Wooden planks for the cremation of father

Here is a summary of a piece of writing received from an Islamic brother from Zamzam Nagar, Hyderabad (Bab-ul-Islam Sindh Pakistan): In 2001, a billionaire businessman died in our area. People gathered in his splendid bungalow. Meanwhile, his 19-year-old son who was a student of a modern school stood up in a hurry to go somewhere. Someone asked him the reason of leaving in a hurry, so he replied, ‘My father loved me very much. I thought that I should serve him at the last moment with my own hands. Therefore, I will myself bring wooden planks to cremate [i.e. to burn] his dead body.’ People were completely shocked by hearing what he said because his father was a Muslim! In fact, the unwise son must have seen the scenes of cremating dead bodies in the movies of the non-Muslims, developing the mindset that the dead are to be cremated. Fond of films, he was most probably unaware that Muslims are buried, not cremated. Anyway, his deceased father was buried. Locals, when informed about such catastrophic consequences of movies, learnt a lot of lesson from this incident. Many young men disconnected cable network emotionally. This situation continued for some time but Nafs and Satan overpowered them again and cable network was reconnected. (Nayki ki Da’wat, pp. 582)

Dear Islamic brothers! This strange incident contains a great deal of lesson. Remember! Giving Ghusl to the deceased person, wrapping him in a shroud, offering his funeral Salah and burying him are all Fard Kifayah acts. In other words, if performed by some people, these acts will be considered to have been performed on behalf of all. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, pp. 810-842)

Death is inevitable and unavoidable but still many people are unaware of the rulings of Ghusl, shroud and burial, etc., though they are very well-informed about the news of the whole world. If someone’s beloved relative passes away some day, ours may also pass away any other day. Therefore, we should learn rulings on the Ghusl, shroud and burial of the deceased, etc. with good intentions.

4 Acts to be carried out before Ghusl-e-Mayyit

1 Light up joss sticks or frankincense and move it around the Takht[1] of Ghusl three times, five times, or seven times.

2 Lay the deceased on the Takht.

3 Remove the clothes gently or cut them if required, but the Satr of the deceased should remain covered.

4 Cover the body from the navel to below the knees with a thick cloth of a dark colour.

(Tajheez-o-Takfeen ka Tareeqah, pp. 86)

It is better if the Ghusl-giving person is the closest relative of the deceased. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, pp. 811)

7 Stages of Ghusl-e-Mayyit

1 To do the Istinja of the deceased (the person doing Istinja should wrap a cloth around his hand.)

2 To make the Wudu of the deceased (i.e. washing the face thrice, washing the hands up to and including the elbows thrice, performing Mash [مَسْح] [moistening] of the complete head once, and washing the feet thrice.)

3 To wash the hair of the beard and head

4 To lay the deceased on his left side and wash the right side

5 To lay the deceased on the right side and wash the left side

6 To move your hand gently on the lower part of the stomach after making the deceased sit by giving support at his back. (Neither can one look at the Satr of the deceased nor can he touch it without a cloth in between.)

7 It is Fard to make the water flow on the whole body once whereas it is Sunnah to make it flow thrice. (At the end, make the camphor water flow from head to toe. Then wipe the body gently with a Tahir [pure] cloth.) (Tajheez-o-Takfeen ka Tareeqah, pp. 86)

9 Stages of shrouding the deceased

1 Lighting up joss sticks or frankincense and moving it around the shroud.

2 Spreading the shroud, i.e. first of all spreading Lifafah (large chador), then Izaar (small chador) and then Qamees.

3 Keeping the strips of cloth for tying the shroud.

4 Placing the deceased on the shroud.

5 Writing first Kalimah on the chest and ‘یَا رَسُوْلَ اللّٰە (صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم)’ at the place of heart with the index finger.

6 Clothing the deceased in Qamees and writing the names of Mashaaikh on the shroud at the place between the chest and navel.

7 Applying camphor to those body parts on which Sajdah is performed.

8 Writing ‘بِسْمِ اللّٰە’ on the forehead with the index finger.

9 Wrapping Lifafah, i.e. large chador, first from the left side and then from the right side.

(Tajheez-o-Takfeen ka Tareeqah, pp.101-104)

17 Stages of burial

1 To select such place for the burial in a graveyard where there has never been a grave before.

2 The length of the grave should be slightly greater than the height of the deceased and the width should be of half of his height. The depth of the grave should be at least of half of the height of the deceased and it is better if the depth is also equal to the height of the deceased.

3 To completely plaster the grave and the inside surfaces of slabs with mud before bringing the deceased if the walls of the grave are made from baked bricks.

4 To blow on the inside slabs after reciting Surah Yaseen, Surah Al-Mulk and Durood-e-Taj. (Tajheez-o-Takfeen ka Tareeqah, pp. 132-133)

5 To make a niche in the wall towards the Qiblah in front of the face of the deceased and place ‘Ahd-Naamah, Shajarah and other Tabarrukat in it. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, pp. 848)

6 To lower the deceased into the grave from the side of the Qiblah.

7 To keep the Mayyit of a woman covered with any cloth from the time of lowering her into the grave till the slabs are placed.

8 To recite the following Du’a while lowering the deceased into the grave: ‘بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ وَ بِاللّٰہِ  وَ عَلٰی  مِلَّۃِ  رَسُوْلِ  اللّٰہِ’.

9 To lay the deceased on his right side or turn his face towards the Qiblah, and to open the knots of the shroud. (For laying the deceased on his right side, before the deceased is brought, make a pillow of soft earth or sand where the back of the deceased will be placed. If it cannot be done, turn only the face towards the Qiblah as much as possible to turn it easily.)

10 To throw the earth thrice with both hands from the head side of the deceased after the burial. To say ‘مِنْھَا خَلَقْنٰکُمْ’ first time, ‘وَ فِیْھَا نُعِیْدُ کُمْ’ second time, and ‘وَ مِنْھَا  نُخْرِ جُکُمْ  تَارَۃً   اُخْرٰی’ third time.

11 To make the grave convex like the hump of a camel and to keep the height of the grave a hand span or a little more.

12 To sprinkle water on the grave after the burial.

13 To place flowers on the grave because they will do Tasbih as long as they remain fresh and the deceased will find peace.

14 To recite the first Ruku’ of Surah Al-Baqarah from ‘الٓمٓ’ to ‘مُفْلِحُوْن’ after the burial at the head side of the deceased; and the last Ruku’ from ‘اٰمَنَ  الرَّسُوْل’ till the end of the Surah at the feet side of the deceased.

15 To do Talqeen: While standing beside the grave on the head side of the deceased, say the following thrice: Ya “so and so” son of “so and so”! (For example, Ya Farooq Bin Aaminah. If the mother’s name is not known, say the name of Sayyidatuna Hawwa رَضِیَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا in its place.) Then say the following:

اُذْکُرْ  مَا  خَرَجْتَ  عَلَیْہِ  مِنَ  الدُّنْیَا  شَھَادَۃَ   اَنْ  لَّآ   اِلٰہَ   اِلَّا  اللّٰہُ    وَ اَنَّ  مُحَمَّدًا  عَبْدُہٗ

وَ رَسُوْ لُہٗ  (صَلَّى  اللّٰهُ  عَلَيْهِ  وَاٰلِهٖ  وَسَلَّم)   وَ اَنَّکَ  رَضِیْتَ  بِاللّٰہِ  رَبًّا  وَّ  بِالْاِسْلَامِ  دِیْنًا   وَّ  بِمُحَمَّدٍ   (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ  عَلَيْهِ  وَاٰلِهٖ  وَسَلَّم)   نَبِیًّا   وَّ بِا لْقُراٰنِ   اِمَامًا

16 To make Du’a and do Isal-e-Sawab.

17 To call out Azan while standing beside the grave at the head side of the deceased and facing towards the Qiblah. (Tajheez-o-Takfeen ka Tareeqah, pp. 134-144)

By the blessing of Azan, the deceased finds refuge from the evil of Satan; because of Azan, mercy descends, grief of the deceased ends, his anxiousness comes to an end, he attains salvation from the torment of fire and the torment of grave; moreover, he remembers the answers to the questions of Munkar Nakeer. (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 5, pp. 370)



[1] (In Eastern countries) a sofa or long bench, or a bed

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