Praise be to Allaah.
In order for the funeral
prayer to be valid, it is essential that one be in a state of purity and
free from impurity, which is achieved by doing wudoo’ or by doing tayammum
if water is not available or one is unable to use it, according to the
majority of fuqaha’. Some scholars narrated that there was consensus on this
point, because of the evidence which indicates that tahaarah (purity) is
essential for salaah (prayer), and the funeral prayer is also salaah, so it
is essential to be in a state of purity.
Some of the scholars are of
the view that it is permissible to do tayammum if there is the fear that one
may miss the funeral prayer by taking too long to do wudoo’.
As for the view that the
funeral prayer may be offered without wduoo’ or tayammum, this is attributed
to al-Shi’bi and Ibn Jareer al-Tabari, but it is an invalid view.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ (5/181): We have stated that our
view is that the funeral prayer is not valid unless one is in a state of
purity. What this means is that if one is able to do wudoo’, the prayer is
not valid without it, and if he is unable to do wudoo’ he should do
tayammum. Tayammum is not valid when it is possible to use water, even if he
fears that he will run out of time and miss the prayer. This is the view of
Maalik, Abu Thawr and Ibn al-Mundhir.
Abu Haneefah said: It is
permissible to do tayammum for it even when water is available, if he fears
that he will miss it if he takes too long to do wudoo’. Ibn al-Mundhir
narrated that from ‘Ata’, Saalim, al-Zuhri, ‘Ikrimah, al-Nakha’i, Sa’d ibn
Ibraaheem, Yahya al-Ansaari, Rabee’ah, al-Layth, al-Thawri, al-Awzaa’i,
Ishaaq and ashaab al-ra’y, and it is narrated in one report from Ahmad.
Al-Shi’bi, Muhammad ibn
Jareer al-Tabari and the Shi’ah said that it is permissible to offer the
funeral prayer without being in a state of purity, even if one is able to do
wudoo’ or tayammum, because it is a du’aa’. The author of al-Haawi
and others said: What al-Shi’bi said is a view that is contrary to
consensus, so no attention should be paid to it.
Our evidence that
purification is essential is the words of Allaah (interpretation of the
meaning): “And never (O Muhammad صلى الله
عليه وسلم) pray (funeral prayer) [wa la tusalli] for any of
them (hypocrites) who dies” [al-Tawbah 9:84]; so He called it salaah
(prayer). In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Offer the (funeral) prayer for
your companion (sallu ‘ala saahibikum).” And he (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever offer the funeral prayer (man
salla ‘ala janaazah) …”, and in other ahaadeeth he called it salaah
(prayer). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “When
you intend to offer As-Salaah (the prayer) [idha
qumtum ila al-salaah], wash your faces and your hands (forearms)”
[al-Maa’idah 5:6]. In al-Saheeh, the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah does not accept any prayer
(salaah) without purification.” The fact that much of its purpose is
supplication (for the deceased) does not cancel out the fact that it is a
prayer (salaah). End quote.
And Allaah knows best.