Fatwa ID: 05144
Answered by: Maulana Ishaaq Hussain
1) Is there anything mention like that: “to participate in a Janazah where the mayyit is a loved one, a pious person or a neighbor is better than the Nafl prayer”.
2) How is that if the announcement of someone’s death is made on the loudspeaker where azan is normally given?
3) Please give me the reference of this hadith, that the Kaaba is the qiblah for the living and the dead (something to this effect)?
4) Can the camphor oil be used instead of the camphor powder to rub on the sajdah places of the mayyit?
5) Is it Sunnah to make khilal of the mayyit’s fingers, feet, beard, ears, nape, etc same as it is Sunnah for the living?
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
- It should be known that the prayer over the dead (Salatul Janazah) is a communal obligation. (Fard Kifayah) (Nur ul Idah p.127)
This means, collectively it is obligatory, though if a few persons perform the prayer the rest are relieved of the obligation.
There is a great reward for the one who participates in the funeral prayer and the burial.
Sayyidna Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu Anhu has narrated that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has said: “for him who prays the funeral prayer is a qirat, and for him who accompanies it till it is buried, there are two qirats, each of which, or the smaller of them, is like Uhud” (Sahih Bukhari p.166 v.1)
We come to learn from another Hadeeth that one of the rights a Muslim has over another Muslim is that he follows the funeral prayer.
Sayyidna Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has said: “A Muslim has five rights over another Muslim. To reply to his salaam, to visit the sick, to follow the funeral prayer, to accept his invitation and to reply to him when he sneezes” (Sahih Bukhari p.166 v.1)
With regards to your first question, I have not come across a Hadeeth or even a text from the books of Fiqh whereby it mentions what you have asked in the question.
To announce the death of another person, or to inform one’s family, friends, neighbours etc regarding a person’s death is permissible in shariah. (Inaamul Baari p.409 v.4)
Sayyiduna Imran Ibn Hussain Radiyallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said to them, “Your brother, the Najashi (Negus) has died. So stand up and pray over him.” (Sahih Bukhari p.167 v.1)
Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu Anhu narrates that a man whom the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to visit passed away at night. So they buried him. In the morning the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was informed about the death. He said, “What stopped you from telling me (about his death)” they said that it was dark and we disliked it that we cause you any difficulty (at this time of the night). So the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam went to his grave and prayed over it. (ibid)
These Ahadeeth show the permissibility of informing and announcing to others about a person’s death.
However, there is a group of scholars who say that announcement of a person’s death is impermissible.
This is based on a Hadeeth reported by Abdullah Ibn Masood Radiyallahu Anhu. He states that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has said, “Stay away from obituary notices (announcements), for that is from the deeds of Jaahiliyah.” (Sunan Tirmidhi p 192 v 1)
Mufti Taqi Uthmani (DB) commentating on this Hadeeth mentions, “The ‘Na’ee’ (announcement) which is mentioned in the Hadeeth is referring to that which the Arabs used to accustom themselves to in the days of ignorance. That is that they would tear their clothes and scream that ‘so and so has died ‘. They would hire women, who would stay in the houses and when people would come to visit they would cry loudly and inform others regarding the death of so and so… as for those announcements which are announced in a simple form to inform family members, friends and close ones, this does not come under the prohibition of the Hadeeth. In fact, this has been established from the Hadeeth. (See Darse Tirmidhi p.269-270 v.3 and Inaamul Baari p.409 v.4)
The Hadeeth is part of a longer Hadeeth which is reported by Sayyidna Umair Radiyallahu Anhu.
The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has said as part of a longer Hadeeth: “The Baitul Haram is your qiblah, alive or dead” (Sunan Abu Dawud p 49 v 2, Sunan Bayhaqi p 573 v 3)
Camphor is a type of scent that is normally applied to the deceased. It is to be placed on those body parts which touch the floor in prostration. i.e. forehead, nose, hands, knees, feet, etc. This has been highly encouraged in the Ahadeeth.
Some benefits of camphor are that its scent stops the insects from coming near the body, it keeps the body fresh and it is a respectable sign to the angels. (See footnotes of Darse Tirmidhi p.273 v.3)
Sayyidatina Umme Atiyah Radiyallahu Anha narrated: one of the daughters of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam passed away, so he said, “wash her an odd number of times, three, five or more than that if you think fit. And wash her with water and lotus leaves, and put camphor, or some of it in the last bathing…. “(Sunan Tirmidhi p 193 v 1)
Sayyidna Abdullah Ibn Masood is reported to have said, “Apply camphor (Kafoor) on the places of sajdah of the deceased” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba p 46 v 2)
With regards to your question, it is a Sunnah to apply camphor on the deceased, whether it be in the form of powder or oils.
It is mentioned in books of jurisprudence that before beginning the bathing of a deceased, one should first start by giving the deceased a wudhu and then offering him the bath. (Nur ul Idah p.125)
Sayyidatinah Umme Atiyah Radiyallahu Anha reports that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said regarding his daughters (funeral) bath, “start from the right side and start with the parts of Wudhu” (Sahih Bukhari p.167 v.1)
With regards to your question, when the wudhu is being made for the deceased, if one wanted to make Khilal of those parts then one can do so.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Maulana Ishaaq Hussain
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham