Reciting Faatihah in Funeral Prayers

Is reciting surah al-Faatihah in Janaazah a MUST?

There’s a difference of opinion in the 4 schools.
Hanafi and Maliki schools – it is not wajib to recite the Fatiha
Shafi’i and Hanbali schools – it is wajib.

According to the Hanafi school, Fatiha can be recited with the intention of du’a, not as recitation of the Qur’an.

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (R.A) did not use to do recitation of the Qur’an in the janaza prayer. Similarly, the Sahaba Umar, ‘Ali and Abu Hurairah (R.A) did not use to recite Fatiha.
Imam Malik (R.A) said there is no practice of reciting Fatiha in the janaza prayer in the city of Medina (at his time).

Ibn Taimiyyah says in his fatawa that some Sahaba recited Fatiha and some didn’t. This can be taken to mean that reciting it is merely permissible.

Conclusion: There is no hadith that the Prophet (SAWS) recited the Fatiha in the Janaza prayers. Some Sahaba did and some didn’t. The Hanafi school followed the senior Sahaba’s (including 2 khulafa rashidoon) practice which was not to recite Fatiha in the janaza prayers.

The two Sunnat of Fajr


3 sunnat ways of offering the 2 sunnats of fajr

1. earliest time awwal waqt
2. at home
3. 1st raka’t recite kaafirun, 2nd Ikhlas


Other points

  • There should be no prayer between the two sunnat and fard.
  • Never miss it. It must be prayed even during travel. Prophet said it is more beloved to me than everything in the world. Prophet said do not miss it even if your enemy horses are trampling you.
  • It must be prayed before the fard.


What to do when fajr congregation has begun?

Shafi’i, Hambal – join the congregation then do sunnat immediately after or after sunrise.

Abu Hanifa, Malik – sunnat before joining if thinks will manage to get at least some part of fard congregation. Best go off to a separate place of the masjid for this.


Hadith: (gist) if a congregation has started then join it. (Tirmidhi)

Hadith mutawatir: (gist) Prophet prohibited offering any prayer after fajr fard until after sunrise

Fiqh principle: Prohibition is given precedence over permission

Sahaba – abdullah ibn Umar, ibn Masud, abu Darda – offerred sunnat before joining congregation

Hadith in which the prophet did not object to a sahabi who prayed sunnat after fard (before sunrise) is not marfu’, is munqati’. Basically some weakness in the chain of narration.


This is a fiqhi difference of opinion. Do not dispute.