Chapter Twenty-One: On the Funeral Prayer and the Supplication for the Dead

[Ibn 'Arabi says that the position of Khalil is that jinaza is the bier and janaza is the dead person. Ibn al-Asma'i said the opposite. Al-Farra' said that they mean the same. Ibn Qutayba said jinaza is the corpse. Al-A'rabi said that jinaza is the bier. It is derived from janaza, when something becomes heavy, or from covering something and so it is appropriate.

The chapter also clarifies the judgment of the prayer on the dead person which is fard kifaya. He can be prayed over at any time, day or night, except sunrise and sunset: it is forbidden at those times. It is disliked in the disliked time. In the first case it is repeated as long as he has not been buried. It is not repeated in the second at all. The place of that is when change is not feared for him. Otherwise the prayer is permitted without dispute.

Every dead Muslim is prayed who was not a martyr in battle. There is no prayer over someone who has already been prayed over already. The prayer over him is led by the one he commanded to do it. Such a person is preferred to the local authority if he is known to be good and the blessing of his supplication is hoped for unless it is know that there was enmity between him and the deceased. Then it is not permtited to designate him.]

21. 1 The Pillars of the Funeral Prayer

[The pillars of the janaza prayer are five:

  1. Standing. If they pray sitting, it is not allowed except on account of a valid excuse (like illness). This is according to the position that it is obligatory. The evidence for the obligation is understand from His words, "Do not ever pray over any of them who die…" (9:84) based on the understanding which is opposite thhe judgement of what is said: it is that the obligation of praying over the believers is not contrary to the judgement articulated, which is lack of respect of the prayer over the believers.
  2. The ihram, i.e. the intention
  3. The salam.
  4. Supplication.
  5. The takbirs.]

21.2 How to do the prayer

21.2a. Four takbirs

The janaza (funeral) prayer contains four takbirs.

[Since the Prophet did that. That is since it was confirmed that in the last prayer that the Prophet prayed, he said four takbirs. If he says the salam after three out of forgetfulness and then remembers soon after, he returns with only the intention, and he does not say that takbir since that would increase the number. He says that the takbir and count it as one of the four. Ibn 'Abdu's-Salam said that. If the Imam does an extra fifth,the followers says the salam and do not wait for him. Ibn al-Qasim related that. Ibn Harun opposed that, saying that when the Imam stands for the fifth out of forgetfulness, they wait for him so that they say the salam with his salam. Al-Mawwaq said that he heard Ibn al-Qasim say that if the Imam is one of those who say the takbir five times, the followers stop after the fourth and do not follow him in the fifth. It is understood that if he is one of those who do not say five takbirs, but he says a fifth inadvertantly, then the follower does not stop, but he remains still. When the Imam says the salam, the follower says his salam. Malik says that in al-Wadiha as does Ashhab.]

21.2b. Lifting the hands for the first takbir

You lift your hands for the first takbir and there is no harm in doing so for each of the others.

[This is one of four statements and it is made by Ashhab. He said that he raises his hands in the first and can choose in the rest. If he wishes, he raises them. If he wishes, he does not raise them. The second position is that he raises them in every takbir. This is in the Mudawwana and Ibn Habib preferred it. The third, which is also in the Mudawwana, is that he raises them only in the first takbir, and raising them in the others is contrary to the first. At-Tunisi preferred it. The fourth is that he only raises them in the first and not others. It is more well-known than raising them in all.

[It was already stated that the supplication is one of the pillars of the prayer, and so the prayer is repeated if it is omitted. There is disagreement about the supplication after the fourth. Sahnun affirmed it by analogy with the rest of the takbirs. The rest of the people opposed him by making an analogy with lack of recitation after the fourth rak'at because the four takbirs take the place of the four rak'ats, i.e. the social form of the four takbirs with what they contain of supplication takes the place of the four rak'ats, and as there is no recitation after the fourth rak'at, so there is no supplication after the fourth takbir. It does not mean that each takbir is in the position of a rak'at, which it observed alone or with the supplication. The probable meaning of the Shaykh is that he can choose.]

21.2c. Supplication after the fourth rak'at

If you like you can make a du'a after the fourth takbir before the salam or if you like, you can say the salam directly after the takbir.

[ A third position.]

NOTE: The shaykh did not speak about the intention, which is one of the pillars. It is that he intends with his heart to pray over this deceased persob while remembering that it is a fard kifaya. There is no harm that he neglects the final point. It is valid as it is valid if he prays over him believing that it is praises and there is remembrance, and the reverse. That is also the case if he thinks it is someone and then it becomes evident that it is someone else because his intention was the person present before him. This is not the case when there are two or more on the bier and believes that there is only one. It is repeated by all since the one was not specific. Otherwise, it is repeated over the one who was not specified whom he intended. If he intends one particular one and then it becomes clear it is two or more, and the one he named was not of them the one, then it is repeated over all. If he intends the prayer on whoever is in bier while he believes it to be a group and then it is clear that it is one or two, it is sound because one or two are part of a group.

21.2d. Where the Imam stands

The imam stands opposite the middle of the body if the dead person is a man and opposite the shoulders if it is a woman.

[It is recommended that the Imam stand here, and it is the same for the one alone. These details are known in the Maliki School. Ibn Sha'ban said that for a man and woman he stands wherever he likes.]

21.2e. The salam

The salam for this prayer is said once quietly both by the imam and those following him.

[In the well-known position. One position has 'quietly" and so one combines and says it quietly. This is for both the Imam and follower. This differs from what is in the Mudawwana that the Imam says the salam of the janaza so that the one next to him can hear it. The one following says the salam so that only he can hear. If the one next to him hears it, there is no harm.]

21.3 Reward for the prayer and attendance

There is a great reward to be gained from doing the prayer and for being present at the burial. This reward is equivalent in size to Mount Uhud.

[This is clarified in the words of the Prophet in the Sahih, "Whoever follows a janaza of a Muslim in belief and expectation, and remains with it until he prays over it and leaves after it is buried returns with a reward of two qirats. Each qirat is like Uhud. Whoever prays over it and then returns before he is buried he returns with a qirat."]

21.4. The first three supplications

21.4a No specific formula

There is no specific formula for the du'a to be made when doing the funeral prayer.

[There is nothing specific because there are various supplications related from the Prophet and the Companions in that. Ibn al-Hajib and others relate the agreement that no specific supplication is recommended. That is followed by the fact that in the Muwatta' Malik recommends the supplication of Abu Hurayra which is: "O Allah, he is Your slave and the son of your slave and the son of your woman slave. He used to testify that there is no god but You alone with no partner and that Muhammad is Your slave and Your Messenger and You know him best. O Allah, if he is good, then increase his goodness. If he did evil, overlook his evil actions. O Allah, do not deny us his reward and not tempt us after, him."]

21.4b. All are possible

All the things which have come down are acceptable.

[Any supplication is permissible, so say what you like.]

21.4c. One excellent form

One good thing to say after doing the takbir is: Praise be to Allah who makes dies and brings to life and praise be to Allah who beings the dead to life. To Him belong Greatness, Sovereignty, Power, Exaltedness and He has power over all things. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed and were merciful to and poured goodness on Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. In all the worlds, You are Praiseworthy, Glorious.

O Allah, he is your slave and the son of Your slaves. You created him and provided for him. You made him die and You will bring him to life and You know best about his outward and his inward. We have come to You as intercessors on his behalf so please accept our intercession. O Allah, we seek safety for him by Your bond of protection with him. Certainly You keep Your word and promise. O Allah, protect him from the trials of the grave and from the torment of Jahannam. O Allah, forgive him, have mercy on him, pardon him and grant him well-being. Be generous to him when he arrives and open the way wide for him to come in. Wash him with water, snow and ice and cleanse him from his wrong actions as a white garment is cleansed of dirt. Give him a home better than the home he had, a family better than the family he had and a wife better than the wife he had. O Allah, if he was right-acting, increase him in right-actions and if he was wrong-doing, then overlook his wrong actions. O Allah, he has come to You and You are the Best that anyone can come to. He is in need of Your mercy and You have no need to punish him. O Allah, make his speech firm when he is questioned and do not rest him in his grave beyond what he can bear. Do not deprive us of our reward for doing this on his behalf and do not test us after him.

21.5 The fourth prayer

You say this after each takbir and then after the fourth takbir you say, 'O Allah, forgive those who are alive and those who are dead, those present with us and those absent, those who are young and those who are old, those who are male and those who are female. You know everything that we do and where we will end up - and forgive our parents and those who have gone before us with iman and all the muslims both men and women and all the muminun both men and women, the living and the dead. O Allah whoever of us You keep alive, keep him alive in iman and whoever You take back to Yourself take him back as a Muslim. Make us glad when we meet You. Make us pleasing at the time of our death and make death pleasant for us. Make it a source of rest and happiness for us,' After this you say the salam.

21.6 If the dead person is a woman

If the dead person is a woman you say, "O Allah, she is your slave and the daughter of Your slaves.…" and you go on making the object of the du'a feminine rather than masculine. The only difference is that you do not say, "Give her a husband better than her husband. . ." because in the Garden she can be the wife of the man who was her husband in this world and the women of the Garden are attached only to their husbands and have no desire for anyone else. A man may have many wives in the Garden whereas women only have one husband.

[NOTE: If you do not know whether the dead person was male or female, you intend the prayer over the one who is present, as when you do not know whether it is one or several. You say in your supplication, "O Allah! They are your slaves and the sons of your slaves," and use the masculine plural.]

21.7 Praying over several at once

There is no harm in having one funeral prayer for several dead people.

[This means it is recommended by a group of scholars as opposed to the one who said that they are not put together and that one prays over every dead person on his own. According to the statement that there are several in the same prayer, in what form are the corpses are laid out: is the best put near the Imam and others towards qibla or are they put in one row with the best of them near the Imam? The first is indicated.]

21.7a. The best arrangement of the bodies

If there are both men and women among the dead, the men are placed next to the imam. If there are only men, the best of them is placed next to the imam. If there are women and children as well, they are placed behind the men in the direction of the qibla.

[What he mentioned of putting women before children is based on the position of Ibn Habib. Its opposite is well-known: it is that free adult men are near the Imam, the best and then next best, and then young free men and then hermaphrodites, then male slaves, then free women, then young girls, then female slaves.]

(Khalil puts male slaves ahead of hermaphrodites)

21.7b. Second arrangement: placing them in a row

There is no harm in a number of bodies being placed in a row in which case the one nearest the imam should be the best of them.

[This is when they are all the same type, like all men, all women, or all children. When there are men, women and children, the men are put in the row in front of the Imam, then children in a row, then women in a row. This is in respect to the corpses. As for the imamate, the one with the most knowledge is put first, then the best, then the oldest. Then he discussed when multiple burial is necessary.]

21.7c. Multiple burial

If a number of people are being buried in one grave the best should be nearest the qibla.

[Based on what is in the four Sunan that Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah that the Prophet said on the day of Uhud, "Dig and make it wide and deep and good, and bury two and three in the same grave. Put the one with the most Qur'an first." At-Tirmidhi said that it is sahih hasan. It is clear from the words of the shaykh that it is absolutely permitted to put them together in one grave in case of necessity or otherwise. That is not the case. If necessity demands it, it is permitted. Otherwise, it is disliked. The permission is based on necessity and that is dislike when it is not necessary when they are buried at the same time. If we want to bury a corpse on top of another after he has been buried, that it is forbidden because the grave holds the dead and he is not disinterred unless there is a necessity in which case it is not forbidden.]

21.8 Making up a missed prayer

21.8a When someone has been buried without the prayer

If someone has been buried without the funeral prayer having been done for him and the grave has already been filled in, then the prayer should be done over his grave.

[According to Ibn al-Qasim. Ashhab says that there is no prayer over him. Al-Qarafi, who is the better, said, "As for what is related that the Prophet prayed on the grave of the poor woman, that was special for her or because he had promised her that he would pray over her."According to the statement that there is a prayer at the grave, it is said that the prayer is said over someone who probably would not have decomposed. It is said that it is not permitted after two months. It is understood by his words that if the grave has not been filled in it, he is brought out and prayed over. Even if it has been filled in and buried, he must be brought out and prayed over as long as it is not feared that he has decomposed.]

21.8b No second prayer

You do not do the funeral prayer a second time if it has already been done once.

[This is disliked, whether the one who wants to pray the second time is the one who prayed the first time or not.]

21.8c. The prayer over most of the body

The funeral prayer is done for a person as long as the majority of the body remains.

[Meaning two-thirds or more because the judgement of the majority is the judgement of the whole. He intends the prayer over all the dead person, what is present of him and what is absent. One does not pray over half of a body according to Ibn al-Qasim. That is the accepted position, even if it is more than a half and less than two-thirds because it would lead to prayer on the absent. A small absence is overlooked because it is inconsequential.]

21.8d. When only a little of the body is left

There is a difference of opinion about whether you do the funeral prayer for, for example, someone's hand or foot.

[The example is applied to the thing itself. So he mentioned the disagreement about the hand and foot. Malik said that one does not pray over it because its owner may be alive. Ibn Maslama said that one prays over the hand or foot and intends the dead person by it, i.e. when it is probable that its owner is dead.]

[Khalil: It is permissible to visit burial places and there are no limitations upon acts of remembrance.

The place where the dead are buried is legally a kind of habs (non-conveyable land). It cannot be sold or alientated or used for any other purpose, It is censurable to walk on or pass over a grave.

Graves should not be opened as long as there are any bones left. They can be opened in certain cases:

  1. where the shrouds were stolen;
  2. where the burial was on someone's property without his person and the owner reclaims his property;
  3. where articles of value were overlooked at the time of burial.

The dead should not be buried in silks, impure garments, or in green, blue, black or carthamine.

The bier should not be unusually large or silken things put on it. Lights should not follow the convoy. The name of the dead should be announced in a loud voice in the mosque or at its door. Private invitations can be sent. You do not have to stand when a convoy passes.

When a believer dies at sea, he is thrown into the sea after having been shroud when there is no hope of making land before decomposition sets in.

A Muslim may not follow an unbeliever to the grave or help to lower him in.]

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