Lesson 44 | Fiqh | Announcing the Death of someone, Janȃzah for the Absent one, and some details of the Janȃzah
Saturday 11 NOV 2017
Chapter of Prayer: Funeral Prayer
✏️Lesson 44 Announcing the Death of someone, Janȃzah for the Absent one, and some details of the Janȃzah
- Issue regarding making an announcement when someone dies:
- There are 3 hadith we will discuss insha Allah regarding this issue:
- The first is the hadith at the end of last lesson about the woman who used to sweep the Prophet’s mosque and who had died (see Lesson 43)
- 2nd is the Narration from Hudhaifah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to prohibit the announcement of anyone’s death [Related by Ahmed and At-Tirmidhi who rendered it hasan, sound]
- 3rd is the Narration from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) informed the people about the death of An-Najȃshi (The Negus) the day he died. He took them out to the place of prayer, to offer funeral prayer for him. He arranged them in rows and made Takbir four times” [Agreed upon]
- Overall: Making the announcement of the death of someone is of 3 types.
- The first one is to inform and announce to the relatives of the deceased so that they may know and pray the funeral prayer upon them. This is permissible and mustahab (desirable). An example of this is the Prophet’s announcing the death of An-Najȃshi so the believers could pray the funeral prayer for him
- The second type is when the announcement is made in a public platform, especially in a prideful way, e.g. to gather the people in large numbers and make it a source of pride for the family of the deceased (that lots of people came). This is not permissible.
- The third type is the way of the jȃhiliyyah (days of ignorance) when the family or close relatives of the deceased would wail and scream, thereby others would be informed of their death. This is not permissible
- NOTE: when An-Najȃshi (this was the title of the King of Habasha, East Africa, his actual name as mentioned by the scholars was As-Hamar) died the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) made the announcement regarding his death. He was a Christian but a just man, when he heard the Qur’an from the immigrants from Makkah he became Muslim. He never met the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). When he passed away Jibreel (Gabriel) may Allah be pleased with him informed the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) about this and the Muslims prayed the funeral prayer for him. This is one of the miracles of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), that he was made aware of the death of An-Najȃshi the same day he passed away, a distance that would take a great many days of travel for a messenger..
- NOTE: in regards to praying the funeral prayer upon a deceased who is not present there are 4 opinions among the scholars.
- That praying the funeral prayer upon someone who is absent (body is not there), is permissible. The scholars who take this opinion say it is permissible as the
- That this is not permissible at all, scholars who take this position give the reason that many companions died away from the main group of Muslims and there isn’t a narration of them all having funeral prayers in absentia
- It is permissible only if the deceased is in a land where no one will pray the funeral prayer over him/her. Evidence for this would be the story of An-Najȃshi as he was in a Christian land and no one would pray over him. Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah takes this position.
- It is permissible to pray the funeral prayer in abstentia if the deceased is a person of stature/respect such as the scholars and Muslim rulers (e.g. An-Najȃshi) regardless if he had the funeral prayer in his area already.
- NOTE: Shaikh Salih Al-fawzȃn says the strongest opinions are the 3rd and the 4th
- Narration from Ibn Abbȃs (may Allah be pleased with him): “I heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say, “There is not a Muslim man who dies and a group of forty people, who do not associate any one with Allah, pray for him, except that Allah will accept their intercession for him (by way of their du’a for him)” [Related by Muslim]
- Point 1: this hadith shows that a Muslim should come to the funeral and pray the funeral prayer for his brother/sister in Islam. There is great reward upon you for doing this, and a great benefit for the deceased as everyone is making dua (invocation) to Allah to forgive them and make their affair easy
- Point 2: The Janȃzah is only upon the Muslim
- Point 3: This hadith shows one of the benefits of the funeral prayer is that the muslims make intercession for their deceased brother/sister
- There are 3 hadith we will discuss insha Allah regarding this issue:
- Narration from Samurah bin Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him): “I offered the funeral prayer behind the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) for a woman who had died during child-birth and he (prayed) standing opposite the middle of her body. [Agreed upon]
- Point 1: The Janȃzah is prayed upon the deceased, both men and women
- Point 2: (Recap) The woman who dies due to giving birth is a martyr, yet in in terms of funeral and burial she is treated as normal (unlike the standard martyr who is not washed or prayed over); she has the status of martyr and her reward is in the hereafter
- Point 3: This hadith informs us of the position of the Imam in the case of deceased woman:
- In the Janȃzah of a man, the Iman stands in line with his head or chest
- For a woman, the Imam stands at the middle, however this is not obligatory, what is obligatory is that the Imam must be somewhere behind the deceased i.e. the deceased should be in front of the imam, that is the main requirement in terms of all positions
- For multiple deceased, the bodies of the men are placed at the front, then the bodies of the women behind them and lastly the bodies of the children after that.
- Narration from Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her): “By Allah the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) offered funeral prayer in the mosque for the sons of Baidȃ (Sahl and Suhail)” [Related by Muslim]
- This hadith shows that it is possible to pray the funeral prayer for the deceased inside the mosque. Praying outside better but is not a condition. Umar and Abu Bakr both had their funeral prayers performed inside the mosque and there are many other examples.
- Regarding the issue of the number of Takbȋrȃt:
- Narration from ‘Abdur Rahmȃn bin Abi Laila (may Allah be pleased with him): “Zaid bin Arqam (may Allah be pleased with him) used to recite four Takbȋrȃt when praying over the dead, but once he said it was five times, so I asked him about it. He said to me, “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to do so” [Related by Muslim and the Four Imams]
- Narration from ‘Ali bin Abȋ Tȃlib (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said six Takbȋrȃt when he prayed over Sahl bin Hunaif, and he said (explaining his action), “He is one of the Companions, who fought in the Battle of Badr”. [Related by Sa’ȋd bin Mansuur]
- Narration from Jȃbir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to say four Takbȋrȃt over the dead, and would recite Al-Fatihah in (after saying) the first (opening) Takbȋrȃt [Related by Ash-Shȃfi’i with a weak chain of narrators]
- NOTE: There are differing narrations regarding the number of Takbȋrȃt done in the funeral prayer. That they should be done is obligatory, but their number is differed upon
- The heaviest opinion from the scholars is that it is 4. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) gathered the companions upon this opinion and some of the scholars say this is therefore consensus.
- FIQH MATTER: Some of the scholars say the narrations of 5 and 6 etc are “Shȃdh” category, i.e. authentic but is opposed by multiple strong, authentic hadith, therefore it is possible the narrations of 5 or 6 etc may have an error (e.g. slight slips)
- However, some scholars do not take the above position
- Important NOTE!: The above differences are sometimes found in fiqh issues, but never in aqeedah, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and all the companions as well as those who followed them from the early generations were agreed in aqeedah.
- Narration from Talhah bin ‘Abdullȃh bin ‘Auf (may Allah be pleased with him): “I offered a funeral prayer led by Ibn ‘Abbass. He recited al-Fatihah and said “You should know that it (reciting al-Fatihah) is a sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)” [Related by Al-Bukhȃri]
- Reading surah fatihah is obligatory, in any prayer.
- The funeral prayer, generally speaking is a quiet prayer
- However Ibn Abbass read it aloud on purpose in order to teach them the sunnah (i.e. to read the fatihah), he explicitly states this
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