Q 1: Is the weight of the deceased while in the coffin heavy or light? Does the coffin push itself forward as if flying as witnessed in our days and before as narrated by the predecessors?
What is the proper way to act when following the Funeral Procession?
Should it be in silence, or is it permissible to utter the word of Tawhid (monotheism) such as La ilaha illa Allah (there is no god but Allah) and similar words? What is the opinion of your Eminence concerning making Du`a` (supplicating to Allah) for the dead? Should it be by reciting Qur'an for his soul, or is this an act of Bid`ah (innovation in religion) as mentioned by some jurists? Lastly, what is your opinion regarding setting up Ma'tam (mourning assembly) after the death of a person which are held on Thursdays, on the fortieth day after death and the anniversary of the person's death and other similar matters?
The weight of the dead person varies according to the bulk of the body, namely its slimness or fatness, and their age whether old or young. As for what some weak deviated people claim that the deceased becomes sometimes heavy or light on his coffin bearers, this is a false allegation that might be propagated by those bearers. Likewise claiming that at times he pushes the coffin forward or in a special direction that he likes to be buried in or to a certain place to be buried in it is a Karamah (an extraordinary event caused by Allah for or through a pious person) and declaration that the deceased is one of the Awliya' (pious people) of Allah is a false allegation. Nothing of the sort happened to the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) in their multitude and the righteous Salaf predecessors during their funerals, and they were more devoted in their worship to Allah (Part No. 9; Page No. 88) and the most keen on observing His limits.The Sunnah when following a Funeral Procession is to remain silent and remember death with the intention of performing a duty towards your fellow Muslim. It is an act of Bid`ah (innovation in religion) to read the poem of Burda or the Surah of Al-Insan or Ayahs from it in front of the coffin of the deceased, or to say La ilaha illa Allah (there is no god but Allah) or similar words.Giving Sadaqah (voluntary charity) on behalf of the deceased is permissible without fixing a certain time, and visiting the graves for men is an act of Sunnah as well as making Du`a` for the deceased buried in the graves. Furthermore, it is an act of Sunnah for the visitor to say: Peace be upon you, dwellers of these abodes, believers and Muslims. We will, whenever Allah wills, join you. We beg of Allah salvation for us and for you. A Muslim should supplicate for his Muslim brother that Allah may forgive him and have mercy upon him, and to be steadfast when being questioned by the angels after being buried.As for the food prepared on Thursdays or Fridays and taken to the graves to be distributed to the poor, this is a type of Bid`ah, and so is their gathering on the fortieth day or night to commemorate the dead or the pavilions held on the dead's annual anniversary, all such acts are types of Bid`ah. It has been authentically narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
He who innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid (reason) (commits sin) and these are to be rejected.
We advise you to read the book titled Al-Ibda` Fi Madar Al-Ibtida` by Shaykh
`Aly Mahfuzh and (Part No. 9; Page No. 89) Al-Sunan Wal Mubtada`at by Shaykh
Muhammad `Abdul-Salam Khadir. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.