[3:145] No one dies except by GOD's leave, at a predetermined time. Whoever seeks the vanities of this world, we give him therefrom, and whoever seeks the rewards of the Hereafter, we bless him therein. We reward those who are appreciative.
Death is one of the major events in our life. Everyone of us have a life span that will end at a predetermined time. Only God decides and knows when and where everyone's life ends. No one dies a day before or after that pre-determined time.
[4:78] "Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you live in formidable castles......"
Death is a great mystery to most people. Not so for the students of the Quran. We learn that death is exactly like sleeping; complete with dreams (6:60, 40:46). The period between death and resurrection passes like one night of sleep (2:259; 6:60; 10:45; 16:21; 18:11, 18:19, 18:25, 30:55).
Everyone dies, good bad, evil, saint, messenger or prophet.
[55:26-27] Everyone on earth perishes. Only the presence of your Lord lasts. Possessor of Majesty and Honor.
The submitters should accept the death as a fact of life realizing that no one will live any longer or shorter than what God decrees. The submitters believe that God's choice for them is the best choice. Consistently, the Quran talks about two deaths, the first death took place when we failed to make a stand with God's absolute authority (Appendix 7). That first death lasted until we were born into this world. The second death terminates our life in this world (2:28, 22:66, 40:11).
Death can be a test for those who are still alive.
[2:155] We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops. Give good news to the steadfast.
The believers react to any adversity affecting them according to Quran;
[ 2:156] When an affliction befalls them (the believers), they say, "We belong to GOD, and to Him we are returning."
Before doing the Funeral Prayer, one has to understand that there is a category of people who should not be granted this prayer, the disbelievers or idol-worshipers.
[9:113] Neither the prophet, nor those who believe shall ask forgiveness for the idol worshipers, even if they were their nearest of kin, once they realize that they are destined for Hell.
[11:37] "Build the ark under our watchful eyes, and with our inspiration, and do not implore Me on behalf of those who have transgressed; they are destined to drown."
[9:84] You shall not observe the funeral prayer for any of them when he dies, nor shall you stand at his grave. They have disbelieved in GOD and His messenger, and died in a state of wickedness.
We also need to understand that God is encouraging the believers to implore Him. The Funeral Prayer is one of these circumstances where we can implore God. See for example these verses; God rewards people for what they say:
[5:84] "Why should we not believe in GOD, and in the truth that has come to us, and hope that our Lord may admit us with the righteous people?"
5:85] GOD has rewarded them for saying this; He will admit them into gardens with flowing streams. They abide therein forever. Such is the reward for the righteous.
[41:30] Those who proclaim: "Our Lord is GOD," then lead a righteous life, the angels descend upon them: "You shall have no fear, nor shall you grieve. Rejoice in the good news that Paradise has been reserved for you.
[41:31] "We are your allies in this life, and in the Hereafter. You will have in it anything you wish for; you will have anything you want.
[39:73] Those who reverenced their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs. When they get to it, and its gates are opened, its guards will say, "Peace be upon you; you have won. Therefore, you abide herein forever."
[16:32] The angels terminate their lives in a state of righteousness, saying, "Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise (now) as a reward for your works." God wants us to implore Him.
[40:60] "Implore Me, and I will respond to you. Surely, those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter Gehenna, forcibly."
[2:186] "When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided."
Quran teaches us that God tests people with adversity and hardship that they may implore (6:42, 7:94).
[6:42] We have sent (messengers) to communities before you, and we put them to the test through adversity and hardship, that they may implore.
Quran also points out:
[6:43] "If only they implored when the tests came to them! "
As for the Funeral Prayer, it is mentioned in Quran in 9:84. The verbs used by God in 9:84 are the same exact verbs He uses for the observance of our Contact Prayer (tusalli and taqum). Such verbs are used in conjunction with with the event of death (mata minhum) and with the grave site as a place (qabreh) indicating that there is a prayer that is supoosed to be observed at the grave site for those who die with the exclusion of disbelievers, hypocrites or idolworshipers:
[9:84] You shall not observe the funeral prayer (la tusalli) for any of them when he dies, nor shall you stand at his grave (la taqum ala Qabreh) . They have disbelieved in GOD and His messenger, and died in a state of wickedness.
The Funeral Prayer is not a Salat (Contact prayers) but just a prayer, (a supplication, an invocation, "Dua'a") for the dead person. Since it is not a Salat, it does not have the order and steps of the Contact Prayer. There is no bowing or falling prostrate during the Funeral Prayer.
However, like Salah, the Funeral Prayer is an inherited practice that got corrupted over the years. The way it is practiced by traditional Muslims today is not dedicated to God alone. Muhammad's and Abraham's names are added to the Funeral Prayer which would nullify it, since our imploring is not dedicated to God alone, our Creator and Sustainer.
It is notwothy that the way 9:84 is structured leads to the conviction that the practice has been already in existence, but God is only prohibiting us from doing it for the disbelievers.
The following Funeral Prayer has removed all the corruptions and names other than God that were added over the years by tradition. The details of the movements are not significant as it is not a true Salat.
STEPS OF the FUNERAL PRAYER
- Stand by the dead person's casket if it is available or just declare for the group that you will be doing Funeral prayer for the dead person.
- You declare your intention of doing the Funeral prayer for the dead person and raise your hand and say Allahu Akbar.
- Read Sura one, Al Fateha (The Key)..
- Say Allahu Akbar without raising your hand.
- Declare the Shahada, Ash-hadu A- La Elaaha Ella Allah, Wahdaho La Sharik Lah. I bear witness there is no god besides God and He has no partners.
- Say Allahu Akbar without raising your hand.
Say your invocation to God, (supplication, Dua'a) for the dead person asking God for His mercy on the dead person and to grant him/her forgiveness and reward him and keep him/her with the righteous in the Hereafter and admit him/her to Heaven (Paradise). Here are some of the verses in the Quran that teach us how to implore God:
[17:23] Your Lord has decreed that you shall not worship except Him, and your parents shall be honored. As long as one or both of them live, you shall never say to them, "Uff" (the slightest gesture of annoyance), nor shall you shout at them; you shall treat them amicably.
[17:24] And lower for them the wings of humility, and kindness, and say, "My Lord, have mercy on them, for they have raised me from infancy." "Forgive us and our parents, and the believers on the day when the reckoning takes place "
[59:10] Those who became believers after them say, "Our Lord, forgive us and our brethren who preceded us to the faith, and keep our hearts from harboring any hatred towards those who believed. Our Lord, You are Compassionate, Most Merciful."
Without raising your hand say Allahu Akbar third time, and do more prayers.
[14:40] "My Lord, make me one who consistently observes the Contact Prayers (Salat), and also my children. Our Lord, please answer my prayers.
- End the Funeral prayer by saying Salamun Alikum or Alhamdu Lellah or any sign to let the group know you finished.
As noticed, there is no bowing or prostrating. It is NOT a Salat (Contact Prayer) but rather an imploring to God Almighty.