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odd number of Ṣaffs (rows) in the Janāzah prayers

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بسم اللّه الرّحمن الرّحيم


السلام عليكم و رحمة اللّه و بركاته



Is it Mustaḥab (preferable) to consider an odd number of Ṣaffs (rows) in the Janāzah prayers? Can a Ṣaff be left incomplete taking this into consideration?



The virtue of Janāzah Ṣalāh being performed with three Ṣaffs is proven from many traditions (Aḥādith).

Marthad ibn Abdullah (RA) reports that when Mālik ibn Ḥubairah (R.A.) used to lead the Janāzah Ṣalāh and the people were less, he used to split them into three Ṣaffs and then he would say that Nabi (SAW) said, 'The person upon whom three Ṣaffs of Muslim's read Janāzah Ṣalāh, then indeed Jannah is obligatory for him.'

(Tirmidhi vol.1 pg.200. There is a similar narration in Abu Dawūd).

Due to these Aḥādith the Fuqahā have preferred to have three Ṣaffs, to such an extent that if they are only seven people present in a Janāzah then one will lead the Ṣalāh, three shall stand in the first Ṣaff, two in the second and one person in the third Ṣaff.

(Fatāwā Alamgīrī vol.1 pg.164; Shāmī vol.2 pg.214; Al Nuṭaf fil Fatāwā pg.82;

Kabīrī pg.588; Al Fiqhul Ḥanafī vol.1 pg.309)

An odd number of Ṣaff's is Mustaḥab in Janāzah Ṣalāh.

(Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyyah vol.16 pg.474; Fatāwā Haqqāniyyah vol.3 pg.446)

In conclusion, three Ṣaffs are Mustaḥab. If they are many people which make up five or seven Ṣaffs then this will be excellent, however if they are less people which only complete four Ṣaffs, then the fourth Ṣaff should not be left incomplete to form the fifth Ṣaff to gain the virtue of an odd number of Ṣaffs because the virtue has already been achieved by three Ṣaffs.

If more than three Ṣaffs of an odd number are formed without any difficulty then this will obviously be best.


Allah alone knows best


Fatāwā Darul Uloom Zakariyyā, Vol. 2, Pg 745-746



Mufti Raḍāul-Ḥaqq

Faculty of Iftā

Darul Uloom Zakariyya

25 Muharram 1428

14 February 2007


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