The funeral prayer on several dead men and women
Fatwa No: 118009

  • Fatwa Date:20-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 19, 1435
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Question

A woman died while giving birth and the baby died as well. How is the funeral prayer performed on both? Should it be with one intention for both or should each receive a separate funeral prayer? Is it permissible to bury them together in the same grave or should each be buried in an independent grave? Does the sex of the baby affect the ruling?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

If a woman and her baby both die, it is permissible to perform the funeral prayer on each separately. Also, it is better in the sight of Shaafi‘i and Hanafi jurists, since it will be, as stated by An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him more efficient and more hopeful to be accepted. But, it is also permissible to perform the funeral prayer on both of them together. This is better in the sight of Hanbali jurists because it helps to hasten the burial ceremonies of the dead and it agrees more with the conduct of the Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them.

In his Ahkaam Al-Janaa’iz, Al-Albaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him says: “If there are several dead men and women, only one funeral prayer should be performed on them altogether, placing the deceased males, even if they are young, next to the Imaam and the deceased females next to the Qiblah. There are many Hadeeths in support of this. The first of which is narrated on the authority of Raafi'  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him that 'Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them performed the funeral prayer on nine of the deceased. He placed them all in one row, the males next to the Imaam and the females next to the Qiblah. On another occasion, the dead bodies of Umm Kulthoom bint ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, who is also the wife of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, along with a child of hers called Zayd  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them were placed together and the Imaam was Sa‘eed ibn Al-‘Aas and, among the people praying were Ibn ‘Abbaas, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa‘eed and Abu Qataadah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them. The child was placed next to the Imaam, thereupon a man said: 'I disapprove of this.' I then looked at Ibn ‘Abbaas, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa‘eed and Abu Qataadah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them and asked them about it and they said it was an act of the Sunnah.' [An-Nasaa’i; Ibn Al-Jaarood, Ad-Daraqatni and Al-Bayhaqi] I said (i.e. Al-Albaani) the chain of narrators given by An-Nasaa’i and Ibn Al-Jaarood is authentic and meets the conditions stipulated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim." Then he (i.e. Al-Albaani) added: “But it is permissible to perform a funeral prayer on each of the deceased separately since it is the principle and the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did so with the martyrs of Uhud.

On the other hand, it is impermissible to bury them together in the same grave unless there is a dire necessity – a ruling over which there is no dispute, whether the baby is a male or a female.

Allaah Knows best.

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