As Salaamu Alaikum,
I would like some clarification on the issue of standing when the dead body is brought at the Jannaza and when it is being taken away for burial. I have been getting conflicting rulings. JazzakAllah Khairan.
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
There are differences among the Sahabahs, Tabi’een and Imaams of Fiqh concerning this matter. Some Sahabahs like Abu Hurairah, Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah Bin Zubair, Abu Saeed Al Khudri, Abu Moosa Al Ash’ari (R.A), along with Tabi’een scholars and Imaams of Fiqh like Imam Awza’I, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Ishaq (A.R) have stated that when the body of the deceased passes in front of a person, he must stand for it, and if one is following a Janaza, one must not sit until the Janaza comes down from the shoulders of those who carried it.
These Sahabahs and scholars have based their verdict upon the authentic traditions of the Prophet (S.A.W) which show that one must stand for the body of the deceased. From among these, is the tradition recorded by Imams Bukhari and Muslim which states that the Prophet (SAW) said, ‘When you see the Janaza, then stand for it until it passes you’. (Bukhari, Muslim)
In another tradition, Jabir bin Abdullah said, ‘Once a Janaza passed by us and the Prophet (SAW) stood up for it, and we also stood’. Then we said, O Messenger of Allah, ‘This is the Janaza of a Jew’. He said, ‘when you see a Janaza then stand for it’. (Bukhari)
Some scholars however, have stated that one is not required to stand for the ‘body’ when it passes in front of him, and if one is following the Janaza, he can sit before it is placed on the ground. This is the opinion/verdict adopted by Sahabahs (Companions) like Ali bin Abi Talib, Abdullah bi Abbas and also an opinion of Abu Hurairah (R.A), along with the great Tabi’een scholars like Urwa bin Zubair, Saeed bin Al Musayyab, Alqamah, Aswad, Nafi, Ibn Jubair, Ata bin Abi Rabah, Mujahid. This is also the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad bin Hasan (A.R). These scholars are of the opinion that the instruction and practice of the Prophet (S.A.S) to stand for the Janazah was later abrogated, and did not remain as a well-established practice that one must do. This opinion that it is abrogated is supported by other traditions which have been narrated by the Sahabahs. In this regard, Imam Muslim has recorded the sound tradition of Ali (R.A) in which he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) used to stand for the Janazah, but then he remained sitting afterwards. (That is, he did not stand for it anymore). (Sahih Muslim). Another tradition recorded by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih states that he (Ali R.A) said, ‘The Prophet (S.A.S) used to instruct us to stand for the Janazah, but then he sat afterwards and instructed us to sit. (Sahih Ibn Hibban).
(Umda Al Qaari – ( Commentary of Sahih Al Bukhari by Allamah Aini) Vol. 8 pages 107,108 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta).
From the above traditions, it is evident that the instruction to stand for the Janazah was initially given by the Prophet (S.A.S), and based on this, he stood for it and the Sahabahs (companions) also stood. However, he later revoked this instruction, as evident from the authentic traditions of Ali (R.A) (recorded by Imam Muslim and Ibn Hibban), and he told the companions to sit, instead of standing for it.
Therefore, while some scholars hold the opinion that one should stand for the Janazah, and others state that one has the choice to stand or sit, the majority have ruled that one should not stand for the Janazah when it passes in front of him, since this instruction was revoked by the Prophet (S.A.S) himself, and this practice was abrogated. Allama Ali Aini (A.R) further supported this position through a narration which is mentioned by Hafiz Al Hazimi (548 A.H).
Hafiz Al Hazimi recorded the narration from Mujahid from Abu Mamar who said, ‘Once a Janazah passed in front of us and I stood for it. Upon this, Ali (A.R) said (to me), ‘Who gave you the Fatwa that you must stand for the Janazah. I said ‘Abu Moosa Al Ash’ari’. Ali (A.R) said, ‘The Prophet (S.A.S) did not do this except once. He then abarogated it and prohibited from it’. (Umdah Al Qaari Vol. 8 pages, 107,108 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta; Nasrul Bari – (Commentary of Sahih Al Bukhari by Allamah Muhammad Uthman Ghani) Vol. 4 pages. 489-491 Maktaba Ash Shaikh Karachi).
This is the best opinion/ruling in this matter, and one will not be required to stand when the body is brought at the Janazah (home), and will also not stand when the body is taken away from the home for burial.
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.