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Irsyad al-Fatwa #34.PNG


What is the minimum number of people for jenazah prayer?



Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

For jenazah prayer is fardu kifayah (communal obligation) and it is enough with just one person. Regarding the above question, according to a hadith from Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma, the Prophet PBUH said:

مَا مِنْ مُسْلِم يَمُوتُ فَيَقُومُ عَلَى جَنَازَتِهِ أَرْبَعُونَ رَجُلًا، لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِاللهِ شَيْئًا، إِلَّا شُفِّعُوا فِيه

“If a Muslim man dies and a group of forty people, who do not associate any one with Allah, pray for him, Allah will accept their intercession for him.”

Sahih Muslim (948) with different wording Sunan Abu Daud (3170) Musnad Ahmad with the same wording of Sahih Muslim (2509) and Ibn Hibban (3082)

Hence, the greater number of people who perform the jenazah prayer for someone, the better. According to Al-Sunnah, it is sunnah to make three saf of people to perform the jenazah prayer. When people are preparing to perform the jenazah prayer, Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma divide them into three saf, for this is the best way. This is practised by Jabir RA and most of his companions. It is encouraged to have at least 40 people for congregational jenazah prayer.

It is narrated by Ibn Abbas R.anhuma, that the prioritized number of congregation for jenazah prayer is 120 people. But the Sunnah (hadith) state 40 people and this is the best. And it is a possibility that the total of 40 is in terms of the rewards for it.

How lucky it is for a person who passes away and he is prayed by 40 people or more, of whom are the people that do not associate Allah with anything, sincere and ultimately receive their concession from the blessing of the congregation.