A Brief of Islamic Law

Ghusl For Touching a Dead Body

  1. If a person touches a human dead body which has become cold and has not yet been given Ghusl (i.e. pings any part of his own body in contact with it) he should do Ghusl.

  2. If a person touches a dead body which has not become entirely cold, Ghusl will not be obligatory, even if the part touched has become cold.

  3. If a person pings his hair in contact with the body of a dead person, or if his body touches the hair of the dead person or if his hair touches the hair of the dead person, Ghusl will not become obligatory.

  4. It is not obligatory to do Ghusl for touching a separated bone which has not been given Ghusl, whether it has been separated from a dead body or a living person. The same rule applies to touching the teeth which have been separated from a dead body or a living person.

  5. The method of doing Ghusl for touching the dead body is the same as of Ghusl for Janaban and it does not require any Ghosl.

Rules Related to a Dying Person

  1. A Mu'min who is dying, whether man or woman, old or young, should, as a measure of precaution, be laid on his/her back if possible, in such a manner that the soles of his/her feet would face the Qiblah (direction towards the holy Ka'bah).

  2. It is an obligatory precaution upon every Muslim, to lay a dying person facing the Qiblah. And if it is known that the dying person consents to it and he or she is not defective, there is no need to seek the permission for it from the guardian. Otherwise, the permission must be sought as a precaution.

  3. It is recommended that the doctrinal testimory of Islam (Shahadatayn) and the acknowledgement of the twelve Imàms and other tenets of faith should be inculcated to a dying person in such a manner that he/she would understand. It is also recommended that these utterances are repeated till the time of his/her death.

The obligation of Ghusl, Kafn (Shrouding),Salat and Burial

  1. Giving Ghusl, Kafn, Hunot, salat and burial to every dead Muslim, regardless of whether he/she is an Ithna-Ashari or not,is obligatory on the guardian must either discharge all these duties himself or appoint someone to do them.

The Method of Ghusl of Mayyit

  1. It is obligatory to give three Ghusl to a dead body. The first bathing should be with water mixed with Sidr (powdered leaves of lote tree). The second bathing should be with water mixed with caphor and the third should be with unmixed water.

  2. The quantity of Sidr and caphor should neither be so much that the water becomes mixed (Muèàf), nor so little that it may be said that Sidr and caphor have not been mixed in it at all.

  3. Aperson who gives Ghusl to a dead body should be a Muslim and sane and as a precaution a Shi'ah Ithna-Ashariyyah, and ahould know the rules of Ghusl.

  4. One who gives Ghuls to the dead body should perform the act with the intention of Qurbah, and it is enough to be with intention of complying with the God's will.

  5. Ghusl to a Muslim dead child, even illegitimate, is obligatory.

  6. If a foetus of 4 months or more is aborted it is obligatory to give it Ghuls, and even if it has not completed four months, but it has formed features of a human child, it must be given Ghusl as a precaution. In the event of both of these circumstances being absent, the foetus will be wrapped up in a cloth and buried without Ghusl.

  7. It is unlawful for a man to give Ghusl to the dead body of a non-Mahram woman and for a woman to give Ghusl to the dead body of a non-Mahram man. Husband and wife can, however, give Ghusl to the dead body of each other.

  8. If there is an essential impurity on any part of the dead body, it is obligatory to remove it befor giving Ghusl.

  9. Ghusl for a dead body is similar to Ghusl of Janàbah. And the obligatory precaution is that a corpse should not be given Ghusl by Irtimàsi',that is, immersion, as long as it is possible to give Ghusl by way of Tartibi. And even in the case of Tartibi Ghusl it is necessary that the body should be washed on the right side first. And then the left side.

  10. There is no rule for Jabi'rah in Ghusl of mayyit, so if water is not available or there is some other valid excuse for abstaining from using water for the Ghusl, then the dead body should be given one Tayammum instead of Ghusl.

  11. A perscon giving Tayammum to the dead body should strike his own palms on earth and then wipe them the face and back of the hands of the daed body. And the recommended precaution is that he should, if possible, use the hands of the dead for another Tayammum.

Rules Regarding Kafn (Shrouding)

  1. The body of a dead Muslim should be given Kafn with three pieces of cloth:a loin cloth, a shirt or tunic, and a full cover.

  2. As an obligatory precaution, the loin cloth should be long enough to cover the body from the navel up to the knees, better still if it covers the body from the chest up to the feet. As an obligatory precaution, the shirt should be long enough to cover the entire body from the top of the shoulders up to the middle of the forelegs, and better still if it reaches the feet. The sheet cover should be long enough to conceal the whole body, and as an obligatory precaution it should be so long that both its ends could be tied, and its peadth should be enough to allow one side to overlap the other.

  3. As a precaution, it must be ensured that each of the three pieces used for Kafan is not so thin as to show the body of the deceased. However, if the body is fully consealed when all the three pieces are put together, then it will suffice.

  4. It is not permissible to give a Kafan which is Najis, or which is made of pure silk, or as a precaution which is women with gold, except in the situation of helplessness, when no alternative is to be found.

  5. If the Kafan becomes Najis owing to Najasah, of the deceased, or owing to some other Najasah, its Najis part should be washed or cut off in such a manner that the Kafan may not be lost, even after the dead body has been placed in the grave. And if it is not possible to wash it, or to cut it off, but it is possible to change it, then it should be changed.

Rules of Hunot

  1. After having given Ghusl to a dead body it is obligatory to give Hunot, which is to apply caphor on its forehead, both the palms, both the knees and both the big toes. It is not necessary to rub the caphor ; it must be seen on those parts. It is Mustahab to apply caphor to the nose tip also. Caphor must be powdered and freash and Tahir and Mubah, and if it is so stale that it has lost its fragrance, then it will not suffice.

  2. It is better that Hunotis given before Kafn, although there is no harm in giving Hunotduring Kafn or even after.

  3. Though it is Halal (allowed) for a Mutakif and a woman whose husband has died and she is in Iddah to perform him/herself, but if he or she dies, it is obligatory to give her Hunot.

  4. It is Mustahab to mix a small quantity of Turbah (soil of the shrine of Imàm Husayn) with caphor, but it should not be applied to those parts of the body, where its use may imply any disrespect. It is also necessary that the quantity of Turban is not much, so that the identity of caphor does not change.

Rules ofSalat -ul-Mayyit

  1. It is obligatory to offerSalat-ul-Mayyit for every dead Muslim, as well as for a Muslim child if it has completed 6 years of its age.

  2. If a child had not completed 6 years of its age, but it was a discerning child who knew whatSalat was, then as an obligatory precautionSalat-ul-Mayyit for it should be offered. If it did not know ofSalat, the prayer msy be offered with the hope of pleasing Allah (Raja'an). However, to offerSalat-ul- mayyit for a still born child is not Mustahab.

315.Salat-ul-Mayyit should be offered after the dead body has been given Ghusl, Hunotand Kafan and if it is offered before or during the performance of these acts, it does not suffice, even if it is due to forgetfulness or on account of not knowing the rule.

  1. It is not necessary for a person who offersSalat-ul-Mayyit to be in Ghosl or Ghusl or Tayammum nor is it necessary that his body and dress be Tahir. Rather there is no harm even if his dress is a usurped one.

  2. One who offersSalat-ul-Mayyit should face the Qiblah, and it is also obligatory that at the time ofSalat-ul-Mayyit, the dead body remains before him on its back, in a manner that its head is on his right and its feet on his left side.

  3. The place where a man stands to offerSalat-ul-Mayyit should not be higher or lower than the place where the dead body is kept. However, its being a littie higher or iower is immaterial.

  4. The person offeringSalat-ul-Mayyet should not be distant from the dead body. However, it he is praying in a congredation (Jamaah), then there is no harm in his being distant from the head body in the rows which are connected to each other.

  5. InSalat-ul-Mayyit, one who offers prayer should stand in such a Way that the dead body is in front of him, except if theSalat is prayed in a congregation and the lines extend beyond on both sides, then praying away from the dead body will not be objectionable.

  6. If a dead body is buried withoutSalat-ul- Mayyet, either intentionally or forgetfully, or on account of an excuse, or if it trancpires after its burial that the prayer offered for it was void, it will not be permissible to dig up the grave for prayingSalat-ul-Mayyit. There is no objection to praying, with the hope of pleasing Allah, by the graveside, if one feels that decay has not yet taken place.

Method ofSalat-ul-Mayyit

  1. There are 5 Takbirs (saying Allahu Akbar) inSalat-ul-Mayyit and it is sufficient if a person recites those 5 Takbirs in the following order:

After making intention to offer the prayer and pronouncing the 1st Takbir he should say: Ashhadu an la ilaha illa-llah, wa anna muhammadan Rasulullah. (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger.)

After the 2nd Takbir he should say: Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa ali Muhammad. (O'Lord ! Bestow peace and blessing upon Muhammad and his progeny.)

After the 3rd Takbir he should say: Allahumma-ghfi rlil-mu'minina walmu'minat. (O'Lord ! Forgive all believers men as well as women.)

After the 4th Takbir he should say: Allahumma-ghfir li-hadhal-mayyit. (O'Lord Forgive this dead male person).If the dead person is a female, he would say:

Allahumma-ghfir li-hadhihil-mayyit. Thereafter he should pronounce the 5th Takbir.

  1. A person offering prayer for the dead body should recite Takbirs and supplications in a sequence, so thatSalat-ul-Mayyit does not lose its from.

  2. A person who joinsSalat-ul-Mayyit to follow an Imàm should recite all the Takbirs and supplisations.

Rules About Burial of the Dead Body

  1. It is obligatory to bury a dead body in the ground, so deep thst its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey do not dig it out.

  2. The dead body should be laid in the grave on its right side so that the face remains towards the Qiblah.

  3. It is not permitted to bury a muslim in the graveyard of the con Muslims, nor to bury a non-Muslim in the graveyard of the Muslims.

  4. It is not permissible to bury a dead body in a usurped place not in a place which is dedicated for purposes other then burial (e.g.in a Masjid), if it is harmful or obtrusive for the dedication. As an obligatory precaution this is not permitted, even if it is not harmful or obstructive for the dedication.

  5. It is not permissible to dig up a grave for the purpose of burying another dead body in it, unless one is sure that the grave is very old and the former body has been totally disintegrated.

  6. Anything which is separated from the dead body (even its hair, nail or tooth) should be buried along with it. And if any part of the body, including hair. nails or teeth are found after the body has been buried, they should be buried at a separate place, as per obligatory precaution. And it is Mustahab that nails and teeth cut off or extracted during lifetime are also buried.


  1. It is Halal (allowed) to open the grave of a Muslim even if it belongs to a child or an insane person. However, there is no objection in doing so if the dead body has decayed and turned into dust.

  2. Digging up or destroying the graves of the descendants of Imàms the martyrs, the Ulama (religious scholars) and all cases whose destroying amounts to desecration, is Halal (allowed) even if they are very old.

  3. Digging up the grave is allowed in some cases, which are explained fully in defailed books.

Recommended Ghusls

  1. In Islam, several Ghusls are Mustahab. Some of them are listed below:

* Ghusl-ul-jumu'ah (Friday Ghusl): Its prescribed time is from Fajr (dawn) to sunset, but it is better to perform it near noon. If, however, a person does not perform it till noon, he can perform it till dusk without an entention of either performing it on time or as Qaèà. And if a person does not perform his Ghusl on Friday it is Mustahab that he should perform the Qaèà of Ghusl on Saturday at any time between dawn and dusk.

* Taking baths on the 1st, 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd and 24th nights of the holy month of Ramadan.

* Ghusl on id-ul-Fitr day and id-ul-Adha day. The time of this Ghusl is from Fajr up to sunset. it is, however, better to perform it before id prayer.

* Ghusl on the 8th and 9th of the month of Dhul-Hijjah. As regars the bathing on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjad it is better to perform it at noon-time.

* Some other Ghusls which are mentioned in detailed books.

‏335. After having taken a Ghusl wich its being recommended is established, like those listed in rule no. 651, one can perform acts (e.g. prayer) for which Ghosl is necessary. However, Ghusls which thier being Mustahab is not estoblished do not suffice for Ghosl (i.e.Ghosl has to be performed).

  1. If a person wishes to perform a number of Mustahab Ghusls, one Ghusl with the intention of performing all the Ghusls will be sufficient.


Tayammum should be performed insdead of Ghosl or Ghusl in the following seven circumstances:

* First: when there is not any water.

  1. If a person happens to be in an inhabited place he should make his best efforts to procure water for Ghosl or Ghusl till such time that he loses all hope.

  2. If a person is sure that he cannot get water and does not, therefore, go in search of water and offers his prayer with Tayammum, but realises after prayere that if he had made an effort he would have fetched water, he should, as an obligatory precaution, do Ghosl and repeat the prayer.

  3. If a person is already with wudw, as an obligatory precation he should not allow his Ghosl to become void if he knows that he will not he able to find water or he will not be abli to do Ghosl again whether the time forSalat has se tin or not. However, a man can have an intercourse with his Wife even if he knows that he will not be able to do Ghusl.

  4. If a person knew that he would not get water, and yet made his Ghosl void or spilled the water within reach, he committed a sin but his prayer with Tayammum will be in order. However, the recommended precaution is that he should offer the Qaèà' of the prayre.

* Second: Water is not within reach.

  1. If aperson is unable to procure water on acount of old age or weakness, or fear of a thief or a beast, or because he does not possess means to draw water from a well, he should perform Taayammum.

* Third: Fearing from using water.

  1. If using water results it death of a person or if he uses water he will suffer from some ailment or physical defect, or the illness from which he is already suffering will be prolonged, or become acute or some complications may arise in its treatment, he should perform Tayammum. However, if he can avoid the harm, for example by using warm water, he should prepare warm water and do Ghosl, or Ghusl when it is necessary.

  2. It is not necessary to be absolutely certain that water is harmful to him. If he feels that there is a probability of harm, and if that probability is justified by popular opinion, then he should do Tayammum.

  3. If a person performs Tayammum on account of certainty or fear about water being harmful to him but realises beforeSalat tha tit is not harmful, his Tayammum is void. And if he realises this after having prayed he should offer the prayer again with Ghosl or Ghusl, except when Ghosl or Ghusl in case of certainty or fear about being harmful results in such an anxiety which is difficult to tolerate.

  4. If a person was sure that water was not harmful to him, and he did Ghusl or Ghosl, but later realised that water was harmful to him, his Ghosl and Ghusl will be void.

* Fourth: Hardship and difficulty.

  1. It providing water or using it is so hard and difficult that it usually cannot be telerated, one can do Tayammum. But if he tolerates the hardship and performs Ghosl or Ghusl, his Ghosl or Ghusl willbe in order.

‏* Fifth: Nead to water for quenching one's thirst.

  1. If one needs the water for quenching one's

thirst, he should perform Tayammum. Tayammum is permissible in the following two cases:

* If he fears that by using up the water for Ghusl or Ghosl he will suffer an acute thirst, which may result in his illness or death, or it may cause intolerable hardship.

* If he fears that others, who are his deapendents, may die or suffer some illness or become unbearably restless and distressed due to lack of water, even if they are not of poeple whose respect is obligatory, providing that their life is important for him, whether because of his attachment to them or because their death is harmful for him or respeeting them is commanly necessary like friends and neighbours.

* Sixth: When Ghosl or Ghusl interrupts another duty Which is more important or qual to it.

  1. If the body or dress of a person is Najis and he possesses only as much water as is likely to be exhausted if he does Ghusl or Ghosl,and no water would be available for making his body or dress Tahir, he should make his body or dress Tahir and pray with Tayammum. But if he does not have anything upen which he would do Tayammum, then he should use the water for Ghusl or Ghosl, and pray with Najis body or dress.

* Seventh: Shortage of time.

  1. When the time left forSalat is so little that if a person does Ghusl or Ghosl he would be obliged to offer the entire prayer or a part of it after the prescribed time, he should perform tayammum.

  2. If a person intentionally delays offering the prayer till no time is left for Ghusl or Ghosl, he commits a sin, but the prayer pffered by him with Tayammum will be valid.

  3. If a person doubts whether any time will be left for prayer if he does Ghusl or Ghosl, he should perform Tayammum.

  4. If a person has only just enough time that he may perform Ghosl or Ghusl and offer prayer, without its Mustahab acts like Iqamah and Qunut, he should do Ghual or Ghosl, whichever is then necessary, and pary without those Mustahab parts. In face, if for that purpose, he has to avoid the next Surah after al-hamd, he should do so after doing Ghosl or Ghusl.

Things on which Tayammum is Allowed

  1. Tayammum can be done on earth, sand, lump of clay or stone.

  2. Tayammum can also be done on gypsum or limestone. Similarly, Tayammum is allowed on dust which gathers on the dress or the carpets etc, provided that its quantity is such that it can be termed as soft earth.

  3. If a person cannot find earth, sand, lump of clay or stone, he should perform Tayammum on mud, and if even that is not available, then on dust particles which settle on the carpets or the dresses, though it may not be in a quantity, which could be considerd as soft earth. And if none of these is available he should, on the basic of recommended precaution, pray without Tayammum, but is will be obligatory for him to repeat the prayer later as Qaèà'.

  4. The thing on which a person performs Tayammum should be Tahir and as as obligatory precaution be clean according to common, i.e. should not be treated with something disgusting, and if he has no Tahir and clean thing on which Tayammum would be correct, it is not obligatory for him to offer prayer. He should, however, give its Qaèà', except when one's duty is to do Tayammum on dusty carpet etc, in which case the obligatory precaution is to do Tayammum on it and pray, then give its Qaèà' too.

  5. The thing on which a person is performing Tayammum should, if possible, on the basis of obligatory precaution, have particles which would stick to the hands, and after striking hands on it, one should not shake off all the particles from ones hands.

Method of performing Tayammum Instead of Ghusl or Ghosl

  1. The following 3 things are obligatory in Tayammum performed instead of Ghusl or Ghosl:

· Striking or keeping both the palms on the object on which Tayammum is valid. As an obligatory precaution, this should be done by both the palms together.

· Wiping or stroking the entire forehead with the palms of both the hands, commencing from the spot where the hair of one’s head grow down to the eyepows and above the nose and as an obligatory precaution to the sides of forehead. And it is recommended that the palms pass over the eyepows as well.

· To pass the left palm over the whole back of the right hand and to pass the right palm over the whole back of the left hand. As an obligatory precaution the sequence of right and left hands should be observed. It is necessary for Tayammum to be with the intention of Qurbah, as mentioned in section of Ghosl.

Orders Regarding Tayammum

  1. If a person leaves out even a small part of his forehead or the back of his hands in Tayammum, forgetfully or intentionally, or even due to ignorance, his Tayammum will be void. However, it is not necessary to be very particular; if it can be ordinarily assumed that the forehead and the backs of the hands have been wiped, it would be sufficient.

  2. In order to be sure that the backs of the hands have been wiped, wiping should be done from slightly above the wrist, but wiping in between the fingers is not necessary.

  3. As a precaution, the forehead and the backs of the hands should be wiped downwards from above, and their acts should be performed one after the other without undue interruption. If someone interrupts the sequence so much that it could not be said that he is doing Tayammum, then Tayammum will be void.

  4. It is not necessary to determine while making intention that a particular Tayammum is instead of Ghosl or Ghusl. However, if he has to perform two Tayammums, then he must clearly specify which is instead of Ghosl and which for Ghusl. And even if he fails to determine correctly the purpose of one Tayammum which is obligatory upon him, due to some error, it will be deemed correct as long as he is aware that he is discharging his religious obligation.

  5. The forehead, the palm of the hands and the backs of the hands of a person wishing to do Tayammum are not necessary to be Tahir, though it is better to be so.

  6. While performing Tayammum one should remove the ring one is wearing and also remove any obstruction which may be on his forehead or on the palms or back of his hands (e.g. if anything is stuck on them).

  7. If a person has a wound on his forehead or on the back of his hands and if it is tied with a bandage or something else, which cannot be removed, he should wipe with his hands over it. And if the palm of his hand is wounded and, bandaged in a way that it cannot be removed, he should strike his bandaged hands on a thing with which it is perrmissible to perform Tayammum and then wipe his forehead and the back of his hands. But if a part of itis open, striking and wiping with that part will be enough.

  8. There is no harm if there is hair on the forehead or on the back of hands. However, if the hair of his head fall on his forehead then it should be pushed back.

  9. If one feels that one has some obstruction on his forehead or on the palm or back of his hands, an obstruction commonly known to be so, then one should verify and ensure that the obstruction is removed.

  10. If the obligation of a person is Tayammum but he cannot peform it himself he should solicit assistance. And the one who assists should help him to strike his own hands on a thing on which it is lawful to perform Tayammum and then wipe his forhead and hands with his own hands. If this is not possible the one who assists should make him perform Tayammum with his own hands. However, if this is not possible too the assistant should strike his hands on a thing on which it is lawful to perform Tayammum and then wipe it on the person’s forehead and hands. In the first instance, the intention for Tayammum by the person himself will be sufficient, but in the other two cases, as an obligatory precaution, both he and his assistant should make the intention.

  11. If a man doubts while performing Tayammum whether or not he has forgotten a certain part of it, after he has passed that stage, he should ignore his doubt, and if that stage has not yet passed, he should perform that part.

  12. If, after wiping the left hand, a man doubts whether or not he has performed his Tayammum correctly his Tayammum is valid. But if his doubt is about wiping of the left hand and if it cannot be said that he has passed the Tayammum, like when he has entered an act which requires Taharah (purity) or when a gap has happened after it, he should wipe the left hand.

  13. A person whose obligation is Tayammum if he does not hope to be relieved of his excuse during the entire time ofSalat or if considers probable that if delays if he can not do it in time, he can do Tayammum before the prayer’s time. However, if he performs Tayammum for some other obligatory or Mustahab act and his excuse (on account of which his religious obligation is Tayammum) continues till the time for prayer sets in, he can offer his prayer with that Tayammum.

  14. If a person whose obligation is Tayammum knows that his excuse will continue till the end of the time ofSalat, or has no hope for its removal, he can offer prayer with Tayammum even during the early part of the time.

But, if he knows that his excuse will cease to exist by the end of the time he should wait and offer prayer with Ghosl or Ghusl as the case may be. In fact. if he has a glimmer of hope that his excuse might be removed near the end ofSalat time, it will not be permissible for him to do Tayammum and pray, until he loses hope altogether, unless when he considers probable that if he does not pray earlier with Tayammum, he cannot pray till the end of the time, even with Tayammum.

  1. It is permissible for a person who cannot do Ghusl or Ghosl, to offer with Tayammum the daily Mustah ab prayers for which the time is fixed.

However, if he has hope that his excuse may cease to exist before the time for prayers is over then, as an obligatory precaution, he should not offer the Mustahab prayers during the earlier eart of their time. Those Mustahab prayes which donot have any fixed time, absolutely can be done with Tayammum.

  1. If a person does Ghusl in state of Jabi'rah, and perfoms Tayammum as a measure of precaution, and after having prayed he experiences a minor ritual impurity (an act which peaks Ghosl, like passing wind or urinating), he should do Ghosl for subsequent prayers. And if that ritual impurity had occurred before he had prayed, he should do Ghosl for that also.

  2. If a person performs Tayammum on account of non-availability of water or because of some other excuse his Tayammum becomes void as soon as that excuse ceases to exist.

  3. The things which invalidate Ghosl invalidate the Tayammum performed instead of Ghosl also. Similarly, the things which invalidate Ghusl invalidate the Tayammum performed instead of Ghusl also.

  4. If one has upon him several obligatory Ghusls, but he cannot do them, it is permissible for him to perform one Tayammum instead of all those Ghusls.

  5. If a person performs Tayammum instead of Ghusl it is not necessary for him to perform Ghosl for prayers, whether the Ghusl is Janàbah or one of other Ghusls.

  6. If a person performs Tayammum instead of Ghusl and later he commits acts which makes Ghosl void and if he still cannot do Ghusl for later prayers, he should do Ghosl.

  7. If a person whose obligation is Tayammum performs Tayammum for an act, he can perform all those acts which should be done with Ghosl or Ghusl, as long as his Tayammum and the excuse remain. However, if his excuse was shortage ofSalat time, then his Tayammum is valid for its intention and purpose only.