How was our Prophet’s (pbuh) funeral prayer performed?

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How was our Prophet’s (pbuh) funeral prayer performed?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Our Prophet’s funeral prayer was performed. However, since there was not a caliph of Muslims, it was performed not in congregation but individually. Moreover, it was performed individually because the Prophet was in the room from whence he passed away to the Hereafter and the room was not large enough for all Muslims to fit in together. Firstly, Hazrat Abu Bakr came to the presence of the Prophet and performed the funeral prayer. Then, Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Uthman, Hazrat Talha, Hazrat Zubair and then other Muslims performed the funeral prayer, all one after another.

Abdullah b. Mas’ud narrates:

Our Prophet, our beloved one, informed us about his death one month before he died. (1)

O Messenger of Allah! When is your time of death?’ we asked.

The time of death has drawn near. Time of returning to Allah, to Heaven, to Sidratu’l-Muntaha, to Rafiqu’l-Ala, to Destiny and to blissful and blessed life has drawn near’ said he. (2).

O Messenger of Allah! Who should wash you?’ we asked.

Whoever closest to me from my household’ he said.

‘O Messenger of Allah! With what shall we cover you and enshroud?’ we asked.

Enshroud with this clothing of mine if you wish, or Egyptian fabric or cloth!’ he said.

‘O Messenger of Allah! Who shall perform your funeral prayer?’ we asked.

 ‘May Allah have mercy on you! May He reward you with blessings because of your prophet! (3) When you wash and enshroud me, put me on that wooden bed of mine and place next to my grave in my house! Then, leave me alone for a while! Because, firstly my two friends, Gabriel and Michael, and then Israfel, and later Angel of Death, Azrael, together with his army of angels will perform my funeral prayer! (4) After that, enter in groups and perform my funeral prayer and send me your revering and compliments! However, do not disturb me by praising and crying out! (5) Let the men from my household begin performing my funeral prayer first! Then, let their women perform! Then you perform! Send my compliments to those from my Companions, who are not present here! And send my compliments also to those to come from my tribe and those to follow my religion and me until the Day of Resurrection!’

O Messenger of Allah! Who shall place you into your grave?’ we asked.

‘My household and lots of angels, whom you do not see but who see you’ he said.” (6)

In accordance with that explanation, firstly four archangels performed the Prophet’s funeral prayer and then the other angels did.

After that, firstly, Hazrat Abu Bakr came to the presence of the Prophet and performed the funeral prayer. Then, Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Uthman, Hazrat Talha, Hazrat Zubair and then other Muslims performed the funeral prayer, all one after another.

References:

1- Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 2, p. 256-257, Tabari, History, vol. 3, p. 1 92-1 93, Ibn Athir, Kamil, vol. 2, p. 320, Abu'l-Fida, al-Bidayah, vol. 5, p. 253, Ibn Hajar, Matalibu'l-aliya, vol. 4, p. 261.
2- Ibn Sa'd, vol. 2, p. 257, Tabari, vol. 3, p. 193, Suhaylf, Rawidu'l-unuf, vol. 7, p. 590, Ibn Athir, vol. 2, p. 320, Abu'l-Fida, vol. 5, p. 253, Ibn Hajar, vol. 4, p. 261.
3- Ibn Sa'd, vol. 2, p. 257, Balazuri, Ansabu'l-ashraf, vol. 1, p. 564, Tabari, vol. 3, p. 193, Ibn Athir, vol. 2, p. 320, Abu'l-Fida, vol. 5, p. 253, Ibn Hajar, vol. 4, p. 261.
4- Ibn Sa'd, vol. 2, p. 257, Balazuri, vol. 1, p. 564, Tabari, vol. 3, p. 193, Abu'l-Fida, vol. 5, p. 253, Ibn Hajar, vol. 4, p. 261.
5- Ibn Sa'd, vol. 2, p. 256-257, Balazuri, vol. 1, p. 564, Tabari, vol. 3, p. 192-193, Suhaylf, vol. 7, p. 590, Ibn Athir, vol. 2, p. 320, Abu'l-Fida, vol. 5, p. 253, Ibn Hajar, vol. 4, p. 261-262.
6- Ibn Sa'd, vol. 2, p. 193, Ahmad b. Hanbal, vol. 4, p. 106.
M. Asım Köksal, İslam Tarihi, Köksal Yayıncılık: 8/231-236.

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