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washing of the body

Last updated: 19th September 2006
Question ID: #2485
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19th September 2006

I am curious to know how soon after is the body of the deceased cleansed?

Ulamaa ID 04
Answer last updated on:
26th October 2007
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 04
Location: London

Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah's guidance)

To wash, shroud, performing the funeral prayer and burying a dead body is a collective obligation (Fard Kifayah). If some Muslims bury the dead body, it would absolve the rest of them from this obligation.

One must prepare the body for burial without delay, as soon as death is confirmed (by specialists ie. a qualified physician or the like). The guardian of the deceased should wash, wrap, and arrange for the burial of the body soon after the funeral prayer for the deceased, because the body might deteriorate if burial is delayed.

When Talhah ibn al-Bara fell ill, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “I see that Talhah is on the verge of death. Inform me about him (when he passes away) and make immediate preparations for his burial, for a Muslim’s remains should not be left long with his family after his death.”

This is based on a report, recorded by Abu Daw’ud from al-Husayn ibn Wujuh.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “O Ali, never delay three things: prayer when its time approaches, the funeral when death is confirmed, and marrying a widow or a divorcee when a suitable match is found for her.” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi report on the authority of Ali ibn Abu Talib)

And Only Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.