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Section II: Burial

Firstly: The Ruling of Burying the Deceased
Burying the deceased is a communal obligation. Consensus has been quoted over this by: Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Hazm, Ibn Rushd, al-Nawawi, Ibn al-Mulaqqin, al-Mardawi, and Ibn `Abidin.
Secondly: If a Disbeliever Dies Among the Muslims
If a disbeliever dies among a community of Muslims, without those of his religion to bury him, then the Muslims cover him, and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. [727] The Shafi`is said that if the disbeliever was an enemy to the state then it is not obligatory to bury him. Rather, it is permissible to tempt dogs to feast on his corpse. It is nonetheless permissible to bury him so that the people are not harmed from his stench.
Thirdly: The Place of Burial
1. Burying in a graveyard
It is best for the deceased to be buried in a graveyard. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
2. Burying at home
Scholars have differed over the permissibility of burial at home [728] Prophets are an exception to this, as they are buried where they pass away. according to two views:
The first: is that it is permissible. This is the position of the majority: Malikis, [729] For the Malikis, it is makruh to bury the miscarried baby who did not cry at home. Shafi`is, [730] The Shafi`is said that this is leaving off what is better and of more priority. Hanbalis, and the majority of scholars.
 The second: is that it is makruh. This is the position of the Hanafis, some Shafi`is, some Hanbalis, and the choice of Ibn Hajar.
3. The place of burial for a pregnant woman from the People of the Book married to a Muslim
Scholars have differed over where a woman from the People of the Book who is married to a Muslim and pregnant from him would be buried, [731] Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Her back is made to face the qiblah, as the baby’s face faces her back. If she is buried like this then the Muslim baby is facing the qiblah. The baby is Muslim due to the Islam of his father and despite the disbelief of his mother by agreement of the scholars.” Majmu` al-Fatawa (295/24) and this is according to many views, the strongest of which are two:
The first: is that she is buried by herself, neither in the graveyards of the Muslims nor of those of the disbelievers. This is the position of the majority: Hanafis, the correct position among Shafi`is, and the position of the Hanbalis.
The second: is that she is buried with the Muslims. This is a position among Shafi`is, a narration from Ahmad, the position of some of the Companions, and the choice of Ibn `Uthaymin.
4. Burying the Muslim in the graveyards of the disbelievers
It is haram to bury a Muslim in the graveyards of the disbelievers. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence, and it is the position of Ibn Hazm.
5. Burying the disbeliever in the graveyards of the Muslims
It is haram to bury a disbeliever in the graveyards of the Muslims. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence, and it is the position of Ibn Hazm.
6. Burying those who died upon a ship
Whoever dies at sea in a ship and there is no reasonable way to reach land for his burial is thrown into the sea after being washed, shrouded, and prayed upon. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
- Sinking the dead at sea
Scholars have differed over whether the one who dies at sea should be made heavier so that he sinks to the seabed or not, and this is according to two views:
The first: is that he should be made heavier to reach the bottom of the sea. This is the position of the Hanbalis, a position among Malikis, and the position of `Ata'.
The second: is that he shouldn't be, and this is the position of the Shafi`is and a position among the Malikis. [732] They also said that he should be thrown into the sea on his right side, facing the qiblah.
7. Burial place for martyrs
It is sunnah to bury the martyrs where they lie, [733] Meaning where they were killed. and this is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
8. Transporting the deceased to be buried in a land other than the one he died in
It is permissible to transport the deceased [734] It is best if the deceased is buried in the graveyards of the land he passed away in. Ibn al-Mundhir said: “It is mustahabb that the deceased is buried in the land where he died. This is how things were at the time of the Prophet ﷺ, and the majority of scholars are upon this, as well as it being the practice in the majority of Muslim lands.” Al-Awsat (516/5) to be buried in a land other than the one he died in for a valid purpose. This is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Malikis, [735] Malikis gave conditions for this, among them are: that he does not explode when being transported, and that he is not dishonoured, and that it is for a benefit, like that he is buried among his family, or such that they may visit him easier. and Hanbalis.
9. A lahd or a shaqq
Both a lahd and a shaqq are permissible as a grave. Consensus has been quoted over this by al-Nawawi.
10. Perfering either a lahd or a shaqq
A lahd is better, [736] A lahd is a carving within the side of the grave wherein the deceased is placed, such overall it is an “L” shape hole in the ground. A shaqq is a straight hole in the ground of the grave where the deceased is lowered and laid and a ceiling placed over. and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. [737] If the land is too soft where the lahd cannot hold, the shaqq is dug in the ground of the grave.
11. Burial in a coffin
It is makruh to bury in a coffin [738] A tabut is like a box. It is haram to bury Muslims in coffins if it is meant to emulate the disbelievers. without a need. This is the position of the majority: Hanafis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, and Ibn al-Qasim from the Malikis.
Fourthly: Utterances when Placing the Deceased in his Grave
It is mustahabb to say: "In the name of Allah, and upon the way of the Messenger of Allah." This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Fifthly: The Description of Lowering the Deceased into the Grave
1. Placing the deceased on his right side
It is mustahabb that the deceased is placed in the grave on his right side. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
2. Facing the qiblah
It is mustahabb that the deceased is made to face the qiblah. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. [739] Some said it is mustahabb and others that it is obligatory.
3. Something in front of him to lean against
The deceased should be close to the wall he is facing or have something in front of him to lean against, like earth. This is explicitly mentioned by the Malikis, Shafi`is, [740] The Shafi`is explicitly mentioned it as mustahabb. and Hanbalis.
4. Something behind him to lean against
The deceased should have something behind him such that he can lean against it, like earth or stones. This is the position of the majority: Makikis, Shafi`is, [741] The Shafi`is explicitly mentioned it as mustahabb. Hanbalis, and some Hanafis.
Sixthly: Untying the Knots of the Shroud
The knots made to initially tie the shrouds together should be undone in the grave, and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Seventhly: Handfuls of Dirt after Burial
It is mustahabb for those who attended the burial of the deceased to throw in three handfuls of dirt or dust towards the side of his head. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Eighthly: The Ruling of Burying More than One in a Single Grave
It is not legislated [742] Scholars differed over this, some saying it is haram, other that it is makruh. that more than one man are buried together in a single grave, nor more than one woman together, unless there is a need to do so. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Ninthly: Ordering the Deceased if they are All Buried Together
If many are buried together in a single grave, then the best among them is placed facing the qiblah first. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Tenthly: The Time for Burial
1. Burying the deceased at sunrise, sunset, and at its zenith
Burying the dead is haram in three times of the day: when the sun is rising, and it is at its highest, and when it is setting. This is the position of Ibn Hazm, the choice of al-San`ani, al-Shawkani, Ibn Baz, Ibn `Uthaymin, and al-Albani.
2. Burying the deceased at night
It is permissible to bury the dead at night. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Eleventhly: Dictating to the Deceased
Dictating words of steadfastness in faith to the deceased after burial is an innovation. This is the position of al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam, al-San`ani, Ibn Baz, Ibn `Uthaymin, and al-Albani.
Twelfthly: Supplicating for the Deceased after Burial
It is mustahabb to seek forgiveness for the deceased and supplicate for his steadfastness after burying him. [743] Though raising the voice in supplication is not legislated, nor is group supplication. This is explicitly stated by the Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
Thirteenthly: What Benefits the Deceased
The deceased benefits from the prayer over him, the performing of any wajib act that may be done on his behalf, supplicating and seeking forgiveness for him, and monetary acts of worship, like charity on his behalf or freeing slaves in his name. Consensus has been quoted over this by Ibn Qudamah, al-Nawawi, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Muflih, and al-Mardawi.
Fourteenthly: The Ruling of Intending the Reward of Devotional Acts for the Deceased
Scholars have differed over the ruling of gifting the reward of devotional acts of worship to the deceased according to two views:
The first: is that it is permissible [744] Ibn `Uthaymin said: “Performing acts of worship and gifting it [to the deceased] is at most permissible, and is not mustahabb. The Prophet ﷺ did not command it, rather he commanded his nation to supplicate for the deceased. Therefore, supplicating is better than gifting good deeds.” Majmu` al-Fatawa wa Rasa’il al-`Uthaymin (308/2) to gift the reward of devotional acts of worship to the deceased, such as reciting Qur'an. This is the position of the Hanafis, Hanbalis, some Shafi`is, and the choice of Ibn Taymiyyah and al-San`ani.
The second: is that it is not legislated to do so. This is the position of the Malikis, the common opinion of the Shafi`is, and the position of Ibn Baz.


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