Fatawa

The Ruling on Announcing Funeral Prayers Using Text Messages and the Likes – Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Ala Shaikh

Question: The questioner says :It has come in the fatwa of the Permanent Committee (no. 6516) the permissibility of calling relatives, friends, and neighbors to come pray upon a person if he dies. So they can supplicate for him, follow his funeral, and assist in burying him because the Prophet (ﷺ) informed the Companions of the death of an-Najaashi (may Allah have mercy upon him) when he died and they prayed upon him…as you know that in cellphones there is a service for text messaging . So we have included as part of our service the service of announcing the funerals through these text messages for whoever wishes to obtain these great Qiraats, whether it be by attending the prayer or the burial. This service is beneficial from two aspects: first, increasing the people who pray upon the deceased and second, benefiting them by obtaining this great reward. So what is your Eminence’s advice about this action of ours?

Answer: “You informing the people of the death of a person and clarifying the status of praying over them by means of text messages on the cellphone or the likes of it is a Legislated affair due to what is in that of cooperation upon righteousness and piety, advising one another upon good, and encouraging the people to perform the obligation which Allah has obligated upon His servants. This is due to what that involves obtaining the virtue of praying over the deceased, following the funeral, and assisting in burying him, just as that is good for the deceased due the supplication of congregants for him and their intercession for him. It is authentic from the Prophet (ﷺ) that he said:

مَنِ اتَّبَعَ جَنَازَةَ مُسْلِمٍ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا، وَكَانَ مَعَهُ حَتَّى يُصَلَّى عَلَيْهَا، وَيَفْرُغَ مِنْ دَفْنِهَا، فَإِنَّهُ يَرْجِعُ مِنَ الأَجْرِ بِقِيرَاطَيْنِ، كُلُّ قِيرَاطٍ مِثْلُ أُحُدٍ، وَمَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيْهَا ثُمَّ رَجَعَ قَبْلَ أَنْ تُدْفَنَ فَإِنَّهُ يَرْجِعُ بِقِيرَاطٍ

(A believer) who accompanies the funeral procession of a Muslim out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s reward and remains with it till the funeral prayer is offered and the burial ceremonies are over, he will return with a reward of two Qirats. Each Qirat is like the size of the (Mount) Uhud. He who offers the funeral prayer only and returns before the burial, will return with the reward of one Qirat only [Bukhari]

It is authentic from him from what Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَمُوتُ, فَيَقُومُ عَلَى جَنَازَتِهِ أَرْبَعُونَ رَجُلًا, لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِاَللَّهِ شَيْئًا, إِلَّا شَفَّعَهُمْ اَللَّهُ فِيهِ

“If a Muslim man dies and a group of forty people, who do not associate any one with Allah, pray for him, Allah will accept their intercession for him[Reported by Imam Ahmad and Muslim].

The Prophet (ﷺ) reported the death of an-Najaashi so they could pray on him. So that proves that striving to increase those praying upon the deceased has much good in it and great virtue, tremendous reward for the deceased, and the one who prays upon the dead. Every time the number [of congregants] increases, it is closer to good and more in supplication”.

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Translator’s Note:

This can also include announcing funeral prayers by way of Whatsapp groups etc.

Translated by

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

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