Giving Adhan at the Time of Burial

Giving Adhan at the Time of Burial

Question:

What’s the ruling on giving the Adhan after burying the dead? I have heard it is Sunnah and it keeps the Shaytan away.

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The practice of giving Adhan at the grave after burial does not have any legal basis; hence it would be considered a reprehensible innovation (bid’a) and should be avoided.

The majority of the classical reference works in the Hanafi School are silent on this matter. Books such as Bada’i al-Sana’i, al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya and others do not touch upon this issue when mentioning the various Sunnah acts of burial. This, in it self, is an indication that giving Adhan after or at the time of burial is not something that is a Sunnah.

However, the leading Hanafi jurist (faqih) who is considered an authority in the school, Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) does discuss this issue in his renowned Radd al-Muhtar in two places.

He states in the chapter of Adhan:

“It is said that giving Adhan is recommended when entering the dead in his grave taking analogy from when he (the deceased) first entered the world (m: in that adhan is recommended for the newborn child). But this view has been rejected by Ibn Hajar in his Sharh al-Ubab.” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr, Bab al-Adhan, 1/385)

In the above text, Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) is trying to point to the fact that this weak opinion of giving Adhan at the grave was mentioned by some Shafi’i scholars, but the majority of the Shafi’i scholars (like Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami) themselves have rejected this view.

Hence, he expounds on the above statement in the chapter of burial and funeral prayer. He states:

“Note: In sufficing with only these Sunnahs (m: of burial) there is an indication that it is not a Sunnah to give the Adhan at the time of entering the dead into his/her grave, as it is prevalent now (m: in his time). Hence Ibn Hajar (m: al-Haytami, the great Shafi’i jurist) explicitly stated in his Fatawa that it is a reprehensible innovation (bid’a), and he said: “Whoever thinks that it is a sunnah by drawing analogy (qiyas) from its (adhan) recommendation for the newborn child, by ending matters as they began, is in error.” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr, Bab Salat al-Janazah, 2/235)

In light of the above statements of Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him), it becomes clear that giving Adhan at the time or after burial is not something that is established through the Sunnah. It is considered a form of reprehensible innovation (bid’a), if practiced by believing that it is something that is established through the Sunnah.

Indeed some Shafi’i scholars did mention its recommendation, but that (as we have seen in the text of Imam Ibn Abidin) was rejected by the major Shafi’i scholars and jurists such as Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (Allah have mercy on him) and others.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Question #: 5334
Published: 11/08/2004