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Funeral Prayer (Salat-al-Janazah or Salat-al-Mayyat)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ; وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي ; وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي ; يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

It was narrated that Imran bin Hussain said: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “Your brother has died, so get up and pray for him.”

(Hadith No. 1948, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3).

To offer funeral prayer for a deceased Muslim is an obligation upon us, as proven from above mentioned hadith. It is an obligation of community i.e. ‘Fard-e-kifayah’, which means that it is necessary to perform the funeral prayer over every deceased Muslim, whether one person performs it or some people perform it or a large number of people perform it. If not done, all will be guilty of a serious sin for neglecting the obligation.

Sad to say, many Muslims do not even know the importance of offering funeral prayer; many do not even know how to perform it; lot of ignorance prevails. Let us take this discussion as an opportunity to get acquainted with significance, procedures and other do(s) /don’t(s) of the funeral prayer.

A. Importance of funeral prayer

We have already talked about the importance of performing funeral prayer is a ‘fard-e-kifayah’, an obligation upon whole community. But the importance doesn’t end here; there are lots of rewards associated with funeral prayer.

A.1. Reward for the deceased (for whom funeral prayer is offered)

Aishah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “No one among the Muslims dies, and Salat is performed for him by a community of Muslims reaching one hundred, and they intercede (supplicate) for him, except that their intercession for him is accepted.” In his narration, Ali bin Hujr said, “One hundred or more than that.”

(Hadith No. 1029, Chapters on Janaiz, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 2198 (947), Book of Funerals, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 1994, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3).

Some other narrations, reported by Imam Muslim (Hadith No. 2199 (948), Book of Funerals) in his Sahih, tell us similar report with the number of people as forty (reported on authority of Kuraib, the freed slave of Abdullah bin Abbas).

Thus we see that if a group of people (numbering above forty or hundred, as per different narrations) offer funeral prayer for a deceased Muslim, and supplicate for the deceased, their supplication for the dead is accepted by Allah.

A.2. Reward for those who offer funeral prayer

The reward for offering funeral prayer is not limited to the deceased only; the ones who offer funeral prayer are also promised handsome reward for performing this obligation. Refer to following narration:

Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “Whoever attends a funeral procession till he offers funeral prayer for it, will get a reward equal to one Qirat; and whoever accompanies it till burial will get a reward equal to two Qirat.” It was asked, “What are two Qirat?” He replied, “Like two huge mountains.”

(Hadith No. 1325, Book of Funerals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 2193 (945), Book of Funerals, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

In the narration reported by Imam Muslim, ‘Uhud’ has been used for mountain.

B. Where is funeral prayer offered?

Abu Saeed Al-Khudri (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “All of the earth is a masjid except for the graveyard and the washroom.”

(Hadith No. 317, Chapters on Salat, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1; Hadith No. 745, Chapters on Mosques & Congregations, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1).

So, we can offer prayer at any place except the graveyard and the washroom. This rule applies to all types of prayers. However, in case of funeral prayer, there is an exception related to praying in a graveyard. Refer to following hadith:

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (RA) that a black woman used to sweep the mosque. The Prophet (PBUH) noticed she was missing and he asked about her after a few days. He was told that she had died. He said, “Why did you not tell me?” Then he went to her grave and offered the funeral prayer for her.

(Hadith No. 1527, Chapters regarding Funerals, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2).

Similar narrations have been reported by Imam Muslim and Imam Abu Dawud also. This tells us that in some specific cases, where need arises (like if the deceased had been hurried without funeral prayer being offered on him/her), it is permissible to perform the funeral prayer beside the deceased person’s grave. In other circumstances, praying in graveyards is not permissible.

We should also remember, that the funeral prayer can also be offered in a mosque; however, doing so doesn’t mean that it brings additional reward. Funeral prayer carries same rewards, whether it is performed in a mosque or in a place outside.

C. Times when funeral prayer should not be offered

Uqbah bin Amir Al-Juhni narrated, “There are three times that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) prohibited us from performing Salat in, or burying our dead in: When the sun’s rising appears until it has risen up; when the sun is at the zenith until it passes; and when the sun begins its setting until it has set.”

(Hadith No. 1030, Chapters on Janaiz, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 2015, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3; Hadith No. 1519, Chapters regarding Funerals, Ibn Majah, Vol. 2).

The narration is self-explanatory; care should be taken that no prayer or burial is done during these times.

D. How is funeral prayer offered? – The procedure.

The various steps of funeral prayer are as following:

D.1. Number of Takbirs in funeral prayer

There are plenty of narrations that tell us that there are four Takbirs in funeral prayer. Let me quote one of the narrations to support this:

Narrated Jabir (RA): The Prophet (PBUH) offered the funeral prayer for Ashama An-Najashi and said four Takbir(s).

(Hadith No. 1334, Book of Funerals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 2207 (952), Book of Funerals, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

Some narrations for more than four Takbirs can also be found; but four Takbirs is the universally accepted number and is agreed upon by all scholars unanimously.

Start the funeral prayer by saying first Takbir.

D.2. Recitation after first Takbir

It was narrated that Abu Umamah said, “The Sunnah when offering the funeral prayer is to recite Umm-al-Qur’an (i.e. Surah Al-Fatiha, Chapter No. 1) quietly in the first Takbir, then to say three (more) Takbirs, and to say the Taslim after the last one.”

(Hadith No. 1991, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3).

There is a difference of opinion among scholars about whether Surah Al-Fatiha is to be recited in funeral prayer or not. As per followers of Hanafi view, only ‘Thana’ (pronounced as ‘Sana’ by Urdu linguists) is to be recited after first Takbir. The wordings of ‘Thana’ are: Subhana kalla humma wabihamdika watabarakasmuka wata-a’la jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka. The Hanafis recite this and proceed with second Takbir.

Followers of Shafi’ and other views say that it is mandatory to recite Surah Al-Fatiha in funeral prayer. This view is substantiated by the hadith mentioned above. I will quote more narrations in support of this view:

Talhah bin Abdullah bin Awf narrated: Ibn Abbas (RA) performed Salat for a funeral and he recited ‘Fatiha-til-Kitab’ (i.e. Surah Al-Fatiha). So I asked him about it and he said, “It is from the Sunnah, or, from completeness of Sunnah.”

(Hadith No. 1027, Chapters on Janaiz, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 1335, Book of Funerals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 3198, Book of Funerals, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 3; Hadith No. 1989, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3; Hadith No. 1496, Chapters regarding Funerals, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2).

We can see that almost every collection of ahadith reports the hadith authenticating recitation of Surah Al-Fatiha in funeral prayer. Therefore, there is absolutely no doubt that Surah Al-Fatiha should be recited after first Takbir in funeral prayer. I do not agree with the Hanafi opinion on this point.

After this, say second Takbir and proceed with the prayer as explained ahead.

D.3. Recitation after second Takbir

All scholars agree that after second Takbir, one should say Salat upon the Prophet (PBUH). The wordings of Salat upon the Prophet (PBUH) are: Allahumma salli ala-Muhammad wa ala aal-e-Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim wa ala aal-e-Ibrahim innaka Hameed-um-Majeed; Allahumma barik ala Muhammad wa ala aal-e-Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim wa ala aal-e-Ibrahim innaka Hameed-um-Majeed.

After this, pronounce third Takbir and continue the prayer as explained ahead.

D.4. Recitation after third Takbir

After third Takbir, supplication should be made for the deceased. There are various supplications for funeral prayer which the Prophet (PBUH) recited. Important thing to remember is that the main purpose of funeral prayer is to ask Allah’s blessings for the deceased.

We will talk about the two most widely supplications for the deceased in the funeral prayer. The first one is explained in following hadith:

Abu Ibrahim Al-Ashhali narrated from his father, who said, “When Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would perform the Salat for the funeral, he would say: Allahum-maghfir li-hayyina wa mayyitina wa shahidina wa ghaibina, wa saghirina wa kabirina, wa dhakarina wa unthana. Yahya said, “Abu Salam bin Abdur-Rahman narrated from Abu Hurairah (RA), from the Prophet (PBUH), what is similar to that but he added: Allahumma man ahyaytahu minna fa ahyihi alal-Islam wa man tawaffaytahu minna fatawaffahu alal-Iman.

(Hadith No. 1024, Chapters on Janaiz, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2).

This is followed by Hanafis.

Followers of Shafi’ view recite the same supplication with some addition; refer to following narration:

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (RA) said, “When Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) offered the funeral prayer, he would say: Allahum-maghfir li-hayyina wa mayyitina wa shahidina wa ghaibina, wa saghirina wa kabirina, wa dhakarina wa unthana; Allahumma man ahyaytahu minna fa ahyihi alal-Islam wa man tawaffaytahu minna fatawaffahu alal-Iman; Allahumma la tahrimna ajrahu wa la tudillana ba’dah.

(Hadith No. 1496, Chapters regarding Funerals, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 3201, Book of Funerals, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 3).

So, the supplication for deceased, to be recited after third Takbir in funeral prayer is:

Allahum-maghfir li-hayyina wa mayyitina wa shahidina wa ghaibina, wa saghirina wa kabirina, wa dhakarina wa unthana; Allahumma man ahyaytahu minna fa ahyihi alal-Islam wa man tawaffaytahu minna fatawaffahu alal-Iman. (to be recited minimum; enough as per Hanafi view)

+

Allahumma la tahrimna ajrahu wa la tudillana ba’dah. (optional; but compulsory as per Shafi’ view)

Both views are correct and can be acted upon. There are several other supplications also proven by ahadith, which one may recite in funeral prayer. I personally go with the method adopted by Hanafi followers.

After completing this supplication, pronounce the fourth Takbir and continue with the prayer as detailed ahead.

D.5. Recitation after third Takbir

There is no particular recitation after fourth Takbir. The Sunnah way, agreed by all, is to say Taslim immediately after pronouncing fourth Takbir. This is also proven by the hadith of Abu Umamah quoted in Section D.3.

A minor difference of opinion is encountered here: Hanafi followers say Taslim in the manner it is done in normal Salat i.e. by turning head first towards right and then towards left; Shafi’ followers say Taslim in a different manner; they do it only once, towards the right side.

I personally prefer and follow the Hanafi way.

Saying Taslim completes the funeral prayer.

E. Some other important things related to funeral prayer

E.1. Where should the Imam stand?

Funeral prayer is offered while keeping the dead in front. The position of Imam differs depending whether the deceased is a male or a female. Following narration clarifies this for us:

Abu Ghalib narrated: I prayed for the funeral of a man with Anas bin Malik (RA), so he stood parallel to his head. Then they came with body of a woman from Quraish. They said, “O Abu Hamzah! Perform the prayer for her.” So he stood parallel to her waist. Al-Ala bin Ziyad said to him, “Is this how you saw Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) standing in place for the funeral as you did for her, and for the place that you stood for the man?” He said, “Yes.” When he was finished, he said, “Remember (this).”

(Hadith No. 1034, Chapters on Janaiz, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 1494, Chapters regarding Funerals, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2).

Therefore, the Imam should stand parallel to the head or shoulders of the deceased if the deceased is a male, and he should stand parallel to the waist / mod-body of the deceased if the deceased is a female.

E.2. Combined funeral prayer can be offered for more than one deceased.

Ibn Juraij said: I heard Nafi claim that Ibn Umar (RA) offered funeral prayer for nine together. He put the men closer to the Imam and the women closer to the Qiblah, and he placed them (the women) in one row. And the body of Umm Kulthum bint Ali (RA), the wife of Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA), and a son of hers called Zaid were placed together. The Imam that day was Sa’eed bin Al-As and among the people were Ibn Umar (RA), Abu Hurairah (RA), Abu Sa’eed (RA) & Abu Qatadah (RA). The boy was placed closer to Imam. A man said something objecting to that, so I looked at Ibn Abbas (RA), Abu Hurairah (RA), Abu Sa’eed (RA) & Abu Qatadah (RA), and said, “What is this?” They said, “It is Sunnah.”

(Hadith No. 1980, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3).

So, if there is more than one deceased, single funeral prayer can be offered for all of them, irrespective of theirs genders and ages. Placing of bodies should be as described in above mentioned hadith.

E.3. Funeral prayer should be performed while standing.

E.4. Funeral prayer can be performed by a single person, or in a congregation.

E.5. Funeral prayer is performed quietly; this is supported by hadith of Abu Umamah quoted in Section D.2. Only Takbirs and Taslim are pronounced loudly.

E.6. Funeral prayer can be performed for a deceased more than once.

E.7.
Funeral prayer can be performed by women; however, all requirements of modesty etc. should be strictly taken care of.

E.8. Funeral prayer can be offered in absence of the dead body (i.e. ‘Ghaibana Salat’).

The hadith mentioned in Section D.1 tells us that the Prophet (PBUH) offered funeral prayer for An-Najashi (the King of Ethiopia) in the absence of the dead body.

E.9. Funeral prayer for a child

Some scholars are of the view that funeral prayer is not required for a deceased child. Their view is based on following hadith:

It was narrated that Aishah (RA) said, “Ibrahim, the son of the Prophet (PBUH), died when he was 18 months old, and the Prophet (PBUH) did not offer funeral prayer for him.”

(Hadith No. 3187, Book of Funerals, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 3).

The other view is that funeral prayer should be offered for every deceased child above the age when the spirit of life has been inspired in to the body (i.e. four months or so). This view is based on the following hadith:

It was narrated from Al-Mughirah bin Shu’bah that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The rider should move behind the Janazah and the pedestrian may walk wherever he wishes, and the (funeral) prayer should be offered for a child.”

(Hadith No. 1950, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3; Hadith No. 1031, Chapters on Janaiz, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2).

I personally favour the second view; however, both views are authenticated by Sunnah, and we can adopt whichever we want to.

E.10. Funeral prayer should not be offered for the one who commits suicide.

Jabir bin Samurah narrated: A man killed himself, so the Prophet (PBUH) did not perform Salat over him.

(Hadith No. 1068, Chapters on Janaiz, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2).

There are other narrations also which prove that the Prophet (PBUH) did not performed funeral prayer for the Muslims who committed suicide. Therefore, we should ensure in our society that whoever commits a suicide, funeral prayer should not be offered for him/her. This is essential in order to convey the message to the society that suicide is a sin and prohibited in Islam.

E.11. Funeral prayer for martyrs and the one killed by a legal punishment prescribed in Islam

There is a difference of opinion among the scholars whether these two categories people are to be prayed upon or not. However, my personal understanding is that funeral prayer should be offered for them.

Concluding remarks

Funeral prayer is an obligation for the whole community and it is important that all of us should know how to offer the prayer. Imagine if we are in a situation where there is no other than us to perform or lead the funeral prayer for any deceased; then every one of us should be able to take care of this duty. This could happen to us also. We all should be prepared for this. Dear brothers and sisters, please ensure that all of us are well acquainted with the procedure of performing the funeral prayer. I will mention the procedure in brief here again:

Step 1. Pronounce the first Takbir to start the prayer. Recite the ‘Thana’ and ‘Surah Al-Fatiha’. After this, pronounce second Takbir.

Step 2. Recite ‘Salat’ upon the Prophet (PBUH). After completion, pronounce third Takbir.

Step 3. Recite supplication for the deceased, as explained in the discussion earlier. After completion, pronounce fourth Takbir.

Step 4. Say Taslim after fourth Takbir. The funeral prayer is completed.

All other requirements of the prayer have been explained in the article. Some disagreements are encountered at some places, but these disagreements should not lead to any conflict among the Muslims; my request to all will be to stick to the Sunnah so that the harmony and unity is maintained among the Ummah on this front too.

And Allah knows best.

May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.

.سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُون َ ; وَسَلامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ ; وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

71 comments

  1. Salaam, I came across this, could you please shed more light on this please. Jazakallahu khair

    If we use this hadith as a proof for reciting sura Fatiha in Salaah Al Janaza then it means that there should also be recitation of the holy Qur’an in it since the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘There is no salaah except with Sura Fatiha and another sura with it’. (Tirmizi, Ibn Maja).

    Similarly if Salaah Al Janaza is deemed to be a salaah like the other salaah then the need may also be there to have ruku, sujood, tashahud etc. in it, but this is not the case.

    As such, it is important to know that ‘Salaah Al Janaza’ is in reality ‘a supplication for the deceased and a means of interceding for him. In this regard, Hafiz Al Aini has stated, ‘The Prophet (S.A.S.) named these specific actions which are done for the deceased ‘Salaah’ although there is no ruku and sujood in it. This usage of the word ‘Salaah’ has not been used in its real sense, nor is it used because of a joint meaning. Instead, it has been used figuratively. (Umdatul Qaari Vol. 8 Pg. 122).

    In a riwayat narrated from Abdullah bin Masood (R.A.), he said Salaah al Janazah is a supplication and there is no recitation. One should make the takbeer like that of the Imam and then chose the best of words to say. (Al Badi’u, Awjazul Masalik commentary of Muatta Imam Malik Vol. 4 Pg. 231).

    Moosa Al Juhani has narrated that he asked Hakam, Shabi, Ata and Mujahid about the Salaah of Janaza, if there was any fixed recitation. They replied, ‘No’ you are an intercessor, so intercede with the best of that which you know. (Awjazul Masalik commentary of the Muatta of Imam Malik).

    It is also written in Awjazul Masalik Vol. 4 Pg. 231, ‘The statement of the Prophet (S.A.S.) that there is no Salaah except with sura Fatiha’, does not include the Salaah of Janaza because this Salaah is not a Salaah in reality, it is a supplication and a means of seeking forgiveness for the deceased. Don’t you see that it does not have the postures which are essential for Salaah, like that of ruku and sujood. It is named Salaah due to the fact that in it there is supplication’. (Awjazul Masalik).

    With respect to the act of reciting sura Al Fatiha in the Janaza prayer, this has been the position adopted by Imam Shafi, Ahmad and Ishaq.

    From among the proofs which has been used by these scholars is the narration of Abdullah bin Abbas (R. A.) which has been related by Talha bin Abdullah bin Auf who says, ‘I perform salaah behind Ibn Abbas on a deceased and he recited sura Al Fatiha. After doing so, he (Ibn Abbas) said that he read it so that they may know it is a Sunnah’. (Bukhari).

    However, there have been a great amount of scholars who have adopted the position that sura Fatiha or any part of the Qur’an should not be recited in the salaah of janaza.

    These scholars state that there are a great amount of narrations which contradict the action of Ibn Abbas and they outweigh the few traditions which narrate that sura Fatiha was recited in Janaza Salaah.

    In this regard, it is narrated that Abdullah bin Masood (R.A.) was asked about Salaah Al Janaza, should one recite Quran in it? He said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S.A.S.) has not specified for us any statement or any recitation in it’. (Umdatul Qaari Vol. 8 Pg. 141; Awjazul Masalik Vol. 4 Pg. 231)

    It is reported from Abdur Rahman Bin Awf and Ibn Umar (R.A.) that both these sahabahs (companions) said, ‘There is no recitation of Quran in Salaah Al Janaza’. (Awjazul Masalik Vol. 4 Pg. 231)

    Ibn Abi Shaiba has narrated in his Musannaf, from Abu Zubair from Jabir (R.A.) who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) did not fix for us any specific recitation upon the deceased. Abu Bakr and Umar (R.A.) also did not make anything specific’. (Awjazul Masalik Vol. 4 Pg. 231)

    Amr bin Shuaib from his father from his grand father states that it is narrated from thirty companions of the Prophet (S.A.S.) that they did not establish any fixed recitation in the salaah of janaza. (Awjazul Masalik Vol. 4 Pg. 231)

    Abul Minhaal said, ‘I asked Abul A’aliyah about the recitation of sura Al Fatiha in Janaza Salaah’. He said, ‘Sura Fatiha is read only in those Salaah where there is ruku and sujood’. (Awjazul Masalik Vol. 4 Pg. 231).

    There have been many sahabahs (companions of the Prophet (S.A.S.)) who held this position like Ibn Awf, Umar bin Khattab, Ali, Ibn Umar, Abu Hurairah,.

    From among the Tabieen who held this position are:

    Ata, Tawoos, Saeed bin Musayyab, Ibn Sereen, Saeed bin Jubair, Salim, Ibraheem, Shabi, Hakam. Ibn Munzir states that this is also the opinion of Mujahid, Hammad, Sufyaan Thawri, Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifa and the scholars of Koofa. Imam Malik (A.R.) said, ‘The recitation of sura Fatiha in the salaah of Janaza is not practiced by those in our City (of Madina). (Umdatul Qaari Vol. 8 Pg. 139).

    Imam Tahawi has stated that it is possible that a few sahabahs who may have read sura Fatiha in Janaza salaah would have done so for the purpose of a supplication and not for recitation of the Qur’an. (Umdatul Qaari Vol. 8 Pg. 141).

    From this explanation, it is clearly seen that a great amount of the sahabahs as well as the scholars from among the Tabieen held the position that sura Fatiha should not be read in salaah al janaza. Imam Malik (A.R.) made it clear that during his time it was not practiced by the people of Madina.

    Imam Malik has also mentioned the narration of Abu Hurairah (R.A.) in his Mu’atta showing that he, Abu Huirairah read the janaza salaah and did not recite sura Fatiha. (Muwatta Pg. 209).

    He also narrated from Nafi that Abdullah bin Umar (R.A.) did not recite any part of the Qur’an (i.e. sura Fatiha or any other sura) in the Janaza salaah. (Mu’atta Pg. 210).

    And Allah knows best.

    Mufti Waseem Khan

    • Salam alaikum Mr. Zakir and Mufti Waseem Khan,

      Thanks for your query and putting forward so many references. In response to your queries, please find the response below:
      1. There are several ahadith which tell us that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There is no Salat without Surah Al-Fateha.” But what you have quoted is not correct (saying that there is no Salat without Surah Al-Fateha and another recitation); the phrase”another recitation” is an additional thing which you are quoting. Please provide hadith reference (Chapter No., Hadith No. etc.) if you are confident of authenticity of the narration; or else this cannot be accepted. You can see all ahadith referenced to in the article have been followed by Hadith No., Chapter No., Book No. and Volume No. as well.
      2. All ahadith use the word Salat for “The Funeral Prayer”. Also, as per your statement, the word supplication is correct; because supplication is an integral and important part of Salat (or call it prayer). So, saying that “The Funeral Prayer” is not a Salat is not a wise statement.

      The article has been prepared to put forward facts about Salat-al-Janazah in view of Sunnah. If you or anyone feels that he/she has better examples and/or his/her view is also supported by Sunnah, let him/her stick to it. But please make it a habit to quote correct references of Ahadith, with exact Chapter, Book, Hadith and Volume No. etc. Interestingly you have not been able to quote any hadith which says that the Prophet (PBUH) had said that SUrah Al-Fateha is not to be recited in the Funeral Prayer. On the other hand, there are several ahadith telling us that the Prophet (PBUH) said that there is no Salat without Surah Al-Fateha. What else do we need to answer and clarify our doubt about this matter?

      Dear brothers, stick to what the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions did; forget what other scholars say (if their sayings contradict the sayings of the Prophet, PBUH). It is a request not to create disharmony among the Ummah based on small differences.

      Jazak Allah.

  2. Assalam Alaikum,

    Can you please tell me about leaving hands after or before taslim?
    Bcoz i observed that some of the people leaves both hands after 4th raka’t then say taslim.
    and some people leave both hands after taslim.

    can please tell me whats the correct sunnah?

    • Wa alaikum As Salam warahmatallah.

      As per followers of Shafi’ view, they do only one Salam and leave both hands together at that time. As for Hanafi followers, they leave one hand after another saying Salam two times. As per my understanding, both are OK and may be followed. And Allah knows best.

  3. may allah accept your good work.ameen

  4. Abdulhafeez Ibrahim

    Can we make iqamat for Salatul-l-Janazah

    Pls send the answer to my mail because i am not regular with this

  5. My uncle died and we are searching for opinions as to whether we should pray the janaza salat for him as he was a sai baba but he never denounced his faith of Islam . Please comment

    • Salam alaikum. As per your query, your Uncle had adopted the state of celibacy. Although celibacy is not allowed in islam, and your Uncle will be punished by Allah for that, yet, as you stated, he did not denounce his faith; so his funeral prayer should be offered. And Allah knows best.

  6. As salam o alaykum,
    Hands are raised up to shoulders when first takbir is announced, and i have seen some people who do not raise their hands for second, third and fourth takbir, and also came across with people who raise, can you please tell which one is correct?

    • Wa alaikum As Salam warahmatallah. You may do whichever manner feels suited to you. And Allah knows best.

    • As salaam o alaykum. I just wanted to get a clear understanding regarding sana. As i was going through the sites to know more about funeral prayer. I also came across the website mentioned above and it says that wajala sanauka shall be added before wala illaha gairuka. But it is not mentioned here. Which way is correct or both are correct?

      • Wa alaikum As Salam warahmatallah brother,

        As per Hadith No’s 775 & 776 in Book of Salat in Volume 1 of Sunan Abu Dawud, the Thana (or Sana) is reported like this: “Subhanak Allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabarakasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuk”; The two narrations are from Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (RA) and Aishah (RA). The same narrations are reported in Jami’ At-Tirmidhi (Hadith No’s 242 & 243, Chapters on Salat, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1). Therefore, this is authenticated by Sunnah. The additional part mentioned by you has not come to my knowledge so far. It can only be accepted if it is authenticated by ahadith. And Allah knows best.

        I hope this clarifies your understanding.

  7. Assalamualaikum
    My question is can I participate gaibana zanaza
    I mean the funeral is not present
    Please let me know with reference

    • Wa alaikum Salam warahmatallah,

      Yes, you can offer ghaaybana Salat-al-Janazah. This is authenticated from many ahadith which tell us that the Prophet (PBUH) offered ghaaybana Salat-al-janazah for some. The most famous hadith is where the Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have offered ghaaybana funeral prayer for King Najashi.

      And Allah knows best.

  8. After completed a person’s bury, is it allowed to read janaza?

    • Salam alaikum,

      Your question is not clear. Can you please re-phrase and simplify your question?

      Jazak Allah.

      • Dear brother Questionis ,..we are so faar from homecity and we here some one nearest one die and bury two days before …so we can performed Salat al Janaza when we know it.

        • Salam alaikum,

          Yes you can do so. This (offeringfuneral praye in absence of Mayyit wen you are far from it) is authenticated by action of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

          And Allah knows best.

  9. Mashallah a beautiful explanation very balanced from a fiqh perspective. May Allah reward the author abundantly. Jazakallah o khairan

  10. Salam alaikum.
    If someone is murdered and body cannot be found/ retrieved, can the janaza still be carried out without the body?

    Jazak Allah Hu Khair

    • Wa alaikum Salam warahmatallah,

      Yes, Salat-al-Janazh can also be offered for a deceased whose body could not be found.

      And Allah knows best.

  11. asalamu lalykum,

    Jazaakallaahu khayran for the information.

    It seems from the evidence provided that it is important to recite al -Fatiha in every salaat including salaat ul janazah. I have prayed behind an Hanafi imaam who did not recite sura fatiha, nor allowed time for the congregation to read the opening surah. By Allaah i did not feel I had prayed salaat if i did not pray fatiha.

  12. As-Salam-O-Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi,

    I have two Queries, it will be kind enough if you can answer with some hadiths as reference – JazaakALLAHU Khayrun…..

    1st Query:- Till date in which ever Janazah salah, I observed that after offering salah Imaam makes a congregational supplication near to Deceased – Is it sunnah way?

    2nd Query: Continuation to 1st Query, after burying deceased again Imaam makes congregation supplication – Is it sunnah way?
    What we need to do after burying deceased?
    I came across a hadith, where Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said:- After burying deceased he said to sahabas to do supplication as deceased person will be questioned in the grave….

    Please throw some more light on same…..

    • Wa alaikum Salam warahmatallah wabarakatuhu,

      Your first query is not clear. Please clarify a bit more.

      Regarding your second query, supplicating for the deceased after burying the body is authenticated by Sunnah (ref. Hadith No. 3221, Book of Funerals, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 3).

      And Allah knows best.

      • JazaakALLAHU Khayrun,

        Sorry if caused any inconvenience…

        My first Query was: After Janazah Salah is it Sunnah way to perform congregational supplication infront of Janazah?

        • Salam alaikum,

          Salat-al-Janazah is itself a supplication for the deceased. And as explained in first response also, it is authenticated by Sunnah to perform supplication for the deceased after burying him.

          And Allah knows best.

  13. Can a women perfom namaz Anaza at home for asister

  14. Assalamualaikum. May Allah bless you and reward you for providing this information that too in such a comprehensive manner.
    However, please correct the error in the translation of the two verses from Surah Taha – ‘Rabbishrahli Sadree……’

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahamatallah,

      Jazak Allah khair for your appreciative words. All praise is for Allah alone.

      Brother, the error you are pointing to is not an error; every article on our website starts with “Bismillah…” and then this glorious verse from Surah TaHa of Holy Qur’an (“Rabbishrahli sadree….”). As this article starts with a reference of hadith, so you must have mistaken it for translation.

      I hope the doubt is clarified.

      Jazak Allah khair.

  15. Abdur-razaq Abdullah

    Salam Alaikum.

    Please the answer to my question should be thrown to my e-mail (you may published the answer here as well, for the benefit of others).

    (1) can we perform sala al-janaza for some1 who dies during something that Allah had warned us against(sin or shrik)? E.g someone who dies while drinking Alcohol, during zinah, during robbery operation and so on.

    (2) can we perform the prayer for a muslim that’s involve in Bid’ah?

    • Wa alaikum Salam Warahmatallah,

      There is a clear hadith about not performing funeral prayer for the one who commits suicide, but I am not aware of any such hadith for prohibition of funeral prayer for the one who commits sins mentioned by you. There is a difference of opinion among scholars about whether to perform funeral prayer for the one who is killed by a legal punishment prescribed in islam (thereby meaning he/she had committed such a sin which calls for a death punishment in Islam). But in absence of any authentic hadith to support it, I am of the opinion that except for the suicide case, funeral prayer should be performed for all others.

      And Allah knows best.

  16. Abdur-razaq Abdullah

    What about BID’AH(e.g sufi, tabligh, sheeha e.t.c)?
    Masha Allah

    • Salam alaikum,

      Funeral prayer is to be performed for all Muslims except for whom it is clearly mentioned not to. If someone is involved in Bida’a, it doesn’t mean we will take away his/her right of funeral prayer being performed over his/her dead body.

      And Allah knows best.

  17. Assalamualikum
    It has been stated in hanafi books that those who committed suicide their janaza namaz will be performed. That’s opposed to what is stated here. Is there a reason?

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      What is being stated in the subject article is based on authentic hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). On what basis does Hanafi books allow to go against the ruling of the Prophet (PBUH), is not understood at all. This question should rather be asked to scholars who tend to adopt rulings against the Sunnah.

      And Allah knows best.

      • الدر المختار: من قتل نفسہ ولو عمداً یغسل و یصلی علیہ it’s in durr mukhtar.
        And the person is not out of Islam though a major sinner.
        By which hadith it’s proven otherwise?

        • Salam alaikum,

          Your question was about performing funeral prayer for the one who commits suicide. In our article, if you go to Section E.10, there is quoted a hadith of Jabir (RA) which tells us that the Prophet (PBUH) did not pray funeral prayer for the person who committed suicide. Please go through it carefully.

          Now you are initiating a different question; now you are asking which hadith proves that a major sinner is out of Islam. My resposne to your new question is: Neither have I said, nor does the subject article talks about whether a person committing a major sin goes out of Islam or not.

          But as far as suicide is concerned, there are clear evidences that the Prophet (PBUH) refused to offer funeral prayer over such a person who commits suicide. So, we should understand the things as they have been explained in Islam. Let us not mix the things.

          Why followers of Hanafi view have a different view, is a question which should be asked to them.

          I hope this clarifies your doubts.

          I would request you to study Qur’an and Ahadith instead of jumping directly to books written by writers of different school of thoughts.

          And Allah knows best.

  18. assalaamu alaikum

    on which occasions may the hands be raised while making du’a.
    jazaakallahu khair for a great service.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      You can raise hands for dua on any occassion. What exactly is your doubt here brother?

      • Clarification: is it permissible to raise hands for general dua at starting a gathering or meeting? Congregational prayer by the imaam etc. What is preferable?

        • Salam alaikum,

          According to my understanding, it is absolutely fine to raise hands for making dua at any point of time.

          And Allah knows best.

  19. Jazaka Allah khairan Kathyran akhi for the excellent explanation. May Allah (subhanahu wataala) increase your rewards and grant you Jannatu el-Firdaws, Ameen.

    A suggestion for an addition to this article is to list many of the known bida’a that people do, so as to avoid them.

    • Salam alaikum brotehr,

      All praise is for Allah alone. Jazak Allah khair for your appreciative words, and Aameen to all your duas.

      Your suggestion has been made a note of, and Inshallah will try to take care of it.

      Jazak Allah.

  20. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakathuhu.
    My doubt is that there are also some other supplications for the funeral prayer ( Muslim 2/663, Abu daawud 3/211 & inn maajah 1/251). Are these acceptable. Can we recite all these together because each differ in meaning.
    And wat abt the supplication for Children ( inn qudamah, Al-mughni 3/416 & Al Bukharin kitabul jana’Iz 2/113).

    Pls advice

    • Wa alaikum Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      yes, there are other supplications also authenticated by several ahadith which can be recited in funeral prayer. But, the supplication(s) quoted in the subject article are the ones on which almost all scholars have unanimous consensus. Therefore, it is better to stick to these ones. Initiating a wish to recite other supplications (though they too are authenticated) might lead to disharmony among already so-divided Ummah. So, let us avoid any such act.

      Supplication for children should be same.

      And Allah knows best.

  21. Mohammed Jabir

    Thank you so much for your usefull work.. I have one doubt.. Whether prophet (pbuh) only refuced to perform funeral prayer for who committed suicide or directed the sahabas to refuse the funeral prayer or directed sahabas to perform funeral prayer without him?

    • Salam alaikum,

      Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) refusal to pray funeral prayer because the dead had committed suicide is itself a ruling for all others to follow. Even if we do not find a hadith telling us that the Prophet (PBUH) did not direct Sahabas for such action in future, the ruling is established by his own action. This ruling can be challenged only if we find any other hadith showing that funeral prayer for a suicider was offered by the Prophet (PBUH), which we cannot find.

      Allah knows best.

  22. Assalam Alaikum,

    Dear Admin I would like to know if Janazah prayers can be offered in absence of the Mayyat.

    Iam staying abroad and one of my relative had passed way in my home town. Before the burial Janazah prayers was done and is it permissible to perform Janazh prayers by me were iam staying. So there is two Janazah prayers performed for the same mayyat.
    Would highly appreciate if you can clarify my above Query.

    Jazak Allah

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      Yes, funeral prayers can be offered in absence of the dead body. This is authenticated by narrations which prove that the Prophet (PBUH) did so. Also, it is normal/OK to have more than one funeral prayer for any dead Muslim.

      And Allah knows best.

  23. Dear Brother,

    Many thanks for your useful work.

    My question is can a son perform the funeral prayer for her mother and if so what are the steps.

    Kindly reply to my email.

  24. Salaam alaykum, can you kindly please explain clothing of the dead. I heard someone said Hiram cloth must be used to cover a dead body before placing into the grave and I also sometimes saw a dead body wrapped up in white cloth after a short trouser and mini gown was worn on the dead from the same attire used in wrapping the dead. Kindly explain in details how the dead should be dressed after the ghusl.
    Jazak Allah

    • Wa alaikum Salam Warahmatallah,

      Your query requires a detailed response regarding shrouding of the dead as per Islamic rulings. This shall be best dealt with in a separate detailed article. Kindly allow us some time in order to prepare a detailed write-up on this matter, which shall be done in due course of time, Insha’Allah.

      However, if you need any information urgently, do write back for the precise requirement.

      Jazak Allah.

  25. soheib quraishi

    What’s the ruling regarding the dua to be read in the salaat ul janaaza? If I’m attending this salaat and can’t remember the dua properly, what should I do?

    • Salam alaikum,

      You should pay attention and make more efforts to memorize the dua to be recited in Salat-al-Janazah. The dua is not so hard that you can’t memorize it at all. All ou need is a little concentration and effort from your side. Along with this, pray to Allah for His help in this matter. Insha’Allah your problem shall be solved.

      And Allah knows best.

  26. If a person is unaware about the 4 takbirs and by mistake he perform the Salah with three takbirs, will that Salah will be accepted by Allah.

    • Salam alaikum,

      Please clarify your query a little. I am not able to understand what is meant by being unaware of 4 takbirs? Which takbir did the person remained unaware of? Can you cite an example please in order to understand your doubt and respond properly?

      Jazak Allah.

      • Assalam alaikum

        Actually he read one book about the prayer for funeral, in that number of takbeers was not mention clearly.
        He offered the Salatul-Janaza, after completing the supplication of the 3rd Takbir without pronouncing the 4th Takbir he say Tasleem.

        • Wa alaikum Salam Warahmatallah,

          As per Imam Ahmed Hanbal, a funeral prayer offered with Takbirs less than 4 or more than 7 is not valid. Therefore, in case of your friend, the prayer was not offered correctly.

          And Allah knows best.

          • But later he asked to one of the Islamic Scholar that he made a mistake by offering the Salatul Janazah with 3 takbirs then the Scholar told him If it is done by mistake no need to offer the salah again, If it is done knowingly then it has to be repeated. What is your advice…..

          • Salam alaikum,

            I have told you my opinion earlier. After all it is a Sunnat-al-Kifayah. We should not worry about what had passed, rather concentrate on future.

            May Allah keep us on right path.

            Jazak Allah.

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