The meaning of the Hadith: “….stand by my grave the time it takes to slaughter a camel”


What’s the ruling on reciting (the Quran) for the deceased? And what’s the meaning of the Hadith of ‘Amr bin Al-Ās – May Allah be pleased with him –

أقيموا عند قبري قدر ما يذبح جزور

“And stand by my grave the time it takes to slaughter a camel”


Reciting (Quran) for the deceased is a newly introduced matter. In Sahihayn from the Hadith of ‘Aisha, May Allah be pleased with her, she said that the Prophet ﷺ said:

من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد

“Whoever introduces in this affair of ours that which is not from it, will have it rejected”

And In Sahih Muslim from the authority of Abi Hurairah, May Allah be pleased with him, He said the Messenger ﷺ said:

إذا مات الإنسان انقطع عمله إلا من ثلاث: صدقة جارية، أو علم ينتفع به، أو ولد صالح يدعو له

“When a person dies, their deeds come to an end except 3: a continuous charity, or knowledge that’s benefitted from, or a righteous child that supplicates for them”.

That is what he benefits from. As for innovation then the deceased is not benefitted by it. Yes, indeed reciting the Quran draws a person closer to Allah Aza wa Jal, and it’s from the most loftiest acts of worship, but doing this act of worship upon the deceased deeming it will intercede for him and that it would lighten the punishment for him, then the Prophet ﷺ and his companions never used to do this, and the best guidance is the guidance of the Messenger ﷺ.

As for the Hadith of ‘Amr bin Al-Ās, it’s established with Sahih Muslim – that he (Amr) said to his son during the pangs of death:

إذا أنا مت فلا تصحبني نائحة ولا نار، فإذا دفنتموني فشنوا عليَّ التراب شنًّا، ثم أقيموا حول قبري قدر ما ينحر جزور ويقسم لحمها، حتى أستأنس بكم، وأعلم ماذا أراجع به رسل ربي

“When I die let no wailing woman or fire accompany me, and when you bury me scatter earth lightly over me, then stand round my grave as long as it takes to sacrifice a camel and it takes for its flesh to get distributed, so that I may feel you near and know what to answer my Lord’s Messengers.”( i.e. Munkar and Nakir who examine the dead in the grave).

Shāfi’i – May Allah the Most High have mercy – on him said:

“It’s recommended to remain by the grave an hour supplicating for the deceased and asking forgiveness for him”.

Nawawi said:

“And the As-haab agreed upon it, they said: it’s recommended to recite by him something from the Quran, and were it to be recited completely, it is even better”

And inspection of this topic from different standpoints:

The first: That the Sunnah after burying the deceased is to depart and refrain from remaining behind by the grave the time it takes a camel to get slaughtered.

Second standpoint: Is that Shāfi’i recommended this action perhaps due to relying upon this narration of ‘Amr.

As for the narration of ‘Uthmān bin Afān – May Allah be pleased with him – that he said:

كان رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم إذا فَرَغ من دفن الميت وقَفَ عليه، وقال: استغفروا لأخيكم، واسألوا له التثبيت، فإنه الآنَ يُسأَل

“Whenever the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) finished the burial of the dead, he would stand by the grave and say: “Seek forgiveness for your brother and ask for him to be made steadfast, because he right now being questioned”.

Reported by Abu Dāwud, it is Sahih, and there’s no mention of remaining by the grave. However, after burying he would supplicate for the deceased and depart. Thus, remaining by the grave for this action is contrary to the Sunnah that’s Sahih.

The third standpoint: Is that some of the Shāfi’iyyah added an addition that’s newly introduced, which is reciting the Quran by the grave, this opinion from them is an error and it is an innovation, due to lack of proof for it. So this is the surety of the topic in it’s entirety, and Alhamdulilah.

Moreover, this is an Ijtihād from ‘Amr bin Al-Ās, May Allah be pleased with him. And nor did the Prophet ﷺ command with that, nor the Khulafa Ar-Rāshidoon after him, nor other then them from the Sahaba beside ‘Amr bin Al-Ās, May Allah be pleased with him, from what we know. Thus, the guidance of the Messenger ﷺ precedes over the Ijtihād of a companion, May Allah be pleased with him.

Answered by: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him

Translated by: Abu Mālik Nāsir Al-Ma’mary