18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

How to Mark Graves

“When Uthman bin Mazun (radi Allahu anhu) died, his Janazah was brought out and he was buried. Then the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) told a man to bring him a rock. But he could not carry it, so the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) stood up and rolled his sleeves. Then he carried the rock and put it at his (grave’s) head, and said: ‘I am marking the grave of my brother with it, and I shall bury here whosoever dies of my family.’” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

From this hadith we learn that it is permissible to put some sort of a mark on a grave so it is known to be a grave and where it is. But putting inscriptions on an erected stone, or pitching a flag on it is not permissible.

This hadith shows us that our Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was a strong man. He lifted a rock that another man was unable to lift. It also shows us that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) never shied away from physical work himself. This is how a Momin (true believer) is.

From this hadith we also learn that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) considered Uthman bin Mazun (radi Allahu anhu) to be a pious man, which is why he said that he would bury his family members next to him. Even in death it is desirable to be in the company of pious people. No one would like to be sitting next to a person who is being tortured in jail? Even if a person is not being tortured himself the sight of the other would make one feel terrible. That is why Muslims must be buried in graveyards for Muslims and not among non-Muslims. What matters most for a person though, is what their own grave is like, whether it is filled with light, fragrance, and the gifts of Jannah, or whether it is suffocating and filled with snakes and scorpions. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) save us from a bad end.

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