When one`s husband/wife dies according to shariat (Sharia), does their relationship end straight away or until the husband/wife are buried?
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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Assalamoalaikum Burhan Bhai.
1)When one`s husband/wife dies according to shariat (Sharia), does their relationship end straight away or until the husband/wife are buried? Please explain.
2) Is it permissible to place the dead body inside a purpose built coffin?
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Purpose built coffin
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Q-1: When one`s husband/wife dies according to shariat (Sharia), does their relationship end straight away or until the husband/wife are buried? Please explain.
Just as a relationship of a mother-child, brother-brother, or brother-sister, etc. does not end when one dies, but rather one is associated as a relative of the deceasedsimilarly the relationship of a husband-wife does not end when one of them dies.
Speaking in legal or Shariah terms, the death of a husband would indeed end her relationship as his wife, whereby it is permissible for her to marry another person after her waiting period, if she wills to do so.
But under no circumstances does it mean that immediately at the time of death of a spouse, the husband (or wife) becomes a non-mehram of their deceased spouse and are not allowed to even see their face or approach their deceased partners body.
A husband (or wife) do not become non-mehrams of their deceased spouse because of their death, nor are they prohibited from seeing the face of their deceased spouse (if they wish to do so), nor they are prohibited from approaching their deceased partners body before its burial. In some cases, where there is no one else available to bathe their deceased partners body, it is permissible in Islam for the husband to even bathe the body of his deceased wife in preparation for her funeral.
Your Question: Is it permissible to place the dead body inside a purpose built coffin?
Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 4.33a
Topic: Preferable Practices in Shrouding
In shrouding the deceased, the following practices are recommended and should be observed while preparing a body for burial.
1. The shroud should be nice, clean, and large enough to cover the entire body. This is based on a narration of Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi, from Abu Qatadah that the Prophet (saws) said: "If one of you is a guardian to his deceased brother, he should give him the best shroud he can."
2. A shroud should be white, as it is recorded by Ahmad, Abu Daw'ud, and Tirmidhi on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that the Prophet (saws) said: "Wear white clothes, for these are your best clothes, and enshroud your dead in them."
3. The shroud should be scented and perfumed. The hadith is cited by Ahmad and by Al-Hakim in accordance with Jabir's narration that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "If you perfume a dead body, do it three times." Abu Sa'id, Ibn 'Umar, and Ibn 'Abbas directed their heirs in their wills to perfume their shrouds with aloes-wood.
4. The shroud should be three wraps for a man and five wraps for a woman, in light of what is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim from 'Aishah who said: "The Messenger of Allah (saws) was wrapped in three pieces of new white sheets of cloth from Yemen, without a shirt or a turban."
Islam has guided the believers on how exactly to give their departed brother (or sister) in faith an honorable funeral, and recommended that the deceased be wrapped in a shroud before they are buried in the earth.
To build a custom made coffin, or lay their dead in a box-coffin is a custom and practice of the pagans; and it would not behove and befit a believer who sincerely loves Allah and the Last Day to leave the practice of Sunnah and adopt a pagan custom or rite.
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