Can I Substitute the Funeral Prayer in English?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


Can I Substitute the Funeral Prayer in English?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for educating yourself.

Your funeral prayer becomes invalid if you supplicate in English. All prayer conditions, including the articulation requirement in Arabic, must be fulfilled for the funeral prayer to be considered valid. [Shirbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj].

It is, however, optional to make it up.

Supplications in Prayer

The compulsory supplications in prayer must be done in Arabic. Translation is not permissible for an individual who can articulate himself in Arabic, and his prayer would be null and void as a consequence. [Ibid]

According to the relied-upon view, the same ruling applies to recommended supplications.

Making up the Funeral Prayer

Making up the prayer (qada) does not apply to the funeral prayer. Nevertheless, you can offer the funeral prayer at the graveside, which will be deemed obligatory (fard) instead of makeup or repeat. [Shirbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj]

I pray this is of benefit and Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali, and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door for students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life. 

In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari’ah Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.