How to Perform Funeral Prayer (al-Janazah Salat)

The funeral prayer is a supplication for our deceased brethren in Islam. Although usually performed in congregation, this prayer can be performed alone as well.

What is the status of the Funeral Prayer?

Performing the funeral prayer is a collective obligation (fardh al-kifayah), that is, it is obliga-tory for the community as a whole. If some Muslims perform the prayer, those who perform the prayer earn divine rewards, and the obliga-tion is lifted from the rest. However, if no Muslim performs the funeral prayer of a deceased Muslim, since an obligatory (fardh) prayer was abandoned, the entire Muslim community in that region becomes responsible and is con-sidered to have committed a sin.

How do we perform the Funeral Prayer?

The Funeral Prayer is a prayer without bow-ing (al-ruku) and prostration (al-sajdah). It is per-formed with intention (al-niyyah) and with four utterances of takbir: We stand in rows ahead of the platform where the deceased is placed and make the intention by saying “I have intended to perform the prayer for the sake of Allah, to make the supplication (al-Dua) for the deceased, and to follow the leader (imam).” Then one makes the opening takbir while lifting the hands. After the opening takbir, one clasps the hands be-low the navel and recites the supplication of “Subhanaka.” We make the second al-takbir without raising the hands and recite the suppli-cations of “Allahuma Salli” and “Allahuma Barik.” We make the third takbir again without raising the hands, and recite the supplication of funeral if we know it, otherwise we recite Surah al-Fatiha. After the fourth takbir, we complete the prayer by giving As-Salam to the right and left sides re-spectively. After the funeral prayer, we condole with the family, relatives and friends of the de-ceased. We stay with them and support them on their saddest day, sharing their grief.

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