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.


ibn ayyub said...

as-salamu 'alaykum

Masha-Allah good to see these posts.

There are two typos I believe you've mistakenly made:

1) The Maliki Ulema also say that an imama (beard) is also part of the shroud. - Imamah should be translated as turban.

2) Kameez - should be Qamees.

I think you've missed some of the details about the Qamees and Izhar. But I think your aim is to summarize though if I am correct.

Looking forward to seeing more posts insha-Allah.

Student of Knowledge said...

walaikum salaam,

Jazakallah khair for your comment and for noting the typos. I have corrected the post and yes the notes are a summary, although some weeks the notes are more detailed than others!


Umar Saeed said...

Thanks for sharing valuable article. We should prepare ourselves for the life Hereafter. We need to seek Islamic knowledge and spend our lives according to it. Thanks