إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
Verily, unto God do we belong and verily, unto Him we shall return.
~ Qur’an 2:156
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ
“Every soul shall have a taste of death”
~ Qur’an 29:57
Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah (swt).
Our lives, our possessions and our families are Allah’s gifts to us. These are trusts of Allah (swt) given to us in this world. Allah with His mercy allows us to benefit from these trusts for a pre-determined period of time. Allah (swt) with His wisdom takes away these trusts as He sees appropriate. Allah (swt) knows and we know not.
Death is the surest event that occurs in every human’s life and is inevitable and unpredictable. Nobody knows when death will come to him or her.
Immediately after death
Soon after the death the body becomes cold and loses its flexibility. Therefore, you need to take a few steps to position the body correctly for burial.
- Turn the face towards the right.
- Place hands (laid out straight) on the sides.
- Close the mouth. If necessary, tie a piece of cloth around the chin and head to keep the mouth closed.
- Keep the feet together. If necessary, tie the two big toes together with a string.
- Remind the doctor to sign the death certificate.
- It is highly recommended that the burial take place as soon as possible after the death.
Steps for washing
Privacy for the deceased is a crucial and important requirement at all times during the ghusl.
- The body of the deceased should be placed on a table or alike, the deceased’s clothes should be removed , and the body should be covered with a sheet of cloth at all times during the ghusl
- The Auwra (private parts) of the deceased should be covered with a sheet of cloth (The Auwra of a male is from the naval to the knee in the presence of males, for the female it is the same in the presence of females)
- The head and the upper body should be raised slightly to insure the washing water with exudations from the body flows down and does not run back to the body
- Remove any items or objects not already removed. These include watches, hospital or mortuary ID tags, wound dressings, IV lines, peg tubes, artificial limbs. If there is any active bleeding or wound discharge then that may be padded and dressed.
- The washer should start washing by saying: “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah)
- The washer wears gloves or winds a piece of cloth around his hand, and with this he cleans away any impurities from the body using water. Then he should dispose of the gloves.
- The washer should take another pair of gloves, press lightly on the stomach of the deceased to expel, if possible, any remnants from it, and then wash the body of all impurities using water. Then he should dispose of the gloves.
- The washer should take another pair of gloves, and wash the covered private parts, then dispose of the gloves.
The washer should perform wudhu (ablution) for the deceased without inserting the water in the nose and in the mouth. May use a piece of wet cotton wool in a small roll to clean nose and front teeth
- The washer should clean the body with water and soap (if available), starting from the head (hair, face and beard in men), then the upper right side of the body then the left side, after that the lower right side then the lower left.
- In the case of a female, her hair should be loosened, washed, combed, and be braided in three braids, and placed behind her back.
- The washing should be done three times, or five times, or seven times, as needed, providing that after washing the head, wash the right side before the left, and the upper parts before the lower ones.
- In the last wash, the washer may use camphor, or some perfume with the water.
- After that the body should be dried with a clean towel.
- Then the body should be covered with a clean sheet. The auwra must be kept covered at all times.
- Get ready to start the shrouding
Al-Kafan (Shrouding the body)
Shrouding should start immediately after washing and drying the body of the deceased. It is recommended to use white sheets from inexpensive material. Extravagance is not recommended in the Kafan (Shroud). All measurements may vary depending on the stature of the deceased.
The material of the sheet should not have any stitching, not be silk, nor should any gold be used.
We have a roll of fabric available should you need to cut a specific size.
The Kafan of a male
The Kafan of a male should consist of three white wrapping sheets, and 4 tie ropes
- Outer sheet – Lifafah
- Second sheet – Izaar
- Third sheet – Qamees (shirt)
- 3-4 ties
- 2 smaller sheets (satar) used cover the private parts (auwra) one before and the other after ghusl
The Kafan of a female
The Kafan of a female should consist of five white garments and 4 ties.
- Outermost sheet – Lifafah
- Second sheet – Sinaband – to cover from under armpits to thighs
- Third sheet – Izaar
- Fourth layer – Qamees
- Last piece – Orni – to cover head and hair
- 3-4 ties
- 2 smaller sheets (satar) used cover the private parts one before and the other after ghusl
Steps of shrouding
- The wrapping sheets should be opened and spread out one on the top of the other.
- Roll up the front half of the top sheet towards the head – Qamees (shirt)
- The deceased, covered with a sheet (satar), is lifted and laid on his back on this top sheet (Qamees)
- The Qamees is then unrolled over the front of the body and once the body is covered then remove the satar (covering sheet)
- Some scent or perfume or sandal wood paste may be put on those parts of the body upon which one rests during prostration, that is the forehead, nose, hands, knees, and feet.
- If it is possible the deceased’s left hand should be placed on his chest, then put his right hand on the left hand like the way in the Salat (Prayer)
- The edge of the next sheet (Izaar) is then folded over the deceased right side, then the other edge over his left side.
- Then the last sheet (Lifafah) should be folded the same way.
- These sheets should be fastened with a piece of cloth (tie ropes), one above the head, another under the feet, and two around the body
- This completes the shrouding.