Islamic Practical Laws: Rules related to dying person
- A Muslim in his last moments, whether man or woman, old or young, should be laid on his/her back, in such a manner that the soles of his/her feet face the Qiblah.
- Giving ghusl, kafan (shroud), reciting namaz and burying the dead Muslim is obligatory (wajib) on all mature and sane Muslims. If any one Muslim performs these duties, then the others will be relieved of this responsibility. If nobody discharges these duties then all will be sinful. (That obligatory act which is obligatory on an assembly of Muslims, but if one of them fulfills it, relieving others of the responsibility is termed as, ‘Wajib-e-Kefai’.)
- If a child of 4 months or more (of pregnancy) is stillborn, its corpse should be bathed, but if it has not completed 4 months in its mother’s womb its body should be covered in a piece of cloth and buried without ghusl.
- One who bathes the corpse should perform this act with the intention of complying with the commands of Allah.
- It is unlawful to charge wages for bathing the corpse and if a person bathes the corpse to earn wages then the ghusl is void. However, it is not unlawful to take wages for the preliminaries of ghusl.
- After offering Namaz-e-Mayyat, it is obligatory to bury the corpse in such a manner that its odour cannot be smelled by those outside and the beasts of prey cannot take it out.
- It is not permissible to scratch one’s face and body or slap and afflict oneself, or pull one’s hair on the death of anyone (except while mourning for Sayyadush Shohada and the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)). If somebody does so then he/she will have to pay a penalty (kaffarah). For more details refer to Tauzihul Masail of any Mujtahid.
- It is unlawful to reopen the grave of a Muslim even though he may have been a child or an insane person, except in few cases as outlined in the Tauzihul Masail. However there is no harm in doing so if the corpse has turned into dust.
- Opening the grave is unlawful in the case of the descendants of Imams (a.s.), martyrs, scholars and pious persons, even though they may have been buried long ago.