Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Kafan

These notes are from Lesson 167 of the Book of Funerals (from al Tajrid al Sarih, the Summarised Saheeh al-Bukhari) delivered by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 24th August 2007.

Ch. 8 – Chapter of white clothes for the Shroud

باب: الثّيَابُ البِيضُ لِلكَفَن

643. عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا: أَنّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كُفّنَ في ثَلاَثَةِ أَثْوَابٍ يَمَانِيَةٍ, بِيضٍ سَحُولِيّةٍ مِنْ كُرْسُفٍ, لَيْسَ فِيهنّ قَمِيصٌ وَلاَ عِمَامَةٌ. رواه البخاري: 1264

643. Narrated A'isha
رضى الله عنها : Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم was shrouded in three Yemenite white Sahuliyya (pieces of cloth) of cotton, and in them there was neither a shirt nor a turban. (2:354O.B.)

Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) wishes to mention the desirability of white clothing for the deceased. The Ulema agree that clothing which a person cannot wear during his or her lifetime e.g. silk for men is also haraam for the kafan. Any colour or any material can be used but it is desirable to use white. Imam Shafi (رحمة الله عليه) and Imam Hanbal (رحمة الله عليه) say the kafan is a simple set of 3 . Imam Malik (رحمة الله عليه) says it is five cloths and also the imama (turban).

3 sheets are recommended. One of them is regarded as being the 'qamees' and one is the 'izhaar' according to the Hanafi school of fiqh. But, the Ulema agree that even a single cloth that covers entire body can be used

Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was shrouded in 3 pieces of cloth from Yemen. It is was Sahuliyya cloth (Sahul was a village in Yemen) and was made of cotton.

In a Hadeeth Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said wear white clothes as they are purer and shroud your dead in white.

It is important to define the ‘qamees’ and ‘izhar’:

Qamees – any garment whish is worn to cover upper body regardless of its length. According to the Hanafi fiqh, the Qamees of the kafan has no opening except a slit for the neck.

Izhar – any garment that is worn as the first item of clothing on the body. It covers the inner body around the waist (intended to cover lower part of body). Izhaar would be a simple cloth, often not even sewn. Izhaar does not mean trousers. The Shaykh mentioned that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was given the gift of trousers (as we know them) but he never wore them. Izhaar is like the ‘lungi’

The Maliki Ulema also say that an imama (turban) is also part of the shroud. Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq mentioned that the imama is mentioned in many hadeeth and it is the turban that is worn by Muslims (the imama is NOT any other type of head covering), and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wore it on many different occasions. There is a special significance of the imama in the Hadeeth. For example, there is a hadeeth that narrates Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was ill and sat on the minbar wearing a black imama. Another example is from the eighth year of hijrah, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wore a black imama on top of his helmet when the conquest of Makkah took place. One may ask why the Maliki ulema say that the kafan includes the Imama. His opinion was based on the prevalent of practices of people of Madinah after the demise of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and thus these practices were important in his fatawa. Thus, he would say that ‘1000 from a 1000 is better than 1 from 1’ This means that if a group of 1000 people were all doing something which they all saw the Sahabah doing was important to him.

Imam Malik says ‘Nafee my teacher/master narrated to us from Abdullah ibn Umar from Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم)’. Abdullah ibn Umar diligently observed the sunnah of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Ch. 9 – Shrouding in two pieces of cloth

باب: الْكَفَنُ فِي ثَوْبَين

644. عَنِ ابْنِ عَبّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: بَيْنَما رَجُلٌ وَاقِفٌ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِعَرَفَةَ, إِذْ وَقَعَ عَنْ رَاحِلَتِهِ فَوَقَصَتْهُ, أَوْ قَالَ: فَأَوْقَصَتْهُ, قَالَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: (اغْسِلُوهُ بِمَاءٍ وَسِدْرٍ, وَكَفّنُوهُ في ثَوْبَيْنِ, وَلاَ تُحَنّطُوهُ, وَلاَ تُخَمّرُوا رَأْسَهُ, فَإِنّهُ يُبْعَثُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مُلَبّيا). رواه البخاري: 1265

644. Narrated Ibn 'Abbâs رضى الله عنهما : While a man was at 'Arafât (for Hajj) with Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم , he fell from his mount and broke his neck (or his neck was crushed by it) (and he died). The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, Wash him with water and Sidr and shroud him in two pieces of cloth, and neither perfume him, nor cover his head, for he will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection saying, Labbaik. (2:356O.B.)

The man referred to in this hadeeth (Hadeeth 644) was already in a state of ihram when in died. This incident occurred on 9th Dhul Hijjah during the final part of the Hajj. The man fell from his animal and broke his neck. Rasul
(صلى الله عليه وسلم) instructed that he should be bathed with water and Sidr (leaves from Jerusalem tree). Further, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that hanoot (perfume) should not be applied to him. Hanoot is a collection of fragrances. Furthermore, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that the man’s head should not be covered – this is because he left the dunya in a state of ihram so he will be resurrected in a state of ihram. The Maliki and Hanafi ulema say that the state of ihram comes to end when a person dies. Their opinion is that this hadeeth is exclusive to that one individual who died. In contrast, the Hanbali and Shafi ulema say that the state of ihram continues even after death.

The Terminator of all Pleasures

The following notes are from Lesson 166 of the Book of Funerals of al Tajrid al Sarih which was delivered by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 17th August 2007 at Al Kawthar Academy, Leicester.

باب: فَضْلُ مَن مَاتَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَاحتَسَب

Ch. 5 - Chapter of the virtue of one whose child dies and then he is patient.

In Tajrid al Sarih this chapter heading is incomplete. Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq stated that the complete chapter heading is ‘chapter of the virtue of one whose child dies and then he is patient and chapter on the words of Allah hoping for reward from Allah’.

Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) mentions the beginning of a verse of a Quran in this chapter heading

640. Narrated Anas
رضى الله عنه : The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, A Muslim whose three children die before the age of puberty will be granted Paradise by Allâh due to His Mercy for them. (2:340O.B.)

640. وعَنْه رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: (ما مِنَ النّاسِ مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ, يُتَوَفّى لَهُ ثَلاثٌ لَمْ يَبْلُغُوا الْحِنْثَ, إِلاّ أَدْخَلَهُ اللهُ الجَنّةَ, بِفَضْلِ رَحْمَتِهِ إِيّاهُمْ). رواه البخاري: 1248

In this hadeeth, the word Ehtisaab is mentioned which means believing in and hoping for a reward from Allah. This specific word is also mentioned in many other ahadeeth. For example in a hadeeth about Ramadhan – whoever does qiyam in Ramadhan with imaan in ehtisaab all of his past sins will be forgiven. Ehtisaab means that you do something with a specific intention and with imaan in reward from Allah. We often misunderstand sabr. Sabr refers to patience and perseverance, exercising restraint as well as remaining steadfast. Ones inability to do something about bereavement is not patience. So what is patience? Once a woman was at the grave of a child (this is a hadeeth of Bukhari) Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told her to be patient as she was weeping and she replied ‘away with you for you are not the one facing the grief’. When she was told afterwards that, that was Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) she went to him. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said patience is at the time of the initial shock. Wailing, weeping, abuse, apathy are all incorrect responses and the person that’s failed the test of patience. One should trust in Allah and accept that this is the Qadr of Allah and say Ina lillah we ina ilyhe rajoon, the person has died and belongs to Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an that one should seek Allah’s assistance through patience and prayer-this is true sabr.

Hadeeth 640 – This hadeeth has been narrated by many, many companions. In one narration four children are mentioned. The chapter heading says ‘child’ but the hadeeth says three children. In addition, one may note that nothing of patience is mentioned in the hadeeth, but Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) has other narrations of this hadeeth, for example there is a narration that a sahabi said ‘I lost two children and Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said even two and even one. So even if a Muslim loses one child before the age of puberty Allah will grant paradise on the condition that the person is patient. It is graphically mentioned in the hadeeth that these children that die before the age of puberty run around opening any doors of Jannah for their parents. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) lost all of his children except Fatimah (رضى الله عنها), his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) life was full of test after test; Qasim (رضى الله عنه), Abdullah (رضى الله عنه) and Ibrahim (رضى الله عنه) died in childhood, Zainab (رضى الله عنها), Ruqaiyah (رضى الله عنها) and Umm Kulthum (رضى الله عنها) all grew up, married and then died in the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) life time. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was not an emperor or a king, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not come to establish a kingdom, so all of his male children died in childhood - they were destined to die. It is important to realise that one cannot assume a person has been guaranteed Jannah after the death of a child because there are conditions e.g. the shari’ah cannot be contravened.

Finally, one should also note that a child in general can gain reward for doing something good, but cannot be held accountable for example, for missing salah, due to a young age or immaturity.

Ch. 6 - Chapter of that which is desirable of the bathing an odd number of times

باب: ما يُسْتَحَبّ أَنْ يُغسَلَ وِتْرًا

641. Narrated Umm 'AtIyya رضى الله عنها : Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم came to us when his daughter died and said, Wash her three, five or more times with water and Sidr (Nibk lotetree leaves) if you think it is required and sprinkle camphor or something of it on her at the end; and when you finish, notify me. So when we finished, we informed him and he gave us his waistsheet and told us to shroud her in it. (2:345O.B.)

641. عَنْ أُمّ عَطِيّةَ الأَنْصَارِيّةِ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا قَالَتْ: دَخَلَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم, حِينَ تُوَفّيَتِ ابْنَتُهُ, فَقَالَ: (اغْسِلْنَهَا ثَلاَثًا, أَوْ خَمْسًا, أَوْ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ ذلِكَ إِنْ رَأَيْتُنّ ذلِكَ, بِمَاءٍ وَسِدْرٍ, وَاجْعَلْنَ في الاَخِرَةِ كافُورًا, أَوْ شَيْئًا مِنْ كافُورٍ, فَإِذَا فَرَغْتُنّ فاَذِنّنِي). فَلَمّا فَرَغْنَا اَذَنّاهُ, فَأَعْطَانَا حِقْوَهُ, فَقَالَ: (أَشْعِرْنَهَا إِيّاهُ). تَعْنِي إِزَارَهُ. رواه البخاري: 1253

This chapter is related to given ghusl to the deceased.

Hadeeth 641 is narrated by Ume Atiya who was a sahabiyat who would bathe the deceased. She bathed both daughters of the Prophet (
صلى الله عليه وسلم) and this hadeeth referred to the bathing of Zainab who died in the 8th year of Hijrah. Those present were close family members and also those who were close to Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gave certain instructions. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told them to bathe her 3 times or 5 times or more than this if they thought it was required. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said she should be bathed with water and lote tree leaves (Jerusalem Tree, which is similar to Buckthorn which is found in Europe). They would infuse the water with these leaves. For the final bathing Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said Camphor should be added. When they had finished, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gave them is lower cloth because this contained barakah.

There is a Hadeeth of Prophet (
صلى الله عليه وسلم) where he says we should excessively remember the terminator of all pleasures. This is why we are instructed to visit graves and remember death, because death is something that awaits every one of us. The believers have been instructed to take part in funerals for which there is a special reward. Funerals also remind us of death, and when a Muslim dies, his or her bathing the shroud, preparation and prayer are an obligation upon all Muslims. If these things are not done, all Muslims of that area are sinful. The deceased has a right over all of them.

Some Sahabah would leave a will that such and such a person should bathe me. Bathing a dead body will remind us all of a relative life. When Adam (
عليه السلام ) passed away the angels bathed and shrouded him in the same manner.

The Ulema say that the first bathing is fard, the second and third are Sunnah. However, one shouldn’t stop at one, they should give 3, 5 or more (7). The most that has been narrated in the Hadeeth is 7. For this reason, one does not need to stick to an odd number after 7. For example if the body is clean at 8 one should stop at 8. According to Imam Shafi (
رحمة الله عليه) and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (رحمة الله عليه) the bath should only be given using cold water. According to these Ulema hot water should only be used with necessity. However, Imam Malik (رحمة الله عليه) and Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمة الله عليه) say that one should only use hot water. The lote tree leaves should be boiled in water.

Ch. 7 – The bathing should be started with the right hand side limbs.

باب: يُبدَأ بِمَيَامِنِ المَيّت

642. Narrated (Umm 'AtIyya رضى الله عنها ) : Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم , concerning his (dead) daughter's bath, said, Start with the right side, and the parts which are washed in ablution. She added we combed her (hair) and (divided them) in three braids. (2:346O.B.)

642. وَفِي رواية أخرى أَنّهُ قَالَ: (ابْدَأْنَ بِمَيَامِنِهَا وَمَوَاضِعِ الْوُضُوءِ مِنْهَا). قَالَتْ: وَمَشَطْنَاهَا ثَلاَثَةَ قُرُونٍ. رواه البخاري: 1254

Hadeeth 642 - This hadeeth of Umm Atiya is the most authentic about bathing the deceased. One should begin with the right side and the limbs of wudhu. The deceased should be prepared very carefully. The Maliki and Shafi Ulema say water should be poured into the nose and mouth, however, the Hanbali and Hanfi Ulema say that complete wudhu should be given, except no water is poured into the nose or mouth.