Praying the Janazah prayer in the graveyard


Translator’s summary of the article below

  1. The default place for praying the funeral prayer is in an open place outside the Masjid, and this was the practice of the Prophet ﷺ.
  2. It is permitted to pray the funeral prayer in the Masjid, however, there is no extra reward in this.
  3. Prayers inside a graveyard or between graves are generally forbidden.
  4. The exception to the above prohibition is when a funeral Prayer has been missed due to a person being unaware of the death or the prayer and therefore prays it afterwards in the graveyard.

Question: What is the ruling of praying over the deceased in the Masjid or the graveyard? What is the response to those who justify praying in the graveyard by citing the Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ when he prayed over a black woman in the graveyard?

Response: All praise is for Allah the Lord of the worlds; may peace and blessings be upon the one whom Allah sent as a mercy for creation; upon his family, companions and brothers until the Day of Recompense.

The majority of funeral prayers during the life of the Prophet ﷺ were held in a place external to the Masjid, designated for funerals. This was known as “Musallah al-Janaaiz” [1] This area was adjoined to the Masjid of the Prophet ﷺ towards the east. Several authentic narrations attest to this, and it is not hidden that his guidance is better [for us to follow].

However, the fact that it is better to [perform Janazah Prayer in an open area] does not prevent the legislation of praying it inside the Masjid. This is due to the Hadith compiled by Muslim and others, that ‘Aisha (radhiAllaahu anhaa) said,

By Allah, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed upon the two sons of Baydhaa inside the Masjid – Suhayl and his brother. [2]

As for the Hadith,

Whoever prays the funeral prayer in the Masjid, for him is nothing. [3]

This narration does not contradict the Hadith of ‘Aisha (radhiAllaahu anhaa), because it merely negates a special virtue for praying the funeral prayer in the Masjid, it does not completely negate the reward of the prayer.

So the Hadith of ‘Aisha legislates the permissibility of praying the funeral prayer in the Masjid, however it is better and more virtuous for it to be prayed outside the Masjid in a prayer area – as mentioned above.

The permissibility of the funeral prayer in the Masjid is strengthened by the fact that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radhiAllaahu anhu)  prayed over Abu Bakr (radhiAllaahu anhu) in the Masjid, and also the funeral prayer of Suhaib over ‘Umar (radhiaAllahu anhu) in the Masjid.

As for the graveyard itself, it is not a place for prayers;  it is not permitted to pray inside [the graveyard] nor towards the [graves] due to various narrations forbidding this. From them is the Hadith of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (radhiAllaahu anhu), that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

The earth, all of it, is a place of prayer expect the graveyard and toilets. [4]

Also the Hadith of Anas (radhiAllaahu anhu) who said,

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ forbade prayers between graves. [5]

Also the Hadith of Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi (radhiAllaahu anhu) who said, I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say

Do not pray towards the graves, and do not sit upon them. [6]

And the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (radhiAllaahu anhu), that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said

Do not make your houses graveyards, Shaytan flees from a house in which Surah al-Baqarah is recited. [7]

The generality of the above Ahadith also includes the funeral prayers, this is in addition to the direct prohibition of offering funeral prayers inside the graveyard in the Hadith of Anas Ibn Malik,

The Prophet ﷺ forbade praying the funeral prayer between the graves. [8]

The above Ahadith contain a general prohibition of prayers, regardless of whether they are obligatory prayers being performed on time or performed later (Qadha), or they are voluntary prayers – unrestricted or restricted. The Ahadith also include the funeral prayer, whether it is prayed upon the deceased or after the deceased has been buried.

However, there does exist the narration of Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiAllaahu anhu) who said, a person died who the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to visit; he died at night and so the people buried him at night. When he awoke the next morning they informed him. He replied to them,

What prevented you from informing me?

They said,

It was night-time and it was dark, we therefore disliked to trouble you.

So the Prophet ﷺ approached his grave and prayed [the Janazah prayer] over him.” [9]

Similar to this is what has been narrated regarding the black woman who used pick up rags and clean litter from the Masjid. This Hadith has been authentically narrated by Abu Hurairah (radhiAllaahu anhu). [10]

Therefore, this scenario of the funeral prayer is an exception to the general prohibition of praying in the graveyard, due to the Hadith legislating it, otherwise the general probation of funeral prayers – and other prayers – in the graveyard remains i.e. the prohibition remains in place upon its generality.

By this, the various Ahadith are reconciled without issue and doubts are removed, and each evidence is applied within its context – implementing the maxim: “Implementing [all evidences] is better than neglecting [one or the other]”[11]


[1] Lit. An open pray area for the funeral prayer, external to the Masjid, similar to where the ‘Eid prayer is performed.
[2] Narrated by ‘Aisha; Collected by Muslim.
[3] Narrated by Abu Hurairah; Collected by Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah and others.
[4] Narrated by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree; Collected by Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi and others.
[5] Narrated by Anas; Collected by Ibn Hibban.
[6] Narrated by Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi; Collected by Muslim.
[7] Narrated by Abu Hurairah; Collected by Muslim.
[8] Narrated by Anas ibn Malik; Collected by At-Tabarani & Haythami; Graded Sahih by Albaani.
[9] Narrated by Ibn Abbas; Collected by al-Bukhari.
[10] Narrated by Abu Hurairah; Collected by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
[11] TN: This is a well-known principle of Fiqh where there are a number of textual evidences which may appear contradictory to a person. According to this principle, wherever possible we implement each evidence as opposed to implementing one and leaving another. In this case, the evidences prohibiting praying in the graveyard are general and cover every type of prayer including the funeral prayer. The Hadith in which the Prophet ﷺ prayed the funeral prayer in the graveyard is for a very specific reason, and that is if a person has missed the funeral prayer due to being unaware of it, and wants to make it up later – this specific context is legislated for the graveyard and it is an exception to the general prohibition.


في حكم الصلاة على الميِّت في المسجد أو في المقبرة


السؤال: ما حكمُ الصلاة على الميِّت في المسجد أو في المقبرة؟ وما الجوابُ على مَن يَسْتدلُّون على الجواز بحديثِ صلاة النبيِّ صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم على المرأةِ السوداء في المقبرة؟ وجزاكم الله خيرًا.

الجواب: الحمد لله ربِّ العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على مَن أرسله الله رحمةً للعالمين، وعلى آله وصحبه وإخوانه إلى يوم الدين، أمَّا بعد:

فالغالبُ على هديه صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم في صلاة الجنازةِ إيقاعُه لها في موضعٍ خارجٍ عنِ المسجد مُعَدٍّ للصلاة على الجنائز، وهو المعروفُ ﺑ «مصلَّى الجنائزِ»، وقد كان لاصقًا بمسجد النبيِّ صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم مِنْ جهةِ الشرق، ويشهد لذلك جملةٌ مِن الأحاديثِ الصحيحة المُثْبِتَةِ لذلك، ولا يخفى أنَّ هَدْيَه صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم هو الأفضلُ.

لكنَّ هذه الأفضليةَ لا تمنع مِن مشروعية الصلاةِ على الجنازة داخِلَ المسجد لِما رواهُ مسلمٌ وغيرُه أنَّ عائشة رضي الله عنها قالَتْ: «وَاللهِ، لَقَدْ صَلَّى رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَى ابْنَيْ بَيْضَاءَ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ: سُهَيْلٍ وَأَخِيهِ» [وفيه قصَّةٌ].

أمَّا حديثُ: «مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَى جِنَازَةٍ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ فَلَيْسَ لَهُ شَيْءٌ» فلا يُنافي حديثَ عائشةَ رضي الله عنها؛ لأنَّ النفي فيه لأجرٍ خاصٍّ بصلاة الجنازة في المسجد، لا نفيُ أجرِ الصلاة عليها مطلقًا.

وعليه، فحديثُ عائشة رضي الله عنها يُفيدُ جوازَ صلاةِ الجنازة في المسجد، والأفضلُ أَنْ تكونَ خارِجَ المسجدِ في المصلَّى ـ كما تَقدَّمَ ـ، وممَّا يُقَوِّي المشروعيةَ صلاةُ عُمَرَ بْنِ الخطَّابِ رضي الله عنه على أبي بكرٍ رضي الله عنه في المسجد، وصلاةُ صُهَيْبٍ على عمرَ رضي الله عنه في المسجد ـ أيضًا.

أمَّا المقبرةُ فليسَتْ موضعًا للصلاة فيها، ولا تجوز الصلاةُ فيها ولا إليها للأحاديثِ الناهية عن ذلك، منها: حديثُ أبي سعيدٍ الخُدْريِّ رضي الله عنه قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «الأَرْضُ كُلُّهَا مَسْجِدٌ إِلَّا الْمَقْبَرَةَ وَالْحَمَّامَ» وحديثُ أنسٍ رضي الله عنه قَالَ: «نَهَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنِ الصَّلَاةِ بَيْنَ الْقُبُورِ» وحديثُ أبي مَرْثَدٍ الغَنَويِّ رضي الله عنه قال: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: «لَا تُصَلُّوا إِلَى القُبُورِ وَلَا تَجْلِسُوا عَلَيْهَا»

ومنها: حديثُ أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لَا تَجْعَلُوا بُيُوتَكُمْ مَقَابِرَ؛ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَنْفِرُ مِنَ البَيْتِ الَّذِي تُقْرَأُ فِيهِ سُورَةُ البَقَرَةِ».

ويتضمَّنُ هذا العمومُ صلاةَ الجنازة، مع أنه قد وَرَدَ التصريحُ بالنهي عن الصلاة فيها في حديثِ أنسِ بنِ مالكٍ رضي الله عنه: «أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَهَى أَنْ يُصَلَّى عَلَى الجَنَائِزِ بَيْنَ القُبُورِ» هذه الأحاديثُ يَشْمَلُ عمومُ النهي فيها جِنْسَ الصلاة، سواءٌ كان فرضًا: أداءً كانَتْ أو قضاءً، أو نفلًا: مطلقًا كان أو مُقيَّدًا، كما تعمُّ الصلاةَ على الميِّتِ، سواءٌ كانَتْ على الجنازة أو في قبره.

لكِنْ لَمَّا وَرَدَ حديثُ ابنِ عبَّاسٍ رضي الله عنهما قال: «مَاتَ إِنْسَانٌ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَعُودُهُ، فَمَاتَ بِاللَّيْلِ فَدَفَنُوهُ لَيْلًا، فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحَ أَخْبَرُوهُ فَقَالَ: «مَا مَنَعَكُمْ أَنْ تُعْلِمُونِي؟» قَالُوا: «كَانَ اللَّيْلُ فَكَرِهْنَا ـ وَكَانَتْ ظُلْمَةٌ ـ أَنْ نَشُقَّ عَلَيْكَ»، فَأَتَى قَبْرَهُ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ» ، وفي حديثِ مسلمٍ: «انْتَهَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِلَى قَبْرٍ رَطْبٍ؛ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ وَصَفُّوا خَلْفَهُ وَكَبَّرَ أَرْبَعًا» ، ومِثْلُه عنِ المرأة السوداء التي كانَتْ تلتقط الخِرَقَ والعيدانَ مِن المسجد الثابت مِن حديث أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه ؛

فقَدْ خُصَّ مِن عمومِ نهيِه عن الصلاة في المقبرة صورةُ الصلاةِ على الميِّت في قبره بهذه الأدلَّة، وبقي عمومُ النهيِ شاملًا للصلاة على الجنازة وغيرِها، أي: بقاءُ النهي ـ مِن حيث عمومُه ـ مُتَناوِلًا ما عَدَا صورةَ التخصيصِ، وبهذا الجمع التوفيقيِّ بين الأدلَّة يزول الإشكالُ وترتفع الشبهةُ، ويُعْمَلُ بكُلِّ دليلٍ في موضعِه؛ تحقيقًا لقاعدةِ: «الإِعْمَالُ أَوْلَى مِنَ الإِهْمَالِ».

والعلم عند الله تعالى، وآخِرُ دعوانا أنِ الحمدُ لله ربِّ العالمين، وصلَّى الله على محمَّدٍ وعلى آله وصحبه وإخوانه إلى يوم الدين، وسلَّم تسليمًا.

الجزائر في: ٢٣ مِن المحرَّم ١٤٢٧ﻫ
الموافق ﻟ: ٢٢ فبراير ٢٠٠٦م

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2010. He currently resides in Nelson, Lancashire and is the Imam of Masijd Sunnah.

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