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Section II: The Description of the Funeral Prayer

Preface:
The funeral prayer has an initiation into the sacred state of prayer, utterances of Allahu Akbar, and finally an exiting from said state. One must face the qiblah when praying it, and it is led by the imam with rows of people praying behind him. Talking is prohibited therein. Consensus has been quoted on all this by: Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Ibn Hajar.
Firstly: The Intention for Funeral Prayer
1. The ruling of the intention for the funeral prayer
The funeral prayer is invalid without an intention, and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
2. The ruling of specifying the deceased
It is not wajib to specify the deceased [707] Meaning, to make him known from among the rest. to the congregation, and this is the position of the majority: Malikis, Shafi`is, [708] Shafi`is have explicitly mentioned that the absent deceased must be specified. and Hanbalis.
Secondly: The Place of the Body and the Ruling of Praying in Front of It
It is a condition that the deceased in in front of the imam, and the prayer of anyone who exceeds him is invalid. This is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
Thirdly: The Imam's Position Relative to the Deceased
1. If the deceased is a man
The imam stands at the head of the deceased man. This is the correct position among the Shafi`is, a narration from Abu Hanifah, and the position of Abu Yusuf from his companions. It is also the choice of Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Hazm, al-Qurtubi, al-Shawkani, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
2. If the deceased is a woman
The imam stands at the middle of the deceased if she is a woman. This is the position of the Shafi`is, Hanbalis, a narration from Abu Yusuf, and a narration from Malik. It is also the choice of al-Tahawi, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Hazm, al-Qurtubi, al-San`ani, al-Shawkani, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Fourthly: The Standing of Those Able for the Funeral Prayer
Standing in the funeral prayer is a pillar, and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Fifthly: The Number of Times Allahu Akbar is Said
1. The minimum number
The funeral prayer is invalid with any less than four times Allahu Akbar is said. Consensus has been quoted on this by Ibn `Abd al-Barr and al-Nawawi.
2. Increasing over four
Saying Allahu Akbar more than four times is not legislated. This is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Malikis, Shafi`is, and a narration from Ahmad chosen by some Hanbalis. [709] The position among them is that the prayer is saying Allahu Akbar four times, and it is preferred to not increase over that, and explicitly mentioned that doing so is not sunnah, but made it permissible to increase up to seven.
Sixthly: Reciting al-Fatihah after the First Allahu Akbar
Reciting al-Fatihah is an obligation of the funeral prayer. This is the position of the Shafi`is, Hanbalis, [710] Hanbalis made it obligatory for the imam and the one praying by himself, but the one being led, the imam is responsible for. some of the Salaf, the Zahiris, al-Shawkani, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Seventhly: Sending Peace and Blessings Upon the Prophet ﷺ
1. The ruling of sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ in the funeral prayer
Sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet [711] Ibn al-Qayyim relates there being no scholarly difference over it being legislated. Al-Albani said: “As for the way peace and blessings are sent upon the Prophet ﷺ in the funeral prayer, then I have not found anything authentic regarding it. It appears that the funeral prayer does not have a specific format, so one of the valid and authentic utterances of the tashahhud is said instead.” Ahkam al-Jana’iz, pg. 122. ﷺ in the funeral prayer is an obligation of the funeral prayer. This is the most common position of the Shafi`is, the position of the Hanbalis, and the choice of Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin.
2. The time to send peace and blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ in the funeral prayer
The one praying the funeral prayer sends peace and blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ after the second Allahu Akbar. This is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
Eighthly: Supplicating for the Deceased
Supplicating for the deceased is one of the pillars of the funeral prayer. [712] The Shafi`is and Hanbalis said that the supplication is after the third Allahu Akbar, and Malikis said it is after every one of them. This is the position of the majority: Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
Ninthly: The Fourth Allahu Akbar
Scholars have differed over the legislation of supplicating for the deceased after the fourth Allahu Akbar according to two views:
The first: is that supplicating for the deceased is legislated after the fourth Allahu Akbar and before the taslim. This is the position of the Malikis, Shafi`is, some of the Hanafis, and a narration from Ahmad. It is also the choice of al-Shawkani, Ibn `Uthaymin, and al-Albani.
The second: is that there is no supplicating in that time. This is the position of the Hanafis, Hanbalis, a position among Malikis, and the choice of Ibn Baz.
Tenthly: Taslim in the Funeral Prayer
1. The ruling of taslim
Taslim is a pillar of the funeral prayer. This is the position of the majority: Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
2. The number of taslim in the funeral prayer
Scholars have differed over the number of taslim in the funeral prayer, whether it is one or two, [713] They differed over what is mustahabb, and consensus is quoted over the sufficiency of one taslim. This is related by Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Qudamah. and this is according to two views:
The first: is that it is mustahabb to perform two taslim. This is the position of the Hanafis, the correct position among Shafi`is, and the position of Ibn Hazm.
The second: is that it is mustahabb to perform solely one taslim. This is the position of the Malikis, Hanbalis, [714] The Hanbalis said that another taslim to the left is permissible. the old position of al-Shafi`i, the position of some of the Salaf, and the view of the majority of scholars, classical and modern. It is also the choice of Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Eleventhly: the Sunan of the Funeral Prayer
1. Raising the hands when saying Allahu Akbar
- Raising the hands when saying the first Allahu Akbar
It is legislated for the one performing the funeral prayer to raise his hands when initiating the prayer with the first Allahu Akbar. Consensus has been quoted on this matter by Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Qudamah.
- Raising the hands when saying all the other Allahu Akbar
It is sunnah to raise the hands with each saying of Allahu Akbar. This is the position of the Shafi`is, Hanbalis, some Hanafis, a position among Malikis, the position of some of the Salaf, as well as Dawud al-Zahiri. It is the choice of Ibn al-Mundhir Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
2. Being silent with recitation in the funeral prayer
- If the funeral prayer is in the day
The recitation in the funeral prayer is silent if it is performed in the day. Consensus has been quoted over this by Ibn Qudamah and al-`Ayni.
- If the funeral prayer is in the night
The recitation in the funeral prayer is likewise silent if it is performed in the night. This is the most correct position among Shafi`is and Hanbalis.
3. Saying Allahu Akbar aloud
The imam says Allahu Akbar aloud in the funeral prayer. This has been explicitly mentioned by the Hanafis, Shafi`is, [715] The Shafi`is explicitly mentioned this as solely for the imam and the one relaying the imam’s statements. and Hanbalis.
4. Saying the taslim aloud
The imam says the taslim aloud while the one being led says it quietly. This is the position of the majority: Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
5. Sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ and supplicating silently
Sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ and the supplication in the funeral prayer are both said silently. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
6. Rows for the funeral prayer
It is mustahabb that the rows for the funeral prayer are made into three, and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.


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