Reward of following funeral procession and praying over it
Fatwa No: 343882

Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu dear Shaykh. May Allaah, The Exalted, reward you with the Firdaws in Paradise. My question is concerning the two Qiraats (a unit of measurement) earned from the funeral processions. The hadith I read indicates that in order for me to earn just one Qiraat, I have to be present from the beginning of the funeral, and to earn the second Qiraat, I have to at least have attended the funeral prayer and the burial. My question is, will I earn two Qiraats if I attend the funeral prayer and the burial even though I was not present from the start of the funeral procession. I read a fatwa that said that the start of a funeral procesion begins at the deceased's home. Here in the West, the imam just lets us know when the funeral prayer is and then tells us where the burial is after the prayer, we have no information regarding the deceased's home and the information regarding the funeral is given to us either a day before or right when the funeral starts. If I could, I would attend the beginning of the funeral procession at the deceased's home, but I find myself only capable of attending the funeral prayer and the burial. So will I get two Qiraats? May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

We hope that you will earn the two Qiraats of reward, Allah willing, if you perform the funeral prayer and attend the burial even if you do not follow the funeral procession from the deceased's house before the burial. There are reported versions of the hadeeth in reference stating that the one who follows the funeral procession from the deceased's house earns the first Qiraat of reward. Another version of the hadeeth stated that one earns a Qiraat when he performs the funeral prayer even if he does not follow the funeral procession from the deceased's house. Scholars reconciled between these different versions by saying that everyone gets the Qiraat; the one who performs the funeral prayer only and the one who follows the funeral procession from the deceased's house and prays over them. However, the Qiraat for following it from the beginning is greater than the Qiraat of attending the funeral prayer only without following it from the beginning.

Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

The version narrated on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed Al-Maqburi reads, ‘The one who follows it from the deceased's house.’ The version narrated on the authority of Khabbaab reads, ‘The one who goes out with the funeral procession from their house.’ [Muslim] The version narrated on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri reads, ‘And he walked with it from the deceased's house.’ [Ahmad] The meaning of these versions indicates that the Qiraat of reward is earned by the one who is present from the start until the funeral prayer is over. This was stated by Al-Muhibb At-Tabari and others.

I believe that the Qiraat is also earned by the one who attends the funeral prayer only, because everything done before the funeral prayer is a means leading to it. However, the Qiraat of the one who performs the funeral prayer only is less than the one earned by the person who follows the funeral procession and performs the funeral prayer. The version cited in Saheeh Muslim narrated by Abu Saalih from Abu Hurayrah reads, ‘... the smaller of them is like (Mount) Uhud,’ This indicates that the amount of the Qiraat differs. The version narrated by Abu Saalih cited in Saheeh Muslim also reads, ‘Whoever performs the funeral prayer without following the funeral procession will earn one Qiraat.’ The version narrated by Naafi’ ibn Jubayr on the authority of Abu Hurayrah reads, ‘The one who performs the funeral prayer and does not follow the funeral procession will have a reward equal to one Qiraat.’ [Ahmad] This indicates that performing the funeral prayer is rewarded with one Qiraat even if he does not follow the funeral procession...” [Fat-h Al-Bari]

Allah knows best.

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