When I learnt how to perform funeral prayers (salat Janaza) in Islam, I was amazed to observe that most of the people don’t even know how to perform it. I have seen many who just stand up in the line to pray for it but they have no idea about what they have to read. The Funeral Prayer or the Salatul Janazah is Fard Kafayah, which basically means that if any one prays the prayer than all the others are free from the responsibility, otherwise all those who received news of the death and did not attend the funeral would be considered as sinners. (Hadith No. 1948, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3) I have tried to explain the Procedure to Perform Funeral Prayers (Salat Janaza) in Islam in this link.
Procedure to Perform Funeral Prayers in Islam
There are 4 takbirs in funeral prayers in Islam (Hadith No. 337, Book of Funerals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2). You can say there are 4 rakah of funeral prayers or Salat ul Janaza.
First Takbir: The Muqtadee should make the niyyat or intention of prayer as “I make niyyat for the funeral prayer, duaa for the deceased, behind the imam.” The imam and the Muqtadee should then raise their hands up to their ears and then fold their hands underneath the navel as is usual while saying “Allahu Akbar”. There is a difference of opinion among scholars whether Sura Fateha needs to be recited in the first Takbir. Shafi and all other views state that it is important to say Sura Fateha in funeral prayer. (Hadith No. 419, Book of Funerals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2). However, according to the Hanafi view, following prayers should be recited after the first Takbir.
Second Takbir: After this one must say Allahu Akbar and also recite the duroode Ibraheem. I don’t think there is a difference among scholars about it.
Third Takbir: After this Allahu Akbar must again be recited followed by the duaa for the deceased. The imam or the leader must recite the takbeer out loud however the muqtadee must recite it slowly along with the rest of the supplications. After the completion of the Dua turn your head to both sides to offer Salaam. The following supplications should be recited after third takbir.
Fourth Takbir: No supplications need to be recited after 4th Takbir. The Sunnah way agreed by all is to say Taslim after pronouncing the fourth Takbir. A minor difference is there to between Hanafi and Shafi followers. Hanafi followers say Taslim by moving their head in both right and left direction but Shafi followers move their head only on right side.
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