How is to place an ‘Ahd Naamah in the grave?

What do the scholars of Islam and the Muftis of the mighty Shariah say regarding the following matter:

1.   How is to place an ‘Ahd Naamah, Shajarah, etc. in a grave?

2.   If this is permissible, then where in the grave should they be placed?

(Questioner: Haji Muhammad Iqbal, Muslimabad, Karachi)

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

1.   If the ‘Ahd Naamah is written on the shroud of the deceased, or his ‘Imamah (blessed turban) or forehead, then hopefully Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ will forgive the deceased and protect him from the punishment of the grave. Likewise, it is permissible to place other blessed things in the grave or shroud with the intention of blessings; in fact, it is also proven from the practice of the blessed companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم, the books of Fiqh [Islamic Jurisprudence], and the statements of the pious predecessors. And it is hoped from Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ that the deceased benefits due to these blessed things being present in the grave.

It is stated in Musannaf ‘Abd-ur-Razzaq,

اخبرنا   معمر  بن عبد اللہ بن محمد   بن عقیل  ان فاطمۃ  رضی اللہ عنھا   لما حضرتھا    الوفاۃ  امرت  علیا  فوضع لھا  غسلا  فاغتسلت   و تطھرت  ودعت  بثیاب اکفانھا  فلبستھا  و مست  من الحنوط   ثم  امرت   علیا  ان لا تکشف  اذا ھی  قبضت  وان  تدرج  کما ھی  فی اکفانھا  فقلت  لہ   ھل  علمت  احدا  فعل  نحو  ذلک قال نعم  کثیر بن عباس   وکتب  فی اطراف  اکفانہ   یشھد  کثیر  بن عباس  ان لا الہ  الا اللہ

Meaning, Ma’mar Bin ‘Abdullah Bin Muhammad ‘Aqeel told us that near the passing of Sayyidatuna Fatimah رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا, she had water placed by Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali-ul-Murtada رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ for her own Ghusl. Then she رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا bathed, asked for the shroud and wore it, and applied the scent of Hanoot [perfume]. Then, she رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا bequeathed to Maula ‘Ali رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ that no one is to open me after my passing away and that I am buried in this very shroud. I asked, ‘Has anyone else done this too?’ He رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ replied, ‘Yes, Kaseer Bin ‘Abbas and he wrote on the edge of his shroud that, ‘Kaseer Bin ‘Abbas bears witness that no one is worthy of worship except Allah.’ (Musannaf ‘Abd-ur-Razzaq, vol. 3, p. 411)

‘Allamah Shaami رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states in Radd-ul-Mukhtar,

وفی البزازية قبيل كتاب الجنايات وذكر الإمام الصفار لو كتب على جبهة الميت أو على عمامته أو كفنه عهد نامه يرجى أن يغفر الله تعالى للميت ويجعله آمنا من عذاب القبر

Meaning, It is stated in Bazaziyyah slightly before Kitab-ul-Jinayaat that Imam Safaar رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه mentioned, ‘if ‘Ahd Naamah is written on the forehead of the deceased, or his ‘Imamah or his shroud, then it is hoped that Allah Almighty will forgive the deceased and protect him from the punishment of the grave.’ (Durr-ul-Mukhtar ma’ Rad-ul-Muhtar, vol. 3, p. 185)

Sayyidi A’la Hadrat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states in the blessed Fatawa Razawiyyah, ‘Imam Tirmizi Hakeem Ilahi Sayyidi Muhammad Bin ‘Ali, a contemporary of Imam Bukhari رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهمَا, has narrated in Nawadir-ul-Usool that ‘the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم himself stated,

من کتب ھذاالدعاء وجعلہ بین صدر المیت وکفنہ فی رقعۃ لم ینلہ عذاب القبر ولایری منکرا و نکیراً و ھوھذا  لاالٰہ الااﷲ واﷲ اکبرلاالٰہ الااﷲ وحدہ، لاشریک لہ لاالٰہ الااﷲلہ الملک ولہ الحمدلاالٰہ الااﷲ ولاحول ولاقوۃ الاباﷲالعلی العظیم

The one who writes this supplication on a piece of paper and places it on the chest of the deceased under the shroud, he (i.e. the deceased) will not be punished in the grave nor will Munkar and Nakeer be seen. And that supplication is this:

لا الٰہ الااﷲ واﷲ اکبرلاالٰہ الاﷲ وحدہ،لاشریک لہ لاالٰہ الااﷲ لہ الملک ولہ الحمد لاالٰہ الااﷲ ولاحول ولاقوۃ الّاباﷲالعلی العظیم

He further states, ‘Tirmizi has narrated from Sayyiduna Siddeeq Akbar رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ that the Noble Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم stated, ‘The one who prays this supplication after the Salaam in every Salah

اللھم فاطرالسموت والارض عالم الغیب و الشھادۃ الرحمٰن الرحیم انی اعھد الیک فی ھذہ الحیاۃ الدنیابانک انت اﷲ الذی لا الہ الا انت وحدک لاشریک لک وان محمّداً عبدک ورسولک فلاتکلنی الی نفسی فانک ان تکلنی الی نفسی تقربنی من الشر وتباعدنی من الخیر وانی لا اثق الا برحمتک فاجعل رحمتک لی عھداً عندک تؤدیہ الی یوم القیمۃ انک لاتخلف المیعاد

An Angel will write it, seal it and keep a hold of it until the day of Judgement. When Allah Almighty will resurrect that person from the grave, the Angel will bring that inscription and a voice will be called out, ‘where is the one with the ‘Ahd Naamah, he will be given that ‘Ahd Naamah.’

The Imam narrated this and stated,

وعن طاؤس انہ امر بھذہ الکلمات فکتبت فی کفنہ

An ‘Ahd Naamah was inscribed in the shroud of Imam Taa`us from his will.’

Imam Faqeeh Ibn ‘Ujayl stated in relation to this supplication of the ‘Ahd Naamah,

اذاکتب ھذا الدعاء وجعل مع المیت فی قبرہ وقاہ اﷲ فتنۃ القبر وعذابہ

When one has written this and placed it alongside the deceased in the grave, Allah Almighty henceforth grants him safety from the punishment of the grave and the questioning of Nakirayn. (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 9, pp. 108, 109)

It is stated in a blessed Hadees of Sahih Bukhari with regards to sacred relics,

عن أم عطية الأنصارية رضي الله عنها قالت دخل علينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين توفيت ابنته فقال اغسلنها ثلاثا أو خمسا أو أكثر من ذلك إن رأيتن ذلك بماء وسدر واجعلن في الآخرة كافورا أو شيئا من كافور فإذا فرغتن فآذنني فلما فرغنا آذناه فأعطانا حقوه فقال أشعرنها إياه

i.e. It is narrated from Sayyidatuna Umm ‘Atiyyah رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا she states that when we were giving Ghusl to (i.e. bathing) the blessed daughter of the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم blessed us with his presence and stated that, ‘Give Ghusl to (i.e. bathe) her thrice, or five times, or more, if you deem it appropriate, with water that is mixed with jujube leaves and then place camphor (or he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘some camphor’) at the end and inform me when you have finished.’ So, when we finished it, we informed him, so he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم granted us his blessed lower-garment and said, ‘place it in her shroud.’ (Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 168)

It is stated in Mirat-ul-Manajih under this blessed Hadees, ‘One comes to know three matters from this; one is that the hair, nails and the used clothes of pious people are blessed from which the difficulties of the world, grave and the Hereafter are solved. It is stated in the Holy Quran that by the blessing of the Qamees (i.e. shirt) of Yusuf عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, the blessed eyes of Ya’qoob عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام became clear; it is proven in Hadees that Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah, ‘Amr Bin ‘Aas and other Blessed Companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم kept the blessed nails, hair and lower-garment of the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم safe to take alongside them to the grave. The second is that it is permissible, in fact, a Sunnah, to place the scared relics of the pious predecessors and to write a Quranic verse or a supplication on some cloth or paper and bury it alongside the deceased in the grave. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 2, p. 446)

Imam Abu ‘Umar Yusuf Bin ‘Abd-ul-Barr states in Kitab-ul-Isti’aab Fi Ma’rifat-ul-Ashaab that Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ bequeathed at the time of his passing away,

انی صحبت رسول اﷲصلی اﷲ تعالٰی علیہ وسلم فخرج لحاجۃ فاتبعتہ باداوۃ فکسانی احد ثوبیہ الذی یلی جسدہ فخبأتہ لھذا الیوم، واخذرسول اﷲ صلی اﷲ تعالٰی علیہ وسلم من اظفارہ وشعرہٖ ذات یوم فاخذتہ، فخباتہ لہذا الیوم فاذا انامت فاجعل ذلک القمیص دون کفنی ممایلی جسدی وخذ ذلک الشعر والاظفار فاجعلہ فی فمی وعلی عینی ومواضع السجود منی

Meaning, I was honoured with the blessed company of the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. One day, the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم went to answer the call of nature and I followed him with a container of water. The Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم honoured me by gifting me a piece of clothing from his clothes which was in contact with his blessed body; I kept that piece of clothing hidden for today. And one day, the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was trimming his blessed nails and blessed hair; I took them and kept them for this day. When I pass away, please keep the sacred cloth attached to my body underneath my shroud, and please place the blessed hair and blessed nails on my face, eyes, forehead and other places of prostration. (Kitab-ul-Isti’aab Fi Ma’rifat-ul-Ashaab, vol. 3, p. 399)

Ibn-ul-Sakin narrated via the chain of Safwan Bin Habayrah from his father,

قال قال ثابت البنانی قال لی انس بن مالک رضی اﷲتعالٰی عنہ ھذہ شعرۃ من شعر رسول اﷲ صلی اﷲ تعالٰی علیہ وسلم فضعھا تحت لسانی، قال  فوضعتھا تحت لسانہ فدفن وھی تحت لسانہ ذکرہ فی الاصابۃ

Meaning, Saabit Bunaani states that Anas Bin Maalik رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ told me, ‘This blessed hair is of the Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, please place this underneath my tongue.’ Saabit Bunaani states that I placed the blessed hair underneath his tongue. He was buried in this manner that the blessed hair was underneath his tongue. This has been mentioned in Isaabah.’ (Isaabah Fi Tamyeez-ul-Sahabah, vol. 1, p. 72)

2.   The method of placing an ‘Ahd Naamah, etc. in the grave is that a place is made in the wall facing Qiblah in front of the face of the deceased and it is placed there. Although, it is also permissible to place it on the chest under the shroud. And this should be the method for other sacred relics as well. Moreover, when one needs to write something on the shroud, then it is better not to write with ink, rather, that it is written with the index finger.

Sadr-ush-Shari’ah, Badr-ut-Tareeqah Mufti Amjad ‘Ali A’zami رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states in Bahar-e-Shari’at, ‘To keep the Shajarah or ‘Ahd Naamah in the grave is permissible, and it is better to prepare a niche in the direction of the Qiblah in front of the face of the deceased and have it kept there. In Durr-e-Mukhtar, it has been mentioned that to write an ‘Ahd Naamah is permissible and said that there is a hope of forgiveness through it. It is also permissible to write بِسْمِ اللہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّ حِیْم on the chest and forehead of the deceased. A person advised this before his death, and after he had passed away, بِسْمِ اللہwas written on his chest and forehead. Someone then dreamt of him and asked him about his condition. He said, ‘When I was placed into (my) grave, the Angels who give punishment entered. When the Angels saw بِسْمِ اللہwritten on my forehead, they said, you have been saved from punishment.’ (Durr-e-Mukhtar, Ghunyah, from Tatar-Khaaniyah)

It can also be done such that بِسْمِ اللہ can be written on the forehead, and the blessed Kalimah Tayyibah,

لَا اِلٰہ اَلَّا اللہُ مُحَمَّدُ رَّسُول اللہ صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم , can be written on the chest. However, this should be done after giving Ghusl [bathing - of the deceased] and before putting on the shroud, and should be written with the index finger and not with ink.’ (Bahar-e-Shari’ah, vol. 1, p. 848)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

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