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Rules related to a dying person » Recommended (mustaḥabb) acts of burial (dafn)

Ruling 617. The following are recommended acts of burial:

1.
the depth of the grave should be equal to the height of an average person;
2. the corpse should be buried in the nearest graveyard unless a further graveyard is better for some reason; for example, righteous people are buried there, or because people visit there more often to recite Sūrat al-Fātiḥah etc. for those buried there;
3. the corpse should be placed on the ground at a short distance from the grave and be taken slowly towards the grave in three stages; and at each stage, the corpse should be placed on the ground and then lifted up; and the fourth time the corpse is put down should be when it is lowered into the grave;
4. if the deceased is male, then on the third time that the corpse is put down, it should be placed on the ground in a way that the head is at the feet end of the grave; and on the fourth time, it should be lowered into the grave head-first. If the deceased is female, then on the third time that the corpse is put down, it should be placed at the side of the grave facing qibla and then lowered into the grave sideways; and a cloth should be held over the grave while it is being lowered into the grave;
5. the corpse should be taken out of the coffin and lowered into the grave gently;
6. the recommended duʿāʾs should be recited before and during the burial;
7. after the corpse has been placed in a niche in the side of the grave [as is done in some countries], the ties of the kafan should be unfastened, and the face of the corpse should be placed on soil, and an earthen headrest should be formed and placed under its head;
8. unbaked bricks or clods of earth should be placed behind the back of the corpse so that it does not come to lie flat on its back;
9. before the niche is covered, a person should hold the right shoulder of the corpse with his right hand, and firmly take its left shoulder with his left hand, and place his mouth near the ear of the corpse, and vigorously shake the corpse, and say three times:(1)

اِسْمَعْ اِفْـهَمْ (اِسْمَعِي اِفْـهَمِي) يَا ___ ابْنَ (بِنْتِ) ___

ismaʿ ifham (ismaʿī ifhamī) yā ____ ibna (binti) ____

Listen and understand, O ____ son (daughter) of ____.

In the blank spaces, one should say the name of the deceased person and the name of his father. For example, if his name is Muḥammad and his father’s name is ʿAlī, he should say three times:

اِسْمَعْ اِفْـهَمْ یا مُحَمَّدَ بْنَ عَلِـيٍّ

ismaʿ ifham yā muḥammadab na ʿalī

Listen and understand, O Muḥammad son of ʿAlī.

Then, he should say:

هَلْ أَنْتَ (أَنْتِ) عَلَى الْعَهْدِ الَّذِي فَارَقْـتَنَا (فَارَقْتِنَا) عَلَيْهِ مِنْ شَهَادَةِ أَن لَّا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللّٰهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَیْهِ وَ آلِهِ عَبْدُهُ وَ رَسُولُهُ وَ سَيِّدُ النَّبِيِّينَ وَ خَاتَمُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ، وَ أَنَّ عَلِيًّا أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ سَيِّدُ الْوَصِيِّينَ وَ إِمَامٌ افْـتَـرَضَ اللهُ طَاعَتَهُ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ، وَ أَنَّ الْحَسَنَ وَ الْحُسَيْنَ، وَ عَلِيَّ بْنَ الْحُسَيْنِ، وَ مُحَمَّدَ بْنَ عَلِـيٍّ، وَ جَعْفَرَ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَ مُوسَى بْنَ جَعْفَرٍ، وَ عَلِيَّ بْنَ مُوسَىٰ، وَ مُحَمَّدَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ، وَ عَلِيَّ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَ الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ، وَ الْقَآئِمَ الْحُجَّةَ الْمَهْدِيَّ، صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِمْ أَئِمَّةُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَ حُجَجُ اللهِ عَلَى الْخَلْقِ أَجْمَعِينَ، وَ أَئِمَّتُكَ (اَئِمَّتُكِ) اَئِمَّةُ هُدىًۢ بِكَ (بِكِ) أَبْـرَارٌ يَّا ___

hal anta (anti) ʿalal ʿahdil ladhī fāraqtanā (fāraqtinā) ʿalayhi min shahādati al lā ilāha illal lāhu waḥdahu lā sharīka lah, wa anna muḥammadan ṣallal lāhu ʿalayhi wa ālihi ʿabduhu wa rasūluhu wa sayyidun nabiyyīna wa khātamul mursalīn, wa anna ʿaliyyan amīrul muʾminīna wa sayyidul waṣiyyīna wa imāmunif taraḍal lāhu ṭāʿatahu ʿalal ʿālamīn, wa annal ḥasana wal ḥusayn, wa ʿaliyyabnal ḥusayn, wa muḥammadabna ʿalī, wa jaʿfarabna muḥammad, wa mūsabna jaʿfar, wa ʿaliyyabna mūsā, wa muḥammadabna ʿalī, wa ʿaliyyabna muḥammad, wal ḥasanabna ʿalī, wal qāʾimal ḥujjatal mahdī, ṣalawātullāhi ʿalayhim aʾimmatul muʾminīn, wa ḥujajul lāhi ʿalal khalqi ajmaʿīn, wa aʾimmatuka (aʾimmatuki) aʾimmatu hudam bika (biki) abrāruy yā ____

Do you hold true to the covenant to which you held when you parted from us? Whereby you testify that there is no god but Allah, He alone, for whom there is no partner; that Muḥammad – may Allah bless him and his progeny – is His servant and His messenger and the foremost of all the Prophets and the seal of all the Messengers; that ʿAlī is the Commander of the Faithful and the master of all the successors and an Imam whose obedience Allah has made obligatory on the whole world; that al-Ḥasan, and al-Ḥusayn, and ʿAlī son of al-Ḥusayn, and Muḥammad son of ʿAlī, and Jaʿfar son of Muḥammad, and Mūsā son of Jaʿfar, and ʿAlī son of Mūsā, and Muḥammad son of ʿAlī, and ʿAlī son of Muḥammad, and al-Ḥasan son of ʿAlī, and the Upriser, the Proof, al-Mahdī – may Allah’s blessings be upon them all – are Imams of the faithful and Allah’s proofs over the whole of creation, and your Imams are Imams of guidance for you and are pious, O ____.

In the blank space, he should say the name of the deceased person and the name of his father. Then, he should say:

إِذَا أَتَاكَ (أَتَاكِ) الْمَلَكَانِ الْمُقَرَّبَانِ رَسُولَيْنِ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللهِ تَـبَارَكَ وَ تَـعَالَىٰ، وَ سَئَلاَكَ (سَئَلاَكِ) عَنْ رَّبِّكَ (رَّبِّكِ)، وَ عَنْ نَبِيِّكَ (نَبِيِّكِ)، وَ عَنْ دِيـنِكَ (دِيـنِكِ)، وَ عَنْ كِتَابِكَ (كِتَابِكِ)، وَ عَنْ قِبْلَتِكَ (قِبْلَتِكِ)، وَ عَنْ أَئِمَّتِكَ (أَئِمَّتِكِ)، فَلاَ تَخَفْ (تَخَافِي) وَ لاَ تَحْزَنْ (تَحْزَنِي)، وَ قُلْ (قُولِي) فِي جَوَابِهِمَا اللهُ رَبِّي، وَ مُحَمَّدٌ صَلَّی اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ آلِهِ وَ سَلَّمْ نَبِيِّي، وَ الْإِسْلاَمُ دِينِي، وَ الْقُرْآنُ كِتَابِي، وَ الْكَعْبَةُ قِبْلَتِي، وَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلِيُّ ابْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ إِمَامِي، وَ الْحَسَنُ ابْنُ عَلِيٍّ الْمُجْتَبىٰ إِمَامِي، وَ الْحُسَيْنُ ابْنُ عَلِيٍّ الشَّهِيدُ بِكَرْبَلاَءَ إِمَامِي، وَ عَلِيٌّ زَيْنُ الْعَابِدِينَ إِمَامِي، وَ مُحَمَّدٌ الْبَاقِرُ إِمَامِي، وَ جَعْفَرٌ الصَّادِقُ إِمَامِي، وَ مُوسَى الْكَاظِمُ إِمَامِي، وَ عَلِيٌّ الرِّضَا إِمَامِي، وَ مُحَمَّدٌ الْجَوَادُ إِمَامِي، وَ عَلِيٌّ الْهَادِي إِمَامِي، وَ الْحَسَنُ الْعَسْكَرِيُّ إِمَامِي، وَ الْحُجَّةُ الْمُنْـتَظَرُ إِمَامِي، هٰؤُلآءِ صَلَوٰتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِمْ اَئِمَّتِي وَ سَادَتِي وَ قَادَتِي وَ شُفَعَائِـي، بِهِمْ أَتَـوَلَّىٰ وَ مِنْ أَعْدَآئِهِمْ أَتَـبَـرَّأُ فِي الدُّنْـيَا وَ الْأَخِرَةِ، ثُمَّ اعْلَمْ (اعْلَمِي) يَا ___

idhā atākal (atākil) malakānil muqarrabāni rasūlayni min ʿindillāhi tabāraka wa taʿālā, wa saʾalāka (saʾalāki) ʿan rabbika (rabbiki), wa ʿan nabiyyika (nabiyyiki), wa ʿan dīnika (dīniki), wa ʿan kitābika (kitābiki), wa ʿan qiblatika (qiblatiki), wa ʿan aʾimmatika (aʾimmatiki), falā takhaf (takhāfī) wa lā taḥzan (taḥzanī), wa qul (qūlī) fī jawābihimal lāhu rabbī, wa muḥammadun ṣallal lāhu ʿalayhi wa ālihi wa sallam nabiyyī, wal islāmu dīnī, wal qurʾānu kitābī, wal kaʿbatu qiblatī, wa amīrul muʾminīna ʿaliyyubnu abī ṭālib imāmī, wal ḥasanubnu ʿaliyyinil mujtabā imāmī, wal ḥusaynubnu ʿaliyyinish shahīdu bikarbalāʾa imāmī, wa ʿalliyyun zaynul ʿābidīna imāmī, wa muḥammadunil bāqiru imāmī, wa jaʿfaruniṣ ṣādiqu imāmī, wa mūsal kāẓimu imāmī, wa ʿaliyyunir riḍā imāmī, wa muḥammadunil jawādu imāmī, wa ʿaliyyunil hādī imāmī, wal ḥasanul ʿaskariyyu imāmī, wal ḥujjatul muntaẓaru imāmī, hāʾulāʾi ṣalawātul lāhi ʿalayhim aʾimmatī wa sādatī wa qādatī wa shufaʿāʾī, bihim atawallā wa min aʿdāʾihim atabarraʾu fīd dunyā wal ākhirah, thummaʿ lam (lamī) yā ____

When the two angels who are close [to Allah], come to you as messengers from Allah – the Blessed, the Exalted – and ask you about your Lord, your Prophet, your religion, your book, your qibla, and your Imams, then do not fear nor grieve, but say in response to them: Allah is my Lord, Muḥammad – may Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him and his progeny – is my Prophet, Islam is my religion, the Qur’an is my book, and the Kaʿbah is my qibla. The Commander of the Faithful ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib is my Imam, al-Ḥasan al-Mujtabā is my Imam, al-Ḥusayn the Martyr of Karbala is my Imam, ʿAlī Zayn al-ʿĀbidīn is my Imam, Muḥammad al-Bāqir is my Imam, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq is my Imam, Mūsā al-Kāẓim is my Imam, ʿAlī al-Riḍā is my Imam, Muḥammad al-Jawād is my Imam, ʿAlī al-Hādī is my Imam, al-Ḥasan al-ʿAskarī is my Imam, and al-Ḥujjah al-Muntaẓar is my Imam. All of them – may Allah’s blessings be upon them – are my Imams, my masters, my leaders, and my intercessors. I befriend only them and I have hatred only for their enemies in this world and the Hereafter. Then know, O ____

In the blank space, he should say the name of the deceased person and the name of his father. Then, he should say:

أَنَّ اللهَ تَـبَارَكَ وَ تَـعَالَىٰ نِعْمَ الرَّبُّ، وَ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ آلِهِ وَ سَلَّمَ نِعْمَ الرَّسُولُ، وَ أَنَّ عَلِيَّ ابْنَ أَبِـي طَالِبٍ وَّ أَوْلاَدَهُ الْمَعْصُومِينَ الْأَئِمَّةَ الإِثْنىٰ عَشَرَ نِعْمَ الْأَئِمَّةُ، وَ أَنَّ مَا جَآءَ بِهِ مُحَمَّدٌ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ آلِهِ وَ سَلَّمَ حَقٌّ، وَ أَنَّ الْمَوْتَ حَقٌّ، وَ سُؤَالَ مُنْكَرٍ وَّ نَكِيرٍ فِي الْقَبْرِ حَقٌّ، وَ الْبَعْثَ حَقٌّ، وَ النُّشُورَ حَقٌّ، وَ الصِّرَاطَ حَقٌّ، وَ الْمِيزَانَ حَقٌّ، وَ تَطَآئُـرَ الْكُتُبِ حَقٌّ، وَ أَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ حَقٌّ، وَ النَّارَ حَقٌّ، وَ أَنَّ السَّاعَةَ آتِيَةٌ لاَّ رَيْبَ فِيهَا، وَ أَنَّ اللهَ يَبْعَثُ مَنْ فِي الْقُبُورِ

annal lāha tabāraka wa taʿālā niʿmar rabb, wa anna muḥammadan ṣallal lāhu ʿalayhi wa ālihi wa sallama niʿmar rasūl, wa anna ʿaliyyabna abī ṭālib wa awlādahul maʿsūmīnal aʾimmatal ithnā ʿashara niʿmal aʿimmah, wa anna mā jāʾa bihi muḥammadun ṣallal lāhu ʿalayhi wa ālihi wa sallama haqq, wa annal mawta haqq, wa suʾāla munkariw wa nakīrin fil qabri haqq, wal baʿtha haqq, wan nushūra haqq, waṣ ṣirāṭa haqq, wal mīzāna haqq, wa taṭāʾural kutubi haqq, wa annal jannata haqq, wan nāra haqq, wa annas sāʿata ātiyatul lā rayba fīhā, wa annal lāha yabʿathu man fīl qubūr

Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, is the best Lord, and Muḥammad – may Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him and his progeny – is the best messenger, and ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib and his infallible descendants, [together being] the twelve Imams, are the best Imams. What Muḥammad – may Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him and his progeny – brought is true; death is real; the questioning of Munkar and Nakīr in the grave is real; the raising [from the graves] is real; the resurrection is real; the Path is real, the Scale is real; the disclosure of the book of deeds is real; Paradise is real; the Fire is real; the Hour is coming, there is no doubt about it; and Allah will raise those who are in the graves.

Then, he should say:

اَفَهِمْتَ (اَفَهِمْتِ) يَا ___

afahimta (afahimti) yā ____

Do you understand, O ____?

In the blank space, he should mention the name of the deceased. Then, he should say:

ثَـبَّـتَكَ (ثَـبَّـتَكِ) اللهُ بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ، وَ هَدَاكَ (هَدَاكِ) اللهُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ، عَرَّفَ اللهُ بَيْنَكَ (بَيْنَكِ) وَ بَيْنَ أَوْلِيَآئِكَ (أَوْلِيَآئِكِ) فِي مُسْتَـقَرٍّ مِّن رَّحْمَتِهِ

thabbatakal (thabbatikil) lāhu bilqawlith thābit, wa hadākal (hadākil) lāhu ilā ṣirāṭim mustaqīm, ʿarrafal lāhu baynaka (baynaki) wa bayna awliyāʾika (awliyāʾiki) fī mustaqarrim mir raḥmatih

May Allah keep you steadfast with the firm beliefs and may He guide you on the right path. May Allah foster acquaintance between you and your guardians in the abode of His mercy.

Then, he should say:

اَللّٰهُمَّ جَافِ الْأَرْضَ عَنْ جَنْـبَـيْهِ (جَنْـبَـيْـهَا)، وَ اصْعَدْ بِرُوحِهِ (بِرُوحِهَا) إِلَيْكَ، وَ لَقِّهِ (لَقِّهَا) مِنْكَ بُـرْهَانًا، اَللّٰهُمَّ عَفْوَكَ عَفْوَكَ

allāhumma jāfil arḍa ʿan jambayh (jambayhā), waṣ ʿad birūḥihi (birūḥihā) ilayk, wa laqqihi (laqqihā) minka burhāna, allāhumma ʿafwaka ʿafwak

O Allah! Make the ground spacious for him (her) on both of his (her) sides, and elevate his (her) soul to You, and direct Your proof to him (her). O Allah! Bestow Your pardon! Bestow Your pardon!

Ruling 618. It is recommended that the person who places the corpse in the grave should have wuḍūʾ or ghusl, and be bare-headed and bare-footed, and he should climb out of the grave from the feet-side of the corpse. Persons other than the relatives of the deceased should put the soil into the grave with the back of their hands and say:

إِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَ إِنِّا إِلَیْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

innā lillāhi wa innā ilayhi rājiʿūn

Indeed we belong to Allah, and to Him do we indeed return.(2)

If the deceased is a woman, someone who is her maḥram should lower her in the grave; and if a maḥram is not present, her other relatives should do this.

Ruling 619. It is recommended that the grave should be four sided, and be raised to the height of four fingers from the ground, and that a sign be kept over it so that it is not mistaken, and that water be splashed over it, and that after splashing water over it those who are present should place their hands on the grave, spread their fingers, press them into the soil, and recite the blessed Sūrat al-Qadr(3) seven times, and ask forgiveness for the deceased, and recite this duʿāʾ:

اَللّٰهُمَّ جَافِ الْأَرْضَ عَنْ جَنْـبَـیْهِ (جَنْـبَـيْـهَا)، وَ أَصْعِدْ إِلَیْكَ رُوحَهُ (رُوحَهَا)، وَ لَقِّهِ (لَقِّهَا) مِنْكَ رِضْوَاناً، وَ أَسْكِنْ قَـبْـرَهُ (قَـبْـرَها) مِن رَّحْمَتِكَ مَا تُـغْنِيهِ (تُـغْنِيهَا) بِهِ عَن رَّحْمَةِ مَنْ سِوَاكَ

allāhumma jāfil arḍa ʿan jambayh (jambayhā), wa aṣʿid ilayka ruḥahu (ruḥahā), wa laqqihi (laqqihā) minka riḍwānā, wa askin qabrahu (qabrahā) mir raḥmatika mā tughnīhi (tughnīhā) bihi ʿar raḥmati man siwāk

O Allah! Make the ground spacious for him (her) on both of his (her) sides, and elevate his (her) soul, and direct Your pleasure to him (her), and settle Your mercy in his (her) grave, which will make him (her) needless of the mercy of anyone other than You.

Ruling 620. It is recommended that after the people who attended the funeral have departed, the guardian of the deceased or the person who has been given permission by the guardian should recite the recommended duʿāʾ s for the deceased.

Ruling 621. After burial, it is recommended that the grieving family should be given condolences. However, if after the passing of some time giving condolences would cause them to remember their grief, it is better to avoid it. It is also recommended to send food to the grieving family for three days, and during this time it is disapproved to eat food with them and in their house.

Ruling 622. It is recommended for one to be patient on the death of his near ones, especially on the death of a child; and whenever he remembers the deceased, he should say:

إِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَ إِنِّا إِلَیْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

innā lillāhi wa innā ilayhi rājiʿūn

Indeed we belong to Allah, and to Him do we indeed return.(3)

Furthermore, he should recite the Qur’an for the deceased, and at the grave of his father and mother he should pray to Allah for his needs and make the grave solid so that it is not easily ruined.

Ruling 623. Based on obligatory precaution, it is not permitted for a person to scratch his face and body or to cut his hair in mourning someone. However, it is permitted to slap one’s own head and face.

Ruling 624. Based on obligatory precaution, it is not permitted for one to tear his collar in mourning the death of anyone except his father and brother. And the recommended precaution is that one should not tear his collar even in mourning their death.

Ruling 625. If a woman scratches her face in mourning a deceased person and makes it bleed, or if she pulls out her hair, then based on recommended precaution she should free one slave, or feed ten poor people (fuqarāʾ), or clothe them. The same applies to a man who tears his collar or his clothes in mourning the death of his wife or child.

Ruling 626. The recommended precaution is that when crying for a deceased person, one should not raise his voice very much.

(1) Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2), verse 156.

(2) Chapter 97 of the Qur’an.

(3) Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2), verse 156.
Rules related to a dying person » The prayer of loneliness (ṣalāt al-waḥshah) → ← Rules related to a dying person » Laws of burial (dafn)
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