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

Books » Islamic Laws

Rules related to a dying person » Recommended (mustaḥabb) acts of burial (dafn) → ← Rules related to a dying person » Recommended (mustaḥabb) acts of ṣalāt al-mayyit

Rules related to a dying person » Laws of burial (dafn)

Ruling 602. It is obligatory to bury a corpse in a manner that its smell does not come out and predatory animals cannot dig it out; and if there is danger that an animal will dig it out, the grave must be strengthened with bricks or similar things.

Ruling 603. If it is not possible to bury a corpse in the ground, it can be placed in a building or in a coffin instead.

Ruling 604. A corpse must be laid in the grave on its right side in a way that the front of the body faces qibla.

Ruling 605. If someone dies on a ship, in the event that his corpse will not decompose and there is no problem with it being on the ship, the people must wait until the ship reaches land and then they must bury it in the ground; otherwise, the ghusl, camphorating, and shrouding must be performed on the corpse while it is on the ship. And after performing ṣalāt al-mayyit, the corpse must be placed in a large barrel, its lid closed, and then the barrel must be thrown into the sea; or, a heavy object must be tied to the feet of the corpse and then it must be thrown into the sea. If possible, the corpse must be thrown in a place where it will not immediately become food for animals.

Ruling 606. In case there is danger that an enemy will dig up the grave of a deceased person, exhume the body, and cut off its ears, nose, or some other part, then, in the event that it is possible to do so, the body must be thrown into the sea in the way mentioned in the previous ruling.

Ruling 607. If necessary, the expenses of throwing a corpse into the sea and of strengthening the grave can be taken from the deceased’s estate.

Ruling 608. If a [pregnant] disbelieving woman dies and the baby in her womb has died, in the event that the father of the child is a Muslim, the woman must be laid on her left side with her back facing qibla so that the front of the baby faces qibla. The same applies, based on recommended precaution, if the spirit (rūḥ) has not yet entered the foetus.

Ruling 609. It is not permitted to bury a Muslim in the graveyard of disbelievers, or to bury a disbeliever in the graveyard of Muslims.

Ruling 610. It is not permitted to bury a Muslim in a place that is disrespectful to him, such as a place where rubbish and dirt are thrown.

Ruling 611. It is not permitted to bury a corpse in a place that is usurped, or in the ground of a place like a mosque that has been given as a charitable endowment (waqf) for purposes other than burial if it causes damage or inconvenience to the endowment. In fact, the same applies, based on obligatory precaution, even if it does not cause damage or inconvenience.

Ruling 612. It is not permitted to exhume a grave in order for another corpse to be buried there unless the grave is very old and the first corpse has completely decomposed.

Ruling 613. If a part of the corpse becomes separated – even if it is its hair, nail, or tooth – it must be buried with the body; and in the event that the separated part is found after the body has been buried, then based on obligatory precaution, even if it is its hair, nail, or tooth, it must be buried in a different place. Furthermore, it is recommended to bury nails and teeth that separated from a person’s body when he was alive.

Ruling 614. If someone dies in a well and it is not possible to bring him out of it, the well must be sealed and it will be considered to be his grave.

Ruling 615. If a child dies in its mother’s womb and were it to remain in the womb it would be dangerous for the mother, it must be taken out in the easiest way possible; and there is no problem if one is compelled to cut it into pieces. Furthermore, if her husband is skilled [in this matter], he must take the child out; and if this is not possible, a woman who is skilled [in this matter] must take it out. The mother can also refer this matter to someone who can better perform this task and who is more suited to her condition, even if that person is not her maḥram.

Ruling 616. Whenever a woman dies with a living child in her womb, if there is hope in the child surviving – albeit for a short period of time – then the woman must be cut open from wherever it is best suited for the health of the child, and the child must be taken out, and then the mother’s body must be stitched up. However, if one knows or is confident that if this is done the child will die, then it is not permitted.
Rules related to a dying person » Recommended (mustaḥabb) acts of burial (dafn) → ← Rules related to a dying person » Recommended (mustaḥabb) acts of ṣalāt al-mayyit
العربية فارسی اردو English Azərbaycan Türkçe Français