Islamic Laws

Rules related to a dying person

539. A Muslim who is dying, whether man or woman, old or young, should, as a measure of precaution, be laid on his/her back if possible, in such a manner that the soles of his/her feet would face the Qibla (direction towards the holy Ka'bah)

540. It is recommended that the dead body should be laid facing the Qibla during the Ghusls. However, when Ghusls are completed, it is better to lay it the same way as it is laid when prayers are offered for it.

541. It is an obligatory precaution upon every Muslim, to lay a dying person facing the Qibla. And if the dying person consents to it, there is no need to seek the permission for it from the guardian. Otherwise, the permission must be sought.

542. It is recommended that the doctrinal testimony of Islam (Shahadatain) and the acknowledgement of the twelve Imams and other tenets of faith should be inculcated to a dying person in such a manner that he/she would understand. It is also recommended that these utterances are repeated till the time of his/her death.

543. It is recommended that the following supplications should be read over to a dying person in such a manner that he/she would understand: Allahhummaghfir liyal kathira mim ma'asika waqbal minniyal yasira min ta'atika ya man yaqbalul yasira wa ya'afu 'anil kathir, Iqbal minniyal yasira wa'fu 'anniyal kathir. Innaka antal 'afuwwul Ghafur. Alla hum mar hamni fa innaka Rahim.

544. It is Mustahab to carry a person experiencing painfully slow death to the place where he used to offer prayers, provided that it does not cause him any discomfort.

545. If a person is in the throes of death it is Mustahab to recite by his side Surah Yasin, Surah as-Saffat, Surah al-Ahzab, Ayat al-Kursi and 54th verse of Surah al-A'raf and the last three verses of Surah al-Baqarah. In fact it is better to recite as much from the holy Qur'an as possible.

546. It is Makrooh to leave a dying person alone or to place a weight on his stomach, or to chatter idly or wail near him or to let only women remain with him. It is Makrooh to be by his/her side in the state of Janabat or Hayz.

Rules to follow after the death

547. It is Mustahab that the eyes and lips of a dead person be shut, its chin be tied, its hands and feet be straightened and to spread a cloth over it. If a person dies at night it is Mustahab to light the place where he/she is, to inform Momineen to join the funeral, and to hasten the burial.
But if, they are not sure of his/her death, they should wait till they are certain. Moreover, if the dead person is a pregnant woman and there is a living child in her womb, her burial should be delayed till such time that her left side is cut open and the child is taken out and then to sew her side.

The obligation of Ghusl, Kafan, Namaz and Dafn

548. Giving Ghusl, Kafan, Hunoot, Namaz, and burial to every dead Muslim,regardless of whether he/she is an Ithna-Asheri or not, is wajib on the guardian.Theguardian must either discharge all these duties himself or appoint someone todo them. And if anyone performs these duties, with or without the permissionof the guardian, the guardian will be relieved of his responsibility.
And if the dead person had no guardian, or if the guardian refuses to dischargehis duties, then these duties will be obligatory upon all equally, as Wajib-e-Kifaeewhich means if some people undertake to fulfil the obligation, others will berelieved of the responsibility. And if no one undertakes to do so, all willbe equally sinful. And when a guardian refuses to discharge his duty, seekinghis permission has no meaning.

549. If a person undertakes to fulfil the obligations to a dead bodyit is not obligatory on others to proceed for the same. However, if that personleaves the work half done, others must complete them.

550. If a person is certain that others are fulfiling their obligationsproperly, then it is not obligatory for him to proceed for the purpose.However,if he is in doubt or has suspicion, then he should take necessary steps.

551. If a person is certain that Ghusl, Kafan, Namaz or burial of adead body has been performed incorrectly, he should proceed to do them correctlyagain. But if he just feels that probably the duties were not correctly discharged,or if he has a mere doubt, then it is not obligatory to undertake the work.

552. The guardian of a wife is her husband. And in other cases, menwho inherit the dead person according to the categories which will be explainedlater, will take precedence over each other. However, to say that the fatherof the deceased takes precedence over the son, the grandfather over the brothers,or full brothers over half-brothers or the paternal uncles over the maternaluncles, is a ponderable issue, and one should act with caution as the situationdemands.

553. A minor or an insane person does not qualify for guardianship inmatters related to the dead person; similarly, an absent person who can neitherattend to the duties himself, nor appoint someone to do them, has no authorityas a guardian.

554. If a person claims that he is the guardian of the dead person,or that the guardian of the dead person has given him permission to carry outits Ghusl, Kafan and Dafn, or if he claims that he is the appointed executorof the dead person in the matter of its final rituals, his claim will be accepted,provided that he is reliable, or that the corpse is in his possession, or thattwo Adils testify to his statement.

555. If a dead person appoints someone other than his guardian to carryout his Ghusl, Kafan, Dafn and Namaz, then he will be the rightful person tofulfil those obligations. And it is not necessary that the person whom the deceasedhas appointed to carry out the duties personally should accept the will. However,if he accepts it he should act accordingly.

The method of Ghusl of Mayyit

556. It is obligatory to give three Ghusls to a dead body. The first bathing should be with water mixed with "Sidr" (Beri) leaves. The second bathing should be with water mixed with camphor and the third should be with unmixed water.

557. The quality of "Sidr" leaves and camphor should neither be so much that the water becomes mixed (Mudhaaf), nor so little that it may be said that "Sidr" leaves and camphor have not been mixed in it at all.

558. If enough quantity of "Sidr" leaves and camphor is not available, then whatever quantity available should be mixed with water.

559. If a person dies while he is in the state of Ihram his dead body should not be washed with water mixed with camphor. Instead of that, pure unmixed water should be used. However, in the following two situations, water with camphor should be used:

(i) If he or she dies in Hajj Tamattu' after completing Saee';

(ii) and if it is Hajj Qiran or Ifrad, he died after having shaved the head.

560. If "Sidr" leaves and camphor or either of these things is not available or its use is not lawful (e.g. if it has been usurped) the dead body should be given Ghusl, on the basis of precaution, with pure, unmixed water instead of the Ghusl which is not possible, and it should also be given one tayammum.

561. A person who gives Ghusl to a dead body should be a Muslim, preferably a Shia Ithna Asheri, adult, and sane, and should know the rules of Ghusl. And if an intelligent, discerning boy or girl, who is not yet baligh, gives Ghusl correctly, it will be sufficient. And if the deceased belongs to a sect other than Shia Ithna Asheri, and if he or she is given Ghusl according to the rules of his or her sect by a person of his or her sect, then the Shia Ithna Asheri momin will be relieved of the responsibility, except if he is the guardian.

562. One who gives Ghusl to the dead body should perform the act with the niyyat of Qurbat, that is, obedience to the pleasure of Allah.

563. Ghusl to a Muslim child, even illegitimate, is obligatory. But the Ghusl, Kafan, Dafan of a non-Muslim and his children is not allowed. And it is necessary to give Ghusl to a Muslim who has been insane since childhood and has grown up without having recovered.

564. If a foetus of 4 months or more is still-born it is obligatory to give it Ghusl, and even if it has not completed four months, but it has formed features of a human child, it must be given Ghusl, as a precaution. In the event of both of these circumstances being absent, the foetus will be wrapped up in a cloth and buried without Ghusl.

565. It is unlawful for a man to give Ghusl to the dead body of a woman and for a woman to give Ghusl to the dead body of a man. Husband and wife can, however, give Ghusl to the dead body of each other, although the recommended precaution is that they should also avoid doing so, in normal circumstances.

566. A man can give Ghusl to the dead body of a little girl and similarly a woman can give Ghusl to the dead body of a little boy.

567. If no man is available to give Ghusl to the dead body of a man, his kinswomen who are also his mahram (one with whom marriage is prohibited e.g., mother, sister, paternal aunt and maternal aunt) or those women who become his mahram by way of marriage or suckling can give Ghusl to his dead body.
Similarly if no woman is available to give Ghusl to the dead body of a woman her kinsmen who are also her mahram or have become mahram by marriage or suckling can give Ghusl to her dead body. In either case, it is not obligatory to cover the body except the private parts; though doing so is preferred.

568. If a man gives Ghusl to the dead body of a man, or a woman to the dead body of a woman, it is permissible to keep the body bare, except the private parts. But it is better to give Ghusl from under the dress.

569. It is haraam to look at the private parts of a corpse and if a person giving Ghusl looks at them, he commits a sin, though the Ghusl will not be void.

570. If there is AYN Najasat on any part of the dead body, it is obligatory to first remove it before giving Ghusl. And it is preferred that before the corpse is given Ghusl, it should be clean and free from all other najasat.

571. Ghusl for a dead body is similar to Ghusl of Janabat. And the obligatory precaution is that a corpse should not be given Ghusl by Irtimasi, that is, immersion, as long as it is possible to give Ghusl by way of Tartibi. And even in the case of Tartibi Ghusl it is necessary that the body should be washed on the right side first, and then the left side.
And the recommended precaution is that, if possible, none of the three parts of the body be immersed in the water. Instead water should be poured on the dead body.

572. If someone dies in the state of Hayz or Janabat it is not necessary to give him/her their respective Ghusls. The Ghusls given to the dead body will suffice.

573. As a precaution, it is haraam to charge any fee for giving Ghusl to the dead. And if someone gives Ghusl with an intention of earning and without the Niyyat of Qurbat, then the Ghusl will be void. However, it is not unlawful to charge for the preliminary preparations before Ghusl.

574. There is no rule for Jabirah in Ghusl of Mayyit, so if water is not available or there is some other valid excuse for abstaining from using water for the Ghusl, then the dead body should be given one tayammum instead of Ghusl. As a recommended precaution, three tayammums may be given, and in one of the tayammum, there should be a Niyyat of "ma-fizzimmah". This means that a person giving tayammum resolves that this tayammum is given to absolve him of his responsibility.

575. A person giving tayammum to the dead body should strike his own palms on earth and then wipe them on the face and back of the hands of the dead body. And the obligatory precaution is that he should, if possible, use the hands of the dead for its tayammum.

Rules regarding Kafan

576. The body of a dead Muslim should be given Kafan with three pieces of cloth: a loin cloth, a shirt or tunic, and a full cover.

577. As a precaution, the loin cloth should be long enough to cover the body from the navel up to the knees, better still if it covers the body from the chest up to the feet. As a precaution, the shirt should be long enough to cover the entire body from the top of the shoulders up to the middle of the calf, and better still if it reaches the feet. As a precaution, the sheet cover should be long enough to conceal the whole body, so that both its ends could be tied. It's breadth should be enough to allow one side to overlap the other.

578. The wajib portion of the loin cloth is that which covers from navel up to the knees and wajib portion of a shirt is that which covers from the shoulders up to the middle of the calf of the legs. Whatever has been mentioned over and above this is the Mustahab part of the Kafan.

579. The Wajib quantity of Kafan mentioned in the above rule should be financed from the estate of the deceased, and a reasonable quantity to cover the Mustahab may also be charged to the estate, if the status of the deceased demands. But as a recommended precaution, the Mustahab parts of Kafan should not be charged to the shares of minor heirs.

580. If a person makes a will that the Mustahab quantity of the Kafan(as mentioned in the two foregoing rules) should be paid for from the 1/3 of his/her estate, or if he/she has made a will that 1/3 of the estate should be spent for himself or herself but has not specified the type of its expenditure, or has specified it for only a part of it, then the Mustahab quantity of Kafan can be taken from 1/3 of the estate.

581. If the deceased has not made a will that Kafan may be paid for from the 1/3 of his estate and if they wish to take it from the estate, they must not draw more than what has been indicated in rule no. 579. And if they procured a Kafan which is unusually expensive, then the extra amount paid for it should not be charged to the estate. However, if his baligh heirs agree to pay from their shares of inheritance, then the sum can be deducted to the extent agreed.

582. The Kafan of a wife is the responsibility of her husband even if she owns her own wealth. Similarly, if a woman is given a revocable divorce and she dies before the expiry of her iddah, her husband should provide her Kafan. And if her husband is not adult or is insane, the guardian of the husband should provide Kafan for the wife from his property.

583. It is not obligatory for the relatives of deceased to provide his Kafan even if they were his dependents during his life time.

584. As a precaution, it must be ensured that each of the three pieces used for Kafan is not so thin as to show the body of the deceased. However, if the body is fully concealed when all the three pieces are put together, then it will suffice.

585. Kafan for a dead person must not be a usurped one, that is, unlawfully appropriated. If nothing else but the usurped Kafan is available, then the body will be buried without Kafan. In fact, the usurped Kafan should be removed even if the body has already been buried, except in some special situations, which cannot be discussed here.

586. It is not permissible to give a Kafan which is najis, or which is made of pure silk, or which is woven with gold, except in the situation of helplessness, when no alternative is to be found.

587. It is not permissible to give Kafan made of hide or skin of a dead Najis animal, in normal circumstances. In fact, even the skin of a dead Pak animal, or Kafan made of wool or fur from the animal whose meat is haraam to eat should not be used in normal circumstances.
(By the term 'dead' is meant an animal who has not been slaughtered according to Shariah). But Kafan made of wool, fur or skin of a slaughtered halal animal can be used for the purpose. However, it is a recommended precaution to avoid them.

588. If the Kafan becomes Najis owing to its own najasat, or owing to some other najasat, and if the Kafan is not lost totally, its najis part should be washed or cut off, even after the dead body has been placed in the grave. And if it is not possible to wash it, or to cut it off, but it is possible to change it, then it should be changed.

589. If a person who is wearing Ihram for Hajj or Umra dies, he should be given Kafan like all others and there is no harm in covering his head and face.

590. It is Mustahab that one keeps one's Kafan and "Sidr" leaves and camphor ready during lifetime.

Rules of Hunut

591. After having given Ghusl to a dead body it is wajib to give Hunut, which is to apply camphor on its forehead, both the palms, both the knees and both the big toes of its feet. It is not necessary to rub the camphor; it must be seen on those parts. It is Mustahab to apply camphor to the nose tip also. Camphor must be powdered and fresh, and if it is so stale that it has lost its fragrance, then it will not suffice.

592. The recommended precaution is that camphor should first be applied on the forehead of the deceased. It is not necessary to observe sequence while applying camphor to other parts mentioned above.

593. It is better that Hunut is given before Kafan, although there is no harm in giving Hunut during Kafan or even after.

594. It is not permissible to administer Hunut to a person who died in the state of Ihram for Umra and Hajj, except in circumstances explained in rule no. 559.

595. Though it is haraam for a woman to perfume herself if her husband has died and she is in iddah, but if she dies in iddah, it is obligatory to give her Hunut.

596. As a recommended precaution, perfumes like musk, ambergris and aloes-wood ('Ud) should not be applied to the dead body, and these things should not be mixed with camphor.

597. It is Mustahab to mix a small quantity of Turbat (soil of the land around the shrine of Imam Husayn) with camphor, but it should not be applied to those parts of the body, where its use may imply any disrespect. It is also necessary that the quantity of Turbat is not much, so that the identity of camphor does not change.

598. If camphor is not available or the quantity available is just sufficient for Ghusl only, then it is not wajib to apply Hunut. And if it is in excess of the requirement for Ghusl but is not sufficient for administering Hunut to all the parts, then as a recommended precaution, camphor will be applied on the forehead of the dead body first and the remainder, if any, will be applied to other parts.

599. It is also Mustahab that 2 pieces of fresh and green twigs are placed in the grave with the dead body.

Rules of Namaz-e-Mayyit

600. It is obligatory to offer Namaz-e-Mayyit for every Muslim, as well as for a Muslim child if it has completed 6 years of its age.

601. If a child had not completed 6 years of its age, but it was a discerning child who knew what Namaz was, then as an obligatory precaution, Namaz-e-Mayyit for it should be offered. If it did not know of Namaz, then the prayers may be offered with the Niyyat of 'Raja'. However, to offer Namaz-e-Mayyit for a still born child is not Mustahab.

602. Namaz-e-Mayyit should be offered after the dead body has been given Ghusl, Hunnut and Kafan and if it is offered before or during the performance of these acts, it does not suffice, even if it is due to forgetfulness or on account of not knowing the rule.

603. It is not necessary for a person who offers Namaz-e-Mayyit to be in Wudhu or Ghusl or tayammum nor is it necessary that his body and dress be Pak. Rather there is no harm even if his dress is a usurped one. However, it is better that while offering this Namaz one should observe all the formal rules which are normally observed in other prayers.

604. One who offers Namaz-e-Mayyit should face the Qibla, and it is also obligatory that at the time of Namaz-e-Mayyit, the dead body remains before him on its back, in a manner that its head is on his right and its feet on his left side.

605. As a recommended precaution, the place where a man stands to offer Namaz-e-Mayyit should not be a usurped one, and it should not be higher or lower than the place where the dead body is kept. However, its being a little higher or lower is immaterial.

606. The person offering Namaz-e-Mayyit should not be distant from the dead body. However, if he is praying in a congregation, then there is no harm in his being distant from the dead body in the rows which are connected to each other.

607. In Namaz-e-Mayyit, one who offers prayers should stand in such a way that the dead body is in front of him, except if the Namaz is prayed in Jama'at and the lines extend beyond on both sides, then praying away from the dead body will not be objectionable.

608. As a precaution, there should be no curtain or wall or any other obstruction between the dead body and the person offering Namaz-e-Mayyit. However, there is no harm if the dead body is in a coffin or in any other similar thing.

609. The private parts of the dead body should be concealed when Namaz-e-Mayyit is being offered. And if it was not possible to give Kafan, even then at least its private parts should be covered with a board or brick or any similar thing.

610. A person should be standing while offering Namaz-e-Mayyit and should offer it with the Niyyat of Qurbat, specifying the dead person for whom he is praying. For example, he should make his intention thus: "I am offering Namaz for this dead person in compliance with the pleasure of Allah".

611. If there is no one who is capable of praying Namaz-e-Mayyit while standing, then it can be offered while sitting.

612. If the deceased had made a will that a particular person should lead the prayers for him the recommended precaution is that such a person should take permission from the guardian of the dead person.

613. It is Makrooh to repeat Namaz-e-Mayyit a number of times, unless the dead person was an Aalim and pious one, in which case it is not Makrooh.

614. If a dead body is buried without Namaz-e-Mayyit, either intentionally or forgetfully, on account of an excuse, or if it transpires after its burial that the prayers offered for it was void, it will not be permissible to dig up the grave for praying Namaz-e-Mayyit. There is no objection to praying, with the Niyyat of Raja', by the graveside, if one feels that the decay has not yet taken place.

Method of Namaz-e-Mayyit

615. There are 5 takbirs (saying Allahu Akbar) in Namaz-e-Mayyit and it is sufficient if a person recites those 5 takbirs in the following order:

After making Niyyat to offer the prayers and pronouncing the 1st takbir he should say: Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah. (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger).

After the 2nd takbir he should say: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa 'ali Muhammad. (O' Lord! Bestow peace and blessing upon Muhammad and his progeny).

After the 3rd takbir he should say: Alla hummaghfir lil mu'minina wal mu'minat.(O' Lord! Forgive all believers - men as well as women).

After the 4th takbir he should say: Alla hummaghfir li hazal mayyit. (O' Lord! Forgive this dead body). If the dead person is a woman, he would say: Alla hummaghfir li hazihil mayyit. Thereafter he should pronounce the 5th takbir.

It is, however, better that he should pronounce the following supplications after the takbirs respectively:

After the 1st takbir: Ash hadu an la ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah. Wa Ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh, arsalahu bil haqqi bashiran wa naziran bayna yada yis sa'ah.

After the 2nd takbir: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad wa barik 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad warham Muhammadan wa Ala Muhammadin ka afzali ma sallayta wa barakta wa tarah hamta 'ala Ibrahima wa Ali Ibrahima innaka Hamidum Majid wa salli 'ala jami'il ambiya'iwal-mursalina wash-shuhada'i was-siddiqina wa jami'i 'ibadilla his-salihin.

After the 3rd takbir: Alla hum maghfir lil mu'minina wal mu'minati wal muslimina wal muslimat, al ahya'i minhum wal amwat tabi'baynana wa baynahum bil khayrati innaka mujibud-da'wat innak 'ala kulli shay'in Qadeer.

After the 4th takbir: Alla humma inna haza 'abduka wabnu 'abdika wabnu amatika nazala bika wa anta khayru manzulin bihi Alla humma inna la na'lamu minhu illa khayra wa anta a'alamu bihi minna. Alla humma in kana mohsinan fa zid fi ihsanihi wa in kana musi'an fatajawaz anhu waghfir lahu. Alla hummaj'alhu 'indaka fi a'la'illiyyin wakhluf 'ala ahlihi fil ghabirin warhamhu bi-rahmatika ya ar hamar Rahimin.
If the dead body is that of a woman he should say: Alla humma inna hazihi 'amatuka wabnatu 'abdika wabnatu amatika nazalat bika wa anta khayra manzulin bihi Alla humma inna la na'lamu minha illa khayra wa anta a'lamu biha minna. Alla humma in kanat mohsinatan fa zid fi ihsaniha wa in kanat musi'atan fatajawaz 'anha waghfir laha. Alla hummaj'al ha 'indaka fi a'la 'illiyin wakhluf 'ala ahliha fil ghabirin warhamha bi-rahmatika ya ar hamar Rahimin. Thereafter he should pronounce the 5th takbir.

616. A person offering prayers for the dead body should recite takbirs and supplications in a sequence, so that Namaz-e-Mayyit does not lose its form.

617. A person who joins Namaz-e-Mayyit to follow an Imam should recite all the takbirs and supplications.

Mustahab acts of Namaz-e-Mayyit

618. The following acts are Mustahab in the prayers for the dead body:

A person who offers prayers for the dead body should have had Ghusl or performed Wudhu or tayammum. And the precaution is that he should perform tayammum only when it is not possible to do Ghusl, or Wudhu, or if he fears that if he goes for Ghusl or Wudhu it will not be possible for him to participate in the prayers.

If the dead body is that of a male the Imam or a person who is offering the prayers alone should stand at the centre of its height, that is, the middle part of the dead body, and if the dead body is that of a female he should stand at the chest of the dead body.

To pray bare-footed.

To raise one's hands (up to the ears) while pronouncing every takbir.

The distance between the person offering prayers and the dead body should be so short that, when the wind blows, the dress of the person offering the prayers would touch the coffin.

To pray in congregation.

The Imam to recite the takbirs and supplications loudly and those offering the prayers with him to recite them in a low voice.

If there is only one person joining the Namaz-e-Mayyit being offered in Jama'at, he would stand behind the Imam.

One who offers the prayers should earnestly and persistently pray for the dead as well as for all the believers.

Before the commencement of the congregational prayers for the dead body one should say "as-Salat" three times.

The prayers be offered at a place where people often go for Namaz-e-Mayyit.

If a Haaez (woman in her menses) participates in the congregational prayers for a dead person, she should stand alone and should not join the lines.

619. It is Makrooh to perform prayers for dead bodies in masjids, except in Masjidul Haram.

Rules about burial of the dead body

620. It is obligatory to bury a dead body in the ground, so deep that its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey do not dig it out, and, if there is a danger of such beasts digging it out then the grave should be made solid with bricks, etc.

621. If it is not possible to bury a dead body in the ground, it may be kept in a vault or a coffin, instead.

622. The dead body should be laid in the grave on its right side so that the face remains towards the Qibla.

623. If a person dies on a ship and if there is no fear of the decay of the dead body and if there is no problem in retaining it for sometime on the ship, it should be kept on it and buried in the ground after reaching the land. Otherwise, after giving Ghusl, Hunut, Kafan and Namaz-e-Mayyit it should be lowered into the sea in a vessel of clay or with a weight tied to its feet. And as far as possible it should not be lowered at a point where it is eaten up immediately by the sea predators.

624. If it is feared that an enemy may dig up the grave and exhume the dead body and amputate its ears or nose or other limbs, it should be lowered into sea, if possible, as stated in the foregoing rule.

625. The expenses of lowering the dead body into the sea, or making the grave solid on the ground can be deducted from the estate of the deceased, if necessary.

626. If a non-Muslim woman dies with a dead child, or soulless foetus in her womb, and if the father is a Muslim then the woman should be laid in the grave on her left side with her back towards Qibla, so that the face of the child is towards Qibla.

627. It is not permitted to bury a Muslim in the graveyard of the non-Muslims, nor to bury a non-Muslim in the graveyard of the Muslims.

628. It is also not permissible to bury the dead body of a Muslim at a place which is disrespectful, like places where garbage is thrown.

629. It is not permissible to bury a dead body in a usurped place nor in a place which is dedicated for purposes other than burial (e.g. in a Masjid).

630. It is not permissible to dig up a grave for the purpose of burying another dead body in it, unless one is sure that the grave is very old and the former body has been totally disintegrated.

631. Anything which is separated from the dead body (even its hair, nail or tooth) should be buried along with it. And if any part of the body, including hair, nails or teeth are found after the body has been buried, they should be buried at a separate place, as per obligatory precaution. And it is Mustahab that nails and teeth cut off or extracted during lifetime are also buried.

632. If a person dies in a well and it is not possible to take him out, the well should be sealed, and the well should be treated as his grave.

633. If a child dies in its mother's womb and its remaining in the womb is dangerous for the mother, it should be brought out in the easiest possible way. If it becomes inevitable to cut it into pieces there is no objection in doing so. It is, however, better that if the husband of the woman is skilled in surgery the dead body of the child should be taken out by him, and failing that, the job should be performed by a skilled woman.
And if that is not available, a skilled surgeon who is the mahram (one with whom marriage cannot be contracted) of the woman should do it. And if even that is not available a skilled man who is not mahram (one with whom marriage can be contracted) should remove the dead child. And if even such a person is not available the dead body can be brought out by any unskilled person.

634. If a woman dies and there is a living child in her womb, it should be brought out in the safest possible way, even if there be no hope for the child's survival. The body of the mother should then be sewn up.

Mustahab acts of Dafn

635. It is Mustahab that the depth of the grave should be approximately equal to the size of an average person and the dead body be buried in the nearest graveyard, except when the graveyard which is situated farther is better due to some reasons, like if pious persons are buried there or people go there in large number for Fateha.
It is also recommended that the coffin is placed on the ground a few yards away from the grave and then taken to the grave by halting three times briefly. It should be placed on the ground every time and then lifted before finally it is lowered into the grave at the 4th time.

And if the dead body is of a male, it should be placed on the ground at the 3rd time in such a manner that its head should be towards the lower side of the grave and at the 4th time it should be lowered into the grave from the side of its head.
And if the dead body is of a female it should be placed on the ground at the 3rd time towards the Qibla and should be lowered into the grave sidewise and a cloth should be spread over the grave while lowering it. It is also Mustahab that the dead body should be taken out of the coffin and lowered into the grave very gently, and the prescribed supplications should be recited before and during burying the dead body; and after the dead body has been lowered into the niche, the ties of its shroud should be unfastened and its cheek should be placed on earth, and an earthen pillow should be done up under its head and some unbacked bricks or lumps of clay should be placed behind its back so that the dead body may not return flat on its back.
Before closing the niche, the person reciting the talqin should hold with his right hand the right shoulder of the dead body and should place his left hand tightly on its left shoulder and take his mouth near its ear and shaking its shoulders should say thrice: Isma' ifham ya the name of the dead person and his father should be called.

For example, if the name of the dead person is Muhammad and his father's name 'Ali it should be said thrice: Isma 'ifham ya Muhammad bin 'Ali. And then he should say: Hal anta 'alal 'ahdil lazi farqtana 'alayhi min shahadati an la ilaha illal lahu wahdahu la sharika lah wa anna Muhammadan sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi 'abduhu wa Rasuluhu wa sayyidun nabiyyina wa khatamul mursalina wa anna 'Aliyyan Amirul mu'minina wa sayyidul wasiyyina wa imamu nif tarazallahu ta'tahu 'alal 'alamina wa annal Hasana wal Husayna wa 'Aliyyabnal Husayni wa Muhammadabna 'Aliyyin wa Ja'farabna Muhammadin wa Musabna Ja'farin wa 'Aliyyabna Musa wa Muhammadabna'Aliyyin wa 'Aliyyabna Muhammadin wal Hasanabna 'Aliyyin wal Qa'imal hujjatal Mahdi salawatullahi 'alayhim a'i'mmatul mu'minina wa hujajullahi'alal khalqi ajma'ina wa a'immatuka a'immatu hudan abrar ya ........(here the name of the dead person and his father should be called) and then the following words should be said:
Iza atakal malakanil muqarraabani Rasulayni min 'indillahi tabaraka wa ta'ala wa sa'alaka 'an Rabbika wa 'an Nabiyyika wa 'an dinika wa 'an Kitabika wa 'an Qiblatika wa 'an A'immatika fala takhaf wa la tahzan wa'qul fi jawabi hima, Allahu Rabbi wa Muhammadun sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi nabiyyi wal Islamu dini wal Qur'anu kitabi wal Ka'batu Qiblati wa Amirul mu'minina 'Aliyybnu Abi Talib imami wal Hasanubnu 'Aliyyi nil Mujtaba imami wal Husaynubnu 'Aliyyi nish-shahidu bi-Karbala imami wa 'Aliyyun Zaynul 'Abidina imami wa Muhammadu nil Baqiru imami wa Ja'faru nis Sadiqu imami wa Musal Kazimu imami wa 'Aliyyu-nir Riza imami wa Muhammadu nil Jawadu imami wa 'Aliyyu nil Hadi imami wal Hasanul 'askari imami wal Hujjatul muntazar imami ha ula'i salawatullahi 'alayhim ajma'in A'i'mmati wa sadati wa qadati wa shufa-a'i bihim atawalla wa min a'daihim atabarra'u fid dunya wal akhirati thumma i'lam ya ....... here the name of the dead person and his father should be called and thereafter it should be said: Annal laha tabaraka wa ta'ala ni'mar-Rabb wa anna Muhammadan sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi ni'mar Rasul wa anna 'Aliyyabna Abi Talib wa awladahul ma'suminal A'i'mmatal ithna 'asharah ni'mal A'i'mmah wa anna ma ja'a bihi Muhammadun sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi haqqun wa annal mawta haqqun wa suwala munkarin wa nakirin fil qabri haqqun wal ba'tha haqqun wan nushura haqqun wassirata haqqun wal mizana haqqun wa tatayiral kutubi haqqun wa annal jannata haqqun wan-nara haqqun wa annas sa'ata a'tiyatun la rayba fiha wa annallaha yab'athu man fil qubur.

Then the following words should be said: Afahimta ya .... (here the name of the dead person should be called) and thereafter the following should be said: Thabbatakallahu bil qawlith thabit wa hadakallahu ila siratim mustaqim 'arrafallahu baynaka wa bayna awliya'ika fi mustaqarrim min rahmatih. Then the following words should be uttered: Alla humma jafil arza 'an jambayhi vas'ad biruhihi ilayka wa laqqihi minka burhana Alla humma 'afwaka 'afwaka.

636. It is recommended that the person who lowers the dead body in the grave should be Pak, bare-headed and bare-footed and he should climb out of the grave from the feet side. Moreover, persons, other than the near relatives of the deceased, should put the dust into the grave with the back side of their hands and recite the following: Inna lillahi wa innailayhi raji'un. If the dead person is a woman, her mahram and in the absence of a mahram her kinsmen should lower her in the grave.

637. It is Mustahab that the grave be square or rectangular in shape and its height equal to four fingers' span. A sign should be fixed on it for the purpose of identification and water should be poured on it, and then those present should place their hands on the grave parting their fingers and thrusting them into earth.
Then recite Surah al-Qadr 7 times and pray for the forgiveness of the departed soul and say: Alla humma jafil arza 'an jam bayhi wa as'idilayka ruhahu wa laqqihi minka rizwana wa askin qabrahu min rahmatika ma tughneehi bihi 'an rahmati man siwaka.

638. It is Mustahab that when the persons who attended the funeral have departed, the guardian of the dead person or the person whom the guardian grants permission should recite the prescribed supplications for the dead person.

639. It is Mustahab that after the burial, the bereaved family is consoled, praying for their well being. However, if the condolence is given long after the event, and if it serves to refresh the sorrowful memories, then it should be avoided.
It is Mustahab that food be sent to the members of the family of the deceased for 3 days. It is, however, Makrooh to take meal with them in their homes.

640. It is also Mustahab that a person should observe patience on the death of his near ones, especially on the death of his son, and, whenever the memory of the departed soul crosses his mind, he should say: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un and should recite the holy Qur'an for the sake of the departed.
A man should visit the graves of his parents and pray there for the blessings of Allah for himself and should make the grave solid so that it may not be easily ruined.

641. As a matter of precaution, one should refrain from scratching one's face or body, or uprooting one's hair to display the grief. However, slapping one's head or face is permitted.

642. It is not permissible to tear one's clothes on the death of anyone except on the death of one's father and brother, though the recommended precaution is that one should not tear one's clothes on their death also.

643. If a wife mourning the death of a husband scratches her face causing blood to come out, or pulls her hair, she should, on the basis of recommended precaution, set a slave free, or feed ten poor, or provide them dress. And the same applies when a man tears his clothes on the death of his wife or son.

644. The recommended precaution is that while weeping over the death of any person one's voice should not be very loud.


645. It is befitting that on the first night after the burial of a dead person, two Raka'ats of wahshat prayers be offered for it. The method of offering this prayers is as follows:
In the first Raka'at, after reciting Surah al-Hamd, Ayatul Kursi should be recited once and in the second Raka'at, Surah al-Qadr should be recited 10 times after Surah-al-Hamd; and after saying the Salam the following supplication should be recited: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad wab'ath thawabaha ila qabri ......(here the name of the dead person and his father's name should be mentioned).

646. Wahshat prayers can be offered in the night following the burial of the dead body at any time, but it is better to offer it in the early hours of the night after 'Isha prayers.

647. If it is proposed to transfer the dead body to some other town or its burial is delayed owing to some reason, the wahshat prayers should be deferred till the first night of its burial.


648. It is haraam to open the grave of a Muslim even if it belongs to a child or an insane person. However, there is no objection in doing so if the dead body has decayed and turned into dust.

649. Digging up or destroying the graves of the descendants of Imams, the martyrs, the Ulama and the pious persons is Haraam, even if they are very old, because it amounts to desecration.

650. Digging up the grave is allowed in the following cases:

When the dead body has been buried in an usurped land and the owner of the land is not willing to let it remain there.

When the Kafan of the dead body or any other thing buried with it had been usurped and the owner of the thing in question is not willing to let it remain in the grave. Similarly, if anything belonging to the heirs has been buried along with the deceased and the heirs are not willing to let it remain in the grave.
However, if the dead person had made a will that a certain supplication or the holy Qur'an or a ring be buried along with his dead body, and if that will is valid, then the grave cannot be opened up to bring those articles out. There are certain situations when the exhuming is not permitted even if the land, the Kafan or the articles buried with the corpse are Ghasbi. But there is no room for details here.

When opening the grave does not amount to disrespect of the dead person, and it transpires that he was buried without Ghusl or Kafan, or the Ghusl was void, or he was not given Kafan according to religious rules, or was not laid in the grave facing the Qibla.

When it is necessary to inspect the body of the dead person to establish a right which is more important than exhumation.

When the dead body of a Muslim has been buried at a place which is against sanctity, like, when it has been buried in the graveyard of non-Muslim or at a place of garbage.

When the grave is opened up for a legal purpose which is more important than exhumation. For example, when it is proposed to take out a living child from the womb of a buried woman.

When it is feared that a wild beast would tear up the corpse or it will be carried away by flood or exhumed by the enemy.

When the deceased has willed that his body be transferred to sacred places before burial, and if it was intentionally or forgetfully buried elsewhere, then the body can be exhumed, provided that doing so does not result in any disrespect to the deceased.