grave of the dead

Questions and Answers in Janazah by Sheikh Ibn baz

grave of the deadAll praise belong to Allaah. We beseech His commendations and blessings upon the soul his Noble  messenger; his household, companions and all those who follow their path till the day of recompense.

To proceed

This is hurried translation of some questions and answers regarding the Islamic burial rites (janazah in Arabic).  We took them from a compilation of questions and answers by his emminence Sheikh AbdulAzeez bn AbdiLLaah bn Baaz; the former Grand-Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (may Allaah increase her people and leaders in steadfastness and protect them from the plots and arrows of the enemies of Islam, Aameen).

We do not intend to make it a cornerstone on the issue of janazah. However, you –our dear and noble reader- will see that the selected questions are important and highly beneficial. We ask Allaah to make it beneficial for the translators, the Sheikh, compilers, readers and everyone who plays a part is spreading the pristine call of this blog. Indeed Allaah is able to do all that and more.

12 Questions And Answers In Janazah

How do we instruct (the dying person to say shahaadah)

It should be said to the dying person, say: laa ilaaha illaa Allaah, remember your Lord. If he says it, good. The dying person should not be shouted upon till he says shahaadah. If dhikr (remembrance of Allaah) is done beside the dying person and he repeats it, good. And praise be to Allaah.

Is facing the dying person to the Qiblah legislated

Yes, that is encouraged according to the people of knowledge because of his statement (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him): the Ka’bah is your Qiblah (direction); (when) alive and (when) dead.

What is the manner of facing the dying person to the Qiblah

He should be placed on his right side, with his face towards the Qiblah as is done in the tomb.

Is it permissible to kiss the dead

There is no problem in kissing the dead if the woman who kisses him is one of his mahram or it’s a man that kisses him as Abu Bakr Siddeeq (Allaah be please with him) did to the messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him).

Is it allowed for the washer to ask the family of the dead if he (the dead)used to observe solah (when alive) or not?

As long as he is apparently a Muslim and those who brought him are Muslims there’s no need to ask them. Some people may take that with levity which leads to leaking secrets. So also in solah upon the dead; questions should not be asked about him as long as he is apparently a Muslim.

If the deceased had instructed that a particular person should wash him, should his instruction be acted upon?

Yes, his instruction should be acted upon.

Is it right for a man to wash his wife or his one or two years old daughter when she dies?

There is no problem in a man washing his wife and the woman washing her husband. Because that has been reported in the sunnah from the messenger of Allaah and the pious predecessors of this ummah. But, it is not permissible for the man to wash other women than his wife including his mother …

Is it permissible to take away the moustache, armpit hairs, nails and pubic hairs (of dead)?

Reducing the nails and moustache and trimming the nails is encouraged, but I don’t know any evidence for shaving the pubic hairs and removing the armpit hairs, it is better to leave them because they are hidden unlike fingernails and moustache.

If a person dies with golden tooth on him should it be removed from him if he owes debt even if the removal will not be easy or it should be left if there’s no debt on him?

If a person dies with gold or silver tooth on him there’s no problem in leaving it if pulling it will not be easy whether he owes a debt or not… if pulling it is easy it is obligatory to do so because it is wealth and should not be wasted.

Should the one who committed suicide be washed and prayed upon?

Prayer should be observed on the one who commits suicide and he should be buried in the cemetery of the Muslims because he is a sinner not a disbeliever. Suicide is a sin not an act of disbelief. If a person kills himself –we seek refuge with Allaah- he should be washed, shrouded and prayed upon. However, it is good for the grand Imam and those who have importance to avoid observing solah upon him as a deterrent. So that the people will not think he is pleased with the act. It is good if the grand Imam, Sultan, judges, heads of towns or their Ameer avoid such (i.e. avoid attending such solah) to serve as a deterrent for this act and declaration that this is a misdeed. But some people should pray on him.

I wish that you explain the way to observe Solah on the deceased as has been established from the messenger of Allaah because many are ignorant of it.

The messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (Allaah be pleased with them) have explained the way to observe solah of the deceased (Janazah).
It is that he first makes takbeer (Allaahu Akbar). Then he seeks protection from the cursed shaitan. Then he mentions (the name of Allaah i.e. bismiLLaahi-r-Rahmaani-r-Raheem) and he recites suratul fatihah and a short chapter or some verses. Then he makes tekbeer (says Allaahu Akbar) and he recites solah upon the messenger as he recites at the end of his (other) solah. Then he makes a third takbeer and prays for the deceased.

The most preferred (supplication) is to say:

Allaahumma ighfir li hayyinaa wa mayyitinaa wa shaahidinaa wa ghaa’ibinaa wa sagheerinaa … Allaahumma laa tuharrimnaa ajrahu wa laa tudhillanaa ba’dahu

All these were memorised from the messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him)… Then he should make a fourth takbeer and wait a little, then he should make a single tesleem to his right by saying:

Asssalaamu alykum wa rahmatuLLaahi wa BarakaatuH.

It is recommended for the Imam to stand by the head of the male (corpse for prayer) but at the waist of the woman because it has been authentically reported from the messenger in the hadith of Anas and Samurah bn Jundub. But the statement of some scholars: “The sunnah is to stand by the chest of the man” is a weak opinion which has no evidence as much as we know.

The deceased should be faced to the Qiblah while performing solah on him because of the words of the messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) regarding the Ka’bah:


It is the direction of the Muslims; dead and alive.

Is it right to specify a part of the cemetery for women and a part for men to make it easy to recognise the buried?

I don’t know any basis for this. What is legislated is that the grave should be for everyone because of the ease and simplicity in it also because this is what the Muslims have been upon since his time (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) till our time as far as we know. Baqee’ (a cemetery at Madeenah) contained both men and women during his time (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him).

Every good is in following his way and the way of his companions and those who followed their way rightly.


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