Two Salams in Funeral Prayer
  • Question:

    I follow the Quran & Sunnah through the Hanafi fiqh methodology. After attending a salat al janaaza (funeral prayer), I was told by a Salafi brother who was next to me in the prayer, that it is wrong to make two salams while concluding the salat al janaaza. He was insisting there is only one salam in the salat al janaza. I know the Hanafi fiqh suggests, we are to make two salams to conclude the salat al janaaza , 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 salams in the salat al janaaza?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    As for the answers to your concerns, please note that, there are several methods of the salat al janaaza (funeral prayer) understood by the great giants of Islamic sciences (fuqahaa), through the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). 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. 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:

    Abdullah bin Awfaa (ra) while performing the salat al janaaza said the takbeer four times and there after made salam on his right side and on his left side. When he completed, he said, "This is the same way the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) rendered (the salat al janaaza)". (Sunan Al Kubraa of Imam Al Baihaqi and Adhkaar of Imam Al Nawawi)

    Abdullah bin Awfaa (ra) states, "The salam in the janaaza is similar to the salam in (regular )salah." (Baihaqi)

    Some scholars have also stated that the second salam is uttered softer than the first salam. This is why we have reports of the companions (ra) suggesting the Prophet (pbuh) made only one salam, in both fardh prayers and also funeral prayers. This means the first salam is the primary salam uttered loudly to conclude the prayer, while the second salam is regarded as the follow-up salam, uttered in a softer tone than the first. (I'ilaa Al Sunan)

    Opinion of the Four Schools
    • The Hanafi and Shafie school's method, in the funeral prayer is with two salams. One on the right and the other on the left.
    • The preferred method in the Hanbali school, for salat al janaaza, is one salam on the right. However there is no objection in making the second salam on the left also.
    • There is only one salam on the right side in funeral prayers, according to the Maliki school.
    • (Fiqh Ala Madhaahib Al Arba’ah of Imam Abd Al Rahman Al Jaziri)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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