How should we perform the funeral Salah (Prayer) and how should we bury a dead person?
Is building over graves a Bid`ah (innovation in religion)? I was told that it is obligatory to fill in soil directly onto the face of the deceased in the grave in such a manner as to be wholly covered with soil. Is this an act of Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet)? Please, provide evidence.
A: Following is how funeral Salah should be offered: The one offering it should face the Qiblah (Ka`bah-direction faced in Prayer) placing the dead between him and the Qiblah. One should then say Takbirat-ul-Ihram (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]" upon starting Prayer) recite Surah Al-Fatihah. One should then say Takbir (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]") invoking blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) thereafter. Then, one should say a third Takbir and make du`a' (supplication) for the deceased. One should then say a fourth Takbir and then say one Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer) to the right.Following is how a burial should be performed: A rectangular trench is dug at the bottom of the grave fitting the size of the deceased on the side that is closest to the Qiblah, in which the deceased is placed on his right side facing the Qiblah. Thereafter, the hole is to be filled in with mud bricks behind the deceased, and then filled in with earth. Such was the standard practice during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The grave is to be raised along the trench to the height of one span so that the grave may be distinguished that it might not be offended by being walked or sat on. Moreover, it is impermissible to build over it, as it is authentically reported on the authority of
`Aly (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said to
Abu Al-Hayyaj Al-Asady :
Should I not send you on the same mission as Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) sent me? Do not leave a statue without obliterating it, or a high grave without leveling It.
To the same effect,
Jabir (may Allah (Part No. 8; Page No. 385) be pleased with him) to have said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade plastering of graves, sitting on them, and building over them.
Finally, you are advised to consult such books as Subulul-Salam by
Al-San`any, and Sharh Bulugh Al-Maram by
Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalany. May Allah guide us all and grant us success!May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.