Muslim Funeral Guide

Since 2008-07-01

The following are the sunnah that Islam encourage us to do over a dying person:

1-When a Muslim/Muslimah is at the Point of Death

Family members of the dying person and his most pious friends should be informed and should be present athis side to help him turn his thoughts to Allah. They should encourage him very gently to repent, remind himabout all the good deeds that he did, about Allah’s mercy, and Allah’s forgiveness so that he may anticipateAllah’s mercy and Allah’s favors.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said:«سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، قبل موته بثلاثة أيام ، يقول " لا يموتن أحدكم إلا وهو يحسن الظن بالله عز وجل» «Let no Muslim die except expecting and hoping the best from Allah» [Narrated by Muslim].

Those who are present near a dying Muslim should do the following:

  • They should be kind and patient, never leave him alone.
  • They should give him hope, not allowing him to collapse out of pain or panic.
The following are the sunnah that Islam encourage us to do over a dying person:

1. Advise the dying person to say La ilaha illa-Allah [There is no god but Allah].
The purpose is to remind him of the Oneness of Allah. Muadh ibn Jabal states that the messenger of Allah, (pbuh) said:«من كان آخر كلامه لا إله إلا الله دخل الجنة» «He whose last words are 'La ilaha illa-Allah', shall enter Paradise» [Narrated by Abu Dawood ].

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.

2. They should make Dua’ (Supplicate) to Allah to help him go through situation easy, and forgive him.

2. When Death Occurs

When the person is confirmed dead:

  • Family members or those who are present should first say:Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un [Verily we belong to Allah, and truly to Him shall we return]
  • Close the eyes of the deceased.
  • They should bind his lower jaw to his head so that it does not sag.
  • They should cover all his body completely with a clean sheet.
  • They should make Dua’ (Supplicate) to Allah to forgive him.
  • They can mourn his loss; Weeping is allowed –but wailing or breast-beating, tearing hair or clothes or any other form of mourning loudly is strictly not allowed.
  • They should hasten to prepare the body for washing, shrouding and burial.
  • There is no Islamic teaching of putting flowers, candles etc., in the deceased’s room.
  • Link the large finger of the right foot with the large finger of the left foot.
  • Put a weight on the stomach (about 3 kilograms) so as not to swell.

3. Preparation for Washing the Deceased (Ghusl)

A. Kafan and Ghusl Materials:

White Unstitched Sheets: five for males; seven for females. Also cut (3) thin strips to use as ties for the tying the Shroud and holding it in place)
Camphor, Sidr - Non-Alcoholic perfumes (Attar) - Warm water- Soap - Gloves

B. People who can and should give Ghusl:

When a Muslim dies, it is the responsibility of his family or other Muslims to wash him according to the Islamic rites of washing the deceased. Two or three persons may perform the washing.

The person(s) who may wash the deceased should:
  • a trust worthy, and honest adult Muslim(s).
  • Know the Islamic way of washing the dead and be able to carry out the washing.
  • Not make any comment on the body of the deceased.
C. Washing of the Deceased (Ghusl):


The deceased’s body should be washed in a clean, secluded, and private place where clean water and soap are available. Gloves or pieces of cloth are needed.

The body of the deceased should be washed with water and, if available, lotus leaves, or camphor (To be used in the final wash).

The washing should be done three or five, or any more odd number of times if necessary.


1. The body of the deceased should be placed on a table or alike, the deceased’s clothes should be removed, and the body should be covered with a sheet of cloth.

2. The head and the upper body should be raised slightly to insure the washing water with exudations from the body flows down and does not run back to the body.

3. The Aura (Private parts) of the deceased should be covered with a piece of cloth (The Aura of a female is from the belly button to the knee in the presence of females).
The washer should start washing by saying:" Bismillah “[In the name of Allah]

4. The washer winds gloves, and with this he cleans away any impurities from the body using water by a big piece of cotton. Then wash gloves by soap.

5. Press lightly the stomach of the deceased so as so to expel, if possible, any remnants from it, and then wash the body of all impurities using water.

6. Washing the covered private parts.

7. The washer should perform Wudu (Ablution) on the deceased without inserting the water in the nose and in the mouth.

8. The washer should clean the body with water and soap (If available), starting from the head (hair, face and beard {Men}), then the right side of the body then the left side.

9. In the case of a female, her hair should be loosened, washed, combed, and be braided in three braids, and placed behind her back.

10. The washing should be done three times, or five times, or seven times, as needed, providing that after washing the head, wash the right side before the left, and the upper parts before the lower ones.

11. In the last wash, the washer use camphor with the water.

12. After that the body should be dried with clean towel.

13. Then the body should be totally covered with other clean sheet.

14. Get ready to start the shrouding.

SPECIAL NOTE: In case the deceased is a female in her menstrual period or have child birth bleeding, padding should be used to prevent blood from leaving the body.

There is no Islamic teaching of reading the Quran during the Ghusul.

D. Shrouding the body with the Kafan:

Shrouding should start just after washing the body of the deceased. It is recommended to use white sheets from inexpensive material. Extravagance is not recommended in the Kafan (Shroud).
The material of the sheet should not be silk, nor should any gold be used.


The Kafan of a female should consist of five white garments, (There winding sheet, a long loose sleeveless shirt {From shoulder to feet}, a waist wrapper, and a head veil ), these should be large enough to cover the whole body and may be perfumed with incense, a loin cloth may be used to bind the upper part of her legs, use 3 tie ropes, each one is 7 feet long.


1. The garments are spread out (First: winding sheets {7 x 7 feet}, Second: the long loose sleeveless shirt {3 1/2 x 14 feet, with a hole in the middle line for the head}, Third: waist wrapper {6 feet x 3 1/2 feet}, Fourth head veil {a 4x4 square feet white sheet}, and Fifth: the loin cloth {12 inches wide x 4 feet long}).

2. The deceased, covered with a sheet, is lifted and laid on her back on the shroud. Attar may be put on those parts of the body upon which one rests during prostration, which is the forehead, nose, hands, knees, and feet.

3. The loin cloth is bound round her upper legs (Acts like underwear).

4. The waist wrapper is tied in place.

5. Put on the sleeveless shirt (Long to cover the body from the shoulder to the waist) .

6. Put the head veil.

7. The edge of the top sheet is folded over the deceased left side, then the other edge over his right side. Then the second sheet should be folded the same way.

8. These sheets should be fastened with a piece of cloth {Tie ropes}, one above the head, and another under the feet, and two around the body.

NOTE: There is no Islamic teaching of writing anything on the shrouds.

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