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.

2 thoughts on “Reciting Faatihah in Funeral Prayers

  1. 1. Based on what did the Shafi’i and the Hanbali school rule it as wajib?
    2. At the beginning of the audio you said it is wajib in these two schools and towards the end you said it is wajib in the opinion of some scholars in these two schools – please can you clarify?
    3. Can you clarify how the people could have heard ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas reciting the fatiha? Was it because it was done loudly?

    • 1. The saying of the prophet Muhammad Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam “There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book.” to imply that Janazah should be no exception due to generality of the statement.
      2. It is obligatory in Shafii and Hanbali school. However Imam Ibn Taymiyyah from Hanaabilah considered it sunnah – not waajib.
      3. Ibn ‘Abbaas RA used to recite it out loud sometimes, although the Sunnah is to recite it quietly, in order to demonstrate that it should be recited in the funeral prayer. He was asked about that and he said: “So that you will know that it is Sunnah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari

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