Fatwa ID: 05191
Answered by: Maulana Ishaaq Hussain
Do the Hanafi have proof from the authentic ahadith supporting: 1) Imam standing by the chest (sadr) of the mayyit in Janazah salaah.
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
There are two narrations of Imam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullahi Alaihi on this particular subject. We will look at both of them separately.
The first narration is that the Imam’s position should be such that he stands opposite the head of a male body, and opposite the middle of a female body. (Hidayah p.193 v.1)
Imam Tahawi Rahmatullahi Alaihi has opted with this opinion; this is also an opinion of Imam Abu Yusuf Rahmatullahi Alaihi. (Sharh Ma’anil Athaar. p.237 v.1)
This is based on a Hadeeth reported by Abi Ghalib Rahmatullahi Alaihi. He narrates that Sayyidna Anas Ibn Malik Radiyallahu Anhu was leading the funeral prayer of a man, and he stood in line with his head. Then the funeral of a Quraishi woman was brought. The men said, “O Abu Hamzah, pray over her “so he stood in line with the center of her body, on that, Ala Bin Ziyad asked him, “Had you seen Allah’s Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam stand in this manner at your place in her funeral and at your place in his funeral?” he said, “yes” and when it was over, he said, “remember it” (Sunan Abu Dawud p.455 v.2 & Sunan Ibn Maajah p.107)
The second and most preferred view of Imam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullahi Alaihi is that the Imam’s position should be in line with the chest, be it for a male or female. (Hidayah p.193 v.1 & Mukhtasar lil Qudoori p.39)
Ataa Rahmatullahi Alaihi is reported to have said: “when an imam leads a funeral he should stand by the chest” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah p.6 v.3)
Another reason that has been given for this view is that the chest is the place of the heart and the light of Imaan. Standing close to it is an indication that intercession is due to his faith. (Maraky al-Falah p.333, Hidayah p.193 v.1)
This is also the preferred view of Imam Abu Yusuf Rahmatullahi Alaihi, Ibn Humam Rahmatullahi Alaihi in his Fathul Qadeer has also gave preference to this second view of Imam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullahi Alaihi. (See Darse Tirmidhi p.312 v.3)
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Maulana Ishaaq Hussain
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham