Works : Islamic Laws
648. It is haraam to open the grave of a Muslim even if it belongs to a child or an insane person. However, there is no objection in doing so if the dead body has decayed and turned into dust.
649. Digging up or destroying the graves of the descendants of Imams, the martyrs, the Ulama and the pious persons is Haraam, even if they are very old, because it amounts to desecration.
650. Digging up the grave is allowed in the following cases:
- When the dead body has been buried in an usurped land and the owner of the land is not willing to let it remain there.
- When the Kafan of the dead body or any other thing buried with it had been usurped and the owner of the thing in question is not willing to let it remain in the grave. Similarly, if anything belonging to the heirs has been buried along with the deceased and the heirs are not willing to let it remain in the grave.
However, if the dead person had made a will that a certain supplication or the holy Qur'an or a ring be buried along with his dead body, and if that will is valid, then the grave cannot be opened up to bring those articles out. There are certain situations when the exhuming is not permitted even if the land, the Kafan or the articles buried with the corpse are Ghasbi. But there is no room for details here.
- When opening the grave does not amount to disrespect of the dead person, and it transpires that he was buried without Ghusl or Kafan, or the Ghusl was void, or he was not given Kafan according to religious rules, or was not laid in the grave facing the Qibla.
- When it is necessary to inspect the body of the dead person to establish a right which is more important than exhumation.
- When the dead body of a Muslim has been buried at a place which is against sanctity, like, when it has been buried in the graveyard of non-Muslim or at a place of garbage.
- When the grave is opened up for a legal purpose which is more important than exhumation. For example, when it is proposed to take out a living child from the womb of a buried woman.
- When it is feared that a wild beast would tear up the corpse or it will be carried away by flood or exhumed by the enemy.
- When the deceased has willed that his body be transferred to sacred places before burial, and if it was intentionally or forgetfully buried elsewhere, then the body can be exhumed, provided that doing so does not result in any disrespect to the deceased.