by Imam Malik, translation by A'isha `Abdarahman at-Tarjumana and Ya`qub Johnson , Volume: Burials
Chapter: Walking in Front of the Bier
Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Abu Bakr and Umar as well as the khalifas up until this time and Abdullah ibn Umar, would walk in front of the bier.
Yahya related to me from Muhammad ibn alMunkadir that Rabia ibn Abdullah ibn alHadir told him that he had seen Umar ibn al-Khattab leading people in front of the bier at the funeral of Zaynab bint Jahsh.
Yahya related to me from Malik that Hisham ibn Urwa said, "I only ever saw my father in front of a funeral procession." He added, "Then he would come to al-Baqi and sit down until the procession passed him."
Yahya related to me from Malik that Ibn Shihab said, "Walking behind the bier is in contradiction to the sunna."
16.4 The Prohibition Against Following the Bier with a Burning Torch