Thursday, January 25, 2007

3 Handfuls of Earth

I've been attending a course on funerals for the last few months. I thought it would be my $0.02 worth to at least disseminate some of the less-known sunnahs attached to funerals.

One of the less known sunnahs is the throwing of 3 handfuls of soil into the open grave. I try to do it when I can, but in cases of burials of people I am not close to, I do not, because it draws quizzical stares, and I don't want to offend anybody at a sad event like a burial.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from Fiqh us-Sunnah (yes - I'm quoting from Fiqh us-Sunnah - to show that this practice is not a "new" innovation) -

"It is desirable to encourage those attending the burial to throw three handfuls of soil over the grave from the head of the body.
This is based on a hadith by Ibn Majah which says: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, once offered a funeral prayer and then went to the deceased's grave and threw three handfuls of soil from near the deceased's head."
Abu Hanifah, Ash-Shafi'i, and Ahmad hold that when throwing the first handful one should say, "Of this (i.e. the earth) We created you," and on the second one should say, "And to it shall We cause you to return," and on the third handful one should say, "And of it We shall cause you to be resurrected a second time."
This is based on a hadith that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said this when his daughter Umm al-Kulthum was laid in her grave. " [end of quote]

"Of this We created you,
To it We cause you to return,
And of it We shall cause you to be resurrected."

1 comment:

Asr said...

Salam Bro Mudpie!
What about the act of leaving pebbles on a covered grave (as opposed to the open one)? I have witnessed people doing it (Muslims) and I saw it in a movie, I think it was Schindler's List for the Jewish. Your insights?