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The Method of Janazah according to Sunnah

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

QUESTION:

Assalaamu Alaykum. I’ve learnt that theres a specific way of carrying the janaaza i.e 10 steps on each side. I’ve even seen a fatwa in this regard on your site. However as I wish to implement this I require proof to corroborate that this is in fact a Sunnah practice. I am unfortunately unable to find any hadeeth to substantiate this practice. Is it then not Sunnah or alternatively can you please send the Hadeeth or text which proves that it is Jazaakallahu Khairan

ANSWER:

Wa Alaikumus Salam

With respect to what you have asked, you will find it in many books. In the famous book of fiqh, Bada’i As Sanaa’i written by the 6th century great Muhaddith and Faqih, Allamah Al Kasani, it states,

‘It is Sunnah in the carrying of the Janazah that four people carry it by lifting the four ends’

It further states, ‘this is based on what is narrated from the great Sahabi (Companion), of the Prophet (S.A), Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) that he said, ‘it is Sunnah that the Janazah be carried/lifted from its four corners/ends/sides’.

Allama Kasani then stated, ‘And it is proper that the Janazah be lifted in each corner/end for ten steps’ because it is narrated  in a hadith that whoever carries a Janazah for forty footsteps then forty major sins shall be forgiven’. (Bada’i As Sana’i Vol. 1 Pg. 308 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan).

This has also been mentioned by Al Ustaz Dr. Wahbah Az Zuhaili in his famous book, Al Fiqh Al Islami Wa Adilatihi Vol. 2 Page 1539 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan).

While explaining this way of carrying the Janazah/bier, the great 8th Century (Hijri) scholar of Hadith and expert Jurist, Allamah Jamaluddeen Az Zaila’ee (A.R) writes, ‘Ibn Majah, in his sunan, has mentioned from Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) that he said, ‘whoever follows a Janaza, then let him hold on to all the corners/ends /sides of the Janaza/bier for this is from the Sunnah. If he wishes, he can do it voluntarily or he can leave it’. (Baihaqi in Sunan Al Kubra Hadith No 6834, and in Sunan al Sugra Hadith No. 1048).

Allamah Az Zaila’ee (R.A) further writes, ‘Abu Dawood At Tayalsi in his Masnad, Ibn Abi Shaiba in his Musannaf and Abdur Razzak in his Musannaf, have also recorded this narration of Abdullah bin Masood (R.R), in which he said, ‘Whoever follows the Janazah /bier then ‘let him hold on /lift the four corners/ends/sides of the bier’.

He (Allamah Az Zaila’ee) also states, ‘Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Ash Shaibani has narrated in his Kitab ‘Al Athaar’ from the narration of Mansoor bin Mu’tamir that he said, ‘from the sunnah is to carry the Janazah/bier with the four sides/end/corners.

Imam Muhammad (A.R) then said, ‘the way of carrying the Janazah/bier is that a person begins by placing the deceased person’s front right side on his right shoulder, then he places the deceased person’s rear right side on his right shoulder. After this, he places the deceased person’s front left side on his left shoulder, then he places the deceased person’s rear left side on his left shoulder’. Ibn Abi Shaibah and Abdur Razzaq have both mentioned in their respective Musannaf that Ali Al Azdi (A.R) says, ‘ I saw Abdullah bin Umar (R.A) in a Janazah and I saw him lifting / carrying the four sides/corners of the bier’. Abdur Razzaq has also narrated from Abu Hurairah (R.A) that he said,’ Whoever carries a Janazah form its four sides, the he has fulfilled what was written upon him’ (Mussanaf Abdur Razzaq Hadith No. 6518); (Nasbur Rayah Vol. 2 Pgs. 293-296 Dar Al Kitab Al Ilmiyah Beirut 1996).

The above shows the manner in which one should lift and carry the Janazah/bier which is evident from the actions and statements of the Sahabas (Companions) who learnt it from the Prophet (S.A).  It was on account of this, they described the manner of carrying the Janazah as being ‘Sunnah’.

Traditions also mention the virtues of carrying the Janazah for forty steps. In this regard, a tradition states, ‘Whoever carries the Janazah for forty footsteps, then forty major sins shall be forgiven’. (Kitab Al Athaar- Imam Al Hafiz Muhammad bin Hasan Ash Shaibani- (Died 189 A.H.) Vol. 2 Pg. 63 Dar Al Kitab Al Ilmiyah Beirut 1993).

 In order to obtain these rewards, the expert Jurists and scholars of Hadith have mentioned, ‘It is proper that one lifts/carries the Janazah/bier from every side (of the four sides) for 10 steps. In this way, a person will be able to achieve the rewards of carrying the Janazah/bier on the four sides/ends, and also walk for forty footsteps. (Ibid).

And Allah Knows best

Mufti Waseem Khan

2/11/2019

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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