GENERAL PERMISSIONS (HADEETH # 1 – 4)
Abu Huraira (may Allah be well pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased). (Muslim)
The Holy Prophet said, “What is credited to a believer of his action and good deed after his death is any useful knowledge he might have taught or spread, a Allah-fearing child he might have left behind, a copy of the Quran he might have left to an heir, a mosque he might have built, a house he might have dedicated for use by travelers, a stream or river he might have caused to run, a donation to charity (i.e. sadaqah) he might have set aside when he was enjoying good health. All that catches up with him after his death.” (Ibn Majah)
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be well pleased with him): Al-‘As ibn Wa’il left his will that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf. His son Hisham emancipated fifty slaves and his son Amr intended to emancipate the remaining fifty on his behalf, but he said: I should ask first the Apostle of Allah (). He, therefore, came to the Holy Prophet and said: Apostle of Allah (), my father left in his will that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf and Hisham has emancipated fifty on his behalf and fifty remain. Shall I emancipate them on his behalf ?? The Apostle of Allah () said: Had he been a Muslim and you had emancipated slaves on his behalf, or given sadaqah on his behalf, or performed the pilgrimage, that would have reached him. (Abu Daud)
Abu Huraira (may Allah be well pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger () as saying: He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother, and he who treads the path in search of knowledge, Allah would make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in the house among the houses of Allah (mosques) and recite the Book of Allah and they learn and teach the Quran (among themselves) there would descend upon them the tranquility and mercy would cover them and the angels would surround them and Allah makes a mention of them in the presence of those near Him, and he who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (high) lineage does not make him go ahead. (Muslim)
FUNERALS (HADEETH # 5 – 9)
When a Muslim dies, it is a duty on the community of Muslims to offer a special prayer for him during which they pray Allah to forgive him and admit him into heaven. The funeral prayer is Fard Kifayah for the living Muslim brothers i.e. if just one person offers it, the entire community is absolved of this duty. But see the importance attached to the more and more people joining the prayer. And the benefit reaching the deceased person is obvious.
Syeda ‘A’isha (may Allah be well pleased with her) reported Allah’s Apostle () saying: If a company of Muslims numbering one hundred pray over a dead person, all of them interceding for him, their intercession for him will be accepted. (Muslim)
‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas (may Allah be well pleased with him) reported that his son died in Qudaid or ‘Usfan. He said to Kuraib to see as to how many people had gathered there for his (funeral). He (Kuraib) said: So I went out and I informed him about the people who had gathered there. He (Ibn ‘Abbas) said: Do you think they are forty ?? He (Kuraib) said: Yes. Ibn ‘Abbas then said to them: Bring him (the dead body) out for I have heard Allah’s Messenger () as saying: If any Muslim dies and forty men who associate nothing with Allah stand over his prayer (they offer prayer over him), Allah will accept them as intercessors for him. (Muslim)
Narrated Syedna Usman ibn Affan (may Allah be well pleased with him): Whenever the Holy Prophet () became free from burying the dead, he used to stay at him (i.e. his grave) and say: “Seek forgiveness for your brother, and beg steadfastness for him, for he will be questioned now”. (Abu Daud)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be well pleased with him) that a dark-complexioned woman (or a youth) used to sweep the mosque. The Messenger of Allah () missed her (or him) and inquired about her (or him). The people told him that she (or he) had died. He asked why they did not inform him, and it appears as if they had treated her (or him) or her (or his) affairs as of little account. He (the Holy Prophet ()) said: Lead me to her (or his) grave. They led him to that place and he said prayer over her (or him) and then remarked: Verily, these graves are full of darkness for their dwellers. Verily, the Mighty and Glorious Allah illuminates them for their occupants by reason of my prayer over them. (Muslim, Bukhari, Mishkaat)
Reported S. Jaber (may Allah be well pleased with him): We came out with the Holy Prophet () to Saa’d bin Muaz when he expired. When the Holy Prophet () performed his funeral prayer, and he was buried in his grave and the earth was levelled upon him, the Holy Prophet read “Tasbeeh” and we also recited “Tasbeeh” for a long time. Then he recited “Takbeer”, so we too recited “Takbeer”. It was asked “O the Messenger of Allah! Why have you recited “Tasbeeh” and “Takbeer” ?? He said, “The grave became too narrow for this pious man till Allah made it spacious because of it (the recitation).” (Ahmed, Mishkaat)
VISITING GRAVEYARDS. (HADEETH # 10 – 11)
Sulaiman b. Buraida (may Allah be well pleased with him) narrated on the authority of his father that the Messenger of Allah () used to teach them when they went out to the graveyard. One of the narrators used to say this in the narration transmitted on the authority of Abu Bakr ((may Allah be well pleased with him): “Peace be upon the inhabitants of the city (i. e. graveyard).” In the hadeeth transmitted by Zuhair (the words are): “Peace be upon you, the inhabitants of the city, among the believers, and Muslims, and Allah willing we shall join you. I beg of Allah peace for us and for you.” (Muslim)
Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be well pleased with him): The Holy Prophet () said while standing near the graves of the martyrs of Uhud, “I bear witness that you are alive in the sight of Allah.” Then turning towards those present he said, “So visit them, and greet them – I swear by the One in whose power lies my life, they will answer back to whoever greets them until the Last Day.” (Hakim, Baihaqi)
There are numerous Ahadeeth about supplications to be made when visiting the graveyard – the benefit of which to one’s self and to the deceased, it quite evident.
Also note that there are several other Ahadeeth that teach us to pray, and the prayer includes all Muslim brothers & sisters (living, passed away or yet to be borne).
PERFORMING HAJJ (HADEETH # 12 – 13)
Ahadeeth in support of offering the pilgrimage on behalf of a deceased person or one who is unable to undertake the journey are numerous. Also note that performing Hajj includes Umrah, Tawaf of the Ka’ba, and also Salaat (after Tawaf) – all these are credited to the deceased.
“A woman came to the Holy Prophet () and said, ‘I have given charity on behalf of my dead mother by giving away her female servant.’ The Holy Prophet () answered, ‘You will have its reward [and so will she] but return the female servant so that the inheritance [may be properly divided].’ The woman then said, ‘She used to owe fasts, can I fast on her behalf ??’ He answered, ‘You may fast on her behalf.’ The woman then said, ‘She did not perform Hajj, can I perform on her behalf ??’ The Holy Prophet () answered, ‘Yes. You may perform Hajj on her behalf.” (Tirmizi)
A woman from the tribe of Juhaina came to the Holy Prophet and said, “My mother had vowed to perform Hajj but she died before performing it. May I perform Hajj on my mother’s behalf ??” The Holy Prophet () replied, “Perform Hajj on her behalf. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it or not ?? So, pay Allah’s debt as He has more right to be paid.” (Bukhari)