Pearl of Wisdom

'He who understands the exhortations of time will not be at ease with entertaining good opinions about his days.?

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Ibid. no. 8938

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Library » Death & The Hereafter » Rules Related to a Dying Person
Rules Related to a Dying Person E-mail

539. A Muslim who is dying, whether man or woman, old or young, should, as a measure of precaution, be laid on his/her back if possible, in such a manner that the soles of his/her feet would face the Qibla (direction towards the holy Ka'bah)

540. It is recommended that the dead body should be laid facing the Qibla during the Ghusls. However, when Ghusls are completed, it is better to lay it the same way as it is laid when prayers are offered for it.

541. * It is an obligatory precaution upon every Muslim, to lay a dying person facing the Qibla. And if the dying person consents to it, there is no need to seek the permission for it from the guardian. Otherwise, the permission must be sought.

542. It is recommended that the doctrinal testimony of Islam (Shahadatain) and the acknowledgement of the twelve Imams and other tenets of faith should be inculcated to a dying person in such a manner that he/she would understand. It is also recommended that these utterances are repeated till the time of his/her death.

543. It is recommended that the following supplications should be read over to a dying person in such a manner that he/she would understand: Allahhummaghfir liyal kathira mim ma'asika waqbal minniyal yasira min ta'atika ya man yaqbalul yasira wa ya'afu 'anil kathir, Iqbal minniyal yasira wa'fu 'anniyal kathir. Innaka antal 'afuwwul Ghafur. Alla hum mar hamni fa innaka Rahim.

544. It is Mustahab to carry a person experiencing painfully slow death to the place where he used to offer prayers, provided that it does not cause him any discomfort.

545. If a person is in the throes of death it is Mustahab to recite by his side Surah Yasin, Surah as-Saffat, Surah al-Ahzab, Ayat al-Kursi and 54th verse of Surah al-A'raf and the last three verses of Surah al-Baqarah. In fact it is better to recite as much from the holy Qur'an as possible.

546. * It is Makrooh to leave a dying person alone or to place a weight on his stomach, or to chatter idly or wail near him or to let only women remain with him. It is Makrooh to be by his/her side in the state of Janabat or Hayz.

Rules to Follow After the Death:

547. * It is Mustahab that the eyes and lips of a dead person be shut, its chin be tied, its hands and feet be straightened and to spread a cloth over it. If a person dies at night it is Mustahab to light the place where he/she is, to inform Momineen to join the funeral, and to hasten the burial. But if, they are not sure of his/her death, they should wait till they are certain. Moreover, if the dead person is a pregnant woman and there is a living child in her womb, her burial should be delayed till such time that her left side is cut open and the child is taken out and then to sew her side.

The Obligation of Ghusl, Kafan, Namaz and Dafn

548. * Giving Ghusl, Kafan, Hunoot, Namaz, and burial to every dead Muslim, regardless of whether he/she is an Ithna-Asheri or not, is wajib on the guardian.The guardian must either discharge all these duties himself or appoint someone to do them. And if anyone performs these duties, with or without the permission of the guardian, the guardian will be relieved of his responsibility. And if the dead person had no guardian, or if the guardian refuses to discharge his duties, then these duties will be obligatory upon all equally, as Wajib-e-Kifaee which means if some people undertake to fulfil the obligation, others will be relieved of the responsibility. And if no one undertakes to do so, all will be equally sinful. And when a guardian refuses to discharge his duty, seeking his permission has no meaning.

549. If a person undertakes to fulfil the obligations to a dead body it is not obligatory on others to proceed for the same. However, if that person leaves the work half done, others must complete them.

550. * If a person is certain that others are fulfiling their obligations properly, then it is not obligatory for him to proceed for the purpose.However, if he is in doubt or has suspicion, then he should take necessary steps.

551. If a person is certain that Ghusl, Kafan, Namaz or burial of a dead body has been performed incorrectly, he should proceed to do them correctly again. But if he just feels that probably the duties were not correctly discharged, or if he has a mere doubt, then it is not obligatory to undertake the work.

552. * The guardian of a wife is her husband. And in other cases, men who inherit the dead person according to the categories which will be explained later, will take precedence over each other. However, to say that the father of the deceased takes precedence over the son, the grandfather over the brothers, or full brothers over half-brothers or the paternal uncles over the maternal uncles, is a ponderable issue, and one should act with caution as the situation demands.

553. * A minor or an insane person does not qualify for guardianship in matters related to the dead person; similarly, an absent person who can neither attend to the duties himself, nor appoint someone to do them, has no authority as a guardian.

554. * If a person claims that he is the guardian of the dead person, or that the guardian of the dead person has given him permission to carry out its Ghusl, Kafan and Dafn, or if he claims that he is the appointed executor of the dead person in the matter of its final rituals, his claim will be accepted, provided that he is reliable, or that the corpse is in his possession, or that two Adils testify to his statement.

555. * If a dead person appoints someone other than his guardian to carry out his Ghusl, Kafan, Dafn and Namaz, then he will be the rightful person to fulfil those obligations. And it is not necessary that the person whom the deceased has appointed to carry out the duties personally should accept the will. However, if he accepts it he should act accordingly.

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