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Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)
Compiled by:  Nathif Jama Adam.
Revised by our Site via:  Abdulaziz Addwesh.
Publishing house:  Cooperative Office For Call and Guidance in AL-BATHA(COCG) P.O.Box:20824, Riyadh 11465, Tel:+966-1-4030251, Fax:+966-1-4059387.
Publishing date:  7/1417H.
ISBN:  9960-789-39-9.

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Salatul-Janaza (Funeral Prayer)

            Islam has set certain rules and regulations with regard to attending to a deceased person and some of these rules are as follows:

  1. In most cases, death is preceded by sickness and it is the duty of the Muslims who happen to know the sick person to pay him a visit and make supplications to Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) for his recovery. Indeed, a sick Muslim has a right to be visited by other Muslims who are acquianted with him.

  2. If and when a Muslim is about to die, it is the practice that the person is directed to the Qiblah (the sacred mosque in Makka) after which the "Shahada", (the words of witness) is proclaimed over the person and he/she is also urged to proclaim the same. Thus:" LAA ILAAHA ILLAL LAAH ". Which Means: " There is no god but Allah". This is in due regard to the following saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):“ Exhort your dying ones to affirm the Shahada” (Reported by Imam Muslim).

  3. Where the person dies, the eyes are to be closed, body covered with garments and the people around him are required to avoid talking of anything else, except that which is good, such as saying for example:" O Allah forgive him and have mercy on him ". This is in accordance with the following saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):“ Do not say over your dead ones except supplications for the angels say: Ameen, on your supplications” (Reported by Imam Muslim).

  4. In Islam a Muslim is respected whether alive or dead, and therefore, if a Muslim dies, the religion commands us to give the body total ablution (Ghusl) and to perfume it properly.

  5. A deceased male Muslim is given a bath only by other male Muslims, although, nothing forbids his wife from giving him a bath. Likewise, a deceased Muslim woman is given a bath only by other Muslim women, although, nothing forbids a husband from giving a bath to his deceased wife.

  6. The deceased should be wrapped in a shroud. If the deceased is a woman, she should be wrapped in a shroud composing of five pieces of white garments, while, a deceased male should be shrouded with three pieces of white garments.

  7. If a woman dies where there are no other women nearby to undertake the ritual bath or if a man dies in a similar situation where there are no other men nearby, then, the deceased person is only given a dry ablution (AT-Tayammum) by rubbing the earth over his/her face and hands. Because in such cases, complete bath is impossible. Proper funeral prayer is then performed over the deceased and thereafter buried accordingly.

  8. The funeral prayer is a collective obligation on the residents of a particular area. This is known as "FARDH-AL- KIFAYA" in Arabic. And if no one comes out to perform the prayer on a deceased Muslim of that community, the community as a whole is deemed sinful in the sight of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). But, if it is performed by some of the people, then, the rest of the community are absolve of the sin.

  9. Women are not supposed to follow the funeral procession as can be noted from the following confirmation by Umm Atiya (may Allah be please with her) who said:“ We were forbidden by the Prophet (peace be upon him) without enforcement to follow funeral processions” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).

How the Funeral Prayer is Performed

            The prayer over the deceased person takes the following form:

  1. If a person joins the funeral prayer while the Imam is about to complete the same, then, the person would continue with the congregation until when the Imam concludes the prayer, then, the person would complete by himself whatever he missed of the prayer following the above procedure.
  2. If a late-comer fears that the body of the deceased may be taken away before he completes the pray over him, then, such a person may only come up with the Words of greatness i.e. "ALLAHU AKBAR" four times without necessarily reciting the required supplications. The person thereafter, comes up with the words of peace, thereby, ending the prayer.
  3. If a person is unable to pray over a deceased person before burial, then, it is permitted for him to pray over the deceased's grave.
  4. If a person who is faraway Is told of the death of another, then such a person may pray over the deceased person in absentia with the intention as though the deceased is actually before him/her.
  5. Funeral prayer is also recommended over a baby born dead after completing four months inside the mother's womb. However, no funeral prayer is required over a baby born dead before completing four months inside the mother's womb.

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