The following are some etiquette pertaining to the Funeral:
- It is recommended to observe silence during the funeral. Qays ibn Abbad (may Allah mercy upon him) said:
كان أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يكرهون رفع الصوت عند الجنائز
The Companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) used to dislike raising the voices in the funeral
[Reported by al-Bayhaqi and others. Shaikh al-Albani said: It’s narrators are reliable in Ahkaam al-Janaaiz pg. 92]
- During the prayer, one should pray for the deceased sincerely:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ “ إِذَا صَلَّيْتُمْ عَلَى الْمَيِّتِ فَأَخْلِصُوا لَهُ الدُّعَاءَ
Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: When you pray over the dead, make a sincere supplication for him [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no.3199]
Note: We should avoid supplicating collectively immediately after the funeral prayer. This has not been reported from the Prophet (ﷺ) and his Companions. The Permanent Committee of Saudi Arabia have declared it an innovation [Fatwa no. 2251]
- We should avoid reciting Adkhaar loudly while carrying the deceased, whether that be La ilaha illa Allah or Allahu Akbar or the Quran. This is an innovation. Instead we: “...are to follow the funeral in submission to Allah and remembrance of death and what follows after it” [The Permanent Committee Fatwa no. 20739]
The deceased should be entered into his grave from the foot of the grave, head first.
عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ، قَالَ أَوْصَى الْحَارِثُ أَنْ يُصَلِّيَ، عَلَيْهِ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يَزِيدَ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ أَدْخَلَهُ الْقَبْرَ مِنْ قِبَلِ رِجْلَىِ الْقَبْرِ وَقَالَ هَذَا مِنَ السُّنَّةِ
Abu Ishaq said:
Al-Harith left his will that Abdullah ibn Yazid (may Allah be pleased with him) should offer his funeral prayer; so he prayed over him. He then put him in the grave from the side of his legs and said: This is a Sunnah (model practice of the Prophet) [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 3211]
Shaikh Abul-Muhsin al-‘Abbad (may Allah preserve) said:
“From the direction of where his feet [will be in the grave]. He is brought by his head [i.e. headfirst] then continued until he is in the grave on his back. So he is brought by his head in the direction of his feet [where they will be]” [Sharh Sunan no. 370].
Shaikh al-Albani (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “It is Sunnah to bring the deceased into the grave from the foot of the grave ” [Ahkaam al-Janaaiz pg. 190]
However, if that is difficult, the deceased can be brought into the grave in any direction that is easy [The Permanent Committee no. 17880]
Note: The body should be brought into the grave gently [See: al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhathab of Imam Nawawi (5/292)]
- The one who is putting the body into the grave should say:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَعَلَى سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم
In the name of Allah, and following the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 3213]
- It is recommended for all those who are present to throw three handfuls of dust into the grave.
Shaikh al-Albani (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “It is recommended upon the one who is near the grave to throw three handfuls of dust with both hands after the lahd (crevice) of the grave is closed due to the Hadith of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him):
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ صَلَّى عَلَى جِنَازَةٍ ثُمَّ أَتَى قَبْرَ الْمَيِّتِ فَحَثَى عَلَيْهِ مِنْ قِبَلِ رَأْسِهِ ثَلاَثًا
that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) offered the funeral prayer, then he came to the grave of the deceased and scattered three handfuls of earth from the side of (the deceased’s) head” [Reported by Ibn Majah and graded Authentic by al-Albani. See Ahkaam al-Janaaiz pg. 193]
Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“It is recommended for everyone who is at the grave to throw three handfuls of dust with both hands after the Lahd (crevice where the body enters) is closed” [al-Majmoo’ (5/293)]
- It is from the Sunnah after the body is buried to stand and ask forgiveness and firmness for the deceased.
عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ، قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا فَرَغَ مِنْ دَفْنِ الْمَيِّتِ وَقَفَ عَلَيْهِ فَقَالَ “ اسْتَغْفِرُوا لأَخِيكُمْ وَسَلُوا لَهُ التَّثْبِيتَ فَإِنَّهُ الآنَ يُسْأَلُ
Narrated Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him):
Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) 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 [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 3221]
There is no specific way of supplicating here, however, the Scholars have mentioned some examples. Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ
Oh Allah forgive him, Oh Allah forgive him, Oh Allah forgive him
اللَّهُمَّ ثَبِّتْهُ اللَّهُمَّ ثَبِّتْهُ اللَّهُمَّ ثَبِّتْهُ
Oh Allah keep him firm, Oh Allah keep him firm, Oh Allah keep him firm
Then you go” [Majmoo’ al-Fatwa wa-Rasaail (17/185)].
It is allowed to order the people to do this as Shaikh al-Albani mentioned [Ahkaam al-Janaaiz pg. 198].
Note: This should be done individually and not collectively. Everyone should supplicate himself [See: Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood of Shaikh al-‘Abbad no. 370].
As well, the person should not stay there long nor make the supplication long [See: https://binothaimeen.net/content/1517]
- It is recommended to give the family of the deceased condolences for their loss. This can be done by any good words that encourages patience and seeking reward.
Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “The best of what is said for condolences is what is reported in Bukhari and Muslm from Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him)
أرسلتْ إحدى بنات النبيِّ صلى اللّه عليه وسلم إليه تدعوه وتخبره أنّ صبياً لها أو ابناً في الموت، فقال للرسول: ”ارْجعْ إلَيْها فأخْبرْها أنَّ لِلَّهِ تَعالى ما أخَذَ وَلَهُ ما أعْطَى، وكُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بأجَلٍ مُسَمَّى، فمُرْها فَلْتَصْبرْ وَلْتَحْتَسبْ
We were with the Prophet (ﷺ) when suddenly there came to him a messenger from one of his daughters who was asking him to come and see her son who was dying. The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to the messenger), “Go back and tell her that whatever Allah takes is His, and whatever He gives is His, and everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world). So order her to be patient and hope for Allah’s reward” [al-Athkaar pg. 271]
This is what some of Scholars encouraged like Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen [Noor ‘ala Darb no. 181] and Shaikh al-Albani [Ahkaam al-Janaaiz pg. 207]
This can be achieved by saying:
إِنَّ للهِ ما أَخَذ، وَلَهُ ما أَعْـطـى، وَكُـلُّ شَيءٍ عِنْـدَهُ بِأَجَلٍ مُسَـمَّى فَلْتَصْـبِر وَلْتَحْـتَسِب
Whatever Allah takes is His, and whatever He gives is His, and everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world). Be patient and hope for Allah’s reward
Note: Condolences should not be done by fixing a specific place or time for it, like a house, masjid, or pavilion. Doing this is an innovation and a type of prohibited mourning.
عَنْ جَرِيرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْبَجَلِيِّ، قَالَ كُنَّا نَرَى الاِجْتِمَاعَ إِلَى أَهْلِ الْمَيِّتِ وَصَنْعَةَ الطَّعَامِ مِنَ النِّيَاحَةِ
It was narrated that Jarir bin ‘Abdullah Al-Bajali (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“We used to think that gathering with the family of the deceased and preparing food was a form of wailing” [Saheeh no. 1318]
The Permanent Committee said: “Condolences can be offered at the Masjid (mosque), when offering Janazah (Funeral) Prayer, in the graveyard, in the street, in the market, at a house of the bereaved family, through phoning them, etc.” [Fatwa no. 16552]. This is with the condition that it occurs: “Without sitting and gathering for this purpose” [Fatwa no. 2618]
This is just a summary of some of the rulings pertaining to funerals.
And Allah Knows best
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan