Funeral Prayers for other Muslims

[ BACK ] Hazrat Mirza never instructed his followers that they must refrain from saying the Islamic funeral prayers for a deceased Muslim who did not belong to the Ahmadiyya Movement. To the contrary, on all the occasions when this question was put to him, Hazrat Mirza clearly and unequivocally permitted his followers to hold funeral services for non-Ahmadi Muslims in general. This also constitutes conclusive proof that he regarded the general non-Ahmadi Muslim population as being Muslims and not kafir, because holding the Islamic funeral service for any person implies recognition of the deceased as a Muslim. And moreover, the proof is of a plain, practical and easy to understand nature.

Given below are four clear rulings of Hazrat Mirza on this issue:

[1.] "The question was raised as to whether it was permissible to say the funeral prayers for a man who was not in the Movement. The Promised Messiah said:

" 'If the deceased was an opponent of this Movement and spoke ill of us and regarded us as bad, do not say funeral prayers for him. If he did not speak against us, and was neutral, it is permissible to say his funeral prayers, provided the imam is one of you; otherwise there is no need. If the deceased did not call us kafir and liar, his funeral prayers may be said. There is nothing wrong with that, for only God knows hidden matters.' "

(Statement made on 18 April 1902; newspaper Al-Hakam, 30 April 1902)

[2.] About a year before his death, Hazrat Mirza received a letter from a follower, Ghulam Qadir of Jeonjal (district Gujrat), asking for guidance on some points, one of which related to saying funeral prayers for non-Ahmadi Muslims. Hazrat Mirza instructed one of his assistants, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (later a prominent Qadiani), to write the following reply:

"It is permissible to say funeral prayers for an opponent if he did not abuse us. The imam [of the service] must be an Ahmadi."

(Letter dated 12 May 1907; facsimile of original available.)

In the two rulings given above, the condition that the imam of the prayer service must be from among Ahmadis does not detract from our argument. The crucial point is that the deceased is not an Ahmadi, and funeral prayers for him are allowed by Hazrat Mirza, showing that he is being regarded as a Muslim. As to the reason for the condition regarding the imam of the prayer, see the following section: Saying prayers behind non-Ahmadi Imam.

[3.] In 1908, Ahmadis and other Muslims in a place called Bhudyar, in the district of Amritsar, made an agreement in which one clause proposed by the Ahmadis was as follows: "We will say funeral prayers for those non-Ahmadi relatives who are neutral" (i.e. not opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement). Hazrat Mirza wrote the following note on it in his own hand:

``What has been written is very good and blessed.''

(See newspaper Badr, dated 13 May 1909)

[4.] In reply to one Muhammad Ismail, a short letter was written at the direction of Hazrat Mirza, by the hand of Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, bearing the date 19 April 1907, which runs as follows:

"Your letter was received. The janaza (funeral) of a non-Ahmadi, his taghseel (washing of the dead body), and takfeen (shrouding the body), are allowed. Eating the animal slaughtered by a non-Ahmadi is also allowed. Hazrat sahib prays for you.''

(letter published in Paigham Sulh, 30 January 1921)

Certain prominent Ahmadis have also testified that when some of their near relations died, who were not members of the Ahmadiyya Movement, they requested Hazrat Mirza to say funeral prayers for them, and he did so.

Mir Abid Ali of Badomalhi testified to the following effect. His mother strongly disapproved of his having become an Ahmadi. When she died, unchanged, he informed Hazrat Mirza by letter, requesting him to pray for her and to personally lead the funeral prayers. In his reply, Hazrat Mirza wrote that they would hold the funeral prayers on Friday.

A renowned scholar of the Movement, Mirza Khuda Bakhsh also made a sworn statement declaring that: "The Promised Messiah said the funeral prayers for my mother. She had not taken the bai`at. She always believed that he was a saintly man, but did not accept the claim of the Promised Messiah''. This was in late 1901 or early 1902. He added that in early 1904, his uncle died, holding the same view as his mother. He explained his late uncle's beliefs to Hazrat Mirza, informing him that he had not taken the bai`at. Having heard him, Hazrat Mirza personally led the funeral prayer.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid of Chachran was a famous saint who spoke out against the accusations leveled at Hazrat Mirza by his opponents, and called him a truthful man. But he did not take bai'at or become Ahmadi. Praising the Khawaja after his death, Hazrat Mirza writes:

"To sum up, God had granted Khawaja Ghulam Farid a spiritual light by which he could distinguish between a truthful one and a liar at one glance. May God envelope him in mercy, and grant him a place near Him --- Ameen."

(Haqiqat al-Wahy, p. 209)

This prayer is only allowed for a deceased who is Muslim, and prohibited for one who is a kafir.