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Orders Regarding Burial Of The Dead Body

620. It is obligatory to bury a dead body in the earth in such a way that its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey also do not take it out, and, in case there is a danger of such beasts taking it out, the grave should be made solid with bricks.

621. If it is not possible to bury a dead body in the earth, it may be kept in a room or a coffin, instead of burying it.

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

623. If a person dies in a boat and there is no possibility of the decay of the dead body and there is also no hindrance in the way of its being kept in the boat, it should be kept in it and buried in the earth after reaching the land. Otherwise it should be bathed, embalmed, shrouded and prayers should be offered for it, and thereafter, on the basis of precaution, if it be possible, it should be covered with a mat and after tying the ends of the mat lowered into water. Furthermore, so far as possible, it should not be lowered into water at a place where the animals may eat it up at once.

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

625. The expenses of lowering the dead body into water and of making its grave solid, if necessary, should be met from the real property of the dead body.

626. If a woman who is an unbeliever dies and has a dead child in her womb, or soul has not yet entered the body of the child, and if child's father is a Muslim, the woman should be made to lie 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 lawful to bury a Muslim in the graveyard of unbelievers or to bury an unbeliever in the graveyard of Muslims.

628. It is also not permissible to bury the dead body of a Muslim at a place which is disrespectful (e.g. dunghill).

629. It is not permissible to bury a dead body in a usurped place or in a place which is dedicated to purposes other than burial (e.g. in a Masjid).

630. It is not permissible to bury a dead body in the grave of another person except when the grave has become very old and the former dead body has been consumed.

631. Anything which is separated from the dead body (even though it may be its hair, nail or tooth) should, on the basis of precaution, be buried along with it and it is recommended that the nails and teeth which are separated from one's body during one's lifetime should also be buried.

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

633. If a child dies in its mother's womb and its remaining in the womb is dangerous for the woman it should be taken out in the easiest possible way. In case, therefore, it becomes necessary to cut it into pieces there is no harm 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 it is not possible, a skilled surgeon who is the mahram (one with whom marriage cannot be contracted) of the woman should do it. And if even this is not possible a skilled man who is not her mahram (one with whom marriage can be contracted) should take out the dead body of the child. And if even such a person is not available the dead body can be taken out by any unskilled person.

634. If a woman dies and there is a living child in her womb, it is necessary that even if there is no hope of the child's survival, it should be taken out of the body of the mother by the persons mentioned above. The child should be taken out by operating the left side of the dead body which should be sewn up after the operation.

Recommended Acts of Burial

635. It is recommended that the grave should be approximately equal to the size of an average person and the dead body should be buried in the nearest graveyard, except when the graveyard which is situated at a longer distance is better on some account e.g. when pious persons are buried there or people go there in large number to pay homage and recite supplications (Fatiha).

It is also recommended that before burying the dead body it should be placed a few yards away from the grave and moved to the grave halting slowly thrice. It should be placed on the ground every time and lowered into the grave at the 4th time. And in case the dead body is of a man 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 in case the dead body is of a woman it should be placed on the ground at the 3rd time towards the Qibla and should be lowered into the grave breadthwise and a cloth should be spread over the grave while lowering it. It is also recommended 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 after burying the dead body; and after the dead body has been lowered into the grave the ties of its shroud should be unfastened and its cheek should be placed on the earth and an earthen pillow should be placed under its head and some unbaked bricks or lumps of clay should be placed behind its back so that the dead body may not lie flat on its back.

Before closing the grave the person reciting the talqin (prescribed recitals) to the dead should catch 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. . . . . . here 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 is 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 muminina wa sayyidul wasiyyina wa imamu nif tarazallahu ta'tahu alal alamina wa annal Hasana wal Husayna wa 'Aliyyabnal Husayni wa Muhammadabna 'Aliyyin wa Jafarabna Muhammadin wa Musabna Ja'farin wa'Aliyyabna Musa wa Muhammadabna'Aliyyin wa'Aliyyabna Muhammadin wal Hasanabna'Aliyyin wal Qa'imal hujjatal Mahdi salawalullahi alayhim a'immatul mu minina wa hujajullahi alal khalqi ajma'ina wa a'immalaka a'immatu hudan bika abrar ya. . . . . . (here the name of the dead person and his father should be called).

Then the following words should be said:Iza atakal malakanil muqarrabani Rasulayni min indillahi tabaraka wa ta'ala wa saalaka'an Rabbika wa an Nabiyyika wa'an dinika wa an Kitabika wa an Qiblatika wa'an A i'mmatika fala takhaf wa la tahzan wa,qul fi jawabi hima, Allahu Rabbi wa Muhammadun sallal lahu alayhi wa Alihi nabiyyi wal Islamu dini wal Quranu kitabi wal Ka'batu Qiblati wa Amirul mu'minina 'Aliyyubnu Abi Talib Imami wal Hasanubnu'Aliyyi nil Mujtaba Imami wal Husaynubnu 'Aliyyi nuh-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 ulai' salawatullahi 'alayhim ajma'in A'immati wa sadati wa qadati wa shufa-a'i bihim atawalla wa min a'dai'him 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 nimar-Rabb wa anna Muhammadan sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi nimar Rasul wa anna 'Aliyyabna Abl Talib wa awladahul ma suminal A'i'mmatal ithna asharah nimal A'immah 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 jnnnnta haqqun wan-nara haqqun wa annas sa'ata a'tiyata 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 there- after the following should be said: Thabbatakallahu bil qawlith thabit wa hadakallahu ila siratim mustaqim'arrafallahu baynaka wa bayna awliyal'ka fi mustaqarrim min rahmatihi. Then the following words should be uttered: Alla humma jafil arza an jambayhi vas'ad biruhihi ilayaka wa laqqihi minka burhaha Alla humma'afwaka'afwaka.

636. It is recommended that the person who lowers the dead body in the grave should be clean, bare-headed and bare-footed and he should come out of the grave from the side of the feet of the dead body. Furthermore, persons, other than the near relatives of the dead person, 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 one of her kinsmen should lower her in the grave.

637. It Is recommended that the grave should be square or rectangular in shape and should be higher than the ground to the extent of about four fingers' breadth, and a sign should be fixed on it for purposes of identification and water should also be sprinkled on it, and then those present should place their hands on the grave and part their fingers and thrust them into earth and recite Surah al-Qadr 7 times and pray for the salvation of the departed soul and say: Alla humma jafil arza an jambayhi vas'ad ilayka ruhahu wa laqqihi minka rizwana wa askin qabrahu min rahmatika ma tughnihi bihi an rahmati min siwaka.

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

639. It Is recommended that after the dead person has been buried the people should condole with the near ones upon death of that person. In case, however, so much time has passed since his death that condolence is likely to refresh their bereavement it is better not to condole with them.

It is also recommended that food should be sent for the members of the family of the deceased for 3 days. It is, however, abominable for one to take meal in their presence or in their house.

640. It is also recommended that a person should observe patience on the death of his near ones and 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 dead person. 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 demolished soon.

641. It is not permissible to scratch one's face or body or slap or torture oneself on the death of anyone.

642. It is not permissible to tear one's collar on the death of anyone except one's father and brother and the obligatory precaution is that one should not tear one's collar on their death.

643. If a woman who is mourning the death of a person scratches her face and makes blood come out of it or pulls her hair, she should, on the basis of recommended precaution, set a slave free, or feed ten indigent persons, or provide them dress. And the same orders apply when a man tears his collar or dress on the death of his wife or child.

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

Wahshat Prayers (Prayers to be offered in connection with fear caused by loneliness in the grave of the dead person)

645. It is better that on the first night after the burial of a dead body wahshat prayers be offered for it. The method of offering this prayers is as follows: After reciting Surah al-Hamd, Ayatul Kursi should be recited once in the first unit (rakat) and Surah al-Qadr should be recited 10 times in the second unit; and after saying the salaam 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 be should be called).

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 the dead body to some other town or its burial is delayed owing to some reason the wahshat prayers should be postponed till the night following its burial.

Exhumation

648. It is unlawful to open the grave of a Muslim even though he may have been a child or an insane person. However, there is no harm in doing so if the dead body has been fully consumed by earth.

649. Opening the grave is unlawful in the case of the descendants of Imams, martyrs, scholars and pious persons even though they may have been buried long ago.

650. Opening the grave of a dead body is not unlawful in the following cases:

(i) 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.

(ii) When the shroud of the dead body or anything 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 dead person which was inherited by his heirs has been buried along with him 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 should be buried along with his dead body the grave cannot be opened to take out these things.

(iii) When opening the grave does not amount to disrespect of the dead person, and it transpires that he was buried without bathing or shrouding, or the bathing performed was void, or he was not shrouded according to religious orders, or was not made to lie in the grave facing the Qibla.

(iv) When it is necessary to inspect the body of the dead person to prove some rights.

(v) When the dead body of a Muslim has been buried at a place which is against his status. For example when it has been buried in the graveyard of unbelievers or at a dunghill.

(vi) When the grave is opened for a legal purpose which is more important. For example, when it is proposed to take out a living child from the womb of a woman who has been buried.

(vii) 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.

(viii) When it is proposed to bury a part of the body of the corpse which was not buried with it previously. However, the obligatory precaution is that, the part should be placed in the grave in such a way that the body of the buried person is not seen.

(ix) When the dead body is proposed to be buried at sacred places like Najaf, Karbala al-Mu'alla or Mashhad al-Muqaddas and especially if the dead person had made a will in this regard.

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