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The Rulings on Funerals

 

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“He who attends the funeral till the prayer is offered for (the dead), for him is the reward of one qirat. Moreover, he who attends (and stays) till the dead is buried, for him is the reward of two qirats. It was said, “What are the qirats?” The Messenger said, “They are equivalent to two huge mountains.” [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim]

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In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “He who attends the funeral till the prayer is offered for (the dead), for him is the reward of one qirat. Moreover, he who attends (and stays) till the dead is buried, for him is the reward of two qirats. It was said, “What are the qirats?” The Messenger said, “They are equivalent to two huge mountains.” [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
«من شهد الجنازة حتَّى يصلَّى عليها فله قيراط، ومن شهدها حتَّى تدفن فله قيراطان، قيل: وما القيراطان؟ قال مثل الجبلين العظيمين» متفقٌ عليه
 

Q1. What is the method of instructing the dying person?

A. the dying person is instructed to say, “la ilâha illa allah, there is no god but Allah. Mention your lord.” If the dying person utters it, then it is enough. He should not be urged lest he gets irritated, so that he stays firm in saying the testimony. If Allah is mentioned before the dying person and he imitates the one who said that, then it is sufficient. Praises and thanks be to Allah. (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/93)

 
 

Q2. Is it permissible to be present by a dying infidel and to instruct him (to say the testimony)?

A. It is permissible if it is possible. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, had a young Jewish boy who used to serve him. The boy became sick. So the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, went to visit him. He sat near his head and said to him, “Embrace Islam.” The boy looked at his father, who was sitting there; the latter said to him, “Obey Abu Al-Qasim.” and the boy embraced Islam. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, came out saying, “Praises be to Allah Who saved the boy from Hellfire.” [Reported by al-Bukhari]
 
 «كان غلام يهودي يخدم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فمرض، فأتاه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يعوده، فقعد عند رأسه، فقال له: أسلم. فنظر إلى أبيه وهو عنده، فقال له: أطع أبا القاسم صلى الله عليه وسلم، فأسلم، فخرج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو يقول: الحمد لله الذي أنقذه من النار» رواه البخاري
 
(The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/94. The Rulings of Funerals by al-Albani p. 21)
 
 

Q3. Who should take over the washing of the deceased?
 

A. The one who washes the deceased should be a trustworthy honest Muslim, aware of the rulings of washing the dead. If the deceased is a man, men wash him. Women are not permitted to wash him except the wife who can wash her husband. If the deceased is a woman, women wash her. Men are not permitted to wash her except the husband who can wash his wife. If the deceased is a child, men and women equally can wash him/her. (Jurisprudential Researches by Salih al-Fawzan p. 256)
 
 

Q4. Can the ex-husband wash the divorced woman?
 

A. There is nothing wrong in that if it is a revocable divorce, i.e. the first and second pronouncements of divorce (and she was still in the prescribed waiting period). (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/110)
 
 

Q5. What is the right way of washing the dead that was reported about the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him?
 

A. The legitimate right way in washing the dead is that one washes the private parts and then starts the process of washing. He starts with the ablution organs, performs ablution for the dead but that he must not put water inside the mouth or the nose of the dead. He wets a piece of cloth and cleans his mouth and nose. After that, he starts washing the rest of the body with the cidr (the leaves of the lote-trees). The plant is smashed, soaked in water; the water is stirred by the hand till it makes a foam. The foam is taken and the head and beard are washed by it. The rest of the body is washed by the remains of the cidr as it immensely cleanses the body. The last wash is to contain some camphor (a sweet scented substance). (The Fatwas of the Pillars of Islam by ibn ‘Uthaymin p. 405)
 
 

Q6. Who is to attend the washing of the dead?
 

A. The washer and those who help him in the washing are to attend; it is undesirable for other than them to attend the washing. (Jurisprudential Researches by Salih al-Fawzan p. 257)
 


Q7. What is the ruling about washing the deceased if he died during consecration (while performing ‘umrah or hajj, i.e. the muhrim)?
 

A. when the muhrim dies, he is to be washed without using any perfumes. His face and heads are not to be covered, he is not to wear a chemise, or a turban (parts of the shroud). It is reported in the authentic Hadith from the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, that the dead muhrim will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment pronouncing the talbiyyah, ((Labbaika Allahumma Labbaik, Labbaika la sharika Laka labbaik, Inna-l-hamda wan-ni’mata Laka walmulk, La sharika Lak) which means: here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am. Surely, all praise, grace, and dominion are Yours, and You have no partner.)). The remaining rituals of hajj are not to be made up for by anyone, whether he died before Arafat or after it, because the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has not ordered for that. (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/102)
 


Q8. After shrouding the dead, if blood comes out of the dead, does this obligate changing the shroud?
 

A. The shroud is to be changed or washed. The bleeding spot must be covered by something to prevent bleeding like wax and others. (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/129)
 
 

Q9. Does the high number of funeral praying persons have any virtue?

A. It is authenticated in the Hadith of ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “If any Muslim dies and forty men who associate nothing with Allah stand over his prayer (they offer funeral prayer over him), Allah will accept them as intercessors for him.” [Reported by Muslim 948]
 
«ما من رجلٍ مسلمٍ يموت فيقوم على جنازته أربعون رجلًا لا يشركون بالله شيئًا إلا شفعهم الله فيه» رواه مسلم
 
 
Therefore, the scholars preferred to seek the mosque where a big congregation prays to perform funeral prayers over the dead. The bigger the number is, the closer the dead is to good and the more invocations he gets. (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/138)
 
 

Q10. How does the Imam stand during the funeral prayer?
 

A. It is from the Sunnah that the Imam stands by the head of the man and the waist of the woman. If there are many funerals at the same time, the Imam forwards the body of the man, then the body of the male child, the body of the woman, then the body of the female child. He prays over all of them one prayer, because the aim is to hasten with the funeral. The head of the boy is to be put by the head of the man, the waist of the woman is to be put by the head of the man, so is the body of the little girl, in accordance to the Sunnah. (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/139)
 
 

Q11. Is it permissible to make a line of praying persons by the right of the Imam during the funeral prayer?
 

A. The Sunnah is to pray behind the Imam. However, if the need arises, like if the place is narrow, there could be lines to the right and the left of the Imam. (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/140)
 
 

Q12. How is the prayer over the dead performed?
 

A. The dead is put before the praying persons. The Imam stands by the head of the dead man and by the waist of the dead woman. He says the first takbir (allâhu-akbar: Allah is the Greatest), then he reads surat Al-Fâtiha. Then he says the second takbir, then he asks Allah to send His Salât (Graces, Honors, and Mercy) on the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. Next, he says the third takbir, and then he invokes Allah for the dead with the known invocation from the books of the scholars. He starts with the general invocation for all the Muslims, “O Allah, forgive our living and our dead, our young and our old,” then the special invocation narrated from the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. If he does not know that, he invokes Allah with whatever comes to his mind. The important thing is that he singles out the dead with the invocation, as he needs it dearly. Then he says the fourth takbir, stands for a while, and then he finishes the prayer by the prayer end greeting. (70 Questions about the Rulings of Funerals by ibn ‘Uthaymin no. 4)
 


Q13. If a praying person misses a part of the funeral prayer, does he make up for the missed part?
 

A. He makes up for the missed part at the spot. If the Imam started the third takbir, he considers it his first, i.e. he says the takbir then reads Surat Al-Fâtihah. When the Imam says the fourth takbir, he considers it his second one, i.e. he asks Allah to send His Salât (Graces, Honors, and Mercy) on the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. When the Imam finishes the prayer, he says the third takbir, invokes Allah for the dead, after that he says the fourth takbir, and then finishes the prayer. (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/149-150)
 
 

Q14. If a man enters the mosque and misses the obligatory prayer with the Imam (in congregation), and the dead is put forward for the funeral prayer, does he pray the funeral prayer with the Imam or does he pray the obligatory one?
 

A. He prays the funeral prayer with the Imam. The obligatory prayer can be performed afterwards, whereas the funeral will be prayed, and people will leave. (70 Questions about the Rulings of Funerals by ibn ‘Uthaymin no. 24)
 
 

Q15. Is the miscarried fetus prayed over?

A. The miscarried fetus is not to be prayed over unless life was breathed into it. Life is breathed into it when it is four month as indicated by the Hadith of ibn Mas’ûd, may Allah be pleased with him. He narrated that the true and truly inspired Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “(The matter of the Creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then it becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down its (i.e. the new creature’s) deeds, its livelihood, its (date of) death, and whether it will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into it.” [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
«إنَّ أحدكم يجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يومًا ثمَّ يكون في ذلك علقة مثل ذلك ثمَّ يكون في ذلك مضغة مثل ذلك ثمَ يرسل الملك فينفخ فيه الرُّوح، ويؤمر بأربع كلماتٍ: بكتب رزقه، وأجله، وعمله، وشقيٌّ أو سعيدٌ» رواه البخاري ومسلم
 
 
Therefore, if the miscarried fetus is four month old, it is washed, shrouded, and prayed over. It is to be buried in the cemetery of Muslims. If the fetus is below four month of age, it is not washed, shrouded, or prayed over. It is to be buried anywhere in the ground. (70 Questions about the Rulings of Funerals by ibn ‘Uthaymin no. 20)
 
 

Q16. Is it permissible to uncover the face of the dead when it is put in the grave?

A. It is not permissible to uncover the face of the dead, whether a man or a woman when it is put in the grave. The obligation is to cover the face unless in the case of a male muhrim, whose face and head are not to be covered. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Wash him with water mixed with cidr, shroud him in his two pieces of cloth (of consecration), and keep his face and head exposed; for he would be raised on the Day of Resurrection pronouncing Talbiya.” [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim and the wording is for Muslim]
 
«اغسلوه بماءٍ وسدرٍ، وكفنوه في ثوبيه، ولا تخمروا رأسه ولا وجهه فإنَّه يبعث يوم القيامة ملبيًا» رواه البخاري ومسلم
 
 
If the dead muhrim is a woman, her face and head are to be covered by the shroud. (The Collection of the Fatwas by ibn Baz, 13/194)
 
 

Q17. Is putting green plants on the grave an act of the Sunnah as in the case of the two men of the grave who were being tortured? On the other hand, is this specified for the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, and what is the evidence that this is only unique for the Prophet?

A. Putting some green plants on the grave is not from the Sunnah. It is a heresy. It is, as well, mistrust about the deceased. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, did not put green plants on all the graves, he has put on those very two graves as he knew that their owners were being tortured. Therefore, putting the green leaf of a date-palm tree on the grave is a great assault on the deceased, it is mistrusting him, and in addition, no Muslim is permitted to mistrust his Muslim brother. The one who puts this on the grave is of the belief that the one inside the grave is being tortured, because the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, did not put the green leaf of a date-palm tree on the two graves but when he knew that they were being tortured.
 

The bottom line is that putting the green leaf of a date-palm tree or the like on a grave is a heresy. It is mistrusting the deceased as the one putting them thinks that the deceased is being tortured and he wants to lessen his torment. Furthermore, we do not know that Allah Almighty will accept our intercession if we do that as has been done by the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. (70 Questions about the Rulings of Funerals by ibn ‘Uthaymin 46)
 
 

Q18. What is the ruling on reading the Quran by the graves, supplicating for the deceased by the grave, and supplicating for oneself by the grave?

A. Reading the Quran by the graves is a heresy that was not narrated from the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, neither from his companions. Therefore, if it is not reported from the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, neither from his companions, we should not invent such a thing by ourselves. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “... and every innovation (in religion) is a heresy, every heresy is aberrant, and every aberrant is (destined to be) in Hellfire.” [Reported by an-Nassa’i, 1577. It is deemed authentic by al-Albani]
 
«وكلُّ محدثةٍ بدعةٌ، وكلُّ بدعةٍ ضلالةٌ، وكلُّ ضلالةٍ في النَّار» رواه النسائي وصححه الألباني
 
The Muslims should follow the Sunnah of the Prophet, the companions of the Prophet and their righteous followers, so that they will be on the right guided path. It is affirmed that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “The best speech is the speech of the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him.” [Reported by Muslim]
 
«خير الحديث كتاب الله، وخير الهدي هدي محمَّد -صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم-» رواه مسلم
 

As for invoking Allah for the dead by his/her grave, there is nothing wrong in that. Man stands by the grave and invokes Allah by what comes to the mind as, “O Allah, forgive him, O Allah, have mercy on him, O Allah, admit him to Paradise, O Allah, make his grave spacious...” and the like. As for supplicating for oneself by the grave, if man intends to supplicate by the grave, specifying and singling out this place for invocation, then this is a heresy. No place is to be singled out for supplication unless there is a clear religious text about that. If there is no text and it is not in the Sunnah, then this is a heresy. (The Fatwas of the Pillars of Islam by ibn ‘Uthaymin, 413)
 

Q19. What is the ruling on visiting the graves?

A. Visiting the graves is desirable if three conditions are met:
1. The visitor is a male, not a female. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Allah has cursed the frequent women visitors of the graves.” [Reported by at-Tirmidhi, 1056. It is deemed good by al-Albani]
 
«لعن زوارات القبور» رواه الترمذي وحسنه الألباني

2. The visit is made without travelling from a place to the other. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Do not set out on a journey except for three mosques i.e. Al-Masjid-AI-Haram in Mecca, the Mosque of Allah’s Apostle in Medina, and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa, (the Mosque of Jerusalem).” [Reported by al-Bukhari 1189]
 
«لا تشد الرِّحال إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد» رواه البخاري

3. The visit is intended for consideration, to learn a lesson, and to pray for the dead. If the visit was intended to take blessing from the graves and shrines, and to ask the dead to fulfill needs and to relieve distresses, in this case the visit is a heretical polytheistic one. (Jurisprudential Researches by Salih al-Fawzan p. 266)
 
 

Q20. What is the time of offering consolations? Is it permissible to offer consolations before the funeral?
 

A. The time of consolation starts when the dead has passed away, or when the misfortune has occurred if the consolation is intended to other than death. It ends when the calamity is forgotten and its effects have gone away from the afflicted. The aim of consolation is to strengthen the afflicted to be able to bear this calamity and ask for the reward from Allah.
Condolences may be offered before and after the funeral. (70 Questions about the Rulings of Funerals by ibn ‘Uthaymin. Slightly modifying no. 39 and 40)

 
 

Q21. What are the prohibitions for a woman in mourning, with evidence?

A. The prohibitions of a woman in mourning are:
 
 
Firstly, not to go out of her house except for a need, such as being sick and she needs to go to the hospital, and she should do that during the day. It could also be that her house is about to fall and she fears that it may fall on her, or that it may burn or the like. The scholars said, “She goes out during the day for a need. However, she should not go out unless necessary at night.”

Secondly, not to put on perfume, the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has prohibited the woman in mourning to use perfume except when she becomes clean from her menses whereupon she can use some azfar (a kind of incense) to remove the traces of the menses.

Thirdly, she should not wear beautiful clothes that are adornments in themselves. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has prohibited that. She should wear plain clothes that she is used to wearing at home, without adornment.

Fourthly, she should not use kohl (eye adornment). The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has prohibited that. If she has to use kohl (as an eye treatment), she can use it provided that the color does not show and she does that at night and wipes it clean during the day.

Fifthly, she should not wear jewelry. If beautiful clothes are forbidden, it is more probable that jewelry, as well, are prohibited.

She may speak with men and talk in the phone. She can admit those who are permissible to enter the house into her house. She can go out to the roof - of the house - in the night and day. She does not have to wash every Friday as some of the common people think, or to undo her hair every week. When the prescribed period finishes, she does not have to, rather, she is not permitted to come out with something to give in charity to the first person she encounters; this is from the heresies. (70 Questions about the Rulings of Funerals by ibn ‘Uthaymin, no. 52)

 
 

Q22. What is permissible for the woman during the prescribed mourning period?

A. She must wait in mourning for four months and ten days, that if she is not expecting. Allah Glorified and Exalted has said, {And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days,} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:234]
 
{وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُ‌ونَ أَزْوَاجًا يَتَرَ‌بَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْ‌بَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ‌ وَعَشْرً‌ا} البقرة: 234
 
Transliteration: Waallatheena yutawaffawna minkum wayatharoona azwajan yatarabbasna bianfusihinna arbaAAata ashhurin waAAashran
 
If she is expecting, the prescribed waiting period ends by delivering the child. Allah Glorified and Exalted has said, {And for those who are pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is until they lay down their burden;} [Surat At-Talâq 65:4]
 
{وَأُولَاتُ الْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ} الطلاق: 4
 
Transliteration: waolatu alahmali ajaluhunna an yadaAAna hamlahunna
 
In addition, she should avoid wearing beautiful clothes and using kohl. She should not use perfume except when she purifies from menstruation. She should avoid wearing jewelry, whether gold, silver, or other. Moreover, she should avoid using the henna in her hand and hair. She can comb her hair with cidr. As previously mentioned, the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has prohibited all that. There is nothing wrong in using the shampoo, soap, and toothpaste, as they do not fall under the prohibitions. (The Collections of Fatwas by Ibn Bâz 22/187)
 
 

Q23. Is the widow, during the prescribed waiting period, permitted to wash her children and perfume them? Is she to be betrothed during this period?

A. The widow, during the prescribed waiting period, is not permitted to touch perfume. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has prohibited all that. However, there is no sin in giving perfume to her children and guests, without sharing the perfume with them. It is prohibited to explicitly betroth a widow during her prescribed waiting period. On the other hand, there is no sin in hinting about it without explicitly asking her hand in marriage. Allah Almighty has said, {And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal or conceal it in yourself,} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:235]
 
{وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا عَرَّ‌ضْتُم بِهِ مِنْ خِطْبَةِ النِّسَاءِ} البقرة: 235
 
Transliteration: Wala junaha AAalaykum feemaAAarradtum bihi min khitbati alnnisai
 
 
Allah Almighty has permitted hinting, but not directly asking them for marriage during their prescribed waiting period. He, the Almighty, has a great wisdom in that. (The Collections of Fatwas by Ibn Bâz 22/203-204)
 
 

Q24. A car accident took place. The man was killed. The eight-month pregnant wife survived and was moved to hospital. The doctors decided to operate to deliver the baby. It was a girl, and she was born dead. Does this woman have a prescribed waiting period? May Allah grant you success.

A. According to your story, the prescribed period of the woman has ended by giving birth. Allah Almighty has said, {And for those who are pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is until they lay down their burden;} [Surat At-Talâq 65:4]
 
{وَأُولَاتُ الْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ} الطلاق: 4
 
Transliteration: waolatu alahmali ajaluhunna an yadaAAna hamlahunna
 
 
Peace and blessing of Allah be upon you. (The Collections of Fatwas by Ibn Bâz 22/221 with modification)
 
 

Q25. In some accidents, (car, fire, demolition…) some body parts get misshaped or lost, sometimes the remains are very small; the hand, the head… is it permissible to pray over these parts? Are they to be washed?
 

A. If the small parts like the hand and leg are found after praying over their owner, they are not to be prayed over. For example, if we prayed over a man without a leg and buried him, and after that we found the leg, it is to be buried without praying over it as the deceased has been already prayed over. On the other hand, if the body of the deceased was not found, only an organ as the head, leg or leg. Such part is washed, shrouded, prayed over, and then buried. (The Fatwas of the Pillars of Islam by ibn ‘Uthaymin, 406)
 


Q26. What is the ruling on praying over the quitter of prayers, or that if it is doubted he is a quitter, or if his condition is unknown? Is it permissible for his guardian to put him forward for the funeral prayer?

A. If the dead is known to be a quitter of prayers, it is not permissible to pray over him. His family is prohibited to put him forward for Muslims to pray over him because he is an apostate infidel. A hole should be dug for him to be buried in, outside the graveyard of the Muslims. He is not to be prayed over because he has no dignity. He will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment with Qârûn (Korah), Fir’aun (Pharaoh), Hâmân, and Abeyy ibn Khalaf.
 

As for the dead of the unknown condition or the doubted condition (whether he prays or not), he is to be prayed over. The origin is that he is a Muslim until proved otherwise. However, there is no sin that when doubting the deceased, one can say when invoking, “O Allah, if the deceased is a believer, forgive him and have mercy on him.” Exceptions in invocations have been mentioned about those who accuse their spouses, and produce not four witnesses. (The Fatwas of the Pillars of Islam by ibn ‘Uthaymin, 410 with modification)
 


Q27. What is the difference between visiting the grave of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, by women and visiting other graves? Is the prohibition general, or is the grave of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, an exception?
 

A. There is nothing that singles out the grave of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, by excepting it from the prohibition of women visiting the graves. Therefore, we see that visiting the grave of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, by women is like visiting other graves. All the praises and thanks to Allah that it is sufficient for a woman to send her Salât on (ask Allah to bless) the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, during her prayers or other. When she salutes him, her salutation reaches the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, wherever she is. (70 Questions about the Rulings of Funerals by ibn ‘Uthaymin, no. 58)
 

Q28. What is the ruling on writing on the graves or marking them with colors?
 

A. Coloring is the same as using gypsum, which was prohibited by the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. It is also a means that leads to pride in this coloring, thus the grave becomes an object of ostentation, which should be avoided. As for writing on the graves, the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, forbade writing on the graves. However, some scholars eased it if they write just for information, and that it does not contain any praises. They forbade writing if it contained veneration to the grave owner. (70 Questions about the Rulings of Funerals by ibn ‘Uthaymin, no. 59)
 
 

Q29. How is the dead put in the grave?

A. The Hadith of Abdullah ibn Yazîd indicates that the dead is put in the grave from the side of his legs, his head is directed along with his right side to be facing the Qibla. This is the best way and it is from the Sunnah. It is also from the Sunnah that when the dead is put inside the grave, the one putting him says, “In the Name of Allah, and according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah.” (The Collections of Fatwas by Ibn Bâz 13/189-190)
 
 

Q30. If the dead is a woman who has no guardians, can anyone volunteer to go down in the grave (to bury her)?
 

A. There is nothing wrong in that even if she has attending guardians. One of the daughters of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, was put in her grave by some marriageable men though the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, was present. (The Collections of Fatwas by Ibn Bâz 13/191)
 


Q31. To what extent can the grave rise from the ground?
 

A. It can rise for a span, more or less. The grave of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, rose only a span from the ground. As for rising it high above the ground, this is not permitted as it was narrated that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said to ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, “Do not leave a statue without obliterating it, or a high grave without leveling It. And in another narration, “and (do not leave) a picture without obliterating it.” [Reported by Muslim in his Sahîh, 969] (The Collections of Fatwas by Ibn Bâz 13/209)
 
 
«أن لا تدع تمثالاً إلا طمسته ولا قبرًا مشرفًا إلا سويته، وفي روايةٍ: ولا صورةً إلا طمستها» رواه مسلم
 
 

Q32. What is the ruling of organ transplant after the deceased is diagnosed with brain death, as they say?

A. The Muslim is respected alive and dead. It is an obligation not to expose him to what may cause harm or distort his creation, such as breaking a bone, or cutting him. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Breaking the bone of a dead man is like breaking it when he is alive.” [Narrated by Abu Dawûd, 3207 and Ibn Majah 1320. It is deemed authentic by al-Albani]
 
«كسر عظم الميِّت ككسره حيًّا» رواه أبو داود وابن ماجه وصححه الألباني
 
 
This Hadith can be taken evidence about the prohibition of maiming the dead for the interests of the living; such as taking the heart, kidney, or other body organs. This is severer than breaking his bone. The scholars disputed about the permissibility of organ donation. Some of them said, “It is in the interest of the living because of the large number of kidney diseases.” This statement needs to be reconsidered. The closest opinion I have is that it is not permissible, according to the afore-mentioned Hadith. (The Collections of Fatwas by Ibn Bâz 13/363)


Source: The Series of Al-Huda Wa An-Nûr (Guidance and Light), the Third Issue
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