Janazah Prayer

Janazah Prayer

How is Janazah Prayer Performed?

Are There Any People Whose Janazah Prayers are not Performed?

Can Janazah Prayer of a Person Who Has Committed Suicide be Performed?


Janazah Prayer:

Janazah prayer is fard al-kifayah. This fard is fulfilled when one person or a congregation performs it. It is enough even if the imam performs it alone. However, it is stated in hadiths that the more people perform the janazah prayer of a person, the more forgiveness and mercy that person receives.

"If a congregation of about 100 believers performs the janazah prayer of a person and all of them pray for his forgiveness, their dua is accepted."

In another narration, the number is 40.

If it is understood that a person was buried before his janazah prayer was performed, his janazah prayer is performed in front of his grave.

Janazah prayers of those who kill their parents, highwaymen, the rebels who revolt against the Islamic state are not performed.

The conditions that are necessary for the other prayers, namely,taharah from hadath (removing ritual impurity), taharah from najasah (Removing physical impurity), turning toward the qiblah, covering the awrah and niyyah (intention) are also necessary for janazah prayer. There are also the following conditions:

1 - The dead person must be a Muslim.

2 - The dead body has to be put on the ground, not on a vehicle.

3 - The dead body has to be present. According to Hanafis, it is not permissible to perform the janazah prayer in the absence of the dead body.

4 - The dead body must be at the front not at the back.

Whatever invalidates a prayer also invalidates janazah prayer. Janazah prayer is not invalidated when a woman and a man perform the prayer in the same line.

The imam that leads janazah prayer stands just behind the dead body. The dead body is placed so that its right side faces the qiblah.  


How is Janazah Prayer Performed?

Janazah prayer is performed with niyyah and 4 takbirs. Janazah prayer is not valid without intention or if one of the takbirs is missing. Intention through the heart is valid but it is sunnah to utter it by the tongue.  

It is stated in the niyyah whether the dead person is a man, woman or child. The imam starts the prayer by uttering as follows: "I intend to perform janazah prayer for Allah's sake and to pray for the dead person." He does not have to utter niyyah for being an imam. The congregation utters niyyah in the same way but they also add the phrase "I follow the imam". It is enough to say, "I follow the imam" only. 

The rukns (parts) of janazah prayer are qiyam (standing) and takbir. There is no qira'ah, ruku and sajdah in janazah prayer.

The prayer is performed as follows:

After the opening takbir, the hands are tied and Subhanaka is read. While reading Subhanaka, the phrase "wa jalla thanauk" is added after the phrase "wa taala jadduk". Then, another takbir is uttered without raising hands and without any signs of the head and the eyes. Allahumma salli and barik supplications are read after the second takbir. After the third takbir, a supplication is read for both the dead person and all Muslims. There is not a certain supplication to read. The following supplications can be read:

"Allahumma'ghfirli wa li'l-mayyiti wa li-sairi'l-mu'minina wa'l-mu'minat... (O Allah! Grant forgiveness to me, to the dead person and to all believing men and women" or:

"Rabbana atina fi'd-dunya hasanatan wa fi'l-akhirati hasanatan wa qina adhaba'n-nar birahmatika ya arhama'r-rahimin (Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the firewith Your mercy, O Most Merciful)." It is possible to read other supplications, too. Those who do not know the supplications above can read the chapter of al-Fatiha with the intention of supplication.  

It is sunnah to read the following supplication:

"Allahumma'ghfir li-hayyina wa mayyitina wa shahidina wa ghaibina wa dhakarina wa unthana wa saghirina wa kabirina... (O Allah! Grant forgiveness to our living and dead people, and to those who are present and who are absent, and to our males and females, to our young people and old people…)

Allahumma, man ahyaytahu minna fa-ahyihi ala'l-islam wa man tawaffaytahu minna fa-tawaffahu ala'l-iman wa khussa hadha'l-mayyita bir-rawhi wa'r-rahati wa'l-maghfirati wa'r-ridwan... (O Allah! Whomsoever you grant to live, from among us, help him to live in Islam, and whomever of us you cause to die, help him to die in faith. Grant especially this dead person your ease, rest, forgiveness and consent)… 

Allahumma in kana muhsinan fa-zid fi ihsanihi wa in kana musian fa-tajawaz anhu wa laqqihi'l-amma wa'l-bushra wa'l-karamata wa'z-zulfa bi-rahmatika ya arhama'r-rahimin... (O Allah! If he acted well, increase for him his good action, and if he acted wrongly, overlook his wrong actions. Grant him security, glad tidings, generosity and closeness to you with Your mercy, O Most Merciful." (*).

If the dead body belongs to a boy, the following is read after "wa man tawaffaytahu minna fa-tawaffahu ala'l-iman":

Allahumma'j'alhu lana faratan, Allahumma'j'alhu lana ajran wa zukhra... Allahumma'j'alhu lana shafian mushaffa...

"(O Allah! Cause him to become a means of salvation for us, and cause his loss to become a means of reward and recompense for us (in the Hereafter), and make him for us an intercessor whose intercession be granted by You)..." (*).

Then, the fourth takbir is uttered and salutations are given (first to the right then to the left). The hands are dropped aside. All of the supplications except takbirs are read silently.  

It is not permissible to read the Quran in janazah prayer. However, some verses can be read with the intention of supplication.

A person who cannot catch up with the imam when the opening takbir is uttered needs to wait for the next takbir and start the prayer with it. He completes the remaining takbir(s) before the dead body is taken away.

It is makruh to perform janazah prayer in the mosque unless it is necessary. It is permissible to perform it in the mosque due to rain or lack of suitable space.

It is wajib to salute at the end of janazah prayer. The supplications that are read are sunnah.

It is mandub for those who perform janazah prayer to form three lines.

Only one janazah prayer is performed in the presence of a dead body. It is makruh to repeat the prayer.

It is better to perform a janazah prayer for each dead body when there is more than one janazah. However, it is permissible to perform one janazah prayer for all dead bodies.


Are There Any People Whose Janazah Prayers are not Performed?

The dead bodies of some people who committed certain major sins are not washed; their janazah prayers are not performed, either. The reason why their dead bodies are not washed and their janazah prayers are not performed is not because they exited belief or were deprived of Islam. It aims to show people that they committed such a big sin that would make them suffer such big deprivation and warn people against such sins. Another reason is to inflict the worldly punishment of that major sin.

The dead bodies of the people whose janazah prayers are not performed are as follows: 

1 - Highwaymen: That is, the bandits who attack travelers and rob them; the armed robbers who attack houses, shops, etc and rob people.  

They are the people who commit the crime of seizure by violence, which is not permitted and tolerated by Islam, and grab people's right of living in peace. If they do not give up being bandits, highwaymen and robbers and do not repent, they are buried without their janazah prayers being performed.

2 - Ungrateful people who kill their parents: The dead body of an ungrateful person who kills his parents deliberately and cruelly despite their sacrifices for and services to him is buried without his janazah prayer being performed; in addition, he is deprived of the inheritance of his mother or father he killed.    

3 - To kill more than one person by suffocating. The janazah prayers of those who commit such a crime are not performed because killing a person unjustly by suffocating him is the most violent form of savagery.

4 - Those who revolt against the legitimate Islamic state unjustly. They are the rebels that start uprising in order to end the public order and Islamic administration by eliminating the authority of the state. 

If such rebels, highwaymen and bandits are killed during clashes, their dead bodies are not even washed. Their dead bodies are pushed into the graves as a warning to others and they are not washed.

However, if those people mentioned above repent and apologize for what they did, their repentance is regarded as sincere and their janazah prayers are performed when they die; their punishment is up to Allah.


Can Janazah Prayer of a Person Who Has Committed Suicide be Performed?

Committing suicide is one of the biggest sins rendered haram by Islam. If a Muslim kills himself, it is a bigger murder and sin than killing another person. Therefore, scholars hold different views whether janazah prayer of a person who commits suicide can be performed or not. This disagreement does not exist about a person who kills another person. Janazah prayer of a murderer is performed.  

A person who has very little belief in his heart does not attempt such a big sin and bad ending; he does not try to kill himself.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated in several hadiths that committing suicide is a major sin. The following is stated in a hadith:

"A person who kills himself by choking chokes himself for Hell. A person who kills himself by shooting shoots himself for Hell."

That is, a believer must not try to commit such a big sin by being unable to stand the pressure of a worldly incident that affects him. For, in the eye of a Muslim, the biggest and worst incident of the world is not regarded as big or frightening compared to the issues related to the hereafter. The world is ephemeral and transient.   

The incidents that force man to commit suicide by making him think that they are unbearable today may turn out to be not so unbearable in the future; they are forgotten in time and new issues occur.  

The wisdom behind the necessity of showing patience the moment a misfortune hits lies here. Believing people are not crushed by such ephemeral and temporary things by regarding them as permanent pains and sorrow.  

They show patience by saying all things will pass and trying to gain the rewards of patience. Thus, they transform the troubled state into mercy for them.

Janazah prayer of a person who commits suicide is performed because he does not exit Islam.  

He cannot bear the pressure of incidents due to his weakness of belief. Therefore, janazah prayer of a person who commits suicide is performed. However, that person will deserve to enter Paradise after he bears the penalty of committing suicide.  

One of the reasons why committing suicide is regarded as a major sin is the fact that man has no right to kill himself. The human body is a construction built by Allah. Only the builder of that construction can demolish it. Man cannot own his own body and soul.

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