Fiqh-us-Sunnah Volume 4, Funerals and Dhikr, Fiqh 4.065.

Section : Prompting the Deceased After the Burial.

Ash-Shafi’i and some other scholars prefer that a deceased (A deceased if he or she is an adult, but not in the case of a child) be “prompted” after the burial. This is based on a report by Sa’ id ibn Mansur from Rashid ibn Sa’d and Damarah ibn Habib and Hakim ibn ‘Umair. They said: “After the grave is leveled and the people leave, one should stand by the grave and say three times to the deceased: ‘O so-and-so, say: “There is no god but Allah, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah”,’ ‘O so-and-so, say: “Allah is my Lord, Islam is my din, and Muhammad is my prophet.” And then one should leave the site.” This is reported, without any comment, by Al-Hafiz in his book Al-Talkhis. At-Tabarani reported that Abu Amamah said: “When one of your brethren passes away and you have levelled the ground over his grave, you should stand by the grave’s head and say: ‘O so-and-so, son of so-and-so,’ for the deceased will hear him, but he cannot respond. Then he should say ‘O so-and-so, and son of so-and-so, whereby the deceased will sit up in his grave. Then he should say: ‘O so-and-so, son of so-and-so, at which the deceased says: “Guide me, may Allah be merciful to you,’ but you cannot hear him. Then he should say to the deceased: ‘Remember the faith with which you left this world, and remember to bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, and remember that you have accepted Allah as your Lord, Islam as your religion, Muhammad as your Prophet and the Qur’an as your guide.’ At this Munkar and Nakir (the two angels appointed to question the people in the graves) will hold each other’s hand and say: ‘Let us go! Why should we sit for a person who has been taught this.”‘ A man asked: “O Allah’s Messenger! What if one did not know the name of the deceased’s mother?” The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied: “In such a case, one should call him by his first mother, Eve, and say: ‘O so and so, O son of Eve).” (Al-Hafiz in his book Al Talkhis said that the chain of narrators of this hadith is sound. Ad-Diaya’ in his Al-Ahkam has also described it as a sound hadith. There is in its chain of narrators one called ‘Asim ibn Abdullah who is a weak narrator.) Haithami refers to this hadith and says there are some narrators in its chain whom he did not know as trustworthy.

An-Nawawi said: “The above hadith, even if it is a weak one, would be considered a source of reference. The scholars of hadith and others agree that in matters such as virtue, exhortation to good, and waming against evil, even the weak hadith are admissible. The above hadith is, however, supported by other evidence including the hadith in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have asked his Companions, ‘pray that he be supported.’ Another is the hadith about the will made by ‘Amr ibn Al-‘As. Both of these hadith are sound. The people of Syria still act on this, when the occasion arises, until this very day.”

Both the Maliki school, according to general report, and the Hanbali school consider prompting the deceased reprehensible. Al-Athram said: “I asked (Imam) Ahmad ibn Hanbal: ‘This is what they do when the deceased is buried. A man stands by the graveside and says: “O so and so and son of so and so (his mother’s name”).’ Ahmad said: ‘I have never seen anyone doing this except the Syrians when Abu Al-Mughirah died.”‘ He transmitted something about the subject from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam according to which their elders said that they used to do it. Isma’il ibn ‘Ayyash related the hadith reported by Abu Amamah.

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