What is recited in the funeral prayer

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

157. Chapter: What is recited in the funeral prayer

There are four takbirs. One seeks refuge with Allah after the first, then recites the Fatiha, then there is a second takbir and the prayer on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, "O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad." It is best to end it with, "As You blessed Ibrahim Š to Š You are Praiseworthy, Glorious."

One does not do what many common people recite, "Allah and His angels call down blessings on the Prophet." (33:56) The prayer is not valid it is confined to it.

Then one says the third takbir and prays for the deceased and the Muslims as will be mentioned in the hadiths, Allah willing. Then the fourth takbir is said and one makes supplication. Part of the best supplication is, "O Allah, do not deprive us of his reward and do not tempt us after him. Forgive us and him."

It is preferred to make a long supplication in the fourth which differs from the habit of most people, because of the hadith of Ibn Abi Awfa which will be mentioned, Allah willing. The supplications after the third takbir are reported and some of them follow:

935. Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman 'Awf ibn Malik said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, conducted a funeral prayer and I memorised some of his supplication. He said, 'O Allah, forgive him, show mercy to him, protect him, pardon him, make his place in the Garden noble and make the grave he is entering wide. Wash him with water snow and hail. Cleanse him of errors as a white garment is cleansed of dirt. Give him a better home in exchange for his home, and a better family than his family and a better wife than his wife and admit him to the Garden. Give him refuge from the punishment of the grave and the punishment of the Fire' so that I wished that I could have been that dead person." [Muslim]

936. Abu Hurayra, Abu Qatada and Abu Ibrahim al-Ashhali from his father who was a Companion that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed in a funeral, saying, "O Allah, forgive our living and our dead, our young and our old, our male and our female, our present and our absent. O Allah, whoever among us You make live, make him live in Islam, whoever of us you make die, make him die in belief. O Allah, do not deprive us of his reward and do not tempt us after him."

[At-Tirmidhi related it from Abu Hurayra and al-Ashhali. Abu Dawud related it from Abu Hurayra and Abu Qatada. At-Tirmidhi said that al-Bukhari said, "The soundest of the variants of this hadith is that of al-Ashhali." Al-Bukhari said, "The soundest thing in this area is the hadith of 'Awf ibn Malik."]

937. Abu Hurayra said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'When you pray over a dead person, devote your supplication to him.'" [Abu Dawud]

938. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said in the prayer on the dead, "O Allah, You are his Lord and You created him. You guided him to Islam and You took his soul. You know best his secret and what he made public. We have come to You as his intercessors, so forgive him." [Abu Dawud]

939. Wathila ibn al-Asqa' said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, led us in the funeral prayer for a man of the Muslims. I heard him say, 'O Allah, so-and-so son of so-and-so is in Your keeping and under Your protection. Protect him from the trial of the grave and the punishment of the Fire. You are worthy of loyalty and praise. O Allah, forgive him and show mercy to him, You are the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.'" [Abu Dawud]

940. 'Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa said four takbirs for the funeral prayer of one of his daughters. He stood after the fourth for as long as he stood between the last two takbirs, asking forgiveness for her and making supplication. Then he said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to do the same as that."

In one variant, "He said the takbir four times and then remained for a while until I thought that he would say a fifth takbir. Then he said the Salam to his right and his left. When he finished, we said to him, 'What is this?' He said, 'I do not add to what I saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, do - or the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to do the same as that.'" [al-Hakim]