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Chapter 11
Orders Regarding Prayers For The Dead Body

 

600. It is obligatory to offer prayers for the dead body of every Muslim as well as a child who is subordinate to the orders of Islam and has completed 6 years of his age.

 

601. Even if the child has not completed 6 years of his age there is no harm in offering prayers for its dead body with the intention of rija' (for the pleasure of Allah). Offering prayers for the dead body of a still-born child is not, however, recommended.

 

602. Prayers for a dead body should be offered after it has been bathed, embalmed and shrouded and if it is offered before or during the performance of these acts, it does not suffice even though it may be due to forgetfulness or on account of not knowing the rule.

 

603. It is not necessary for a person, who offers prayers for a dead body to perform ceremonial bath or ablutions or tayammum or that his body and dress are pure (Tahir). Rather there is no harm even if his dress is a usurped one. However, it is better that while offering this prayers one should observe all the formalities which are observed while offering other prayers.

 

604. While offering prayers for a dead body one should face the Qibla It is also obligatory that the dead body is made to lie on its back in such a manner that its head is towards the right side of the person who is offering prayers and its feet should be towards his left side.

 

605. On the basis of precaution the place, where a man is offering prayers should not be a usurped one, and it should not also be higher or lower than the place, where the dead body is kept. However, its being a little higher or lower is immaterial.

 

606. The person offering prayers should not be distant from the dead body. However, if a person is offering prayers in congregation there is no harm in his being distant from the dead body if the rows are adjoining one another.

 

 607. The person offering prayers should stand in such a way that the dead body is in front of him. However, if congregational prayers is being offered and the row of the congregation extends beyond both sides of the dead body there is nothing wrong with the prayers of those persons who are not standing behind the dead body.

 

608. On the basis of precaution there should be no curtain or wall or any other similar thing between the dead body and the person offering prayers. However, there is no harm if the dead body is in a coffin or any other thing similar to it.

 

609. The private parts of the dead body should be covered when the prayers is being offered. And if it is not possible to shroud it, its private parts should be covered with a board or brick or any other similar thing.

 

610. A person should be standing while offering prayers for a dead body and should offer it with the intention of complying with the commands of Allah and while making an intention to offer the prayers he should specify the dead body e.g. he should make his intention thus: "I am offering prayers for this dead body in compliance with the commands of Allah".

 

611. If a person cannot offer prayers for a dead body in a standing posture, he may offer it while sitting.

 

612. If the dying person has made a will that a particular person should lead the prayers for him the recommended precaution is that that person should take permission in this behalf from the guardian of the dead body.

 

613. It is abominable to offer prayers for a dead body a number of times. However, if the dead person was a learned and pious one, it is not abominable to do so.

 

614. If a dead body is buried without offering prayers for it, either intentionally or by mistake, or on account of an excuse, or if it transpires after its burial that the prayers offered for it was void, it is obligatory that before the body is disintegrated prayers is offered at the grave of the deceased observing all necessary formalities.

 

615. There are 5 takbirs (saying Allahu Akbar) in the prayers offered for a dead body and it is sufficient if a person recites those 5 takbirs in the following order:

 

(i) After making an intention to offer the prayers and pronouncing the 1st takbir he should say: Ash hadu an la ilaha Illal lah wa Ash hhadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah .(I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger).

 

(ii) After the 2nd takbir he should say: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadian wa alay Muhammad. (O'Lord! Bestow peace and blessing upon Muhammad and his progeny).

 

(iii) After the 3rd takbir he should say: Alla hummaghfir lil mu'mineena wal mu'minat. (O'Lord! Forgive all believers - men as well as women).

 

(iv) After the 4th takbir he should say: Alla hummaghfir ' li hazal mayyit. (O'Lord! Forgive this dead body). (a) If the dead body is that of a woman he should say: Ala hummaghfir li hazihil mayyit. (O'Lord! Forgive this dead body). Thereafter he should pronounce the 5th takbir. It is, however, better that after ihe 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th takbirs he should pronounce the following supplications respectively:

 

After the 1st takbir: Ash hadu an la ilaha illallah hu wahdahu la sharika lah. Wa Ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh, arsalahu bil haqqi bashiram wa nazira bayna Yaday yis sa ah.

 

 After the 2nd takbir: Alla humma salli ad Muhammadin wa Alay Muhammad wa barik 'ala Muhammadin wa Alay Muhammad warham Muhammadan wa Alay Muhammadin ka afzali ma sallayta wa barakta wa tarh hamta'ala Ibrahima wa Alay Ibrahima innaka Hamidum Majid wa' salli' ala jami'il ambiya'i wal-mursalina washshuhada'i uassiddiqina wa jamii' I'badilla his-salihin.

 

After the 3rd takbir: Alla hum maghfir lil mu minina wal mu'minati wal muslimina wal muslimat, al ahya'i minhum wal amwat tabi'baynana wa baynahum bil khayrati innaka mujibud-dawat innaka'ala kulli shay'in Qadir.

 

After the 4th takbir: Alla humma inna haza abduka wabnu 'abdika wabnu amatika nazala bika wa anta khayru manzulin bihi Alla humma inna la na'lamu minhu illa khayra wa anta a'lamu bihi minna. Alla humma in kana mohsinan fa zid fi ihsanihi wa in kana musian fatajawaz anhu waghfir lahu. Alla hummajalhu 'indaka fi a'la illiyyin wakhluf ala ahlihi fil ghabirn warhamhu bi-rahmatika ya ar hamar Rahimin.

 

(b) If the dead body is that of a woman he should say: Alla humma inna hazihi'amatuka wabnatu'abdika wabnatu amati'ka nazalat bika wa anta khayru manzulin bihi Alla humma inna la na'lamu minha illa khayra wa anta a'lamu biha minna. Alla humma in kanat mohsinatan fa zid fi ihsaniha wa in kanat musiatan fatajawaz anha waghfir laha. Alla hummajal ha I'ndaka fi a'la I'Iliyin wakhluf'ala ahliha fil ghabirin warhamha bi-rahmatika ya ar hamar Rahimin. Thereafter he should pronounce the 5th takbir.

 

616. A person prayers for the dead body should recite takbirs and supplications in such a manner that the prayers do not lose their form.

 

617. A person who is offering prayers for a dead body in congregation should recite all the takbirs and supplications, even though he may be a muqtadi (one who follows the Imam in prayers).

 

Recommended Acts Regarding the Prayers Offered For a Dead Body

 

618. The following acts are recommended in connection with the prayers for the dead body:

 

(i) A person who offers prayers for the dead body should have bathed or performed ablutions or tayammum. And the precaution is that he should perform tayammum only when it is not possible to take bath, or to perform ablutions, or if he fears that if he takes bath or performs ablutions it will not be possible for him to participate in the prayers.

 

(ii) If the dead body is that of a male the Imam or the person who is offering the prayers alone should stand behind the middle part of the dead body and if the dead body is that of a female he should stand behind the chest of the dead body.

 

(iii) The prayers should be offered barefooted.

 

(iv) One should raise one's hands (up to the ears) while pronouncing every takbir.

 

(v) The distance between the person offering prayers and the dead body should be so short that, if the wind blows the dress of the person offering the prayers, should touch the coffin.

 

(vi) The prayers should be offered in congregation.

 

(vii) The Imam should recite the takbirs and supplications loudly and those offering the prayers with him should recite them in a low voice.

 

(viii) In the congregational prayers offered for the dead body the followers, whether only one person or more, should stand behind the Imam.

 

(ix) One who offers the prayers should supplicate Allah much for the dead body as well as for other believers.

 

(x) Before the commencement of the congregational prayers for the dead body one should say asSalat thrice.

 

(xi) The prayers should be offered at a place where people usually go for prayers for the dead.

 

(xii) If a ha'iz (woman in her menses) participates in the congregational prayers for a dead person she should stand alone and should not join with others.

 

619. It is abominable to perform prayers for dead bodies in masjids, except in Masjidul Haram.