Death Related Issues
Question and Answers
- Question: In some non-Muslim
countries, the corpse is placed in a coffin and then buried in the grave.
What is our duty in such a situation?
Answer: There is no problem in placing
the corpse in a coffin when burying him in the ground. However, the religious
requirements of burial must be fulfilled; and one of those requirements is
that the corpse be placed on its right side with the face towards the qiblah.
- Question: A Muslim died in a non-Muslim city that has no Muslim
graveyard; and although it is possible to transfer the body to a Muslim country
for burial but the cost of transportation is exorbitant—is this a sufficient
[reason] for burying the body in the graveyard of non-Muslims?
Answer: This is not a sufficient [reason].
- Question: A Muslim dies in a non-Muslim city that has no Muslim
graveyard and the family of the deceased cannot transfer the body to a Muslim
country because it cannot afford the cost of transportation. In such cases,
is it obligatory upon the Islamic centers that are responsible for Muslims’
affairs to provide the cost of transportation? And is this obligatory upon
the Muslims who reside in that city?
Answer: If burying the deceased in an appropriate grave in that same
city or other city (excluding non-Muslim graveyards) depends on spending some
money, and neither has he left any estate that can pay for it nor are the
heirs capable of providing for it—then it is wãjib kifã’i
upon the Muslims to provide for it. And it is permissible to count it
from the religious or charitable dues applicable to him.
- Question: When there is no heir for a deceased Muslim person in
the foreign land, who should take charge of his burial?
Answer: If it is not possible to contact his heir and ask his consent
in handling the burial procedures, the requirement of consent is lifted and
it becomes obligatory, on basis of wajib kifã’i, on the
Muslims to handle the burial.
- Question: From where should the expenses of transportation to a
Muslim country and burial come, if it is not possible to bury a Muslim in
the city in which he died because there is no Muslim graveyard? Should these
expenses come from the estate of the deceased before dividing it amongst the
heirs? Or from the one-third [of the estate] if he has specified that? Or
from other sources?
Answer: The expenses of burying a dead body in a place appropriate
for it comes from the estate [before its distribution among the heirs] if
he did not make a will specifying that it be taken from the one-third. Otherwise
[if he made a will regarding the one-third], it should come out of it.
- Question: The Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries are increasing
day by day. Knowing the fact that a deceased Muslim will one day be buried
in the graveyard of non-Muslims either because of lack of funds available
to the family to send the dead body to Muslim countries for burial or because
of negligence; so, is it obligatory, as a matter of wãjib kifã’i,
upon the capable Muslims to buy a graveyard for the Muslims?
Answer: Burying a deceased Muslim in a place appropriate to his status
(other than non-Muslim graveyards) is an obligation of the heir just like
other obligatory deeds connected with the burial procedures. And if the deceased
has no heir or the heir is refusing to fulfill his duty or is not capable,
it is obligatory, on the basis of kifã’i, upon other Muslims
[to bury the deceased in an appropriate place]. And if fulfilling this wãjib
kifã’i duty depends on acquiring a piece of land in advance by
purchase or other means, it is obligatory to try and acquire it in advance.
- Question: What is preferable: burying a dead Muslim in an Islamic
cemetery in a non-Muslim city in which he died or transferring the dead body
to a Muslim city which entails exorbitant expenses?
Answer: It is preferable to transfer the dead to any holy shrines or
other recommended places if there is a donor who can bear the expenses —from
the heirs or others— or if the one-third of his estate which he has endowed
for religious charity, would suffice for that purpose. And Allãh knows
- Question: If transferring a deceased Muslim to Muslim countries
entails great difficulty, is it permissible to bury the body in cemeteries
of non-Muslims from among the followers of the revealed religions [that is,
Answer: It is not permissible to bury a Muslim in cemeteries of non-Muslims,
except if that is the only choice because necessity knows no laws.