Funeral Prayer

Question:

Is the funeral prayer lawful and allowed by Allah? please send me the Quranic answer specifically with reference to 9:84, wasalaam.

Reply:

The Quranic command to observe the Salat for the sole reason of commemorating God is clear and unambiguous:

I am God; there is no god except Me. Therefore, you shall worship Me, and observe the Salat to commemorate Me. 20:14

Say, "My Salat, my worship practises, my life and my death, are all devoted to God, the Lord of the worlds. 6:162

Now let us first read 9:84

You shall not "tusalli ala" (support) any one of them who died, nor shall you stand at his grave. They have disbelieved in God and His messenger and died in a state of wickedness. 9:84

The word Al-Salaat is used in the Quran to mean the Prayer, however every time the word Salaat is followed by the word "ala" (over) it always means "support". The words in 9:84 say "la tussalli ala" (do not support).

We can see the other examples in the Quran where the word ALA is used after the word Salat and in every case it means support and not prayer:

God and His angels ‘Yu'salloon ala al-Nabi’ (support the prophet). O you who believe 'Salloo alayhee' (support him) and ‘Sallemoo tasleema’ (accept him wholeheartedly). 33:56

Here God and the angels "yussalloon ala al-nabi". Obviously God does not conduct a prayer for the prophet! Rather, God and the angels support the prophet and in the same verse we are asked to do the same (support the prophet). This ayat has been corrupted by the traditional Muslims and the result is that they go around uttering (sali ala al nabi) like parrots all day long not knowing what it really means!

The command in 33:56 was to support the prophet while he was alive, now he is dead we cannot support a dead man.

He is the One who ‘Yu'salli alaikum’ (supports you), as well as His angels, to bring you out of the darkness and into the light. 33:43

Once again, in 33:43 God supports the believers rather than conduct a prayer for them.

and finally in:

Take a charity from their money to cleanse and purify them with it, and ‘Salli alaihum’ (support them). Your ‘salawat’ (support) provides them with tranquility. God is Hearer, Knowledgeable. 9:103

Once again the same meaning.

In addition, offering prayers for any dead person is utterly useless and is a form of intercession, for all the details please check the following page: Prayers for the Dead

To conclude, observing a Salat for any other reason than to commemorate God is in violation of the Quranic command in 6:162 and 20:14. Furthermore, 9:84 does not speak about a funeral prayer, but as explained, it speaks about support to someone who died. Support for a dead person can be by means of supporting the funeral, physically or financially, and also taking part in any events that are held in memory of the dead person. The Quran prohibits us from any such work if the dead person was a disbeliever.