Grave Pilgrimage Before Ramadan: Law, History, Prayer & Manners According to Islam
Pilgrimage to the graves before Ramadan is a tradition that is often carried out by Muslims in Indonesia since long before the holy month of Ramadan. The community will make a grave pilgrimage to pray for their family or relatives who have died earlier.
Not only before Ramadan, grave visits are also commonly done during the Eid al-Fitr festival. Some areas in Indonesia even make a pilgrimage to the grave after the Eid al-Fitr and halal bihalal prayers.
In fact, what is the law on visiting graves before Ramadan according to the Islamic view? Come on, Mother, let’s see the full explanation.
The law of visiting graves before Ramadan according to Islam
Quoting from the book Ramadhan Between Shariah and Tradition, the publisher of Lentera Islam (2020) makes pilgrimages to graves before Ramadan or at certain times the law is sunnah.
Even so Mother, actually visiting the graves can be done at any time, there is no need to wait for certain moments such as before Ramadan. The purpose of visiting graves is so that pilgrims or Muslims can soften their hearts, have tears in their eyes and remember death and the Day of Judgment.
Not only that, the Prophet SAW also explained that a Muslim should make a pilgrimage to his family’s grave so that he will get the same reward as the reward of a pilgrim and later when he dies he will be visited by angels.
This is as in a hadith which reads “Whoever makes a pilgrimage to the graves of his father or mother, uncle or aunt, or visits one of his family’s graves, his reward is as great as hajj mabrur. And whoever istiqamah visits the grave until his death comes, the angels will always visit his grave.” (Narrated by Ibn Umar RA in the book Al-Maudhu’at)
The history of the tradition of visiting graves in Islam
In the beginning, the tradition of visiting graves in Islam was allowed as was the case with the previous tradition, namely the Meccan Arabs who used to make pilgrimages and visit the graves of their ancestors.
Then came the ban on visiting the graves due to excessive reactions when seeing a loved one die, such as crying out loud to the point of beating one’s own body.
Shortly after that, the Prophet SAW lifted the ban based on a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said, “Visit the grave because it will remind you of death.”
In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah also said “I used to forbid you to visit the fortress, (now) visit it because it will remind you of the afterlife and will increase the good for you who visit it. Whoever wants to make a pilgrimage, do it and don’t say ‘hujran’ (false words).” (HR. Muslim). So since then, Muslims often make pilgrimages to graves as a reminder of death and the Last Day.
Grave pilgrimage prayers: Arabic, Latin, and their meanings
Here is the recitation of the grave pilgrimage prayer according to the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW:
للَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ وَارْحَمْهُ وَعَافِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنْهُ، وَأَكْرِمْ نُزُلَهُ، وَوَسِّعْ مَدْخَلَهُ، وَاغْسِلْهُ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ، وَنَقِّهِ مِنَ الْخَطَايَا كَمَا نَقَّيْتَ الثَّوْبَ اْلأَبْيَضَ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ، وَأَبْدِلْهُ دَارًا خَيْرًا مِنْ دَارِهِ، وَأَهْلاً خَيْرًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ، وَزَوْجًا خَيْرًا مِنْ زَوْجِهِ، وَأَدْخِلْهُ الْجَنَّةَ، وَأَعِذْهُ مِنْ The torment of the grave and the torment of the fire
Alloohummaghfir lahu Warhamhu Wa ‘Aafihi Wa’fu ‘ahu, Wa Akrim Nuzulahu, Wa Wassi’ Madkholahu, Waghsilhu Bil Maa’i WatsTsalji Wal Barodi, Wa Naqqihi Minal Khothooyaa Kamaa Naqqaitats Tsaubal Abyadho Minad Danasi, Wa Abdilhu Daaron Khoiron Min Daarihi, Wa Ahlan Khoiron Min Ahlihi, Wa Zaujan Khoiron Min Zaijihi, Wa Adkhilhul Jannata, Wa A’idhu Min ‘Adzaabil Qabri.
Meaning: “O Allah, Forgive him (from some things that are not liked), forgive him and place him in a glorious place (Heaven), widen his grave, bathe him in snow and ice water. Cleanse him from all mistakes, as You clean white clothes from dirt, give a better house than his house (in the world), give a family (or wife in Heaven) that is better than his family (in the world), wife (or husband ) who is better than his wife (or husband), and send him to Heaven, protect him from the torments of the grave and Hell.
Procedures and etiquette for visiting graves according to the hadith and sunnah of the Prophet SAW
Quoted from the Smart Book 50 Islamic Manners, published by Bhuana Ilmu Populer (2019), the following are the manners of visiting a grave that are in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW.
The first adab to do when visiting the graves is greeting. Pilgrims are asked to say hello to the occupants of the graves. As for greetings, you should face the face of the corpse while reciting:
Peace be upon you, inhabitants of this city, both among the believers and the Muslims, and we, God willing, will join you.
Meaning: “Safety to the inhabitants of the graves from the believers and Muslims, we, God willing, will catch up with you all. I ask God for safety for us and all of you.” (HR. Muslim).
2. Not wearing sandals in the cemetery
When going on a pilgrimage, Muslims are advised to wear footwear other than sandals. This is intended to respect the occupants of the cemetery. The advice as in a hadith reads “O person who wears sandals, woe to you, take off your sandals! Then the person saw and when he found out (that the one reprimanding him was) the Messenger of God, he took off and threw his sandal,” (HR. Abu Daud).
Even so, there are special exceptions when the grave ground is hot, wet and the like, so pilgrims are allowed to use sandals.
3. Read a short letter
Furthermore, the pilgrims are encouraged to read a short letter in the hope that those present will receive a reward, while the corpse will receive mercy from Allah SWT.
4. Praying for the dead
When the Prophet SAW visited the graves of his companions, he would ask Allah SWT for forgiveness for them. Pilgrims are also allowed to raise their hands while praying and are advised to face the Qibla.
5. Pilgrims are allowed to cry as long as it’s not excessive
Often when Mother makes a grave pilgrimage, her emotion and tears are unstoppable. Crying when visiting graves was also experienced by Rasulullah SAW when he visited his mother’s grave.
Even though it is permissible to cry, Muslims should not get too carried away in grief to wail or cry for too long.
6. Not sitting and walking on the grave
Another adab exemplified by Rasulullah SAW is for pilgrims to pay attention to their steps by not standing or sitting on the graves. While walking beside or between the tombs is still permitted.
This is in accordance with a hadith which states that Rasulullah SAW said, “Indeed, if one of you sits on hot coals so that it burns his clothes and penetrates his skin, that is better than sitting on a grave.” (HR. Muslim)
7. Sprinkle water on the grave
Often when visiting a grave, Muslims will sprinkle water on the grave. It turns out that in Islam it is still allowed to be done, as in a hadith that reads “Indeed the Messenger of God sprinkled (water) on the grave of Ibrahim, his son, and placed pebbles on it.” (HR. Abu Daud)
Hopefully the above information about the tradition of visiting graves before Ramadan can add to your mother’s insight. Let’s approach the month of Ramadan this year, let’s increase our faith and piety to Allah SWT.
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