Why do we throw three handfuls of soil into the grave before filling it?

Why do we throw three handfuls of soil into the grave before filling it?

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) performed the funeral prayer on a deceased (Muslim) and then came to his grave and threw three handfuls of dirt at the direction of his head. (Ibn Majah)

He is reported to have recited these verses when his daughter Sayyidah Umm Kulthum (may Allah be pleased with her) was positioned in her grave. (Musnad Ahmad)

After placing the body into the recess of the grave, when throwing the first handful of sand/soil on the grave one may recite:

مِنۡهَا خَلَقۡنٰكُمۡ

During the second handful recite:

وَفِيۡهَا نُعِيۡدُكُمۡ

During the third handful recite:

وَمِنۡهَا نُخۡرِجُكُمۡ تَارَةً اُخۡرٰى

Therefore we do this as a Sunnah.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim 3rd June 2023


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.