Rules of Namaz e Mayyit /Wahshat

600. It is obligatory to offer Namaz-e-Mayyit for every Muslim, as well as for a Muslim child if it has completed 6 years of its age.

601. If a child had not completed 6 years of its age, but it was a discerning child who knew what Namaz was, then as an obligatory precaution, Namaz-e-Mayyit for it should be offered. If it did not know of Namaz, then the prayers may be offered with the Niyyat of 'Raja'. However, to offer Namaz-e-Mayyit for a still born child is not Mustahab.

602. Namaz-e-Mayyit should be offered after the dead body has been given Ghusl, Hunnut and Kafan and if it is offered before or during the performance of these acts, it does not suffice, even if it is due to forgetfulness or on account of not knowing the rule.

603. It is not necessary for a person who offers Namaz-e-Mayyit to be in Wudhu or Ghusl or tayammum nor is it necessary that his body and dress be Pak. Rather there is no harm even if his dress is a usurped one. However, it is better that while offering this Namaz one should observe all the formal rules which are normally observed in other prayers.

604. One who offers Namaz-e-Mayyit should face the Qibla, and it is also obligatory that at the time of Namaz-e-Mayyit, the dead body remains before him on its back, in a manner that its head is on his right and its feet on his left side.

605. As a recommended precaution, the place where a man stands to offer Namaz-e-Mayyit should not be a usurped one, and it should not be higher or lower than the place where the dead body is kept. However, its being a little higher or lower is immaterial.

606. The person offering Namaz-e-Mayyit should not be distant from the dead body. However, if he is praying in a congregation, then there is no harm in his being distant from the dead body in the rows which are connected to each other.

607. In Namaz-e-Mayyit, one who offers prayers should stand in such a way that the dead body is in front of him, except if the Namaz is prayed in Jama'at and the lines extend beyond on both sides, then praying away from the dead body will not be objectionable.

608. As a precaution, there should be no curtain or wall or any other obstruction between the dead body and the person offering Namaz-e-Mayyit. However, there is no harm if the dead body is in a coffin or in any other similar thing.

609. The private parts of the dead body should be concealed when Namaz-e-Mayyit is being offered. And if it was not possible to give Kafan, even then at least its private parts should be covered with a board or brick or any similar thing.

610. A person should be standing while offering Namaz-e-Mayyit and should offer it with the Niyyat of Qurbat, specifying the dead person for whom he is praying. For example, he should make his intention thus: "I am offering Namaz for this dead person in compliance with the pleasure of Allah".

611. If there is no one who is capable of praying Namaz-e-Mayyit while standing, then it can be offered while sitting.

612. If the deceased had made a will that a particular person should lead the prayers for him the recommended precaution is that such a person should take permission from the guardian of the dead person.

613. It is Makrooh to repeat Namaz-e-Mayyit a number of times, unless the dead person was an Aalim and pious one, in which case it is not Makrooh.

614. If a dead body is buried without Namaz-e-Mayyit, either intentionally or forgetfully, on account of an excuse, or if it transpires after its burial that the prayers offered for it was void, it will not be permissible to dig up the grave for praying Namaz-e-Mayyit. There is no objection to praying, with the Niyyat of Raja', by the graveside, if one feels that the decay has not yet taken place.


Method of Namaz-e-Mayyit

615. There are 5 takbirs (saying Allahu Akbar) in Namaz-e-Mayyit and it is sufficient if a person recites those 5 takbirs in the following order:

  • After making Niyyat to offer the prayers and pronouncing the 1st takbir he should say: Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah. (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger).
  • After the 2nd takbir he should say: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa 'ali Muhammad. (O' Lord! Bestow peace and blessing upon Muhammad and his progeny).
  • After the 3rd takbir he should say: Alla hummaghfir lil mu'minina wal mu'minat.(O' Lord! Forgive all believers - men as well as women).
  • After the 4th takbir he should say: Alla hummaghfir li hazal mayyit. (O' Lord! Forgive this dead body). If the dead person is a woman, he would say: Alla hummaghfir li hazihil mayyit.

Thereafter he should pronounce the 5th takbir.

It is, however, better that he should pronounce the following supplications after the takbirs respectively:

After the 1st takbir: Ash hadu an la ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah. Wa Ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh, arsalahu bil haqqi bashiran wa naziran bayna yada yis sa'ah.

After the 2nd takbir: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad wa barik 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad warham Muhammadan wa Ala Muhammadin ka afzali ma sallayta wa barakta wa tarah hamta 'ala Ibrahima wa Ali Ibrahima innaka Hamidum Majid wa salli 'ala jami'il ambiya'iwal-mursalina wash-shuhada'i was-siddiqina wa jami'i 'ibadilla his-salihin.

After the 3rd takbir: Alla hum maghfir lil mu'minina wal mu'minati wal muslimina wal muslimat, al ahya'i minhum wal amwat tabi'baynana wa baynahum bil khayrati innaka mujibud-da'wat innak 'ala kulli shay'in Qadeer.

After the 4th takbir: Alla humma inna haza 'abduka wabnu 'abdika wabnu amatika nazala bika wa anta khayru manzulin bihi Alla humma inna la na'lamu minhu illa khayra wa anta a'alamu bihi minna. Alla humma in kana mohsinan fa zid fi ihsanihi wa in kana musi'an fatajawaz anhu waghfir lahu. Alla hummaj'alhu 'indaka fi a'la'illiyyin wakhluf 'ala ahlihi fil ghabirin warhamhu bi-rahmatika ya ar hamar Rahimin.

If the dead body is that of a woman he should say: Alla humma inna hazihi 'amatuka wabnatu 'abdika wabnatu amatika nazalat bika wa anta khayra manzulin bihi Alla humma inna la na'lamu minha illa khayra wa anta a'lamu biha minna. Alla humma in kanat mohsinatan fa zid fi ihsaniha wa in kanat musi'atan fatajawaz 'anha waghfir laha. Alla hummaj'al ha 'indaka fi a'la 'illiyin wakhluf 'ala ahliha fil ghabirin warhamha bi-rahmatika ya ar hamar Rahimin. Thereafter he should pronounce the 5th takbir.

616. A person offering prayers for the dead body should recite takbirs and supplications in a sequence, so that Namaz-e-Mayyit does not lose its form.

617. A person who joins Namaz-e-Mayyit to follow an Imam should recite all the takbirs and supplications.

Mustahab Acts of Namaz-e-Mayyit

618. The following acts are Mustahab in the prayers for the dead body:

  • A person who offers prayers for the dead body should have had Ghusl or performed Wudhu or tayammum. And the precaution is that he should perform tayammum only when it is not possible to do Ghusl, or Wudhu, or if he fears that if he goes for Ghusl or Wudhu it will not be possible for him to participate in the prayers.
  • If the dead body is that of a male the Imam or a person who is offering the prayers alone should stand at the centre of its height, that is, the middle part of the dead body, and if the dead body is that of a female he should stand at the chest of the dead body.
  • To pray bare-footed.
  • To raise one's hands (up to the ears) while pronouncing every takbir.
  • The distance between the person offering prayers and the dead body should be so short that, when the wind blows, the dress of the person offering the prayers would touch the coffin.
  • To pray in congregation.
  • The Imam to recite the takbirs and supplications loudly and those offering the prayers with him to recite them in a low voice.
  • If there is only one person joining the Namaz-e-Mayyit being offered in Jama'at, he would stand behind the Imam.
  • One who offers the prayers should earnestly and persistently pray for the dead as well as for all the believers.
  • Before the commencement of the congregational prayers for the dead body one should say "as-Salat" three times.
  • The prayers be offered at a place where people often go for Namaz-e-Mayyit.
  • If a Haaez (woman in her menses) participates in the congregational prayers for a dead person, she should stand alone and should not join the lines.

619. It is Makrooh to perform prayers for dead bodies in masjids, except in Masjidul Haram.

Namaz-e-Wahshat (Prayers to be offered for the departed soul on the night of burial)

 645. It is befitting that on the first night after the burial of a dead person, two Raka'ats of wahshat prayers be offered for it. The method of offering this prayers is as follows:
In the first Raka'at, after reciting Surah al-Hamd, Ayatul Kursi should be recited once and in the second Raka'at, Surah al-Qadr should be recited 10 times after Surah-al-Hamd; and after saying the Salam the following supplication should be recited: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad wab'ath thawabaha ila qabri ......(here the name of the dead person and his father's name should be mentioned).

646. Wahshat prayers can be offered in the night following the burial of the dead body at any time, but it is better to offer it in the early hours of the night after 'Isha prayers.

647. If it is proposed to transfer the dead body to some other town or its burial is delayed owing to some reason, the wahshat prayers should be deferred till the first night of its burial.

Mullah Fateh Ali Sultaan Abadi relates that whenever he used to hear about the death of anybody, he would pray Salaatul Wahsha; the prayer recommended to be prayed for the deceased, and ask Allah to protect him especially in the first night in the grave from loneliness.

Well a certain man died and the Mullah prayed for him as was his custom. The Mullah met a friend of his who told him that he had seen the dead man in his dream, and was told that his condition had been miserable but when the Mullah prayed for him the torture was removed.

The dead man prayed for the Mullah for showing such consideration and kindness to him. (DAR UL SALAAM VOL 2 PAGE 315)