Janazah Salaat


Rules of Death, Burial, Janazah
(Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi)

Eulogies and Funerals
(Maulana A S Desai)


Q. In Makkah and Madinah the Janaazah Salaat is terminated with only one Salaam. What should Hanafis do when they join the Janaazah Salaat?

A. Hanafis should make two Salaams. Making two Salaams is Waajib.


Q. The Imaam forgetting the fourth Takbeer of Janaazah Salaat, makes Salaam. The muqtadis proclaim ‘Subhaanallah’ to draw his attention to the error. The Imaam then recites the fourth Takbeer and makes Salaam. Was the Janaazah Salaat valid?

A. Yes, the Salaat was valid.


Q. I am confused about the dua after the Janaazah prayer. Some say that there is no dua after the Janaazah prayer and some say there is. Please clarify.

A. The Janaazah Salaat in itself is a dua for the mayyit (deceased). It is not of Rasulullah’s and his Sahaabas practice to make another dua after the Janaazah Salaat. The dua which some people recite after termination of Janaazah Salaat is an innovatory practice contrary to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).


Q. Could Janaazah Namaaz and Sajdah Tilaawat be made after Asr Namaaz?

A. These could be performed prior to the sun’s rays becoming dull. Once the rays of the sun become dull then neither Janaazah Salaat nor Sijdah Tilaawat can be performed.


Q. How is it to delay time performance of the Janaazah Salaat and burial of the Mayyit (deceased) in anticipation of a big congregation?

A. It is stated in Durre Mukhtaar that to delay the performance of the Janaazah Salaat and the burial in anticipation of a big Jamaat is Makrooh Tahrimi which means an act which is forbidden.


Q. Can Janaazah Salaat be performed after Asr Salaat?

A. It is permissible.


Q. In a qabrustaan there is a special building for performing Janaazah Salaat. Outside the building on the qiblah side, i.e. in front of the wall the musallis will be facing, are graves. Is it permissible to perform Janaazah Salaat or any other Salaat in this building?

A. It is permissible. The wall is an adequate barrier.


Q. If it is Salaat time while one is in the qabrustaan, can Salaat be performed there?

A. Salaat should not be made inside the qabrustaan where one will be facing any of the graves. However, if it is time, and if one can find such a place where there are no graves in front, then it will be permissible.


Q. If on the Day of Eid there is a Janaazah, when should the Janaazah Salaat be performed?

A. The Eid Salaat will be performed first, then the Janaazah Salaat, then the Eid Khutbah.


Q. Is it correct that according to the Shaafi’ Math-hab if the Dua is not recited in Janaazah Salaat or instead of four Takbeers only three are said, then too the Salaat will be valid?

A. According to the Shaafi’ Math-hab, four Takbeer and Dua are among the arkaan (fundamentals) of Janaazah Salaat . Omission of even one of the arkaan invalidates the Salaat. Therefore according to the Shaafi’ Mathhab, the Janaazah Salaat will not be valid.According to the Hanafi Mathhab, four Takbeers are Fardh. The Salaat will not be valid if four Takbeers are not recited in Janaazah Salaat. However, Dua according to the Hanafi Math-hab is Sunnat. Hence if it was omitted, the Salaat will be valid although it is not permissible to unnecessarily omit it.


Q. At one Musjid in New York, Janaazah Salaat was performed with the musallis standing inside the Musjid and the Janaazah was placed outside the Musjid in front of the musallis by the Mihraab. Is it permissible to join such a Janaazah Salaat?

A. According to the Hanafi Math-hab it is Makrooh Tahrimi (forbidden) to perform Janaazah Salaat inside the Musjid even if the body is outside. Hanafis should not join this Salaat.


Q. Who has a greater right to lead the Janaazah Salaat – the Imaam of the Musjid or an Aalim who is the relative of the deceased?

A. The Imaam of the Musjid has a greater right to perform the Janaazah Salaat than the aalim of the family if the Salaat will be conducted within the Musjid precincts.


Q. If the Imaam completed the Janaazah Salaat after three takbeers, is the Salaat valid?

A. The Salaat is not valid. Four Takbeers are Fardh. The Janaazah Salaat should be repeated.


Q. I joined the Janaazah Salaat after the second Takbeer. What was I supposed to have done?

A. In this case the musalli should recite the third Takbeer with the Imaam, then the Masnoon Dua, then the fourth Takbeer. After the Imaam makes the Salaams, recite one Takbeer and Thana. Thereafter, recite another Takbeer and Durood Shareef and terminate the Salaat with Salaam. However, if there is the fear that before completing the Salaat in this way, the Janaazah will be removed, then recite only two Takbeer and end the Salaat. Omit Thana and Durood Shareef.


Q. Is it permissible to perform Janaazah Salaat at the time of Zawwaal?

A. If the Janaazah is brought for Salaat precisely at the time of Zawwaal, then it will be permissible to perform it. However, if the Janaazah was brought before Zawwaal, then it will not be permissible to perform the Salaat. The Janaazah Salaat in this case will have to be delayed until after Zawwaal.


Q. According to the Hanafi Mathhab it is not permissible to perform Janaazah Salaat inside the Musjid. Is it permissible to perform it in the Eidgah if the Janaazah is brought there?

A. It is permissible to perform Janaazah Salaat in the Eidgah.


Q. In the Harams of Makkah and Madinah the Imaams make Salaam to only the right side in Janaazah Salaat. Why do they do this?

A. The Imaams who make one Salaam in Janaazah Salaat follow either Imaam Maalik or Imaam Hambal (rahmatullah alayhima). It is their Math-hab, hence valid. However, the Hanafis performing behind the Imaam, should make both Salaams.


Q. What should be done if the Imaam had erroneously performed Janaazah Salaat without wudhu? Will the Salaat of the muqtadis be valid?

A. No one’s Salaat is valid. The Salaat has to be repeated. If this was discovered after burial, then Janaazah Salaat should be made at the graveside.


Q. Is it a valid Islamic practice to cover mirrors when a Janaazah takes place?

A. Covering mirrors on the occasion of a janaazah is not an Islamic practice. Those who do so are practising bid’ah which apparently they borrowed from the Yahood.


Q. Is it correct that Janaazah and Eid Salaat may be performed with Tayammum?

A. This will be permissible only if there is a genuine fear of losing the Salaat. If engagement with Wudhu will not permit one to join the Janaazah Salaat in at least the fourth Takbeer, then Tayammum will be permissible. Similarly, if one will not be able to join the Eid Salaat before the Salaam, then Tayammum will be permissible.


Q. A woman has made an instruction that a certain person should not be allowed to attend her janaazah. Is this kind of wasiyyat permissible? Could it be enforced?

A. It is not permissible for a person to make a request or issue an instruction for some people not to be present at his/her mayyit. Such a request/ instruction has no validity in the Shariah. Neither could anyone be prevented from attending the Janaazah nor is it necessary for the persons concerned to absent themselves.


Q. If a relative dies in another city, is it necessary to attend his funeral?

A. It is not a requirement of the Shariah to attend the funeral in another city. There is no need to waste time and money to undertake a journey to attend a Janaazah. Perform acts of Isaal-e-thawaab from wherever you are.


Q. Is there Janaazah Salaat for a person who died by suicide?

A. Suicide is a major sin. Nevertheless, the one who commits suicide remains Muslim and all Islamic burial rites will be carried out for the deceased.


Q. Recently there was an accident. The Muslim driver was stuck in the car. While the paramedics were working to free him, he was constantly screaming abusive four letter words. A crowd had gathered. I went to him, held his hand and said to him: ‘Read La ilaha il lallaah. I said this to him about six times. I then had to leave. Later we were informed that he had died. Why was he swearing so much? What should we recite to save ourselves from such a calamity?

A. Once a Wali went with a group of his mureeds to visit his neighbour who was on his deathbed. When people were making talqeen of the Kalimah to him, he would respond: ‘Ten, eleven’, etc.’ He continued to utter numbers until he died in this manner without the Kalimah on his tongue. The Wali was greatly grieved. He then informed his mureeds: “This man was totally engrossed with his money. Night and day he was absorbed in making money and counting it. He had no thought for this Day of Maut. He thus left this world without the Kalimah, and with his money on his tongue. If you all want Allah’s Name to be on your tongue effortlessly when Maut arrives, then keep it moist with Thikrullah as Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Your tongue should forever remain moist with the Thikr of Allah.” A person usually leaves this world with the words which were generally on his tongue. Since this person was addicted to uttering the vulgar words, he departed from the world with the evil abuse. May Allah Ta’ala forgive him and save us all from such calamities. People generally die as they lived, and they will be resurrected in Qiyaamah with those whom they loved and emulated.


Q. A new Muslim lady’s sister’s son (2 years old) died. She wanted the child to be buried according to Muslim rites. An Imaam said that it is allowed because according to the Hadith, “every child is born a Muslim”. Is this correct?

A. Although every child is born on ‘fitrah’, i.e. the natural state of Imaan, technically the child born to non-Muslim parents and dying in their care, is not a Muslim. Certain laws which are applicable to the Aakhirah are not valid on earth in terms of the Shariah. A Muslim who dies under a wall which collapsed on him, dies a shaheed (martyr). However, the Shariah’s rules relating to a shaheed—one who dies on the battlefield— do not apply to the shaheed who died under a wall. Similarly, while the child is a ‘Mu’min’ in terms of the Aakhirah and sinless, he/she is not recognized as a Muslim on earth. It is for this reason that it is necessary for a non-Muslim child who had embraced Islam before puberty, to renew his/her Imaan by reciting the Kalimah after puberty. The non-Muslim child should not be given an Islamic burial. If this has already been done, there is no need to create a fuss about it. Forget about it and do not initiate a controversy.


Q. Should Janaazah Salaat be performed for an illegitimate child of a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man?

A. In view of the mother being a Muslim, the child too will be a Muslim. Janaazah Salaat has to be performed. The Shar’i rule in such cases is that the religion of the child will be subject to what is described as Khairul Abawain, i.e. “the noblest of the parents”. The gender of the parents is not the rule. The best of religions, namely, Islam, is the determinant. Hence, the religion of the child will always be Islam if one of the parents is a Muslim and the other a non-Muslim.


Q. Minor non-Muslim children frequent our rural madrasah. They are regarded by us as Muslims. However, they stay with their non-Muslim parents and obviously are unable to sustain their Islamic ta’leem and amal at home. But they recite the Qur’aan well, perform Salaat when with us and generally conduct themselves as Muslims in our company. What is the position of such children?

A. When they attain buloogh (puberty), Islam has to be presented to them and they will have to declare their Imaan at that time. It is incumbent for them to officially accept Islam at the age of buloogh. Meanwhile continue teaching and training them, and make dua for their hidaayat. Our efforts will come to zero if Allah Ta’ala has not decreed Imaan for them.


Q. If minor children (such as those mentioned above) should die, are we allowed to bury them as Muslims?

A. If their parents consent, bury them as Muslims. Allah knows best.


Q. Will the laws of a Shaheed apply to Muslims who are killed by bombs and missiles fired by the kuffaar?

A. Muslims who are killed by the bombs and missiles of the kuffaar are Martyrs (Shuhada). The laws of Shahaadat apply to them. They will be buried without ghusl.


Q. Why are Muslims not allowed to cremate their dead?

A. Muslims are not allowed to be cremated for the following reasons: 1) Muslims are not Hindus nor atheists. 2) The Islamic system of burial is divinely ordained and has been commanded and taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who as you are aware was the Final Nabi of Allah Ta’ala. 3) Fire will be Allah’s primary means of punishment in the Hereafter. Jahannum (Hell) is Fire which has been created for the transgressors and deniers of Allah Ta’ala. For this reason, Islam forbids killing insects, animals, etc. with fire. 4) Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan that He has ennobled human beings. It is not befitting to treat the ennobled human body like chattel or dead animals and assign it to the Fire which is the medium of chastisement. 5) A host of religious (Islamic) rites has been ordained by Allah Ta’ala for honouring and respecting the dead human body. These cannot be observed if the human body is assigned into hell on earth even before reaching the Hereafter. 6) Allah Ta’ala created man from sand. Since his origin was from the earth, on death he is assigned again to earth, hence the Qur’aan Majeed says in this regard: “From it (i.e. the earth) have We created you, and to it (the earth) shall We return you (i.e. to the grave), and from it shall We resurrect you a second time (in Qiyaamah).” Some senior Ulama have narrated that some of the gods which Hindus worship were jinn. Jinn were created from fire. It is therefore probable that when they die they are cremated and returned to their primordial matter, like human beings are returned to their original matter (namely sand). Since Hindus, among the numerous objects they worship, also worship jinn, it is quite probable that the shayaateen (who are evil jinn) had taught them this mode of disposing their bodies.


Q. I have heard that the late Mr. Asmal who was cremated had expressed the desire to be buried. Does this not indicate that he was a Muslim?

A. What he was in his heart is the domain of Allah Ta’ala Who will judge on the Day of Qiyaamah. Our concern is with the observance of Allah’s Shariah. We are not concerned with Allah’s judgments on the Day of Qiyaamah. The burnt out person did not live like a Muslim. He has publicly proclaimed his atheism and his love for whisky and gin which were perfectly ‘permissible’ in his agnostic ideology. If he had reverted to Islam, he should have made this known. He should have declared his Islam. He should have publicly repented He should have left a burial directive instructing that he should be buried as a Muslim since he is a Muslim. But, on the contrary, according to his family, his burial directive was ‘cremation’ – to be incinerated in Naar (Fire of Jahannum). In the final analysis, according to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) a person will die and be resurrected the way he lived. May Allah Ta’ala save our Imaan.


Q. How should a stillborn baby be buried?

A. The stillborn baby shall be given ghusl, wrapped in a cloth and buried. However, no janazah Salaat is performed. (Hidayah)


Q. A woman dies during childbirth. The child too is stillborn. How should kafan and dafan be executed? Some people say that the child should not be detached from the mother. Both should be wrapped in the same kafan and buried together.

A. The child should be separated and buried separately. There is neither ghusl nor Janaazah Salaat for the stillborn child.


Q. What are the Shariah’s requirements regarding the funeral rites for a stillborn child?

A. The stillborn child will be bathed without observing the Masnoon ghusl method if the foetus is not fully developed, but buried in the normal Masnoon way. If the stillborn is a fully developed child, Masnoon ghusl will be given, but Janaazah Salaat will not be performed.


Q. Three months after pregnancy a woman had a miscarriage. What is the Shariah order regarding burial of the miscarried baby?

A. If some human form or organ, e.g. hand, foot, nail or hair, has developed then it will be regarded as a baby in terms of the Shariah. Ghusal will be given. It will be wrapped in a single sheet and buried without performing Salaatul Janaazah. If no human form or organ is discernible then it will be merely buried without ghusal and kafan.


Q. If a child dies a few hours after birth, should it be given a name?

A. When a child is born alive, it should be given a name even if the child dies a minute after birth.


Q. Is it permissible to give an Islamic burial to a murtadd woman who used to generously contribute funds to Muslims? Is it permissible to recite Qur’aan and make dua for her?

A. It is haraam to give a murtadd an Islamic burial and to offer acts of thawaab for her. It is not permissible to make dua of forgiveness for a murtadd. It is also not permissible to accept the gifts and contributions of murtadds.


Q. Is it permissible to invite non-Muslims to accompany the Janaazah of their deceased Muslim relatives?

A. It is not permissible. In the highly reliable and authoritative Kitaab, Badaaius Sanaai’, it is stated: “It is Makrooh (i.e. Makrooh Tahrimi) for a kaafir to enter the qabr of any of his Mu’mineen relatives because the place where a kaafir happens to be is a place where descends the wrath and curse (of Allah). Hence, the qabr of the Mu’min should be guarded against this.”


Q. Minor non-Muslim children frequent our rural madrasah. They are regarded by us as Muslims. However, they stay with their non-Muslim parents and obviously are unable to sustain their Islamic ta’leem and amal at home. But they recite the Qur’aan well, perform Salaat when with us and generally conduct themselves as Muslims in our company. What is the position of such children?

A. When they attain buloogh (puberty), Islam has to be presented to them and they will have to declare their Imaan at that time. It is incumbent for them to officially accept Islam at the age of buloogh. Meanwhile continue teaching and training them, and make dua for their hidaayat. Our efforts will come to zero if Allah Ta’ala has not decreed Imaan for them.


Q. If minor children (such as those mentioned above) should die, are we allowed to bury them as Muslims?

A. If their parents consent, bury them as Muslims. Allah knows best.


Q. Is it permissible to bury a Muslim in a non-Muslim graveyard?

A. It is not permissible. The prohibition is obvious. It is even prohibited for a kaafir to assist with the burial of his Muslim relative. The authoritative Kitaab, Badaaius Sanaa’ says in this regard: “It is Makrooh (i.e. reprehensible, not permissible) for a kaafir to enter the grave of his Mu’min relative because the Wrath and Curse (of Allah) settle on the place where a kaafir is. Hence, the grave of a Muslim should be saved from these (calamities).” To save a Muslim from the Wrath and Curse of Allah Ta’ala he/she should never be buried in the graveyard of the kuffaar.


Q. A ‘Muslim’ lesbian was buried in a Christian cemetery. Is it permissible to visit her grave and make dua for her?

A. In the case mentioned by you, it is not permissible to visit the Christian graveyard. Dua should also not be made. If the person had indeed died with Imaan, Allah Ta’ala is sufficient to take care of her. The signs are that she died without Imaan. And Allah knows best. May He save us from our own evil and keep us all steadfast on Imaan until the very last moment.


Q. Is it compulsory to make ghusl after bathing the mayyit?

A. After bathing the mayyit (deceased) it is not Waajib to make ghusl. It is Mustahab.


Q. If a woman cannot be found to give ghusl to a female mayyit, what is to be done?

A. A close male relative (mahram) should give her Tayammum. If there is no mahram to give Tayammum, then any male may do so. But it is neccessary that the ghair mahram dons gloves when effecting the Tayammum.


Q. Is it permissible for a woman in her state of haidh to assist giving ghusl to the mayyit?

A. It is not permissible.


Q. Who has to give ghusl to a hermaphrodite or a person whose sex cannot be determined?

A. In the Shariah such a person is called khuntha mushkiel. There is no ghusl for such a mayyit (deceased). Tayammum is compulsory for this mayyit.


Q. The body of a drowned person is retrieved from the sea. Is it necessary to give ghusl to such a body?

A. Yes, it is compulsory to give the body ghusl regardless of it having been retrieved from the sea.


Q. Is it permissible for a Maaliki to give ghusl to the dead body of his wife?

A. According to the Maaliki Mathhab it is permissible for the husband to give ghusl to the body of his wife., but not according to the Hanafi Math-hab.


Q. According to the Maaliki Mathhab, is it incumbent to take ghusl after bathing the mayyit?

A. It is Mustahab according to the Maaliki Math-hab to take ghusl after having given ghusl to the mayyit.


Q. Is it permissible for persons in janaabat to be in the same room where the mayyit is?

A. People in the state of janaabat should not sit near to the mayyit (deceased). They should not be in the room where the mayyit is.


Q. How is it to transport the deceased from one city to another?

A. The mayyit (deceased) should be buried in the place where he died, viz, the Qabrastaan of the place. In Fataawa Alimghiri it is stated that to transport the body from one city to another is not permissible.


Q. If the mayyit has been given ghusl and kafan early on Friday morning, is it better to delay the burial until after Jumuah Salaat?

A. No, it is not better. The burial should be done as soon as possible. There should be no unnecessary delay.


Q. Should the hair of the mayyit (deceased) be combed?

A. No, the mayyit’s hair should not be combed.


Q. Is it permissible to apply perfume to the hair and beard of a mayyit — man or woman?

A. It is permissible to use taahir (pure), alcohol-free perfume for application to the hair and beard of the deceased. Even the hair of a female deceased should be perfumed.


Q. Is it permissible to rub surma and itar on a female mayyit?

A. It is not permissible to apply surma and itar to the female mayyit. Only camphor may be applied to the forehead, nose, the palms of the hands, the knees and both feet.


Q. Is it permissible to write the Kalimah or any Qur`aanic verse on the Kaffan of the dead?

A. In the Kitaab, Raddul Mukhtaar it is recorded that writing the Kalimah on the Kaffan is not permissible.


Q. Is it permissible to use washing powder to wash kafan material?

A. Although permissible, it is best not to use washing powder for this purposes on account of the doubtful ingredients.


Q. Whose responsibility is it to provide kafan for the wife?

A. It is the husband’s responsibility.


Q. Please give us the Shariah’s ruling on the following practices: The body of the mayyit is brought to a home after ghusl and before Janaazah Salaat. The body is then placed facing the Qiblah. Ghair mahram females are seated around the body even if the mayyit is a male. Yaaseen and/or Qur’aan Khatam are then recited. The mayyit’s face is uncovered for all and sundry to view. Next, a number of males, mostly family, enters to carry the body out. They appear in full view of the females. The face is once again opened for public viewing either before or after Janaazah Salaat inside or outside the Musjid. I am aware that all these practices are not permissible. However, my main query pertains to the young Huffaaz who are compelled by their elders to recite Yaaseen, etc. by the body even in the presence of the ghair mahram females. If the Haafiz refuses he is labelled disrespectful, etc. Many arguments are produced to silence and compel the Huffaaz to conform. What should they do?

A. The answer is not difficult. They simply should refuse to participate in this haraam affair. Every act besides the Janaazah Salaat in which these bid’atis indulge is haraam. The Huffaaz are adults and are accountable for their actions, All their arguments are baseless in the Shariah. It is not permissible for the Huffaaz to submit to the unlawful desires of their elders. They have no valid argument for participation in bid’ah and haraam. They should concern themselves with the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, not the whims and haraam fancies of the elders and the community.


Q. Is it permissible for strange women (ghair mahaarim) to sit around the mayyit (deceased) who is a male and make tilaawat of the Holy Quraan? They make this tilaawat after the dead has been given ghusal?

A. It is not permissible for such women to gather at the body of the deceased male and recite Qur`aan Shareef there. Once ghusal has been given it is permissible to recite Qur`aan Shareef by the mayyit. However, the Islamic laws of Hijaab (seclusion) do not permit strange women to gather at the mayyit’s home to make tilaawat by the body. This applies to men as well. In other words men too are not permitted to gather around the female mayyit to recite Qur`aan Shareef. The Shariah commands observance of strict Purdah even for the dead hence, when the female mayyit is about to be lowered into the grave, the body despite being totally enshrouded in five different garments is covered with a sheet so as to conceal it from the males present at the graveside.


Q. Ta’ziyah is said to be Sunnat. Should a female visit the bereaved relatives for Ta’ziyah if a group of people has gathered at the home of the mayyit? Nowadays Ta’ziyah has become a customary gathering where people eat and gossip. Purdah is not observed. Relatives and friends congregate at the home of the deceased and waste much time in worldly conversation. Will it be wrong to abstain from such gatherings?

A. It is not permissible to attend such gatherings. Ta’ziyah (offering condolence to the bereaved) is not a function. It is not permissible to organize meals for people who attend such gatherings. Both men and women should abstain from these bid’ah customs organized in the name of Ta’ziyah.


Q. It is customary to feed people who attend the Janaazah. After burial they are invited for a feast. Is this a Sunnat practice?

A. It is a bid’ah practice. This custom is not permissible. Death is not an occasion of feasting.


Q. After the mayyit has been given ghusl and kafan, there follows a viewing ceremony. People, men and women, mahram and ghair mahram, parade in the room to pay their last respects. The face is opened up for all and sundry to view. Is this permissible?

A. This custom is haraam. It is a bid’ah. The manner of the show and the mixing of men and women are decidedly evil and haraam.


Q. What ibaadat should the females do when the mayyit is removed from the house for burial?

A. There is no Sunnat act of ibaadat for the women to do when the mayyit is about to be taken to the qabrustan (graveyard). However, it is haraam for them to appear in front of males as has become the practice at houses where there is a mayyit. The house people may recite Qur’aan Shareef and make dua for the mayyit. They should not organize any ceremonies or group forms of tilaawat. Whoever wishes to recite the Qur’aan should do so and ask Allah Ta’ala to forgive the mayyit and transfer the thawaab of therecital to the mayyit.


Q. I read in the Hadith that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) severely reprimanded some people who accompanied a janaazah while they were riding on horses. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) rebuking them, said, ”Have you no shame! Verily, the Angels of Allah are on their feet while you are on the backs of animals.” Will this reprimand not apply also to us who ride in vehicles along with the Janaazah?

A. Indeed it should apply to us as well. We have abandoned the Sunnah of walking with the Janaazah to the Qabrustaan. If the qabrustaan is very far, vehicles can be acceptable. But in most places the qabrustaan is within walking distance. It is therefore not permissible to transport the mayyit by vehicle nor for the people to ride in vehicles on this occasion unless they are infirm, sick and very old. Since the Islamic or Sunnah system has long ago been abandoned, our claim will be surprising to most people. But the reality and the truth are what we say. And, Allah knows best.


Q. Is it permissible for a husband to enter the grave to assist with the burial of his wife if there are no mahram males?

A. If there are no mahram males, then too the body will have to be buried. Just as other men will attend to the burial, so too may the husband assist. Only if there are mahram males may others not handle the body of a female mayyit.


Q. If a female mayyit has no mahram male relatives, who should lower her body into the grave? Is it permissible for the husband to handle her body in this case?

A. If she has no mahram males, then obviously others will have to do the burial. The mayyit (deceased) cannot be left without burial. Now when total strangers are allowed to handle her body and lower her into the grave, then to a greater degree will it be permissible for the husband to assist.


Q. Will it be permissible to bury another mayyit in a grave in which someone was buried years ago? What if it is a grave of a non-Muslim?

A. As long as the buried mayyit has disintegrated into the soil, it will be permissible to bury any other Muslim in the same grave regardless of who that Muslim was, whether a relative or a stranger, male of female. It is not permissible to bury a Muslim in a non-Muslim graveyard. However, if a non-Muslim was buried in a Muslim graveyard and his body has disintegrated into soil, then while it will be permissible to bury a Muslim in that same grave, it is not advisable. A Muslim conscious of the Deen will never want to be buried in such a grave for perhaps there remain effects of Athaab and la’nat in the kaafir’s grave.


Q. Is it permissible to make dua for the inmates of the entire qabrustaan while standing at the entrance?

It is permissible. It is also permissible while passing by on the outside to make dua for all the amwaat (deceased) of the qabrustaan.


Q. Is it proper to raise the hands when making dua in the qabrustaan after burial of the mayyit?

A. No it is not proper. The hands should not be raised when making dua in the qabrustaan. Recite some portions from the Qur’aan Shareef or some Tasbeehaat, etc. and supplicate to Allah Ta’ala for maghfirat (forgiveness) of the inmates of the grave without lifting the hands.


Q. Regarding raising the hands in the graveyard when making dua, a shaikhul hadith says that it is not bid’ah. He says that if one’s aqeeedah (belief) is correct then one may lift the hands even whilst facing the qabr. Is this correct? Also Imaam Nawawi states that it is mustahab to raise the hands whilst making dua in the qabrastan. In Abu Dawud, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed the Sahaabah to make dua by the qabr. Now may the hands be lifted by the qabr since it is established from other ahaadith?

A. It is in conflict with the Sunnah to raise the hands when making dua by a grave. Regardless of aqeedah, it is incumbent to follow the Sunnah. If after Janaazah Salaat one raises one’s ands to make dua, it will be wrong, bid’ah and sinful regardless of what aqeedah accompanies the dua. The shaikhul hadith sahib did not apply his mind. He has not taken into consideration that the Akaabir Ulama have explicitly said that lifting the hands in front of a grave conveys to an observer the impression of one worshipping the grave. Graveworship is a widely prevailing disease of shirk. The shaikhul hadith has also forgotten that all his senior Asaatizah in India and Pakistan never lifted their hands in the Qabrustaan. He must have observed them. However, when the molvis return to South Africa, then their Ilmi weakness and lack of roohaaniyat induce them to make corrupt comprises with baatil. They blend the haqq with baatil without understanding that the consequence of this admixture is baatil.

Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) also states that it is Sunnah to make Rafa’ Yadain in Salaat’. He also says that it is fardh to recite Surah Faatihah after the Imaam in Salaat. He also says that it is Sunnat and necessary to recite Qunoot in Fajr Salaat, and he also states many things which are in conflict with the Hanafi Math-hab. He was a Shaafi’. Both Hanafis and Shaafis derive their vidence from the Qur’aan and Ahaadith. Just as a Hanafi may not cite Hadith to prove the validity of Rafa’ Yadain in Salaat, and the many other masaa-il of other Math-habs, so too may he not produce any Hadith to negate a practice which the Ahnaaf have formulated in terms of their Qur’aanic and Ahaadith Dalaa -il and Usool. And, so too may a Hanafi not cite Imaam Nawawi’s arguments derived from the Hadith to prove fardhiyat of Surah Faatihah for every raka’t of Namaaz. Nowhere in Abu Dawud is it mentioned that Rasululllah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed the Sahaabah to lift their hands by the qabr. There is a vast difference between dua and lifting the hands.
Close Answer


Q. What should be recited when lowering the mayyit into the grave?

A. When lowering the mayyit into the grave, the only Masnoon dua to recite is to say: Bismillaahi wa ala mil-lati Rasoolillaah sallallahu alayhi wasallam). There are no other Sunnat acts for this occasion according to both Mathhabs.


Q. I have heard some people saying that if a plant such as a rose plant is put on the grave, the athaab of Allah does not come. Also, if some berries are planted and the birds come and eat, they recite Tasbeeh for the mayyit. Is this correct?

A. Whatever is not substantiated by the Qur’aan and Sunnah is conjecture no matter how logical and beneficial it may appear. No one can claim with certitude that Athaab is lifted if wild birds eat from the berries planted on a grave or by the Tasbeeh of the flower. Placing flowers on the grave is not permissible because this is a custom of non-Muslims, and it was never ever done by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah, the Taabieen and Tabe-Taabieen. If there was merit in this practice, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would have encouraged it.

What could be said in this regard is that on only one occasion in his entire lifetime did Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) split a twig in two and placed one half on each of the two graves when it was revealed to him that the inmates were undergoing severe punishment. When placing the twigs, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) expressed the hope that the punishment may be lightened as long as the twigs remained fresh and recited Tasbeeh. He did not categorically claim that the punishment will be terminated nor did he ever repeat this act on any other grave, nor did the Sahaabah and the Salf-e-Saaliheen thereafter adopt this as a Sunnat practice. It was never implemented. From this we understand that we should not seek to surpass Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah in matters of the Deen. There is no more effective method for benefiting the mayyit (deceased) than Dua-e-Maghfirat and rendering acts of virtue on his/her behalf.
Close Answer


Q. In our Qabrustaan people put even artificial flowers, small solar lights and even teddy bears on the graves. Is this permissible?

A. It is not permissible to adorn graves with flowers whether real or artificial. Artificial flowers are worse. Adorning graves with solar lights is worse and a greater sin than the sin of flowers on graves. Placing teddy bears is worse than even the solar lights. Images of animate objects are haraam at all times. These practices are totally haraam. All these objects should be removed from the graves.


Q. Is it permissible for women to visit the qabrstaan on the Day of Eid? What about putting flowers on the grave?

A. It is not permissible for women to go to the graveyard on any day. Men may and should visit the graveyard on any day, not necessarily Eid Day. It is permissible to visit on Eid Days as well. Placing flowers as Christians do is not permissible.


Q. There are no pathways in our qabrustaan. When we go to bury someone, we are forced to walk on top of the graves. There is no other option. What is the Shariah’s ruling in this situation?

A. The people are guilty of gross carelessness and indifference for burying in such an unsystematic manner that leaves no walking path in the qabrustaan (graveyard). In the circumstances there is no option but to walk over the graves and make Taubah and regret the sin. The lesser of the evils is to walk over the graves in order to bury the mayyit.


Q. Is it permissible to take the Qur’aan to the qabrstaan?

A. It is permissible to recite any portion of the Qur’aan Shareef in the qabrstaan for the benefit of the inmates of the grave. However, one should not take the Qur’aan Majeed to the qabrstaan. Recite from memory.


Q. Is it Sunnat to make dua after walking 70 steps from the grave, after having buried the mayyit?

This is a bid’ah practice. It is not permissible.


Q. If the mayyit is by error placed in the grave with its back towards the Qiblah, should the error be corrected after the grave has been closed up?

A. It is not permissible to open up the grave to rectify this wrong.


Q. In our country (Gambia) when a soldier is buried, he is given a military/state burial which involves a gun salute, blowing flutes, marches, etc. If the soldier is one of a senior rank, the ceremonies are more elaborate. Does Islam allow such forms of honouring the dead?

A. The flute and the salute ceremony, etc. carried out when a soldier is buried are haraam. Islam has its own sacred system of burial which applies equally to the Auliya, Sultans and paupers. There is absolutely no difference in the funeral and burial system of Muslims regardless who they are and what rank they hold. All the customs attached to the burial service are haraam. Only the Masnoon ghusl, kafan, and Janaazah are permissible. Everything else associated with the burial is baatil and not permissible. The Qur’aan Majeed says: “And from it (the soil) did We create you. Unto it shall We return you, and from it shall We resurrect you.” No matter what worldly rank a man may hold, his body will be the nourishment for worms just as the body of a donkey will become food for the worms in the grave.


Q. Recently when an Aalim died, several public programs were held to commemorate his death. Has such commemoration services any basis in the Sunnah?

A. People have drifted far, far from the Deen. They are addicted to merrymaking, fun and functions. To satisfy their nafsaaniyat they fabricate functions out of the births and deaths of people. On whatever episode they can lay their hands, they will manufacture a function of merrymaking. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Khulafa-e-Raashideen and countless great Auliya and Mashaaikh had died and never were functions held to commemorate or remember them. There is no basis in the Sunnah for such functions. The organizers are only craving for cheap publicity. All these functions are pure nafsaaniyat. May Allah Ta’ala save us from such deviation.


Q. Is it permissible to organize food for the people who had attended the Janaazah?

A. It is a haraam bid’ah to organize food for people after Janaazah Salaat. It is an evil custom.


Q. When the men take the Janaazah to the Qabrustaan, should the ladies at home recite Surah Mulk? Nowadays when the janaazah leaves the home, women waste time chatting.

A. Firstly, it is not permissible for women to assemble at the mayyit’s home as has become the practice. Purdah is completely flouted, and they gather for talks of gheebat. It is not permissible for the throngs of women to assemble at the mayyit’s house. It is permissible to recite any portions of the Qur’aan Majeed at any time, not specifically when the Janaazah leaves for the Qabrustaan. Furthermore, it is not permissible for the congregation of women to recite the Qur’aan at the mayyit’s house. Whoever wishes to recite the Qur’aan Majeed for the benefit of the mayyit should do so from her home.


Q. Is it permissible to give a lecture at a funeral?

A. If by ‘funeral’ you mean that a lecture is given while the dafan (burial) of the mayyit (deceased) is delayed, then it will be haraam to indulge in a lecture. It is not permissible to delay the burial with a lecture or any other unnecessary activity. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) emphasized haste in the burial.


Q. Is it permissible to erect four walls around the grave without plastering over the grave?

A. The erection of such walls or any other structure on or over or around the grave is haraam.


Q. Is it permissible to build a very low brick wall around the grave?

A. It is not permissible to build a wall around the qabr, even a low one. Stones may be placed around – not marble or decorative stones. The ordinary stones laying around could be placed around the grave.


Q. Is it permissible to place a marble slab with the mayyit’s name at the headside of the mayyit?

A. It is not permissible. Such stones are the practice of non-Muslims.


Q. Is it permissible to place tombstones at the grave? If not permissible, what should I do to the tombstones already placed on the graves of my parents?

A. Tombstones are haraam. It is incumbent to have the tombstones demolished. It is a practice of the kuffaar. Anything un-Islamic done at the graveside brings grief to the inmates of the graves although they are not punished for the sins of the people.