Fiqh of Janaazah/Death
Notes from a lecture
series by Sheikh Ahmad Jibril
Bismillah hir-Rahman nir-Raheem
I. JANAAZAH SALAH/PRAYER
1. Janaazah prayer is fard kifayah
- The Prophet (saaw) ordered and performed it
* Fard kifayah means that if a group of people perform this action then
the rest of the Muslims don't have to do it.
2. Who's exempted from janaazah salah?
a) The martyr of the battlefield
b) Children under the age of puberty as they are guaranteed heaven
- In such cases janaazah salah is allowed but it isn't compulsory
- Miscarriages are also exempted from janaazah salah
Proof: The Prophet (saaw) didn't pray the janaazah salah for his dead
3. Is janaazah compulsory for known
sinners, even adulterers and murderers?
- Yes, but the Imam/Sheikh shouldn't pray for them - this is the way of
the Prophet (saaw). This is a form of dawah as then people wonder why
the Imam didn't pray.
* What if the deceased committed suicide?
This takes someone out of Islam so they are not prayed upon
4. What if someone's in debt?
- They are still prayed upon. The earlier injunction not to pray upon
them was later abrogated.
5. If the deceased is buried before
you're aware of their death you can pray upon their grave.
6. If someone dies in a country where
no-one performs the janaazah salah for them you can pray for them from
a different country.
7. It's haram to perform the janaazah
salah for kafirs and hypocrites
- Can't make dua for a dead kafir
Proof: Al Tawbah, 9: 84
- Don't perform the janaazah salah for King Fahd or any of the Arabic
leaders as they are all hypocrites, they've clearly done something which
has taken them out of Islam (in this case, ruling by other than Islam).
8. Jamaah/group is a must for janazaah
- A jamaah consists of three or more people
9. The more people who pray the janaazah,
Hadith: If 100 people pray for someone who, when asked, they would testify
as being good, then they will intercede for that person on the Day of
10. It's best to have as many rows
E.g. If there are seven people present one person should be upfront, and
the rest should form three rows of two people. If there are only two people,
one should go in front of the other.
11. The person who leads the prayer
should be the Imam/Sheikh, not just anyone. It should be the most knowledgeable
person among the group.
12. The janaazah can be performed
for more than one dead person
13. The deceased is placed in front
of the Imam. If the deceased is male then the Imam stands behind his head.
If the deceased is female, the Imam stands behind the middle of her body.
14. There can be up to eleven takbirat
in the prayer
15. To perform the salah say takbir
and then read al-Fatiha. After the next takbir recite salah Ibrahim. After
each of the next takbirat make dua.
Hadith: The Prophet (saaw) never raised his hands again after the first
takbir of janaazah salah.
16. The salah is recited silently
17. At the end, salaam can be given
once or twice
18. Janaazah can't be performed after
fajr until sunrise, when the sun is in the middle of the sky, and twenty
minutes before maghrib.
II. BURIAL OF THE DEAD
1. The dead must be buried whether
they're Muslim or not
2. Muslims and kafirs cannot be buried in the same graveyard, it's haram
3. Muslims aren't buried in their homes. This was an exception given to
the Prophet (saaw).
4. Muslims are buried wherever they are, they aren't transported overseas
5. Can't bury people at the same times when we can't pray
6. The grave should be dug well
7. Wood can be placed over the dead for burial but it's better to have
al-Lahd (L-shaped grave).
- It's sunnah to have the head facing the qiblah
8. Muslim men take the deceased to their grave
- this is the sunnah of the Prophet (saaw)
III. INNOVATIONS THAT OCCUR WHEN SOMEONE'S
1. Quran is placed over the head of
the soon-to-be deceased
2. A tape recorder is playing the Quran
- this can't be played during the burial either
3. They are encouraged to say more than the shahadah (should only be encouraged
to say the shahadah)
4. Reading surah Yaseen
- This innovation is based on a weak hadith
5. Facing the dying person towards the qiblah
IV. INNOVATIONS THAT OCCUR AFTER THEY
1. Some people think that the deceased
becomes nijis after they die
2. Women on their period stay away from the deceased (it's okay for women
on their period to be near the deceased)
3. If you see someone die, you can't work for two days
4. Placing flowers on the grave, this is haram as it's imitating the kuffar
5. Abstaining from food until the deceased is buried
6. Some people refrain from certain things for a year
7. Growing your beard (as a sign of mourning)
8. Leaving certain types of food
9. Declaring that someone died in a khutbah
10 Reciting the fatiha when someone dies
V. INNOVATIONS WHEN WASHING THE DECEASED
1. Reciting a special dhikr
2. Using only an oil lamp for light
VI. INNOVATIONS CONCERNING THE KAFFAN
AND FUNERAL PROCESSION
1. Burying the deceased in a special
graveyard where a Wali/Shiekh died
2. People believe that the dead brag about the kaffan they are wearing
- the kaffan should be of average quality, nothing expensive
3. Placing some verses of the Quran over the kaffan
4. Putting the sheikh's turban with the deceased
5. Special sacrifice for the dead
6. Eating at the house of the family of the deceased
- We should make food for the remaining family and give it to them
7. Carrying the janaazah slowly
8. Walking in the janaazah quietly
VII. INNOVATIONS DURING THE JANAAZAH
1. Making a general janaazah salah
for all the people that have died during a particular day for example
2. Performing the janaazah more than once
3. Taking your shoes off
VIII. INNOVATIONS DURING THE BURIAL
1. Proclaiming the Adhan and reciting
Quran (i.e. Quran-Khanee)
2. After the person has passed away, telling them to say the shahadah
3. Weeping over the deceased in the graveyard
4. Placing food on the grave
5. Giving charity in the name of the dead
6. Laying a specific gravestone for the deceased
VIV. INNOVATIONS IN GIVING CONDOLENCES
1. Going around giving condolences
2. Organizing a gathering for the deceased
- Sitting and mourning is not right
3. Limiting condolences for three days only
4. Waiting a prolonged amount of time to dig, or preparing the grave excessively
5. Shouldn't visit especially on Fridays
6. Reciting Quran over the grave
7. The trees and grass near the grave site are holy
8. Traveling to visit graves is haram
- Can't even visit the grave of the Prophet (saaw), your intention should
be to visit his masjid
9. Kissing or touching the grave
10. Raising the grave above ground-level
11. Haram to pray in a masjid which contains a grave