Why Prophet Muhammad lead Janaza of Abduallh bin Ubay?

Abdullah bin Ubai was a hypocrite

Abdullah ibn Ubay was a hypocrite, a munafiq whose life was aimed at defaming Islam and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He used to make plans to divide Muslims so that Muslims would become weak. He would claim himself a Muslim yet was the greatest enemy of Islam.

Abdullah Bin Ubay was the leader of hypocrites. He would lead other munafiqs to hold conspiracies against Islam. 

Prophet Muhammad knew about him

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was made aware that he was a Munafiq. Many verses were sent down to reveal his plots. The Chapter of the Holy Quran named Al Munafiqun is also about such munafiqs.

In fact, at one time, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ ordered the burn of Masjid Dirar from where hypocrites used to plan against Islam.

Abdullah bin Ubay died in 9 AH

When Abdullah bin Ubay died in 9 AH, his son Abdullah approached Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and asked to lead Janaza. The Sahaba were shocked to see Prophet Muhammad ﷺ accepting the demand. 

Umar bin Khattab رضي الله عنه asked that hasn’t Allah prohibited Prophet Muhammad ﷺ from leading the funeral prayers of a hypocrite?

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that Allah had given him the choice of asking for the forgiveness of such people.

It does not matter whether you (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) pray for them to be forgiven or not. Even if you pray for their forgiveness seventy times, Allah will never forgive them. – At-Tawbah 9:80

The sins of these hypocrites are unforgivable, and Allah shall punish them no matter whether Prophet Muhammad ﷺ prays for them or not.

Allah sent revelation later

And do not ever offer ˹funeral˺ prayers for any of their dead, nor stand by their grave at burial, for they have lost faith in Allah and His Messenger and died rebellious. – At-Tawbah 9:84

After this instruction, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did not lead the funeral prayer of any Munafiq, nor did he stand on their graves to pray for their forgiveness.

A Beautiful Lesson from the Story

There is beautiful wisdom behind Prophet Muhammad ﷺ conducting the funeral prayer of Abdullah bin Ubay. There were many people close to Abdullah bin Ubay, and seeing that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was so kind towards a person who had been an enemy for a long time softened their hearts for Islam.

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