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Is it One or Two ‘salams’ in Funeral Prayer?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt

Question:

I follow the Qur’ān & Sunnah through the Ḥanafī fiqh methodology. After attending a ṣalāt al janāzah (funeral prayer), I was told by a salafī brother who was next to me in the prayer, that it is wrong to make two salāms while concluding the ṣalat al janāzah. He was insisting there is only one salām in the ṣalāt al janāzah. I know the Ḥanafī fiqh suggests, we are to make two salāms to conclude the ṣalāt al janāzah, but for my satisfaction, I would like to know the evidence for this practice and also if there are other fiqh methodologies or madhabs that recommend the two salāms in the ṣalāt al janāzah?

Answer:

Jazākumullāhu Khayran/ Thank you for your question.

As for the answers to your concerns, please note that, there are several methods of the ṣalāt al janāzah (funeral prayer) understood by the great intellectual giants and jurists of Islamic sciences (fuqahā), through the ḥadīths of the Prophet Muḥammad (peace and blessings upon him). Hence, there would be nothing wrong if an adherent to a specific madhab follows the preferred way of his or her school, while respecting the understanding of other schools of jurisprudence. This should not be a means of argumentation and disrespect. Labelling the approach of another understanding or traditional madhab as ‘wrong’ is inappropriate and a sign of lack of knowledge.

In response to your query, kindly note the below mentioned:

‘Abd Allāh bin Awfā (may Allāh be pleased with him) while performing the ṣalāt al janāzah said the takbīr four times and thereafter made salām on his right side and on his left side. When he completed, he said, “This is the same way the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings upon him) conducted (the ṣalāt al janāzah)”. (Sunan Al Kubrā of Imam Al Bayhaqī and Adhkār of Imām Al Nawawī)

‘Abd Allāh bin Awfā (may Allāh be pleased with him) states, “The salām in the janāzah is similar to the salām in (regular) ṣalāh.” (Bayhaqī)

Some scholars have also stated that the second salām is uttered softer than the first salām. This is why we have reports of the Companions (may Allāh be pleased with them) suggesting the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) made only one salām, in both fardh prayers and also funeral prayers. This means the first salām is the primary salām uttered loudly to conclude the prayer, while the second salām is regarded as the follow-up salām, uttered in a softer tone than the first. (I’ilā Al Sunan)

Opinion of the Four Schools

  • The Ḥanafī and Shāfi’e school’s method, in the funeral prayer is with two salāms. One on the right and the other on the left.
  • The preferred method in the Ḥanbalī school, for ṣalāt al janāzah, is one salām on the right. However there is no objection in making the second salām on the left also.
  • There is only one salām on the right side in funeral prayers, according to the Māliki school.

(Fiqh ‘Ala Madhāhib Al Arba’ah of Imam ‘Abd Al Raḥman Al Jaziri)

And Allāh Knows Best.

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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