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The Prohibition of Prayer for the Funeral of Hypocrites

Allah commands His Messenger to disown the hypocrites, to abstain from praying the funeral prayer when any of them dies, from standing next to his grave to seek Allah's forgiveness for him, or to invoke Allah for his benefit. This is because hypocrites disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger and died as such. This ruling applies to all those who are known to be hypocrites, even though it was revealed about the specific case of `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, the chief hypocrite. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "When `Abdullah bin Ubayy died, his son, `Abdullah bin `Abdullah, came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him to give him his shirt to shroud his father in, and the Messenger did that. He also asked that the Prophet offer his father's funeral prayer, and Allah's Messenger stood up to offer the funeral prayer. `Umar took hold of the Prophet's robe and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Are you going to offer his funeral prayer even though your Lord has forbidden you to do so' Allah's Messenger said,

« إِنَّمَا خَيَّرَنِي اللهُ فَقَالَ:

(I have been given the choice, for Allah says:

﴿ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡ أَوۡ لَا تَسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡ إِن تَسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡ سَبۡعِينَ مَرَّةً۬ فَلَن يَغۡفِرَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُمۡ‌ۚ

(Whether you ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites), or do not ask for forgiveness for them. Even though you ask for their forgiveness seventy times, Allah will not forgive them.)

وَسَأَزِيدُهُ عَلَى السَّبْعِين »

(Verily, I will ask (for forgiveness for him) more than seventy times).' `Umar said, `He is a hypocrite!' So Allah's Messenger offered the funeral prayer and on that Allah revealed this Verse,

﴿ وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَىٰٓ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنۡہُم مَّاتَ أَبَدً۬ا وَلَا تَقُمۡ عَلَىٰ قَبۡرِهِۦۤ‌ۖ

(And never (O Muhammad) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave.)'' `Umar bin Al-Khattab narrated a similar narration. In this narration, `Umar said, "The Prophet offered his funeral prayer, walked with the funeral procession and stood on his grave until he was buried. I was amazed at my daring to talk like this to the Messenger of Allah , while Allah and His Messenger have better knowledge. By Allah, soon afterwards, these two Ayat were revealed,

﴿ وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَىٰٓ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنۡہُم مَّاتَ أَبَدً۬ا

(And never (O Muhammad ) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies.) Ever since this revelation came, the Prophet never offered the funeral prayer for any hypocrite nor stood on his grave until Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, brought death to him.'' At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith in his Tafsir (section of his Sunan) and said, "Hasan Sahih''. Al-Bukhari also recorded it.

﴿ وَلَا تُعۡجِبۡكَ أَمۡوَٲلُهُمۡ وَأَوۡلَـٰدُهُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ أَن يُعَذِّبَہُم بِہَا فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَتَزۡهَقَ أَنفُسُہُمۡ وَهُمۡ ڪَـٰفِرُونَ

(85. And let not their wealth or their children amaze you. Allah only wants to punish them with these things in this world, and that their souls shall depart (die) while they are disbelievers.) We mentioned before the explanation of a similar Ayah, all the thanks and praises are due to Allah.

﴿ وَإِذَآ أُنزِلَتۡ سُورَةٌ أَنۡ ءَامِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَجَـٰهِدُواْ مَعَ رَسُولِهِ ٱسۡتَـٔۡذَنَكَ أُوْلُواْ ٱلطَّوۡلِ مِنۡهُمۡ وَقَالُواْ ذَرۡنَا نَكُن مَّعَ ٱلۡقَـٰعِدِينَ رَضُواْ بِأَن يَكُونُواْ مَعَ ٱلۡخَوَالِفِ وَطُبِعَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِہِمۡ فَهُمۡ لَا يَفۡقَهُونَ

(86. And when a Surah is revealed, enjoining them to believe in Allah and to strive hard and fight along with His Messenger, the wealthy among them ask your leave to exempt them and say, "Leave us (behind), we would be with those who sit (at home).'') (87. They are content to be with those who sit behind. Their hearts are sealed up, so they understand not.)

Admonishing Those Who did not join the Jihad

Allah chastises and admonishes those who stayed away from Jihad and refrained from performing it, even though they had the supplies, means and ability to join it. They asked the Messenger for permission to stay behind, saying,

﴿ ذَرۡنَا نَكُن مَّعَ ٱلۡقَـٰعِدِينَ

("Leave us (behind), we would be with those who sit (at home)'') thus accepting for themselves the shame of lagging behind with women, after the army had left. If war starts, such people are the most cowardice, but when it is safe, they are the most boastful among men. Allah described them in another Ayah,

﴿ فَإِذَا جَآءَ ٱلۡخَوۡفُ رَأَيۡتَهُمۡ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيۡكَ تَدُورُ أَعۡيُنُهُمۡ كَٱلَّذِى يُغۡشَىٰ عَلَيۡهِ مِنَ ٱلۡمَوۡتِ‌ۖ فَإِذَا ذَهَبَ ٱلۡخَوۡفُ سَلَقُوڪُم بِأَلۡسِنَةٍ حِدَادٍ

(Then when fear comes, you will see them looking to you, their eyes revolving like (those of) one over whom hovers death; but when the fear departs, they will smite you with sharp tongues.) (33:19) their tongues direct their harsh words against you, when it is safe to do so. In battle, however, they are the most cowardice among men. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَيَقُولُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوۡلَا نُزِّلَتۡ سُورَةٌ۬‌ۖ فَإِذَآ أُنزِلَتۡ سُورَةٌ۬ مُّحۡكَمَةٌ۬ وَذُكِرَ فِيہَا ٱلۡقِتَالُ‌ۙ رَأَيۡتَ ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِہِم مَّرَضٌ۬ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيۡكَ نَظَرَ ٱلۡمَغۡشِىِّ عَلَيۡهِ مِنَ ٱلۡمَوۡتِ‌ۖ فَأَوۡلَىٰ لَهُمۡ طَاعَةٌ۬ وَقَوۡلٌ۬ مَّعۡرُوفٌ۬‌ۚ فَإِذَا عَزَمَ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ فَلَوۡ صَدَقُواْ ٱللَّهَ لَكَانَ خَيۡرً۬ا لَّهُمۡ

(Those who believe say: "Why is not a Surah sent down (for us) But when a decisive Surah (explaining and ordering things) is sent down, and fighting is mentioned therein, you will see those in whose hearts is a disease looking at you with a look of one fainting to death. But it was better for them. Obedience (to Allah) and good words (were better for them). And when the matter is resolved on, then if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them.) (47:20-21) Allah said next,

﴿ وَطُبِعَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِہِمۡ

(Their hearts are sealed up) because of their staying away from Jihad and from accompanying the Messenger in Allah's cause,

﴿ فَهُمۡ لَا يَفۡقَهُونَ

(so they understand not.) they neither understand what benefits them so that they perform it nor what hurts them so that they avoid it.

﴿ لَـٰكِنِ ٱلرَّسُولُ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ ۥ جَـٰهَدُواْ بِأَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِهِمۡ‌ۚ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡخَيۡرَٲتُ‌ۖ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ
﴿ أَعَدَّ ٱللَّهُ لَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِہَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَا‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ ٱلۡفَوۡزُ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ

(88. But the Messenger and those who believed with him strove hard and fought with their wealth and their lives. Such are they for whom are the good things, and it is they who will be successful.) (89. For them Allah has prepared Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.)

After Allah mentioned the sins of the hypocrites, He praised the faithful believers and described their reward in the Hereafter,
﴿ لَـٰكِنِ ٱلرَّسُولُ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ ۥ جَـٰهَدُواْ

(But the Messenger and those who believed with him strove hard and fought) until the end of these two Ayat (9:88-89). This describes the qualities, as well as, the reward of faithful believers. Allah said,

﴿ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡخَيۡرَٲتُ‌ۖ

(Such are they for whom are the good things), in the Hereafter, in the gardens of Al-Firdaws and the high grades.

﴿ وَجَآءَ ٱلۡمُعَذِّرُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡأَعۡرَابِ لِيُؤۡذَنَ لَهُمۡ وَقَعَدَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَبُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ‌ۚ سَيُصِيبُ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ مِنۡہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬

(90. And those who made excuses from the bedouins came asking your permission to exempt them (from the battle), and those who had lied to Allah and His Messenger sat at home (without asking the permission for it); a painful torment will seize those of them who disbelieve.) Allah describes here the condition of the bedouins who lived around Al-Madinah, who asked for permission to remain behind from Jihad when they came to the Messenger to explain to him their weakness and inability to join the fighting. Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said that they were those who had valid excuses, for Allah said next,

﴿ وَقَعَدَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَبُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ‌ۚ

(and those who had lied to Allah and His Messenger sat at home), and did not ask for permission for it; and Allah warned them of painful punishment,

﴿ سَيُصِيبُ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ مِنۡہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬

(a painful torment will seize those of them who disbelieve.)

﴿ لَّيۡسَ عَلَى ٱلضُّعَفَآءِ وَلَا عَلَى ٱلۡمَرۡضَىٰ وَلَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ مَا يُنفِقُونَ حَرَجٌ إِذَا نَصَحُواْ لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ‌ۚ مَا عَلَى ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ۬‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ وَلَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا مَآ أَتَوۡكَ لِتَحۡمِلَهُمۡ قُلۡتَ لَآ أَجِدُ مَآ أَحۡمِلُڪُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ تَوَلَّواْ وَّأَعۡيُنُهُمۡ تَفِيضُ مِنَ ٱلدَّمۡعِ حَزَنًا أَلَّا يَجِدُواْ مَا يُنفِقُونَ إِنَّمَا ٱلسَّبِيلُ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَـٔۡذِنُونَكَ وَهُمۡ أَغۡنِيَآءُ‌ۚ رَضُواْ بِأَن يَكُونُواْ مَعَ ٱلۡخَوَالِفِ وَطَبَعَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِہِمۡ فَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ

(91. There is no blame on those who are weak or ill or who find no resources to spend, if they are sincere and true (in duty) to Allah and His Messenger. No means (of complaint) can there be against the doers of good. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (92. Nor (is there blame) on those who came to you to be provided with mounts, when you said: "I can find no mounts for you,'' they turned back, with their eyes overflowing with tears of grief that they could not find anything to spend.) (93. The means (of complaint) is only against those who are rich, and yet ask exemption. They are content to be with (the women) who sit behind (at home) and Allah has sealed up their hearts so that they know not (what they are losing).)