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Who is more entitled to lead the Janazah prayer?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
One of our village imam sahib did not allow the relative to perform the janazah namaz although the person is the teacher of madrasa in Hifz Quran sector, grandson of the lady who passed away. There is no proper reason, management of the masque say that it is not practiced in our village always imam doing the janazah prayer, so they can’t allow outsiders. Last year it was happened the same father passed away, management did not allow the son to perform the prayer after requested a lot.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 568/573/M=6/1439)

It is not clear on what ground the management has banned any other person to lead janazah prayer other than the imam. However, the ruling is that if the wali of the deceased person is better than the imam of the locality then he has more right to lead the janazah prayer otherwise the imam of the locality is entitled for it. However, the wali should give permission to the imam and let him lead the janazah prayer.

وتقديم إمام الحي مندوب . بشرط أن يكون أفضل من الولي وإلا فالولي أولى الخ . (در مختار)

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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