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What You Need to Know About the Fiqh of Burial, by Imam Tahir Anwar

How much do you know about the fiqh of burial? Do you know what is the first call to make when someone dies? What sort of preparation do you need to make? Is there a religious significance to washing the shroud in Zamzam water? What sort of instructions should you give to your relatives? Is it really true that we must encourage a dying person to recite the testimony of faith? And is organ donation permissible?

In this video, Imam Tahir Anwar discusses what we possibly consider the most difficult subject to think about: death and dying. However, it’s also one of the most important subjects, not to mention a situation that we are all absolutely guaranteed to face, sooner or later.

“Life has no guarantees. A person could pass away at any time.”

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We are thankful to Al-Maqasid for this recording.

Is It Permitted to Bury Multiple People Within the Same Grave?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

Are we allowed to bury the deceased at 9 ft and the next one at 6 ft within the same grave?

Is there a waiting period between the first burial and the second one?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The basis is that it is not permitted to bury multiple people within the same grave unless there is a necessity (darura) to do so.

This has been the general sunna from the time of the Prophet Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace), and it is also the way the sanctity and respect for the body of the believer is preserved after his death.

However, permitting reasons for burying multiple people in one grave would include a lack of space in the only available cemetery, or a lack of people and resources in order to be able to make multiple graves, for instance.

It is related from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, buried together two of those killed in the Battle of Uhud. [Bukhari]

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi `ala Maraqi al-Falah, quoting from Ibn Amir Haj’s Halbat al-Mujalli]

If there is a need to practically apply this ruling, you should consider consulting some local scholars who can guide and assist with some other details and sunnas.

Please also see: Is It Permissible to Reuse Graves?

And Allah alone gives success.

في حاشية الطحطاوي على المراقي: ومن الضرورة المبيحة لجمع ميتين فصاعدا في قبر واحد ابتداء على ما ذكره ابن أمير حاج قلة الدافنين أو ضعفهم أو اشتغالهم بما هو أهم وليس منها دفن الرجل مع الرجل قريبه ولا ضيق محل الدفن في تلك المقبرة مع وجود غيرها وإن كانت تلك المقبرة مما يتبرك بالدفن فيها لمجاورة الصالحين فضلا عن هذه الأمور لما غيه من هتك حرمة الميت الأول وتفريق أجزائه فيمنع من ذلك اهـ.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Reuse Graves?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Is it permissible to reuse graves by placing another deceased at a later time? And is it possible to reuse the land for another purpose ?

We are experiencing some issues in the UK and coming under some pressure on this subject. The ‘leasing’ of a grave has been reduced from 99 years to 50 but there is also increasing threat to re-use graveyeard for other purposes.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

After the body has decomposed, it is permitted to bury another person within the same grave, or even cultivate the land or build upon it. [Zayla`i, Tabyin al-Haqa’iq; Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]

We would need experts to determine how much time is needed for a body to decompose in the specific climate and land conditions of the place in question.

Please also see: Answers related to Graves

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani