What happens if someone is buried without praying the funeral prayer?

Question:

What do the scholars say about performing the funeral prayer (Salat al-Janazah) over a grave if the funeral prayer was not offered before the burial? Tasib Mughal Nottingham

Answer:

If a deceased person is buried without the funeral prayer, then it is necessary to perform the funeral prayer at the grave. However, this is only if the body has not started decomposing. The likelihood of the body decomposing is determined by various factors such as the climate, size of the deceased, and soil composition. Some jurists have restricted this duration to three days, meaning that decomposition of the body begins after three days. Therefore, in moderate climates, if the funeral prayer is not offered at the time of burial or within three days then it should not be performed later.

The scholar Al-Farghani mentioned: “If the deceased is buried without the funeral prayer, then the funeral prayer should be offered over their grave.” This is because the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ prayed over the grave of a woman from the Ansar before her body decomposed. The predominant opinion, which is considered correct, is that this practice varies based on circumstances, time, and location.

The alternative is to pray for the deceased by asking Allah ﷻ to forgive him/her.

Allah ﷻ knows the best

This fatwa is written by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari

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