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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Washing, Shrouding, & Praying on the deceased.

Q; Assalamualikum.......i want to know what is the correct way of giving bath to dead (including shrouding)? and how to offer funeral prayer? ..

A; All-Praise is due to Allah,
Washing a dead person has some rules and some good manners. First, anyone who wants to wash a dead person, has to conceal the dead's Awrah. So, he must cover the dead man between the navel and the knee. If the dead is a woman the women washing her must first cover her Awrah (front of women between the navel and the knee). Then the dead person's clothes are removed except that which covers the Awrah. It is likable that the dead person be concealed from the eyes of people while being washed and it is dislikable for anyone who is not helping in the washing to attend it. Then the corpse is placed on the washing bed or on an elevated place. Then the head of the dead person is tilted forward until the body almost in a seated position and his stomach is then squeezed carefully. After that water is poured on him/her thoroughly and the person doing the washing uses a piece of clothe in his hand to wash the dead's two outlets of impurities. He should not however touch the Awrah of any person aged 7 or more years unless wearing a covering for his hands. It is dislikable to touch any part of the body without screening the hands from directly touching the skin of the dead person.
He may then perform Wudu on him as the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said to those who washed his daughter: "Begin washing the dead by washing organs on the right, and those parts that are washed in ablution" [ al-Bukhari and Muslim ].
He should not put water in the deceased's nose or mouth but uses his wet fingers to wipe over his teeth and places them in his nostrils to clean them. His fingers should then be covered. Next he begins the washing starting by saying "Bismillah". The head and beard are cleaned with the foam of Sidr (lotus jujube). The Sidr is pounded and put in a receptacle with some water. Then, it is beaten by hand until it has a foam. Only the foam is used to clean the head and the beard as to avoid having residue stick to the hair. In fact, the foam does not contain any sediments.
Then the right side of the corpse is washed, then the left side, and finally the whole body three times, five times, or seven times or more, depending on the situation. But the number of washings has to be uneven as the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Wash the dead body an odd number of times, that is, three, five, or seven, or more if you feel it is necessary" [ al-Bukhari and Muslim ].
During each washing one has to pass his hand over the stomach of the dead.Some camphor should be put in the last washing as the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "For the final washing, use some Kafoor or something from Kafoor. When you are finished, inform me" [ al-Bukhari and Muslim ].

Camphor has a good smell so it has a special effect on reducing the dead body's odor. There is no harm in using soap if there is need for it. Some scholars state that his nails should be cut and his mustache trimmed but his hair should not be combed but should be dried with a piece of cloth.
If some impurities come out of the dead body after the seven washing, then the outlet is filled with some cotton and the place is washed and Wudu is performed on the dead person. But if this impurity comes out after it has been enshrouded then the Ghusl is not done again. The hair of the woman is trussed in three junctions and let hang on her back.

Washing the deceased Muslim’s body, placing the shroud upon him, making the funeral prayer, carrying him and placing him in the grave are all community obligations (Fard Kifaayah). Martyrs in Islamic Jihad are not to be washed or placed in the shroud, but rather should be buried as they died and it is allowed to pray the funeral prayer upon them. The shroud of the Muslim male contains three sheets while the female’s shroud should be of five sheets: a loincloth, head covering, upper wrap and two over-all wraps. The Sunnah is for the Imam or a person praying alone to stand at the chest of the male and the middle of the female. One stands and says “Allahu Akbar” four times, raising his hands every time: in the first he says “Allahu Akbar” and seeks refuge in Allah, says “Bismillah” and reads only al-Fatihah silently; in the second he says “Allahu Akbar” and reads the salutations on the Prophet (); in the third he says “Allahu Akbar” and supplicates to Allah for the deceased; in the fourth he says “Allahu Akbar” and then stands a bit and then says “as-Salaamu alaikum” once on his right. It is not allowed to raise the grave above the level of the ground except a hand span, to put any type of plaster on it, to kiss it, to place incense near it, to write on it, to sit or walk on it, to place any kind of illumination on it, to circumambulate around it, to build a mosque on it, or to place a grave in a mosque. Moreover any tombs (or buildings) built over a grave must be demolished. There are no restrictions about the words of solace and condolences for the grieving relatives. A person may say, “A’dham Allahu Ajrak wa Ahsan Aza‘ak wa Ghafara li Maitak” (May Allah increase your reward and bestow goodness to you in your grief and forgive your deceased). He may say when consoling a Muslim who has lost a relative who was a disbeliever, “Adham Allah Ajrak wa Ahsan Aza‘ak” (May Allah increase your reward and bestow goodness to you in your grief).
It is obligatory for a person who knows that his family will wail over him upon his death to write a will advising them not to do so; otherwise, he may be punished by their wailing on him.
Imam Shaafi’i, said that it is disliked that one sits for the condolences, referring to the gatherings in which the family of the deceased waits for those who desire to visit them for condolences. Instead, they all should go about their business, whether men or women.
It is from the Sunnah to prepare food for the grieving family (since they are preoccupied by their grief) and it is disliked to eat of their food or to prepare food for the people who gather at their place.

Please see Islamweb Fatwa: 84697, and Explanation of the last tenth of the Quran, p: 124.

This is just a brief description of the Fiqh of Janaaza, for more details see Sayid As-Saabiq's book Fiqh-Us-Sunnah Chapter Funerals and Dhikr, please try the following link-

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