Allâh, piety) should be chosen in order to ensure proper treatment of the dead. Ghusl (Islâmic Bath) – Those who wash the dead are not required to be in a state.

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lAl-Istirjâ lCrying for the Mercy at the Time of Death is Allowed lWords at the Time of Death lGood Words lSûrah Yâsîn lFacing the Qiblah lAcceptance of Fate lBetween Fear and Hope lTo Wish for Death lDebts lWasîyah (The Will) lAfter Death ¡Closing the Eyes and Du’â ¡Covering the Dead ¡Hastening the Burial ¡Locating the Burial ¡Paying Off the Debts of the Deceased lPermissible Actions by Those Present ¡Uncovering the Face and Kissing it ¡Crying ¡Patience lAl-Hidâd (Mourning) Funerals: According to the Qur’ân and Sunnah

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lForbidden Actions by Those Present ¡Wailing ¡Striking Cheeks and Tearing Clothes ¡Shaving the Hair or Dishevelling the Hair ¡Announcing Someone’s Death ¡Gathering to Give Condolences ¡Preparing of Food by the Family of the Deceased lRecommended Actions by Those Present lTestifying to the Good of the Dead lPreparing the Dead ¡Injunctions Concerning Washing ¡Method of Washing ¡The Martyr ¡Injunctions Concerning the Shroud ¡Injunctions Concerning the Funeral Procession lThe Funeral Prayer lSalât-ul-Janazâh ¡The Jamâ’ah ¡Location of the Prayer ¡The Method of Prayer ¡Forbidden Times lThe Burial ¡Injunctions Regarding Burial ¡Injunctions Concerning Placing the Body in the Grave lAfter Burial lVisiting Graves lSpeaking about the Deceased

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Al-Istirjâ When the news of death in the family reaches the relatives and friends, the first thing that they should say is the following Qur’ânic verse (2:156): “Inna lil-lâhi wa innâ ilayhi râji’ûn [Truly! To Allâh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return].” This du’âis known in arabic as al-Istirjâ. In the case of the husband or wife, they should add “Allâhumma ajirnî fî musîbatî wakh-luf lî khayran minhâ (or minhu if it is the wife saying it).” [O Allâh grant me refuge in my affliction and replace her (or him) with someone better] Crying For Mercy at the Time of Death is Allowed The Prophet shed tears, but did not cry out in a loud voice We went with Allâh’s Apostle to the blacksmith Abû Saif, and he was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrâhîm (the son of the Prophet). Allâh’s Apostle took Ibrâhîm and kissed him and smelled him and later we entered Abû Saif’s house and at that time Ibrâhîm was in his last breaths, and the eyes of Allâh’s Apostle started shedding tears. ‘Abdur-Rahmân bin ‘Awf said, “O Allâh’s Apostle, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn ‘Awf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrâhîm! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî] Words at the Time of Dying Both Abû Sa’îd al-Khudrî and Abû Hurayrah quoted the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam as saying “Prompt your dying ones (to say): lâ ilâha illallâh.” [Sahîh Muslim, vol.2, #1996] and, ” whoever’s last words before dying are: lâ ilâha illallâh, will enter Paradise one day, even if he is afflicted before that by punishment.” [This addition is only found in Sahîh ibn Hibbân, authenticated in Irwâ al-Ghalîl, vol.3, pg.150] This statement does not simply mean that we should mention shahâdah, but the dying person should be instructed to say the shahâdah, as is evident from the Prophet’s statement, ” whoever’s last words are: lâ ilâhha illallâh ” Muslims are also encouraged to be present when non-Muslims are dying in order to present Islâm to them, in the hope that they will accept Islâm prior to their deaths. For the acceptance of Islâm at this point to be of any benefit, it must be based on knowledge, it must be expressed sincerely and with certainty, and it must take place before the actual throes of death begin. Allâh’s Messenger said, “I testify that there is no god worthy of worship but Allâh and that I am the Messenger of Allâh. Any servant who meets Allâh with those two {testimonies}, having no doubt in them, will enter Paradise.” [Muslim, vol.1, p.20, #41, Narrated Abû Hurayrah] The Prophet said, “Allâh, Most Great and Glorious, will accept his servants

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repentance until the throes of death begin.” [Collected by at-Tirmidhî and ibn Mâjah and authenticated in Sahîh Sunan Ibn Mâjah, vol.2, p.418, #3430. See Riyadh-us-Salihîn, vol.1, p.12, #18 for an English translation of this hadîth] Good Words People present may pray aloud for the one who is dying letting the person hear words of concern and sympathy. Negative words should be avoided this will only increase the difficulties the sick and dying are facing. Good words and positive thoughts will make the process of dying easier and recovery from illness more bearable Umm Salamah related that the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “If you are in the presence of a sick or dying person, you should say good things, for verily the angels say “Âmîn” to whatever you say.” When Umm Salamah asked the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam what should she say, he replied: “Say: Allâhumma-ghfir lî wa lahu wa a’qibnî minhu’uqbâ hasanah [O Allâh forgive him and me, and grant me a good substitute after him.]” [Sahîh Muslim, vol.2, p.436, #2002; Sunan Abû Dâwûd, vol.2, p.887, #3109; Sunan Ibn-i-Mâjah, vol.2, pp.366-7, #1447 and Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p337; Sahîh Muslim, vol.2, p.436, #2002] Sûrah Yâsîn The practice of specifically reading the 36th chapter of the Qur’ân, Sûrah Yâsîn, in the presence of the dying has no basis in the authentic Sunnah. Neither the Prophet nor his companions did it, or recommended that it be done. However, it does fall under the general heading of “good things” which could be said in the presence of the one who is dying, but it carries with it no special value There is an inauthentic hadîth narrated by Ma’qil and collected in Sunan Abû Dâwûd, vol.2, p.889, #3115, Sunan Ibn-i-Mâjah, vol.2, p.367, #1448. See also Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.338. It is declared inauthentic in Da’îf Sunan Abî Dâwûd, p316, #683. This inauthentic hadîth incorrectly specifies that Sûrah Yâsîn should be read for the dying; to believe that doing so has special value is considered bid’ah, a sinful innovation in the religion. Facing the Qiblah Turning the body of one who is dying so that he or she faces the qiblah [Makkah] has no foundation in the practice of the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his companions. The body should be turned to face Makkah when it is placed in the grave, according to the Prophets instructions. However at the time of dying there were no instructions. Turning the body became a custom after the time of the Prophets companions, but was objected to by the scholars of that time i.e. Sa’îd ibn al-Musayyib ibn Hazn (634-713CE), from the Madînite tribe of Makhzûm, who was one of the seven leading legal scholars of Madînah. He was known as the most knowledgeable scholar about ‘Umar ibn al-Khattâb’s legal principles and his rulings. He lived on what he earned from the sale of olive oil and he never

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accepted grants. [Al-A’lâm, vol.3, p.155] [Collected by Ibn Abî Shaybah in al-Musannaf and authenticated in Ahkâmul-Janâ’iz, p.11, nt.15] Acceptance of Fate The dying individual is obliged to accept his lot gracefully so that it becomes a source of reward and blessing for him on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught that patiently bearing the trials of this life is an act of righteousness which expiates sins. Abdullâh stated that he visited Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam while he was suffering from a high fever and said to him ,”O Messenger Of Allâh, you have a high fever.” He replied ,”Yes, I have a fever equal to that of two of your men experience.” I asked, “Is it because you will have double the reward?” He replied, “Yes , it is so. Any Muslim who is afflicted with the harm of a thorn prick or more will have, as a result of it, some of his sins expiated the way a tree sheds it’s leaves.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî, vol.7, p.374, #551 and Sahîh Muslim, vol.4, p.1364, #6235] Between Fear and Hope The dying person should be in a psychological state between fear and hope. The person should fear Allâh’s punishment for his or her sins and, at the same time, hope for Allâh’s mercy and forgiveness “Do not lose hope of Allâh’s mercy, for verily Allâh (can) forgive all sin.” [The Noble Qur’ân – az-Zumar 39:53] The only exception to that rule is the sin of shirk, as it negates the very purpose of creation “Say: O ‘Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [The Noble Qur’ân – 4:48, see also 4:116] Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allâh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. To Wish for Death No matter how severe the pain of the sickness may become, one is not allowed to hope or wish for death. The death wish reflects a belief that Allâh has burdened one beyond his or

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her capacity and indicates a lack of patience. The longer people live, the more opportunity they have to do good and improve their lot Anas quoted the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam as saying, “None of you should wish for death because of some harm which has afflicted him. But if one must do it, let him say: Allâhumma ahyinî mâ kânatil-hayâtu khayran lî [O Allâh keep me alive as long as living is best for me] wa tawaffanî ithâ kânatil-wafâtu khayran lî [and take my life if death is better for me].” [al-Bukhârî, vol.7, p390, #575, Muslim, vol.4, p.1411, #6480 & 6485] Debts Dying individuals may have in their possession certain items belonging to others. If that is the case,they should return them as soon as they are able to do so, in order to avoid having to pay them back from their good deeds on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam was reported to have said, “There are two types of debt: whoever dies intending to repay it, I will be responsible for it,and whoever dies with no intention to repay it, will have it taken from his good deeds. There will not be any dînârs or dirhams on that Day.” [Collected by at-Tabaranî and authenticated in Ahkâmul Janâ’iz, p.5] Wasîyah (The Will) Before dying, everyone leaving behind wealth and property should write or dictate a will in which they may give away up to one-third of their wealth to those who would not inherit from them based on Islâmic inheritance laws. This recommendation was instituted by Allâh to protect the rights of non-inheriting relatives and friends. Consequently the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam encouraged muslims to record and keep it with them,as soon as the need arises. Abdullâh ibn’Umar related that the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “It is not right for a muslim who has something to bequeath to pass two nights without having it in writing in his possession ” [Reported by ibn ‘Umar and recorded in all of the six major books of hadîth Sahîh al-Bukhârî,vol.4, p1, #1, Sahîh Muslim, vol.3, p863, #3987 and Sunan Abû Dâwûd, vol.2, p.805, #2856] According to Islâmic law, wealth obtained by wasîyah is not considered inheritance, but a gift. Under this law Muslims may leave a portion of their wealth to non-Muslim relatives and a Muslim may also receive a portion in a will from a non-Muslim relative, because it is considered a gift. Otherwise “A Muslim must not inherit from a disbeliever, nor should a disbeliever inherit from a Muslim.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî, vol.8, p.498, #756 and Sahîh Muslim, vol.3, p.852, #3928] According to the system of Islâmic inheritance laws (farâ’id), non-Muslims are not classified as heirs to Muslims. Likewise, Muslims have no right to take portions of their

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Bukhârî vol.2, p.225, #401; Sahîh Muslim, vol.2, p448, #2059; Sunan Abû Dâwûd, vol.2, pp897-8, #3153; Sunan Ibn-i-Mâjah, vol.2, p.383, #1477; Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p338] 4. Locating the burial The dead should be buried in the same area where they died. Transporting the body to another area or another country is not permissible if it will unnecessarily delay the burial or cause financial or other hardship. 5. Paying Off the Debts of the Deceased All outstanding debts of the dead person should be repaid from the wealth that he or she left behind, even if it consumes all of the inheritance. If the dead person is without wealth or the inheritance was not sufficient to cover all of his or her debts, the Islâmic state will be responsible to repay the remainder, if the dead person had made serious efforts to pay it. Permissible Actions by Those Present 1. Uncovering the face and kissing it Those present at the individual’s death or those who come to see the dead person for the last time are allowed to uncover the face and kiss it. Kissing the face of the dead is considered a part of the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his companions. [Sunan Abû Dâwûd vol.2, p.898, #3157, Sunan Ibn-i-Mâjah vol.2, p.371, #1456] 2. Crying Those present and the relatives of the deceased are allowed to cry for a maximum period of three (3) days. Abdullah ibn Ja’far narrated that the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam delayed coming to visit Ja’far’s family ‘for three days after his death’, then he came to them and said, “Do not cry for my brother after today.” [Dâwûd, vol.3, p.1165, #4180] 3. Patience Relatives of the deceased are obliged to be patient, practice self restraint, and gracefully accept Allâh’s decree, because Allâh has already promised mankind that He would test them. “Verily I will test you with fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, life, and the fruit (of your labour), so give glad tidings to the patient ones.” [The Noble Qur’ân 2:155] Among the glad tidings for those who are patient when loved ones are lost is that a home is prepared for them in Paradise, Abû Mûsâ al-Ash’arî quoted Allâh’s Messenger as saying:

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“If a child of [Allâh’s] slave dies, Allâh will say to His angels: You took My slaves child, they will reply: Yes, He will then say: You took the love of his life, and they will reply: Yes, He will then ask: What did My slave say? and they will reply: He praised you and said, surely, we belong to Allâh and to Him we will return.’ Allâh will then say: Build a house in Paradise for My slave and call it the House of Praise.” [Sahîh Sunan at-Tirmithî, vol.1, pp.298-9, #814] However true patience for which Allâh, subhanahu wa ta’ala, promises reward is that which is practised when calamity first strikes. The real test of patience is at the time of the calamity; being patient after the initial shock and reaction have worn off is not considered real patience. Al-Hidâd (Mourning) Women are required to avoid all forms of beautification as a sign of mourning for their husbands, children or relatives. This does not contradict the recommendations for patience, as long as the mourning does not exceed three days for her child or relative and four months and ten days for her husband. Umm ‘Atîyah said, “We were forbidden to mourn for more than three days for a dead person, except for a husband, in which case a woman should mourn for four months and ten days [during this period] we were not allowed to wear khol on our eyes, nor perfume ourselves, nor wear coloured clothes, except ‘asab cloth. It was permissible for us at the time of bathing at the end of menses to use a small amount of incense.” [al-Bukhârî, vol.7, pp.193-4,# 254 and Sahîh Muslim, vol.2, p.778, #3552] Forbidden Actions by Those Present 1. Wailing The Prophet strictly forbade wailing, screaming and hiring of mourners. Furthermore, he identified such practices as acts of kufr (disbelief), because they indicate displeasure with what Allâh has decreed. Îmân (faith) includes the belief that Allâh is the source of all good and that all of His actions are wise. Proper îmân would never allow those who possess it to commit such acts of ignorance. Abû Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said, “There are two practices found among people, both of which indicate disbelief: ridiculing the ancestry (of others) and wailing over the dead.” [Muslim, vol.1, p.44, #128] “Verily the dead are punished in their graves by the wailing of their family over them.” [al-Bukhârî, vol.2, p.213, #379; Muslim, vol.2, p.439, #2015]

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The Prophet said, “The deceased who is wailed over is tortured for that wailing.” [al-Bukhârî 2.378, Narrated Al-Mughira] The Prophet said, “He who slaps the cheeks, tears the clothes and follows the tradition of the Days of Ignorance is not from us.” [al-Bukhârî 2.385, Narrated Abdullâh] The dead will suffer due to the wailing of relatives in two cases: (a) When the deceased requested wailing prior to his death. (b) If the deceased knew that it was the custom of his people and he did not request that they not do so over him. 2. Striking Cheeks and Tearing of Clothes At the time of the Prophet , the practice in Arabia for women in mourning was to slap or scratch their cheeks and to rip their clothes. These acts were strictly forbidden, as well as similar practices which involved self-punishment and the destruction of material wealth. These practices all heighten the pain and sorrow that accompany death, while Islâm seeks to minimize it. Ibn Mas’ûd reported that the Prophet said, “Whoever slaps his face, tears his clothes, or invites (others) to an un-Islâmic slogan is not of us.” [Collected by al-Bukhârî, Muslim, Ibn Mâjah and al-Bayhaqî; al-Bukhârî, vol.2, p.216, #385; Sahîh Muslim, vol.1, p.59, #184] 3. Shaving the Head or Dishevelling the Hair In Islâm, women are required to shun various forms of beautification in order to avoid attracting other men during their period of mourning, since contracting marriage during this time is forbidden. However, shaving the head and dishevelling the hair is prohibited, as these acts go beyond normal bounds and are associated with pre-Islâmic concepts. [al-Bukhârî, vol.2, p.215, #383; Muslim, vol.1, p.59, nos.186-7] 4. Announcing Someone’s Death It is forbidden to make a big affair about announcing anyone’s death, such as proclaiming it from the minarets of the mosques, announcing it in the market streets, etc. If someone died, Huthayfah ibn al-Yamân used to say, “Do not proclaim his death to anyone, for fear that it may be a death announcement and I heard Allâh’s Messenger forbid death announcement with my own two ears.” [at-Tirmidhî and Sunan Ibn-i-Mâjah, vol.2, p.382, #1476, and authenticated in Sahîh Sunan Ibn Mâjah, vol.1, p.248, #1203] However, a calmly expressed general announcement is allowed, based on the Prophet’s practice. 5. Gathering to Give Condolences The custom of organizing gatherings in the home, at the grave or in the masjid to give condolences to the family of the deceased is against the Sunnah of the

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companions of the Prophet. Imâm ash-Shâfi’î said, “I dislike gatherings, even if there is no wailing or crying. For it only renews the [family’s feelings of] sorrow and puts burdens on their food supplies.” [Al-Umm, vol.1, p.248, quoted in Ahkâmul-Janâ’iz, p.167, Al-Majmû’, vol.5, p.306, quoted in Ahkâmul-Janâ’iz, p.167] 6. Preparing Food by the Family of the Deceased The obligation placed on the family of the dead person to prepare food for gatherings is incorrect, based on the previously mentioned statement of the Prophets sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam companion, al-Bajalî. Furthermore, it contradicts the Prophet’s sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam explicit instructions to relatives, friends and neighbours is to send food to the bereaved family. [al-Bukhârî, vol.7, p.401, #593; Muslim, vol.4, p.1202, #5491. Collected by at-Tirmidhî, Abû Dâwûd and ibn Mâjah (Sunan Ibn Mâjah, vol.2, p.455, #1610) and authenticated in Sahîh Sunan Ibn Mâjah, vol.1, p.268, #1306] Recommended Actions by Those Present It was the practice of the Prophet to have his family prepare food for the relatives of the dead. People later elaborated on this practice until it became an exaggerated ritual with much pomp and show. Later scholars considered its distorted form an innovation and abandoned it. [Sunan Ibn-i-Mâjah, vol.2, p.455, #1610] Testifying to the Good of the Dead It is recommended that righteous Muslims who knew the deceased well and were among his or her neighbours should testify to others about the good qualities of the deceased. Anas quote the Prophet sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam as saying, “For any Muslim who dies and four of his close neighbours testify that they have known him to be good, Allâh-the Blessed, the Highest-will say, ‘I have accepted your testimony and forgiven him for what you do not know about.’ ” [Collected by Ahmad and authenticated in Ahkâmul-Janâ’iz, pp.45-66] Preparing the Body There should be no delay in preparing the body, i.e. washing, shrouding, and burial of the deceased, supported by the Prophets instruction, “Hasten the funeral rites.” [Collected in all six books of Hadîth. See Sahîh al-Bukhârî, vol.2, p.255, #401] 1. Injunctions Concerning Washing

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