Muslim Way of Burial

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The Sunnah is to put the deceased into the grave from the end, then he should be turned onto his right side in the grave, with his face facing towards the qiblah. The one who puts him into the lahd (niche in the grave) should say:

Bismillaahi wa ‘ala sunnat Rasool-Allaahi or ‘ala millat Rasool-Allaahi”
In the name of Allah and according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah or according to the religion of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)).

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Janaa’iz 967; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 836)

It is mustahabb for those who are at the grave to throw handfuls of earth, three handfuls scooped up in both hands, after the lahd has been sealed.

After the burial is complete, there are several things which are Sunnah:

  • There is nothing wrong with placing a marker such as a stone or something similar, so that others of his family may be buried near him later on.
  • Water should be sprinkled on the grave so that the soil will settle and not fly around.
  • People should stand at the grave and pray for the deceased to be made steadfast and pray for his/her forgiveness. Those who are present should be told to do this, because of the hadeeth of ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: “When the deceased had been buried, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would stand by (the grave) and say: ‘Pray for forgiveness for your brother and ask for him to be made steadfast, for even now he is being questioned’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, al-Janaa’iz, 2804; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 2758).
  • It is prescribed in Islam to offer condolences to the family of the deceased. This should take the form of whatever is thought will bring them consolation, stem their grief and help them to be patient. The Sunnah is for the relatives and neighbours of the deceased to make food enough for the bereaved family.