I have a question regarding burial of newborns with ref. to the answer given in Question # 1002. Some days back our neighbour gave birth to dead baby.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
A`salam u alaikum
I have a question regarding burial of newborns with ref. to the answer given in Question # 1002. Some days back our neighbour gave birth to dead baby. The baby had completed 9 months in the mothers womb. Some members of our locality said that there was no need for the jinazah of the dead baby and that we should bury him just like that. I remembered your answer and showed them same on my laptop but they rejected the answer since you have written about the jinazah being the `right` of the dead but u have given no proof for your statement. This problem was then put before a mufti sahib who declared that no jinazah was required. I am confused. We have buried the baby but the doubt still lingers in my mind. Plz explain what is the right thing to do and also give proof of your answer in the light of Quran and Sunnat.
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Evidence for janaza for still born
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Beloved brother in Islam, all the scholars, jurists, and schools of thought are absolutely unanimous in their opinion that if a baby is born alive, even for only a minute, then that muslim baby will be given a full and honorable muslim burial.
But when a baby is still-born or born dead from its mothers womb, the scholars and jurists have differed in their opinion regarding whether or not to give such a baby a full muslim burial or not.
Hadrat Mughirah bin Shuobah (r.a.) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saws) say: If a baby is delivered dead, pray the janaza over them.
Related by Abu Dawood, Nisai, Ibn Maajah and Tirmidhi.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.546 Narrated by Abdullah bin Masud
The Messenger of Allah (saws), the true and truly inspired, narrated to us, "The creation of everyone of you starts with the process of collecting the material for his body within forty days and forty nights in the womb of his mother. Then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period (40 days) and then he becomes like a piece of flesh for a similar period (40 days). Then an angel is sent to him (by Allah) and the angel is allowed (ordered) to write four things: his livelihood, his (date of) death, his deeds, and whether he will be a wretched one or a blessed one (in the Hereafter), and then the soul is breathed into him.
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Imam Shafei amongst the four eminent scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence have given weight to the above narration and are of the opinion that since the soul in breathed into the baby four months into the pregnancy, the baby even it is delivered dead will be given a full muslim burial.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.440 Narrated by Ibn Shihab
The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: The funeral prayer should be offered for every child even if he were the son of a prostitute as he was born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone). If his parents are Muslims, particularly the father, even if his mother were a non-Muslim, and if he after the delivery cries (even once) before his death (i.e. born alive) then the funeral prayer must be offered. And if the child does not cry after his delivery (i.e. born dead) then his funeral prayer should not be offered, and he will be considered as a miscarriage.
Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Maalik have given weight to the narration of Ibn Shihab quoted above and are of the opinion that unless and until a baby is delivered alive (even if only one cry is heard), the baby will not be given a full muslim burial.
To give a baby who is delivered dead a full muslim burial is something the scholars and jurists in Islam have differed in their opinion. Because there is evidence in the Sunnah for both opinions, regardless of which one of the opinions one chooses to follow, one would be in accordance with the Guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,