The Permanent Committee, Fatawa Islamiyyah, Vol. 3, pg 69

Question : What is the ruling of Allah regarding attending funerals of the disbelievers which has become a political tradition and an agreed upon custom?

Answer:  If there are among the disbelievers those who bury their dead, it is not (allowed) for the Muslims to support or participate with or assist the disbelievers in their burial. Also, they should not be courteous to them in their funeral processions. For verily, this is not known from Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم or the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. Rather, Allah Prohibited His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  from standing over the grave of Abdullah ibn Ubayy bin Salul, and the reason for that was his disbelief. Allah said:

وَلاَ تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُم مَّاتَ أَبَدًا وَلاَ تَقُمْ عَلَىَ قَبْرِهِ إِنَّهُمْ كَفَرُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

“And never pray over any of them who has died, nor stand over his grave. Verily they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger and died while they were Fasisqun (wrong doers, sinners, transgressors, etc.). “[At-Tawbah 9:84]

However, if there is not anyone among them to bury their deceased, the Muslims may bury him just as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  did with the [non-Muslim] people who were killed at the battle of Badr.



References: Fiqh us-Sunnah Volume 4

Washing and Shrouding

Just as the Muslim is welcomed into this world at birth by the purification of his body, and by the joyful exclamations of “There is no deity except Allah”, and “Allah is the Greatest”, and just as the entire earth is made a dwelling place for him, so also is he honored in death by the washing and shrouding of his body, and by the offering of prayer for him. To confer this honor upon the deceased is obligatory for all Muslims who are around him at death. Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “Every soul shall have a taste of death. In the end, to Us shall you be brought back. But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, to them shall We give a home in Heaven, lofty mansions beneath which flow rivers, to dwell therein forever. An excellent reward for those who do (good).” Qur’an 29:57-58

It is sunnah to do the following prior to and after death: 1) Advise the dying person to say: “La ilaha illa Allah” (there is no god but Allah). It is narrated on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that the Prophet (saws) said: “Prompt your dying people to say: ‘La illaha illa lah’.” Muslim, Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi

Another report on the authority of Mu’adh ibn Jabal states that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “He whose last words are ‘La illaha illa lah’ shall enter Paradise.” Narrated by Abu Daw’ud

This prompting (talqin) is necessary only when the dying person is unable to utter the shahadah. If such a person is able to utter these words then there is no need for prompting, but he should rather be advised to do so. Such advise is useful in cases of persons who are in possession of their faculties of reason and speech. If one is already mentally impaired such advise cannot be of benefit. But one who is unable to speak might say these words in his heart.

The scholars are of the opinion that no pressure should be put on the dying person. So one should not say to him, “Say, ‘La illaha illa lah’,” lest he should become annoyed and utter something improper. One may say the shahadah, however, in such a way that the dying person might be able to hear it and repeat it. If he utters it once, he should not be asked to repeat it unless he says some words after it. In such a case he should be asked to repeat shahadah to ensure that it be his last utterance.

2) Lay the dying person so that the qilba is on his right side. Ahmad reported that Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet (saws), at the time of her death, turned toward the Ka’bah and placed her right hand under her head. This is the sleeping position recommended by the Prophet (saws), and in a grave, a dead body should also be placed in the same position.

3) Recite Surah Ya Sin from the Qur’an. This is reported by Ahmad, Abu Daw’ud, Nasa’i, Al Hakim and Ibn Hibban. The Prophet (saws) said: “If any person is on his deathbed and Ya Sin is recited to him, Allah makes his suffering easier.” Narrated by Abu ad-Darda and Abu Dharr

4) Close the eyes of the deceased. The Prophet (saws) went to visit Abu Salmah. He saw that his eyes were wide open and blank with the stare of death. So the Prophet (saws) closed his eyes and said: “Verily, when a soul is seized, the eyesight follows it.” Narrated by Muslim

After the eyes are closed, the jaws are bound so as not to sag, and an iron object, no more than two inches in diameter, is placed upon the abdomen (stomach area) to keep it from becoming inflated. If possible, all the deceased joints should be loosened by moving them occasionally to keep the body from becoming stiff. This will facilitate its washing and shrouding. The spirit and the body are the total of the human being. It is therefore forbidden in Islam to break any part of the body of the deceased or to open the stomach. Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “Breaking the bone of the dead person is like breaking the bone of the living.”

5) Cover the deceased. Aishah said: “When the Messenger of Allah (saws) died, he was covered with a piece of cloth that had some designs on it.” Bukhari and Muslim. The objective here is clearly to safeguard the respect and dignity of the deceased in death against prying eyes and against the exposure of his or her body to the idle curiosity of those looking for changes in physical condition and features.

There is a consensus among scholars regarding the permissibility of kissing a dead person. The Prophet (saws) kissed Uthman ibn Maz’un after his death. Similarly, when the Prophet (saws) died, Abu Bakr leaned over him and kissed him between his eyes saying, “O my Prophet! O my best friend!!”

6) Prepare the body for burial without delay, as soon as death is confirmed (by specialists ie. a qualified physician or the like). The guardian of the deceased should wash, wrap, and arrange for the burial of the body soon after the funeral prayer for the deceased, because the body might deteriorate if burial is delayed. When Talhah ibn al-Bara fell ill, the Prophet (saws) said: “I see that Talhah is on the verge of death. Inform me about him (when he passes away) and make immediate preparations for his burial, for a Muslim’s remains should not be left long with his family after his death.” This is based on a report, recorded by Abu Daw’ud from al-Husayn ibn Wujuh

The burial may be delayed only for the guardian, provided no physical deterioration in the condition of the body is feared from such delay. The Prophet (saws) said: “O Ali, never delay three things: prayer when its time approaches, the funeral when death is confirmed, and marrying a widow or a divorcee when a suitable match is found for her.” Ahmad and Tirmidhi report on the authority of Ali ibn Abu Talib

It is forbidden to embalm the body unless this procedure is required by the laws of one’s country. It is makruh (hated) to put the body in a freezer because the liquids in the body expand when they are frozen, damaging the bones and internal organs.

7) Settle the debt of the deceased. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “A believer’s soul remains in suspense until all his debts are paid off.” Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi have recorded a hadith on the authority of Abu Hurairah. This means that the judgement regarding a soul’s salvation or perdition or its entry into Paradise is held in abeyance until its debts are fully paid off and settled. This applies to a person who leaves some property upon his death. His debt should be paid out of the property that he leaves behind.

In the case of a person who dies in debt which he sincerely intended to pay, but has no property (nor leaves any behind to pay his debt), according to a confirmed report, his debt will be settled by Allah (swt). Concerning a person who dies in debt with sufficient means to pay it and was willing to do so, but his heirs do not pay it, the Prophet (saws) said: “If anyone takes other people’s money with the intention to repay it and then he or she should die without settling the debt, Allah will pay the debt on his behalf. And if anyone takes money or property (of others) with the intention of destroying it, Allah will destroy him.” Bukhari records on the authority of Abu Hurairah

The Prophet (saws) did not perform funeral prayers for those who had died in debt. When, however, Allah (swt) granted him certain lands as a result of conquests, and the community’s wealth increased, he offered funeral prayer for them and settled their debts. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “I am nearer to the believers than their own selves. So if someone dies leaving behind debt, but no wherewithal to settle it, we shall pay his debt, and if someone dies and leaves some estate behind him, it is for his heirs (to pay his debt).” Reported by Bukhari

This hadith shows that the debt of a deceased Muslim may be paid from the public exchequer out of the zakah funds specified as the portion for the people in debt. This is one of the prescribed categories of zakah recipients. Death by itself does not annul one’s debt or other responsibilities to the living.

Witnessing Death

A believer should, at the death of a relative or a friend, invoke Allah and say: “Verily we belong to Allah, and truly to Him shall we return.”

“To those who say, when afflicted with calamity, ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return,’ are those on whom descend blessings from Allah, and mercy, and they are the ones who receive guidance.” Qur’an 2:156-157

The Prophet said: “If a servant of Allah is afflicted with a misfortune and says, ‘Verily we belong to Allah and truly to Him shall we return. O Allah! Protect me in this calamity that has befallen me and replace it with something better,’ Allah will accept his prayer, grant him reward for his affliction, and replace it with something better.” Ahmad and Muslim reported from Umm Salamah. She added: “When Abu Salamah (her husband) died, I invoked Allah in the words taught to me by the Prophet (saws), and Allah did grant me someone better than he, ie. (He gave me) the Messenger of Allah (saws) (as a husband).”

Washing (Ghusl)

The washing and shrouding of the deceased is an obligatory duty enjoined upon all Muslims in the community. However, if it is performed by some, the other members are cleared of the obligation. The person selected to wash and shroud the deceased should be one who was chosen by the deceased, if possible. The person should be an adult Muslim who is in possession of his or her senses, and who is honest, trustworthy, pious, well acquainted with the rules for washing the deceased in accordance with the practices of Prophet Muhammad (saws), and who will not broadcast what he or she might see except what is good.

It is permissible for a husband to wash the body of his wife, and for a wife to wash the body of her husband. Aishah said: “Had I known then what a know now, I would not have allowed anyone except his wives to wash the body of the Prophet.” Transmitted by Ahmad and Abu Daw’ud and al-Hakim

If the deceased is a child, the washing may be done by either a male or female adult.

If the relatives of the deceased are non-muslims, it is the duty of other Muslims to wash and shroud the body of the deceased.

The entire body must be washed with water, at least once, regardless of whether the deceased is a male and needed a ritual bath, or a female who was menstruating at the time (of her death).

It is recommended that the body be placed on an elevated surface ie. A table or a board. It then should be stripped of clothes, but his awrah (private parts) should be covered. At the washing, only people whose presence is needed may stay. A cleaning agent such as soap should be used to cleanse the body before it is rinsed with pure water. In the final washing of the body a non-alcoholic perfume is to be added to the water.

Before washing the deceased, the washer must make his or her intention to wash the body of a specific person. The body is then placed on its back, and the abdomen (stomach area) is gently pressed the so that any waste material may be discharged.

The washer’s left hand must be covered or wrapped with a non-transparent material, before washing the deceased (because touching the private parts of the dead is haram [forbidden]), and it should also be used when removing any unclean matter from the body. Cotton is placed in the opening of the ears, nose and anus of the deceased after all unclean matter has been removed.

The washer, using the left hand beneath the sheet which covers the awrah, washes the private parts first. Then he or she should wash the rest of the body starting with the right side. The parts that are washed in wudu (ablution) are cleaned first. Umm Atiyyah reported in regard to the washing of his daughter: “The Messenger of Allah (saws) told them (the women) to start from the right side with those parts of the body over which ablution is performed.” Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, page 195

This is in order to crystallize the mark of the believer’s parts of the body always washed during wudu that will shine forth brightly on the Day of Judgement. One should not put water into the mouth, nose or ears of the deceased.

The washing of the body at least once is obligatory, however the body should be washed three times, or an odd number of times up to seven. If impurities come out of the body during washing, the procedure must be repeated until all impurities have been expelled. If the last washing was even numbered the body must be washed once more so that the final wash is an odd number. If soap is not available, then washing with ordinary water will suffice. According to a sahih hadith, the Prophet (saws) said: “Wash the dead body an odd number of times, that is three, five, or seven, or more if you feel it is necessary.”

After ablution the hair of the head is thoroughly washed with soap. Next the body is turned on its left side and washed from the neck to the foot, in front first, then in back. It is then turned on its right side and washed in the same manner. After washing, the hair and the body are rinsed.

After the final rinse the entire body is dried with a clean towel. The hair should be combed and brushed. A woman’s hair is to be braided into three braids. Ibn al-Mundhir said: “The Prophet (saws) instructed the female washers to wash the dead body more than seven times in case they felt it was necessary to do so, but it must be an odd number of times. If the deceased is a female, then her hair should be loosened, washed, redone, and placed behind her back. According to a hadith narrated by Umm ‘Atiyyah the hair of the Prophet’s (saws) daughter was done in three plaits. I asked: ‘Did they loosen her hair and then redo them in three braids?’ She said: ‘Yes’.” Muslim reports this in these words: “We braided her hair in three braids, on both sides and in front (of her).”

A man’s hair and beard should be well groomed. The nails are not to be cut, nor is the hair under the armpits or from the private parts is to be removed. Both males and females are to be groomed humbly, without the use of cosmetics. Then some perfume should be applied to it. The Prophet (saws) said: “When you apply perfume (to the dead), apply it an odd number of times after washing it.” Al-Baihaqi, Al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban, of whom the last two consider it a sound hadith.

If a Muslim is buried without being given an obligatory washing (ghusl), the body must be dug up and washed; then prayers must be said over the deceased. If the body has been buried for a long time and has deteriorated, the grave is opened and water is poured over the entire body until it is fully covered. Prayer is then offered for the deceased, and the grave is closed.

Bodies that do not Need to be Washed

* The body of a martyr, that is, a Muslim killed in a battle at the hands of disbelieves, may not be washed even though it is in a state of major ritual impurity. His body should be enshrouded in the clothes he wore when he died if they are good enough for the purpose. Otherwise some additional cloth may be used to enshroud his body according to the sunnah. The body of such a person should be buried in its blood-stained state. None of his blood should be washed off. The Prophet (saws) said: “Do not wash those who die as martyrs, for their every wound or drop of blood will exude a fragrance like musk on the Day of Judgement.” Reported by Ahmad

The Prophet (saws) ordered the martyrs of the Battle of Uhud too be buried in their blood-stained clothes. They were not washed nor any funeral prayer offered for them.

Note: Those who are not killed in a battle by disbelievers, though they may be regarded as martyrs in Islamic law, should be washed and funeral prayer said for them. Jabir ibn ‘Utaik reported that Allah’s Messenger (saws) said: “There are seven kinds of martyrs besides those killed in the cause of Allah:

  1. 1) a person who is killed in an epidemic,
  2. 2) a person who is drowned,
  3. 3) a person who has bed sores that cause fever and a bad cough resulting in his death,
  4. 4) a person who dies of a stomach disease,
  5. 5) a person who dies in a fire,
  6. 6) a person who dies under falling debris (in a disaster), and
  7. 7) a woman who dies in childbirth.”

Ahmad, Abu Daw’ud and Nasa’i

* It is not necessary for a Muslim to wash a disbeliever’s body. A Muslim is not permitted to shroud or bury him unless it is feared that the body would decompose because of weather conditions, or that it would attract predatory beasts, etc.

* There is no need to wash or pray over the body of a stillborn infant.

The Shroud (Al-Kafan)

Shrouding the body of the deceased, even it be with just one piece of cloth, is a collective obligation of the Muslim community. The deceased person’s shrouding, preparation for burial and the burial itself must be paid for from his or her private assets, even if someone has a rightful claim to them. If the deceased has no such assets, the shroud must be provided by whomever supported him or her in life. If the deceased’s supporter cannot pay the expense, the shroud is paid for from the Muslim public treasury. If the assets of the public treasury are not sufficient, the responsibility falls collectively upon those Muslims who can afford to pay.

The following practices should be observed while preparing a body for burial:

1) The shroud should be nice, clean, and large enough to cover the entire body. The Prophet (saws) said: “If one of you is a guardian to his deceased brother, he should give him the best shroud he can.” Narrated by Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi, reported by Abu Qatadah

However, it should not be so extravagantly expensive that it would unduly burden a person.

2) A shroud should be white. The Prophet (saws) said: “Wear white clothes, for these are your best clothes, and enshroud your dead in them.” Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas

3) The shroud should be scented and perfumed. The Prophet (saws) said: “If you perfume a dead body, do it three times.” Ahamd and Al-Hakim

4) The shroud should be three wraps for a man and five wraps for a woman. One wrap will suffice if nothing else is available. Two wraps will also suffice, but three wraps are preferable for those who can afford it. Cotton garments are to be used in shrouding. For a man, two white cotton sheets and a loose, sleeveless, collarless shirt, which covers the body from the neck to the feet are prescribed. The first sheet is called the lower garment, and it covers the entire body from the head to the feet. It should be approximately two feet wider than the deceased after wrapping. The second sheet is called the winding sheet, and it is approximately two feet longer and two feet wider than the deceased after wrapping. Moderation should be observed in measuring the sheets to avoid using an excessive amount of material.

To begin shrouding a man the large winding sheet is spread out and the lower garment is placed on it. The deceased is placed in the shirt, with his arms lying along his sides. A turban is made for him and placed upon his head. The body is then placed upon the lower garment, which is folded over his left side first, and then over his right side. The large winding sheet is then folded over in the same manner. After folding, the garments are tied at the top of the head, at the hips and the bottom of the feet. They are not untied until after the deceased has been placed in the grave, or before the coffin is sealed for burial.

In shrouding woman it is proper o use a long, loose sleeveless dress, which covers the body from the neck to the feet, and three sheets. The first sheet is called the lower garment, and it covers the entire body from the head to the feet. It is at least two feet wider than the deceased. The second is the breast wrapper, or bodice, which covers the breast and thighs. The third is at least two feet longer and two feet wider than the deceased. A wrapper which will completely cover the head and face, or a hood without a face opening is also prescribed.

To begin the shrouding the large sheet is spread, and the lower garment is placed on top of it. Next, the body is placed in the sleeveless dress, and the head cover is placed over the head. The body is then placed on the lower garment, which is wrapped around with the right side overlapping the left. The breast wrapper is wrapped around the body from the breast to the thighs in the same manner. Finally, the large sheet is folded over the left side of the body first, and then over the right. After the large sheet has been folded over the body, it is tied up at the top of the head, at the waist and at the bottom of the feet. It is untied only after the body is placed in the grave, or before the coffin is sealed for burial.

After the body has been washed, scented and wrapped, it is placed in a coffin or bier (mahmal) and carried to the place of prayer. It is forbidden to use a coffin or bier which is expensive, or which has the colour red on it . The body is to be placed in a grave dug in mud or stone. It is never placed in anything built of wood or iron. The body is placed in the coffin on the right side in such a manner that the face of the deceased will be towards the Kab’ah when the prayer service is performed.



By Athiya Maulvi The certainty of death has been mentioned in several ayahs of the Qur’an: “Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!” (Al Nisa 4:78, Abdullah Yousuf Ali Translation)

”Then He causeth him to die, and putteth him in his grave” (‘Abasa 80:21, A.Y.A. Trans.)

It is a duty of every Muslim to follow the bier, just as it is his duty to respond to the Islamic greeting of Salam: The Prophet (S) said ‘The rights of a Muslim on Muslim are five: To return the greeting, To visit the sick, To follow the funeral processions, To accept invitation and To reply the sneezer’ (Bukhari Vol. 2 – 332)

When a child is born, the Adhan and Iqama are said in his ear. The Salat to this Adhan and Iqama are not held immediately rather it is held after the person’s death, i.e. in the form of the funeral prayer (Salat al Janaza).

Let us now take a look at what is to be done before, at and after death.

Islam on:

1. The Sick The Dying

2. Washing And Shrouding The Dead

3. The Bier And Funeral Prayer

4. The Grave (also ‘Can Women Visit Graves?’)

5. Mourning

6. The Martyrs

1. The Sick The Dying

The Qur’an has made it compulsory for us to make a will when we see our death drawing close. “It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin…” (Al Baqarah 2:180)

Prophet (saws) has taught us various Du’as, which we may recite during any calamity.

The Prophet (saws) said ‘if any servant (of Allah) who suffers a calamity says “We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return; O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in exchange for it” Allah will give him reward for affliction, and would give him something better than it in exchange.’ (Muslim 2000)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘none of you must wish for death because he is afflicted by evil circumstances, but if he cannot help doing so he should say ‘O God, give me life as long as life is better for me, and take me when death is better for me.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

It is also a Muslims duty to visit the sick, and there is great reward in doing so.

The Prophet (saws) said ‘If anyone visits a patient, an announcer makes an announcement from the heaven ‘You are good and your walking is good and you will occupy a house in the Paradise”. (Ibn Majah 1443)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘When a Muslim pays visit to his brother Muslim he continues to gather the fruits of paradise till he returns’ (Muslim)

Consoling and encouraging words should be spoken to the sick to give him moral support and to instill hope in his heart. The Prophet (saws) said ‘As you pay visit to the patient, cheer him up about life for it does not alter anything (of the Decree) but it pleases the patient’s heart’ (Ibn Majah 1438)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘No Muslim will visit another and say seven times ‘I ask Allah, the Mighty, the Lord of the mighty throne, to cure you’ without his being cured, unless his time has come”. (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi)

In the case of someone who is dying: The Prophet (saws) said ‘Exhort to recite ‘There is no god but Allah’ to those of you who are dying.’ (Muslim 1998)

Du’a for the dead: The Messenger of Allah (saws) came to Abu Salama (as he died). His (Abu Salama’s) eyes were fixedly open. He (saws) closed them, and then said: When the soul is taken away the sight follows it. Some of the people of his family wept and wailed. So he (saws) said: do not supplicate for yourselves anything but good, for angels say ‘Amen’ to what you say. He (saws) then said: O Allah, forgive Abu Salama, raise his degree among those who are rightly guided, grant him a successor in his descendants who remain. Forgive us and him, O Lord of the Universe, and make his grave spacious, and grant him light in it.’ (Muslim 2003)

2. Washing And Shrouding The Dead

Washing: From the Ahadith cited below we learn that the dead should be washed making sure of the following rules:

Wash the dead body minimum three times. You can wash it more than three times if it is thought necessary making certain that the total always adds up to an odd number like 5, 7 etc.

We should start the washing with the right side of the body and wash the parts that washed in wudu first.

If the hair of the dead person is tied then we have to undo it, and wash it.

Narrated Um ‘Atiyya al-Ansariya (raa) ‘Allah’s Apostle (saws) came to us when his daughter died and said ‘Wash her thrice or five times or more if you see it necessary, with water and sidr and then apply camphor at the end; and when you finished notify me’. So when we finished it we informed him and he gave us his waist-sheet and told us to shroud the dead body in it. (Bukhari Vol. 2, 344)

Narrated Um ‘Atiyya (raa) ‘Allah’s Apostle (saws), concerning his (dead) daughter’s bath said ‘start with the right side and the parts which are washed in ablution.” (Bukhari Vol. 2, 346)

Um ‘Atiyya (raa) said that they had entwined the hair of the daughter of Allah’s Apostle (saws) in three braids. They first undid her hair, washed and then entwined it in three braids.’ (Bukhari Vol. 2, 350)

Aisha (raa) reported: The Prophet (saws) said ‘Nothing will harm if you pass away before me. I shall take care of you. I shall give you a bath, wrap you in a shroud, invoke blessings upon you and bury you’ (Ibn Majah 1465)

It is not allowed for women to wash men and for men to wash women, but a wife may wash her husband and a husband his wife.


The Prophet (saws) said ‘when one of you shrouds his brother he should use a shroud of good quality’ (Muslim)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘do not be extravagant in shrouding, for it will quickly be decayed’ (Abu Dawud)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘the best of your garments are white (ones). So, shroud your deceased persons in them and wear them (during life).’ (Ibn Majah 1472)

Narrated Aisha (raa) ‘Allah’s Apostle (saws) was shrouded in three Yemenite white Suhuliya (pieces of cloth) of cotton, and in them there was neither a shirt nor a turban.’ (Bukhari Vol. 2, 354)

Narrated Ibn Abbas (raa) ‘While a man was at Arafat (for Hajj) with Allah’s Apostle (saws), he fell down from his mount and broke his neck (and died). So Allah’s Apostle (saws) said ‘wash him with water and sidr, and shroud him in two pieces of cloth, and neither perfume him nor cover his head, for Allah will resurrect him on the Day of Resurrection and he will be saying ‘Labbaik”’ (Bukhari Vol. 2, 356)

To shroud one with (the price of) all of one’s own property… Ibrahim said ‘start with the shroud first, then pay his debts, then follow his will.’ (Bukhari Vol. 2, Chapter 25)

3. The Bier And Funeral Prayer

The Prophet (saws) said ‘make haste at a funeral; if the dead person was good, it is a good state to which you are sending him; but if he was otherwise it is a evil of which you are ridding yourselves.’ (Muslim 2059)

Narrated Um Atiyya (raa) ‘we were forbidden to accompany funeral processions but not strictly’ (Bukhari Vol 2, 368)

Umm Atiyya reported ‘We were forbidden to follow the bier, but it was not made absolute on us.’ (Muslim 2039)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘when you see a funeral procession, you should stand up, and whoever accompanies it should not sit till the coffin is put down’ (Bukhari Vol 2, 397)

Narrated Samura bin Jundab (raa) ‘I offered the funeral prayer behind the Prophet (saws) for a woman who had died during child birth and he stood by the middle of the coffin.’ (Bukhari Vol 2, 416)

Samura b. Jundub said: I prayed behind the Messenger of Allah (saws) and he prayed for a woman who died in the state of delivery. He stood in front of her waist.’ (Muslim 2107) From Bukhari Vol 2, Chapter 55:

The Prophet (saws) said ‘Offer the funeral prayer for your friend’.

He called it a prayer although there is no bowing, prostration nor loud recitation in it, and there are Takbirs and Taslim, Ibn Umar never offered the (funeral) prayer without ablution, nor at sunrise or at sunset and used to raise both his hands (at the time of saying Takbir). Al-Hasan (Al-Basri) said, ‘I noticed that the people (i.e. the Prophet (saws) companions) regarding as the most deserving man to lead the funeral prayer the one whom they were satisfied with to lead them in compulsory prayer. If a person has hadath on the ‘Id Day (during ‘Id prayer), or during the funeral prayer, he should look for water (to do ablution) and should not perform Tayammum. If anyone happens to pass by a funeral and the people are offering the (funeral) prayer, then it is advisable for him to join them by saying Takbir, Ibn Al-Musaiyab said, “(In funeral prayer) there are four Takbirs, whether the prayer is offered at night or by day, in journey or at home.” Anas said, “One Takbir is for starting the prayer,” and quoting Qur’an he said, “and never (O Muhammad (saws) pray for anyone of them (i.e. hypocrite), that dies, nor stand at his grave (9:84)”. And in the funeral prayer there are rows and Imam.

The Prophet (saws) informed about the news of the death of An-Najashi (King of Abyssinia) on the day he died. He went out with us to the Musalla and we aligned in rows and he said four Takbirs for An-Najashi’s funeral prayer.’ (Bukhari Vol 2, 417)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘whoever attends the funeral procession till he offers the funeral prayer for it, will get a reward equal to one Qirat, and whoever accompanies it till burial, will get a reward equal to two Qirats.’ It was asked ‘what are two Qirats?’ he replied ‘like two huge mountains’ (Bukhari Vol 2, 410)

4. The Grave

The Prophet (saws) said ‘Dig the grave deep, make it spacious and prepare it well’ (Ibn Majah 1560)

The Prophet (saws) forbade that the graves should be plastered, or they be used as sitting places (for the people), or a building should be built over them. (Muslim 2116)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘it is better that one of you should sit on live coals which would burn his clothes and come in contact with his skin than that he should sit on a grave’ (Muslim 2119)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘do not sit on the graves, and do not pray facing towards them’ (Muslim 2121)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘when Allah’s slave is put in the grave and his companions return and he even hears their footsteps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask, ‘what did you used to say about this man (i.e. Muhammad (saws)?’ the faithful believer will say, ‘I testify that he is Allah’s slave and Apostle.’ Then they will say to him, ‘look at your place in the Hell Fire; Allah has changed for you a place in Paradise instead of it.’ so he will see both his places.

Whereas a hypocrite or a non-believer will reply, ‘I don’t know, but I used to say what the people used to say.’ So they will say to him, ‘neither did you know nor did you take guidance (by reciting the Qur’an).’ Then he will be hit with iron hammers once, that he will send such a cry as everything near to him will hear, except Jinns and human beings. (Abridged Bukhari Vol 2, 456)

Can Women Visit Graves?

From Mishkat Al-Masabih: “Ibn Mas’ud reported the Prophet (saws) as saying ‘I forbade you to visit graves, but you may now visit them, for they produce abstinence in this world and act as a reminder of the next.’ (Ibn Majah 1571)

Abu Huraira said God’s Messenger (saws) cursed women who visited graves. Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah transmitted it, Tirmidhi saying this is Hasan Sahih tradition. He added that some learned men considered that this was before the Prophet (saws) gave license to visit graves, and when he gave it both men and women were included. But some hold that it is disapproved of women visiting graves because of the small amount of self control they posses and their tendency to be greatly upset.”

Aisha (raa) is reported to have said that Allah’s Messenger (saws) has permitted the visit to graves. (Ibn Majah 1570)

5. Mourning

‘Patience is to be observed at the first stroke of a calamity. ‘Umar (raa) said ‘how good the two equals are and how good the reward is for those when afflicted with calamity, say “Inna lil-lahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un” (“Truly to Allah we belong and truly to Him we shall return”) (2:156).”

“And seek help in patience and prayer, and truly it is hard except for the humble-minded”‘ (Bukhari Vol 2, Chapter 41)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘Endurance is to be shown at the first blow’ (Muslim 2012)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘it is not legal for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for more than three days for any dead person except her husband, for whom she should mourn for 4 months and 10 days.’ (Bukhari Vol 2, 370)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘he who slaps (his) cheeks, tears (his) clothes and follows the traditions of the Days of Ignorance is not from us’ (Bukhari Vol 2, 385)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘Don’t abuse the dead, because they have reached the destination of what they forwarded.’ (Bukhari Vol 2, 476)

The Prophet (saws) said ‘he whom you praised in good terms, Paradise has become certain for him, and he whom you condemned in bad words, Hell has become certain for him.’ (Abridged, Muslim 2073)

Abdullah b. Jafar (raa) is reported to have said that when the news of Ja’far’s death reached, Allah’s Messenger (saws) said ‘prepare food for the people of Ja’far for (a news) has reached them which has caused trouble to them, or something has happened that has engrossed their attention (and thus they are unable to prepare food for themselves)’ (Ibn Majah 1610)

Jabir b. Abdullah al-Bajali is reported to have said ‘we used to deem gathering to the relatives of the deceased and preparing food (like an act) of wailing (over the dead body).’ (Ibn Majah 1612)

From Bukhari Vol 2, Chapter 32: ‘The deceased is punished because of the weeping of some of his relatives (if wailing and excessive sorrow was the custom of that dead person).’ This is in agreement with the statement of Allah “Save yourself and your families from a fire’ (66:6) And the Prophet (saws) said ‘all of you are guardians and responsible for your wards’ If that wailing was not his custom, so, as Aisha (raa) (quoting the Qur’an) said ‘”No burdened soul will bear another’s burden if one heavily laden calls another to (bear) his load, not the least portion of it will be carried (by the other)” (35:18)’

6. The Martyrs

The Prophet (saws) shrouded every two martyrs in Uhud in one piece of cloth and then he would ask ‘which of them knew the Qur’an more?’ and if one of them was pointed out for him as having more knowledge of it, he would put him first in the grave. He said ‘I will be a witness on these (on the Day of Resurrection)’. Then he ordered them to be buried with blood on their bodies. Neither did he offer their funeral (prayer) nor did he get them washed. (Bukhari Vol 2, 431)

The Prophet (saws) used to shroud two or three persons martyred in Uhud (battle) together in one cloth, and then he would say ‘who amongst them committed more Qur’an to his memory?’ when anyone of them was pointed to him, he laid him first in the niche (grave) and said ‘I am witness of them’ he ordered to bury them (besmeared) with their blood and he did not observe prayer over them. Nor they were washed. (Ibn Majah 1514)


Al Qur’an (Abdullah Yousuf Ali Translation)

Sahih Bukhari

Sahih Muslim

Ibn Majah (only Sahih Ahadith Selected)

Mishkat Al-Masabih by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf



By Ash Shaykh Al ‘Alaamah Muqbil ibn Haadee Al Waadi’ee

From Ar Rihlatul Akheerah / The last Journey: P. 212

Translated by: Abu ‘Abdul Waahid, Nadir Ahmad.

Source http://www.madeenah.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=119&Itemid=2

Question: Some people in this country convert to Islaam but have relatives such as their parents who are still Kaafir, when this Kaafir dies what is the Muslim to do?

Answer: He is to go and attend the burial with them because of the evidence in Sunan Abee Dawood that ‘Alee – ÑÖí Çááå Úäå- came to the Messenger of Allaah – Õáí Çááå Úáíå æÓáã – and said: “Your misguided uncle has died.” So he – peace be upon him – said: “Go and bury him.” He [‘Alee] said: “He died a Mushrik (polytheist).” He said: “Go and bury him.” So he went to bury him and he – peace be upon him – said: “Do not say anything unless you tell me.” So he attended and did not say anything.

Question: If the priest started to indoctrinate something to them for example, because Christians indoctrinate [statements] just as the people of innovations do, should he stay with them or leave?

Answer: If he stays, then Inshaa-Allaah there is no harm but he is to hate it in his heart: “Whoever amongst you sees an abominable act then he should change it with his hands, if he is unable to do so then [he should change it] with his tongue, if he is unable to do so then [he should hate it] with his heart…” If he leaves then this is better Inshaa-Allaah.



Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz

Taken from Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat, vol. 13, p. 133

Praying the janaazah (funeral) prayer is prescribed for both men and women, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever attends the janaazah until he offers the prayer will have one qeeraat (of reward), and whoever attends until (the deceased) is buried will have two qeeraats.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allaah, what are the two qeeraats?” He said, “Like two great mountains,” meaning, of reward. (Saheeh – agreed upon).

But women should not follow the funeral procession to the graveyard, because they are not allowed to do that, as it was reported in al-Saheehayn that Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “We were forbidden to follow the funeral procession but it was not made absolute on us.” (narrated by Muslim). But women are not forbidden to offer the janaazah prayer, whether it is offered in the mosque, in a house or in a prayer-place. Women used to offer the janaazah prayer with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his mosque and after his lifetime.

Visiting graves, however, is something which is only for men, as is following the funeral procession, because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed women who visit graves. The reason for that – and Allaah knows best – is that there is the fear that if women were to follow funeral processions to the graveyard or visit graves, that would cause fitnah (temptation) to others or to themselves. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “I have not left behind any fitnah more harmful to men than women.” (Saheeh – agreed upon). And Allaah is the Source of strength.



By Ash Shaykh Ibn Uthaimin

Taken from “Fatawa Islamiyah” Vol.3, Pgs 56-57

Question : What is the correct description that has been related from the Chosen one ( The Prophet sallallahu alayhe was salaam )regarding washing the deceased?

Answer: The legal description of washing the deceased is that the person washes the private parts of the deceased and then he begins washing him ( his entire body ). He starts by washing the limbs like in Wudhu’ ( ablution ). He performs his ablution for him except that he does not put water into the deceased’s mouth or nose. He only moistens the cloth and cleans the nose and mouth with it. Then he washes the rest of the body and that is done with lotus leaves. The lotus leaves shoud be ground then put in water. Then it should be hit with the hand until it has a foamy lather. Then the lather is taken and the persons head and beard are washed with it. Then the rest of the body is washed with the leftover lotus leaves, because it will cleanse him well. Then camphor is put in the last washing. Camphor is a well known perfume. The scholars have said that from its benefits is that it causes the body to harden and it repels vermin from it.

If the body of the deceased is very dirty, then the person may wash it more. This is due to the Prophets statement to the women who were washing the body of his ( deceased ) daughter: “Wash her three times or five times or seven time or more than that if you think it is necessary.”[ Al Bukhari no.1259 and Muslim no.939]

Then after this , the person should wipe the deceased’s body and place it in its shroud.


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