The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Laws in non-Muslim Countries

1 Question: What is your ruling on buying and using leather products in non-Muslim countries?
Answer: Leather products are impure (najis) and salãt in them is not permissible, if we know that they have been made from the hide of an animal not slaughtered according to Islamic laws. Such products are considered pure and salat in them is permissible, if there is a probability that they were made from skin of an animal that is essentially halãl and was slaughtered according to Islamic laws.
2 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.
3 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].
4 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.
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