(From Beheshti Zewar)

1. When a person is about to die, make him lie down flat on his back. Place his feet towards the qiblah and raise his head so that his face could be towards the qiblah. Sit near him and recite the kalimah aloud so that by listening to you he will also commence reading. Do not order him to read the kalimah because this is a very difficult time and we do not know what he will utter.

2. The moment he recites the kalimah once, keep quiet and do not try to make him read it again and again until he passes away. Because the purpose of this is that the last words that are uttered by him are that of thekalimah. It is therefore not necessary that the kalimah be continuously recited until he passes away. However, if he starts talking of any worldly matter after having recited the kalimah, commence reciting the kalimah again. Once he recites it, keep quiet.

3. Once the breathing begins to stop, he starts taking quick breaths, the limbs get loose and he is unable to stand, the nose gets crooked and the temples begin to cave in, one should know that death has approached. At that time, the kalimah should be recited in a loud voice.

4. By reciting Surah Yaaseen, the severity of death decreases. This Surah should be recited by sitting near his head or anywhere else near him. If one cannot recite it oneself, one should ask someone else to recite it.

5. At that time, do not speak anything that will turn his attention towards the world because this is the time of leaving the world and presenting oneself in front of Allah Ta’ala. Do such things and talk of such things that his heart turns away from the world and directs itself towards Allah Ta’ala. In this lies full benefit for the dead person. To bring his family and children in front of him, or anyone else for whom he had a lot of love, or to talk of such things towards which his heart turns or whose love enters his heart is extremely detestable at such a time. If a person passes away with love for the world in his heart, then, Allah forbid, it is a terrible death.

6. If at the time of death, he uttered some words of kufr, do not worry about it and do not announce it. Instead, think that due to the difficulty of death his mind is not normal and this therefore occurred. When one is not in one’s senses, everything is forgiven. Continue making dua to Allah Ta’ala for his salvation.

7. Once the person dies, straighten all his limbs. Close his mouth in the following way: take a cloth and tie it in such a way that it goes from below his chin and around both sides of his head. Thereafter, tie a knot so that his mouth does not open. Close his eyes and thereafter tie the toes of both his feet together so that his legs do not move about. Cover him with a sheet and thereafter, as far as possible, hasten towards his ghusl and kafan.

8. At the time of closing his mouth, recite the following dua:

bismillaahi wa Alaa millati rasoolillaahi

Translation: “In the name of Allah and on the creed, religion and faith of Rasulullah.”

9. After he passes away, some incense should be burnt near him. A person upon whom ghusl is fard or a woman in her haid or nifaas should not sit near the dead person.

10. After a person dies, it is not be permissible to recite the Quran near him as long as he has not been given the ghusl.

Ghusl of the Deceased

1. Once all the preparations for the grave and kafan are complete and the deceased is about to be given a bath, a wooden bed or platform should be brought and incense sticks or any other type of perfume should be burnt around that wooden bed. After the incense is burnt for an odd number of times around the bed, lay the deceased person onto it and remove his clothing. Cover the area between his navel and knees with a piece of cloth so that this portion of his body remains covered.

2. If the place where he is being bathed is such that the water will flow away, then this will be good. If not, dig a hole under the wooden bed so that all the water will collect at that spot. If a hole was not dug and the water spread throughout the house, even then there is no sin in this. The object is that one should not have difficulty in walking about, and no one should slip and fall.

3. The method of bathing the deceased is as follows: First wash the private parts of the deceased. However, do not touch the private parts with your hands nor look at them. Instead, wrap your hands with a cloth and wash his private parts by inserting your hands under the cloth that was originally placed over the area between his navel and knees.

Thereafter, make wudu for him. However, do not gargle his mouth, do not pour water into his nose nor wash his hands upto his wrists. Instead, wash his face first, thereafter his hands upto his elbows, make masah of his head and then wash both his feet. It is also permissible to wet some cotton wool and cleanse his teeth, ear lobes, and nostrils. If the deceased was in a state of impurity or a woman was in her haid or nifaas, it will be obligatory to wash these parts in the way mentioned.

The nostrils, ears and mouth should be sealed with cotton wool so that water does not go inside at the time ofwudu or ghusl. After making wudu for him, apply some soap or any other cleaning agent to his head and cleanse it. Thereafter, make the deceased lie on his left side and wash him with water that has been made hot with berry leaves (or any other cleansing agent). This water should be poured three times from head to toe until it reaches his left side. Thereafter, make him lie on his right side and pour water in the same way three times. Use such an amount of water that will reach his right side.

Having done this, make him sit up while leaning him back slightly and rub his stomach gently. If any stool or urine comes out, wipe it and wash it off. The expulsion of urine or stool will not affect his wudu and ghusl in any way and there is no need to repeat this. Thereafter, make him lie on his left side again and pour camphor water three times from head to toe. Thereafter, wipe his body with a cloth or towel and make him wear hiskafan.

4. If there is no water that has been made hot with berry leaves, ordinary warm water will suffice. He should be washed three times in the same way mentioned above. Very hot water should not be used to bathe the deceased.

This method of bathing the deceased is the sunnah method. If someone does not bathe the deceased three times in this way but washes his entire body once only; even then the fard will be fulfilled.

5. Once the deceased is placed on the kafan, apply perfume to the head. If the deceased is a male, apply perfume to his beard as well. Thereafter, apply camphor to the forehead, nose, both palms, both knees, and both the feet. Some people apply perfume to the kafan, and even place a piece of cotton wool that has been immersed into perfume into the ears. All this is based on ignorance. Do not do anything beyond what theShariah has mentioned.

6. Do not comb the hair, clip the nails nor cut the hair from anywhere. Leave all these things as they are.

7. If a man passes away and there are no men to give him ghusl, it is not permissible for any woman except his wife to give him ghusl. It will not be permissible even if the other woman is his mahram. If even his wife is not present, tayammum should be made for him. However, his body should not be touched with the bare hands. Instead, wear a glove and then make tayammum.

8. If the husband dies, it is permissible for the wife to give him ghusl and make him wear the kafan. But if the wife dies, it is not permissible for the husband to touch her with his bare hands (nor is it permissible for him to give her ghusl). However, it is permissible for him to look at her and touch her while she is covered.

9. A woman who is in her haid or nifaas should not give ghusl to the deceased. To do so is makruh and not permissible.

10. It is preferable for the closest relative to give the ghusl. If she cannot give ghusl, any other religious minded woman could do so.

11. If the person who is giving ghusl notices some blemish on the deceased, he should not mention it to anyone. If, Allah forbid, the deceased’s face became distorted or blackened at the time of death, the person giving ghusl should not even mention this to anyone nor should he announce it. All this is not permissible. However, if the deceased used to commit sins openly, e.g. if she was a dancer, a musician or a prostitute, then it will be permissible to mention these things. This is so that others will abstain from such things and repent to Allah Ta’ala.

12. If a person drowns and dies in the sea, it is fard to give him a ghusl once he is taken out of the water,. Drowning in the water will not suffice for his ghusl. This is because giving ghusl to the deceased is fard on those who are alive and they did not take any part in his drowning. However, if at the time of taking him out, they make intention of ghusl and move him about in the water, the ghusl will be complete. Similarly, if any water falls onto the deceased or water reaches him in some other way, it will still be fard to give him ghusl.

13. If only a person’s head is found somewhere, he will not be given ghusl. Instead, he will be buried just as he is. And if more than half of a person’s body is found, it will be necessary to give him ghusl irrespective of whether he is found with his head or without. If it is not more than half but exactly half, then he will only be given ghusl if he is found with his head. If not, he will not be given ghusl. If less than half is found, ghusl will not be given irrespective of whether he is found with his head or not.

14. If a deceased is found somewhere and it is not known whether he is a Muslim or a kaafirghusl will be given to him and salaat will also be performed over him if he is found in Dar ul-Islam.

15. If the corpses of Muslims are found among the corpses of the kuffaar and they cannot be distinguished from each other, ghusl will be given to all of them. If they can be distinguished, the corpses of the Muslims will be separated and ghusl will be given to them. Ghusl will not be given to the corpses of the kuffaar.

16. If a close friend of a Muslim is a kaafir and he passes away, his corpse should be given to those who are of the same religion. If no one can be found or they refuse to accept his body, then due to necessity, it will be permissible for that Muslim to give him ghusl. However, this ghusl should not be given in the normal sunnahmethod. That is, he should not be given wudu, his head should not be washed thoroughly nor should camphor be applied to his body. Instead, he should be washed just as any other impure object is washed. By washing a kaafir, he does not become pure. So much so, that if someone offers salaat over him, that salaat will not be valid.

17. If rebels or highway robbers are killed, ghusl should not be given to the dead among them as long as they were killed in the actual battle.

18. If one who renounces Islam (murtad) is killed, ghusl should not be given to him. If the followers of that religion which he accepted ask for his body, it should not be given to them.

19. If a deceased person is given tayammum because of a lack of water and later water is found, ghusl should be given to him.

Kafan for the Deceased

1. It is sunnah to enshroud a woman with five pieces of cloth. That is, a shirt, loincloth, a head band, a sheet and a chest band. The loincloth should be from head to toe. The sheet should be slightly longer than that. The shirt should be from the neck till the feet. However, it should not have any side panels or sleeves. The head band should be 180cm x 90cm. The chest band should be as wide as the distance from the chest to the knees. It should be so long that it could be closed.

2. If anyone is not enshrouded in five cloths, but only three cloths, i.e. the loincloth, sheet, and head band, this is also permissible and this kafan will be sufficient. It is makruh and a sin to use less than three cloths. However, if there is a severe need or no other alternative, then to use less than three will also be permissible.

3. If the chest band extends from the chest till the navel, it will also be permissible. But it is preferable to have it till the thighs.

4. The kafan should be first smoked with some incense an odd number of times. Thereafter, the deceased should be enshrouded.

5. The method of enshrouding the deceased is as follows: firstly spread out the sheet, then the loin cloth above it, and thereafter, the shirt above it. Thereafter, lay the deceased on this and make her wear the shirt. The hair of the head should be parted and placed above the sheet on her chest. One part of the hair should be placed on the left hand side and the other on the right. Thereafter, place the head band over the head and hair. It should not be tied nor wrapped. Thereafter, wrap the loin cloth: first the left side and then the right side. Thereafter, tie the chest band. And then wrap the sheet: first the left side and then the right side. Thereafter, tie the kafan on the head side and feet side with a strip of cloth. Also tie another strip of cloth around the stomach so that the kafan does not get loose on the way.

6. If the chest band is tied after the head band but before wrapping the loincloth, this is also permissible. It will also be permissible if it is tied after all the cloths.

7. Once the kafan is completed, send the deceased away so that the men could offer the salaat and complete the burial.

8. It is also permissible for women to offer the janaazah salaat. However, since this does not happen, we will not mention the mas’alas concerning the salaat and the burial.

9. It is not permissible to place one’s will or lineage of a saint in the kafan or the grave. Similarly, it is not permissible to write the kalimah or any dua on the kafan or the deceased’s forehead with camphor or any pen. However, it is permissible to place the cover of the Ka’bah or the scarf (or any other clothing) of one’s spiritual guide as a source of barakah.

10. A child that dies a few moments after birth or immediately after birth will also be given ghusl and kafan in the same way as mentioned above. Janaazah salaat will also be offered over him and he will also be buried in the normal way. This child should also be named.

11. A child that is stillborn, and there are no signs of life at the time of birth will also be given ghusl in the normal way. However, do not enshroud him in the normal kafan. Instead, wrap him in a piece of cloth and bury him. He should also be given a name.

12. If a woman aborts (miscarries) and the child is not formed as yet, i.e. it’s hands, feet, face, nose, etc. have not formed as yet, it should not be given a bath nor a kafan. Instead, it should be wrapped in a piece of cloth and buried in a hole. If any of it’s limbs are formed, the same rule will apply as that of a baby that is stillborn. That is, it should be named and given ghusl, but it should not be given the normal kafan nor should salaat be offered over it. Instead, it should be wrapped in a cloth and buried.

13. At the time of delivery, only the child’s head appeared. At that time it was alive. Thereafter, it died. The same rule will apply as that of a baby that is still-born. However, if a major portion of the baby appeared and it passed away after that, it will be regarded as if it was born alive. If it was born from the head section, then upto the chest will be regarded as “a major portion”. But if it is born the other way, then upto the navel.

14. If a young girl who is close to the age of puberty (but has not matured as yet) passes away, then the five pieces of cloth for the kafan which are sunnah for a mature woman will be sunnah for her kafan as well. If five pieces are not available, three pieces will suffice. In other words, the rules that apply to a mature woman will apply to a young immature girl as well. The difference is that these rules are emphasised for the mature woman while they are preferable for the young immature woman.

15. Five pieces of cloth are also preferable for the girl who is very young, i.e. not even close to maturity. Using two pieces will also be permissible, i.e. the loincloth and sheet.

16. If a boy passes away and you have to give him ghusl and kafan, then bathe him in the same way as mentioned above. The same method of kafan will also apply. The only difference is that the kafan for a woman consists of five pieces of cloth while the kafan for a man consists of three pieces: a sheet, a loincloth and a shirt.

17. If there are only two pieces of cloth for a man, i.e. a sheet and a loincloth, this will suffice. It is makruh to use less than two cloths. But if there is a necessity or there is no alternative, it will not be makruh.

18. The sheet which is placed over the janaazah, i.e. on the bed, is not included in the kafan. Kafan only consists of the pieces which we mentioned above.

19. The kafan and burial of a person should be done in that very city or town where he passes away. It is not good to move him to another place. However, there is no harm in moving him to a place which is only one or two kilometres away.

20. If a limb or half of the body of a person is found without the head, it is sufficient to wrap it up in a piece of cloth. If the head is also with half of the body, or more than half of the body is without the head, then the normal kafan should be given.

21. If a person’s grave opens or his corpse is exhumed due to some reason, it is necessary to give him the normal kafan. This is on condition that the body has not disintegrated. If it has disintegrated, it will suffice to merely wrap it in a cloth (there is no need for the normal kafan).

The Janaazah Salaat

The janaazah salaat is in reality a dua unto Allah Ta’ala for the deceased person.

1. All the conditions and prerequisites that have been mentioned for salaat will also apply for the janaazah salaat. However, there is one additional condition for the janaazah salaat. That is, one must have knowledge of the person’s death. The person who is not informed of this will be excused and janaazah salaat will not be necessary on him.

2. There are two types of conditions for the validity of janaazah salaat: the first type is that which is connected to those offering the janaazah salaat. These conditions have been mentioned in the chapters dealing with all the other types of salaat. That is: purity, concealing one’s private area, facing the qiblah, intention. However, “time” is not a pre-requisite for this salaat. Furthermore, if one feels that one will miss it, one can maketayammum, e.g. the janaazah has commenced and the person feels that if he makes wudu he will miss the salaat. In such a case he can make tayammum, as opposed to other salaats, because if one fears that the time is about to expire, it is not permissible for him to make tayammum.

3. These days, some people offer the janaazah salaat with their shoes on. For them it is necessary that the spot on which they are standing is pure, and that their shoes are also pure. If they remove their shoes and stand on them, then it is necessary that only the shoes be pure. If people are not mindful of this, their salaat will not be valid.

The second type of conditions are those that are connected to the deceased. There are six such conditions:

The First Condition: The deceased has to be a Muslim. Salaat over a kaafir or murtad is not valid. Even if a Muslim is an open sinner or a bid’ati, salaat over him will be valid. However, there is an exception for those who rebel against the ruler who is on truth or those who are highway robbers. This is on the condition that they are killed while fighting against the ruler. If they die after the fight or die a natural death, janaazah salaat will be offered over them.

Similarly, the person who kills his father or mother and he himself dies while being punished for this, salaat will not be offered over him. Salaat is not offered over these people as a way of punishment. Salaat over a person who commits suicide is valid.

4. If the father or mother of an immature child is a Muslim, this child will also be regarded as a Muslim. Salaat will be offered over him.

5. A mayyit or deceased person is he who is born alive and then dies. If a child is born dead, salaat over him is not valid.

The Second Condition: The body and kafan of the deceased must be pure from najaasat-e-haqiqi and najaasat-e-hukmi. However, if najaasat-e-haqiqi comes out from his body after giving him the ghusl, and his entire body becomes impure, there is no harm in this. The salaat will be valid.

6. Salaat is not valid over a deceased person if he is not pure from najaasat-e-hukmi, i.e. ghusl was not given to him, or in the case where ghusl was not possible he was not given tayammum. However, if it is not possible to purify him, e.g. he was buried without being given ghusl or tayammum and the grave has already been filled with sand, then it will be permissible to offer salaat over his grave. If salaat was offered over a person who was not given ghusl or tayammum and he was buried thereafter, and later it came to be known that ghusl was not given to him, then the salaat will have to be repeated over his grave. This is because the first salaat was not valid. Since it is not possible to give him ghusl, the (second) salaat will be valid.

7. If a Muslim is buried without salaat being offered over him, salaat will be offered over his grave as long as there is no possibility of his corpse disintegrating or decomposing. If one feels that his body has disintegrated, salaat should not be offered over his grave. The time that it takes for a body to disintegrate differs from place to place. It is therefore not possible to specify an exact time – this is the most correct opinion in this regard. However, there are those who have specified 3 days, 10 days and one month.

8. It is not necessary for the spot on which the deceased is placed to be pure. If the deceased is placed on a pure bed, or if the bed is impure, or if the deceased is placed on an impure piece of ground without being placed on a bed, then in all these cases there is difference of opinion. According to some ulama, it is a prerequisite for the spot on which the deceased is placed to be pure. If not, the salaat will not be valid. According to others, this is not a prerequisite. Salaat will therefore be valid.

The Third Condition: Those parts of the body which are wajib to be covered have to be covered. If the deceased is completely naked, salaat over him will not be permissible.

The Fourth Condition: The deceased has to be placed in front of those offering salaat over him. If he is placed behind them, salaat will not be valid.

The Fifth Condition: The deceased or the thing upon which he is placed, has to be placed on the ground. If salaat is being offered over the deceased while he is being carried by some people, or while he is placed on a vehicle or an animal, this salaat will not be valid.

The Sixth Condition: The deceased has to be present at that place. If he is not present, salaat will not be valid.

9. Two things are fard in the janaazah salaat: (i) To say Allahu Akbar four times. Here, each takbeer takes the place of one rakaat. (ii) To stand and offer the janaazah salaat. Just as it is fard to stand up and offer the fardand wajib salaats if the person has no valid excuse, so is the case over here. The different valid excuses have already been mentioned in the chapters on salaat.

10. There is no ruku, sajdah, qa’dah, etc. in this salaat.

11. Three things are sunnah in the janaazah salaat: (i) To praise Allah Ta’ala. (ii) To send salutations to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. (iii) To make dua for the deceased. Jama’at is not a condition for janaazah salaat. Even if one person offers the janaazah salaat, this fard duty will be fulfilled. This is irrespective of whether the person offering the salaat is a male, a female, a mature person or an immature person.

12. However, there is a greater need for a jama’at because this is a dua for the deceased. For a few people to get together and ask Allah Ta’ala for a certain thing has a special significance in attracting the mercy and acceptance of Allah Ta’ala.

13. The sunnah and mustahab method of janaazah salaat is as follows: The deceased should be placed in the front and the imam should stand in line with his chest. Everyone should make the following intention:

Janazah Dua

Translation: “I intend offering the janaazah salaat for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and as a dua for the deceased.”

After making this intention, he should raise both hands upto the ears just as he does for the takbeer-e-tahreemah. When doing this he should say Allahu Akbar and thereafter tie his hands just as he does for any other salaat. He should then recite the thanaa’. Thereafter, he should say Allahu Akbar again but he should not raise his hands. He should then recite the durood. It is preferable to recite the same durood that is recited in salaat. He should again say Allahu Akbar without raising the hands. After this takbeer, he should make dua for the deceased. If the deceased is a mature male or female, the following dua should be made:


Translation: “O Allah! Forgive our living and dead, present and absent, big and small, men and women. O Allah! Whoever among us is kept alive by You, keep him alive on Islam, and whoever You give death, let him die on Imaan.”

In some Ahadith, this dua has also been mentioned:


It is better if both these duas are recited. In fact, Allamah Shaami rahmatullahi alayh, in his book Radd ul-Muhtaar, has written both these duas as one. Apart from these two, other duas have also been related in the Ahadith. Our jurists have also related these duas. One could therefore choose whichever dua one wishes.

If the deceased is an immature boy, the following dua should be recited:


Translation: “O Allah! Make him a source of happiness for us. And make him a reward and a treasure for us. And make him an intercessor for us and one whose intercession is accepted.”

If the deceased is an immature girl, the same dua should be recited with the following changes: in all three places, instead of reading


this should be read


and instead of


this should be read.


Once this dua has been recited, Allahu Akbar should be said once more without raising the hands. After thistakbeer, the salaam should be made just as it is made for any other salaat. There is no at-tahiyyaat nor any recitation of the Quran in this salaat.

14. The janaazah salaat is the same for the imam and muqtadi. The only difference is that the imam will make the takbeers and the salaam in a loud voice while the muqtadi will make them softly. The remainder of the things, i.e. the thanaa’, durood and dua, will be made softly by the muqtadi as well as the imam.

15. It is mustahab to make three saffs for the janaazah salaat. So much so that if there are seven people, one of them will be made the imam, there will be three people in the first saff, two in the second saff, and one person in the last saff.

16. Janaazah salaat becomes invalid by the very things which make other salaats invalid. The only difference is that by laughing aloud, one’s wudu will not break. And if a woman stands in line with a man, the salaat will not become invalid.

17. It is makruh-e-tahrimi to offer janaazah salaat in a musjid which has been built for the five daily salaats, thejumu’ah salaat or the eid salaats. This is irrespective of whether the janaazah is offered inside the musjid or the janaazah is placed outside whilst the people are standing inside the musjid. However, janaazah salaat will not be makruh in a musjid which has been built specifically for this purpose.

18. It is makruh to delay the janaazah salaat with the purpose of attracting a larger crowd.

19. It is not permissible to sit down or sit on any vehicle and offer janaazah salaat if there is no valid excuse.

20. If there are several janaazahs to be offered, it is better to offer each one individually. However, it is permissible to offer one janaazah salaat for all the janaazahs. In such a case, a saff for all the janaazahs should be made. A good method of doing this is that each janaazah should be placed next to the other in such a way that all their feet are on one side, and their heads the other side. This method is preferable because all their chests will be in line with the imam. And it is sunnah for the imam to stand in this way.

21. If the janaazahs are of different types, their saff should be arranged in this way: the janaazahs of all the men should be placed near the imam, thereafter the boys’, thereafter the mature women’s, and thereafter the girls’.

22. If a person joins the janaazah at such a time that a few takbeers were made prior to his arrival, he will be regarded as a masbuq for the takbeers which he missed. Upon reaching the janaazah salaat, he should not immediately join in as he normally does for other salaats. Instead, he should wait for the takbeer of the imam. When the imam makes the takbeer, he should also do so. This takbeer will be regarded as his takbeer-e-tahreemah. When the imam makes his salaam, this person should complete the takbeers which he missed. There is no need for him to recite anything.

If a person reaches at such a time that the imam has already made the fourth takbeer, then with regard to this fourth takbeer, he will not be regarded as a masbuq. He should immediately make the takbeer and join the salaat before the imam can make salaam. On the completion of the salaat, he should repeat all the takbeerswhich he missed.

23. If a person was present at the time of takbeer-e-tahreemah or for any of the other takbeers and was even ready to join the salaat, but did not join due to laziness or some other reason, then he should immediately make thetakbeer and join the salaat. He should not wait for the next takbeer of the imam. He will not have to repeat thetakbeer for which he was present (but did not make) as long as he makes it before the imam can make the nexttakbeer. He must complete this takbeer even though he did not make it simultaneously with the imam.

24. If the masbuq begins to complete the takbeers which he missed, and he fears that if he will recite the dua he will get delayed and the janaazah will be carried away from the front, then he should not recite the dua.

25. If a person becomes a laahiq for a janaazah salaat, the same rules as for the other salaats will apply to him.

26. The most worthy person for the imamaat of janaazah salaat is the ruler of the time even if there are more pious people than him who are present over there. If he is not present, then his deputy, i.e. the one who is appointed by him, will be the most worthy even if there are others who are more pious than him. If he is not present, then the judge of the city. If he is not present, then his deputy. In the presence of these people, it is not permissible to appoint anyone else as the imam without their permission. It is wajib to appoint these people as the imam. If any of these people are not present, the most worthy will be the imam of the area. This is on the condition that there isn’t anyone more qualified than him from among the relatives of the deceased person. Or else, those relatives of the deceased who have the right to succeed him, have the right of becomingimam. Or that person whom they give permission to. If anyone who is not worthy of imamaat, makes imamaatwithout the permission of the relatives, then they have the right to repeat the salaat. So much so, that if the deceased is already buried, they could offer the salaat over the grave until such time that the body has not started to disintegrate or decompose.

27. If a person who is worthy of imamaat, makes imamaat without the permission of the relatives, then the relatives cannot repeat the salaat. Similarly, if the relative of the deceased performed the salaat in the absence of the ruler or his deputies, then the ruler does not have the right to repeat the salaat. In fact, even if the relatives offer the salaat in the presence of the ruler, the ruler does not have the choice to repeat the salaat. This is despite the relatives getting the sin of not appointing the ruler. Because to appoint the ruler is wajib, as mentioned previously.

In short, it is not permissible to offer one janaazah several times. This is only permissible for the relatives if the janaazah was offered without their permission by a person who is not eligible to do so.

The Burial

1. It is fard-e-kifaayah to bury the deceased just as it is fard-e-kifaayah to give him ghusl and offer salaat over him.

2. Once salaat is offered over the deceased, he should immediately be carried to the grave which has been dug up for him.

3. If the deceased is a small baby or slightly bigger, he should be carried by the hands, i.e. one person should carry him with both his hands and thereafter pass him over to the next person. In this way, he should be continuously carried from person to person. If the deceased is an elderly person, he should be placed and carried on a cot or something similar to it. It should be carried by four persons, one at each corner. This cot should be lifted and placed on the shoulders. However, it is makruh to carry it on the shoulders in such a way as one carries luggage on one’s shoulders. Similarly, it is also makruh to take the deceased by placing him on an animal or vehicle without any valid excuse. If there is a valid reason, it will not be makruh to do so, e.g. the grave yard is very far.

4. The mustahab method of carrying the deceased is as follows: First lift the front right leg of the bier and place it on the right shoulder and walk for at least ten steps. Thereafter place the back right leg of the bier onto the right shoulder and walk for at least ten steps. Thereafter, place the front left leg of the bier onto the left shoulder and thereafter the left back leg onto the left shoulder, and walk for at least ten steps. In this way, one would have walked at least forty steps when all four corners are added.

5. It is sunnah to walk briskly when carrying the deceased. But it should not be so fast that the deceased begins to move about and is thereby unsettled.

6. It is makruh for those who accompany the janaazah to sit down before the janaazah can be placed onto the ground. However, there is no harm in sitting down if there is some necessity.

7. If those who have not been accompanying the janaazah are sitting somewhere, then upon seeing the janaazah they should not stand up.

8. It is mustahab for those who are accompanying the janaazah to walk behind the janaazah. However, there is no harm in walking ahead of the janaazah. This will become makruh if everyone begins walking in front of the janaazah. Similarly, it is makruh to move in front of the janaazah while in a vehicle.

9. It is mustahab for those accompanying the janaazah to go on foot. If they are in any vehicle, they should move behind the janaazah.

10. It is makruh for those accompanying the janaazah to make any dua or zikr in a loud voice.

11. The depth of the grave should be at least half the height of the person. It should not be more than his height. The length of the grave should be according to his height. The incised-grave is better than the trench-grave. However, if the ground is very soft and there is a fear of the grave collapsing, the incised-grave should not be dug.

12. If the incised-grave cannot be dug, it is also permissible to place the deceased in a box irrespective of whether the box is of wood, stone or steel. However, it is preferable to spread some sand in the bottom of the box.

13. Once the grave is ready, the deceased should be lowered into the grave from the direction of the qiblah. The method of this is that the deceased should be placed towards the qiblah, and those who are going to lower him should stand facing the qiblah. They should then lift the deceased and lower him into the grave.

14. It is not sunnah to have an odd number of people to place the deceased into the grave. Four people had lowered Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam into his grave.

15. At the time of placing the deceased, it is mustahab to recite:


16. After placing the deceased into the grave, it is mustahab to turn him with his right side facing the qiblah.

17. After placing the deceased into the grave, those strings which were used to tie both ends of the kafanshould be loosened.

18. The deceased should then be covered with unbaked bricks or straw. It is makruh to cover him with baked bricks or strips of timber. However, if the ground is very soft and there is a fear of the grave collapsing, it will be permissible to place baked bricks or strips of timber, or even to place him into a box.

19. At the time of placing a woman in the grave, it is mustahab to cover the grave with a sheet. If there is a fear that the body of the deceased will get exposed, it will be wajib to cover the grave with a sheet.

20. Covering the grave with a sheet should not be done when placing a man in the grave. But if there is an excuse, e.g. it is raining or snowing or the sun’s rays are very intense, then it will be permissible to do so.

21. Once the deceased has been placed in the grave, whatever soil that came out when digging that grave should be replaced into it. It is makruh to put too much of extra soil to the extent that it is more than one span in height. But if it is not too much, it will not be makruh.

22. It is mustahab to start from the head side when throwing sand over the grave. Each person should throw the soil with both his hands. The first time that he throws, he should read:


the second time he should read:


and the third time he should read:


23. After the burial, it is mustahab to stand near the grave for a little while, make dua of forgiveness for the deceased, or to recite the Quran and send the rewards of this to the deceased.

24. After covering the grave with soil, it is mustahab to sprinkle a little water over it.

25. The deceased should not be buried in a house irrespective of whether he is big or small. This is because this is a speciality of the Prophets alayhimus salaam.

26. It is makruh to make a square grave. It is mustahab to have it in a mound, like the shape of a camel’s back. It’s height should be equal to one span or slightly higher.

27. It is makruh-e-tahrimi to have the grave very much higher than one span. It is makruh to plaster or cement the grave.

28. It is haraam to construct a dome over the grave for the purpose of decoration. If this is done in order to strengthen the grave, then it will be makruh. It is permissible to write something on the grave of the deceased as a means of remembrance. This is on the condition that there is some necessity, if not, it will not be permissible. But these days, since people have corrupted their beliefs and habits, then due to these harms even those things that are permissible become prohibited. Therefore, things of this sort will not be permissible in any way. Whatever needs or excuses they may offer are nothing but a delusion of their desires, and they themselves know this.

Rules Concerning the Martyr

Although the martyr is also a deceased person outwardly, all the rules related to a normal deceased person do not apply to him. Apart from this, there are many virtues of a martyr. It was therefore considered appropriate to outline the rules concerning him separately. Several types of martyrs have been mentioned in the Hadith. Some ulama have compiled entire books in which all the different types of martyrs are mentioned. But the martyr whose rules we wish to outline over here are specifically for that martyr who complies with the following conditions:

1. He has to be a Muslim. No type of martyrdom whatsoever can be established for those who are not Muslims.

2. He has to be mature and in his senses. If a person is killed while he is in a state of madness or not mature as yet, the rules which we are going to discuss later will not apply to him.

3. He has to be pure from hadath-e-akbar. If a person is killed while he is in a state of hadath-e-akbar, or a woman is killed while she is in her haid or nifaas, these rules of a martyr will not apply to them.

4. He has to be killed out of innocence. If a person is not killed out of innocence, instead he is killed because of a crime which he committed against the Shariah, or he was not killed but died a natural death, the rules of the martyr will not apply to him.

5. If he is killed by a Muslim or a Zimmi, then an additional condition is that he must be killed by an instrument that is used for killing. If a Muslim or Zimmi kills him by any other object such as a stone, the rules of a martyr will not apply to him. Steel is regarded as an object for killing even if it is not sharp. If a person is killed by the kuffaar, renegades, highway robbers, or he is found killed in the battle field, then this condition of being killed by an “instrument of killing” will not apply. So much so, that if they kill him with a stone, he will still be regarded as a martyr. In fact, even the prerequisite of them being the killers is not necessary. Even if they were the cause of his death, i.e. even if such conditions prevail which lead to his death, the rules of a martyr will apply to him. Examples which illustrate this are as follows:

(i) A kaafir trampled over a Muslim with his animal while this kaafir was riding the animal.

(ii) A Muslim was riding his animal when a kaafir gave chase to this animal. As a result of this, the Muslim fell off his animal and died.

(iii) A kaafir set fire to a Muslim’s house or possessions as a result of which this Muslim got burnt and died.

6. As a punishment of that killing, no monetary compensation must be stipulated by the Shariah from thebeginning. Instead, qisaas must be made wajib. If any monetary compensation has been stipulated, the rules of a martyr will not apply to that person who has been killed. This is even if he has been killed wrongfully. Examples which illustrate this are as follows:

(i) A Muslim kills another Muslim with an instrument that is not normally used for killing.

(ii) A Muslim kills another Muslim with an instrument of killing, but kills him mistakenly, e.g. he was pointing at an animal or some other target but the bullet hits some Muslim.

(iii) A person is found murdered in any place other than the battle field and his killer is not known.

Since monetary compensation becomes wajib in all these cases and qisaas does not become wajib, therefore the rules of a martyr will not apply over here. The condition of monetary compensation being stipulated from the very beginning has been attached because: if qisaas had been stipulated in the beginning and due to some reason it was forgiven and in place of it some monetary compensation was stipulated later, then in such a case the rules of a martyr will apply. Examples of this are as follows:

(a) A person was killed intentionally and wrongfully with an instrument of killing. However, a monetary compromise was made between the killer and the inheritors of the person killed. In such a case the rules of a martyr will apply because from the beginning qisaas was wajib and not any monetary compensation. This monetary compensation only became wajib after a compromise was reached.

(b) A father kills his son with a weapon. In such a case, qisaas became wajib from the beginning and not any monetary compensation. However, out of respect for the father, he was excused from qisaas and instead, a monetary compensation became wajib. The rules of a martyr will apply in this context.

7. After being injured, the person must not conduct any affair of this world which shows ease and comfort such as eating, drinking, sleeping, taking medication, buying and selling, etc. Nor should he live to the extent of one salaat time while he is conscious and in his senses. Nor should he be carried from the battle field while he is in a state of consciousness. However, if he is carried out of fear of being trampled upon by animals, there is no harm in this. If a person talks considerably after being injured, he will not be regarded as a martyr because to talk a lot is an attribute of those who are living. Similarly, if a person makes a bequest, he will be out of the category of a martyr if this bequest is connected to a worldly matter. But if this bequest is made for a Deeni matter, he will be regarded as a martyr.

If a person is martyred in the battle field and he does any of the above acts, he will be excluded from the category of a martyr. If not, he will not be excluded from this category. However, if he commits any of the above acts while the battle is still carrying on, he will be regarded as a martyr.

1. The martyr who fulfils all the above conditions will not be given ghusl nor will any blood be cleansed from his body. He will be buried as he is.

2. The second rule is that the clothes which he was wearing will not be removed from his body. However, if his clothes are less than the stipulated number for the kafan, more clothes could be added in order to complete the stipulated number. In the same way, if he is wearing more than the stipulated number, the extra pieces of clothing should be removed. If he is wearing clothing which is not good enough to serve as kafan, such as leather or fur, these should also be removed. But if he is not wearing anything else, these should not be removed.

3. His hat, shoes, weapons will have to be removed under all conditions.

4. All the other rules that are applicable to the normal deceased person, such as salaat, etc. will also apply to the martyr.

5. If any of the above conditions are not met with in a martyr, he will be given ghusl and will also be made to wear a new kafan.

General Rules of Janaazah

1. If one forgets to place the deceased towards the qiblah when burying him and only remembers this after burying him and filling the grave with sand, then it is not permissible to dig up the grave. However, if only the wooden strips have been placed and no soil has been thrown as yet, it will be permissible to remove the timber and place him towards the qiblah.

2. It is makruh-e-tahrimi for women to accompany the janaazah.

3. It is prohibited for wailing women and those women who give lectures to accompany the janaazah.

4. It is a bid’ah to give the adhaan while lowering the deceased into the grave.

5. If the imam makes more than four takbeers in the janaazah salaat, it is not permissible for the muqtadis of the Hanafi mazhab to follow him. Instead, they should remain standing silently. When the imam makes thesalaam, they should also make salaam. However, if they do not hear the extra takbeers from the imam, but from the mukabbir, then the muqtadis should follow him and regard each takbeer as the takbeer-e-tahreemah. They should think that the four takbeers before this which the mukabbir had made were wrong and that the imamonly made the takbeer-e-tahreemah now.

6. If a person passes away in a ship and the coast is so far away that there is a fear that the corpse will begin to decompose, then in such a case ghusl and kafan should be given to him and thereafter he should be lowered into the sea. But if the coast is not so far and there is hope of reaching land soon, the corpse should be left aside and upon reaching land, it should be buried in the ground.

7. If a person does not know the dua that is recited in the janaazah salaat, it is sufficient for him to recite the following dua:


If he does not even remember this and only suffices with the four takbeers, his salaat will be valid. This is because the dua is not fard but sunnah. In the same way, the durood is also sunnah.

8. Once sand has been thrown over the grave, it is not permissible to remove the deceased from the grave. However, if in burying him, the right of someone has been transgressed, then it will be permissible to dig up the grave. Examples: (i) the land on which he is buried belongs to someone else and the owner is not happy about the burial taking place on his land, (ii) someone’s wealth has been left behind in the grave.

9. If a woman passes away and there is a living child in her womb, then her womb will have to be cut and the child removed. Similarly, if a person passes away after swallowing someone else’s money, and the person asks for the money, his stomach will be cut and the money removed. However, if the deceased has left behind some wealth, this money will have to be given from his wealth and his stomach will not be cut.

10. It is not good to move the corpse from one place to another for the purpose of burial. This is if the place is less than 2-3 kilometres. If it is more than 2-3 kilometres, it is not permissible to do so. Digging up the grave and moving the corpse from one place to another is not permissible under any circumstances.

11. It is permissbible to praise the deceased person irrespective of whether it is in the form of a poem or in prose. This is on condition that there is no exaggeration in praising him, and he is not praised for characteristics that were not found in him.

12. It is permissible to do the following: sympathize and comfort the relatives of the deceased, to mention the virtues of patience and thereby create an inclination towards patience, to make dua for them and the deceased. All this is known as ta’ziyat. It is makruh-e-tanzihi to make ta’ziyat for more than three days. However, if the person making the ta’ziyat, or a relative of the deceased, was away on a journey and returned after the stipulated three days, then this ta’ziyat will not be makruh. It is makruh for a person to make ta’ziyat for a second time when he has already made it before.

13. It is not makruh to keep the kafan ready for oneself. However, it is makruh to keep the grave ready for oneself.

14. It is permissible to write a dua on the kafan, or Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem on his chest, or the kalimahon his forehead. This will only be permissible if it is done by moving the fingers and without using a pen. However, this practice has not been established from any Sahih Hadith. Therefore, this practice should not be regarded as sunnah or mustahab.

15. It is mustahab to place a green twig on the grave. If a plant or tree begins to grow near it, it will be makruhto chop it off.

16. More than one corpse should not be buried in one grave. However, this will be permissible if there is an absolute necessity for it. If all the corpses are males, the most virtuous among them should be placed in the front. Thereafter, all the rest should be placed behind him in order of their position. However, if there are a few males and a few females, the males should be placed in front and the females behind them.

17. It is mustahab for men to go and visit the graves. It is preferable to visit the graves at least once a week. It is preferable that this day be Friday. It is also permissible to undertake journeys in order to visit the graves of the pious. This is permissible as long as no belief or action contrary to the Shariah takes place. Like the evils that take place in the present day “birth-anniversary” (meelad, urs) celebrations.

The Shar’ee Procedure at the Time of Death

Recite Surah Yaseen at the time of death and make the person lie on his right hand side facing the qiblah if this will not cause any pain to him. If not, leave him as he is. It is also permissible to make him lie flat on his back with his feet pointing towards the qiblah and his head slightly elevated. The person sitting nearby should recite the kalimah in an audible voice. He should not ask the person to recite the kalimah because it is possible that he will refuse.

On passing away, take a broad strip of cloth or band and tie it from below his chin and above his head. Thereafter, close his eyes. Place the large toes of each foot together and tie them with a strip of cloth. Place his hands at his sides and not on his chest. Thereafter, inform the people of his death. Hasten towards his burial. First of all, make the arrangements for the grave and thereafter request for the following items for the kafan:

1. Two water-pots. (if there are utensils in the house, there is no need for this)

2. A can to pour the water.

3. A wooden bed or platform which is generally kept in the musjid.

4. Lobaan (a kind of incense).

5. Cotton wool.

6. Gilly flower (or any other fragrant flower).

7. Camphor.

8. Strips of timber or sticks for the grave, the length of which will be according to the measurements of the grave.

9. A mat made of palm leaves according to the measurements of the grave.

10. Kafan. The kafan should be made in the following manner: for men, take a stick that is equal in length of the deceased person. Make a mark on the stick in line with his shoulders. Place a piece of cotton in line with his chest and take it around his body until one end of the cotton goes round and meets the other end of the cotton. Cut off the cotton and keep that piece aside. Thereafter, take a cloth that is as wide as or more or less the same as the length of that piece of cotton. If the width of the material is less than the cotton, complete it by joining another piece of material. Take some sheeting and cut out a piece of cloth that is the same length as that of the stick. This is called the loincloth. Take another sheet that is the same width as the previous one and cut out another piece of cloth that is about a quarter metre longer than the loin cloth. This is called thelifafah or sheet. Take another piece of cloth that is as wide as the width of the deceased. Place one end of it on the mark on the stick till the end of the stick and cut double this length. Hold both the ends of this cloth together and cut out a circle at the opposite end which will be large enough for the head of the person to go through. This is known as the shirt. This is not used for a woman. Apart from this, there are two other pieces of cloth (for a woman), one is the chest band and the other, the head band. The chest band extends from below the arm-pits till the knees. It will be as wide as the piece of cotton that was originally used for measuring. The head band will be about one and three quarter metres in length and about three quarters of a metre in width. These are the masnun measurements for the kafan. There are certain things which are connected to the kafan. They are as follows:

(i) The tahband should be about 18 centimetres longer than the width of the body. For a large person, one and quarter metre in length will be sufficient. And for the width from the navel to the calf, about 80 centimetres will be sufficient. There has to be two pieces of this.

(ii) The gloves should be approximately 33 centimetres by 16 centimetres. There should be two of these as well.

(iii) The upper semi-circular covering of the bier of a woman who is big in body should be about three and half metres by two metres.

(iv) Preparations for the kafan and other items should be made together with the preparations for ghusl.

(v) We now feel it relevant to enumerate the kafan in the form of a table so that it will be easier to understand:


Note: For the kafan of a man, approximately 10 metres of material is required. For the woman, together with the upper covering of the bier, approximately 21 metres is required. The tahband and gloves are not included in this. The kafan for a child should be calculated as explained previously.

The Method of Ghusl and Kafan

Add two handfuls of berry leaves in a water-pot and heat the water. Thereafter pour this water into two water-pots. Dig two holes on either side lengthwise where the deceased will be placed. (This will not be necessary if there is a drain through which all the water will flow away. The wooden platform could be placed near this drain.) Place the wooden platform in the direction where the two holes were dug and smoke it three times with incense. Thereafter, place the deceased onto this platform and remove his clothing. Place the tahbandover his private area and remove his clothing from underneath the tahband.

Rub the stomach gently and cleanse his private parts with three to five lumps of sand irrespective of whether any impurities come out or not. Thereafter wash his private parts with water. However, you should wear gloves when doing this. It is not permissible to wash the private parts without wearing these. Take a piece of cotton wool, moisten it and cleanse his lips and teeth with it and thereafter throw it away. Repeat this three times. Do the same for the nose and ears. Thereafter, seal the mouth, nose and ears with cotton wool so that no water may go inside.

Thereafter wash the head and beard with soap. Make wudu for the deceased: wash the face, the hands upto the elbows, make masah of the head, and then wash the feet. Thereafter pour water over the entire body. Make him lie on his left-hand side and pour water over him. Do the same after making him lie on his right-hand side. Thereafter wear another pair of gloves and cleanse his body. Replace the tahband as well.

Thereafter neaten the bed and place the sheet (lifafah) over it. Spread the loin cloth over it and then spread the bottom section of the shirt onto the loin cloth and gather the remainder of the shirt and place it near the head-section. Thereafter, lift the deceased from the platform gently and place him onto the bed. Take the remaining portion of the shirt and pass it through the head and extend it till his feet. Remove the tahband. Apply camphor to his head, beard and those parts of his body which touch the ground when in sajdah (i.e. the forehead, nose, the palms, the knees and the forepart of the feet).

Thereafter take the left side of the loin cloth and wrap it onto the right side, and take the right side of the sheet and wrap it onto the left side. Do the same with the sheet. Take two strips of cloth and use each one to tie the head side and the feet side of the kafan. Use the chest band to wrap the chest of the woman. The head band has been mentioned in the table. An upper covering is placed on the bier of a woman. This has already been mentioned previously.

Note: There are certain items which people have regarded as necessary in the kafan. These are not included in the masnun kafan. It is not permissible to purchase these items from the money of the deceased. These items are:

(i) A musallah – about one and quarter metres by 80 centimetres.

(ii) A girdle – about one and half metres by 80 centimetres. This is used to lower the deceased into the grave.

(iii) A mat – two and half metres by one and half metres. This is normally placed onto the bed on which the deceased is placed.

(iv) A scarf – two metres by one and quarter metres. According to one’s financial position, four to seven of these are given to the poor. This is specifically for women.

(v) A sheet which is generally placed over the janaazah of the man – three metres by two and quarter metres. It is used to cover the bed on which the deceased is carried. It is necessary to have such a sheet for a woman. However, it is not included in her kafan. It is therefore not necessary for this sheet to be the same colour as the kafan. Any cloth will suffice as a cover.

Note: If one feels there is a need for a musallah, then any cloth from the house could be used. It is not necessary to obtain it from the possessions of the deceased. Any relative could also purchase it with his own money.

1. If any of the items which will be required for the ghusl and kafan are found at home and they are clean and pure, there is no harm in utilising them.

2. The material of the kafan should be of the same quality that the deceased used to wear most of the time while he was alive. It is a waste of money to go into unnecessary expenses.

3. If a child is born with some indications of life and thereafter dies, it will be named, ghusl will be given and salaat will also be offered over it. However, if no signs of life are found, it will be given ghusl, wrapped in a cloth and buried without any salaat being offered over it.

The deceased should be placed in the grave in such a way that his entire body is made to lie on its side facing towards the qiblah. The knots of the kafan on either side should be loosened. Isaal-e-thawaab should be made for the deceased as shown to us by our pious predecessors. This should be done without subjecting oneself to any custom or specifying any particular day. One should secretly help the poor according to one’s ability and from one’s halaal earnings. One should also recite the Quran according to one’s ability and send the rewards to the deceased. Prior to the burial, in which a lot of time is wasted in futile conversations, one should recite the kalimah and send the reward to the deceased.


Explanation of Islamic Terms

Adaa: Literally means performance, execution or discharge of a duty. “Adaa salaat” refers to a salaat which is offered at its specified time. “Adaa” is the opposite of “qada”.

Adhaan: The call to salaat. For further details, refer to the chapter on “Adhaan”.

Ahl ul-Kitaab: Literally means “People of the Book”. Generally, it refers to the Jews and the Christians.

Arsh: The throne of Allah Ta’ala.

Asr: Literally means “afternoon”. Generally, it refers to the afternoon prayer which is the third of the five daily salaats. It is also referred to as asr salaat or salaatul asr.

Aurah: Literally means “genitals”. In Islamic terminology it refers to that area of the body which has to be covered. For men, the aurah is from the navel to below the knees. As for women, their entire bodies are regarded as an aurah.

Barakah: Literally means “blessings”. It refers to the experiencing of abundance in things which are apparently insignificant or little, both in value and amount.

Bid’ah: Literally means “innovation”. In Islam it refers to introducing new things into religion which have no basis in the Quran or Sunnah, and in addition to this, to regard these new things as acts of ibaadah. A bid’ah is a major sin in Islam.

Dua: Invocation to Allah, supplication, prayer, request, plea.

Dua-e-qunoot: A special dua that is recited in witr salaat. For further details, refer to the chapter on “Witr Salaat”.

Durood: The sending of salutations upon Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.

Eid: Literally means “feast, festival”. In Islam, it refers to the first day of the month of Shawwaal and the tenth day of the month of Zil Hijjah. Both these days are days of celebration and devotion to Allah Ta’ala.

Eid-gah: The place where the eid salaat is offered. In Arabic it is referred to as the “musalla”.

Eid salaat: The salaat that is offered on the days of eid.

Eid ul-Ad’haa: The tenth of Zil Hijjah. Literally means “the festival of sacrifice”. It is referred to as ad’haa because it is on this day that animals are sacrificed in the name of Allah and for His pleasure alone.

Eid ul-Fitr: The first of Shawwaal. Literally means “feast of breaking the Ramadaan fast”. It is referred to as fitr because it is on this day that the month-long Ramadaan fast comes to an end.

Esha: Literally means “evening”. Generally, it refers to the evening prayer which is the fifth of the five daily prayers. It is also referred to as esha salaat or salaatul esha.

Faasiq: Literally means “godless, sinful, offender, sinner, adulterer”. In Islamic law it refers to the person who does not meet the legal requirements of righteousness.

Fajr: Literally means “dawn”. Generally, it refers to the dawn prayer which is the first of the five daily prayers. It is also referred to as fajr salaat or salaatul fajr.

Fara’id: Plural of fard. Fard literally means “compulsory”. In Islam it refers to those acts and things which are compulsory on a Muslim. Abandoning or abstaining from a fard act is a major sin. Rejecting a fard act amounts to kufr.

Fard: See fara’id.

Fard-e-ayn: Refers to an act or duty which is incumbent and compulsory on each and every individual.

Fard-e-kifaayah: Refers to an act or duty which is incumbent and compulsory on the community as a whole. If a few members of the community or locality fulfil that act, the entire community will be absolved of that responsibility or duty. And if no one from that community or locality fulfils that responsibility or duty, the entire community will be sinful.

Fatwa: A formal legal opinion or verdict in Islamic law.

Fidyah: Literally means “ransom”. In Islamic law it refers to redemption from the omission of certain religious duties by a material donation or a ritual act.

Ghayb: Literally means “the unseen”. In Islam it refers to all those things that are unseen by man and at the same time believing in them is essential. Examples of the unseen are: hell, heaven, angels, etc. A Muslim has to believe that no one has the knowledge of the unseen except Allah.

Ghayr Mahram: Refers to all those people with whom marriage is permissible. Based on this, it is also incumbent to observe purdah with all ghayr mahrams.

Ghusl: Literally means “bath, wash”. In Islam it refers to the washing of the entire body from head to toe without leaving a single place dry.

Hadath: Literally means “impurity”. Hadath is of two types; hadath-e-akbar and hadath-e-asghar. Hadath-e-akbar is that impurity which necessitates ghusl. Hadath-e-asghar is that impurity which necessitates wudu.

Hadith: Hadith literally means “speech”. In Islam it refers to the sayings and actions of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. Those sayings and actions which have been endorsed or approved by him also fall under the purview of Hadith.

Haid: Monthly periods or menstruation experienced by a woman.

Hajj: Literally means “pilgrimage”. In Islam it refers to the annual pilgrimage to Makkah. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam.

Hijaab: See Purdah.

Ibaadah: Literally means “worship”. In Islam it refers to all those acts of worship with which one renders worship to Allah Ta’ala.

Imam: Literally means “leader”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the leader of the congregation for salaat.

Imaamat: Refers to the act of being an imam or the entire institution of imaamate which deals with the appointment, rules, regulations, etc. which are related to the imam.

Iqaamah: Refers to the second call to salaat in a musjid indicating the imminent beginning of the salaat with congregation. For further details, refer to the chapter on adhaan and iqaamah.

Iqtidaa: Refers to the act of following the imam in salaat.

Ishaarah: Literally means “gesture”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the offering of salaat through gestures and signals for the person who is unable to offer his salaat in the normal stipulated manner due to sickness or physical handicap.

Istighfaar: The seeking of forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala.

Istikhaarah: The seeking of good from Allah Ta’ala. For further details, refer to the chapter on salaatul istikhaarah.

Istinja: Cleansing of one’s private parts after having relieved oneself. This is irrespective of whether this cleansing is done with water or lumps of sand.

I’tikaaf: Literally means “to live in seclusion”. In Islam, it generally refers to the act of secluding oneself in the musjid in the month of Ramadaan.

Jaahil: Literally means “an ignorant person”. Here it refers to one who is ignorant of the knowledge of Islam. This is irrespective of whether it is general knowledge of Islam or knowledge of the rules and regulations of Islam.

Jaame musjid: Refers to a musjid in which the jumu’ah salaat is offered. It is generally the main musjid in a town or city.

Jahannam: Hell. A dweller of hell is called a jahannami.

Jama’at: Literally means “congregation or group”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the act of offering salaat with congregation.

Janaazah salaat: Salaat that is offered over the deceased person. For further details refer to the chapter on janaazah salaat.

Jannah: Heaven or paradise. A dweller of heaven is called a jannati.

Jihaad: Literally means “fight or battle”. In Islam, it generally refers to the act of waging a war against the disbelievers as a religious duty.

Jumu’ah salaat: Refers to the mid-day salaat that is offered on Fridays. For further details, refer to the chapter on jumu’ah salaat.

Kaafir: Literally means “a disbeliever”. In Islam it refers to one who rejects Allah and who does not believe in Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam as the final messenger of Allah.

Kafan: A shroud or winding sheet. It refers to the sheet or shroud that is used to cover the deceased. For further details, refer to the chapter on kafan.

Kaffarah: Literally means “penance, atonement, expiation”. In Islamic law it refers to redemption from the omission of certain religious duties by a material donation or a ritual act.

Khutbah: Literally means “a lecture”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the lecture or sermon that is delivered on Fridays prior to the jumu’ah salaat or the sermon that is delivered on the days of eid after the eid salaat. These khutbahs have to be delivered in the Arabic language.

Kuffaar: Plural of kaafir.

Kuniyyat: Surname or agnomen consisting of abu or umm followed by the name of the son.

Kurta: An Urdu word meaning “shirt”. However, due to constant usage, it refers to the long flowing robe worn by Muslim men and which has come to be regarded as an Islamic dress.

Laahiq: A laahiq is a muqtadi who misses a few or all his rakaats after having joined the congregation irrespective of whether he has some excuse or not. For further details refer to the chapter “Masa’il connected to the imam and muqtadi” mas’ala no. 22.

Lailatul Qadr: Literally means “the night of power”. It refers to the night in which the Quran was revealed. This night generally falls in the last ten odd nights of the month of Ramadaan.

Luqmah: Literally means “a little piece or morsel”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to correcting the imam when he commits any mistake while leading the congregation in salaat.

Maghrib: Literally means “evening or sunset”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the time of sunset and the salaat that is offered thereafter. This salaat is known as maghrib salaat or salaatul maghrib.

Mahram: Refers to the person with whom marriage is not permissible and with whom strict purdah is not incumbent.

Makruh: That which is disliked or detestable. Makruh is of two types: makruh-e-tahrimi and makruh-e-tanzihi. Makruh-e-tahrimi is that which has been established by a proof that is not absolute. The one who rejects it is regarded as a faasiq (open sinner). A person who does something that falls under this category without any valid reason will be committing a sin and will deserve punishment. Makruh-e-tanzihi is that which if left out, will be worthy of reward and if carried out, will not entail any punishment.

Manzil: Literally means “a stopping place”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the distance travelled by a musafir.

Masah: The act of passing of wet hands over a particular part of the body.

Mas’ala: Literally means “an issue, problem or question”. In Islamic jurisprudence it refers to a rule or regulation. The plural of mas’ala is masaa’il.

Masbuq: A person who joins the jama’at after having missed one or more rakaats. For further details refer to the chapter “Masa’il connected to the imam and muqtadi” mas’ala no. 24.

Ma’zur: Literally means “one who is excused”. In Islamic jurisprudence it refers to a person who has certain sickness due to which he is excused or exempted from certain acts. For further details refer to the chapter concerning the ma’zur in Part One of Bahishti Zewar.

Mihraab: Refers to the small oval-shaped area in the front of a musjid which is specially designated for the imam when he leads the congregation in salaat.

Mimbar: Refers to the pulpit on which the imam stands and delivers the khutbah on Fridays and the days of eid.

Mu’azzin: One who calls out the adhaan.

Mudrik: One who joins the congregation without missing any rakaats.

Muhaddith: A scholar of Hadith who has attained high ranks in the different sciences of Hadith.

Mujtahideen: Plural of mujtahid. A mujtahid is one who has the qualities of making ijtihaad (deriving rules and regulations through analogy).

Mukabbir: A person who conveys the takbirs of the imam when the congregation is generally very large and there is no mike system.

Munfarid: A person who offers his salaat alone, i.e. not in congregation.

Muqeem: A person who is not a traveller. He is either at his own home or, if he has travelled, then he has made the intention of staying over at that place for more than fifteen days. For further details refer to the chapter “Salaat on a Journey”.

Muqtadi: A person who follows the imam in salaat.

Murtad: Literally means “a renegade”. In Islamic terminology it refers to a person who rejects Islam after having been a Muslim.

Musafir: A traveller. For further details refer to the chapter “Salaat on a Journey”.

Musalla: Refers to a piece of cloth or carpet on which a person offers his salaat. Musalla is also used in Arabic to refer to a place where the eid salaat is offered.

Musalli: One who is offering salaat.

Mustahab: Literally means “preferable or desirable”. Refers to that an which was carried out by Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam or the Sahabah occasionally. Carrying out these actions entails reward and leaving them out does not entail any punishment.

Muzdalifah: Name of a place outside Makkah. Staying over in Muzdalifah is included among the rites of Hajj.

Nafl: Literally means “optional”. According to the jurists it has a similar ruling to that of mustahab.


ghaleezah: Heavy impurity.

Najaasat-e-haqiqi: Visible impurity.

Najaasat-e-hukmi: Ceremonial impurity. In other words, it refers to the state of impurity in which a person may be, e.g. in need of wudu or ghusl.

Nazr: A vow or solemn pledge.

Nifaas: Refers to the flowing of blood after child-birth.

Nikah: Marriage.

Niyyah: Intention.

Nur: Light.

Purdah: An Urdu word meaning “seclusion”. It is an equivalent of the Arabic word “hijaab”. Refers to the seclusion of women from strangers. There are different stages of purdah, the highest of which is that the woman should not emerge from her home except for a valid Islamic reason.

Qaari: Literally means “one who recites”. In Islamic terminology it refers to the person who recites the Quran bearing in mind all the necessary rules of recitation.

Qada: Literally means “carrying out or fulfilling”. In Islamic jurisprudence it refers to fulfilling or completing those duties that one may have missed due to some reason or the other.

Qa’dah: Refers to the sitting posture in salaat.

Qada salaat: Refers to fulfilling or completing a salaat which one may have missed for some reason or the other. For further details, refer to the chapter on qada salaat.

Qasm: An oath.

Qiblah: The direction in which one faces when offering salaat.

Qira’at: Literally means “recitation”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the recitation of the Quran in salaat.

Qisaas: Literally means “reprisal or retaliation”. In Islamic law it refers to the payment of money in lieu of willful or unintentional murder.

Qiyaamah: The day of resurrection.

Qunut: Refers to the dua that is generally read in the witr salaat, and in the fajr salaat at times of danger and calamities. For further details refer to the chapter on witr salaat.

Qurbaani: Literally means “sacrifice”. In Islam it refers to the sacrificing of animals solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala on the day of eid ul-ad’haa and the two days following it.

Rakaat: Literally means “bending of the torso from an upright position”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to one unit of salaat which comprises of the standing, bowing and prostrating postures.

Ramadaan: Refers to the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is in this month that the fast is observed. This is the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar.

Rukn: Literally means “basis or basic element”. In Islamic jurisprudence it refers to the basic element or elements of any act of ibaadah without which that act will be incomplete.

Saahib-e-tarteeb: Refers to a person who, from the time of maturity, did not miss any salaat, or, if he missed, he made qada of all of them. For further details, refer to the chapter on Qada salaat, mas’ala no.6.

Sadaqah-e-fitr: Refers to the charity that is given on or prior to the day of eid ul-fitr. This sadaqah is wajib on those upon whom zakaat is wajib.

Saff: Literally means “line”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the lines in which the musallis stand when offering their salaat with congregation.

Sahw: Literally means “negligence or forgetfulness”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to omitting or forgetting a particular act in salaat.

Sajdah: The act of prostrating. Prostrating to anyone other than Allah Ta’ala is absolutely haraam in Islam.

Sajdah-e-sahw: Refers to the prostration which becomes incumbent upon forgetting or omitting an act in salaat. For further details refer to the chapter on sajdah-e-sahw.

Sajdah-e-tilaawat: Refers to the prostration which becomes incumbent upon reciting or hearing the verses of prostration of the Quran. For further details refer to the chapter on sajdah-e-tilaawat.

Salaam: Literally means “peace”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the saying of “as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah” which denotes the end of the salaat.

Salaat-e-kusuf: Refers to the salaat that is offered at the time of solar eclipse. For further details refer to the chapter on salaat-e-kusuf.

Shawwaal: The tenth month of the Islamic calendar.

Sunnah: Sunnah is that action which Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam did or sanctioned. Sunnah is of two types: sunnah-e-mu’akkadah and sunnah-e-ghayr mu’akkadah. Sunnah-e-mu’akkadah is that which Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam continuously carried out. To leave out such a type of sunnah is a sin and one is punished for this. However, there is no harm if one leaves it out because of some valid excuse.

Sunnah-e-ghayr mu’akkadah is that which Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam carried out, but also left out at times without any reason. To follow such a type of sunnah entails reward and to leave it out does not necessitate any punishment.

Surah: Refers to a chapter of the Quran. There are 114 surahs in the Quran.

Surah Faatihah: This is the first or opening chapter of the Quran.

Surmah: Antimony. A black powdery substance that is applied to the eyes. It is sunnah to apply this surmah.

Sutra: Literally means “a cover or guard”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to an object that a musalli places in front of him so that no one will walk in front of him while he is offering his salaat.

Taabi’ee: A taabi’ee is a Muslim who has met a sahabi and who died in a state of Imaan.

Taahir: Pure.

Ta’awwudh: Literally means “seeking protection”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to reciting a’udhu billahi minash shaytaanir rajeem before commencing with the qira’at in salaat.

Tahaarat: Purity or the state of purity.

Tahajjud salaat: An optional salaat that is offered in the dark of the night. There is great merit in offering this salaat.

Takbeer: To say “Allahu Akbar” which means Allah is the Greatest.


tahreemah: The first takbeer that one says when commencing with salaat.


tashreeq: The takbeer that is recited during the days of eid ul-ad’haa. For further details refer to the chapter on eid salaat.

Taqwa: Piety, righteousness, God-consciousness.

Tasbeeh: Saying “Sub’haanallah” which means Glory be to Allah. A rosary that is used to glorify Allah Ta’ala is also called a tasbeeh.

Taubah: Repentance.

Tauheed: The Oneness of Allah Ta’ala. The concept of tauheed is the corner stone of Islamic belief.

Tawakkul: Having trust in Allah Ta’ala, i.e. He alone has full contol over all the affairs of this world and the hereafter.

Tayammum: The act of purifying oneself with pure sand in the absence of water.

Ta’ziyat: Condolence.

Thanaa’: Literally means “praise”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to a special dua that is recited after the takbeer-e-tahreemah.

Ulama: Plural of aalim. An aalim is a scholar who has attained a considerable amount of Islamic knowledge.

Ummah: Literally means “community or nation”. Here it refers to the Muslim community or nation.

Umrah: Commonly referred to as the “lesser pilgrimage”. It is similar to Hajj with the exception that many of the rites of Hajj are left out and that it could be performed throughout the year.

Wajib: Literally means “obligatory”. In Islamic jurisprudence it refers to that act which has not been established by an absolute proof. Leaving out a wajib without any valid reason makes one a faasiq and entails punishment.

Wajibaat: Plural of wajib.

Waqf: Endowment. In Islamic law it refers to endowing a place or thing in the name of Allah.

Wasiyyat: Bequest.

Watan-e-iqaamat: Refers to a place where a musafir intends to stop over for fifteen days or more.

Witr salaat: Refers to the salaat that is offered after the esha salaat. This salaat is wajib. For further details refer to the chapter on witr salaat.

Wudu: Literally means “purity or cleanliness”. In Islamic terminology it refers to the act of washing oneself before offering salaat.

Zil Hijjah: The last month of the Islamic calendar. It is in this month that the Hajj is performed.

Zimmi: A non-Muslim person living in an Islamic state under the protection of the Islamic state.

Zuhr: Literally means “mid-day”. In kitaabus salaat it refers to the mid-day prayer. It is referred to as zuhr salaat or salaatuz zuhr.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *