Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed M.S.Al-Hakeem


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Death Related Issues
Q [1]  Why is death so harsh?
Since humans lived in this life, it becomes familiar to them. Death is unknown to them and scary but religious texts indicate that the outcome of a devotee is happiness. Starting from death, and when his soul gets transferred from this life, the angel of death will be kind to him and deal with him in kindness and compassion. As a person relates himself to such true concepts, his expectation from almighty Allah becomes more positive and the dark image about death becomes lighter.
Q [2]  When must a dying or deceased person be made to face qiblah? Does this also apply to after he has been washed in the ghusl?
It is recommended to make the dying person face the qibla such that the soles of his feet are facing the qibla, so if he were to sit he would be facing it with his face. It is obligatory to make him do so after his death. It is recommended after ghusl for the body to be placed perpendicular to the direction of the qibla.
Q [3]  If a body is decomposed beyond recognition or badly burnt, how can we perform Ghusl on it?
If Ghusl cannot be performed or it leads to the dead body breaking up and damaging it, then it is not mandatory. If the dead body has not deteriorated to such a level then Ghusl is mandatory.
Q [4]  Is it necessary for a Shia to wash the corpse of a Shia?
Yes, it is necessary for the Shia deceased to be given the ghusl by a Shia; if that is not possible and a Muslim that does not follow the path of the Ahlulbayt (peace be upon them) is the only choice, then based on an obligatory precaution he should perform the ghusl himself and then do the ghusl on the deceased.
Q [5]  What is the basis of placing palm branches in the grave? Is it recommended?
Yes, it is recommended. It has been reported that such a thing prevents the punishment of the grave.
Q [6]  Is it permissible and lawful to offer "the prayer on the deceased" on a person who has committed suicide?
It is obligatory to offer the prayers on the deceased if he was a believer.
Q [7]  When a person dies, can we talk to him/her? Can a deceased person hear our voice?
We have no way of knowing the status of the dead and their relationship to this world. However, it was reported that it is recommended to indoctrinate him before the burial, perform recommended acts on behalf of the dead and it was reported in some narrations that they benefit from the reward of such deeds.

Q [8]  If the body of the deceased is crooked, is it necessary to straighten his body and legs for burial, or do we bury him the way he is?
If his body is bent like that permanently in such a way that it cannot be placed straight, then it is not obligatory to straighten the body.
Q [9]  If somebody places permanent artificial teeth in his mouth, will they need to be removed when he dies, or can he be buried with them?
It is permissible to leave them in the body of the deceased and bury him with it.
Q [10]  Is it allowed to bury the dead in a coffin?
It is permissible to bury the body of the deceased in a coffin.

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