FIQH: AHLUS SUNNAH WAL JAMA'AH - TRADITIONAL SHAFI'I SCHOOL OF JURISPRUDENCE
After the deceased is bathed, shrouded and the Janazah prayer is performed, it is then Obligatory to bury the deceased. It is best to bury him / her in the cemetery. It is Unlawful to bury someone where another person has been buried unless the previous body is completed disintegrated to such an extent that nothing of it remains - neither flesh nor bone. It is also Unlawful to bury two people in the same grave unless absolutely necessary, such as in situation where and when there has been much killing or death, in which case a wall of earth is made between the two bodies as a barrier. If the bodies differ in gender, this is even more imperative, especially, when two people of the same gender or not are not related.
If someone dies on a ship and it is impossible to bury him on land, the body is placed tightly lashed between two planks to obviate bloating and thrown into the sea so that it reaches shore, even if the inhabitants are non-Muslims, since a Muslim might find the body and bury it facing the direction of the Qiblat.
DIGGING THE GRAVE
The obligatory minimum for a grave is that it conceals the odour of the body and that it protect it from being dug up and eaten by animals.It is recommended to dig the grave wider than the obligatory minimum and that its depth equal the height of an average man with his arm fully extended upward.
A Lahd i.e. a grave with a lateral hollow which is large enough for the body dug into the side of the bottom of the grave that is towards the direction of the Qiblat is superior to a Shaqq i.e. a simple trench dug down into the middle of the floor of the grave with low block walls raised along the trench's sides, in which the deceased is placed before the walls are ceilinged with blocks and the earth is shoveled back into the grave on top of the them. However, if the earth is soft, then the Shaqq is preferable, so as not to cave in on the deceased.
It is Makruh i.e. Offensive to bury the deceased in a coffin, or to put in a pillow for him, because all of this wastes money without being of any benefit unless the earth is soft, quick or moist in which cases it is not Offensive. If otherwise, even if the deceased has stipulated in his / her will that a coffin be provided - it is still not provided, and the wish is ignored.
BURYING THE BODY
Men should bury the dead, even if the deceased is female, in which case the best suited is the husband, if able, and then those listed in the funeral prayer preference order, except that when two are on the same level - e.g. two sons or brothers - then the most learned in Sacred Law is preferred to the oldest, unlike the order for the prayer. The purpose here being the knowledge of the rules of burial, which a learned person is likely to know better than others. It is recommended that the number of men burying the deceased be an odd number.
It is preferable to conceal the grave with a cloth while placing the body in it i.e. a blanket is stretched over the grave about half a meter above the level of the ground, helpers holding each corner, while another person stands down in the grave at the foot end, ready to take the body from the bier. This is especially necessary when burying a female, and is done because something might be disclosed of the deceased that is desirable to conceal. The head of the deceased is placed near the foot of the grave i.e. the end which will accommodate the feet when the body is in place, and the body is slid from the bier head-first.
Recommendations For Buriers
It is recommended for the person burying the deceased, those who are standing in the grave taking the body, and there may be more than one:
1. to say to the deceased:
"In the name of Allah and according the religion of the Messenger of Allah SAW";
2. to supplicate to Allah for the forgiveness of the deceased;
3. to place a block as a pillow for him, and to pull back the shroud enough to lay his cheek directly on the surface of the block, as it is more expressive of lowliness;
4. and to place the deceased upon his right side.
It is obligatory that the body be placed facing the direction of Qiblat, and this is absolutely necessary. If buried facing the other way, or lying on his back, he is disinterred and reburied facing the direction of Qiblat.
The lateral hollow dug into the side of the grave i.e. the Lahd for the body is walled up with blocks after the body has been placed in it, before filling in the grave. It is Sunnah to use nine blocks.
The person at the graveside sprinkles three scoops of earth, using two hands into the grave.
It is Sunnah to say with the first:
"Of it We created you all."
with the second:
"To it We shall make you all return,"
and with the third:
"And from it We shall bring you forth again"
(From the Noble Qur'an: Surah 20: Verse 55)
Then the grave is filled in, using shovels, after which one stays for a moment:
1. to instruct the deceased the answers he will need to know when Munkar and Nakir question him in the grave as to his Lord, religion, and prophet;
2. to supplicate for him such as to say:
"O Allah, make him steadfast. O Allah, teach him his pleas";
3. and to ask forgiveness for him.
THE FINISHED GRAVE
One should raise the grave's surface up to 1 span i.e. about 23 cm above the ground so that it can be known, visited, and respected, except in countries at war with the Muslims where it is not raised but rather concealed, so that is cannot be meddled with and not abused. In such situations, it is appropriate to make its top flat rather than mounding it. No earth should be added when leveling it to what was excavated from it. It is recommended to sprinkle water over the grave and to put pebbles on it.
It is Offensive and Undesirable:
1. to whiten the grave with plasters;
2. to build a cupola or house over it;
3. to put khaluq / perfume on the grave, as it is of no benefit and wastes money or rose water;
4. to place an inscription on it, whether it is the name of the deceased or something other, on a board at the head of the grave or on something else; unless the deceased is a Wali (friend of Allah) or religious scholar, in which case his name is written so that he may be visited and honoured. When situations arise where it may be difficult to identify the grave when visiting, then such minimal provisions is allowable.
5. to put a pillow or mattress under the deceased.
It is recommended for men to visit graves of Muslims, especially on Fridays. As for visiting graves of non-Muslims, it is merely permissible. The spirit of the dead person has a connection with his grave that is never severed, but is stronger from the Asr Solat (mid-afternoon prayer) on Thursday until sunrise on Saturday, which is why people often visit graves on Friday and on Thursday afternoon.
There is no harm in wearing one's shoes when visiting to walk between graves. The visitor walks up to the grave as close as he would if the deceased were alive, and says:
"Peace be unto you, abode of a believing folk; Allah willing, we will be joining you."
It is Sunnah to recite as much of the Qur'an as is easy and to supplicate to Allah to forgive the deceased, while facing the direction of Qiblat, as supplications benefit the dead and are more likely to be answered if made after reciting the Qur'an.
It is offensive for women to visit graves because of their lack of fortitude and excessive grief though this does not apply to visiting the Prophet Muhammad SAW's tomb which they should do. And like the Prophet SAW in this is their visiting the graves of the Prophets AS, the righteous, and the learned.
Sunday, 21 October 2007
FIQH: AHLUS SUNNAH WAL JAMA'AH - TRADITIONAL SHAFI'I SCHOOL OF JURISPRUDENCE