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Past Debts, Preparation of Will and Funeral

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked about paying past debts, how to prepare one’s will including instructions for one’s funeral and what must be done.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

1. In the past I wronged my employer, I recently explained to him what I did and offered to pay him back what I owed him, he forgave me and refused to take the money. I have other debts I must pay off like zakat of previous years etc., can I use the money he refused to pay of those debts?

2. I have many years of prayers and fasts to repay, in case I pass away before completing this I want to write in my will the total for every missed prayer and fast and instruct my family to pay this amount to charity – is the correct and valid?

3. What is the sunna for the passing of someone? Where I live when someone passes the person is prayed over then buried then the funeral will last for 3 days, the relatives must wear black and the 40th day after the passing of the deceased is a highlighted day in my culture the family will either do a mawlid on this day or something like this. If none of this is Islamic I would prefer to not have any of it done and I will instruct this in my will.

4. Also, I was told that if you go to someone’s funeral and hit yourself out of grief the deceased will be punished, is this true? If it is I will also instruct in my will for nobody to do this when I pass away.

Jazak Allah khayran.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

1. Yes.

2. Yes. Please also see What Can We Do about Missed Prayers of a Deceased?

3. You should just write in your will that you want everything to be done by the Sunna. Please see What You Need to Know About the Fiqh of Burial, by Imam Tahir Anwar.

Regarding the forty day event, please see Is It Permissible to Complete the Qur’an Forty Days After Someone’s Death?

As for the relatives wearing black, it is permissible, but only for three days, but better not to be done. (Ibn Abidin)

4. That is true.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever slaps their face, tears their clothes, or cries out [with over exaggerated claim] of the pre-Islamic era is not of us.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

The Prophet’s Funeral Prayer

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat answers a question about the number of people who attended the Prophet’s funeral prayer, blessings and peace be upon him.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Who is the only wife of Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, who attended his funeral prayer?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

I could not find any reference to only one of the wives of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, attending his funeral prayer. Rather, the earlier, later, and contemporary experts on the Sira, such as Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Salihi, and Muhammad Ali al-Sallabi, all say that first the male companions went in groups and prayed over him individually without an imam. They were then followed by the female companions, then children, and then the slaves.

The outward purport of this is that all of the wives of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, would have been there. There was no one to prevent them, and the prayer was not conducted in the mosque.

(Al-Sallabi, al-Sira al-Nabawiyya; al-Salihi, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad; Samira al Zayid, al-Sira al-Nabawiyya).

I hope that clarifies matters. May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Is It Permissible to Perform the Funeral Prayer (Janaza) Within a Mosque?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Is it permissible to perform the funeral prayer (janaza) within a mosque?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

According to the Hanafi School, the general ruling is that it is disliked (makruh) to perform the funeral prayer (janaza) within a mosque.

But there are two possible legal reasons for this dislikedness (karaha): (1) the soiling (talwith) of the mosque, and (2) doing something in the mosque for which it wasn’t built.

Note that the discussions of dislikedness occur only when all things are equal. If there is a genuine excuse for praying in the mosque, such as rain, then praying therein would be permitted without dislike. Moreover, and in the case of Islamic Centres, praying in the area that is considered to be the “mosque,” usually the men’s prayer hall, would take this ruling, contrary to the rest of the complex.

And it is also useful to know that the matter is more expansive in other schools, such as the Shafi`i School, in which there is no dislikedness in praying a funeral prayer in a mosque.

Soiling the Mosque

The dislikedness here would be due to the reasonably high possibility of filth exiting from the body of the deceased and onto the mosque area. If there is a genuine fear of this happening, praying therein would be prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman).

But in the case that the mosque is (a) unlikely to be soiled, or (b) there is simply a fear that it may happen, without reasonable surety, the dislikedness would no longer remain. A narration from Abu Yusuf also complements this explanation. An example of this would be if the body is brought into the mosque within a coffin.

Similarly, if the body is placed outside the mosque area, and the funeral prayer is held within it, this would be fine.

Praying in the Mosque

The basis is that the mosque is built for the obligatory prayers, and secondarily, for voluntary prayers, and gatherings of knowledge (`ilm) and remembrance (dhikr).

Further, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever performs a funeral prayer (janaza) in the mosque has no reward.” [Abu Dawud]

Hence, the general ruling is that praying in the mosque would be slightly disliked (makruh tanzihan) as it entails doing something contrary to what the mosque was built for.

Thereafter, there are two positions:

(i) it is disliked whether or not the body is in the mosque, and regardless of whether the imam is praying beside it [outside the mosque] or not; and

(ii) it is disliked when the body, imam and entire congregation is inside the mosque, and not, if otherwise [namely, if the imam and some of the congregants are outside the mosque with the body.]

As for what is suitable in a given context, it would return to whatever a community deems appropriate for their situation, in accordance with the guidance of local scholars.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah with Tahtawi’s Gloss (2.239-241); Lacknawi, Naf` al-Mufti wa al-Sa’il (503-505); Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.593-594)]

Please also see: Performing the Funeral Prayer for Someone Who Committed Suicide and: Is the Funeral Prayer On One Who Is Absent (Janazat ul-Ghaib) Valid? and: How Many Salams Should I Perform at the End of the Funeral Prayer? and: Is the Supplication at the End of the Funeral Prayer Obligatory? and: Is It Permissible to Fly the Dead Body of a Recently Deceased Family Member for Burial Overseas?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

How Many Salams Should I Perform at the End of the Funeral Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question:Assalam alaykum,

As a follower of the hanafi school, should we also perform only one salam if the Imam, at the end of the funeral prayer, only gives one salam?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The position of the Hanafi school is that there are two closing salams at the end of the funeral (janaza) prayer. Therefore, if the imam performs just a single salam, you should perform the second one alone in order to complete the prayer.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah (2.227); Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.585)]

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is the Supplication at the End of the Funeral Prayer Obligatory?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

Has the funeral prayer any wajib (compulsory components)?

Is the du’a considered obligatory or an emphasized sunnah?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The only necessary (wajib) component of the funeral (janaza) prayer is the closing salams. Otherwise, the remaining actions are integrals (fard), such as the takbirs and the standing; or sunnas, such as the supplication after the third takbir. Some held the supplication at this point to be obligatory, such as Ibn al-Humam and those who followed him, yet this is not the relied upon position in the Hanafi school.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah (2.226-227); Fath al-Qadir (2.81)]

Please also see: Reader on the funeral prayer

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Al Jazeera English

What Is the Proper Conduct of a Muslim Woman During the Entire Funeral Process?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

What should be the conduct of a woman in attending the entire funeral process?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

In general, it is disliked for women to attend and follow the funeral rites and procession with the men. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

However, if proper arrangements can be made with respect to participation and attendance, then it would be permitted for them to attend.

As for attending the ritual bathing (ghusl), this is problematic because it is possible that some of the nakedness may become uncovered. Moreover, we strive to maintain the dignity of the deceased as much as reasonably possible, and allowing others to watch without need or benefit would negate this.

What would be superior would be to supplicate and recite Qur’an for them. [see: Donating Reward to the Dead: A Detailed Answer]

See also: Standing for a Funeral Procession

And Allah alone knows best.

في حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح: قوله : ويكره اتباع النساء الجنائز أي تحريما كما في الدر اهـ.
وفي رد المحتار: قوله: (ويكره خروجهن تحريما) لقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام: ارجعن مأزورات غيرة مأجورات رواه ابن ماجه بسند ضعيف، لكن يعضده المعنى الحادث باختلاف الزمان الذي أشارت إليه عائشة بقولها: لو أن رسول الله (ص) رأى ما أحدث النساء بعده لمنعهن كما منعت نساء بني إسرائيل، وهذا في نساء زمانها، فما ظنك بنساء زماننا. وأما ما في الصحيحين عن أم عطية: نهينا عن اتباع الجنائز ولم يعزم علينا أي أنه نهي تنزيه فينبغي أن يختص بذلك الزمن حيث كان يباح لهن الخروج للمساجد والاعياد، وتمامه في شرح المنية. اهـ.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Praying for Deceased Muslims Who Were Murderers

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Is it disliked to pray for Muslims who kill?

Answer:

Prayer for a Deceased Muslim

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) taught us to perform the funeral prayer (janazah) for every single person that passed away as a Muslim. He would only ask whether or not a person was Muslim to perform the prayer, which would include asking forgiveness for the deceased.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) was also very regular in asking forgiveness for his entire community (umma) as Allah had ordered him to do so [Quran 47:19]. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was well aware that would include people who had committed every type of sin.

The Vastness of Mercy

One teaching that we learn from asking for forgiveness of people who have transgressed is a reminder of the vastness of the Mercy of Allah (the majestic) and how He can forgive any sin except for associating partners with Him [Quran 4:48]. We also learn to ask forgiveness for those who oppress us as the Prophet(peace and blessing be upon him) did during the Battle of Uhud when he was hit in the face and injured.

With blood dripping form his face, he said, “O Allah, forgive my people for they know not what they do” [Bukhari]. One of the scholars said that the verse that give us the most hope is, “Say, ‘O my servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the Mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah forgives all sins” [Quran 39:53].

Prayer for an Oppressor Does Not Preclude Justice

It is important to note that while we pray for the forgiveness of all Muslims, that does not prevent us from establishing justice. Although the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) made dua for his enemies at Uhud, he continued in the battle against them until he defeated them. We have compassion for oppressors and criminals, but that does not prevent us from ensuring that justice is fulfilled through the routes of authority and courts.

And Allah knows best

Where is the Soul During the Funeral Prayer and Burial?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Where is the soul in between a person’s demise and their burial? Are they present at their janaza?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, many narrations would seem to indicate that the soul is in fact present at the burial.

The Soul after Death

Abu Sa`id al-Khudri heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) say, “The dead man recognizes his washer and those that carry him and lower him into his grave.” [Hakim]

Qurtubi relates that Malik ibn Dinar said, “There is not a person who dies except that his soul is in the hand of an angel while he looks at his body, how it is washed, shrouded, carried and buried.” Munawi adds that this does not negate the narrations which mention of the soul’s rising beyond the seven heavens to their Lord, as it is possible that this happens and the soul returns to witness the burial. [Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir Sharh Jami` al-Saghir]

Returning of the Soul to the Body

Nawawi, in his Bustan al-`Arifin, relates a story in which the jurist Muhammad al-Nawawi confirmed that the soul returns to the body for questioning, after burial. Many prophetic narrations seemingly support this view.

`Uthman ibn `Affan relates that when the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to finish burying someone, he would stand by the grave and say, “All of you, ask Allah to forgive your brother and make him steadfast, for he is now being asked.” [Abu Dawud]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is the Funeral Prayer On One Who Is Absent (Janazat ul-Ghaib) Valid?

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: I have a quick question. What is the proof that there is no janazatul ghaib? Was the practice abrogated?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

According to the Hanafi school, the funeral prayer on the one who is absent (gha’ib) is not valid. [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, Ibn Nujaym; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya; Fath al-Qadir, Ibn al-Humam; al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya, `Ala al-Din `Abidin]

The Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) Praying on Najashi

Imam al-Kamal Ibn al-Humam (Allah be pleased with him) in his magnificent commentary on the Hidaya of al-Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir, says that his (Allah bless him and give him peace) praying over Najashi was because his bier was raised until he was in the presence of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and those behind him were praying behind an Imam who could see the deceased person (whilst being in his presence) and the followers could not see him. This is aided by the narration (hadith) of `Imran bin al-Husain in the Sahih of Ibn Hibban.

Moreover, he notes that other similar incidents occurred in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) actually prayed upon the person whilst he was brought into his presence, therefore was not absent (gha’ib).

Imam Ibn `Abidin in his al-Radd al-Muhtar notes on the words of Imam Haskafi that the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) prayer on Najashi was linguistic or specific:

[1] Linguistic: Referring to only a supplication from afar;

[2] Specific: As mentioned by Imam al-Kamal Ibn al-Humam (above).

Respecting Differences of Opinion

Nevertheless, the funeral prayer on the one who is absent (gha’ib) is permitted in the Hanbali school and recommended in the Shafi`i school. Differences of opinion are a mercy and we deal with them as such, avoiding any kind of disunity, discord and argument. The way of the righteous is having deep respect for differences of opinion and dealing with them with wisdom and discretion.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalaam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani