Chapter Eleven: The Funeral Prayer and Talqeen


In this chapter we will be discussing two topics:

  1. Firstly we will provide the proofs of Shia method of funeral prayers from Sunni sources
  2. Secondly, we will shed some light on making Talqeen to the dead

The Funeral Prayer Rasulullah (s) used to recite five to seven Takbeers in Funeral prayers

We shall rely on the following esteemed Sunni works to substantiate our claim:

  1. Fatah ul-Qadeer Sharh Hidaya, volume 2, page 86, Book of Janaza.
  2. Fatah ul-Bari Fee Sharh Bukhari, volume 3, page 202, Book of Janaza.
  3. Sharh Muslim, by Nawawi volume 1, page 310.
  4. Sunan ibn e Majah, page 109, Book of Janaza.
  5. Sahih Muslim Book 004, Number 2089
  6. Mishkaat Shareef, page 131, Chapter Al-Mushi bil Janaza.
  7. Sunan Nisai volume 4, page 65, Ba Adad al-Takbeer Al al-Janaza.
  8. Sunan Abi Daud, volume 3, page 210, Book of Janaza.
  9. Nayl al-Autar, volume 4, page 6, chapter Number of Takbeers in Janaza.

We read in Sahih Muslim:

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Laila that Zaid used to recite four takbirs on our funerals and he recited five takbirs on one funeral. I asked him the reason (for this variation), to which he replied: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) recited thus.


Since Umar bin Khattab had forced the people to recite four Takbeers, Zaid did likewise, but the Sunnah of Prophet (s) was to recite five, which is why he recited five Takbeers on one occasion. The followers of the Prophet (s) used to recite five Takbeers, whereas the disciples of Umar bin Khattab stuck to four.

The Sahabi Hudhayfa’s testimony that the Holy Prophet (s) used to recite five Takbeers

We will rely on the following Sunni works to prove our claim:

  1. Sunan al-Darqutni, page 191, Al-Janaza.
  2. Nayl al-Autaar, volume 4, page 68, al-Janaza.
  3. Fatah al-Qadeer
  4. Sharh Hidaya, page 86.

Sunan Darqutni’s statement:

“Eesa narrates that he offered prayers behind Hudhayfa Yamani who recited five Takbeers and said “I did not recite this by mistake; I recited five in the manner that the Holy Prophet (s) would do.”

Fatah al-Qadeer:

“The Holy Prophet (s) used to recite seven Takbeers for the companions of Badr and five for Banu Hashim.”


The Sunnah of Holy Prophet (s) is the recitation of five Takbeers in funeral prayers although Umar bin Khattab had forced to recite four. We Shi’as adopt the Sunnah of Prophet (s) and leave Umar bin Khattab.

Maula Ali (as) recited five Takbeers in funeral prayers

This is evidenced from the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Fatah ul-Bari Sharh Bukhari, volume 3, page 202.
  2. Zaad ul-Ma’aad, volume 1, page 163, by Ibn Qayim.
  3. Nayl al-Autaar, volume 4, page 96, Book of Janaza.
  4. Sunan al-Darqutni, page 191.

Sunan Darqutni’s statement:

“Ali bin Abi Talib used to recite six Takbeers for the companions of Badr and five for other companions.”


That is why the followers of Ali (as) recite 5 Takbeers and the followers of Umar recite four.

Banu Hashim recited five Takbeers for the Holy Prophet (s)

Abbas said to Ali (as): “I had heard the Prophet (s) saying that the graves of the Prophets are their bed-places” then Abbas and Ali (as) offered funeral prayers standing in a single line and Abbas recited five Takbeers for the Prophet (s).
Kanz ul-Ummal, volume 4, page 57, Kitab al-Shumail.


Holy Prophet (s) recited five Takbeers while offering the funeral prayers of Banu Hashim and the later too recited five Takbeers in the funeral prayers of Prophet (s), Ali (as) too recited five Takbeers in the funeral prayers of the companions of the Prophet (s). It is not known that why Umar bin Khattab always acted as a Mule when it came to Prophet (s) or Banu Hashim. He forced the people to go against Holy Prophet (s) and recite four Takbeers, but we, Shi’as are the followers of Prophet (s) and we recite five Takbeers, the followers of Muawiya may act like Umar, we are honored by following the Sunnah of Prophet (s) whereas they may stick to Umar’s novelties.

Forcing the companions for the recitation of four Takbeers was the Umar bin Khattab

This can be proven from the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Fatah al-Qadeer Sharh Hidaya, volume 3, page 86
  2. Fatah al-Bari, Volume 3, page 202, chapter of Jinazah.
  3. Nayl al-Autaar, volume 4, page 66, Book of Janaza.
  4. Kanz ul-Ummal, volume 8, page 113, chapter of Janaza.
  5. Tareekh e Khulfaa, page 216, Dhikr e Awaliat e Umar, published by Madina publishing Company Karachi.

Allamah Suyuti in the chapter ‘Awaliat e Umar’ i.e things started by Umer counts the following at No. 9:

Tareekh al Khulafa (Urdu), page 216 (Madina Publishing Co. Karachi)

Tareekh al Khulafa (Urdu), page 216 (Madina Publishing Co. Karachi)

“He ordered to recite four Takbeers in funeral prayers”
Tarikh Khulfa (Urdu) page 216 (Madina publishing Co. Karachi)

Fatah al-Qadeer’s statement:

“Imam Abu Hanifa said that the people used to recite six, five or four Takbeers in funeral prayers while Holy Prophet (s) departed, the same way prevailed during the reign on Abu Bakr, but suddenly Umar forced everyone to recite four Takbeers.”


Hence it is proved that it is one of the innovations made by Umar.

Conflict between Abu Hanifa and Umar bin Khattab regarding the raising of hands during the funeral prayers

We shall rely on the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Kanz al-U’mmal, Volume 4, page 57.
  2. Meezan ul-Kubra, volume 1, page 224, Abdul Wahab Sherani
  3. Rehmat ul-Ummah fi Ikhtilaf al-Aima, page

In Kanz al-U’maal we read that:

Umar bin Khattab used to raise hands with every Takbeer while offering funeral prayers and Eid prayers, whereas ibn e Na’bud al-Rehman Damishqi Uthmani stated that Imam Abu Hanifa issued a Fatwa that hands should be raised only for the first Takbeer.

Imam Abu Hanifa believes that one should raise hands while reciting the first Takbeer; we leave it to the followers of Mu’awiya to decide whether Abu Hanifa was right or Umar bin Khattab.

Ahl’ul Sunnah’s admission that five Takbeers do not negate the Funeral Prayer

  1. Al-Mirqaat Sharh Mishkaat, volume 4, page 47, Book of Janaza.
  2. Meezan ul-Kubra, volume 1, page 134, Book of Janaza.
  3. Rehmat ul-Ummah fi Ikhtilaf al-Aima, page 84.


Mullah Ali Qari of Hanafi sect has said that if someone recites five Takbeers in funeral prayers, the prayer is absolutely correct.

Meezan al-Kubra:

If more than four Takbeers are recited in funeral prayers the prayer is not void.

This means that recitation of five Takbeers in Janaza is permissible even in Sunni sect.

A vast array of Sunni Fatwas on Takbeers in funeral prayers

Here, we shall cite the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Fatah ul-Bari Sharh Bukhari, volume 3, page 202.
  2. Meezan al-Kubra, volume 1, page 224.
  3. Rehmat ul-Ummah fi Ikhtilaf al Aima, volume 1, page 86.

Fatah ul-Bari:

The narrator says that he offered prayers behind Ibn e Abbas who recited three Takbeers in the funeral prayers.

Recitation of seventy Takbeers in the funeral prayer of Hamza [ra]

We read in Ahl’ul Sunnah’s authority work Usd ul-Ghaba, Volume 2, page 54, under the Chapter Dhikr Hamza:

“The Holy Prophet (s) offered Hamza’s funeral prayers with seventy Takbeers.”


Sunni works assert that the title of Syed ul-Shuhadda has also been used for Hamza. The Holy Prophet (s) recited seventy Takbeers in the funeral prayers of Hamza. Seventy is a digit which not divisible by four but it can be divided by five, it means that once Holy Prophet (s) offered funeral prayer for Hamza alone he then offered funeral prayers for Hamza along with each of the other martyrs. This is only possible if the Holy Prophet (s) recited five Takbeers in each of the prayers. If four Takbeers are recited that would never combine to make seventy because seventy is not divisible by four. The Quranic verse which says “if you plead for their forgiveness seventy times” indicates that if funeral prayers are offered they may exceed seventy Takbeers and if special forgiveness prayers are offered they can exceed seventy. This strong evidence is confirming that the number of Takbeers in funeral prayers is five.

In brief, the funeral prayers of the Prophets, the Pious and the martyrs were offered with 5 Takbeers and the same is practiced by the Shi’a sect.


Making Talqeen to the dead

After going through the topic of funeral prayers, we deemed it appropriate to have some discussion on a ritual affiliated to funeral called Talqeen practiced by the Shias of Ahulbayt [as] and which often surprised the Nawasib. Thus, in this chapter we will be proving the validity of doing Talqeen to the death right from the text of our opponents and will prove that the ritual is not exclusive to the Shias. We read in Kanz ul Ummal, Volume 15 page 1140 Tradition 42934:

Saeed al-Umawi said: ‘I saw Aba Umamah while he was in death struggle, he said to me: ‘Oh Saeed, if I died, then do what Allah’s messenger (s) ordered us?’. Allah’s messenger (s) said: ‘If some one died from your brothers and you already buried him, then a man among you should stand over his grave and say: ‘Oh (his name) son of (mother’s name)’. Because he can hear, but he cant reply. Then he shall say: ‘Oh (his name) son of (mother’s name)’. Then (the dead) will sit. Then he shall say: ‘Oh (his name) son of (mother’s name)’. Then (the dead) will say: ‘Guide us, may Allah’s mercy be upon you’. Then he shall say: ‘Remember what you left the life with, the testimony that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his slave and messenger and you are pleased to have Allah as your God and Muhammad as your prophet and Islam as your religion and Quran as your Imam. When he does this, Munkar and Nakir (the angels of grave) would hold each others hand and say: ‘Let us leave this person, what shall we do with him as long he dictated the hujja.’
A man asked Allah’s messenger: ‘Oh Allah’s messenger, what if I don’t know his mother’s name?’ He (prophet) replied: ‘Attribute him to Eve’.

Imam of Ahle Sunnah Fakhruddin Uthman bin Muhhajjin Albarti Azeli records in his famed work Tabeen al-Haqaiq, Volume 3 page 157:

أَنَّ تَلْقِينَ الْمَيِّتِ مَشْرُوعٌ لِأَنَّهُ تُعَادُ إلَيْهِ رُوحُهُ ، وَعَقْلُهُ وَيَفْهَمُ مَا يُلَقَّنُ

“Doing Talqeen to the dead is lawful because the soul returns to the dead and his mind understands the Talqeen”

Imam Ibn Hazm records in Al-Muhala, Volume 5 page 157:

وَيَجِبُ تَلْقِينُ الْمَيِّتِ الَّذِي يَمُوتُ

“It is obligatory to do Talqeen to the dead”.

We read in Mauwsuat al-Fiqh by Kuwaiti government, Volume 13 page 302:

وقد نقل عن طائفة من الصّحابة ، أنّهم أمروا به كأبي أمامة الباهليّ وغيره

It has been narrated that a group of Sahaba ordered it, such as Abi Umamah al-Baheli and others.

Imam of Salafies Ibn Tamiyah records in Al-Fatawa al-Kubra, by ibn Tamiyah, Volume 3 page25:

تَلْقِينُهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِ لَيْسَ وَاجِبًا، بِالْإِجْمَاعِ. وَلَا كَانَ مِنْ عَمَلِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ الْمَشْهُورِ بَيْنَهُمْ عَلَى عَهْدِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَخُلَفَائِهِ. بَلْ ذَلِكَ مَأْثُورٌ عَنْ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْ الصَّحَابَةِ ؛ كَأَبِي أُمَامَةَ، وَوَاثِلَةَ بْنِ الْأَسْقَعِ. فَمِنْ الْأَئِمَّةِ مَنْ رَخَّصَ فِيهِ كَالْإِمَامِ أَحْمَدَ، وَقَدْ اسْتَحَبَّهُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِهِ، وَأَصْحَابِ الشَّافِعِيِّ. وَمِنْ الْعُلَمَاءِ مَنْ يَكْرَهُهُ لِاعْتِقَادِهِ أَنَّهُ بِدْعَةٌ. فَالْأَقْوَالُ فِيهِ ثَلَاثَةٌ: الِاسْتِحْبَابُ، وَالْكَرَاهَةُ، وَالْإِبَاحَةُ، وَهَذَا أَعْدَلُ الْأَقْوَالِ.

Doing Talqeen (to the dead) after his death is not obligatory, according to the consensus, nor it was the famous deed of the Muslims during the time of the prophet (s) and the Caliphs. But it was narrated from a group of Sahaba such as Abi Umamah and Wathela bin al-Asqa. Some of scholars deemed it to be permissible such as Imam Ahmad (Ibn Hanbal) and other group of his companions and Shafiyee’s companions deemed to be well liked (Mustahab) and there are other scholars who deemed it to be disliked (Makrooh) because it is an innovation (Bid’a), therefore the opinions about it are three: well liked, disliked and permissible- which is the moderate opinion.


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