When anyone of you passes away, do not detain him but take him with haste to his grave
اذا مات أحدكم فلا تحبسوه و أسرعوا به إلى قبره و ليقرأ عند رأسه بفاتحة الكتاب و عند رجليه بخاتمة البقرة في قبره
When anyone of you passes away, do not detain him but take him with haste to his grave. Recite at the head of his grave Surah al Fatihah and at his feet the concluding verses of Surah al Baqarah.
As for the marfu’ version, it is narrated by al Khallal in al Qira’ah ‘ind al Qubur, al Tabarani, and al Bayhaqi from the chain of Yahya ibn ‘Abdullah al Babalti — from Ayub ibn Nuhayk — who heard ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah — who heard from Ibn ‘Umar — who reports it from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
This sanad is da’if jiddan. Yahya is wahin (weak) as al Haythami criticised him in Majma’ al Zawa’id. He also mentions that al Babalti is da’if. And his Sheikh, Ayub, is matruk (accused of fabricating ahadith).
Al Albani declares, “The hadith is extremely da’if.”
This makes it clear that Ibn Hajar erred when he declared the marfu’ version’s isnad as hasan for there are two clear discrepancies therein.
Al Bayhaqi indicated towards its incongruity by saying, “It has not been recorded except with this isnad as far as I know. We have narrated the qira’ah mentioned therein from Ibn ‘Umar mawquf.”
This mawquf version is narrated by Yahya ibn Ma’in in his al Tarikh, al Khallal in al Jami’, al Lalka’i, al Bayhaqi, Ibn ‘Asakir, and al Mizzi in Tahdhib al Kamal from Mubashar ibn Ismail — from ‘Abdul Rahman ibn al ‘Alaj ibn al Lajlaj — from his father — from Ibn ‘Umar.
Al Tabarani narrates it from many chains — from Mubashar — from ‘Abdul Rahman ibn al ‘Ala’ — from his father — from his grandfather al Lajlaj, marfu’an. Ibn ‘Asakir narrates it from the chain of Abu Humam — from Mubashar — from ‘Abdul Rahman ibn al ‘Ala’ — from his father — from his grandfather — from Ibn ‘Umar.
While Mubashar may be thiqah (reliable), the problem lies with the person he relates this from, ‘Abdul Rahman ibn al ‘Ala’.
‘Abdul Rahman ibn al ‘Ala’
- ‘Abdul Rahman is majhul (unknown). None besides Mubashar narrate from him.
- Abu Zur’ah and al Tirmidhi have indicated to the fact that he is unknown.
Moreover, there is idtirab in the sanad from three angles.
I only found two people who narrate from his father: 1. his son – whose condition you just learnt about – and 2. Hafs ibn ‘Umar ibn Thabit who is munkar al hadith. Therefore, no narration attributed to al ‘Ala’ is thabit (established). Following this, al Dhahabi did not rely on al ‘Ijli’s authentication and Ibn Hibban included him among the thiqat (reliable narrators) – for both observe laxity in this regard. He says in al Kashif, “He has been termed reliable.” Thus, al ‘Ala’ will be majhul al ‘ayn according to the correct view. Taking this into consideration, the hadith is extremely da’if due to the many discrepancies therein.
Some have relied upon what Abu Bakr al Khallal has narrated. He says:
Hassan ibn Ahmed al Warraq informed me saying, ‘Ali ibn Musa al Haddad, who was truthful, informed me while Ibn Hammad al Muqri’ was directing him. He informed me saying: “I was with Ahmed ibn Hanbal and Muhammad ibn Qudamah al Jawhari at a janazah.” He then mentioned the narration. It appears that Ibn Qudamah informed Imam Ahmed about the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar from Mubashar and Imam Ahmed practiced accordingly.
This is munkar. Al Albani has criticised this incident with the obscurity of Shaykh al Khallal, etc., and due to the fact that the narration of Abu Dawood which is thabit makes mention that he heard Ahmed replying negatively to whether there was qira’ah at the grave.Al Duri also asked Imam Ahmed this question and received the same reply. And this is the stance of majority of the pious predecessors, the likes of Abu Hanifah and Malik, who declared, “I do not know anyone who does this.”
In conclusion, both marfu’ and mawquf versions of the narration remain extremely da’if.
Note: Some have understood that Ibn Hajar labelled the chain of ‘Abdul Rahman ibn al ‘Ala’ as hasan whereas this is not the case. The truth is that although al Tabarani has two narrations, Ibn Hajar only declared the marfu’ version from Ibn ‘Umar as sahih. And al Tabarani’s narration that appears marfu’ from the chain of ‘Abdul Rahman is not from Ibn ‘Umar, but in fact from the Musnad of al Lajlaj. This is supported by the fact that when Ibn Hajar reported the narration of ‘Abdul Rahman ibn al ‘Ala’ in al Talkhis al Habir, he did not declare it hasan but remained silent.
 That isnad which leads up to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
 That isnad which leads up to a sahabi.
 Al Qira’ah ‘ind al Qubur pg. 25; as appears in the ta’liq (footnotes) of al Albani on Hidayat al Ruwat.
 Al Tabarani vol. 12 pg. 144, Hadith: 13613.
 Shu’ab al Iman vol. 7 pg. 16, Hadith: 9294.
 Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 3 pg. 44.
 Al Da’ifah Hadith: 4140.
 Fath al Bari vol. 3 pg. 184.
 Al Tarikh vol. 2 pg. 345, 379.
 As appears in al Arba’in al Mutabayanah of Ibn Hajar pg. 85.
 Al Lalka’i vol. 6 pg. 1227.
 Al Bayhaqi vol. 4 pg. 56.
 Ibn ‘Asakir vol. 47 pg. 230.
 Tahdhib al Kamal vol. 22 pg. 538.
 Al Tabarani vol. 9 pg. 220.
 Ibn ‘Asakir vol. 50 pg. 297.
 Al Mizan vol. 2 pg. 579.
 Jami’ al Tirmidhi Hadith: 979; al Shama’il al Muhammadiyyah Hadith: 389.
 Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 3 pg. 180; al Lisan.
 Ahkam al Jana’iz pg. 243.
 Al Da’ifah Hadith: 4140.
 Al Ta’liqat ‘ala Hidayat al Ruwat vol. 2 pg. 223.
 Al Amr bi al Ma’ruf wa al Nahy ‘an al Munkar pg. 124 – 126.
 Ahkam al Jana’iz pg. 243; al Da’ifah Hadith: 4140.
 Al Jami’ of Khallal as in al Arba’in al Mutabayanah of Ibn Hajar pg. 85.
 Al Da’ifah.
 Al Talkhis al Habir vol. 2 pg. 130.