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Obligations of a Muslim toward dead - Funeral Rites in Islam

Updated on April 25, 2015

What are the Obligations of a Muslim towards a dead? - Funeral rites in Islam

While we are alive on this earth we have certain obligations, first to Allah, then to ourselves, thereafter to others who are our fellow creatures, and finally to others who die or are dead. When death has come upon a Muslim it is Sunnat to do the following acts:-

1. To close his eyes while saying Bismillah-e-Ala millata Rasullullah-e-Salalahu alihe wassalam.

2. To tie his chin.

3. To stretch out the joints and gently fold them.

4. To place a weight of about 4 ounces on his abdomen.

5. To straighten his head.

6. To clean up all secretions.

7. To place him on an elevated place like a bad.

8. To keep his face and the soles of his feet directed towards the Qiblah.

9. To cover his entire body, including his head, with a soft cloth.

10. To place one end of this cloth under his head and the other end under his feet.

Funeral Rites in Islam:-

Following four acts are obligatory on the community: (1) bathing the corpse; (2) enshrouding the corpse; (3) Offering Janazah prayer (4) interring the corpse. All four obligations must be observed even if the body is of one who committed suicide.

Before commencing to wash the body, all impurities from the body should be removed to a distant place. The person washing the body should wrap a piece of cloth around his hand. After a body is washed, it is sunnat to dry it with some soft material.

So far as the shroud is concerned, complete shroud of a male consists of three full coverings, and of a female, of two coverings, a covering for the body below the waist, a jacket or a cloak and a face covering.

The conditions of Janazah prayer:

1. The body should have been bathed or tayammum should have been done to it.

2. Those offering Janazah prayer should not stand ahead of the body, even when the prayer is offered beside the grave.

3. In conducting a Janazah prayer, it is Sunnat from the Imam to stand directly opposite the face of the deceased if the deceased is a male, and directly opposite the waist if the deceased is a female. The others will stand behind the Imam, preferably in three or more rows in odd numbers.

How the body is buried:-

This is the fourth obligation towards the dead. Following is the way of interring the dead.

1. Minimum requirement of grave is that it should remove the odor and keep off carnivorous animals.

2. Grave should be four and half cubits deep and one and a half cubits wide.

3. It is disliked to bury the body in a coffin unless the soil is very sandy or very muddy.

4. It is obligatory to turn the corpse so that it faces the Qiblah.

5. It is Sunnat for each of those standing beside the grave at the time of burial to cast three handful of earth towards the head side of the grave, saying the first time: Minha khalaqtakum, the second time: wa fiha noeedohum and the third time wa minha nukhrijokum tara ukhra.

6. After burying the Muslim brother or sister it is good to offer prayer/dua in favor of the deceased. It is good to install a branch of three on the grave which is sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH.

7. Sunni Muslims also arrange meeting namely Qul sharif wherein the following verse of Quran is recited by all the relatives and friends many a times for the esale sawab of the deceased.

8. Sunni Muslims also arrange ceremony of Chehlam for the esale sawab of the deceased.


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