Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)
Supplication to be made soon after a Person's Death
919. Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) visited Abu Salamah (May Allah be pleased with him) when his eyes were open soon after he died. He closed them (the eyes) for him and said, "When the soul is taken away, the sight follows it.'' Some members of his family began to weep. He (PBUH) said: "Do not supplicate for yourselves anything but good, for the angels say `amin' to what you say.'' Then he ü said, "O Allah! Forgive Abu Salamah, raise his rank among those who are rightly-guided and grant him a successor from his descendants who remain behind. Grant him pardon and us, too. O Rubb of the worlds. Make his grave spacious for him and give him light in it.''
Commentary: When the soul leaves the body, the eyes remain open as if gazing at it. So, the eyes of the dead body should be closed. Secondly, one should avoid uttering any imprecation on such occasions as the angels, present on the occasion, say `Amin' to it. Thirdly, the Prophet's example requires the pious persons to visit a bereaved family. Condoling them, they should invoke supplication and blessing for the departed soul. Besides, they should pray to Allah to bless the bereaved with both spiritual and material gains and multiple goodness. Supplication, as other Ahadith also tell us, is beneficial to the dead person. Condolence and supplication is undoubtedly a confirmed practice of the Prophet (PBUH). We are supposed to follow only what the Prophet (PBUH) did on such occasions, that is to say, to pray for both the departed soul and the bereaved family. This is not confirmed if in any mourning session, the Prophet ü ever prayed by raising his hands. But in view of the accepted mode of praying, to raise hands is also allowable.