What is Namaz e Janaza (نماز جنازہ)?
Namaz e Janaza or funeral prayer, is a religious ritual after the death of a believer. It is a prayer, which is to pray for the deceased person. It is a religious obligation of the community where the deceased person has spent his life to perform Salat e Janaza. But this obligation is not a “Farz e Ain”, which has to be performed by every person individually. Instead, it is a “Farz e Kafaaya”, it means that it is considered being performed by every-one if only a few people perform it. This prayer is offered in the congregation to pray for the deceased.
Table of Contents
Importance of Funeral Prayer:
Funeral prayer or Namaz e Janaza has great importance in an Islamic society. Prophet Muhammad SAW narrated some rights of a believer upon other believers and offering Salat e Janaza is one of them. It is a congregational prayer to pray for the forgiveness and to beg pardon for a deceased person and for the whole Ummah. This prayer is an important ritual, which is a religious obligation as well.
Preparation for Salat e Janaza:
Like any other prayer, salat e Janaza also required three basic steps for preparation;
This is the first step required for performing any prayer. It is better performed from your home before going to the funeral.
Facing Khana Kaaba.
The congregation has to face towards Ka`aba for offering funeral prayer. It is the basic requirement for offering any type of the prayer.
Intention for Salat e Janaza:
To make an intention in some one`s head and with some specific words is another important step before offering Salat e Janaza. One can state his intention in the following words; intend to pray for the sake of Allah Most High and to supplicate for the deceased.”
“I intend to pray for the sake of Allah Most High and to supplicate for the deceased.”
Steps of Salat e Janaza:
Salat e Janaza unlike other prayers, is performed completely while standing. There is no bowing (rukoo) or prostration (sujood) in Salat e Janaza. There are only four takbirat and a few duas, supplications and Darood. Here is a complete step wise method of funeral prayer.
When the congregation gets collected for funeral prayer, Imam says the first Takbir. Takbir (Allah o Akbar) is the signal that the funeral prayer is getting started. The crowd has to raise their hands to the ears and leave them free.
Ask refuge from Shaitan:
After saying Takbir the imam recites Tawuz;
“A’ūdhu billāhi minash-shaytānir-rajīm”
Meaning: “I seek refuge from Satan, the outcast.”
This is another important step for offering any of the prayers in Islam.
Recite Sura e Fateha and Any Other Sura from Quran:
After Ta`awuz, Imam recites Sura e Fateha, the first chapter of Quran e Kareem. This recitation is mandatory but reciting another portion from the Quran e Kareem is optional. Imam has to recite Sura e Fateha aloud, but other people can recite it silently. Sura e Fateha can be recited as follows;
“Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem Alhamdu lillaahi Rabbil ‘aalameen Ar-Rahmaanir-Raheem Maaliki Yawmid-Deen Iyyaaka na’budu wa lyyaaka nasta’een Ihdinas-Siraatal-Mustaqeem Siraatal-lazeena an’amta ‘alaihim ghayril-maghdoobi ‘alaihim wa lad-daaalleen”
Meaning: “In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All praise belongs to God, Lord of the Universe, the Beneficent, the Merciful and Master of the Day of Judgment. Lord, You alone We worship and from You alone we seek assistance. Lord, guide us to the right path, the path of those to whom You have granted blessings, those who are neither subject to Your anger nor have gone astray.”
After recitation of Sura e Fateha, the imam raises hands once again to the ears and say another takbir. After this takbir, Darood Sharif is recited. This is the same Darood i;e Darood e Ibrahimi, which we normally recite in our routine prayers.
“Allahumma Salle ‘Alaa Muhammadinw Wa’Alaa Aali Muhammadin Kamaa Sallaeta ‘Alaa Ibraaheema Wa’Alaa Aaali Ibraaheema Innaka Hameedum Majeed. Allahumma Baarik ‘Alaa Muhammadinw Wa’Alaa Aali Muhammadin Kamaa Baarakta ‘Alaa Ibraaheema Wa’Alaa Aaali Ibraaheema Innaka Hameedum Majeed”
Meaning: “O Allah, send peace on Prophet Muhammad and to the family of Prophet Muhammad as you sent peace on Prophet Ibrahim and the family of Prophet Ibrahim. Indeed, you are praiseworthy and glorious. O Allah, bless the Prophet Muhammad and the family of Prophet Muhammad as you blessed Prophet Ibrahim and the family of Prophet Ibrahim. Indeed, you are praiseworthy and glorious.
Making Supplication for the Deceased:
After reciting Darood Sharif, Imam says the third Takbir. After this, Takbir Imam recites a dua taught by Prophet Muhammad SAW for the funeral of every believer. This dua is also recited loudly by Imam. This is the time when every-one can recite for the deceased person by himself, one can recite whatever dua one wish for. But following is the dua taught to the believers by Prophet Muhammad SAW;
“Allaahum-maghfir lihayyinaa, wa mayyitinaa, wa shaahidinaa, wa ghaa’ibinaa, wa sagheerinaa wa kabeerinaa, wa thakarinaa wa ‘unthaanaa. Allaahumma man ‘ahyaytahu minnaa fa’ahyihi ‘alal-‘Islaami, wa man tawaffaytahu minnaa fatawaffahu ‘alal-‘eemaani, Allaahumma laa tahrimnaa ‘ajrahu wa laa tudhillanaa ba’dahu.”
Meaning: “O Allah! Forgive our living and our dead, those who are with us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our men and our women. O Allah, whoever you give life from among us, give him life in Islam, and whomever you take away from us, take him away in Faith. O Allah, do not forbid us their reward and do not send us astray after them.”
Ending Prayer with Tasleem:
The last step of the funeral prayer is Salam or Tasleem. Every-one has to bend his neck towards right and say Assalam o Alaikum warahma tullah, and then turn his neck to the left and repeat the same words.
Etiquettes and Recommendations for Salat e Janaza:
Salat e Janaza is performed on the occasion of sadness and pain. So,there are certain etiquettes and recommendations for offering Salat e Janaza. This is a moral obligation to follow these etiquettes. Some of them are as follows;
- One should be focused and should maintain humility during offering funeral prayer.
- One should come to the funeral with neat and clean body and dress.
- Salat e Janaza should be offered in the congregation. It is a collective responsibility of the society to offer funeral prayer of the deceased.
- To give charity on behalf of the deceased person is the religious and moral obligation of a deceased family.
Frequently Asked Questions about Salat e Janaza:
What are the requirements of Salat e Janaza?
Making ablution and making proper intention are the basic requirements for offering Salat e Janaza.
What are the gender and age restrictions for Salat e Janaza?
There is no gender and age restriction for offering Salat e Janaza. Women can offer Salat e Janaza as that of men, there is no evidence of restricting women from offering Salat e Janaza.
Can non-Muslims perform Salat e Janaza for a Muslim?
Yes, a non-Muslim can attend the funeral of a Muslim friend or relative. It is not forbidden in Islam. But it should be kept in mind that the non-Muslim should dress up nicely and should keep silence during the funeral.
What is the time frame for performong Salat e Janaza?
Salat e Janaza should be performed as early as possible after the demise. Funeral should not be delayed without any valid reason.
Can Salat e Janaza be performed for a person who has been missing or presumed dead?
Absentee funeral prayer is permissible in Islam. In fact, Prophet Muhammad SAW himself offered the absentee funeral of Najjashi, King of Avesinia.
Salat e Janaza or funeral prayer is an important ritual of Islam. It is offered at the demise of a believer. To offer Salat e Janaza of a believer is the religious obligation of the deceased relatives, neighbors and friends. It is a collective responsibility of the entire society to offer the deceased funeral. If only a few people offer Salat e Janaza, it would be performed by all the Muslims. QuranHost provides you with the best opportunity to understand basic Islamic concepts clearly and vividly. We offer the best Online Islamic Teachings course to understand basic Islamic concepts properly.