As we get closer to Qiyamah, death becomes more widespread. At present, we receive the sad news of the death of near and dear ones with more frequency than before.
Click here for what to do when receiving the sad news of someone’s passing away.
To attend a funeral is the right of our fellow muslims and indeed very rewarding.
The Tabi’i; Imam Mujahid (rahimahullah) said: ‘Attending a funeral is the best of voluntary (nafl) acts.’
(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 1323)
Hereunder are ten reliable Hadiths on the benefits of attending to the Janazah.
Washing the deceased
There is great reward for giving ghusl to the deceased, on condition that a person conceals all the defects/faults of the deceased.
1. Sayyiduna Abu Rafi’ (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whomsoever gives ghusl to a deceased and conceals his defects, forty (40) of his major sins will be forgiven…”
(Al Mu’jamul Kabir, Hadith: 929. Also see: Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 1 pg. 354)
‘Allamah Mundhiri states that the narrators are reliable (muhtajjum bihim fis sahih). Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al ‘Asqalani (rahimahullah) has declared the chain authentic (isnaduhu qawiyy) and Hafiz Haythami (rahimahullah) has also declared the narrators reliable.
(Targhib, vol. 4 pg. 338, Ad Dirayah, vol. 1 pg. 431, Hadith: 391 and Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 3 pg. 21)
Accompanying the Janazah
The ideal is for one to accompany the Janazah from the home, to the salah as well as the burial. However, even if just one of these are possible, one will be rewarded accordingly.
2. Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) have recorded the following narration numerous times with variation in the wordings:
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever attends the funeral procession and offers the Janazah Salah, will get a reward equal to one ‘qirat’, and whoever accompanies it till burial, will get a reward equal to two ‘qirats’. It was asked, “What are two qirats?” He answered, “Like two huge mountains.”
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1325 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 945)
Carrying the four sides of the bier
3. Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says:
“Whomsoever follows a Janazah, then he should certainly carry all sides of the bier, for verily this is from the Sunnah. [After carrying all four sides], he may continue to carry the bier or he may leave it”
(Kitabul Athar of Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan Ash Shaybani, vol. 1 pg. 273, Hadith: 236, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1478, Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, Hadith: 6517 and Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah -with a reliable chain-, Hadith: 11397)
4. Sayyiduna Abud Darda (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says:
“To receive the full reward of attending a Janazah, one should leave with the Janazah from its home, carry all four sides of the bier and scoop sand into the grave”
(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 11399)
Speaking good of the deceased
Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) has discouraged the ummah in several Hadiths against speaking ill of the deceased. One should rather speak good of our fellow Muslims who are deceased.
5. Sayyidatuna ‘Aishah (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
‘Don’t curse the dead..’
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1393)
6. Sayyidatuna Ummu Salamah (radiyallahu’anha) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
‘When you attend a funeral (or visit a sick person), then speak good [about the deceased/the sick], for the Angels say amin to your du’a.’
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2126)
7. Abul Aswad (rahimahullah) relates, “I came to Madinah during an epidemic. I was sitting with ‘Umar ibn Khattab (radiyallahu ‘anhu) when a janazah passed by and the dead person was praised. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, ‘It has become necessary/is inevitable.’ Then another janazah passed by and was praised. ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, ‘It is inevitable.’ Then a third janazah passed by and they spoke regarding him. ‘Umar said, ‘It is inevitable.’”
Abul Aswad (rahimahullah) said, “I asked, ‘O Leader of the believers, What is inevitable/become necessary?’ He replied, ‘I say as Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah will admit into Jannah a person whom four people attest to his good ways/habits” We asked, ‘And if three people do so?’ He replied, ‘Three as well.’ We asked, ‘And two?’ He said, ‘Two also.’ Then we did not ask him about one.’”
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1368 and 2643)
8. Sayyiduna Al Bara ibn ‘Azib (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says, “We were once attending a janazah with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when he sat on the edge of the grave and cried so profusely that the sand became wet. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said, ‘O my brothers, Prepare for this![by carrying out good deeds]’
(Sunan ibn Majah, Hadith: 4195)
‘Allamah Mundhiri (rahimahullah) has declared the chain sound (hasan).
(Targhib, vol. 4 pg. 240, Zawaid Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1419. Also see: Footnotes of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah on Musannaf, Hadith: 35472)
Consoling the Bereaved Family
9. Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
“Any believer who consoles his brother at the time of a calamity, will be rewarded by Allah Ta’ala with noble garments on the Day of Qiyamah”
(Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1601. Refer Zawaid Ibn Majah, Hadith: 545)
Four deeds for Jannah
10. Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) once said:
“Who among you is fasting today?’ Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, ‘I am.’ He asked, ‘Who among you followed a Janazah today?’ Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, ‘I did.’ He asked, ‘Who among you has fed a needy person today?’ Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, ‘I did.’ He asked, ‘Who among you visited a sick person today?’ Abu Bakr replied, ‘I did.’ Upon this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Whoever carries out all these [good deeds] will certainly enter Jannah.’”
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1028)
Forgiven for attending the burial
Sometimes a person is forgiven after his death only because he attended a funeral and threw sand in the grave of his fellow muslim.
‘Allamah Qurtubi (rahimahullah) has mentioned that ‘Allamah Qushayri (rahimahullah) cited someone who saw this in a dream about a fellow Muslim.
(At-Tadhkirah, pg.286. Also see Targhib, vol. pg. 5147)
Although dreams by themselves are not sufficient proof in Shari’ah, the Scholars generally quote them from time to time for encouragement purposes.
The books that discuss the biographies of the ‘Ulama are filled with the mention of dreams.