The Prophet, , was sent as a Messenger, and he remained in Makkah calling people to Tawheed (Islamic monotheism) for thirteen years, during which time he was receiving divine revelation. Then, he emigrated to Madeenah and remained there for ten years until he died when he was sixty-three years old. [Al-Bukhari]
Ibn Katheer was of the opinion that the Thuhr prayer of the preceding Thursday was the last prayer that the Prophet, , performed with his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, after which he no longer went out to them, i.e. on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday – which made three full days.
After the death of the Prophet, , and the speech that was delivered by Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, there was consultation among the Muslims, as we have already mentioned, and the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, in the shed of the Banu Saa’idah. The Companions were preoccupied with giving the pledge of allegiance to As-Siddeeq for the rest of that Monday and Tuesday. Then, they started to prepare (the body of) the Messenger of Allah, , to be buried.
His body was washed through his clothing and was shrouded in three white Suhooliyyah garments, having neither a shirt nor a turban. Then, the people prayed over him individually and behind no Imaam, according to the consensus of the scholars. The men first prayed over him, followed by the children, then the women, then the slaves and then the maids. His death was on a Monday, according to the most preeminent opinion of the scholars, and his burial was on a Wednesday night. He was placed in a Lahd (a crevice made on the side of a grave facing the Qiblah), and the opening of the Lahd was filled with bricks [Muslim] and his grave was elevated nearly a hand’s span over the ground. [Ibn Hibbaan, Al-Arnaa’oot - Hasan] The grave of the Prophet, , was elevated and convex. According to collectively contiguous narrations, he was buried in the chamber of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that was found on the eastern side of his mosque, exactly in the upper west corner of the chamber. The mosque was widened in 86 AH by the command of Al-Waleed ibn ‘Abdul-Malik, through his deputy ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez who was the ruler of Madeenah at that time. When it was widened from the east direction, the chamber of the Prophet, , was incorporated into it.
In conclusion, there are many lessons and benefits to be obtained from this article, some of which are:
1- The Prophets and Messengers are the dearest of creatures to Allah The Almighty. They died, for none from among the creatures of Allah shall live eternally. This implies that the world is only a delusionary enjoyment which will never last forever. Nothing of man’s toil and property remains but that with which he sought the pleasure of Allah The Almighty, and what is other than that is dispersed dust.
2- The Prophet, was very much eager to be with the Highest Companion; hence, he asked Allah The Almighty to grant him that many times. This indicates how great these ranks are for His prophets and those who obey Him.
3- It is recommended to cover the body of the dead after closing his eyes, and to tie up his chin with a band (to keep his mouth closed). This is why the Prophet, , was enshrouded and covered with a Hibrah garment.
4- It is important to supplicate for the dead for good effect after his death, for the angels say ‘Amen’ (in confirmation) to that. This is why Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said to the Messenger of Allah, , “May you be well, alive and dead!”
5- If the Muslim is afflicted with a calamity, he should say, “We all belong to Allah, and to Him shall we return: O Allah! Give me a reward for my [patience in my] calamity, and recompense me in substitution with something better than it.”
6- It is permissible to weep by shedding tears and grieve with the heart.
7- It is forbidden to wail (over the dead), tear one’s clothing, shave or pluck the hair, or follow any other of the corrupt practices of the pre-Islamic era; the prohibition of all this is attested by authentic proof.
8- No matter how great a person might be, he may miss something and fall into mistakes out of forgetfulness, and the correct position may be with somebody else.
9- The superiority, knowledge and religious understanding of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, are undeniable. This explains his statement “No doubt! Whoever worshipped Muhammad then [he should know that] Muhammad has died, but whoever worships Allah The Almighty, then [he should be certain that] Allah is Ever-Living and does not die.”
10- The civility and fine manners of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, are indisputable and are shown when he remained silent when Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, stood up to address the people and he made no objection to him; on the contrary, he sat to listen with the rest of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them.
11- The great wisdom of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was also apparent in the way he settled the dispute in the shed of the Banu Saa’idah, when he hastened to take hold of the hand of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and pledge allegiance to him; thereupon, the people rushed to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, in succession. In this way the dispute was settled, praise be to Allah The Almighty.
12- The eloquence of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, in speech is unquestionable. He spoke in the shed and his speech was so expressive and beneficial that ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said about him, “Then the most eloquent of people spoke.”
13- Allah The Almighty made the people benefit from the speech of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, on the day the Prophet , , died, before the arrival of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and his speech made the hypocrites fearful. Then, Allah The Almighty also made the people benefit from the speech of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, for they came to know the truth because of his speech.
14- The wisdom and good policy of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, appeared clearly in the speech that he delivered on that Tuesday, after the Prophet’s, , death, in which he clarified that truthfulness is honesty and lying is treason. He told them that the weak among them would be strong in his sight, such that he would restore their right to them, and that the strong among them would be weak in his sight, such that he would take back their (illegally usurped) rights from them. He asked them to obey him as long as he obeyed Allah The Almighty and His Messenger; and if he disobeyed Allah The Almighty and His Messenger, then they owed no obedience to him.
15- The wisdom and courage of the heart and mind of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was obvious when he first addressed the people in front of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and then (the next day) retracted his words and apologized, then expressed his support for Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and clarified how Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was the Companion of the Messenger of Allah, , and the dearest of people to him and one of the two when they were in the cave.
16- It is recommended to shroud the dead in a white shroud consisting of three garments with neither a shirt nor a turban, and to place the dead in a Lahd and set bricks to fill the opening of the Lahd, and to make the grave elevated and convex but by no more than a hand’s span over the ground.
Whoever Worships Allah must know that Allah is Ever-Living and Does not Die – I