Translated by Tameem Ahmadi
These days, in the city of Surat, I have been lecturing on the calling of adhan (call to prayer) over a grave after a burial. The reasoning behind this is that Satan comes to a Muslim at this juncture and that when the deceased person hears the caller to prayer giving the adhan, he answers on account of which Satan flees. The calling of the adhan is also a sunnah and this practice has also been carried out in the graveyards of Seoram-Pura and Hasan-Ji Sahib.
When this issue was put before the ‘ulama of Surat, they answered by encouraging the hymning of Subhanallah, Alhamdu-lillah, and Allahu Akbar. They also mentioned that the fuqaha (jurists) have not mentioned the permissibility of any such practice in their books at any place. Therefore, my question is: Who is correct with regards to this matter? I would be grateful if you would answer this question with references from the reliable books of jurisprudence.
First of all, it is not established from any authentic hadith that Satan comes in the grave. But, if we do [hypothetically] accept that he does come in the grave, then his coming poses no possibility of harm (or threat), because the ability of misleading others is particular to this world [and not to the realm of barzakh and akhirah (hereafter)] as this world is a source of burden and tribulation. As is mentioned in a hadith: “The living cannot be guaranteed safety from fitnah (trials and tribulations) …” When a person passes away, he cannot be now led astray if he was on guidance and cannot be guided if he was astray. Therefore, prescribing the adhan at this juncture is basing an unsound practice on an unsound [and invalid] proof.1
Irrespective of this, this would be considered qiyas (analogy) due to the fact that this practice has not been reliably transmitted from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). Firstly, this is not the place to do qiyas. Secondly, this qiyas is being done by a non-mujtahid (one who is not qualified for this task) because the fuqaha have explicated that after the fourth century of Hijrah, ijtihad (inference) ended. Anyway, due to the absence of any shar‘i proof in this regard, this practice is a reprehensible innovation (bid‘ah). More than just absence of proof in this regard there is also proof of absence here due to the fact that the scholars have explicitly rejected this innovated practice.
As is mentioned in Radd al-Muhtar, in the first section in the chapter regarding the call to prayer, “… and it has been said: it is desirable to give the adhan at the time of lowering the deceased into the grave on the analogy of his (man’s) first coming into the world. But this has been rejected by Ibn Hajar in Sharh al-‘Ubab.”
[An action is even more reprehensible] when it is given extreme importance and overly adhered, and this is such in this case. In the case where people are over-emphasizing what is not to be emphasized, then even a mustahab (preferable) act will become impermissible, just as the fuqaha have explicated in their works and derived other issues on this same principle.
And Allah knows Best.
19th Muharram 1326
Imdad al-Fatawa; 5/301-302
- بناء الفاسد على الفاسد [↩]