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Rules related to a dying person » Laws of shrouding (takfīn) a corpse

Ruling 558. The body of a dead Muslim must be shrouded with three pieces of cloth: a loincloth, a shirt, and a full cover.

Ruling 559. Based on obligatory precaution, the loincloth must cover the area from the navel to the knees; and it is better that it covers the area from the chest to over the feet. Furthermore, based on obligatory precaution, the shirt must cover the area from the top of the shoulders to the middle of the calf; and it is better that it reaches over the feet. As for the full cover, this must be long enough to cover the entire body; and the obligatory precaution is that its length must be long enough for both ends to be tied, and that its width must be wide enough for one side to overlap the other.

Ruling 560. The obligatory quantity of the shroud (kafan) mentioned in the previous ruling must be taken from the estate of the deceased. In fact, even the recommended quantity of the kafan – up to a limit that is common and normal, and taking into consideration the status of the deceased – can also be taken from the estate of the deceased. However, in case the deceased’s heir is not bāligh, the recommended precaution is that one should not take more than the obligatory quantity of the kafan from the estate.

Ruling 561. If someone makes a will stipulating that the recommended amount of his kafan should be paid for from the one-third of his estate,(1) or, if he makes a will that one-third of his estate should be spent on himself but does not specify how it should be spent, or he specifies how only part of it should be spent, then in these cases, the recommended quantity of the kafan can be taken from the one-third of his estate even if the quantity is more than the amount that is commonly used.

Ruling 562. If a deceased person has not made a will stipulating that the cost of his kafan must be taken from the one-third of his estate, and if one wants to take it out from his estate, he must not take more than what was mentioned in Ruling 560. For example, the recommended quantity of the kafan must not be taken from the deceased’s estate in an amount that is uncommon and more than what is appropriate to the deceased’s status. Similarly, if one pays more than the usual price for the kafan, he must not pay the extra amount from the deceased’s estate. However, he can pay for it from the share of the heirs who are bāligh with their consent.

Ruling 563. It is the responsibility of the husband to provide the kafan for his wife, even if she has her own wealth. Similarly, if a woman is given a revocable divorce (al-ṭalāq al-rijʿī) – which will be explained in the section on the rules of divorce – and she dies before the expiry of her prescribed waiting period (ʿiddah), her husband must provide the kafan for her. In the event that her husband is not bāligh or he is insane, the guardian of the husband must provide the wife’s kafan from the husband’s estate.

Ruling 564. Providing the kafan for a deceased person is not obligatory on his relatives, even if it was obligatory on them to pay for his living expenses while he was alive.

Ruling 565. If a deceased person does not have an estate from which his kafan can be purchased, it is not permitted to bury him naked; rather, based on an obligatory precaution, it is obligatory on the Muslims [who come to know about this] to shroud him. It is permitted to pay for the kafan from alms tax (zakat).

Ruling 566. The obligatory precaution is that each of the three pieces of the kafan must not be so thin that the corpse can be seen through it. However, if the pieces are such that all three of them together prevent the corpse from being seen, it will suffice.

Ruling 567. It is not permitted to shroud a corpse with something that has been usurped even if nothing else can be procured; and in the event that the kafan of a corpse has been usurped and the owner does not consent, it must be removed from the corpse even if it has already been buried, except in a few cases, but space does not allow for the details of these cases to be mentioned here.

Ruling 568. It is not permitted to shroud a corpse with anything impure or with pure silk cloth; and based on obligatory precaution, [it is not permitted to shroud a corpse] with cloth that has been woven with gold. However, there is no problem in using these if no other option is available.

Ruling 569. It is not permitted to shroud a corpse with the hide of an impure carcass when other options are available. Similarly, based on obligatory precaution, shrouding with the hide of a pure carcass and with cloth made of the wool or fur of an animal whose meat is unlawful to eat is also not permitted when there are other options available. However, there is no problem if the kafan is made of the fur or wool of an animal whose meat is lawful to eat, although the recommended precaution is that a corpse should not be shrouded with either of these.

Ruling 570. If the kafan of a corpse becomes impure with an impurity – irrespective of whether the impurity was from the corpse itself or from something else – then, in the event that the kafan would not be destroyed, the impure part must be washed or cut out even if this takes place after the corpse has been placed in the grave; and if washing or cutting it out is not possible but it is possible to replace the kafan, then it must be replaced.

Ruling 571. If someone in the state of iḥrām for hajj or ʿumrah dies, he must be shrouded in the same manner as other people [who die while not in the state of iḥrām]; and there is no problem in covering his head and face.

Ruling 572. It is recommended that while someone is healthy, he should prepare his kafan, sidr leaves, and camphor.

(1) This refers to the maximum amount of one’s estate over which he has discretion in a will for it to be disposed of in accordance with his wishes after his death.
Rules related to a dying person » Laws of camphorating (taḥnīṭ) a corpse → ← Rules related to a dying person » Method of performing the ghusl given to a corpse (mayyit)
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