Reviving the Dead Janaazah Sunnah

Posted by: theMajlis

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Whoever holds o­n firmly to my Sunnah at the time of the corruption of my Ummah,for him there is the reward of a hundred shuhadaa (martyrs).”

Among the Masnoon acts of the Janaazah (Burial) service is that the Janaazah be carried by four men. Others should walk behind and alongside the Janaazah. The details of this carrying system are described in the books of Fiqh and in even the elementary Maktab text books.

However, in some places this Masnoon system has been totally displaced and a bid’ah style has replaced the Sunnah method.


People line up in two rows facing each other at the entrance of the qabrustaan. The Janaazah is passed o­n along the gauntlet like a bag of potatoes from hand to hand until it reaches the grave. This system is in conflict with the Sunnah which it displaces., and at the same time is highly disrespectful for the mayyit (deceased ). According to the Shariah the way of respect for the mayyit is to carry it along in the Masnoon ma nner, not passing it along a row of people as if it is some chattel. The Sunnah requires that the people move along with the Janaazah, not that the Janaazah be moved along while all the people remain stationary.

The Ulama in these places where this bid’ah is being perpetrated have also become so accustomed to this bid’ah that they fail to see the gross error of this bid’ah method. It is the obligation of the Ulama to rectify this wrong and educate their flocks to reinstitution the Sunnah method of carrying the Janaazah.


Another new bid’ah which has been recently introduced by the graveside is the method of making dua. Firstly, the congregational dua which takes place after burial is not Sunnat. In the new style of dua,after the grave has been closed up, the Imaam Saheb instructs the crowd to turn around facing the Qiblah to make the congregational dua. There is no such dua for this occasion. The instruction by the Imaam Saheb is also a new dimension added to the burial service. Every new fabricated method displaces the Sunnat method, hence it is bid’ah.

“The Majlis” Vol.15 No.10

Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa
P.O. Box 3393
Port Elizabeth, 6056
South Africa

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