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Section II: Rulings Related to Dying

Firstly: Remembering Death Often
It is mustahabb to remember death often by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Secondly: Preparing for Death
It is mustahabb to prepare for death by repenting, setting straight any wrongdoings against others, and turning to acts of worship.
Thirdly: Having a Good Opinion of Allah
A sick person, as well as one who faces the causes of death and its suffering, should have a good opinon of Allah the Exalted.
Fourthly: Turning the Dying Person Towards the Qiblah
It is not sunnah to turn the dying person towards the qiblah. This is the position of Malik and some of the Salaf. It is the position of choice of al-Albani.
Fifthly: Giving the Dying Person Water to Drink
The Hanafis, Shafi`is [633] Ibn Hajar al-Haytami says: “It is commendable to drip the water into his mouth. Rather, doing so appears to be wajib if there are signs that he is need of it, such as him appearing happy when this is done to him. Thirst becomes overbearing at that time due the difficulty of the soul’s departure.” (Tuhfah al-Muhtaj, 3/94) , and Hanbalis hold that it is mustahabb to give a dying person water to drink.
Sixthly: Dictating to the Dying Person
It is sunnah to dictate the shahadah to the dying person by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Seventhly: The Ruling of Brain Death [634] Among the signs of death that jurists have mentioned are: limp feet, a movable nose, sunken temples, cloudy pupils, etc. A summary of what doctors have mentioned: no pulse or blood circulation, no breathing or signs of it, the nervous system no longer controls the body – which is evident through an initial limpness of muscles and fixed pupils that do not react to strong light. Changes that happen to the corpse include the eyes becoming cloudy after death in most cases, skin colour going pale, and the body being cold. (Mawsu`ah al-Fiqh al-Tibbi, 4/1646) Brain death is a type of brain damage that leads to its permanent inability to perform any of its tasks including the brain stem.
Brain death is not considered a Sharia-legal death to which the rulings of death apply. [635] Unless breathing and heartbeat cease completely after disabling life support and his death is confirmed in a way that leaves no room for doubt. In such a case, there is no disagreement between jurists and doctors. See Mawsu`ah al-Fiqh al-Tibbi (4/1651) This is the position of Ibn Baz. The International Islamic Fiqh Academy a decision to this effect. This is also the decision of the Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Eighthly: Disabling Life Support
If the dying person is on life support, all of his brain functions have stopped entirely, his breathing has become artificial, and his pulse is artificial and not real, then it is permissible to disable life support. The verdict of the Permanent Council under the leadership of Ibn Baz concurs with this position. The decision of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy corresponds to this position.
Ninthly: Sunnah Acts to Perform for the Deceased Closing the deceased’s eyes
It is mustahabb to close the deceased’s eyes. Consensus on this was related by al-Nawawi and al-San`ani. Tying the deceased’s jaws shut
It is mustahabb to tie the deceased’s jaws [636] Called lahy in Arabic because the beard (lihyah) grows on it. shut with a bandage. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. Loosening up his joints
It is mustahabb to loosen up the deceased’s joints. [637] The joints of the arms and legs are intended. The forearm is moved towards the upper arm, then the upper arm is moved towards the body, then they are both extended. The legs are similar: the calf is moved toward the thigh, then the thigh towards the abdomen, then they are both extended. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. Covering the deceased
It is mustahabb to cover the deceased after his death. [638] Though if he dies in a state of ihram for hajj, his head is not covered. Consensus on this was related by al-Nawawi. Placing the deceased on a bed or the like
It is mustahabb to place the deceased on a bed or the like. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. Removing the deceased’s clothing
It is mustahabb to remove the deceased’s clothing shortly after his death. This is explicitly mentioned by Shafi`is and Hanbalis. Placing a heavy object on his abdomen
Hanafis, Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis are in agreement that putting something heavy or a slab of metal on the deceased’s abdomen is mustahabb. [639] Ibn `Uthaymin says: “We have a better solution in our age, and that is to put the body in a cooler if ther’s a need to delay the burial. Once he’s placed in the cooler, he will not become bloated because he will remain cool, so his abdomen will not bloat.” (al-Sharh al-Mumti`, 5/256)
Tenthly: The Ruling of Kissing the Deceased After his Death
It is permissible to kiss the face of the deceased by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Eleventhly: What to Do and Say When the Calamity of Death Befalls Patience
Patience that prevents one from falling into prohibited acts is wajib. Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim related consensus on this. What to say when one of one’s own passes away
It is sunnah to say the invocation of reclaim [640] That is to say: “Truly, we belong to Him. And Truly unto Him we shall return” as is mentioned in the Hadith of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) in Saheeh Muslim (918). upon the death of a family member, relative, and others.
Twelfthly: What is Permissible for the Family of the Deceased and Others Weeping
It is permissible to weep over the deceased without wailing or lamenting. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. It is also the position of Ibn Hazm. Eulogy
Eulogy [641] This includes weeping over the deceased, mentioning his good qualities, and even composing poetry about him. is permissible as long as it is not exaggerated. This is the position of the Hanafi and Shafi`i [642] Shafi`is hold that it is makruh when discontent is manifested, it is performed before a gathering, done excessively, or leads to renewed sorrow. schools, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Thirteenthly: What is Prohibited for the Family of the Deceased and Others
The family and others are prohibited from wailing, lamenting, screaming, tearing their garments, and slapping their cheeks. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Fourteenthly: The Ruling of Publicly Mourning the Death
Mourning the death publicly [643] The Arabic word is na`y, which means announcing the death of the deceased, informing others, and lamenting over him. There is no harm in announcing the death in newspapers before the deceased is prayed over if it is done in order that people pray over him. This is how the Prophet ﷺ announced the death of the Negus. He ordered the Companions to go to the place of prayer, and he led them in prayer. As for after the deceased’s death and after his funeral prayer, there is no value in doing so, particularly given that some scholars consider it prohibited na`y. See: Majmu` Fatawa wa Rasa’il al-`Uthaymin (17/344) is makruh by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. [644] Hanafis hold that it is only makruh if it includes tributes to his memory and grandeur. Malikis hold that it is only makruh if it is called out in mosques and their doors. As for informing of the death of someone without calling it out, that is permissible. Shafi`is hold that it is only makruh if it involves calling out the deceased’s glorious feats and exploits. The Hanbalis hold that there is no harm in informing his relatives and brothers without calling out.
Fifteenthly: Notifying of the Death without Announcing it Publicly
It is not makruh to notify of the death without announcing it publicly. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. [645] Hanbalis limit the permissibility of informing others to the deceased’s relatives and brothers.
Sixteenthly: Hastening in Preparing the Deceased
It is mustahabb to hasten in preparing the deceased after it is certain that he has died. [646] There is no harm if the one preparing the deceased waits a bit if he is a relative, as long as he does not fear for the deceased or distress those present. This can be done in the hopes of awaiting a larger congregation to pray over him. If one doubts whether he has died, these preparations are wajib to delay. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Seventeenthly: Hastening to Pay off the Deceased’s Debts
It is mustahabb to hasten to pay off the deceased’s debts. This is explicitly mentioned by Hanafis and Shafi`is [647] Shafi`is hold that it is wajib to hasten to pay off the debts when someone due money asks for his right. .
Eighteenthly: Hastening to Execute His Will
It is mustahabb to hasten to execute the deceased’s will. This is explicitly mentioned by Shafi`is [648] Shafi`is hold that it is wajib when a particular legatee requests his right. It also becomes wajib upon liquidation for bequests left to the poor and needy. Similiarly, it becomes wajib if the deceased requested that it be executed urgently. and Hanbalis.
Nineteenthly: The Ruling of Organ Donation
It is permissible to transfer an organ or part of it from a dead person to a Muslim if there is no other option. [649] His permission or the permission of his heirs is required. This is the position of the decision issued by the Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the decision issued by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, the verdict of the Fatwa Committee in Egypt, and the Fatwa Committee in Kuwait.
Twentiethly: The Ruling on Dissecting Humans The ruling on dissection for educational purposes
Scholars have differed regarding the ruling of dissections that are done for educational purposes. They have held multiple positions, but the strongest of them are two:
The first position: It is permissible to dissect the bodies of the deceased with the goal of teaching and learning medicine. [650] However, the following qualifications should be kept in mind: -         If the corpse is of someone known, he must have given permission while still alive to his corpse being dissected or perhaps his heir might grant permission after his death. An inviolable person’s body must never be dissected except in the case of necessity. -         The dissection must be limited to what is essential such as not to lead to being careless with corpses. -         The corpses of women are only dissected by women doctors unless they are not present -         All body parts of dissected corpses must be buried. See Qararat al-Majma` al-Fiqhi (p. 212) This is the position of a decision by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy in Mecca and the verdict of the Fatwa Committee of al-Azhar.
The second position: If the deceased was sanctified during his life, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, it is not permissible to dissect him. As for if he was not sanctified, such as an apostate or a warring disbeliever, then there is no harm in dissecting him. This is the position of Ibn Baz and the decision of the Council of Senior Scholars. Dissection as part of a criminal investigation
Dissection as part of a criminal investigation is permissible. [651] However, this permissibility has conditions, including the existence of an assault and murder suspect, weak forensic evidence, an established necessary cause for dissection, a judge’s permission, that the heirs not relinquish their right in asking for the criminal’s death. (Fiqh al-Nawazil, 2/47) This is the position of Ibn Baz, Ibn `Uthaymin, a decision issued by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, the Council of Senior Scholars, and a verdict issued by the Permanent Committee. Dissection in order to determine the cause of death (autopsy)
It is permissible to dissect a corpse to determine the cause of death and to ascertain the existence of infectious diseases that called for the autopsy. This is the position of a decision released by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy and one by the Council of Senior Scholars.
Twenty-Firstly: A Dead Woman has a Moving Fetus within Her Belly
If a woman dies but has a fetus moving within her belly, her belly is cut open if there is hope that the fetus might live. This is the position of the Hanafis, Shafi`is, one position among Malikis, one position among Hanbalis, and the position of Ibn Hazm and Ibn `Uthaymin.



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