Fiqh of Janaazah/Death

Notes from a lecture series by Sheikh Ahmad Jibril
Session 1
5/1/2004

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Introduction
* Whoever seeks knowledge, Allah will ease a path for them to heaven
* Ahmad Jibril reviewed books from every madhab for this halaqat
* The best book for fiqh is 'Fiqh As-Sunnah', but even this book has some weak ahadith
* Death is considered a form of ibadah/worship. This means that we have to follow what the Prophet (saaw) did exactly.

I. WHAT SHOULD A SICK PERSON DO WHEN NEARING DEATH?
* Knowing the procedure which needs to be carried out when someone dies can be used to make a lot of money - people usually charge $500-600 minimum to wash and prepare a body for burial. However, you shouldn't charge money for this service - you should do it for free and hope for your compensation in the hereafter.

1. He/she must accept Allah's will and remember that anything that happens to a believer is good.

2. Their mindset must be between khowf & raja' - fear and hope.
Hadith: You should fear your sins, but have hope for what you did.

3. Cannot wish death upon yourself.
Hadith: Abbas (r) was on his deathbed when he wished for death to overtake him. The Prophet (saaw) told him not to wish for death because if you do more good acts, you'll get more ajer; and if you do more bad acts, you'll have the chance to repent.

4. Give back people's rights before you die (this includes asking for forgiveness from those you backbit).
Hadith: Do you know who's bankrupt? The one who comes with a mountain of good deeds which slowly gets eaten away due to other people's rights (backbiting, debt, etc.).
- You should put something in your will or ask people for forgiveness.

5. If you have duties/obligations/debt, it's fard to have a will. The will must be kept around you somewhere; you cannot go more than two nights without a will.
Hadith: People used to put their wills under their pillows.

6. Must give a portion of your wealth to relatives who aren't already compensated for according to the Islamic guidelines for a will in the Quran.
- Give up to one third or less

7. Two Muslims must sign the will
- In this country your will must be notarized - have the two witnesses and the notarization.

8. Can't give more than what is already stipulated to the relatives which are mentioned in the Quran.

9. Must give a portion of your wealth to the relatives which are mentioned in the Quran.

10. If there's anything haram written in the will, it will not be carried out. E.g. you can't give all of your wealth to the masjid; you must give two-thirds of it to your relatives.

11. Write in your will that nothing haram can be done to your body after you die.
- If there's no reason for an autopsy, then it's haram to be cut up
- Haram to be in a casket. Even though it's Michigan law to be buried in a casket, at write in your will you don't want to be buried in a casket - this way you clear yourself of sin.
Side Issue
* Is organ donation haram?
This is a new issue. One opinion is that your body is Allah's and it's not yours to cut up. People sell body parts which is haram.

II. WHAT DO YOU TELL A PERSON NEARING DEATH?

1. Try and get them to say "La illah ha il lullah"
- Just say the shahadah to them, don't force them to say it

2. Make dua for that person dying because the angels say "ameen".

3. To specify that surah Yaseen should be said when someone's dying is not right. This is based on a weak hadith.

4. His/her face doesn't need to be facing the qiblah - this is biddah. If it happens to be facing the qiblah - that's okay; but don't turn it to face the qiblah.

5. Is it permissible to go to a kafir's funeral?
- It is not permissible to go to their funeral but you should go to their deathbed and say the shahadah.

III. WHAT DO YOU DO TO A PERSON AFTER THEY DIE?

1. Close their eyes
Hadith: Eyes stare at the soul leaving the body.

2. Make dua for them (angels say ameen).

3. Cover their whole body (including the head)
- If they die during hajj/umrah don't cover their head as you can't cover your head during ihram.

4. Make burial fast
Hadith: Quickly do the janaazah

5. Bury them in the country where they died
- This condition applies to everyone, not just those who die shaheed.

6. Family needs to pay the debt of that person immediately (this is different from rights which are owed).
Hadith: The Prophet (saaw) said that the dead is a prisoner of their debt as it stops them from going to jannah.

IV. WHAT'S PERMISSABLE FOR PEOPLE TO DO WHEN SOMEONE DIES?

1. You can kiss them
- Abu Bakr kissed the Prophet (saaw) when he died
- The Prophet (saaw) kissed his son Ibrahim when he died
- This ruling applies whether or not the dead person is washed

V. WHAT THE RELATIVES OF THE DEAD MUST DO

1. Be patient and accept what Allah has written
- If you have family, someone close to you will die one day

2. Women must not marry for 4 months and 10 days
- Women can also mourn for up to three days for other people apart from their husband
Side Issues
* Can a woman go to a wedding during this period?
Yes, they're just not allowed to marry during this time.
* Does this apply for men too?
No.

VI. WHAT'S HARAM FOR RELATIVES TO DO?

1. Wailing
- You must put in your will that you don't want anyone to do this.
2. Slapping cheeks, shredding clothes
3. Shaving hair
- Prophet (saaw) disowns you for doing that
4. Leaving your hair uncombed
5. Letting your beard grow
6. Announcing death like they used to during jahiliyya
- Just announcing that someone died is okay, the Prophet (saaw) did it

VII. SIGNS OF A GOOD DEATH

1. Dying saying the shahadah
2. Dying with sweat on your forehead
3. Dying on the night or day of jummah
4. Being a martyr on the battlefield
- Allah forgives the martyr when they shed their first drop of blood
5. On the way to jihad
- You die shaheed
6. Die during a plague E.g. cholera, Ebola.
Hadith: You should stay in the affected area when there is a plague.
- You die shaheed
7. Dying due to a stomach disease or anything to do with the stomach
- You die shaheed
8. Dying by drowning or something falling on you
9. A mother dying during the period of time after giving birth to a child and she is still bleeding (this occurs for sixty days).
- Women used to die a lot during this period but it hardly ever happens anymore
10. Death by fire
11. Death due to tuberculosis
12. Dying defending your wealth E.g. protecting your car - you shouldn't let someone go who is trying to rob you.
13. Defending family and religion
14. Dying as a soldier in battle E.g. as a guard - if a guard dies during battle, they receive ajer until the Day of Judgment as if they've been on guard the whole time.
15. Dying while you're doing any good deed

VIII. SPEAKING GOOD ABOUT SOMEONE WHO DIES

Hadith: Speak well about the dead as they will be evaluated on what you say about them on the Day of Judgment.



 
 

 

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