Funeral prayer in a loud voice
Fatwa No: 83456

Question

In our college one teacher is saying that we should not pray the Namaz of Janaza in a loud voice. We told him that we can pray in a loud voice, but our college teacher is not accepting that. He says that we should bring no Fatwa. Is it permissible or not? Some scholars pray Janaza loudly, and they claim that it is Sunnah to teach people since many people in our country (India) do not know what they should pray and how to perform the prayer.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

The majority of the Muslim scholars are of the opinion that as a general rule the funeral prayer should be performed silently regardless on whether the prayer is performed at daytime or at night. Some of the Shafie scholars are of the opinion that the prayer should be performed in loud voice if it is performed at night and silently if it is performed at daytime.
We think that the first opinion is more preponderant for a narration reported in Musnad al-Shafi from Abu Umamah that a person from the companion of the Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) informed him that "when offering a funeral prayer it is Sunnah for the Imam to say aloud Allahu Akbar (first opening Takbeer), then to recite al-Fatiha silently in his heart, and then invoke blessings upon the Prophet and then pray for forgiveness of the deceased. Nothing else is to be recited in between Takbeers. Finally, he should end his prayer with the salutation (Assalamu Alaikum) in his heart, i.e. not making it aloud". (Imam Baihaqi strengthened this chain).
This Hadith recommends that a funeral prayer should be performed silently. However, performing a funeral prayer aloud is also permissible if there is any reason such as to teach the people how the prayer is performed and what is recited during it. Because performing the funeral prayer aloud is also proved from the sound Hadith narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari from Talha Ibn Abdullah that he said: "I offered a funeral prayer that was led by Ibn Abbas and he recited al-Fatiha and said: "You should know that it (i.e. recitation of al-Fatiha) in the funeral prayer is the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)". The same Hadith is reported by Imam al Nasaie with these words…"He (Ibn Abbas) recited Surah al-Fatiha and a Surah aloud and after completing the prayer he said: "This act is Sunnah and truth". Ibn Abbas (Radia Allahu Anhu) recited Surah al-Fatiha aloud as mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari to teach the people that it should be recited in a funeral prayer.
In short, performing a funeral prayer silently is the opinion of the majority of the Muslim scholars and if there is no need to perform it aloud then offering it silently is recommended. However, if there is reason, then performing it aloud is permissible as proved from Ibn Abbas (Radia Allahu Anhu).
Allah knows best.

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