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Chapter 9
The Method of Bathing a Dead Body

 

556. It is obligatory to bathe a dead body thrice. The first bathing should be with water mixed with "Sidr" (Ben) leaves. The second bathing should be with water mixed with camphor and the third should be with clean water.

 

557. "Sidr" leaves and camphor should neither be so much that the water should become mixed, nor so little that it may be said that "Sidr" leaves and camphor have not been mixed in it.

 

558. If "Sidr" leaves and camphor are not available to the extent required, then the quantity available should be mixed with water.

 

559. If a person dies while he is in the state of ehram (i.e. he is wearing pilgrim's dress) his dead body should be washed with clean water and not with the ,water mixed with camphor. In case, however, he is wearing ehram for the purpose of Hajj and has completed sa'i his dead body should be washed with water mixed with camphor.

 

560. If "Sidr" leaves and camphor or anyone of these things is not available or its use is not permissible (e.g. if it has been usurped) the dead body should be bathed, on the basis of precaution, with dean water in lieu of the thing which is not available and it should also be given tayammum.

 

561. A person who bathes a dead body should be a Shi'ah Ithna' Ashari Muslim, adult, and sane, and should know the rules about bathing. However, if the dead body is of a Muslim who is not Ithna' Ashari and a person belonging to his school bathes it according to his own creed then no obligation of the Ithna' Ashari Muslim rests with him.

 

562. One who bathes the dead body should perform this act with the intention of complying with the commands of Allah.

 

563. Bathing of a Muslim child, even though he is illegitimate, is obligatory and the bathing, shrouding and burial of an unbeliever and his children is not permissible. And it is necessary to bath a person who has been insane since childhood and has become adult in the state of insanity, provided that he is governed by the orders of Islam.

 

564. If a child of 4 months or more is still-born its dead body should be bathed, but if it had not yet completed 4 months its body should be covered, on the basis of precaution, with a piece of cloth and buried without its being bathed.

 

565. It is unlawful for a man to bathe the dead body of a woman and for a woman to bathe the dead body of a man. Husband and a wife can, however, bathe the dead body of each other, although the recommended precaution is that they should also avoid doing so, if possible.

 

566. A man can bathe the dead body of a girl who is not more than 3 years old. Similarly a woman can bathe the dead body of a boy who is not more than 3 years old.

 

567. If no man is available to bathe the dead body of a man his kinswomen who are also his mahram (one with whom marriage is prohibited, for example, mother, sister, paternal aunt and maternal aunt) or those women who become his mahram as a consequence of nursing can bathe his dead body after covering it with cloth etc. Similarly if no woman is available to bathe the dead body of a woman her kinsmen who are also her mahram or have become mahram as a consequence of nursing can bathe her dead body which is covered with her dress.

 

568. If a man bathes the dead body of a man or a woman bathes the dead body of a woman it is better that with the exception of private parts the body be bare.

 

569. It is unlawful to look at the private parts of a corpse and if the person bathing it looks at those parts he commits a sin. But by his doing so the bathing does not become void.

 

570. If some part of the corpse is impure it should, on the basis of precaution, be washed and purified before actual bathing commences. And it is better that before the corpse is bathed it should be clean and free from all other impurities.

 

571. Bathing of a dead body is the same as the bathing for ceremonial uncleanness (Janabat). And the obligatory precaution is that so long as sequence bath is possible the dead body should not be bathed in immersion way. And even in the case of sequence bath it is necessary that the body should be bathed from the right side to the left side. And the recommended precaution is that, if possible, none of the three parts of the body should be immersed in the water and instead of doing so water should be poured on the dead body.

 

572. If someone dies in the state of menses or ceremonial uncleanness it is sufficient to give him/her the bath of the corpse and bathing on account of menstruation or ceremonial uncleanness is not necessary.

 

573. It is unlawful to charge wages for bathing a dead body and if a person bathes a dead body to get wages the bathing would be void. However, it is not unlawful to take wages for preliminary requirements of the performance of the bathing.

 

574. Jabira bathing is not permissible in the case of bathing of dead body and if water is not available or there is some other valid excuse for abstaining from giving bath the dead body should be made to perform tayammum for each bathing, and the obligatory precaution is that it should be made to perform another tayammum also in lieu of 3 bathings. And in case the person who is making the dead body perform the tayammums, determines in connection with one of the tayammums that he is doing this act to discharge the religious obligation (ma-fiz- zimmah) the 4th tayammum would not be necessary.

 

575. The person who is making the dead body perform tayammum should strike his palms on earth and then wipe them on the face and back of the hands of the dead body and the obligatory precaution is that he should, if possible, make the dead body also perForm tayammum with its own palms.