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Staying by the grave after the burial

Question:

After a person has been buried, is it permissible to stay at his grave till Friday (if he has not passed away on Thursday night or Friday)?

Answer:

It is a Prophetic tradition to stay at the new grave for as long as it takes a camel to be slaughtered and for its meat to be prepared (approximately 2/3 hours). This Prophetic tradition has been narrated by Hazrat Amr ibn al-As.

It is also permissible to stay at the burial place for longer, as long as worldly affairs are avoided next to the grave, such as laughing, gossiping and any rude and idle talk. It is very important that recitation of the Holy Qur’an, reciting Durud Sharif, and other righteous deeds are performed next to the grave as they are a means for the mercy of Allah Almighty ﷻ to descend on the area where such good actions are being performed.

Staying and reciting next to the grave also causes the deceased person to feel comfortable and at ease.

Imam Nasafi has narrated a Prophetic tradition in his Bahr al-Kalam that if a person suffers punishment in his grave, it will only take place till Thursday night. As soon as Friday approaches, this suffering is taken away from the deceased person and it will never return.

Imam al-Suyuti and Mulla Ali Qari have expressed their reservations regarding this narration. However, any weak narration that encourages the performance of good actions can be acted upon. If the above narration can be taken as a sound narration, then we can help the deceased person by praying for him next to his grave till Friday. When the day of Friday comes, we hope that the deceased person will now be engulfed with the mercy of Allah Almighty ﷻ.

Even if the above narration may not be a strong narration, by praying for the deceased person and performing the recitation of the Holy Qur’an near a newly-buried person, we have only helped a Muslim brother who is in dire need for the mercy of Allah Almighty ﷻ. Such actions are in accordance with the commandment of our Beloved Prophet ﷺ. In a narration of Sahih Muslim by Hazrat Jabir ibn Abd Allah, the Messenger ﷺ said: ‘Whoever can help his Muslim brothers and sisters, he must do so.’

Therefore, performing righteous actions near the graves, with correct and rightful intentions, will not be short of the mercy and blessings of Allah Almighty ﷻ.

What follows is an excerpt from Sharh al-Sudur Sharif:

‘Imam Nasafi mentions in his Bahr al-Kalam that at the beginning of Friday and in the month of Ramadan, punishment is taken away from non-believers. A sinful Muslim is given punishment in his grave, but at the beginning of Friday this punishment is taken away permanently. If a person passes away on Thursday night or on Friday, he may suffer the punishment just for a moment. After that the person never receives the punishment in his grave till the Day of Judgement.

Thus we understand that sinful Muslims may suffer punishment in their graves till Friday, or even less than that. And when the first Friday will arrive, after the burial, this punishment will cease and will never return.’

And Allah ﷻ knows the best

Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه

Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk