Fiqh of Janaazah/Death

Notes from a lecture series by Sheikh Ahmad Jibril
Session 2
5/9/2004

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I. WASHING THE DECEASED

1. Wash the deceased ASAP
Hadith: Quickly prepare your dead

2. Who washes the deceased?
a) Whoever is specified in the will
b) Children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents of the deceased
c) Anybody who knows the correct Islamic procedure for washing the dead
Side Issue
* Men wash men and women wash women except in the case of a deceased husband or wife - their spouse can wash them.

3. Procedure for washing the deceased
- Lay the dead person down. Put him/her at an 80-90 degree angle and push down on their stomach to let out any excretion that might still be in their body.
- Wrap your hand with a towel or glove to clean the private parts.
- The deceased should be naked with only their private parts covered.
- Perform wudu for the dead. Do everything as normal except use a towel to clean their mouth, nose, and ears.
- Rinse their upper right side, followed by their back right side, and then the left side - top to bottom.
Side Issue
* What if more waste is excreted after the deceased has been washed?
If the deceased is wearing their shroud, leave them alone. If not, clean the affected area and perform wudu for them again.

4. How many times do you was the deceased?
1, 3, 5, 7, etc. The Sunnah is to wash the deceased any odd number of times, the usual habit is three times.

5. You can use soap to was the deceased
- It's traditional to apply kafoor after the last wash. Kafoor has a nice smell and keeps bugs away.
Side Issue
* Is there an exception to applying cologne upon the dead?
Yes, a muhrim (someone in ihram) cannot wear cologne.

6. Use cold/warm water
- More cold than warm. If the deceased is excessively dirty, it's okay to use warm/hot water to clean them.

7. It is Sunnah to trim the mustache and nails
Side Issue
* If the private parts aren't shaved, it is Sunnah to have them shaved at this point

8. Comb the hair unless the hair is so weak that combing pulls it out

9. It is Sunnah for women to have their hair tied with three bands - one for the left third, one for the right, and one for the middle third.

10. Dry the deceased

Side Issues
* The person washing the dead shouldn't tell anyone if the deceased has any defects.
* If you wash the deceased for the sake of Allah and not money, your reward is paradise.
* It is Sunnah to take a shower after washing the dead
Hadith: He who washes, let him bathe. Whoever carries the deceased, let him make wudu.
* Don't wash a martyr from a battlefield even if they're in a state of sexual impurity.
Hadith: On the Day of Judgment, the blood of a martyr smells like musk and looks beautiful - bury them like they are.
* Does the fetus from a miscarriage need to be washed?
After four months of pregnancy, the angels blow the soul of the baby into the fetus. Therefore, if the fetus is less than four months old, it doesn't need to be washed and prepared like a normal person. However, if the fetus is more than four months old, it must be washed like normal.
* If someone dies in an area where there's no water, perform tayammum for the deceased. It is generally agreed that tayammum consists of wiping the hands, face, and feet (just the top).

II. CLOTHING THE DECEASED
* The shroud used to cover the deceased can be any white cloth with no stitching

1. It is fard to cover the deceased

2. The money which is needed for the burial and shroud is the first thing that comes out from what is left of the dead person's wealth.
- If there is not enough money then the relatives of the deceased - those that inherit from him/her pay for these expenses.

3. The kafan/shroud must cover the entire body
- A sahabi, Musaib Ibn Umayr, didn't have a shroud that covered his entire body when he died. The Prophet (saaw) ordered that his face and feet should be covered with leaves.
4. The kafan must be in good condition
- It should be clean, cover the whole body, and be of medium quality. It is haram to spend an extravagant amount of money on the kafan.

5. If the deceased is a martyr, the shroud should be placed over their clothes
- This doesn't include swords, armor, or other similar military attire

6. Lay three shrouds on top of each other and center the deceased on top of them all.
- Put additional coverage on both private parts, a sponge or diaper type material.

7. It is Sunnah to spray cologne on the kafan, followed by the eyes, nose, face, and whole body if there is enough cologne.

8. Wrap the material over the right side of the deceased, followed by the left side
Side Issue
* The private parts should always remain covered, even when being washed

9. Wrap the material around the head and feet so it forms a cylinder at both ends of the body.
- Use strips of material to tie both ends, and five other points along the body. These should be untied when the dead person is placed in their grave.

10. Women should have five shrouds covering them instead of three.
- Their face should always be covered (sometimes the face is uncovered during the burial - this is okay for men, but not for women).

11. The colour of the kafan should be white - this is the Sunnah. However, you can use other colours as having a kafan is not fard - you can be buried wearing other clothes.

III. CARRYING AND FOLLOWING THE DECEASED DURING BURIAL
* Carrying and following the deceased before they are taken to the masjid holds less reward/ajer than carrying and following the deceased after the janaazah has been performed over them.
Hadith: If you carry the deceased after the janaazah, one qirat/mountain of ajer will be recorded for you. If you even walk with the janaazah procession, one qirat of ajer will be recorded for you. And if you stay with the deceased until everything has been completed, another qirat of ajer will be recorded for you.
- You receive the qirat of ajer for carrying the deceased just a short distance insha'Allah

1. You cannot follow the janaazah in that which is haram i.e. wailing, raised voices, etc.
Hadith: Don't follow the janaazah in screaming or burning incense

2. Group dhikr is biddah
Hadith: The sahabah used to hate hearing raised voices behind the janaazah

3. Carry the deceased quickly, a little short of jogging
Hadith: If the deceased was a good person, then they want to be rushed to their grave. If the deceased was a bad person, then you should rush to take them off your shoulders.

4. Walk in the front, back, or to the sides of the janazaah
- There is nothing against walking in front of the janazaah
Hadith: You can walk close or far away from the janaazah

5. The deceased shouldn't be transported in a special car
- This is a tradition of the kuffar. However, there are no other vehicles to transport the dead in apart from a hearse in the U.S.

6. You shouldn't stand for the deceased
- This was abrogated by a hadith, first of all the Prophet (saaw) told the sahabah to stand for the deceased, and then he told them to sit down.

NEXT WEEK: Salah & janaazah

 
 

 

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