Heavenly Departure of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
Hayat Al-Qulub Vol. 1,
By: Allamah Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi
It should be clear that Shia and Sunni scholars have consensus that the Holy Prophet (S) passed away on a Monday and most Shia scholars believe that it was the 28th of Safar, and the majority of the Sunnis say that it was 12th Rabiul Awwal. And from our scholars, Muhammad Ibn Yaqub Kulaini has followed this view.
But the previous statement is more authentic and famous and some Sunni scholars have also mentioned it to be 1st Rabiul Awwal and some think it was 2nd and some even believe that it was 18th and some 10th and some 8th and there is no difference of opinion that at that time the Prophet was aged sixty-three and it was the 10th year of Hijrat.
It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) in Kashaful Ghumma that the Prophet passed away in the 10th year of Hijri and at that time he was aged 63 years. From which 40 years had passed in Mecca and it was here that revelations had started to descend upon him. Thirteen years passed in Mecca and when he migrated to Medina, he was aged 53 years. He lived in Medina for 10 years after the Hijra and his demise occurred on 2nd Rabiul Awwal.
Moreover in Kashaful Ghumma it is narrated that the age of the Prophet was sixty-three years. From which he lived under the care of his father for 2 years and 4 months. When His Eminence, Abdul Muttalib passed away, the Prophet was eight years old. After him, Abu Talib took over his guardianship.
Some have said that his father passed away before he was born and some say that he was seven months old at the time of the passing away of his father. And when he was six years old, his noble mother passed away. And when his uncle, Abu Talib departed for the heavenly abode, he was 46 years, 8 months and 24 days. And lady Khadija passed away three days after that. Therefore that year was named as the Year of Grief.
And the Holy Prophet (S) lived in Mecca for thirteen years after the declaration of prophethood (Besat). Then he stayed in Cave of Thawr for three or six days. After that he migrated to Medina and reached there on Monday, 11th Rabiul Awwal. He stayed in Medina for 10 years. In the 10th year of Hijrat, he passed away on 28th Safar.
Qutub Rawandi has narrated from Ibn Abbas that one day Abu Sufyan (l.a.) came to the Holy Prophet (S) and said: O Messenger of Allah (S) I want to ask a few questions.” He asked: “Do you want me to tell you what are you going ask before you ask me?” “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (S),” he said. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “You want to ask me about my age.” “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (S),” he said. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “I will live for sixty-three years.” He said, “I testify that you have told the truth.” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “You make only a verbal claim, but don’t believe in it.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said: “Do not fast on Monday, do not begin a journey, because it was the day of the passing away of the Prophet and many traditions have been narrated regarding this from the Holy Imams (a.s.).
Shaykh Tusi etc. have narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) he said: “When a calamity befalls you, you should remember the difficulty of the Prophet because such a calamity has never befallen anyone and neither will it befall anyone in the future.” Ibn Shahr Ashob has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “O Ali, when a calamity befalls you, you should remember my difficulty because it is the worst calamity.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated that Jibraeel Amin brought 40 dirhams worth of camphor for the Messenger of Allah (S) from Paradise and the Prophet divided it into three parts. One part he kept away for himself, gave one part to Imam Ali (a.s.) and a part to Lady Fatima.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he said: “During the Prophet’s illness, I was present in his service, when I saw His Eminence asleep and his holy head was in the lap of a person, besides whom I have never seen anyone so handsome. When I arrived, that person said: “Please take your brother’s head as you are more deserving of it than me.”
And he transferred the Prophet’s head into my lap. The Prophet awoke after sometime and asked, “Where is that person who held my head in his lap?” I narrated the exchange between me and that person. He asked, “Did you recognize him?” “No, your honor, may my parents be sacrificed on you.” The Prophet said: “He was Jibraeel, when my pain increased, he came and began to converse with me till there was some decrease in my pain. I was talking with him when I went to sleep.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated that Abdullah bin Masud said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (S): “Who will give you the funeral bath?” He replied: “Every prophet is given the funeral bath by his successor.” I asked: “Who is your successor, O Messenger of Allah (S).” He replied: “Ali Ibn Abi Talib.”
I asked: “How long would he live after you?” He replied: “Thirty years, just as Yusha bin Noon, the successor of Prophet Musa (a.s.) had lived.” And Safoora, daughter of Prophet Shuaib (a.s.) who was the wife of Prophet Musa (a.s.) has staged an uprising against him and she used to say: “O Yusha, I am more deserving of Musa’s Caliphate.” And Yusha fought with her and routed her army and took her under custody and then observed her decorum. Doubtlessly, the daughter of Abu Bakr will take thousands of men and stage an uprising against Ali (a.s.) and Ali (a.s.) will rout her forces and arrest her and then do her a favor.”
Kulaini, Saffar, Shaykh Tusi, Ibn Babawayh, Qutub Rawandi and other tradition scholars has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) called for Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and said: “O Ali, after my death, bring six water skins of water from the well of Ghars and give me the funeral bath properly, then shroud me an apply the Hunut; and when you finish this, catch hold of the collar of my shroud and make me sit up. Then you can ask me whatever you want, and I will reply.”
%%%Imam Ali (a.s.) says that he did like this and at that time also, the Holy Prophet (S) taught me a thousand chapters of knowledge and each chapter opened up for me thousand of chapters of knowledge.” And in another traditional report Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says: I asked the Messenger of Allah (S) many questions and he told me about all the events that will take place till Judgment Day. So there is no group of people about whom I am ignorant who will lead them to truth and who will lead them astray.” According to another report, the Messenger of Allah (S) used to dictate and Imam Ali (a.s.) used to note down everything.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through correct chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) told Imam Ali (a.s.): “O Ali, give me the funeral bath in such a way that except for you, no one should glance at my private parts or he will become blind.” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) asked: “O Messenger of Allah (S), you are a heavy built man and I will definitely need help to bathe you?” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “Jibraeel will help you. And tell Fazl bin Abbas to pour water on your hands and blindfold himself; if he casts a glance at my nakedness, he will become blind.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that two persons of Quraish came to Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) and the Imam said, “Do you want me to describe the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S)?” “Yes,” they said. Imam (a.s.) said: “My father informed that Jibraeel came down three days before the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S) and said: O Messenger of Allah (S), the Almighty Allah has sent me to accord respect and honor to you and He asks you about your well being, although he is well aware of it. He says: O Muhammad, how are you feeling?
His Eminence, replied: “O Jibraeel, I find myself aggrieved and in pain. Then the third day arrived and Jibraeel came with the Angel of Death and another angel, named Ismail also accompanied them. He is appointed on wind along with 70000 angels. Jibraeel came first and conveyed the previous message and the Prophet replied as before. Then the Angel of Death sought permission to enter the house of the Prophet.
Jibraeel said: This is the Angel of Death, he is seeking your permission to enter, although he had never before sought anyone’s permission and neither would he seek anyone’s permission after this.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Allow him to enter.” Jibraeel conveyed the permission and he came and stood near the Prophet respectfully and said: O Ahmad, indeed the Almighty Allah has sent me to you and ordered me to obey all your commands.
If you say, I will capture your soul and if you say, I will go back.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Would you go away if I ask you?” the Angel of Death said, “Yes, I have been ordered by Allah to obey your commands.” Jibraeel (a.s.) said, “O Ahmad, indeed the Almighty Allah is eager to meet you.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “O Angel of Death, carry out the mission assigned to you.”
Jibraeel (a.s.) said: “This is my last visit to the earth. O Messenger of Allah (S), you were my need on the earth, what do I have to do with the earth after you?” Thus when the holy soul of the Prophet separated from his body, a person arrived and offered condolence to those people. People used to hear his voice but were unable to see the speaker. He said, “Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.
“Every soul shall taste of death, and you shall only be paid fully your reward on the resurrection day; then whoever is removed far away from the fire and is made to enter the garden, he indeed has attained the object; and the life of this world is nothing but a provision of vanities.”
Then he said: “Allah’s mercy is for those who are patient in every calamity and in exchange of it whatever is destroyed, the Almighty Allah makes up for whatever is lost. Therefore, O Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet, trust in God, and hope only on Him for every good. Indeed, calamity striken is one who is deprived of divine rewards. Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said, “It was His Eminence, Khizr, who had come to offer condolence to us.” Moreover, Ibn Babawayh has narrated through Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (S) became ill and his companions gathered around him.
Ammar Yasir (r.a.) stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), may my parents be sacrificed on you, when you depart for your heavenly abode, which of us would perform your funeral bath?” He replied: “Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), because he would be helped by the angels in washing any part of my body that he likes.” They asked, “May our parents be sacrificed on you, which of us would pray over you?” the Holy Prophet (S) replied, “Be quiet, may Allah have mercy on you.”
Then he glanced at Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and said, “O Ali, when you see that the soul has departed from my body, perform my funeral bath in the proper manner. And shroud me in the two pieces of cloth that I am wearing or white Egyptian cloth, or Yemenite sheet. And my shroud must not be very expensive. Carry me to the edge of the grave and then leave me for a while. The first to pray on me would be the Almighty Allah Who will send blessings on me through His majesty.
After that will pray on me, Jibraeel, Mikaeel and Israfeel with their armies, whose number is not known to anyone except the Almighty Allah. After that angels who circle the heavens and then all the angels, one after another will pray on me. Then all the people of my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and my wives will pray according to their status. And they will offer salutations as it is wont to be. And they should not cause pain to me to wail and shout. After that he said: O Bilal, call the people to gather at the mosque.
When people gathered, the Holy Prophet (S) tied his turban and leaning on his staff emerged from the house and mounted the pulpit. After praise and glorification of the Almighty Allah, he said: O group of companions how did you find me as a prophet? Did I not perform Jihad in your company? Did you not harm my teeth? Did you not make my forehead dusty? Did you not make my face bleed?
Till my beard was colored in blood. Did I not bear injuries inflicted by the ignorant ones of the community? Did I not tie stones to my belly to sacrifice for my community?” Companions said, “Why not, you were indeed patient to seek the pleasure of the Almighty Allah and one who restrained from evil. Therefore may Allah give you the best rewards on behalf of us. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “May Allah, also reward you handsomely.”
Then he said, “The Almighty Allah had commanded me to inform you and swore that no oppressor can escape His clutches, so I adjure you in the name of God, that whoever has borne some injustice from Muhammad should arise without hesitation and retaliation, because taking retaliation in the world is in my view better than the retaliation in hereafter which will take place in the presence of prophets and angels.
A person named Aswad bin Qays arose and said, “May my parents be sacrificed on you, when you were returning from Taif, I went to welcome you at that time you were astride your she-camel, Ghazba and were holding your whip, called Mamshooq. When you raised it to whip your she-camel, you hit my stomach. I don’t know whether you did that purposely?” The Prophet said, “I seek the refuge of Allah, for having hit you purposely?” Then he told Bilal: “Go to Fatima’s house and bring that whip.”
Bilal came out of the Masjid announcing in the streets: O people, who among you can prepare your self to give retaliation? See Muhammad, the Holy Prophet (S) is himself prepared to offer retaliation before Judgment Day. And Lady Sayyida said, “O Bilal this is not the time to use the whip, why has he called for it?” Bilal said, “Your respected father is sitting on the pulpit bidding farewell to the religious and worldly people.” When Lady Fatima (s.a.) heard about farewell, she wailed: O grief for you O my dear father, after you to whom would the poor and deprived turn for refuge?”
Thus she gave the whip to Bilal and he came to the Prophet. He asked, “Where is that old man?” He said, “I am here, may my parents be sacrificed on you.” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “Take this whip and take your revenge so that you are satisfied.” The man told the Prophet to expose his stomach.
When the Prophet had exposed his belly, the man said: “Do you allow me to kiss your belly?” The Prophet allowed and he kissed the Prophet’s belly and said: “I seek refuge from Hellfire on Judgment Day from the fact that I should take revenge from the Holy Prophet (S).” The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “O Aswad, take your retaliation or forgive me.” Aswad said, “I have forgiven.” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “O Allah, You also forgive Aswad like he overlooked Your Prophet.” Then the Messenger of Allah (S) descended and entered the house of Umm Salma.
He was repeating: “O Allah, keep the nation of Muhammad safe from Hellfire and make their accounting easy on Judgment Day.” Lady Umm Salma asked why the Prophet was so sad and pale due to worry? His Eminence, replied, “Jibraeel has just brought the news of my death, may you be blessed, because after today you will not hear the voice of Muhammad.” When Lady Umm Salma heard this terrible news, she began to weep and wail: “O grief, such a sorrow befell me that regret cannot make up for it.”
After that the Prophet said, “O Umm Salma, call my beloved daughter, Fatima.” Saying this, the Prophet became unconscious. Thus Fatima Zahra (s.a.) arrived and on seeing the condition of her respected father she also began to weep and wail and she said, “O dear father, may my life be sacrificed on you, and may my face be sacrificed on you, I feel as if you are prepared for the journey to the Hereafter, and the army of death is surrounding you from all sides. Will you not speak to your daughter, and will you not silence the fire of her sorrow by your discourse.
When the Prophet heard the voice of his dear daughter, he opened his eyes and said, “My dear, very soon I am going to be separated and bid farewell to you, so peace be upon you.” Lady Fatima took a deep sigh and said: “Dear father, where do I meet you on Judgment Day?” The Prophet said, “At the place where accounting will be carried out of all the creatures of the universe.” Fatima asked, “If I don’t find you there, where should I look for you?” The Prophet said, “At Maqam-e-Mahmud that the Almighty Allah has promised me. Where I will be interceding for the sinners of my Ummah.” She asked, “If I don’t find you there, where should I look for you?”
The Prophet said, “Look for me near the Sirat Bridge when my Ummah will be passing over it and I will be standing. Jibraeel will be to my right and Mikaeel will be to my left and all the angels of Allah will be around me. And all will be praying in the most humble manner in the court of Allah. That may Allah, the Almighty allow the Ummah of Muhammad to pass over the Sirat Bridge safely and make their accounting easy.” Then Fatima asked, “Where will I find my honorable mother, Khadija?” The Prophet said, “She will be in that palace in Paradise which would be surrounded by four palaces.”
After stating this, the Holy Prophet (S) again became unconscious and he turned his attention to the Almighty Allah. Meanwhile Bilal began to recite the Azan and he said, “The Prayer, may Allah have mercy on you.” His Eminence, regained consciousness, he arose, came to the Masjid and prayed in brief. After that he called for Imam Ali (a.s.) and Usamah bin Zaid and said: “Take me to Fatima’s house.” On reaching there, he placed his head in the lap of Fatima and when Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) observed this condition of their grandfather they became restless and started crying. “May our lives be sacrificed on you.”
The Holy Prophet (S) asked, “Who is crying?” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) replied, “Your sons, Hasan and Husain.” The Prophet embraced them affectionately. Since Imam Hasan (a.s.) was very restless, the Prophet said, “Don’t cry, your crying is painful to me.” Meanwhile the Angel of Death arrived and he saluted the Prophet and the latter replied to his greetings and then said, “O Angel of Death, please do me a favor.” “What can I do for you?” asked the angel. The Prophet said, “Don’t take my soul till Jibraeel arrives and salutes me and I return his greeting and then say farewell to him.”
The Angel of Death came out saying, “O Muhammada!” Meanwhile Jibraeel (a.s.) reached the Angel of Death in the space and asked if he had taken away the soul of Muhammad? He replied in the negative, “The Prophet has told me not to take his soul till you don’t meet him and he says farewell to you.” Jibraeel said, “O Angel of Death, don’t you see that the gates of the heavens are open for Muhammad and the Houries of Paradise have decorated themselves?” Then Jibraeel came to the Prophet and said, “Peace be upon you, O Abul Qasim.” The Prophet responded to his greeting. “Will you leave me in this condition?”
Jibraeel said, “O Messenger of Allah (S), your end is near and every person has to taste death.” The Prophet said, “My friend, come here.” Jibraeel approached the Prophet and the Angel of Death arrived. Jibraeel said, “O Angel of Death, pay attention to Allah’s command in taking away the soul of Muhammad.” Then Jibraeel (a.s.) stood to the right and Mikaeel to the right side of the Prophet and the Angel of Death stood right in front and began to draw out his soul. Ibn Abbas says: “That day, the Prophet repeatedly said, “Call my dearest one.”
But when someone was called, the Prophet used to turn away his face from him. Fatima was told, “We think he is asking for Imam Ali (a.s.).” Fatima called Amirul Momineen (a.s.). The Messenger of Allah (S) was extremely overjoyed to see him and he said many times, “O Ali, come to me.” And he made him sit near his head, then he fell into a swoon.
Meanwhile Imams Hasan and Husain (a.s.) arrived and they became restless on seeing the condition of the Prophet and they began to weep and wail and embraced him tightly. Ali (a.s.) tried to take them away but the Prophet regained consciousness and he said, “O Ali, leave them so that I may smell these two blossoms and they become fragrant with my smell. That they may say farewell to me and I may say farewell to them. Indeed they will be oppressed after me and will be killed through the poison and sword of injustice.”
Then he recited the curse three times on their oppressors. Then he took Amirul Momineen (a.s.) also into his blanket and placed his mouth on his mouth and according to another report placed his mouth to his ear. Then he spoke to him about many confidential matters and taught him many divine secrets and unending sciences, till his soul flew away to the heavens.
Then Amirul Momineen (a.s.) came out of the blanket and said, O people, in the tragedy of your Prophet may the Almighty Allah increase your reward because the Almighty Allah has recalled the soul of His chosen one. Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) began to weep and wail and a small group of believer which had not become involved in usurping the Caliphate, participated in these mourning ceremonies with Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Ibn Abbas says that people asked Imam Ali (a.s.), what secrets the Prophet had told him when he took him under the blanket. Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “He taught me a thousand chapters of knowledge; each of which opened thousands of doors automatically.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said, “The first calamity and the first trial that befell me after the Messenger of Allah (S) was that of all Muslims, I did not have any sincere friend on whom I could have relied and from whom I could have expected help. The Holy Prophet (S) brought me up when I was young and he gave refuge to me in my youth and did not allow me to feel the sorrow of orphanhood and he continued to bear the expenses of my family and made me needless of seeking livelihood. And through his blessings, I was never helpless in obtaining them.
There were many other material blessings that I received for the sake of the Prophet. And in spite of being so more they were very less to the high levels of human perfections with which I was specialized and he taught me the divine sciences and decorum of proximity to Allah. Therefore the death of the Prophet shattered me so much that if such a calamity had fallen on mountains they would not have been able to bear the weight. I found different people bearing the sorrow of the Prophet in different ways. Some were so much devastated that they could not bear it and they lost patience and completely lost their mind.
The same was the condition of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and sons of Abdul Muttalib and all the people. Some offered condolence and advised patience, some accompanied them in weeping and wailing. Thus in such a terrible calamity that fell upon me all of a sudden, I considered patience necessary for myself and assumed silence. And I began to arrange for the last rites of the Prophet and then busied myself in the compilation of Book of Allah as the Prophet had ordered me to. And weeping and wailing etc. did not prevent me in carrying out these duties in the best way.”
Ibn Shahr Ashob has narrated from Ibn Abbas that during the terminal illness of the Messenger of Allah (S), he was in swoon one day. Suddenly someone knocked at the door. Lady Fatima inquired: “Who is it?”
That person replied, “I am a stranger in this land and I want to ask something from the Prophet. Do you permit me to enter?” Lady Fatima (s.a.) said, “May Allah have mercy on you, go back and do your work. The Prophet is unwell and he cannot meet you presently.” He went away and then returned after sometime and knocked the door again saying, “A stranger is here to meet the Messenger of Allah (S), am I permitted to meet him?
Do you permit strangers to meet him?” Meanwhile the Prophet regained consciousness and he opened his eyes. He asked, “O Fatima, do you know who that is?” “No, O Messenger of Allah (S),” she replied. The Prophet said, “He is the one who disperses the groups and destroys the pleasures. He is the Angel of Death and before this he has never sought anyone’s permission to enter and neither would he do so in the future. It is only due to the status that I possess near my Lord. O Fatima, allow him to enter.” Fatima said, “You can come in, may Allah have mercy on you.”
And the Angel of Death entered like a fast wind and saluted the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet, “Peace be upon you, O Ahlul Bayt of Messenger of Allah (S).” Again the Holy Prophet (S) advised Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to adopt patience at oppressions of people, to take care of Fatima, to compile the Qur’an, to repay the debts of the Prophet and to perform his funeral bath and told him to construct a wall around the grave; to protect Hasan and Husain (a.s.).
It is mentioned in Kashaful Ghumma quoting from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that when the last moments of the Prophet approached, a person sought permission to meet him. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) asked what business he had with the Messenger of Allah (S). He said that he wanted to meet the Prophet. Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “It is not possible to meet him at this moment, what is the purpose of your visit?” It is a very important matter, I want to meet him in any way.”
Amirul Momineen (a.s.) came to the Prophet and asked permission on behalf of that person. The Prophet said, “Allow him to enter.” He came and sat down near the head of the Prophet and said, “Your honor I have brought a message for you from the Almighty Allah.” “Who are you?” asked the Prophet. He replied: “I am the Angel of Death, the Almighty Allah has said that you have the choice to either meet your Lord, or continue to live on the earth.” His Eminence said, “Give me respite only till Jibraeel comes and I discuss this with him.”
Meanwhile Jibraeel (a.s.) arrived and said, “O Messenger of Allah (S), the hereafter is better for you than the world. The Almighty Allah will grant you with so much of His proximity, nobility, status and intercession, that you will be pleased. Indeed, your meeting the Lord is better for you than this world.” The Prophet said, “Carry on what you are appointed for.” Jibraeel said, “Do not make haste, till I go and return from my Lord.” The Angel of Death said, “The soul of the Holy Prophet (S) has reached to such a stage that delay is not possible.” Jibraeel (a.s.) said, “This would be my last visit to the earth.”
Moreover, Thalabi has narrated that Abu Bakr came to meet the Prophet when the latter’s illness had taken a serious turn, and he asked, “When will you die?” “Very soon,” the Prophet replied. He asked, “Where will you go back?” “To Sidratul Muntaha, Jannatul Mawa and Rafiq Aala, where I will enjoy the proximity of the Almighty Allah and the best type of life.” He asked, “Who will perform your funeral bath?” “The one who is the closest to me from Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).” He asked, “In which cloth would you be shrouded?” He replied: “In the same clothes that I am wearing, or the Yemenite robes or Egyptian white cloth.”
He asked, “How will funeral prayers be performed?” People began to weep and wail and the atmosphere resounded with screams. The Prophet said, “Be patient, may Allah forgive you. After they have bathed and shrouded me, they should make me lie down on a plank and go away for sometime leaving me alone. The first to pray on me will be the Almighty Allah, and then He will permit the angels to pray on me.
The first in this will be Jibraeel, then Israfeel, then Mikaeel, then the Angel of Death and then all the angels will descend to pray on me. After that people will approach rows by rows and send blessings on me and don’t trouble me by wailing and screaming. The first to pray on me, should be the closest of my Ahlul Bayt; after that women and boys of my Ahlul Bayt and after that others. Abu Bakr asked, “Who will enter your grave?” He replied: “The closest to me from my Ahlul Bayt, or some angels whom you will not be able to see. Go and report to others what I have said.”
Moreover, it is narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that Jibraeel used to visit the Prophet every day and night during his terminal illness and used to say, “Your Lord sends you His greetings and asks you how you are, although He is more cognizant about it, but He wishes to observe more respect as He has accorded priority to you over all the creatures and He wants to make visiting the sick a good practice among your people.”
If the Prophet felt uncomfortable he used to say that he was in pain and Jibraeel used to reply, “O Muhammad, there is no one as honorable as you in the view of Almighty Allah and that is why He has given you pain as He likes the sound of your entreaties and He wants to exalt your position in the Hereafter.” If the Prophet used to say that he was restful, Jibraeel used to say, “Thank Allah, as the Almighty Allah likes those who are thankful. And He increases His bounties upon them.”
Imam Ali (a.s.) says, “When Jibraeel arrived, the signs of his arrival became apparent to me, because except for me everyone used to leave the place. Thus the last time Jibraeel (a.s.) said to the Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah (S), your Lord sends you His greetings and asks you how you are, although He is more cognizant about it.” “I find myself prepared for the last journey and see signs of my death.” Jibraeel (a.s.) said, “O Messenger of Allah (S), glad tidings to you that the Almighty Allah wishes to exalt your grades in the condition you are in spite of the fact that no one can reach to your level.”
The Prophet said, “O Jibraeel, the Angel of Death has entered the house with my permission and I asked him to grant me respite till you came.” Jibraeel said, O Messenger of Allah (S), the Lord of the Universe is eager to meet you and the Angel of Death has never sought anyone’s permission and neither would he seek anyone’s permission in future.” The Prophet said, “O Jibraeel don’t go away till the Angel of Death does not go back.” Then he called for his children and women so that he may bid them farewell. And he told Lady Fatima to come near him. The Prophet hugged and kissed her and told her a secret. When Fatima raised her head, she was found weeping.
The Messenger of Allah (S) called her again and told her something else and this pleased her so much that she began to smile. Wives of the Prophet were amazed at this and when they asked Fatima about it, she said, “The first time, the Prophet informed me about the news of my death and therefore I was crying, but the next time the Prophet told me not to weep as he prayed to the Lord that I should be the first to join him from Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the Almighty Allah accepted his request and I will not live for long after him, therefore I was pleased.” Then the Prophet called for Imam Hasan and Husain (a.s.) and kissed them. Tears issued from his eyes.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators that when the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, a curtain was placed before the Prophet and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) was sitting in front of it in an extremely aggrieved manner and had placed his hands below his face. When wind blew, the curtain touched the face of His Eminence. Companions had crowded the chambers of the Prophet and the Masjid was also full. They were all weeping and wailing in grief. They smeared their heads with dust.
Suddenly a voice arose from the house of the Prophet, “Your Prophet was pure and purified, don’t give him the funeral bath, just bury him right away.” But no one was able to see the speaker. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) heard the voice and understood that it was the accursed Satan. He feared mischief and raised his head from the knees and said, “Go away, O enemy of Allah. The Prophet has commanded me to give the funeral bath, shroud him and then bury him. And this practice is fixed for all till Judgment Day.” Another caller called out, “O Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), keep the genitals of your Prophet concealed and at the time of bath, do not remove his clothes.”
Shaykh Mufeed, Sayyid Raziuddin and other scholars have narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Ibn Abbas etc. that when the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) prepared to perform the last rites. Abbas was present there. Fazl bin Abbas was assisting the Imam.
After the funeral bath, they shrouded the Prophet and then removed the cloth from his face and said, “May my parents be sacrificed on you, you were pure and good in life as well as death. And your death has cut off the blessings that were not cut off at the time of the death of any prophet. And the news of heavens have stopped. And such is the calamity of your death that it helps us to overcome other calamities and your grief is so common that all the creatures are aggrieved in your sorrow.
If you had not ordered me to be patient and not restrained me from weeping and wailing, I would have indeed lost my brain in form of tears for you and I would never have cured your pain and never have given up the sorrow of your separation and all this would have been nothing in comparison to your separation. Nothing can make up for your sadness and grief and the shock of your separation will never wear off. May my parents be sacrificed on you, remember me in the court of your Lord and do not forget us.” Saying this he threw himself on the Prophet and kissed his face and sighed in grief. At last he covered the Prophet’s face.
It is narrated in Basairud Darajat that the day Amirul Momineen (a.s.) performed the funeral bath of the Prophet, the Almighty Allah inspired some secrets and it is also narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that when the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, Jibraeel, angels and spirits came down that used to descend on the Prophet on Shab-e-Qadr. The Almighty Allah brightened the eyes of Imam Ali (a.s.) and he could see from the earth to the sky and the angels and spirits helped him in giving the funeral bath. The grave of the Prophet was readied and by Allah, except for the angels, no one dug his grave. When Amirul Momineen (a.s.) placed him in the grave, they also entered the grave.
The Holy Prophet (S) conversed with the angels and the Almighty Allah enabled Imam Ali (a.s.) to hear the conversation. He heard that the Messenger of Allah (S) was requesting angels about Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and Ali (a.s.) began to weep and he heard that the angels were saying, “We will not be deficient in his service and help to him. He is our Imam and leader after you, and we will continue to visit him forever, but after today he will only hear and not see us.”
When Imam Ali (a.s.) passed away, Jibraeel, Mikaeel, angels, spirits and the Holy Prophet (S) came down to Hasan and Husain (a.s.). They saw the angels and that which took place at the time of the death of the Prophet was repeated, and they saw that the angels were assisting them in the last rites of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). When Imam Hasan (a.s.) passed away, Imam Husain (a.s.) saw Jibraeel, angels, spirits and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that they have arrived and were helping him in the last rites of Imam Hasan (a.s.). And when Imam Husain (a.s.) was martyred, Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) saw that all those persons have arrived and were helping in all matters.
When Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) passed away, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) saw the Holy Prophet (S), Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) that they were helping, and Jibraeel, Mikaeel, spirits and angels were helping them. When Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) passed away, I saw that the Holy Prophet (S), Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), Imam Husain (a.s.) and Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) and spirits and angels were helping me in the last rites. And this command will continue for all Imams.
Kulaini and Shaykh Tusi etc. have narrated through authentic chains of narrators that the Messenger of Allah (S) was shrouded in three garments: One was a red sheet and two pieces of Yemenite cloth. Moreover, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Abbas came to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and said, “People have decided that the Prophet should be buried in Baqi and Abu Bakr will lead the funeral prayers.”
When Imam Ali (a.s.) came to know that the hypocrites were ready to create mischief, he came out and said, “O people, indeed, the Messenger of Allah (S) after his life and death was our Imam and leader and he himself had told us that he should be buried at the place where he passes away. Since they were more interested in usurping the Caliphate, they did not argue and said, “Do as you like.” Thus he stood in the front and recited the funeral prayer. After that he told the companions and ten persons at a time prayed in congregation. Then Amirul Momineen (a.s.) stood up among them and recited the following verse: “Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.”
Then the people also recited this verse and invoked blessings on the Holy Prophet (S) and then went out. Till the people of Medina and surrounding areas invoked the blessings.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that ten person came at a time and prayed on the Prophet without an Imam and the whole of Monday and eve of Tuesday passed till the morning and the whole of Tuesday till the evening. Every young and old and every man and woman of Medina and surrounding areas prayed on the Prophet.
Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that when the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, all the angels, Muhajir and Ansar prayed upon him. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “The Holy Prophet (S) in the time of his health say that this verse of: “Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.”
…was revealed about praying on me after my death.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated from the same Imam through correct chains of narrators that when Amirul Momineen (a.s.) gave the funeral bath, he cast a piece of cloth on the face of the Prophet and left it like that. Whichever group arrived, it used to invoke blessings on him, pray for him and then come out.
When all finished, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) entered the holy grave. An Ansari man from Bani Khila was looking from outside and he said, “O Ali, I adjure you not to destroy our right and not to forget our services, allow us to serve the Prophet for the last time. Imam Ali (a.s.) also allowed him to enter the grave. He was a participant of the Battle of Badr. The narrator asked, “On which side of the grave was the body placed?” “It was placed at the footside and from there it was lowered into the grave.”
It is narrated from Salman in Ihtijaj and Kitab Sulaym bin Qays Hilali that when Imam Ali (a.s.) completed the funeral bath and shrouding of the Prophet, he called me, Abu Zar, Miqdad, Fatima, Hasan and Husain and himself he stood in the front and we stood behind and performed the funeral prayer. Ayesha was in the same room, but she knew nothing about it as Jibraeel has blocked her vision. Then Muhajir and Ansar came in groups of ten each, entered the room and invoked blessings on the Prophet and then went out. In this way all Muhajir and Ansar who were present there at that time invoked blessings on the Holy Prophet (S) but the ritual funeral prayer was only performed by Imam Ali (a.s.) etc.
It is mentioned in Kifayatul Athar narrating from authentic chains of narrators from Ammar Yasir that when the death of the Messenger of Allah (S) approached, he called for Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and spoke to him at length, which included, “O Ali, you are my successor and my heir; the Almighty Allah has gifted you my knowledge and understanding; when I depart from the world, a group will express its old enmity that it has concealed in its breasts and will usurp your Caliphate.” Lady Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a.s.) began to weep at this.
The Holy Prophet (S) said, “O best of the women of the world, why are you weeping?” She said, “I fear, that after me our rights will be trespassed and our sanctity will not be respected.” The Prophet said, “O Fatima, glad tidings to you that you will be the first to meet me from my Ahlul Bayt.
Don’t cry and don’t feel sad, as you are the best of the ladies of Paradise and your father is the best of the prophets and your husband is the best of the successors of the prophets and your two sons are the best of the inmates of Paradise and the Almighty Allah will create nine Imams from the loins of Imam Husain (a.s.) all of whom would be infallible and the Mahdi of that Ummah will be from us.” Then he said to Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), “O Ali, except for you, no one should perform my last rites.” Imam Ali (a.s.) asked, “O Messenger of Allah (S), who will help me in your last rites?” “Jibraeel,” said the Prophet, “and Fazl bin Abbas will pour the water on your hands.”
It is mentioned in Fiqhatur Reza that when Amirul Momineen (a.s.) concluded the funeral bath of the Holy Prophet (S), he cleaned the water in the hollows of the eyes with his tongue and said: “May my parents be sacrificed on you, O Messenger of Allah (S), you were pure during your life and you are pure after death.”
It is mentioned in Nahjul Balagha that after the demise of Lady Fatima, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) addressed the Holy Prophet (S): O Prophet of Allah, peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you.
O Prophet of Allah, my patience about your chosen (daughter) has been exhausted, and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave when your last breath had passed (when your head was) between my neck and chest. In another sermon he said: When the Prophet - the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants – died, his head was on my chest, and his (last) breath blew over my palms and I passed it over my face.
I performed his (funeral) ablution, may Allah bless him and his descendants, and the angels helped me. The house and the courtyard were full of them. One party of them was descending and the other was ascending. My ears continually caught their humming voice, as they invoked Allah’s blessing on him, till we buried him in his grave. Thus, who can have greater rights with him than I during his life or after his death? Kulaini has narrated through good chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Abu Talha Ansari dug the Prophet’s grave.
Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Shuqran, the freed slave of the Prophet placed a robe in the grave of the Prophet and through correct chains of narrators it is narrated from the same Imam that Imam Ali (a.s.) had constructed a wall around the grave of the Prophet.
It is narrated from the same Imam that the grave of the Prophet was filled with pieces of red stones and Kulaini and Himyari etc. have narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) told Ali (a.s.): “When I pass away, bury me at the same place, and raise my grave four fingers above the ground and allow water to flow on my grave. And Shaykh Tusi has narrated in another report that the grave of the Prophet was raised to a height of one span.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated that Umm Salma says, “When the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away from the world, I placed my hand on the blessed chest of the Prophet; after that for many weeks, whenever I ate or performed ablution, I used to feel the fragrance of Musk.
Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that on the night the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, that night was extremely a long one for the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) of the Prophet. And such was their condition that they did not understand whether they were below the earth or above the sky because, the Holy Prophet (S) had created many enmities for the sake of the Almighty Allah and had killed many of them.
Therefore his family members feared the revenge of the infidels and hypocrites. So the Almighty Allah sent an angel in that condition and according to another tradition, He sent Jibraeel. No one could see them but all could hear their voices. He said: “Peace be upon you, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Indeed divine reward gives comfort in every calamity and then he recited the following verse: “Every soul shall taste of death, and you shall only be paid fully your reward on the resurrection day; then whoever is removed far away from the fire and is made to enter the garden, he indeed has attained the object; and the life of this world is nothing but a provision of vanities.”
Then he said, “Indeed the Almighty Allah has chosen you and given you excellence over others and purified you from all sins and defects and made you the family members of His Prophet and entrusted His knowledge with you and gave His Book to you and made you as the repository of His knowledge and made you the sign of His authority and gave for you the example of His Noor and made you immune from mistakes and kept you safe from mischiefs, therefore be patient for the pleasure of Allah, because the Almighty Allah will not take away His mercy from you and not take away his blessings from you, because it is you who are the folks of Allah and He has completed His blessings on the creatures only through you and has gathered the dispersions due to you and has united the words.
Only you are the friends of Allah. Whoever loves you, gains salvation and whoever usurps your rights and oppresses you, will be destroyed and go to Hell. The Almighty Allah has mentioned in His book that your love is obligatory on the believers and He is every moment Powerful to help you, as when He wills or sees exigency.
Therefore, be patient and expect a good end as indeed the return of every matter is to the Almighty Allah. Indeed, your Prophet has entrusted all of you to the Almighty Allah and He has accepted you and he has entrusted you on the earth to the believers and His friends, thus one who fulfills the divine trust and considers your love incumbent on himself and respects your sanctity, the Almighty Allah will reward him on Judgment Day for his truthfulness. So you are the trust of the Prophet and the Almighty Allah and your love is obligatory and your obedience is compulsory.
The Holy Prophet (S) did not depart from the world, till he completed the faith for you, clarified the path of salvation and did not leave any scope for any ignorant. So one who is ignorant or expresses ignorance or denies your rights or forgets your rights or expresses forgetfulness, will be responsible to it before the Almighty Allah. And the Almighty Allah will fulfill all your needs. I entrust you to Allah, peace be upon you.” The narrator asked the Imam who was offering this condolence?”
The Imam replied, “It was from the Almighty Allah.”
It is mentioned in reliable traditions that the Messenger of Allah (S) departed from the world with the status of a martyr as Saffar has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that on the day of the Battle of Khyber, the Prophet was administered poison in a shoulder of a lamb. When the Prophet took a morsel from it, that meat spoke up and said: O Messenger of Allah (S), I have been laced with poison.
That is why the Messenger of Allah (S) used to say during his terminal illness that “the morsel that I took in Khyber has broken by back. And no prophet or successor of the prophet has departed from the world without martyrdom.” In another authentic traditional report he said that a Jewess had fed the Prophet with poisoned mutton. When the Prophet ate a piece of it, it said: I have been laced with poison. The Prophet threw it away and that poison continued to affect him till he passed away under its effect.
And Ayyashi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Ayesha and Hafasa had poisoned the Prophet with that poison, so it is possible that both poisons caused his death.
 The author says: No Shia scholar has accepted this view, perhaps the above statement was made under Taqayyah.
 Surah Aale Imran 3:185
 The author says: The above tradition that Jibraeel said I will never again come to the earth, perhaps implies that I will not come with divine revelation. So that these traditions should not oppose him and it is also possible that after the Holy Prophet (S) he might not have come down to the earth and had performed all these actions in air.
 Surah Ahzab 33:56
 Surah Ahzab 33:56
 The author says: In the eyes of people apparently it was Abu Talha who had dug the grave but actually angels had dug it as mentioned before and this is more correct; so that it may not go against the previous narrations.
 The author says: There are many traditions of four fingers. It is possible that initially it was of that height but after paving it with stones it had reached to a height of one hand span. It is also possible that this report is based on Taqayyah.
 Surah Aale Imran 3:185
 As mentioned in the most reliable book of Ahle Sunnat, Sahih Bukhari, Ayesha says that we administered medicine to the Prophet when he was ill and he gestured that no medicine should be given to him, so we thought that since the patient hates medicine, that is why the Prophet has said thus. When he regained consciousness he said, “I didn’t prohibit you from pouring medicine in mouth.” We said, “We thought that since the patient hates medicine, that is why you also prohibited it. He said, “Except for Abbas every person should be given this medicine, because he was not present with you.” (Sahih Bukhari, Pg. 18, Tr. 1673, Hamidiya Press, Delhi). Thus it is very likely that the prophet was indeed administered poison which led to his death – Translator.