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 AlKafi 1165



Assalamualaikum wrm.wbt.,

Is the janazah prayer performed at the grave valid?


Waalaikumussalam wrm. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Although we have answered this before in Irsyad al-Fatwa Series 90, we will answer it again with several additional and updated points from our previous answer.

Janazah prayer performed at the grave is valid. This is in accordance with a hadith of the Messenger PBUH, from Abi Hurairah RA, he said:

أَنَّ رَجُلًا أَسْوَدَ - أَوِ امْرَأَةً سَوْدَاءَ - كَانَ يَقُمُّ الْمَسْجِدَ ، فَمَاتَ ، فَسَأَلَ النَّبِيُّ عَنْهُ فَقَالُوا مَاتَ ، قَالَ أَفَلَا كُنْتُمْ آذَنْتُمُونِي بِهِ ، دُلُّونِي عَلَى قَبْرِهِ - أَوْ قَالَ قَبْرِهَا - فَأَتَى قَبْرَهَا فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهَا

A black man or a black woman used to sweep the mosque and he or she died. The Prophet (ﷺ) asked about her (or him). He was told that she (or he) had died. He said, "Why did you not inform me? Show me his grave (or her grave)." So, he went to her (his) grave and offered her (his) funeral prayer."

Sahih al-Bukhari (458)

It is permissible to perform janazah prayer at the grave if he did not get the chance to perform the prayer at the mosque or other places it was performed. This is according to a hadith of the Prophet PBUH from Ibn ‘Abbas R.Anhuma:

مَاتَ إِنْسَانٌ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَعُودُهُ فَمَاتَ بِاللَّيْلِ فَدَفَنُوهُ لَيْلاً، فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحَ أَخْبَرُوهُ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ مَا مَنَعَكُمْ أَنْ تُعْلِمُونِي ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا كَانَ اللَّيْلُ فَكَرِهْنَا ـ وَكَانَتْ ظُلْمَةٌ ـ أَنْ نَشُقَّ عَلَيْكَ‏.‏ فَأَتَى قَبْرَهُ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ.

A person died and Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) used to visit him. He died at night and (the people) buried him at night. In the morning they informed the Prophet (about his death). He said, "What prevented you from informing me?" They replied, "It was night and it was a dark night and so we disliked to trouble you." The Prophet (ﷺ) went to his grave and offered the (funeral) prayer.

Sahih al-Bukhari (1247) and Sunan Ibn Majah (1530)

Al-Imam Badruddin al-‘Aini (dies in 855 H) Rahimahullah in his book ‘Umdah al-Qari Syarh Sahih al-Bukhari, when commenting on the above hadith cited several opinions of scholars in regards to the permissibility of praying at the grave. Among them is Imam al-Syafi’e, Imam Ahmad and Ishak bin Rahawaih. The same is stated by Abdullah bin al-Mubarak who said that if a deceased has been buried and haven’t been prayed, then pray at his grave. (See ‘Umdah al-Qari Syarh Sahih al-Bukhari, 8/26)

Likewise, in the hadith of the Prophet PBUH from Abi Hurairah RA:

أَنَّ امْرَأَةً، سَوْدَاءَ كَانَتْ تَقُمُّ الْمَسْجِدَ – أَوْ شَابًّا – فَفَقَدَهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَسَأَلَ عَنْهَا – أَوْ عَنْهُ – فَقَالُوا مَاتَ ‏.‏ قَالَ: ‏”أَفَلاَ كُنْتُمْ آذَنْتُمُونِي”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ: فَكَأَنَّهُمْ صَغَّرُوا أَمْرَهَا – أَوْ أَمْرَهُ – فَقَالَ ‏”‏دُلُّونِي عَلَى قَبْرِهِ”‏ ‏.‏ فَدَلُّوهُ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهَا ثُمَّ قَالَ:‏ إِنَّ هَذِهِ الْقُبُورَ مَمْلُوءَةٌ ظُلْمَةً عَلَى أَهْلِهَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُنَوِّرُهَا لَهُمْ بِصَلاَتِي عَلَيْهِمْ‏

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that a dark-complexioned woman (or a youth) used to sweep the mosque. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) missed her (or him) and inquired about her (or him). The people told him that she (or he) had died. He asked why they did not inform him, and it appears as if they had treated her (or him) or her (or his) affairs as of little account. He (the Holy Prophet) said:

“Lead me to her (or his) grave. They led him to that place and he said prayer over her (or him) and then remarked: Verily, these graves are full of darkness for their dwellers. Verily, the Mighty and Glorious Allah illuminates them for their occupants by reason of my prayer over them.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (956)

Al-Khattabi said: The permissibility of praying at the grave is clear for anyone who did not get the chance to pray for the deceased before the deceased was buried. (See Ma'alim al-Sunan, 1/315)

We present several opinions of scholars who discussed the ruling on this matter. Among them are:

First: Al-Imam al-Mawardi (dies in 405 H) Rahimahullah wrote the discussion of it in his book al-Hawi al-Kabir saying: “Whoever did not get the chance to pray (the janazah prayer) from among the heirs or others, then it is sunnah to pray for the deceased for a second time at the grave and this is prioritized where al-Syafi’e even ruled it makruh to pray before the deceased is buried fearing that it would harm the deceased.” This is the opinion of the Companions such as Ali, Umar, Ibn Umar, Abu Musa and ‘Aisyah R.Anhum. while among the tabi’en such as al-Zuhri and others, and among the jurists such as al-Auza’ie, Ahmad and Ishak. (See al-Hawi al-Kabir, 3/59)

Second: In al-Majmu’, al-Imam al-Nawawi (died in 676 H) Rahimahullah said: “If anyone who comes and did not get the opportunity to pray the janazah prayer after the deceased is buried or wishes to pray for the deceased from another state, then it is permissible and there is no khilaf about it.” (See al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 5/247)

Third: The same is stated in madhhab Hanbali as cited by Ibn qudamah al-Maqdisi (dies in 620 H) Rahimahullah who said for anyone who missed the janazah prayer and the deceased is buried, then pray at the grave and it is permissible to pray there for a month. This is the opinion of scholars from among the Companion of the Prophet PBUH and others and also the opinion of al-Auza’ie and al-Syafi’e. (See al-Mughni, 2/381)

Hence, according to the opinions of scholars presented, here we would like to state that praying at the grave itself is permissible and valid if a person did not get the chance to perform the janazah prayer. Furthermore, Syeikh Daud al-Fatoni said the janazah prayer performed at the grave is valid even after the deceased have decomposed, if the deceased has never been prayed upon before on the condition that the grave was never dug before. (See Furu’ al-Masa’il, pg. 560).

Hopefully, with this explanation, then the issue related to performing the janazah prayer at the grave for those who did not get the chance to pray together before the deceased is buried is answered.