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Rules Related to a Dying Person - Part II

By: Ayatollah Tabatabai

Salaate Mayyit


After Ghusl and Kafan, it is Wajib to pray Salaate Mayyit for a dead Muslim who is six years or older. For a child younger than six years it is Mustahab to pray the Salaat.

It is greatly rewardable (Thawaab) to join this prayer. According to one tradition, Jannat becomes due for a person who offers this prayer, provided he is not a hypocrite (Munafiq) or disowned (Aaq) by his parents.

In Salaate Mayyit, Taharat of the body or dress is not necessary, also Ghusl, Wudhu or Tayammum is not Wajib. Salaate Mayyit must be prayed facing Qiblah with the Niyyat of Jamaat. The body should be placed in such a way that the head of the body is on the right hand side of those who offer the prayer and they must be standing close to the corpse.

The method of praying Salaate Mayyit


The prayer of Mayyit has five Takbirs (Allahu Akber).

After the first Takbir, Kalimae Shahadatain is recited.

After the second Takbir, Salawat is recited.

After the third Takbir, prayers are offered for all the believers and Muslims.

After the fourth Takbir, prayers are offered especially for the deceased person.

The fifth Takbir marks the end of the prayer.

The shortest method of offering this prayer is as follows:

Niyyat: I pray Salaate Mayyit for this corpse Wajib Kurbatan Ilallah. ALLAHU AKBER









(In case the deceased is a female say:,



After the completion of the prayer recite:


The Takbirs must be said in a consecutive order without an interval may which distort the form of the prayer (Tarteeb). In congregation of Salaate Mayyit, everyone has to recite the whole prayer (unlike in other Jamaat Salaat). It is not correct just to say "ALLAHU AKBER", and remain silent between the Takbirs. Such a prayer is Batil (void).

The following actions are Mustahab. If possible, the prayer should be said with Wudhu, Ghusl or Tayammum as necessary.

In the case of a male deceased, the person praying alone (Furada) or as an Imam, should stand in front to the middle part of the body, if the deceased is a female, the person praying should stand in front of her chest.

The person praying should be bare-footed.

When saying a Takbir, one should raise his hands.

The prayer should be said in congregation.

The person leading the prayer (Imam-e-Jamaat) should say all the Takbirs and Dua's loudly, and others should say them in a low tone.

Before the prayer, "AS-SALAH" should be said aloud three times.

Burial (Last Farewell)


Before the face of the dead person is finally covered up by the Kafan and tied up, the nearest relatives are called to have a last glimpse of the face. At this time, it is essential to bear in mind that only MAHRAM (those people who were not allowed to marry that person by Islamic Sharia) should come forward to see the face.



It is Wajibe Kifai to bury the dead body of a Muslim. The various stages of the procedure of burial are described next. The carrying of the dead body (Janaza)

It is Mustahab that four people place the four corners of the Janaza on their shoulders while carrying it towards the grave yard. It is also Mustahab to start bearing the Janaza from the side where th right hand shoulder of the corpse lies, and to continue in an anti-clockwise direction. The bearers should not move across the front of the Janaza or underneath it. The following actions are Wajib.

The body must be buried in a way that no smell would spread and no beast can take it out.

The body must be placed in the grave such that its right side touches the ground and the whole front portion of the body is facing Qiblah. In places where coffins have to be used, then similar rules apply.

It is not allowed to bury a Muslim in a non-Muslim graveyard and vice-versa. The following actions are Mustahab.

The depth of the grave should be equal to the height of a person of a medium size.

Just before burial, the body should be placed on the ground some feet away from the grave. The Janaza should then be raised and placed on the ground again. The procedure is repeated three times, each time bringing it closer to the grave before finally resting it in the grave.

For males, the head should first be entered into the grave from the end where his feet will eventually lie. Finally, it is laid down in the prescribed position.

For females, the body should first be placed at the side of the grave and then the body should be carried sideways, the whole body entering the grave at once. Finally, it is laid down in the prescribed position. While laying the body into the grave, it should be shielded from the view of onlookers with a piece of cloth.

When the body is placed in the grave, the ties of the shroud should be opened and the right cheek should be placed on the ground. The head should be placed on a pillow made from some earth.

Talqeen should be recited. (see Appendix 1)

With the exception of the relatives of the deceased, other present should pour the soil into the grave with the back of their hands and say: INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJI'OON

(We are from God and to Him we will return)

After burial, the surface of the grave should be formed into a rectangular shape and it should be raised 4" (10 cms) from the ground with a sign on it to make it recognizable. It is Makruh to raise it more.

Some water should be poured on the grave.

The people present should thrust their fingers into the grave so that finger marks remain in it (Tanzeel), and recite Surae Qadr seven times and ask Allah to forgive the deceased and say: ALLA HUMMA JAAFIL ARDHA AN JAMBAYHI WAS'ID ILAIKA ROOHAHU WA LAKKI HII MINKA RIDHWANAN WA ASKIN QABRAHUU MIR RAH MATIKA MA TUGHNEEHI BIHA MIN SIWAAK.

"Lord, make the earth spacious on both his sides and raise his soul to Yourself. Meet him with a merciful welcome. Fill up his grave with mercy to make him needless of the mercy of others besides Yourself".

After the people leave the grave, one of the deceased's relatives (Waaris) or one who is authorized by the guardian of the deceased should read Talqeen again on the grave.

People should console the relatives of the deceased, and not aggravate their grief by vain talking and joking. It is also recommended that for three days after the death, the people of the house of the deceased should be served food; it is Makrooh to eat in their residence or near them.

It is Wajib for the wife of a dead person to observe Iddah (mourning). During this period she should not adorn herself or wear colourful clothes.

Visiting The Graveyard


Those who are alive should not forget their dead relatives, but should offer alms (Sadaqah), and perform good deeds on their behalf for the Thawaab of their souls (Rooh). Children whose parents disowned them (Aaq) may regain the pleasure of their parents in this way.

The souls of the dead are pleased when their graves are visited.

It is Mustahab for males to visit the graves to recite Fatiha on Mondays and Saturdays and at the time of 'Asr on Thursdays and Fridays.

While entering the graveyard it is Mustahab to recite the following Du'a: BISMILLAHIR RAHMAANIR RAHIM





The meaning of this prayer is given on the next page In the Name of Allah, The Most Kind, The Most Merciful.

Greetings on you O those who have faith in "Laa Ilaha Illallah" (i.e. There is no God but Allah) from those who have faith in "Laa Ilaha Illallah".

O you who have faith in "Laa Ilaha Illallah", how did you find the promise of "Laa Ilaha Illallah" from "Laa Ilaha Illallah" (i.e. from Allah)?

O You except Whom there is none worth worshipping, for the sake of "Laa Ilaha Illallah", forgive him who said "Laa Ilaha Illallah".

Include us also amongst those who said "Laa Ilaha Illallah, Muhammadur Rasoolullah, Aliyyun Waliyullah, Wasiyyu Rasoolullah."

Appendix 1 : Talqeen


The following Talqeen is from the book "Zaatul Ma'aad" by Allama Majlisi (A.R.). The slight variations in case of a female body are in brackets.



Isma' Ifham, Isma' Ifham, Isma' Ifham (Isma'ee Ifhami, Isma'ee Ifhami, Isma'ee Ifhami) Yaa ___________ Ibni (Binti) __________.

Hal Anta (Anti) 'Alal Ahdillazee Faraktana (Faraktina) 'Alayhi Min Shahadati 'An Laa Ilaha Illallahu Wahdahu Laa Sharika Lah.

Wa 'Anna Muhammadan Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wa Aalihi 'Abduhu Wa Rasooluhu Sayyidun Nabiyyena Wa Khatamul Mursaleen.

Wa 'Anna 'Aliyyin Ameerul Mu'mineena Wa Sayyidul Wasiyyeena Wa Imamun Iftarazallahu Ta'atahu 'Alal 'Alameen.

Wa 'Annal Hasana, Wal Husaina, Wa 'Aliyyabnal Husain, Wa Muhammad Abna 'Aliyyin, Wa Ja'far Abna Muhammadin, Wa Moosa Abna Ja'farin, Wa 'Aliy Abna Moosa, Wa Muhammad Abna 'Aliyyin, Wa 'Aliy Abna Muhammadin, Wal Hasan Abna 'Aliyyin, Wal Qaaimal Muntazaral Mahdiyyu Salawwatullahi Alayhim, A-Immatul Mu'mineena Wa Hujajullahi 'Alal Khalqi Ajmaeen Wa A-Immatuka (A-Immatuki) A-Immatu Hudan Abraar.

Yaa ____________ Ibni (Binti) _____________, Iza Attakal (Attakil) Malakaanil Muqarrabaanir Rasoolaini Min Indillahi Tabaaraka Wa Ta'ala Wa Sa-alaka (Sa-Alaki) 'An Rabbika (Rabbiki) Wa 'An Nabiyyika (Nabiyyiki) Wa 'An Deenika (Deeniki) Wa 'An Kitaabika (Kitaabiki) Wa 'An Qiblatika (Qiblatiki) Wa 'An A-Immatika (A-Immatiki), Falaa Takhaf (Takhafi) Walaa Tahzan (Tahzani) Wa Qul (Quli) Fi Jawaabihima: Allahu Jalla Jalaalahu Rabbi, Wa Muhammadun Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wa Aalihi Nabiyyi, Wal Islaamu Deeni, Wal Qur'aanu Kitaabi, Wal Ka'abatu Qiblati, Wa Ammerul Mu'mineena Aliyyubnu Abi Taalibin Imaami, Wal Hasanubnu 'Aliyyinal Mujtaba Imaami, Wal Husainubnu 'Aliyyinish Shaheedu Bi Karbala Imaami, Wa Aliyyun Zainul 'Abideen Imaami, Wa Muhammadun Baqiru 'Ilmin Nabiyyena Imaami, Wa Ja'farus Saadiqu Imaami, Wa Moosal Kaazimu Imaami, Wa 'Aliyyunir Rizaa Imaami, Wa Muhammadunil Jawaadu Imaami, Wa 'Aliyyunil Haadiyu Imaami, Wal Hasanul Askariyyu Imaami, Wal Hujjatul Muntazaru Imaami.

Haa ulaai Salawaatullahi 'Alayhim Ajma'een A-Immati Wa Saadati Wa Qaadati Wa Shufa 'Aai.

Bihim Atawalla Wa Min A'daaihim Attabarrau Fid Dunya Wal Aakhira.

Thumma, I'lam (I'lami), Yaa ___________ Ibni (Binti) __________, 'Annallalaahu Tabaaraka Wa Ta'ala Ni'mar Rabbu, Wa 'Anna Muhammadan Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wa Aalihi Ni'mar Rasoolu, Wa 'Anna Ammeral Mu'mineena 'Aliyyibna Abi Talibin Wa Awlaadahul A-Immata Ahada 'Ashara Ni'mal A-Immatu, Wa 'Anna Ma Jaa-a Bihi Muhammadan Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wa Aalihi Haqqun. Wa 'Annal Mawta Haqqun, Wa Su-aala Munkarin Wa Nakeerin Fil Qabri Haqqun, Wal Ba-asa Haqqun, Wan Nushoora Haqqun, Was Siraata Haqqun, Wal Meezana Haqqun, Wa Tata-Irul Kutubi Haqqun, Wal Jannata Haqqun, Wan Naara Haqqun, Wa Annas Saa-ata Aatiyatun Laa Rayba Feeha Wa 'Annallaha Yab'asu Man Fil Quboor.

Afahimta (Afahimti) Yaa ___________ Ibni (Binti) __________, Sabbatakallahu (Sabbatakillahu) Bil Qawlis Saabiti Wa Hadaakallahu (Hadaakillahu) Ila Siraatin Mustaqeem.

'Arrafallahu Baynaka (Baynaki) Wa Bayna Awliyaaika (Awliyaaiki) Fi Mustaqarrim Mir Rahamatih.

Allahumma Jafil Ardha An Jambayhi (Jambayha), Wa As-id Bi Ruhihi (Ruhiha) Ilayka Wa Laqqihi (Laqqiha) Minka Burhanan.

Allahumma Afwaka Afwak.

Translation Of Talqeen


Listen and understand, listen and understand, listen and understand, O ___________ son (daughter) of ___________.

Are you on the same covenant on which you were when you parted from us?

That covenant is the testimony of the fact that there there is no God but Allah, Who is only One and Who has no partner.

And the testimony of the fact that undoubtedly Muhammad, may the Peace of Allah be on him and his progeny, is the slave and prophet of Allah and is the lord of all the prophets and is the last of them.

And that 'Ali is the chief of the believers and the leader of all the successors and he is such an Imam whose obedience has been made obligatory on the whole world.

And that Hasan and Husain and 'Ali son of Husain, and Muhammad son of 'Ali, and Ja'far son of Muhammad, and Moosa son of Ja'far, and 'Ali son of Moosa, and Muhammad son of 'Ali, and 'Ali son of Muhammad, and Hasan son of 'Ali, and Muhammad, the awaited one, son of Hasan - may the Peace of Allah be on them all - are the Imams of all the believers and are the authorities on the whole world, and all these Imams are guides for the pious persons.

O ___________ son (daughter) of ___________, when the two favourite angels sent by Allah approach you and inquire of you about your God, your Prophet, your religion, your book, your Qiblah and your Imams, do not be afraid or grieved or worried, but say in reply:

"Allah, the Glorious and Dignified, is my Lord, Muhammad, peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny, is my Prophet, Islam is my reliqion, the Qur'an is my book, Ka'aba is my Qiblah, Ameerul Mu'mineen 'Ali ibne Abi Talib is my Imam, Hasane Mujtaba is my Imam, Husain, the martyr of Kerbala, is my Imam, 'Ali Zaynul 'Abideen is my Imam, Muhammad Baqir is my Imam, Ja'far Saadiq is my Imam, Moosae Kaazim is my Imam, 'Ali Riza is my Imam, Muhammad Jawaad is my Imam, 'Ali Haadi is my Imam, Hasan Askari is my Imam and Hujjatul Muntazar is my Imam. All these great persons, may Allah's peace be upon them, are my Imams, my leaders, my chiefs, and my intercessors and I keep friends with them and have hatred for their enemies in this world as well as in the world to come."

O ___________ son (daughter) of ___________, know that Allah, the Exalted, is undoubtedly the best of Providers, and Muhammad, may the peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny, is undoubtedly the best of the prophets and that Ammeerul Mu'mineen 'Ali ibne Abi Talib and the eleven Imams who are his descendants, are undoubtedly the best Imams and leaders.

Whatever message Muhammad, may the peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny, has brought is true. Undoubtedly Death is true, the questioning of Munkar and Nakeer in the grave after death is true, coming to life after death is true, the scale [Meezan] is true, the Path [Siraat] is true, accounting of deeds is true, and undoubtedly there will be a Day of Judgement.

Allah will undoubtedly bring to life those who are in the graves.

O ___________ son (daughter) of ___________, may Allah keep you firm on these beliefs and may He guide you on the right path and may Allah introduce you to friends in the vicinity of His mercy.

O Allah, make the ground spacious for him (her) on both the sides and raise his (her) soul towards You and direct Your Guidance to him (her). O Allah, pardon us, pardon us.

Appendix 2 : Salaate Wahshat

The Holy Prophet (S) has said that:

"A dead person does not bear greater hardships in the grave at any time than the first night."

He has therefore advised that we should give Sadaqah in the name of the dead person to induce Allah's mercy. In addition we should also pray 2 Raka'ats Salaate Wahshat with the intention of pleasing Allah and seeking forgiveness for the deceased.

Wahshat means loneliness and anxiety. This prayer can be said any time during the first part of the night of the burial, but it is better to recite it at the beginning of the night after Isha Salaat.

The form of this prayer is as follows:

In the 1st raka'at, after Surae Al-Hamd, Ayatul Kursi (verses 255, 256 and 257 of Surae Baqarah) should be recited.

In the 2nd rakaat, after Surae Al-Hamd, Surae Qadr (Inna-Anzalnah) (sura No.97) should be recited 10 times.

After the prayer is finished, Salawaat should be said followed by Dua to Allah to send the reward of the prayer to the grave of the deceased.

Adapted from the book: "Fiqh"

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