Coronavirus: Bathing The Deceased
The general procedure of bathing the deceased
It is better for the washer[s] to make the intention of bathing the deceased;
When the people decide to bathe the deceased, they should put him on a broad bench or a bier. The deceased may be layed in any direction suitable, even though the feet may be facing the qiblah;
The bench or platform should be perfumed odd number of times by rotating the incense around the bier;
The clothes of the deceased should be removed and a cloth should be placed to cover the deceased`s area from the knees to the navel while the rest of the body could be kept exposed;
Perform Wudhu for the deceased without rinsing his mouth or nose. However, the washer may use a thin cloth to clean and enter water in the mouth and the nose and wipe the teeth and lips;
Water should be poured over the deceased;
The water should be boiled with leaves of lotus tree or saltwort. However, if one does not possess any of them, even simply pure warm water is sufficient;
The head and beard should be washed with khitmī (marshmallow plant) or any soap available;
Then he should be made to lie down on the left side and be washed with water and leaves of lotus tree until is seen that the water has reached that part which is adjacent to the bench;
The deceased should then be made to lie down on the right side and should be washed with water and leaves of lotus tree until is seen that the water has reached that part which is adjacent to the bench;
Then the deceased should be made to sit and lean against the washer and the stomach of the deceased should be wiped gently;
Any impurity emerging from the deceased should be washed but there is no need to repeat the Ghusl or Wudhu or to replace afterwards the shroud;
The deceased should then be turned to his left side again and washed to complete Sunnah of completing virtuous acts in threes;
The water should be poured over the deceased thrice each time his side is turned;
The body of the deceased should then be dried and wiped with a cloth;
Hanut or any other fragrance should be placed on his head and beard and camphor on the forehead, the nose, the hands, the knees and the feet;
If after birth, the child shows a sign of life, including making noise, yawning, crying etc. it should be named, given a bath, shrouded and prayed upon. However, a miscarried foetus and a child who does not show signs of life after birth, should be washed, wrapped in any cloth and buried without the funeral Salah being observed over it;
It is desirable for the washer to take a bath himself after bathing the deceased;
Coronavirus: bathing the deceased
- Bathing the deceased is a communal responsibility on the Muslims and an integral part of honouring the deceased. We should, therefore, make every attempt to bathe the deceased as long as there is no significant risk to those bathing.
- Choose a limited number of trained healthy, young males and females, without any underlying medical conditions, to assume the responsibility of bathing the deceased.
- Train them as necessary to apply the highest standards of hygiene. They should wear appropriate protective clothing and adopt other precautionary measures as advised by the National Burial Council.
- Select designated facilities for ghusl where there is least interaction with members of the public.
- Individuals with underlying health conditions should avoid taking part in the ghusl. Keep the number to a minimum who are trained in the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and in dealing with infectious bodies and accord with Islamic and PHE (Public Health England) guidelines.
- A Muslim male should bathe a Muslim deceased and a Muslim female should be trained to bathe the female deceased. Note that the necessary component of ghusl is to pour water over the body. If no Muslim female is available for a female deceased, a non-Muslim from the same gender as the deceased (i.e. female) can simply pour water over the entire body. If no non-Muslim female is available, any maḥram (unmarriageable kin) should do tayammum directly on her face and hands; or in the case of no mahram, a piece of cloth should be used without directly touching the deceased. If it is not possible to open the body bag, then simply pour water over the body bag.
- The procedure of tayammum: get a small, clean stone (could be palm size); make the intention of tayammum; rub your gloved hands over the stone and pass once over their face; then rub again and pass over their forearms. (Therefore, you should discard the gloves and wash your hands thoroughly.)
- If pouring the water over the body bag is not possible, then make tayammum over the body bag. If this, too, is not possible then the deceased should be buried without any ghusl or tayammum.
- In normal conditions, a complete ghusl (bath) should be given to the deceased. If required, suffice on simply pouring water over the entire body, without the need to follow the recommended acts, e.g. ablution. Alternatively, one may unzip the body bag (using standard precautions), and fill it with warm water and an antiseptic; or dip the body into a bath tub filled with warm water and an antiseptic. The bag should be then resealed and the deceased enshrouded.
- However, if it is not possible to open the sealed bag or it legally prohibited to do so, then there is no need for ghusl; rather, if possible, pour water above the body bag. If this, too, is not possible over the bag, the body will be buried without it.
- Apply the kafan (shroud) as normal. The bag itself can also act as a shroud, as long as it is not transparent (fully or partially). However, if it is transparent, then a shroud should be placed above the bag.
- The deceased should not be touched or kissed. Those transporting and carrying the casket/ coffin/ body bag should don the relevant PPE and use single-use gloves. It should be disposed of afterwards and the hands should be washed with hand sanitizer or water and soap thoroughly.
- A limited number of people [as prescribed by the local authorities i.e. 10 people in BwD] should attend the salat al-janazah at the graveyard. They should exercise social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines – the elderly, those with health conditions, and those who are told to observe self-isolation should not attended.
- If the husband and all the maḥrams are in isolation, the pious non-Maḥram family members can enter the grave. If not available, other religious men will enter the grave.
- Ideally, the deceased should be buried individually. If this is not possible, then multiple bodies could be buried in the same grave with some form of a barrier between the bodies e.g. wooden planks or even some soil. Also, males and females should be buried in separate graves.
- Avoid all types of post-burial food ceremonies.
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Posted in General on 24th Jul 2020 by Our Imam | 28 Views