Writing Kafani or Alfi



This discussion has two topics,

1. Placing the Shajra Sharif, Ghilaaf of the Kaaba, Ahad-Nama or other sacred relics (Tabarruks) in the grave.

2. To write the Ahad-Nama or Kalima Tayyibah on the kafn or forehead of the deceased with the finger, sand or something else.

Both of these things are permissible and proven from the Ahadith and rulings of the Fuqahaa, However, the opposition rejects this.


Placing sacred relics (Tabarruks) of the Buzurgs, Ghilaaf of the Kaabe, Shajra Sharifor Ahad Nama in the grave is a means (waseelah for the forgiveness of the deceased. The Holy Quran states, “و ابغوا الیہ الوسیلۃ” 7.1 Hadrat Yusuf علیہ السلام said 19 his brothers, “Take this shirt of mine and put it on the face of my father. He will regain his eyesight., 11.2

This proves that clothes of the Buzurgs grant cure because that very shirt belonged to Hadrat Ibrahim علیہ السلام , As a result, it is hoped that the names of the Buzurgs will open the mine of the deceased and he will remember the correct answers [in the grave].

Sayyidah Umme Atia رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that when they finished giving Ghusal to Sayyidah Zainab رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا the daughter of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم they informed him of its completion. She narrates, “The Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم then handed us his tahband (lower garment) and ordered that it be kept with the body in the kafan,” – Mishkaar, Baab. Ghuslil-Mayyit

Shaikh Abdul-Haqq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes under this, “This Hadith is the source of attaining blessings from the belongings and clothes of the pious just as how some disciples of the Mashaaikh place the kurta of the Mashaaikh in the grave,” 17.3 – Lam’aat

Annotating on this Hadith, he رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہwrites in his Persian commentary of Mishkaat, “This confirms the attaining of blessings from the clothes and relics of the pious after death in the grave to be preferable (Mustahab) just as how it was before death.” – Ashiatul-Lam’aat

Speaking about his father, Saifuddin Qaadri رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ Shaikh Abdul-Haqq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “It is appropriate that verses which discuss mercy and forgiveness be written on a piece of paper and kept with my kafn,” – Akhbaarul-Akhyaar

Shah Abdul-Azeez رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “Placing the Shajra in the grave is the practice of the Buzurgs. This is done in two ways. The first is placing the Shajra on the chest of the deceased either above or beneath the kafn, which is prohibited by the Jurists. The second is making a niche in the grave at the head-side of the deceased and placing the Shajra within.” – Fataawa Azeezia

Hadrat Jabir رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” went to the grave of Abdullah bin Ubai (the Leader of the Hypocrites) after he was placed in the grave. He ordered for him to be brought out, placed his blessed saliva on him and dressed him with his upper garment.” – Mishkaat, Baabu Ghuslil-Mayyit

Once, Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم came out wearing his tahband.

Someone saw it and requested him for it. The Sahaaba replied, “The Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” had a need for the tahband at that time but rejecting someone who asks from him was not his habit.” When they asked the man why he requested it, he explained. “Oath on Allahعزوجل! I did not ask for it to ear it, but that it, but that it may become my kafn. Sahl states that this tahband eventually did become his kafn. – Bukhart, Vol. 1, Kitaabul-Janaaiz, Baabu Man A’adal-Kafn

Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ reports that Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم gave his shirt to the mother of Sayyiduna Ali Fatima bint Asad رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, as a kafn. He even placed her in her grave and buried her himself. When people enquired the reason for this, he explained, “I made her use my shirt so that she may attain clothes of Jannat. 1 placed her in her grave so that its narrowness is removed for her.” 17.8-Ma ‘arifatus-Sahaaba of Abu Nuaim and Musnadul-Firdaus of Dailmi

Allama Ibn Abdul-Bir رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that at the time of demise, Hadrat Ameer Mu’awiya رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ willed, ‘The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم blessed me with his clothing. I have kept them for this very day. Keep them beneath my kafn, Take the blessed hair and fingernails of the Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and place them on my face, eyes and parts of Sajda? 17.9 _ Kitaabul-lsti ‘aab fi Ma ‘arifatis-Sahaaba

Imam Haakim narrates from Hameed ibn Abdur-Rahman Rawaasi that Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ once had some musk. He stated in his will, “Perfume me with this musk because it is the remainder of Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” – Mustadrak

Other references like these can be produced but we make do with this much. Those who want further insight should refer to the treatise ‘Al-Harful-Hasan of Alahazrat

It is permitted to write the Ahad Nama or Kalima Tayyiba either on the deceased’s forehead or kafn. Similarly, placing the Ahad Nama in the grave is also allowed (written either with the finger or with something else). Imam Tinnidhi Hakeem ibn Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ narrates that the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said, “He who رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہwrites this dua on a piece of paper and places it between the kafn and chest of the deceased causes the deceased to not undergo punishment in the grave and not see Munkar and Nakeer (the two angels who question the inmates of the grave).” 17.9b – Nawaadirul-Usool


The Fataawa of Allama Makki states after quoting this Hadith, “This dua has an established source. Faqih Ibn Ajeel رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to order this and give the verdict on the permissibility of doing so, deducing (qiyaas) from the fact that the name of Allah عزوجل is written on the camels of Zakaat.” 17.10.

This dua is “لا الہ الا اللہ و اللہ اکبر لا الہ الا اللہ وحدہ لا شریک لہ لا الہ الا اللہ لہ الملک و لہ الحمد لا الہ الا اللہ و لاحول و لا قوۃ الا باللہ العلی العظیم”.

Tirmidhi narrates from Akbar that when a person recites the Ahad Nama, the angels place a stamp on it and keep it for Qiyaamat. When the deceased is resurrected, they produce this stamped pact and ask, “Where is the person of the pact?” They will then return it to him. – AI-Harful-Hasan

Imam Tirmidhi states, “It is reported that Hadrat Ta’oos رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ ordered these words to be written. Thus, they were written on his kafn.” 17.11 – Al-Harful­Hasan

Imam Kurduri رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “Imam Saffar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, has said, “If the Ahad Nama is written on the forehead, turban or kafn of the deceased, it is hoped that Allahعزوجل will forgive him and save him from the punishment of the grave.” 17.12 -Wajeez, Kitaabul-Istihsaan

Durre-Mukhtaar states, “If the Ahad Nama is written on the forehead, turban or kafu of the deceased, it is hoped that Allahعزوجل will grant him forgiveness.” 17.13-Vol. 1, Baabush-Shaheed

At this very juncture, Durre-Mukhtaar records an interesting incident. A person stated in his will (wasiyat) that ‘Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raheem’ should be written on either his chest or forehead. Accordingly, it was carried out. Someone later saw him in a dream and asked, “What did you experience?” He replied, “After being buried, the Angels of Punishment arrived but, upon seeing ‘Bismillah’ written, they said, “You have been saved from the punishment of Allahعزوجل.”

Fataawa Bazaaziya states, “If the Ahad Nama is written on the forehead, turban or kafn of the deceased, it is hoped that Allahعزوجل will forgive and protect him from the punishment of the grave. Imam Naseer states that from this narration, it is known that writing this is permissible. It has also been narrated that Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ wrote on the thighs of the horses of Astabul: ‘Hubisaa -Sabeelillah’.” 17.14 _ Just before Kitaabul-Jinaayaat

Many other extracts of Fiqh may be produced besides these, but we make do with the above. Refer to Al-Harful-Hasan’ or ‘Fataawa Razvia’ for more details.

For various reasons, writing the Abad Nama, etc. or placing it in the grave should be permissible even from a rational point of view,

1. When the tasbeeh of grass and fresh flowers on top of the grave benefits the deceased, why can’t the tasbeeh, etc. that is written benefit him?

2. We are instructed to encourage the recitation of the Kalima (Talqeen) to the deceased from outside the grave so that the name of Allahعزوجل reaches his ear and he is successful in the test of the Qabr. So, it is hoped that the deceased answers the two angels (Nakeerain) successfully upon also seeing the written name of Allahعزوجل inside. This is also a type of Talqeen, and the order to make Talqeen is absolute in the Hadith (‘Laqqqinoo Amwaatakwn’). Therefore, it is correct in any way performed, be it verbally or in writing.

3. Through the blessings of the names of the favoured servants of Allahعزوجل, difficulties are removed, fires are extinguished and an uneasy heart attains satisfaction. Allahعزوجل state, 1s through the remembrance (zikr) of Allahعزوجل do hearts gain serenity . 17.15- Surah Raad, Verse 28

Under the ayat, “ما یعلمھم الا قلیل ”17.16 Tafseer Nishaanpuri, Roohul-Bayaan and Tafseer Saawi state that the names of the Ashaab-e-Kahf (People of the Cave) are beneficial at many instances, such as at the time of searching for a lost object or retreating in battle. Their names should be written on a piece of paper and placed in a blazing fire to extinguish it. This is also useful at the time a child cries (it should be placed under the child’s head in the cradle), for better farming (stuck on a stick placed in the middle of the farm), for sickness, headache, at the time of going for a judgement (tied around the thigh of the right leg) for protection of wealth, at the time of journeying by sea and to be saved from being killed.” -Al-­Harful-Hasan, Tafseer Khazaatnul-Irfaan, Jumal

Hadrat Abdullah ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that there are seven names of the People of the Cave (Yamleekhah, Makshileenah, MasWeena Mamoosh, Dabamoosh, Shaaznoosh and Martoosh رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ) – Roohul-Bayaan

The Muhadditheen sometimes record Sahib Chains of Narration (Isnaad) and say, “If this is read on a person with lunacy, he will gain relief.” 17.17

What is a Chain of Narration? It is the names of the Buzurgs who are narrators of Hadith. The wazifah of the Ashaab-e-Badr is also constantly read. So, how can it be that the names of these Buzurgs were beneficial in our lifetime but cease to be so after our death? This can never be. Help is definitely attained by them. Thus, the Ahad Nama should be written on the kafn, etc. of the deceased.


OBJECTION 1: The same old objection that writing Kafani or Alfi is an Innovation (Bidat) and is thus Haraam.

Answer – Our previous discussion proves that this is not an Innovation (bidat). Its source is established. Even if it was, not every Innovation is Haraam. Refer to our study on Bidat.

OBJECTION 2: To think that Kafani encourages the recitation of the KaUma (falqeen) is incorrect, because if the deceased is illiterate, how will be read whatever is written at the time being questioned?


Answer – After death, everybody gains the ability to read. Illiteracy can exist in this world, not in the Hereafter. The Hadith states that the language of the people ofJannat is Arabic. – Shaami, Kitaabul-Karaahiyat

However, there are many annatis in the world who do not know Arabic. Similarly, the angels question every deceased in Arabic and they understand the language.

Even on the Day of Mithaaq, Allahعزوجل took a pledge from every soul in Arabic. So do the deceased attend a Madrassh after death to learn Arabic? No. It comes to him instinctively. On the Day of Qiyaamat, people will be given their deeds (Naama-e-Aamaal) in written form and both the learned and the illiterate will be able to read it.

This proves that after death, everybody can understand and read the language of our Beloved Nabi صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Therefore, this written document (The Ahad Nama) is beneficial to the deceased.

OBJECTION: Allama Sbaami رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ bas prohibited writing on the kafn.­Raddul-Muhtaar, VoL 1, Just after Baabut-Tashahud

Likewise, Shah Abdul-Azeez رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ bas prohibited doing so because when the body decomposes, the matter will erode the letters of what is written and this will be disrespectful to it. – Fataawa Azeezia

As a result, it is not permissible. [This is the most common objection by the opposition]

Answer – There are a few replies to this,

1. This proof has no accordance to the claim (that keeping anything written in the grave is prohibited). It only establishes that it we are not allowed to keep something written with ink or sand in the kafn, but writing something on the forehead of the deceased or chest with the finger, or keeping the Ahad Nama in a niche within the grave, is permissible because in these cases there is no fear of the letters being disrespected. Thus, this objection is not sufficient for you.

2. Allama Shaami has not prohibited writing completely. He further states in the same quoted reference, “Some scholars have quoted from Fawaaidush-Sharjee that ‘Bistnillaahir-Rahmanir-Raheem’ should be written on the forehead of the deceased and ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah Muhammadur-Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم on the chest, by finger and without any ink. This writing should be done after the Ghusal is given and before kafn is put on the mayyit.” 17.18 – Raddul-Muhtaar, Vol. 1, Just before Baabtn­Tashahud

This confirms that writing has not completely been prohibited.

3. A1lama Shaami رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has quoted a ruling of permissibility from Fataawa Bazaaziya. It is proof that the elder scholars of the Hanafis rule permissibility on this. A ruling of prohibition is quoted from the Fataawa of Allama Ibn Hajar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ who is a Shafee scholar. So, should Hanafis practice the ruling of Shafees over their own? Definitely not, also, the ruling of prohibition is the personal opinion of Allama Ibn Hajar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ. He didn’t quote anybody in support of his opinion.

4. It is not a certainty that every mayyit will decompose. There are many who are saved from this. So, how just is it to keep the deceased away from benefit merely based on an uncertainty of disrespect?

5. In the previous chapter, we have already recorded the Sahaaba’s practice of stating in their will (wasiyat) to have the sacred relics (Tabarruks) of the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم in their kafns. The Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” himself placed his Tahband Sharif in the kafn of his beloved daughter, Sayyidah Zainab رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا, Hadrat Ta’us رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ wished for words of dua to be written on his kafn. So, did they not fear matter dirtying the kafn? Were these things not sacred to them?

6. It is a rule of Shariah that placing sacred things in what is impure (najaasat) is Haraam. However, if a person places these sacred things due to a need in a pure place with a good intention, doing so will not become impermissible merely on the possibility of it becoming soiled. There are many examples of this. Zam-Zam is sacred water. To make istinjaa with it is Haraam, but to drink it is allowed. To write Quranic ayats, wash it and thereafter drink it is correct. It is permissible to drink the urine of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم even though it is formed by entering the stomach and leaving the body as such. In the chapter before this, we have written that Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ wrote ‘Hubisaa fi-Sabeelillah’ on the thighs of the horses of Astabul, even though there is a strong fear of drops of urine touching the thighs. Horses also lay on impure surfaces, but this had no bearing. Based on this proof, Imam Naseer رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا and Imam Saffaar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا, who are two eminent scholars, and Irnaams of the Hanafi muzhab, ruled that it is permissible to write the Kafani, etc. With regards to the statement of Shaikh Ibn Hajar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا (“This writing of Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ on the horses was for differentiation. Thus, the ruling of this has changed”}, this is incorrect because although there are different intentions, the letters that were written are the same. The ruling of the letters {Huroof} does not change due to the difference in intention. In short, this objection is totally baseless. The single deduction (qiyaas) of a Shafee who is not even a Mujtahid is not credible when it is opposing the Hadith, practice of the Sahaaba and rulings of the Imams. What the opposition can provide is an explicit Hadith or ruling of a Hanafi Imam that corroborates their stance, though they won’t be able to.

7. Permissibility or prefer ability can be proven from the sayings of the Ulama, but a specific proof of Shariah is required to prove Dislike (Karaahiyat), as we have already explained. So, the ruling of prefer ability is worthy of acceptance from these opinions, not the ruling of Karaahat, because it is bereft of proof.

OBJECTION 4: Keeping the Ahad Nama or the Shajra in the grave is wastage (israaf) because it will not serve any purpose being there and will eventually decay and decompose. Wastage is Haraam.


Answer – It is not useless because it benefits the deceased in many ways, as explained above.

OBJECTION 4: The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” put his blessed shirt the Hypocrite, Abdullah bin Ubai رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ , after his death and placed his blessed saliva in bis mouth. However, no benefit was gained from doing this. This proves that Kafani is useless aod that the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” does not have Knowledge of the Unseen.

Otherwise, he wouldn’t have given his shirt and put his blessed saliva in Abdullah’s mouth. Another point that emerges is that fragments of Rasoolullah’sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم body can enter Jahannam because Abdullah bin Ubai رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is a Hypocrite and Jabanoami, and he had the Prophet’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم saliva in his mouth. Thus, the saliva went where he did.

Answer – Actually, this incident proves the permissibility of Kafani because Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم dressed the Hypocrite with his blessed shirt as.

Kafani. From this, we see that without Imaan, these sacred relics (Tabarruks) do’ not give benefit to the deceased. We too believe that Kafani is beneficial to a deceased who is a Mu’min, not a Kaafir. Of course the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم knew that Abdullah bin Ubai was a Hypocrite (Munaafiq). In fact, it was through him revealing this that we know he was one! He also knew that this will give no benefit to the one who has no Imaan, because all of this deals with Beliefs (Aqaaid) and it is necessary for the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم to have knowledge of this. When a fanner is able to recognize fertile and barren land for fanning, why can’t the Nabi صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم know and understand the land of Imaan (the human heart)? There are three reasons why Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم gave Abdullah bin Ubai رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ these relics,

1. Abdullah bin Ubai’s son was a sincere Mu’rnin and pleasing him was intended by this.

2. 2. Once, this Hypocrite gave his shirt to Hadrat Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ to wear. Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم wanted to free his uncle of this debt.

3. The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم demonstrated that he was the Mercy to the Worlds (Rahmatulil-Aalameen) in this incident. He is ready to show mercy to everyone, irrespective of whether a person takes his guidance or not. A cloud rains down on every kind of earth, but solid, mountainous regions take no benefit from it.

The fragments of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم cannot enter Jahannam whilst remaining in their state. Surety the angels didn’t even let the Hypocrite’s mouth take in the blessed saliva – they must have removed it. Kan’aan, the son of Hadrat Nuh علیہ السلام, will enter Jahannam in the complete adult form. Why? Because only when the semen (nutfaa) turns into something else, then will it enter Jahannam in this new state. On the other hand, when Hadrat Talha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ drank the blood of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم after cupping, the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said, “The fire of Jahannam is Haraam upon you.”

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