After the Death of the Prophet (PBUH)

The pure soul of the Seal of the Prophets reached A’la al-Illiy­yun (the Highest Rank). His wives put a cloth over his body and started to cry.

Usama heard from his mother that the Messenger of Allah was living his last moments, he postponed setting off and came to the Mosque with his army. When the Companions heard the cries and screams coming from the house of the Prophet, they were shocked. It was as if the sky had fallen on them. Everybody was stupefied; the eyes were shedding tears of sorrow and grief.

Even Hazrat Umar, who was a symbol of courage and justice, was affected badly from that terrible moment; he was terrified and shouted, 

“The Messenger of Allah did not die. He is alive. He was struck by lightning like Moses. If anyone says, ‘Muhammad died’, I will split him into two with my sword.”[1]

Hazrat Abu Bakr Soothes People

When the Messenger of Allah died, Hazrat Abu Bakr was in his house in Sunh. They gave him the bad news. Hazrat Abu Bakr, who felt as if one part of his part broke off, went to the house of the Messenger of Allah quickly.  

He lifted the cloth that covered the blessed face of the Messenger of Allah in terror and astonishment. His face was in the form of embodied light. He bowed down and kissed the Prophet’s bright and luminous forehead three times. He uttered the following words in tears:  

“O Messenger of Allah! Your death is as clean and graceful as your life.”[2]

Then, he consoled the household of the Prophet.

Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar

After leaving the house of the Prophet, Hazrat Abu Bakr went to the Mosque. He heard Hazrat Umar say, “The Messenger of Allah did not die.” Thereupon, he said,

“Whoever worships Muhammad (pbuh) should know that Muhammad (pbuh) died. Whoever worships Allah should know that Allah is Hayy (immortal).”[3]

Then, he recited the following verse:

“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before Him. If he died or was slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve him) with gratitude”[4]

This verse had been sent down during the Battle of Uhud, when a rumor stating that Muhammad was killed became widespread. Though the Companions had read that verse, maybe, hundreds or thousands times, but they seemed to have forgotten it due to their sorrow at that time.

However, Hazrat Abu Bakr who maintained his strength did not forget it; he fulfilled a great service and duty by reminding the Companions about it.

Upon the speech and reminder of Hazrat Abu Bakr, the Companions came to their senses. They pulled themselves together and overcame their astonishment.

Then, Hazrat Abu Bakr recited the following verse:

“(O Prophet! Truly thou wilt die (one day), and truly they (too) will die (one day).”[5]

Hazrat Abu Bakr, who did not lose his strength, fulfilled a great service for the Islamic community through his speech. 

The distinguished Companions realized and accepted that the Messenger of Allah had died; Hazrat Umar gave up saying, “the Messenger of Allah did not die.” And he came to his senses.

Madinah had never been so full of joy when the Messenger of Allah arrived in Madinah for the first time since the city was founded; the same Madinah was experiencing the saddest moments now; the skies of Madinah were covered with sorrow and grief. 

Hazrat Abu Bakr is Elected as Caliph

Upon the death of the Messenger of Allah, Madinah was mourning. Eyes were shedding tears and hearts were shedding sorrow and grief.  

However, mourning and sorrow would not settle things. It was necessary to elect a president, a Caliph, who would take care of the affairs of the Muslims and who would apply the decrees of Islam.

Soon, there was an attempt to choose the Caliph. The person that deserved this post more than everybody else was Hazrat Abu Bakr because the highest rank of the Companions were the most distinguished Companions that believed first in Makkah. And the most virtuous of them was Hazrat Abu Bakr. In fact, Hazrat Abbas and Hazrat Ali were closer to the Messenger of Allah than anybody else in terms of kinship but the Prophet regarded Hazrat Abu Bakr, who was his friend in cave, superior to all of the Companions. He showed it when he was ill too. He ordered all of the doors opening to the Mosque to be closed but let the door of Hazrat Abu Bakr open. He handed over the duty of leading prayers Hazrat Abu Bakr three days before his death. He made Abu Bakr lead prayers, one of the most important pillars of Islam. Therefore, he was the one that deserved being the Caliph after the death of the Messenger of Allah. And it happened like that.

After the long talks and negotiations made on Monday, the day when the Messenger of Allah died, from the afternoon until the evening, Hazrat Abu Bakr was elected the Caliph of the Messenger of Allah and people paid allegiance to him.

General Allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakr

It was Rabiul-Awwal 13, Tuesday...

Hazrat Abu Bakr went to the Mosque of the Prophet and ascended to the pulpit.

Before he started to speak, Hazrat Umar stood up. After praising and thanking Allah, Hazrat Umar addressed the Muslims: “Allah made the best of you, the friend of the Messenger of Allah in the cave, your Caliph. Stand up and pay allegiance to him.” 

The Muslims in the mosque stood up and paid general allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakr.[6]

After the allegiance, Hazrat Abu Bakr praised and thanked Allah, and spoke as follows:

O people! I was elected as your governor and Caliph though I am not the best of you. If I do good deeds, help me; if I do bad deeds, show me the right way. Honesty is reliability. Telling lies is betrayal. Inshaallah, the weakest one of you will be the strongest one of you in my eye until I surrender him his right. Inshaallah, the strongest one of you will be the weakest one of you in my eye until I remove from him the rights of others.

O people! Do not give up fighting in the way of Allah. Know it very well that a nation that gives up jihad will be servile. Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Messenger; if I do not obey Allah and His Messenger, do not obey me. I ask forgiveness for me and you from Allah.”[7]

The Prophet is Washed and Enshrouded

The Muslims were busy with electing the Caliph, who would take care of the affairs of the Muslims, on the 12th day of the month of Rabiul-Awwal from the afternoon until the evening; so washing and enshrouding the dead body of the Prophet was postponed to Tuesday. After the general allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakr was completed in the Mosque of the Prophet on Tuesday, the dead body of the Messenger of Allah was started to be washed and enshrouded.   

Hazrat Ali, Abbas, Fadl b. Abbas, Qusam b. Abbas, Usama b. Zayd and Shukran (Salih), the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah, were in the house of the Prophet in order to wash him.[8]

Ansar also wanted to contribute to this lofty service. They expressed their wish regarding the issue. Hazrat Ali allowed Aws b. Hawli on behalf of Ansar.[9]

Hazrat Ali washed the Messenger of Allah because he said to Hazrat Ali when he was alive, “You wash my body when I die.”[10]

Aws b. Hawli brought water with a pitcher; Abbas, Usama and Shukran poured water over the body of the Prophet. Hazrat Ali rubbed the body of the Prophet with the cloth that he wrapped around his hand. The body of the Prophet was very clean; it smelled nice. The house of the Prophet smelt very nice; they had not smelt such nice scent before. There was nothing in or on the body of the Prophet that were usually seen in dead bodies. While washing the Prophet, Hazrat Ali said, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! O Messenger of Allah! You are clean when you are alive and dead.”[11]

After the washing was completed, the Seal of the Prophet was enshrouded by Hazrat Ali, Ab­bas, Fadl b. Abbas and Shukran.[12]

Janazah Prayer of the Prophet is Performed

On the 13th of the month of Rabiul-Awwal, Tuesday, the washing and enshrouding of the Messenger of Allah was completed before noon. The body was put on the bed of the room of the Prophet. At first the men, then the women and last of all the children fulfilled their last duty toward the Prophet in awe and sorrow.  

Burial of the Messenger of Allah

The issue of where to bury the Messenger of Allah was negotiated.

Some people suggested taking the body to Makkah; some suggested burying him in Madinah in the Cemetery of Baqi and others suggested burying him in the Mosque.[13]

However, Hazrat Abu Bakr said, “I heard this sentence from the Messenger of Allah and I have not forgotten it: ‘God Almighty removed the soul of each prophet where He wanted him to be buried.’ Therefore, we should bury the Messenger of Allah where his bed he lied on was.”[14]

This suggestion was adopted by the Companions. Thus, they decided to dig the place under the bed in the house of Aisha as the grave of the Messenger of Allah. Then, the bed was removed and that place was dug in the form of a grave.

Bilal Makes Muslims Cry

The Messenger of Allah had not been buried yet.

Bilal called the adhan with his touching voice. When he uttered, “Ashadu anna Muhammada’r-R­asu­lul­lah”, the Companions started to cry sobbingly. The Mosque of the Prophet was full of crying sounds.  

It was the last adhan recited by Bilal. He did not recite adhan again after the death of the Messenger of Allah.

The Prophet is Put into the Grave

It was late Wednesday night.

The Companions placed the dead body of the Messenger of Allah into the grave among tears.

We have tried to narrate the phases of this unique life as much as we can; now we are finishing it with the following prayer: 

O Allah! Do not keep us away from the sunnah of Your Messenger in this world; do not deprive us of his intercession in the hereafter!

Amin... Amin... Amin...

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[1]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 266.

[2]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 268.

[3]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 268; Bukhari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 95.

[4]Aal-i Imran, 144.

[5]az-Zumar, 30.

[6]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 311; Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 203.

[7]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 311; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 183; Tabari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 203.

[8]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 312; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 278-279.

[9]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 312; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 1, p. 260.

[10]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 278, 280-281.

[11]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 313; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 281.

[12]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 291.

[13]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 314; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 1, p. 292.

[14]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 292; Tirmidhi, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 338.

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