Losing a loved one is among the most difficult experiences we can have in our life journey. While we are grieving, it is important to stay mindful of what actions we can perform to help us get through this difficult time. Visiting the cemetery and reciting the Quran and recommended supplications near the graves is one way that can help, because it has many benefits for us and our deceased loved one. Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (p) states, “Visit your deceased for they become joyous by your visit to them.”1

Benefits of Visiting the Cemetery

The traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (pbut) teach us the importance of visiting the cemetery. The Holy Household themselves practiced this. Lady Fatimah (p) used to visit the graves of the martyrs every week and reminded herself where her father, the Messenger of God (pbuh&hp), used to stand.2 For many people, being physically close to loved ones who have departed from this world (by visiting their graves) while grieving may help with the suffering of such a calamity. Reciting the Holy Quran and different supplications and sending the rewards of these actions to them will  benefit us and them.

Moreover, the visitation to our loved ones not only reminds us of the hereafter and that this life is temporary, but it also brings joy to our loved ones. In another tradition, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (p) states, “They [deceased ones] are happy and [enjoy] your presence and feel lonely when you leave.”3 This should be an encouragement to go for their visitation often, as it brings contentment to our hearts to know that our loved ones are overjoyed by our presence.

Furthermore, visiting the graves is one way to attain forgiveness from the Almighty and have our own prayers answered. The commander of the faithful Imam Ali (p) is reported to have said, “Visit your deceased for they become joyous by your visit to them, and any one of you should supplicate to [God] to fulfill your [own] need when visiting the grave of their father and the grave of their mother while  they supplicate to God for them.”4

Finally, Imam Ali al-Rida (p) said, “One who visits the grave of his [believing] brother, places his hand on the grave, and recites Surat al-Qadr seven times will be safe from the great fear [on the Day of Resurrection].”5 Performing all these actions will help us in our grief journey, as we will know that our loved ones are in a better place gaining reward from what we do.

Bits of Advice

1. Make a habit of visiting the cemetery: Making a habit of visiting the cemetery will help us stay reminded of the hereafter, which will encourage us to stay away from sinful actions. In addition, it offers us consolation to be near the graves of our loved ones.

2. Recite the Quran near the graves: It is highly recommended to recite Surat al-Fatihah, Surat Ya Sin, Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Falaq, and Surat al-Nas6 near the graves of believers and loved ones. As beneficial as reciting verses of the Quran is for our departed family members, it also helps us build a connection to the Holy Book of God.

3. Recite the following supplication when passing by cemeteries: Imam Ali (p) states, “I heard the Messenger of God (pbuh&hp) say, ‘He who recites it when passing by the cemeteries, fifty years of his sins will be forgiven [by God].’ At that point the Prophet (pbuh&hp) was asked, ‘What if he did not have fifty years of sins?’ He replied, ‘Then for his parents, brothers [in faith], and the general public of the believers [i.e., they will be forgiven instead if the reciter of this special invocation did not have fifty years of sins].’ [This special invocation is]:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Peace be upon the of people of no God but Allah (la ilaha illallah) (i.e., the people who believe in the absolute oneness of God), O people of la ilaha illallah, how did you find the [result which came of] la ilaha illallah from la ilaha illallah. O la ilaha illallah, by the sake of la ilaha illallah, forgive those who said la ilaha illallah and resurrect us along with those who said la ilaha illallah.”7

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1. Al-kafi, vol. 3, p. 230.
2. Al-kafi, vol. 3, p. 228.
3. Al-kafi, vol. 3, p. 228.
4. Al-kafi, vol. 3, p. 230.
5. Al-kafi, vol. 3, p. 229.
6. Islamic Laws for Death and Burial, p. 88.
7. Bihar al-anwar, vol. 99, p. 301.

1. روي عن الإمام أمير المؤمنين (ع): “زوروا موتاكم فإنهم يفرحون بزيارتكم”
2. روي عن الإمام الصادق (ع): “عاشت فاطمة (عليها السلام) بعد أبيها خمسة وسبعين يوما لم تر كاشره (2) ولا ضاحكة. تأتي قبور الشهداء في كل جمعة مرتين: الاثنين والخميس فتقول: ههنا كان رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله)”
3. روي عن الإمام الصادق (ع): ” إنهم يأنسون بكم فإذا غبتم عنهم استوحشوا”
4. روي عن الإمام أمير المؤمنين (ع): “زوروا موتاكم فإنهم يفرحون بزيارتكم وليطلب أحدكم حاجته عند قبر أبيه وعند قبر أمه بما يدعو لهما”
5. روي عن الإمام الرضا (ع): ” من أتى قبر أخيه ثم وضع يده على القبر وقرأ إنا أنزلناه في ليلة القدر سبع مرات أمن يوم الفزع الأكبر”
7. من الأدعية التي يستحب قراءتها عند زيارة القبور كما ورد عن أمير المؤمنين (ع): “بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم السلام على أهل لا إله إلا الله من أهل لا إله إلا الله، يا أهل لا إله إلا الله، بحق لا إله إلا الله كيف وجدتم قول لا إله إلا الله، من لا إله إلا الله، يا لا إله إلا الله، بحق لا إله إلا الله، اغفر لمن قال لا إله إلا الله، واحشرنا في زمرة من قال لا إله إلا الله، محمد رسول الله، علي ولي الله.
فقال علي عليه السلام: إني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، يقول: من قرأ هذا الدعاء أعطاه الله سبحانه وتعالى ثواب خمسين سنة، وكفر عنه سيئات خمسين سنة ولأبويه أيضا.

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