1. Utter the first Takbir and recite “Al Fatihah”. It is permissible in the funeral prayer to recite a Sura or one or two verses from the Quran, according to the Hadeeth and reported by Ibn Abbas (r.a.).
2. Utter the second Takbir and send salutations to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), as in Tashahhud.
3. Utter the third Takbir, and seek forgiveness from Allah. E.g. “O Allah! Forgive our living, our dead, our present our absent our young our old our males and our females. O Allah! Who so ever among us You keep to live, make him to live in Islam, and whom so ever You cause to die, let him die in faith. O Allah! Forgive him, have mercy on him, heal him, be generous to him, cause his entrance to be wide and comfortable, wash him with the most pure and clean water and purify him from sins as a white garment is washed clean of dirt. Give him in exchange a home better than his home (on earth) and family better than his family, and let him into Paradise and Protect him from the trials of the grave and tortures of the Hell Fire. Make his grave wide and light it for him.”
It is the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) for the Imam to stand facing the Qiblah, in front of the head of a deceased male, and in front of the middle of a deceased female body.
If there are more than one dead body, the male should be placed immediately in front of the Imam, followed by the female body. If there are children, the body of the male child should be placed after the male body. If the dead includes a female child, it should be placed after the older female body.
The bodies should be put in such a way that the head of the boy should be in line with the head of the man. The female body should be placed, after the boy, in such a way that the waist of the woman is in line with the head of the male. Similarly, the body of the girl should be in line with the elder female, and the middle of her body lies in line with the head of the male. In this manner, the Imam stands in a position that the heads of all deceased males and the waists of all deceased females will be in front of the Imam.
People attending the funeral prayer should stand behind the Imam, and if one cannot find enough space behind the Imam, he can choose to stand at the right side of him.