Janzah: Funeral Prayer
Salah al-Janazah (Arabic: صلاة الجنازة) is the funeral prayer held by Muslims before the burial but after the shrouding of the body. The prayer is performed in congregation to seek pardon for the deceased and all dead Muslims. The Salah al-Janazah is a collective obligation upon Muslims (fard Kifayah).
There is no fixed time for offering the prayer.
It is a right of a Muslim that when he passes away other Muslims should pray Janazah prayer for him. Janazah prayer is supererogatory prayer. If no one from the whole of the Muslim Community prayed the Janazah prayer; then the whole community would be considered sinful in the sight of Allah. If some of the people prayed the Janazah prayer then the whole community is saved from the anger of Allah (swt) even though the reward will only be given to the participants only.
Sequence of Janazah prayer
1. It is better that those praying divide themselves into three rows facing the qibla with the Imam in front.
2. Put the body (or bodies) in front of the Imam.
3. The Imam should stand by the middle of the body if the deceased is a man and by the shoulder if she is a woman.
4. If there is more than one body, then they should be put one in front of the other, those of the men nearest to the Imam and those of the women furthest from him.
5. Having the appropriate neeyat in your heart, raise your hands in the usual manner and say, Allahu Akbar.
6. Then fold and hold your hands on your breast in the usual manner, the right hand on the left.
7. Read al Fatiha quietly.
8. Say AIlahu Akbar without raising the hands.
9. Pray for the Prophet in the same way as you do in tashahud.
10. Say Allahu Akbar (don't raise your hands).
11. Make du'a for the deceased.
12. Say Allahu Akbar (don't raise your hands).
13. Make du'a for the Muslims.
14. Say Assalaamu 'Alaikum, thus finishing the prayer.
It is clear from this description that all this prayer is done while one is standing - there is no ruku or sujud in it.
The spoken part of the prayer involves quietly reading Al-Fatiha, praying for Muhammad ﷺ and saying two supplications. This is done with an Imam present and facing qibla; in the direction of Mecca. The Prophet and his companions explained how the funeral prayer is to be done. It is done as follows:
All of this was narrated from the Prophet. If you want to you can make du’aa’ with other words, for example, you could say,
“Allaahumma in kaana muhsinan fa zid fi ihsaanihi wa in kaana musee’an fa tajaawaz ‘an sayi’aatihi. Allaahumma ighfir lahu wa thabbit-hu bi’l-qawl il-thaabit
(O Allaah, if he was a doer of good, then increase his good deeds, and if he was a wrongdoer, then overlook his bad deeds. O Allaah, forgive him and give him the strength to say the right thing).”
Then you say a fourth Takbeer and pause for a little while, then you say one Tasleem to the right, saying “Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaah.”