‘Funeral Procession (Ghusl, Shrouding & Burial)’
Washing The Dead Body (Ghusl)
General Washing and Shrouding Instructions.
- To wash an odd number of times 3, 5, 7, or more times if necessary.
- To hasten to wash the body.
- To use water and mix (ground leaves of) lotus/ sidr.
- To wash the right side, and then the places of wudu. Then the left side.
- To use camphor in the final wash.
- To untie the hair (of a women), wash it, comb it, and divide into three plaits (two sides and the centre), and arrange it at the back of the head.
- To shroud the body in odd number of (three) plain / stripped cotton sheets
- To perfume the shroud with incense an odd number of times, three or more before wrapping the body.
Washing Supplies needed
- Three or more buckets of water.
- Cup for pouring.
- Tissues/ cotton etc.
- Two sheets large enough to cover the body and towel.
- Ground lotus leaves/ soap/ shampoo for washing.
- Sponge/ rough piece of cloth for scrubbing.
- Camphor or perfume.
- Scissors for cutting clothes off.
- Carefully lay the deceased on his/her back on a washing table. In a private place.
- Cover the deceased awrah with towel or sheet.
- Undress the deceased cutting whatever is not easy to slide off.
- Remove any jewellery, if fingers are swollen use soap to help remove rings. In this and all subsequent steps, the awrah must remain covered by sheet.
- Slightly move the limbs to loosen the joints, if that is found necessary for the washing and shrouding. Only a slight pressure may be applied to the abdomen to expel any excrement that are close to exiting.
- Wash the deceased private parts very well, removing all dirt and excrements. If that does not stop after several washes cotton or cloth may be used to stop it.
- Untie any tied or braided hair. Wash hair.
- Turning the deceased on the left side, use pure water to wash the right side. Starting with the head, then arm, then foot, then the rest of the right side. As much as possible the water should reach all parts of the body.
- Turning the deceased on the right side, use pure water to wash the left side. Starting with the head, then arm, then foot, then the rest of the left side. As much as possible the water should reach all parts of the body.
- Repeat steps 8 and 9 one or more times if needed.
- Using water lotus / soap water mixture, wash the body as in step 8 and 9.
- If needed, wash the body with pure water as in step 8 and 9 to remove the soap.
- Conclude the final wash with the water- camphor mixture following the order of steps in 8 and 9.
- Comb the hair. If it is long, divide into three plaits, the sides and the centre. Place the hair behind the head.
- Use a towel to dry the body.
- Replace the wet sheet covering the awrah, with a dry one.
- The body is now ready for shrouding.
Do Ghusl after washing the Dead
The correct scholarly view is that doing ghusl after washing the deceased is mustahabb, but it is not obligatory.
This is the view of Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Umar, ‘Aa’ishah, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibraaheem al-Nakha’i, al-Shaafa’i, Ahmad, Ishaaq, Abu Thawr, Ibn al-Mundhir and others, and it is also the view regarded as most correct by Ibn Qudaamah.
The minimum in which the deceased may be shrouded, which fulfils the obligatory duty, is a single piece of cloth that covers the entire body.
Shrouding a Man
It is better that he should be shrouded in three pieces of cloth which are wrapped around him, as was done to the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ .
It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ was shrouded in three pieces of white Yemeni cotton cloth among which there was no chemise or turban. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1264) and Muslim (941). Ibn Hazm said: Allaah does not choose anything but the best for His Prophet. End quote.
Shrouding a Woman
Majority of the Scholars agreed that it is mustahabb for a woman to be shrouded in five pieces of cloth. Ibn al-Mundhir said: Most of the scholars from whom were learned were of the view that a woman should be shrouded in five pieces of cloth. [Al-Mughni (3/391)].
A number of scholars are of the view that these five pieces are:
- An izaar (lower garment or waist wrapper),
- A khimaar (head cover),
- A qamees (chemise),
- And two large pieces of cloth that are wrapped around her.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: How should a man be shrouded and how should a woman be shrouded? He replied: It is better for a man to be shrouded in three pieces of white cloth among which there is no chemise or turban. This is what is best. And a woman should be shrouded in five pieces: a waist-wrapper, a chemise, a head-cover and two wrappers. If the deceased is shrouded in one piece of cloth that covers everything, that is permissible, whether it is a man or a woman. The matter ibroad in scope. [Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (13/127)].
Washing of a Spouses body
It is permissible for a man to wash his wife, and for a woman to wash her husband, even if the woman is observing ‘iddah following a revocable talaaq (divorce). Details… https://islamqa.info/en/155045
Once the washing and shrouding is done the funeral prayer is to be offered and is to be taken to the graveyard for burial. (Will study how to offer Funeral Prayer in tomorrow’s class)
- The grave should be amongst other Muslim graves, it should be dug deep and wide.
- It can be dug as a deep rectangular hole with its long side facing Makkah, such that when the body is placed within it, it faces the Qiblah.
- At the bottom of this hole, another spacious cavity can be dug in the side closest to the Qiblah, within which the body is placed on its right side facing the Qiblah. Both types of grave were used in the time of Prophethood.
- The closest male relatives (who has taharah) should lower the deceased into the grave.
- The body should be entered lengthwise into the grave from the feet-side of the grave so the head enters the grave area first – and on the right side facing the Qiblah.
- As the dead person is placed in the grave, one should say, “Bismillaah, wa `alaa millati rasoolillaah.” ( In the name of Allaah and according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah )
- The body is then covered with soil; the Prophet once buried a Muslim, and put three handfuls of soil into the grave. So each one attending can put three handfuls of dust in the grave.
- The grave should be filled and mounded by approximately a handspan as was done with the grave of the Prophet himself.
- It is permissible to mark the head of the grave with a rock so that it is distinguished for family members who are to be buried in the same vicinity later (Abu Dawood).
- One must remember that the Muslims have a distinct method of conducting funerals in accordance to the Prophetic Sunnah. Muslims are commanded not to follow and imitate non-Muslims in our rites and rituals.
After Burial Make dua for the Deceased facing the Qiblah and not the Grave. The Prophet finished a burial and said to his Companions, “Ask forgiveness for your brother, ask for steadfastness for him for indeed he is now being questioned” (Abu Dawood).
It is allowed to visit the graveyards so as to supplicate for the deceased Muslims. This practice is permissible so long as lamenting and wailing is avoided.
Common Practices that are not Sunnah
- Reciting Quran or some specific verses on the water to wash the body.
- Pushing cotton or cloth in the mouth/nose.
- Enclosing anything in the Shroud.
- Writing on the Shroud (the Kalimah).
- Having or thinking a specific colour of cloth is required to cover the funeral while taking it to the graveyard.
- Saying the Kalimah or Takbeer while taking the Funeral to the Grave. This is not from Sunnah it has been taken from other religions.
- Placing the Quran or any worldly possessions or pillow in the Grave.
- Placing wreaths and flowers and the like upon the grave
- Plastering graves, building structures over them, making them high and writing upon them. Allaah’s Messenger forbade these acts (Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah). The Prophet commanded `Ali saying, “Do not leave a statue in a house except that you demolish it and do not leave a grave except that you flatten it” (Muslim).
- Making zikr whilst throwing soil into the grave, reciting Soorah al-Faatihah at the grave side.
There are many more that has absolutely no basis but still has creeped into Muslim’s minds and have them believing all that is Sunnah. We also see things are not even Bidah they are more towards Shirk like taking the deceased to a Tomb before burial.
May Allah make us all follow the Sunnah on occasions of Birth, during our lives and on the distress of Death of a Loved one!
Link to Urdu Lecture by Shaikh Yasir Al-Jabri https://youtu.be/DiG8rD46pEs
Note: The Lecture can have more or less details from the that what is written here in English. The Tests will ONLY be from what is written here in English. The Lectures are provided to have give better understanding of the matter.