body once more, and here people think that his soul returned to him contrary to the reality that it was not really captured… read more here.

Ruling on turning the radio on in the Masjid before the time of Salaah

Question: We live in a small village whose people adhere to the Sunnah from a long time ago. This is from the virtue of Allaah, and then the efforts of our ancestors (may Allaah be merciful with them). I accompanied some of them, and Allaah made them a reason for my guidance. I tried my best, praise be to Allaah, to spread the Sunnah in the country, and work for Da`wah (call to Allaah) to the utmost of my ability. I lead people in Salaah (prayer) since 1977, and after the incidents that have happened in Egypt recently, the ministry of Waqfs (Endowments) sent a Khateeb (preacher) to the Masjid (mosque) of our village. At the beginning, this Khateeb convinced us that he would pursue the same Manhaj (methodology) we adopt, and after he became firmly established in the Masjid, he began propagating the idea of putting a radio in the Masjid for people to listen to the recitation of the Qur’an before the Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer, as is done in other Masjids in Egypt. Of course, there were many ignorant followers who agreed with him, and they put a radio connected to a loudspeakers before Salah. I personally tried to prevent him from this act.

I even exposed him to the evidences stating the impermissibility of reciting the Qur’aan loudly where people offer their Salaah, and that such a deed is nothing but reviving a Bid`ah (innovation in religion) and nullifying an act of Sunnah. He responded by arguing that if this was prohibited, then why is it widespread in all Masjids of Egypt? The matter has gone so far that they placed the body of a dead person in the bier right in front of the people before Jumu`ah Prayer, and after finishing it, we offered Funeral Prayer for him. I tried to prevent him from doing this before Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer due to the impermissibility of such a deed, but he refused and said that this is the opinion of Imaam Maalik who sees that it as a lesson for the living. I told him that Imam Malik regarded offering Funeral prayer in all Masjids as Makrooh (disliked). However, he remained deaf to my opinion, and was apparently convinced of his own. The path for newly invented Bid`ahs has been paved by the coming of this Khateeb, and there will be more of such Bid`ahs. I am really perplexed and do not know what to do, especially that there are those who want to adhere to the Sunnah, and shun the way to Bid`ah. It should be taken into consideration that this is the only Masjid in the village, and I am thinking of deserting this Masjid, and offering Salaah in one of the Sunni Masjids in Alexandria. However, if I do that, more kinds of Bid`ahs will find their way, and those willing to adhere to the Sunnah will be without help, not to mention their inability to offer Salaah in other Sunni Masjids due to their scarcity in the rural areas and the countryside.

Answer: Firstly, It is not permissible to put a radio or the like to listen to the recitation of the Qur’aan loudly in the Masjid on Friday before the Imaam ascends the pulpit… read more here.

Ruling on reciting the Qur’aan and supplicating before the Athaan

Question: At the time of Fajr prayer, Qur’aan, and some supplications are recited and then Athaan (call to Prayer) is pronounced. Is this an act of Sunnah or not? What is the ruling on it?

Answer: Persistence in doing what is mentioned, i.e. Reciting Qur’aan and some supplications before the Athaan of Fajr Prayer is not an act of Sunnah but rather an act of Bid`ah (innovation in religion)… read more here.

Ruling on reciting Al-Faatihah after Du`aa’

Question: We have some prevailing customs that after Du`aa’ (supplication), the Imaam recites Soorah Al-Faatihah, and raises his hands with the Ma’moomeen (those being led by an Imaam in Prayer), and one of them recites Al-Fatihah. Upon finishing his recitation, they all say ‘Aameen’ while placing their hands over their faces.

Answer: It is not permissible to recite Al-Faatihah after Du`aa’, because this was neither reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), nor the Rightly-Guided Caliphs… read more here.

Ruling on reciting Al-Faatihah after Salaah

Question: Is it an act of Sunnah or is it permissible to recite Soorah Al-Faatihah after performing the obligatory Salaah individually or in congregation? Appreciate your guidance, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: It is not an act of Sunnah to recite Soorah Al-Faatihah after performing the obligatory Salaah whether individually or in congregation… read more here.

Ruling on reciting Al-Faatihah and Al-Salaah Al-Ibraaheemiyyah and concluding by reciting, “Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honor and Power”

Question: We are a group of Muslim immigrants who work in France. We were gathered on Taqwaa (fear/wariness of offending Allaah) and following the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). We, by Allaah’s Will, managed to assign a hall to perform the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers. We chose an Imaam, may Allaah help him with this burden.

In addition, we arranged to hold sessions on preaching and guidance from time to time. However, this group has started to gradually break up because each one of us says after Tasleem (salutation of peace ending the Prayer), “Subhaan Allah [Glory be to Allaah]” thirty-three times, “Al-hamdu lillaah [All praise is due to Allaah]” thirty-three times, and Allaahu Akbar [Allaah is the Greatest]” thirty-three times,” as an implementation of the Prophet’s Hadeeth narrated by Aboo Hurayrah, The poor people went to the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) and said, “The wealthy have obtained the highest ranks and lasting bliss. They perform Salaah (Prayer) as we perform Salaah, and they observe Sawm (Fasting) as we observe Sawm, but they have more wealth with which they perform Hajj and `Umrah, and give Sadaqah (voluntary charity).” He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Shall I tell you something that if you act upon it you will catch up with those who are ahead of you, and you will get ahead of those who are behind you? No one will be better than you, except those who do as you do. Say, “Subhan Allaah (Glory be to Allaah),” “Al-hamdu lillaah (All praise is due to Allaah),” and “Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is the Greatest)” thirty-three times after every Salaah.” Each one of us says the formula mentioned in the Hadeeth subvocally. After that we recite Al-Faatihah and Al-Salaah Al-Ibraaheemiyyah (the second part of Tashahhud) in congregation and end our gathering by reciting, “Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honor and Power! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! And peace be on the Messengers! And all the praise and thanks be to Allaah, Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).” Some of the fellow brothers dissociated themselves from this practice. They said that it is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion), which we will bear its sin and the sin of those who follow us until the Day of Resurrection.

Please give us a Fatwaa regarding this matter. Is the recitation of Al-Faatihah, Al-Salaah Al-Ibraaheemiyyah, and the last three Aayaat of Soorah Al-Saaffaat (180-182) in congregation good or is it a Bid`ah? Those fellow men do not perform Salaah with us anymore until we abandon this practice.There should be a Fatwaa to end this disagreement.

In case we are wrong, we will abstain from it and ask Allaah to forgive us but in case we are right, we invoke Allaah to guide those fellow brothers. We hope there will be no cause for disagreements, which destroy and shatter Muslims’ unity.

Answer: It is not permissible to recite Al-Faatihah and Al-Salaah Al-Ibraaheemiyyah, and end the gathering with reciting the last three Aayaat of Soorah Al-Saffat because it is Bid`ah. This is not reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)… read more here.

Ruling on offering Du`aa’ for the dead before moving the body, after the Funeral Prayer and after burial

Question: Before someone is buried, much attention is paid to washing their body, and before they are taken to the grave, people offer Du`aa’ (supplication) for them. When they reach the grave, people conduct the Funeral Prayer. After this, people offer Du`aa’ again for the dead and then the body is placed into the grave. The earth is heaped on the grave till the body is covered completely, water is splattered on it, a Soorah of the Qur’aan is recited, and people make another Du`aa’ for the third time.

Answer: Offering Du`aa’ for the dead when washing or enshrouding them is permissible, for Du`aa’ benefits the dead… read more here.

Making Thikr by only uttering the Shahaadah

Question: Is it permissible to make Thikr (Remembrance of Allaah) by uttering Laa ilaaha illa Allaah (there is no god but Allaah) in addition to Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah? And what is the ruling on making Thikr by these words on a regular basis?

Answer: Bearing witness to the Oneness of Allaah, and to the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is obligatory and without which one cannot be called a Muslim… read more here.