The one that remains

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

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Anas ibn Malik رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

يتبع الميت ثلاث فيرجع اثنان ويبقى واحد يتبعه أهله وماله وعمله فيرجع أهله وماله ويبقى عمله

 “(There are) three that follow the dead (to his grave), two of which return and one that remains (with him): His family, his wealth, and his deeds (follow him) – his family and wealth returns, while his deeds remain (with him).”

[Saheeh al-Bukhari, 6514 and Muslim, 2960]

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1. The hadeeth is also recorded by Imam Tirmidhi in his Sunan, 2379; and commenting on it, Allaamah Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri رحمه الله تعالى writes in his valuable ‘Tuhfat al-Ahwadi’:

يتبع الميت – أي إلى قبره
ثلاث – أي من أنواع الأشياء
فيرجع اثنان – أي إلى مكانهما ويتركانه وحده
ويبقى واحد – أي لا ينفك عنه
يتبعه أهله – أي أولاده وأقاربه وأهل صحبته ومعرفته
وماله – كالعبيد والإماء والدابة والخيمة . قاله القاري . وقال المظهر : أراد بعض ماله وهو مماليكه . وقال الطيبي : اتباع الأهل على الحقيقة واتباع المال على الاتساع ، فإن المال حينئذ له نوع تعلق بالميت من التجهيز والتكفين ومؤنة الغسل والحمل والدفن ، فإذا دفن انقطع تعلقه بالكلية
وعمله – أي من الصلاح وغيره
ويبقى عمله – قال الحافظ في الفتح : معنى بقاء عمله أنه يدخل معه القبر . وقد وقع في حديث البراء بن عازب الطويل في صفة المسألة في القبر عند أحمد وغيره ففيه : ويأتيه الرجل حسن الوجه حسن الثياب حسن الريح فيقول أبشر بالذي يسرك . فيقول : من أنت فيقول : أنا عملك الصالح . وقال في حق الكافر : ويأتيه رجل قبيح الوجه ، الحديث ، وفيه : بالذي يسوءك ، وفيه : عملك الخبيث ، انتهى

Follow the dead” – Meaning to his grave.

Three” – From (all) the type of things.

Two of which return” – (Return) back alone to their (original) place.

One remains with him” – (It) does not leave him.

His family” – His children, relatives and family friends and those he knows.

His wealth” – His slaves, animals, tent (shelter, i.e. all types of possessions one owns). Al-Qari said (that) Al-Madhar said:”Money that will later return to his estate”. At-Teebi said: “His family will follow the truth (by) calculating from his wealth. An amount of money is subtracted from the deceased person’s wealth to arrange for the burial in terms of supporting the process of washing and shrouding and burying. The burial cuts off (all) attachment (to Dunya).

His Deeds” – Of his good deeds and other than that.

His deeds remain” – Al-Hafidh (Ibn Hajar) said in his Fath: “The meaning of ‘his deeds remain’ is that he will enter the grave with them”. What has occurred in the hadeeth of Al-Bara’ ibn Aazib describing the matter of the grave, found in Musnad Ahmad and others (on the topic); about a man with a handsome face and with nice clothes and sweet breath and he will say (to the inhabitant of the grave) be satisfied with the glad tidings (given to you). The inhabitant will ask ‘who are you?’ (The man will reply): ‘I am your good deeds’. And for the disbeliever, he will be sent a man with an ugly face. [note: the complete hadeeth can be found here: – graded as saheeh in as-Saheehah, 3558]

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2. For a more comprehensive explanation of the hadeeth, download Ibn Rajab’s شرح حديث يتبع الميت ثلاث

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And Tawfeeq and Himmah is from Allaah alone.

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