Table of Contents

Method of Funeral Salah

No matter how hard satan tries to prevent you, please read the entire booklet, you will experience its benefits by yourself.

Excellence of Ṣalāt-‘Alan-Nabī

The Prophet of creation, the Peace of our heart and mind, the most Generous and Kind states, ‘The one who recites Ṣalāt once upon me, Allah  writes one Qīrāṭ of recompense for him, and one Qīrāṭ is equivalent to the mount Uḥud.’

Virtue of participating in the funeral Ṣalāĥ of a Walī

A person participated in the funeral Ṣalāĥ of Sayyidunā Sarī Saqaṭī. He saw Sayyidunā Sarī Saqaṭī  in his dream at night and asked, ‘How did Allah  treat you?’ He replied, ‘Allah  has forgiven me as well as all those who participated in my funeral Ṣalāĥ.’ The person said, ‘Yā Sayyidī! I also participated in your funeral Ṣalāĥ.’ Listening to this, Sayyidunā Sarī Saqaṭī took out a list and checked for his name therein but that person’s name was not present in the list; when checked thoroughly, he saw that the name of that person was written in the margin. (Tārīkh Dimashq li Ibn ‘Asākir, vol. 20, pp. 198)

May Allah bless them and forgive us without any accountability for their sake!

company is a blessing not only in the world but also in the Hereafter, visiting their mausoleums is a cure for the disease of sins and devotion towards them leads to success in the Hereafter. we are the devotees of the pious saints of Allah and we love the perfect Walī, Sayyidunā Bishr Ḥāfī ۡ .Yā Allah Forgive us for their sake.

A shroud thief

A shroud thief participated in the funeral Ṣalāĥ of a woman and noted the whereabouts of her grave in the graveyard. At night, he dug the grave with the intention of stealing the shroud. All of a sudden, the blessed woman spoke,! A Maghfūr (pardoned) person is stealing the shroud of a Maghfūraĥ woman! Listen, Allah  has forgiven me and all those who offered my funeral Ṣalāĥ and you are also among the pardoned ones.’ Listening to this, he immediately closed the grave and repented sincerely. (Shu’ab-ul-Īmān, vol. 7, pp. 8, Ḥadīš 9261) May Allah bless them and forgive us without any accountability for their sake!

Forgiveness of the funeral participants

Dear Islamic brothers! Did you notice how beneficial the participation in the funeral Ṣalāĥ of the pious people is! Whenever we get a chance or even better, making effort to get such a chance, we should participate in the funeral Ṣalāĥs of the Muslims. Our participation in the funeral of a pious person may bring about our forgiveness in the Hereafter. How immense is Allah’s mercy! He  forgives not only the deceased one but also the attendees of his funeral! Therefore, Sayyidunā ‘Abdullāĥ Bin ‘Abbās ‘ reports that the Beloved and Blessed Prophet said, ‘The very first reward given to the true believer on his death is that all the participants of his funeral Ṣalāĥ are forgiven.’ (Attarghīb Wattarĥīb, vol. 4, pp. 178, Ḥadīš 13)

First gift in the grave

Someone asked the Prophet of Raḥmaĥ, the Intercessor of Ummaĥ, the Owner of Jannaĥ ‘What is the very first gift that is awarded to a true believer when he enters his grave?’ The Merciful Prophet answered, ‘All the participants of his funeral Ṣalāĥ are forgiven.’ (Shu’ab-ul-Īmān, vol. 7, pp. 8, Ḥadīš 9257)

The funeral of a heavenly person

The Greatest and Holiest Prophetsaid, ‘When a Heavenly person passes away, Allah  feels shy (befitting His status) in punishing those who carried the bier of that person and those who followed the funeral procession and those who offered his funeral Ṣalāĥ.’ (Al-Firdaus bimā Šaur-ul-Khaṭṭāb, vol. 1, pp. 282) Šawāb of accompanying the funeral Sayyidunā Dāwūd humbly asked Allah , ‘Yā Allah ! What is the Šawāb of accompanying the funeral merely for Your pleasure?’ Allah replied, ‘The day when he dies, the angels will accompany his funeral procession and I will forgive him.’ (Sharḥ-uṣ-Ṣudūr, pp. 97) Šawāb equivalent to mount Uḥud Sayyidunā Abū Ĥurayraĥ  reports that the Prophet of Raḥmaĥ, the Intercessor of the Ummaĥ said, ‘The one who left home to accompany a funeral (considering it as a duty of believers and with the intention to earn Šawāb), offered the funeral Ṣalāĥ and accompanied the funeral till its burial, Šawāb of two Qīrāṭ is written for him. Each Qīrāṭ is equivalent to the mount Uḥud. There is one Qīrāṭ Šawāb for the person who returns after the funeral Ṣalāĥ (without participation in the burial).’ (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, pp. 472, Ḥadīš 945)

The funeral Ṣalāĥ has admonition

Sayyidunā Abū Żar Ghifārī narrated that the Beloved and Blessed Prophet said to me, ‘Visit the graves, it will remind you of the Hereafter and bathe the deceased as touching the mortal body (dead body) is a great lesson and offer the funeral Ṣalāĥ so that it makes you sorrowful, for a sorrowful person is under the shadow of Allah  and does pious deeds.’ (Al-Mustadrak lil-Ḥākim, vol. 1, pp. 711, Ḥadīš 1435)

Excellence of giving ritual bath to the corpse

Sayyidunā ‘Alī-ul-Murtaḍā ( reported that the Noble Prophet said, ‘The one who gives ritual bath to a deceased person, shrouds him, applies fragrance, lifts the bier, offers the Ṣalāĥ and hides the unpleasant thing that appears, he will be as cleansed of his sins as the day his mother gave birth to him.’ (Sunan Ibn Mājaĥ, vol. 2, pp. 201, Ḥadīš 1462)

What to recite on seeing a funeral!

After the death of Sayyidunā Mālik Bin Anas ‘ someone saw him in a dream and asked, ‘How did Allah treat you?’ He replied, ‘I was blessed with forgiveness just because of a sentence which Sayyidunā ‘Ušmān-e-Ghanī  used to say on seeing a funeral: ۡ  Pure is He (from all defects/limitations) who is alive and will never die]. Hence, I also used to recite the same sentence on seeing a funeral; Allah  forgave me because of reciting it.’ (Derived from: Iḥyā-ul-‘Ulūm, vol. 5, pp. 266)

Whose funeral Ṣalāĥ was offered first by the Beloved Prophet ?

The funeral Ṣalāĥ is Farḍ-e-Kifāyaĥ

The funeral Ṣalāĥ is Farḍ-e-Kifāyaĥ, i.e., if even a single person offered it, everyone would be relieved of the obligation; if no one offered it, and all those who were aware of it will be sinners. Jamā’at (congregation) is not a condition for this Ṣalāĥ; if even one person offered it, the Farḍ will be fulfilled. The denial of its Farḍiyyat (obligation) is Kufr (infidelity). (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 825; ‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 162; Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 3, pp. 120) 

There are two fundamentals and three Sunnaĥs in the funeral prayer

The two fundamentals are: (1) To recite four times (2) Qiyām (to stand). The three Sunan-e-Muakkadaĥ are: (1) Šanā (2) Ṣalāt-‘AlanNabī (3) Supplication for the deceased. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 829)

Method of funeral Ṣalāĥ (Ḥanafī)

The Muqtadī should make the following intention: ‘I make the intention of offering this funeral Ṣalāĥ for Allah and making supplication (Du’ā) for this dead person, following this Imām.’ (Fatāwā Tātār Khāniyaĥ, vol. 2, pp. 153)

Supplication for funeral of adults (man and woman)

O Allah Make her a fore-runner to become a support for us, and make her a recompense for us, and make her our intercessor, and the one whose intercession is accepted.

To offer funeral Ṣalāĥ whilst standing upon shoes

In case of offering the funeral Ṣalāĥ whilst wearing shoes, the shoes as well as the part of the earth beneath them must be pure, while, in case of offering the Ṣalāĥ placing the feet upon the shoes having taken them off, the purity of the sole of the shoes and the ground is not necessary. In reply to a question, A’lā Ḥaḍrat, Imām-e-Aĥl-e-Sunnat, Maulānā Shāĥ Imām Aḥmad Razā Khān says, ‘If the place was impure due to urine, etc., or those who offered the Ṣalāĥ wearing such shoes whose soles were not pure, their Ṣalāĥ would not be valid. It is, therefore, safer to offer the funeral Ṣalāĥ by taking the shoes off and place the feet upon them so that the Ṣalāĥ would not be affected even if the sole of the shoes or the earth is impure.’ (Fatāwā Razawiyyaĥ, vol. 9, pp. 188)

Funeral Ṣalāĥ in absentia

Presence of the corpse in front is necessary. Offering funeral Ṣalāĥ in absence of the corpse is not valid. It is Mustaḥab for the Imām to stand in front of the chest of the corpse. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 3, pp. 123, 134)

Method of offering joint Ṣalāĥ for more than one funeral

Ṣalāĥ of several funerals may be offered jointly. It is optional to either place the corpses parallel such that chest of all remain in front of the Imām or place them in a queue such that the feet of the one corpse are towards head of the other, and so on. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 839; ‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 165)

How many rows should there be in a funeral Ṣalāĥ?

It is better to have three Ṣafs (rows) in the funeral Ṣalāĥ as it is mentioned in a blessed Ḥadīš, ‘The one whose (funeral) Ṣalāĥ was offered by three Ṣafs, he will be forgiven.’ If there are only 7 people, one should become Imām, three should stand in the first Ṣaf, two in the second Ṣaf and one in the third Ṣaf. (Ghunyaĥ, pp. 588) In the funeral Ṣalāĥ, the last Ṣaf is most excellent than all other Ṣafs. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 3, pp. 131)

If one missed some part of the congregational funeral Ṣalāĥ, then…

The Masbūq (the person who has missed some of the Takbīrāt) will say his remaining Takbīrāt after the Imām has performed Salām on either side. If he suspects that the people would carry the bier up to the shoulders in case of reciting supplications, etc., he should just utter Takbīrāt and leave out the supplications, etc. If a person arrives after the fourth Takbīr, he may join the Ṣalāĥ (before the Imām performs Salām), utter Takbīr three times after Imām’s Salām and then perform Salām. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 3, pp. 136)

Funeral of an insane person or the one who committed suicide

The one who is insane from birth or became insane before reaching the age of puberty and died in the state of insanity, the supplication of a minor will be recited in his funeral Ṣalāĥ. (Jauĥaraĥ, pp. 138; Ghunyaĥ, pp. 587) The funeral Ṣalāĥ of the one who committed suicide will be offered. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 3, pp. 128)

Rulings pertaining to a dead infant

If a Muslim’s baby was born alive, i.e., it was alive whilst the most part of its body was out (during birth) and then died, it will be bathed, shrouded and its funeral Ṣalāĥ will be offered. Otherwise, it will be washed (ritual bath not required), wrapped in a cloth and buried. Ritual bathing, burial shroud and funeral Ṣalāĥ are not required for it according to the Sunnaĥ. If the baby’s head comes out first, then ‘the most part’ means from head up to the chest in this case. Therefore, if the baby’s head comes out and it cries but dies before coming out up to the chest, its funeral Ṣalāĥ will not be offered. If the feet come out first then ‘the most part’, means from feet up to the waist in this case. Whether the baby is born alive or dead or lost in miscarriage (premature birth), it should be named as it will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 3, pp. 152, 153; Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 841)

Šawāb of shouldering the bier

It is stated in a blessed Ḥadīš, ‘Whoever carries the bier on shoulder and walks 40 steps, 40 of his major sins will be forgiven.’ It is also mentioned in a blessed Ḥadīš that the one who carries the bier on his shoulder from all four posts (of the funeral bier) will be granted ultimate forgiveness by Allah . (Al-Jauĥara-tun-Nayyaraĥ, pp. 139; Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 3, pp. 158, 159; Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 823)

Method of shouldering the bier

It is an act of worship to carry the bier on the shoulder. It is a Sunnaĥ to carry the bier on the shoulder from all four corners one after the other and to walk 10 steps at each side. The complete Sunnaĥ is to first carry the bier on the shoulder from the right head side of the bier, then the right foot side, then the left head side and then the left foot side and to walk 10 steps each time thus making a total of 40 steps. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 162; Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 822) 

Some people announce in the funeral procession to walk two steps each. They should instead announce, ‘Carry the funeral on your shoulder from all four sides and walk 10 steps each time.’

Method of carrying the bier of a child

If a single person carries the body of a young child in his arms and the rest of the people take the child in their arms in turns, there is no harm in it. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 162)

It is impermissible and forbidden for a woman to walk along in the funeral procession (whether it is the funeral of the young or old). (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 823; Durr-e-Mukhtār, vol. 3, pp. 162)

Rulings of returning after the funeral Ṣalāĥ

Whoever accompanied the funeral should not return home without offering the funeral Ṣalāĥ; after the Ṣalāĥ, he may return, seeking permission from the family-members of the deceased person. There is no need to ask permission for returning after the burial. (‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1, pp. 165)

Can a husband carry the bier of his wife?

The husband is allowed to carry his wife’s bier on his shoulder, lower her in the grave for the burial and see her face. He is prohibited only from bathing his wife and directly touching her body (without cloth, etc., in between). A woman can bathe her husband. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 812, 813)

Shar’ī ruling of an apostate’s funeral

There is the same ruling for funeral of an apostate and a disbeliever. Once a query was asked in the court of A’lā Ḥaḍrat, Imām-e-Aĥl-eSunnat, ‘Allāmaĥ Maulānā Shāĥ Imām Aḥmad Razā Khān  about a person who had converted from Islam to Christianity. In reply, he writes on page-170, volume 9 of Fatāwā Razawiyyaĥ that if it was proven as per Shar’ī criteria that the dead had, Allah  forbid, changed his religion and adopted Christianity, performing his funeral Ṣalāĥ, shrouding or burying him like that for Muslims – are all absolutely Ḥarām. Allah  says in the Holy Quran:

However, if those offering the funeral Ṣalāĥ were unaware of his Christianity and were considering him to be a Muslim according to what they knew, and they remained unaware till his funeral/burial, they will not be objected to; since they assumed that he was a Muslim, and as such these acts were obligatory for them. But if they were aware of his Christianity and they still performed his Ṣalāĥ and burial, then they committed an absolutely grave sin. As long as they do not repent of this sin, Ṣalāĥ in their Imāmat is invalid; however they will not be treated as apostates as they will not become disbeliever on committing that sin. Our sacred Sharī’aĥ (Islamic Sacred Law) defines a straight path; it does not like immoderation in any affair. However, if it is proven that, despite being aware of his Christianity, they did so not only due to their ignorance or some worldly interest but also considering his Christianity worthy of respect and deserving of funeral and burial, all those having this intention will, no doubt, become apostates and disbelievers. It will be Wājib for the Muslims to consider them apostates in all matters and their company is strictly impermissible. Those who will accompany them or support them will be sinners.

Allah says in the 84th verse of Sūraĥ At-Taubaĥ of the Holy Quran:

Commenting on the above-mentioned verse, Ṣadr-ul-Afāḍil, ‘Allāmaĥ Maulānā Sayyid Muhammad Na’īmuddīn Murādābādī  says, ‘This verse has made it clear, that the funeral Ṣalāĥ of a disbeliever is not permissible at all and it is forbidden to stand beside the grave of a disbeliever for burial or to visit.’ (Khazāin-ul-‘Irfān, pp. 241)

It is reported by Sayyidunā Jābir Bin ‘Abdullāĥ  that the Beloved and Blessed Prophet said, ‘If they fall ill, don’t go to see them, if they die, don’t participate in their funeral.’

Five Madanī pearls in relation to funeral Ṣalāĥ

1. So-and-so must be the Imām of my funeral Ṣalāĥ’ the Shar’ī ruling about such a will

The deceased person had made a will that his funeral Ṣalāĥ should be led by so-and-so Imām or so-and-so would give him the ritual bath. This will is Bāṭil, i.e., this will is not going to waive the right of his Walī (the guardian of the deceased person). Indeed, the guardian has the authority not to lead the funeral Ṣalāĥ himself as Imām and allow  the designated person to lead the funeral Ṣalāĥ. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 837; ‘Ālamgīrī, vol. 1 pp. 163, etc.) If the will is for a pious person or an Islamic scholar, the heirs should then act upon it.

2. The Imām should stand before the chest of the corpse

It is Mustaḥab (preferable) for the Imām to stand in front of the chest of the corpse; he should not be far whether the corpse is of a male or a female, an adult or a minor. This is valid when there is only one corpse for the funeral Ṣalāĥ and if there are more than one, then the Imām should stand near in front of the chest of one corpse. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 3, pp. 134)

3. What if burial occurs without offering funeral Ṣalāĥ?

If the dead body is buried and even the handful of earth is thrown, now the funeral Ṣalāĥ should be offered in front of his/her grave till the dead body is not likely to be decayed, if the soil is yet to be given, then the dead body should be taken out for funeral Ṣalāĥ and buried again. There is no specific number of days for offering the funeral Ṣalāĥ in front of the grave. The variation in duration depends on various factors, such as weather, type of soil, type/condition of the dead body and its disease. The body decays quickly in summer and in winter it takes longer, quickly in wet or salty soil, and slowly in dried or unsalted soil. Similarly an obese body decays faster than the skinny one. (Durr-e-Mukhtār, Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 3, pp.134)

4. Funeral Ṣalāĥ of someone buried under the rubble

If a person died after falling into a well, or a house/building collapsed on him and the body cannot be recovered, his funeral Ṣalāĥ should be offered at the same place where he was deemed to be and if one is drowned in a river and his body could not be recovered then his funeral Ṣalāĥ cannot be offered as it is unknown whether the Muṣallī (Ṣalāĥ offering person is in front of him (the dead body) or not. (Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 3, pp. 147)

5. Delaying the funeral Ṣalāĥ, to increase attendees

If a person dies on the day of Jumu’aĥ, his funeral procession should be finished before Ṣalāt-ul-Jumu’aĥ if it is possible to do so. Delaying the funeral Ṣalāĥ just to have more participants after Jumu’aĥ is Makrūĥ. (Baĥār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, pp. 830; Rad-dul-Muḥtār, vol. 3, pp. 173, etc.)

Make the following announcement before the funeral of an adult

The friends and relatives of the deceased are requested to pay attention please! If the deceased had ever hurt you or violated your right in his lifetime, or he has owed you anything, please forgive him, this will benefit the deceased and you will also be rewarded. Please listen carefully about the intention and the method of the funeral Ṣalāĥ. ‘I make the intention to offer this funeral Ṣalāĥ, for Allah  , and supplication for this dead person, following this Imām.’ If you do not remember these particular words, there is no harm as long as this intention is in the heart: ‘I am offering funeral Ṣalāĥ for this deceased person.’

When the Imām says َraise both your hands up to the ears, say َ in a low voice) then fold them below the navel and recite Šanā. When the Imām says َ 8 the second time, without raising your hands, say َ َُ and recite Durūd-e-Ibrāĥīm. When the Imām says َ for the third time, without raising your hands, say َ and recite the funeral supplication of a deceased adult (or if it is the funeral of a male or female child then announce to recite the supplication for the deceased child). When the Imām says َ the fourth and final time, say َ , unfold the hands and perform Salām, right then left following the Imām as usual.