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Office of the Mufti

Part 6 - Advisory on Conducting Funeral Prayers During Circuit Breaker Period (English)

IRSYAD (RELIGIOUS GUIDANCE)

ON CONDUCTING FUNERAL PRAYERS DURING CIRCUIT BREAKER PERIOD

Introduction

1. This Irsyad is the latest religious guidance on the management of Muslim deceased as part of the Islamic funeral rites,  following the new laws introduced by the Government on 7 April 2020 in containing the COVID-19 outbreak.

Religious Guidance

2. As the management of Muslim deceased is a collective religious obligation (fardhu kifayah), funeral prayer should still be performed but with adjustments in light of the need to contain the spread of COVID-19.[1] In principle, the number of people managing the funeral rites must be kept to the minimum at all times. 

3. Accordingly, the management of Muslim deceased as part of the Islamic funeral rites, including the washing, enshrouding, prayer and burial, should only be carried out by:

  • Officials from funeral company appointed by the family of the deceased;
  • Immediate family members not exceeding 10 individuals.

4. In addition to the above, funeral prayers can only be conducted in homes, with the following added measures: i) the number of people attending the prayers do not exceed 10 (excluding the funeral companies’ officials); ii) there is a physical distance of at least one meter all around between them.

5. Where the deceased has no immediate family members, or was a resident  in shelters or homes, the funeral company should contact the Pusara Aman Mosque, for the funeral prayer to be performed there.

6. Other family members who are not permitted to attend the funeral and/or participate in the funeral prayer can perform the prayer in absentia (Solat Al-Ghayb).[2]

7. Only a maximum of ten family members may participate in the burial at the cemetery.

8. If the family wishes to read the tahlil after the funeral, ensure that those attending the tahlil are only members of the same household. Families may also wish to invite an imam/ustaz to recite the tahlil through video conference only.

9. Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures), every individual must stay at home and may leave their place of residence only for essential needs or purposes during the stipulated period. As such, apart for burials, visits to the cemetery are not allowed under the Regulations. Instead family members should increase their supplications for the deceased from home.

10. These measures are necessary precautions to ensure the safety and health of the public, and to prevent the continuing spread of the disease. We pray that Allah S.W.T. blesses the soul of those deceased in these challenging times and places themin the highest ranks of His servants.

 

10 April 2020,

THE OFFICE OF THE MUFTI
ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS COUNCIL OF SINGAPORE

 



[1] This is based on the religious principle that emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the public welfare, if it clashes with the benefit of an individual, as asserted by the jurist Ibn Ashur. In this situation, the inconvenience that may afflict the family members for not performing the funeral prayer as well as not accompanying the body to the burial ground, should be borne to prevent the harm that may afflict the general public, if there is an outbreak caused by public gatherings. See Ibn Ashur, Maqasid al-Shariah al-Islamiyah (Tunisia: Dar Suhnun, 6th edition, 2014/1435H) p. 84.

[2] How to perform Solat Al-Ghayb?

Solat al-Ghayb is the same as a normal jenazah prayer, except for the niat (intention) as the deceased is not present. For this prayer, please observe the following: 1) face the direction of the Kaabah; 2) make the intention that he/she will be performing Solat al-Ghayb; 3) follow all other actions in a normal jenazah prayer.