The Hadeeth of al Baraa ibn Aazib reported by Ahmad, Abu Daawud, al Haakim and others. The following is the wording of Imaam Ahmad rahimahullaah with authentic additions from others, compiled and authenticated by Shaikh al-Albaanee –rahimahullaah-in ‘Ahkaamul-Janaa`iz(pp.198-202) and it is up to the standard of Imaams al- Bukhaari and Muslim :
‘We went out with the Prophet sall Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam on a funeral of a man from the Ansaar. So we came to the grave and he sall Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam had a stick, with which he was prodding the earth. He began looking towards the sky, and looking towards the earth, and raising his gaze and lowering it three times, and then he said:
Seek Allaah’s refuge from the Punishment of the Grave! …two or three times, and then he sall Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam said:
O Allaah, I seek your refuge from the Punishment of the Grave.
And then he sall Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam said:
The believing servant, when he is departing from this world and going on to the Hereafter – then some angels from the heaven descend upon him, with white faces as if their faces were the sun. With them, there are shrouds from the shrouds of Paradise and perfume for embalming from the perfume of Paradise – until they sit at a distance away from him that can be reached by the sight.
And then the Angel of Death alaiyhis-salaam comes, until he sits by his head and he says:
O Pure soul! (and in one narration - at rest), come out to forgiveness from Allaah and His Pleasure! So it comes out flowing just like a drop of fluid flows out of a vessel.
So he alaiyhis-salaam takes it - and in one narration – when his soul comes out, then every angel between the Heavens and the Earth makes supplication for it and every angel in the Heaven and the Gates of the (lowest) Heaven are opened for him.
And there are no inhabitants (i.e. angels) present at any gate except that they make supplication to Allaah that his soul be taken up from their direction.
So when he (the Angel of Death) takes it, he does not leave it in his hand even for the blink of an eye until he takes it and places it in that shroud and in that perfume – and that is His Saying, He the Most High:
‘Our Messengers take his soul in Death, and they do not fall short in their duty.’ And a smell comes from him like the smell of the purest musk found on the face of the earth.
Then they ascend with it (the believing soul) and they do not pass by any (group of angels) expect that they say:
What is this pure soul? So they say:
It is so and so, the son of so and so. …mentioning him by the finest names which he used to be called in this world, until they take him to the lowest heaven and they request that it be opened for him – so it is opened for him.
And then the closest ones from every heaven accompany him to the next heaven until he reaches the seventh heaven – and Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic says: