Forming 3 Rows (Suffs) in Janaazah Salaah

Q. At a recent funeral, approximately thirty people were in attendance. Just before the Jannazah salah was commenced, I asked the brothers to form a minimum of three lines (SUFFS ) to which an Arab brother said something and the presiding Imaam said it was permissible to have just one or two lines. Kindly confirm the correct method which should be followed.

A. It is permissible to perform Janaaza Salaah in one or two Suffs (rows). However, it is preferred to form three Suffs due to the following Hadith:

Marthad bin Abdullah has reported that whenever Sayyiduna Maalik bin Hubairah Radhiyallahu Anhu would perform the Janaazah Salaah and not many people were in attendance, he would divide them in three Suffs. Then he would say, ‘Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has said, ‘When three Suffs perform (Janaaza) Salaah on a person, (forgiveness or Jannah) becomes compulsory for him.’” (Riyaadus Saaliheen)

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa