Reason #67: (Janazah-Post 2) – Sharia’at and the maqaam and authority of the Dai

The Janazah Mubarak of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA

Post 2 – Sharia’at and the maqaam and authority of the Dai

 The attendance of the janazah and namaz upon it are obligatory. Due to this importance, shari’at has specified rules and guidelines for how a Mumin’s funeral and janazah should take place, and like all aspects of life, it has acknowledged that the circumstances of funerals and janazahs are not always alike. Shari’at provides various means to cater to the different constraints and issues that raise in different janazah situations. This is why shari’at is known as sharia’at samhaa’: a religion that is encompassing and tolerant. More importantly, shari’at is led by Saheb al-Shari’at, the imam or dai of each time who carries out and administers the dictates of shari’at with authority given to him by Allah Ta’ala and his ilhaam.

 An example of this is an incident that occurred during the period of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, the 49th Dai which Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA (52nd Dai) describes in one of his wa’az mubaraks (Asharah Mubarakah, 1418 H, 3rd Majlis). During his grandfather’s (49th Dai) time, two senior members of the community passed away in Surat and their janazahs were brought to the Nawapura masjid. Various opinions were shared as to how the janazahs should be placed until an argument broke out. When Syedna BurhanuddinRA (49th Dai)reached the masjid door, two shaikhs came to him seeking judgement as to how the janazah should be placed during the single namaz, both offering different suggestions. Syedna said nothing. When he reached the the two janazahs, he gave instructions that one be moved away.  He led namaz separately for each of the janazahs. In his bayaan mubarak, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA (52nd Dai) states:

There is bayaan [in Dawat texts], that if there are two janazahs, or four, then namaz can be prayed upon each of them individually or all of them together. It is not obligated (faridat) that namaz should take place on them all together. Everyone present was astounded; this is fasl al-khitaab (final decision; ultimate authority). Because Syedna Burhanuddin (49th Dai) had realised that much has already been said; this is not the appropriate time to furnish a response to their queries. Upon witnessing this act, Syedi Mohyiddeen stated: “behold the strength (quwwat) of this saheb, he is endowed with fasl al-khitaab!”

Among the many lessons the bayaan mubarak of Syedna Burhanuddin (52nd) and the actions of Syedna Burhanuddin (49th Dai) offer, three are of direct relevance here.

  • Firstly, as mentioned above, Shari’at allows for multiple courses of actions depending on varying situations.
  • Secondly, it is the haqq na saheb that chooses the correct course of action for a particular situation and makes a final decision based upon what is provided for in Shari’at. He ensures that what is obligated by shari’at is carried out and where shari’at has given provision and choice, he chooses the most appropriate course of action.
  • Finally, Dawat texts must be seen as a collective corpus of literature; bayaans cannot be chosen according to one’s own preference in order to support one’s preferred interpretation.

The provision that when two or more janazahs are placed in a masjid, namaz can be held on them separately is not found in Da’a’im al-Islam. In fact, Da’a’im only refers to the following statement by Moulana AliSA: “When multiple janazahs have been assembled [in a masjid for janazah namaz], [the Imam should] pray a single namaz upon them together. [The janazahs of] men should be placed near him, and [the janazahs of] women should be placed towards the Qiblah.” Da’aim is clear: namaz should be prayed on all janazahs together. It is only in other Fiqh (jurisprudence) texts that this provision for praying namaz separately on each janazah is given. In Mukhtasar al-Aathar, Syedna al-Qadi al-Noman RA, the very author of Da’aim, states: “When multiple janazahs have been assembled [for namaz], the imam can lead prayer upon them together… And if he wishes to pray namaz upon them individually, then that is also permissible.“

The Dai’s actions are always in accordance with shari’at and reflect the meanigs of Dawat texts as a collective entity. His very being is shari’at. Therefore, whatever course of action he chooses is the most appropriate course to be taken. It is the most preferred, most afdal.

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