Virtues of the Funeral Prayer

Abu Hurayrah radi Allaahu anhu narrated, “Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu alayhe wa sallam said, ‘Whoever attends the funeral procession until he forms the funeral prayer for it will get a reward equal to one qirat, and whoever accompanies it until burial will get a reward equal to two qirats.’ It was asked, ‘What are two qirats?’ He (the Prophet) replied, ‘(They are) like two huge mountains (of reward).’” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

Ruling of the Funeral Prayer

Performing the funeral prayer (salaatul-janaazah) over the deceased is a collective duty (fard `ayn) i.e. if performed by some Muslims in the community, the remainder of the community will not be held accountable for it. Yet, if all abandoned it, it will be a sin upon them all. However, it is an act of the sunnah to be observed by rest of them.

For a stillborn whose age is four months upward, the funeral prayer is to be performed over it; if less, there will be no funeral prayer over it.

The Conditions of the Funeral Prayer

  1. Intention: one must have the intention of performing it
  2. Facing the Qiblah
  3. Concealing one’s ‘awrah when performing it
  4. The ritual purity of both the one performing it and the deceased
  5. Avoidance of any physical impurity
  6. Both the one performing it and the deceased must be Muslims
  7. Attending the funeral procession after offering the funeral prayer if they are in the neighborhood
  8. Having reached the age of accountability

The Integral Parts of the Funeral Prayer

  1. Standing upright, if able to do so
  2. Saying four (4) takbeers (Saying, “Allaahu Akbar” – Allaah is the Greatest)
  3. Reciting the Soorah Al-Faatihah (the Opening chapter of the Qur’aan)
  4. Asking Allaah to confer His blessing upon the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam)
  5. Supplicating for the deceased
  6. Performing these integral parts in sequence
  7. Ending the prayer with tasleem (i.e. saying the salam - "Assalamualikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh" when concluding the prayer).

The Acts of the Sunnah observed in the Funeral Prayer

  1. Raising the hands upon saying each takbeer
  2. Seeking refuge with Allaah (from the accursed Satan) before reciting Al-Faatihah
  3. Invoking Allaah for oneself and for all Muslims
  4. Being quiet while reciting
  5. Having a short pause after the fourth takbeer and before the tasleem
  6. Putting one’s right hand over the left with both on the chest following each takbeer
  7. Turning to the right when saying tasleem
How to perform the Funeral Prayer
  1. The body of the deceased is placed in the direction of the Qiblah
  2. The Imaam stands for the prayer. He should stand toward the chest of the deceased if it is a man and toward her middle if it is a woman.
  3. The followers should stand behind him in three or more rows, for the Prophet (sallAllaahu’ alayhe wa sallam) said, “Whoever has three rows pray over him, then it becomes necessary – i.e. Paradise.” [Hasan, At-Tirmidhee]
  4. The imaam gives the 1st takbeer and recites Al-Faatihah and then a short soorah as found in a hadeeth related by Talhah bin `Abdullah bin `Awf, who said, “I prayed behind Ibn Abbaas radi Allaahu `anhu over a funeral; he recited the Opening of the Book (Al-Faatihah) and then another soorah at such a voice that he made us hear what he was reciting. When the prayer ended, I took his hand, asked him about what he did, and he answered, ‘I only read out loud for you to learn that it is sunnah and right (to do so).’’’ [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]
  5. Then he should say the 2nd takbeer and send salaah and salaam upon the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhe wa sallam)
  6. Then he should say the 3rd takbeer and supplicate for the deceased
  7. Then he should say the final (4th) takbeer - at this point, if he wishes, he may supplicate and then say the tasleem to end the prayer, or he may (after the fourth takbeer) end the prayer immediately, in both cases by saying the tasleem once.

Making up of Funeral Prayer

As for the one who misses a part of the funeral prayer, he should join the prayer performing what is left thereof with the congregation led by the imaam. Then, when the imaam ends prayer with tasleem, one can perform the part one has missed in the same manner performed in this prayer. However, if one fears that people may carry the coffin and leave immediately after the funeral prayer and thus one misses the funeral procession, one can just say the missing takbeers successively, saying nothing in between, then end the prayer with tasleem.


Wording of the Supplications which may be used in the Funeral Prayers

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِحَيِّنَا وَمَيِّتِنَا، وشَاهِدِنَا وَغَائِبِنَا، وَصَغِيرِنَا وَكَبِيرِنَا، وَذَكَرِنَا وأُنْثَانَا؛ اللَّهُمَّ مَنْ أَحْيَيْتَهُ مِنَّا فَأَحْيِهِ عَلَى الْإِسْلَامِ، وَمَنْ تَوَفَّيْتَهُ مِنَّا فَتَوَفَّهُ عَلَى الْإِيـمَانِ؛ اللَّهُمَّ لَا تَحْرِمْنَا أَجْرَهُ وَلاَ تُضِلَّنَا بَعْدَهُ

Allaahummagh-fir li hayyinaa wa mayyitinaa, wa shaahidinaa wa ghaaibinaa, wa sagheerinaa wa kabeerinaa, wa dhakarinaa wa untaanaa. Allaahumma man ahyaytahu minnaa fa ahyihi `alal-islaam, wa man tawaffaytahu minnaa fa tawaffahu `alal-eemaan, Allaahumma laa tahrimnaa ajrahu wa laa tudillanaa ba`dah.

O Allaah, forgive our living and our dead, those present and those absent, our young and our old, our males and our females. O Allaah, whom amongst us You keep alive, then let such a life be upon Islaam, and whom amongst us You take unto Yourself, then let such a death be upon faith. O Allaah, do not deprive us of his reward and do not let us stray after him.

  اللَّهُمِّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ وَارْحَمْهُ، وَعافِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنْهُ، وَأَكْرِمْ نُزُلَهُ، وَوَسِّعْ مُدْخَلَهُ، وَاغْسِلْهُ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّـلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ، وَنَقِّـهِ مِنَ الْخَطَايَا كَما نَـقَّيْتَ الثَّوْبَ الأَبْيَضَ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ، وَأَبْدِلْهُ دَاراً خَيْراً مِنْ دَارِهِ، وَأَهْلاً خَيْراً مِنْ أَهْلِهِ، وَزَوْجَاً خَيْراً مِنْ زَوْجِهِ، وَأَدْخِلْهُ الْجَنَّةَ، وَأَعِـذْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ القَبْرِ وَعَذَابِ النَّارِ

 Allaahummagh-fir lahu warhamh, wa `aafihi wa`fu `anh, wa-akrim nuzulah, wa wassi` mudkhalah, waghsilhu bilmaai wath- thalji wal-barad, wa naqqihi minal-khataayaa kamaa naqqaytath-thawbal-abyada minad-danas, wa-abdilhu daaran khayran min daarih, wa ahlan khayran min ahlih, wa zawjan khayran min zawjih, wa-adkhilhul-Jannah, wa a`idhhu min `adhaabil-qabr, wa `adhaabin-naar.

O Allaah, forgive and have mercy upon him, excuse him and pardon him, and make honourable his reception. Expand his entry, and cleanse him with water, snow and hail, and purify him of sin as a white robe is purified of filth. Exchange his home for a better home, and his family for a better family, and his spouse for a better spouse. Admit him into the Garden, protect him from the punishment of the grave and the torment of the Fire.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ فُلَانَ بْنَ فُلَانٍ فِي ذِمَّتِكَ، وَحَبْلِ جِوَارِكَ، فَقِهِ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْقَبْرِ وَعَذَابِ النَّارِ، وَأَنْتَ أَهْلُ الْوَفَاءِ وَالْـحَقِّ فَاغْفِرْ لَهُ وَارْحَمْهُ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

 Allaahumma inna fulaanabna fulaanin fee dhimmatik, wa habli jawaarik, faqihi min fitnatil-qabri wa `adhaabin-naar, wa anta ahlul-wafaa’i wal-haqqi faghfir lahu warhamhu innaka antal-ghafoor-raheem.

O Allaah, so-and-so is under Your care and protection so protect him from the trial of the grave and torment of the Fire. Indeed You are faithful and truthful. Forgive and have mercy upon him, surely You are The Oft-Forgiving, The Most-Merciful.

Note: If the deceased is a female, the invocation will be thus, “O Allaah! Forgive her…”, referring to 'her' in the whole invocation.

On the other hand, if the deceased is a child, the invocation will be as follows:

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِذْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ

Allaahumma a`idh-hu min `adhaabil-qabr

O Allaah, protect him from the torment of the grave.

One can also say:

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْهُ فَرَطاً وَذُخْراً لِوَالِدَيْهِ، وشَفِيعاً مُجَاباً. اللَّهُمَّ ثَقِّلْ بِهِ مَوَازِينَهُمَا , وَأَعْظِمْ بِهِ أُجُورَهُـمَا، وَأَلْـحِقْهُ بِصَالِحِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَاجْعَلْهُ فِي كَفَالَةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَقِهِ بِرَحْمَتِكَ  عَذَابَ الْـجَحِيمِ.

Allaahummaj`alhu faratan wa dhukhran li waalidayh, wa shafee`an mujaaban. Allaahumma thaqqil bihi mawaazeenahumaa wa a`dhim bihi ujoorahumaa, wa alhiqhu bi saalihil-mu’mineena waj`alhu fee kafaalati Ibraaheema waqihi bi rahmatika `adhaabil-jaheem.

O Allaah, make him a preceding reward and a stored treasure for his parents, and an answered intercessor. O Allaah, through him, make heavy their scales and magnify their reward. Unite him with the righteous believers, place him under the care of Ibraaheem, and protect him by Your mercy from the torment of Hell.

Al-Hasan used to recite the opening Soorah of the Qur'aan (i.e. al-Faatihah) over the child and then supplicate:

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْهُ لَنَا فَرَطاً، وَ سَلَفاً وَأَجْراً.

Allaahummaj`alhu lanaa faratan, wa salafan wa ajran

‘O Allaah, make him a preceding reward, a prepayment and a recompense for us.’