Question: What is the permissibility of offering the funeral prayer with the absence of the dead body?
In the Hanafi school of thought, offering funeral prayer while the dead body is not present is not allowed.
In Fath al-Qadzr, it is stated: ‘The conditions of offering a funeral prayer are that the deceased must be a Muslim and have a clean body; and the deceased is placed on the ground in front of the congregation. Thus it is not permissible to offer funeral prayer in the absence of the deceased person.’
Likewise, it is stated in Multaqa al-Abhar that ‘if any limb of the body is found of a dead person, it is not allowed to offer funeral prayer on it. Similarly, no funeral prayer is due for a deceased that is not present.’
And Allah ﷻ knows the best
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه
Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk