WHAT ABOUT READING AAMANAR RASUL (SURA BAQARAH) AT THE FOOT OF THE DEAD AND DUA’ AT THE HEAD SIDE OF THE QABR? WHERE DOES THESE TRADITIONS COME FROM?
These are recorded in traditions and have been accepted by the great scholars from among the pious predecessors.
With respect to duas, the Prophet (s.a.w) has encouraged the believers to make dua for their deceased ones after the burial. This can be done at the head, or side feet. In this regard, Uthman Bin Affan (R.A) has stated, ‘When the Prophet (s.a.w) finished from the burial of a deceased, he will stand close to the grave and say to the companions, “Seek forgiveness for your brother, and ask Allah to make his feet firm, for certainly he is being question now.” (Sunan of Abu Dawood Hadith # 3221).
With respect to the act of making dua for the deceased in the graveyard after burial, the great MUhaddith and Hurist, Imaam Shaikhul Islam Abu Bakr Bin Ali Bin Muhammad Al Hadda Al Yamani (died 800 A.H) writes in his famous commentary of Mukhtasar Al Quduri, ‘And it is Mustahab (preferable and recommended) after the burial of the deceased, to sit for a while at the grave to the duration that a camel be slaughtered and its meat distributed. At this time, one should recite Quran and make dua for the deceased.’ (Al Jawhara An Nayarah Vol. 1 Pg. 273 Qadeemi Kutub Khana Karachi Pakistan; Raddul MUkhtar Ala Ad Durr Al Mukhtar Vol. 2 Pg. 237 H.M SAEED Company Karachi).
With respect to reciting ‘Aamana Rasool’ (verses of Surah Baqarah), this is also evident in the narration of Baihaqi (R.A). Here, it is stated that Abdullah bin Umar (R.A) said, ‘I heard the Prophet (s.a.w) saying, ‘When one of you dies, then do not withhold his burial, but take him quick to his grave. Then recite at his head the beginning verses of ‘Surah Baqarah’ and at his feet, recite the end verses of ‘Surah Baqarah’. (Recorded by Imaam Baihaqi in Shu’ab Al Imaan). This tradition speaks of reciting verses of Surah Baqarah at the head and feet of the deceased. Based on this tradition, the jurist have stated, ‘And Ibn Umar used to consider it Mustahab (preferable and recommended) to recite the beginning and ending verses of Surah Baqarah at the grave after the burial.’ (Al Jawhara An Nayarah Vol. 1 Pg. 273 Qadeemi Kutub Khana Karachi; Raddul Muhtar Ala Ad Durr Al Mukhtar Vol. 2 Pg. 237 H.M Saeed Company Karachi).
With respect to the above tradition of Abdullah bin Umar (R.A), some traditions have stated that it is not a Hadith of the Prophet (s.a.w), instead, it is the narration of Abdullah Bin Umar (R.A). However, this being the narration as a companion is a proof and evidence for this act since the Prophet (s.a.w) has considered that path to be correct which he and his companions were upon. It is for this reason, the Fuqaha (jurists) have considered it preferable and recommended to recite the beginning and ending verses of Surah Baqarah after burial. (Kitabul Fatawa Vol. 3 Pg. 196, Zam Zam Publishers Karachi 2008; Fatawa Raheemiya Vol. 7 Pg. 64 Darul Isha’at Karachi 2009).
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.