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Chapter 10
Orders Regarding Shrouding Of The Dead Body

 

576. A Muslim should be shrouded with 3 pieces of cloth: loincloth, tunic and sheet.

 

577. The loincloth should be such that it should cover the body from the navel up to the knees and it is better that it should cover the body from the chest up to the feet. As regards the tunic it should be such that it should cover the entire body from the top of the shoulders up to the middle of the calf of the legs and it is better that it should reach the feet. As regards the sheet its length should be such that it may be tied at the head as well as at the feet and its breadth should be such that its one edge should extend up to the other.

 

578. It is obligatory that the loincloth should cover the body from navel up to the knees and the tunic should cover it from the shoulders up to the middle of the calf of the legs. Whatever has been mentioned over and above this is the recommended quantity of the shroud.

 

579. If the heirs of the dead body are adult and they permit that the portion of the shroud in excess of that which is obligatory (as mentioned in the foregoing article) may be taken from their share there is no harm in doing so. And the obligatory precaution is that the quantity in excess of the obligatory shroud is not taken from the share of an heir who has not reached the age of puberty.

 

580. If a person has made a will that the recommended quantity of the shroud (as mentioned in the two foregoing articles) should be arranged for out of the 1/3 of his property or has made a will that 1/3 of his property should be spent on himself but has not specified the mode of its expenditure or has specified it for only a part of it the recommended quantity of shroud can be taken from 1/3 of his property.

 

581. If the dead person has not made a will that a shroud may be taken out of the 1/3 of his property and the persons concerned wish to take it from the real property the obligatory precaution is that the obligatory quantity of the shroud be procured, keeping in view the status of the dead person, at the cheapest possible price. However, if the heirs who are adult permit that the shroud may be taken from their share the same may be taken from their share to the extent agreed to by them.

 

582. The shroud of a woman is the responsibility of her husband although the woman may be possessing some property of her own as well. Similarly if a woman is given revocable divorce in the manner which will be explained in the articles relating to divorce and she dies before the expiry of her iddah her husband should provide her shroud. And if her husband is not adult or is insane, the guardian of the husband should provide shroud for the wife out of his property.

 

583. It is not obligatory for the relatives of a dead person to provide his shroud although he may be one of those persons whose maintenance was obligatory for them during his lifetime.

 

584. According to the obligatory precaution the 3 pieces of cloth meant for the shroud should not be so thin as to make the body of the deceased visible.

 

585. Shrouding a dead person with the hide of a corpse or a usurped thing is not permissible even though nothing else is available, and if the shroud consists of a usurped thing and its owner is not agreeable (to its being used), it should be removed from the body of the dead person even though be may have been buried.

 

586. Shrouding a dead body with an impure thing, or with a cloth made of pure silk, and on the basis of precaution with a cloth, which has been woven with gold, is not permissible. In case, however, there is no other alternative there is no harm in using these things as shroud.

 

587. On the basis of precaution shrouding with a cloth, which is made of wool or hair of an animal whose meat is unlawful to eat or with the hide of an animal, whose meat is lawful to eat is not permissible unless one is constrained to do it. However, there is no harm in using a shroud made of the hair and wool of an animal whose meat is lawful, although the recommended precaution is that a dead body should not be shrouded even with these two things.

 

588. If the shroud of a dead body becomes impure owing to its own impurity, or owing to some other impure thing, and if the shroud is not wasted its impure portion should be washed or cut off, even alter the dead body has been placed in the grave. And if it is not possible to wash it, or to cut it oft, but it is possible to change it, it should be changed.

 

589. If a person, who is wearing ehram for Hajj or Umra. dies, he should be shrouded like others and there is no harm in covering his head and face.

 

590. It is recommended that one should keep one's shroud and "Sidr" leaves and camphor ready during one's lifetime.

 

Orders Regarding Hunut (Embalment)

 

591. It is obligatory after bathing a dead body to embalm it viz. to apply camphor on its forehead, both the palms, both the knees and both the great toes of its feet. Furthermore, applying camphor on the nose of the dead body is recommended. The camphor should be powdered and fresh. If its essence is lost because of its being old it will not serve the purpose.

 

592. The obligatory precaution is that camphor should first be applied on the forehead of the dead body. As regards to other parts of the body mentioned above, it is not necessary to observe sequence .

 

593. It is better that the dead body is embalmed before it has been shrouded, although there is no harm in embalming it while it is being shrouded or even after it has been shrouded.

 

594. It is not permissible to embalm a person who dies putting on ehram for Umra and Hajj, except when he is wearing ehram for Hajj and dies after having completed sa’i.

 

595. It is unlawful for a woman to perfume herself if her husband has died and her iddah has not been completed but if she dies it is obligatory to embalm her.

 

596. The obligatory precaution is that, perfumes like musk, ambergris and aloes-wood ('Ud) are not applied to the dead body and these things should not also be mixed with camphor.

 

597. It is recommended that some quantity of Turbatul Husayn (soil of the land around the shrine of imam Husayn) be mixed with camphor, but it should not be applied to those parts of the body, where its use amounts to disrespect. It is also necessary that the quantity of Turbatul Husayn is not such that when it is mixed with camphor the mixture may not be called camphor.

 

598. If camphor is not available or the quantity available is sufficient for bathing purposes only, it is not necessary to embalm the dead body. And in case it is in excess of the requirement for bathing but is not sufficient for embalming all the seven limbs, it should, on the basis of precaution, be applied on the forehead of the dead body first and the remainder, if any, should be applied to other parts.

 

599. It is also recommended that 2 pieces of fresh and green twigs are placed with the dead body.