4 steps to offer Janaza or funeral prayer in Islam

When I learned how to pray Salatul Janazah, I was shocked to observe that most of the people don’t even know the steps to offer Janazah or funeral prayer in Islam. Every sect like shafi, hanafi, hanbali and maliki have a slightly different way to offer Janazah prayer. 

The importance of Salat-al-Janaza in Islam

The Funeral Prayer in Islam is Fard Kafayah, which basically means that if anyone prays the prayer, all the others are free from the responsibility.  Otherwise, all those who received news of the death and did not attend the funeral would be considered sinners. (Hadith No. 1948, Book of Funerals, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3). 

I have tried to explain all the steps to perform Janazah prayer or funeral prayer in Islam below according to shafi and hanafi point of view.

First Takbir of Janazah prayer

The imam and the Muqtadee should raise their hands up to their ears and then fold their hands underneath the navel as is usual while saying “Allah-O-Akbar”.

  • سُبْحَانَكَ اَّللُهَّم َوِبحَمْدِكَ وَ تَبَاْرَكَ اسْمُكَ َوتَعَالَئ جَدُّكَ وَجَلَّ َثَناءٌكَ وَلَااِلَه غَيْرُكَ

There is a difference of opinion among scholars about whether Sura-Fateha needs to be recited in the first Takbir.

According to Shafi, Hanbali, and Maliki way to offer Janazah prayer it is important to say Sura Fateha in the funeral prayer. (Hadith No. 419, Book of Funerals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2).

However, according to the Hanafi way to offer funeral prayer, the above-mentioned prayers should be recited after the first Takbir.

First Takbir of Janazah prayer

Second Takbir of funeral prayer in Islam

In the second rakah of Janazah prayer, one must say Allah-O-Akbar and also recite the Durood-e-Ibrahim. I don’t think there is a difference among scholars about it as it is recited by Hanafi as well as Shafi people while offering Salat ul Janazah.

  • اَللّٰھُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى ُمحَمَّدِ ُّوعَلَى اَلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى اِبْرَاهِيْمَ وَعَلَى اَل اِبْرَاهِيْمَ اِنَّكَ حَمِيْدُ مَجِيِدْ
  • اَلَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمّدِ ٌوعَلَى اَلِ مُحَمّدٍ كَمَابَارَكْتَ عَلَى اِبْرََاهِيْمَ وَعَلَى اَلِ اِبْرَاهِيْمَم اِنَّكَ حَمِيُد مَّجِيدْ

Second Takbir of funeral prayer in Islam

Third Takbir of Salatul Janazah

In the third step or third takbir, Allah-O-Akbar must again be recited followed by the dua for the deceased. The following supplications should be recited after the third takbir.

  • اللهُـمِّ اغْفِـرْ لِحَيِّـنا وَمَيِّتِـنا وَشـاهِدِنا ، وَغائِبِـنا ، وَصَغيـرِنا وَكَبيـرِنا ، وَذَكَـرِنا وَأُنْثـانا. اللهُـمِّ مَنْ أَحْيَيْـتَهُ مِنّا فَأَحْيِـهِ عَلى الإِسْلام ،وَمَنْ تَوَفَّـيْتَهُ مِنّا فَتَوَفَّـهُ عَلى الإِيـمان

Third Takbir of Salatul Janazah

Fourth Takbir of Salatul Janazah

In the final step, no supplications need to be recited after the 4th Takbir. The Sunnah way agreed by all is to say Taslim after pronouncing the fourth Takbir.

A minor difference is there between Hanafi and Shafi followers. Hanafi followers say Taslim by moving their head in both rights and left direction but Shafi followers move their head only on the right side at the end of Janazah prayer.


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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.