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What is the idea behind salat al-janaza lil ga’ib?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

salam to you, i would like to know please, i live in canada, so when someone dies from back home in lebanon or any other place, we sali salat al-ga’ib on the dead even though the dead had been prayed on in Lebanon. My question is can we also pray on that person in Canada, even though he was prayed on in Lebanon? this is a normal death, not war, what is the idea behind this, is it encouraged, is it from the sunnah, or it shouldn?t be done, only in the country the dead died in sometimes the family is in Canada and the parent dies overseas, so this is common and we need to clear it up.


According to the Hanafi Madhab (school of thought), the body of the dead person must be present in order for Salaatul Janaza to be valid. If the body is not present, for example, the person passed away in a foreign country, then Salaatul Janaaza cannot be performed.

According to Imaam Shaafi?ee, the body of the dead person does not have to be present. Therefore, if a person passes away in a foreign country, one may perform Janaaza Salaat from wherever he is.

You should be following one Madhab in all your matters. If you are a Shaafi?ee, then you may perform Salaatul Ghaaib upon a deceased.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.