May 22, 2020, 1:02 PM
Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Qatadah that once, when the Prophet passed by a funeral, he said: “He is (now) in peace secure from others and others are in peace secure from him.
“The people asked: “O Allah’s Messenger! Who is in peace and from whom are others in peace?” He said: “A believing servant (of Allah) is relieved from afflictions of this world upon his death, while upon the death of a wicked person, other people, land, trees, and animals are rid of his evil.”
The Desire to Die in the Haramain (Sacred precincts around the Ka’aba in Makkah and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah)
The desire to die in either of the sanctuaries in Makkah and Madinah is commendable. Bukhari has reported on the authority of Hafsah that ‘Umar said: “O Allah! Grant me martyrdom in Your cause, and cause me to die in the city of Your Prophet, peace be upon him.” Thereupon Hafsa asked him: “Why do you pray for such a thing?” He said: “Allah willing, I shall get what I have prayed for.” At-Tabarani reported on the authority of Jabir that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “He who dies in one of the two sanctuaries will be raised in peace on the Day of Resurrection.” Among the narrators of this hadith are Musa ibn Abdul al-Rahman, who is mentioned as trustworthy by Ibn Hibban and Abdullah ibn al-Mu’amil. Ahmad regards the hadith as weak, while Ibn Hibban considers it sound.
Abu Daw’ud reported from ‘Ubaid ibn Khalid al-Sullami, a companion of the Prophet, peace be upon him, that once he narrated from ‘ Ubaid and another time from the Prophet himself, peace be upon him, saying: “Being caught unawares by a sudden death is a grievous misfortune.” This hadith has been reported by Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Anas ibn Malik, Abu Hurairah and ‘Aishah, but all these narrations are weak for one or another reason. Al-Azdi says: This hadith has been reported through diverse chains of narrators, but none are reported on sound authority from the Prophet, peace be upon him.
The Reward of a Person Losing a Child
Bukhari reported from Anas that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “A Muslim who loses three of his children before they come of age will be brought to Paradise by Allah as a mercy to him for losing them.” Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that he said: “Some women asked the Prophet, peace be upon him: ‘Appoint a (separate) day to (admonish) us.’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, told them: ‘If a (Muslim) woman’s three children die, they will be a protection for her from Hell.’ A woman asked him, ‘And what if two of her children die?’ He replied: ‘And (even) if two of her children die’.”
The Life-Span of Muslims
Tirmizhi reported from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “The life-span of those in my ummah is 60 to 70 years. And a very few of them will exceed this span.”
Preparation for the Burial of the Dead
The body of the deceased person must be prepared for burial, washed, and shrouded, and a funeral prayer must be offered for him. Then he should be buried.
Washing the Dead
The majority of jurists are of the opinion that washing the body of a dead Muslim is a Fard Kifayah or a collective obligation. If some people attend to it, it is done on behalf of all, as commanded by Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, and practiced by the Muslim community.
Washing Severed Parts of a Body
There is a difference of opinion among Muslim jurists concerning washing parts severed from a body. According to Ash-Shafi’i, Ahmad and Ibn Hazm these parts must be washed and shrouded, and funeral prayer should be offered for the departed soul. Ash-Shafi’i said: “We were informed that a bird dropped a (human) hand in Makkah after the Battle of the Camel. The people identified it by a ring on one of its fingers (It was the hand of Abdul al-Rahman ibn ‘Itab ibn Usayd (probably killed in the battle). It was washed and a (funeral) prayer was offered on it. This was witnessed by many Companions alive at the time. Ahmad said: Abu Ayub offered funeral prayer on a (severed) foot of a dead person, while ‘Umar offered prayer on a dead man’s bones. Ibn Hazm said: “A funeral prayer may be offered on any organ found from a dead Muslim’s body. It should be washed and shrouded, except when it is part of a martyr’s body.” Ibn Hazm further remarks that offering prayer on any organ found from a Muslim’s body is analogous to praying for the whole person of the deceased, namely, for body and soul. Abu Hanifah and Malik say, however, that, “If more than half of a Muslim’s body is found, then it should be washed and funeral prayer be offered on it, but otherwise it should not be washed nor should any funeral prayer be offered on it.
Who is to be Washed and Who is Not
The body of a deceased Muslim, other than one killed in a battlefield by the infidels, should be washed.
A Martyr does not need to be washed
The body of a martyr, that is, a Muslim killed in a battle at the hands of disbelievers, may not be washed even though it is in a state of major ritual impurity. His body should be enshrouded in the clothes he wore when he died if they are good enough for the purpose. Otherwise some additional cloth may be used to enshroud his body according to the Sunnah. The body of such a person should be buried in its blood-stained state. None of his blood should be washed off.
Ahmad reported: “The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Do not wash those who die as martyrs, for their every wound or drop of blood will exude a fragrance like musk on the Day of Judgment.” The Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered the martyrs of the Battle of Uhud to be buried in their bloodstained clothes. They were not washed, nor any funeral prayer offered for them.
Ash-Shafi’i said: “Burying the martyrs without washing or offering funeral prayer on them may be explained by the fact that they shall meet Allah with their wounds exuding fragrance like musk. The honor bestowed on them by Allah frees them from the need for funeral prayers by others. Moreover it makes things easier for the surviving Muslims, who may have received injuries in battle and fear the enemy’s attack, and may be concerned about the security of their families and their families’ worries about them.
Abdullah ibn Ja’far reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “Prepare some food for the family of Ja’far, for what has befallen them is keeping them preoccupied.” This is narrated by Abu Daw’ud, Ibn Majah and Tirmizhi, who grades it as a sound hadith.
It is said that the wisdom behind not offering a funeral prayer on a martyr is that it is offered for a dead person, whereas a martyr is not dead but alive. Another reason may be that since prayer is a kind of intercession, the martyrs do not need it. In fact they will intercede for others.
To be continued