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Salat al-Janazah (Arabic: صلاة الجنازة‎) is the funeral prayer held by Muslims before the burial but after the shrouding of the body. The prayer is performed in congregation to seek pardon for the deceased and all dead Muslims. The Salat al-Janazah is a collective obligation upon Muslims (fard Kifayah).

Description of the funeral prayer

The spoken part of the prayer involves quietly reading Al-Fatiha, praying for Muhammad and saying two supplications. This is done with an Imam present and facing qibla; in the direction of Mecca.

The Prophet and his companions explained how the funeral prayer is to be done. It is done as follows:

You say the first Takbeer ("Allahu akbar"), then you seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytaan, then you say "Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem" and recite al-Fatihah followed by a short surah or some aayahs. Then you say Takbeer and send blessings upon the Prophet as one does at the end of the prayer. Then you say a third Takbeer and make du’aa’ for the deceased. The best is to say:

“Allaahumma ighfir lihaayina wa mayitina wa shaahidina wa ghaa’ibina wa sagheerina wa kabeerina wa dhakarina wa unthaana. Allaahumma man ahyaytahu minna fa ahyihi ‘ala’l-Islam wa man tawaffaytahu minna fa tawiffahu ‘ala’l-eemaan. Allaahumma ighfir lahu warhamhu wa ‘aafihi wa a’fu ‘anhu, wa akrim nuzulahu wa wassi’ madkhalahu waghsilhu bi’l-maa’ wa’l-thalj wa’l-barad, wa naqqihi min al-khataaya kama yunaqqa’ al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas. Allaahumma abdilhu daaran khayra min daarihi wa ahlan khayra min ahlihi. Allaahumma adkhilhu al-jannah wa a’idhhu min ‘adhaab il-qabri wa min ‘adhaab il-naar wa afsah lahu fi qabrihi wa nawwir lahu fihi. Allaahumma laa tahrimna ajrahu wa la tadillanaa ba’dahu.

(O Allah, forgive our living and our dead, those who are present among us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our males and our females. O Allah, whoever You keep alive, keep him alive in Islam, and whoever You cause to die, cause him to die with faith. O Allah, forgive him and have mercy on him, keep him safe and sound and forgive him, honour the place where he settles and make his entrance wide; wash him with water and snow and hail, and cleanse him of sin as a white garment is cleansed of dirt. O Allah, give him a house better than his house and a family better than his family. O Allah, admit him to Paradise and protect him from the torment of the grave and the torment of Hell-fire; make his grave spacious and fill it with light. O Allah, do not deprive us of the reward and do not cause us to go astray after this).”

All of this was narrated from the Prophet. If you make du’aa’ with other words, this is OK, for example, one could say:

“Allaahumma in kaana muhsinan fa zid fi ihsaanihi wa in kaana musee’an fa tajaawaz ‘an sayi’aatihi. Allaahumma ighfir lahu wa thabbit-hu bi’l-qawl il-thaabit.

(O Allah, if he was a doer of good, then increase his good deeds, and if he was a wrongdoer, then overlook his bad deeds. O Allah, forgive him and give him the strength to say the right thing).”

Then a fourth Takbeer is recited, followed by a short pause, then a final Tasleem to the right, saying "Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allah."

Kitaab Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz, vol 13, p. 141

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Simple English

Salat al-Janazah (Arabic: صلاة الجنازة) is the funeral prayer held by Muslims before the burial but after the shrouding of the body.


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