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Washing and shrouding the deceased

How a Muslim is washed and shrouded for burial

When a Muslim dies, his companions have to shut his eyes, close his jaws and lay him down. Then they have to wash him in the prescribed manner.

They start by washing his hands, then his private parts, and then perform an ablution for him in the same manner that ablutions are performed for prayer, washing his head and face (and beards for men) using water infused with the leaves of the lote tree (sidr) or anything similar, such as soap.

Then they pour water on his right side then his left side, washing the whole body twice or thrice. This may be increased up to five or seven times until the body is totally clean.

In the last washing, it is preferred to add camphor to the water if available. Then they should put perfume on all unseen parts of his body and the places of prostration. It is permissible to use fragrance on the whole body. One washing is also permissible.

For women, her hair should be braided in three braids and placed behind her. The woman should be shrouded in five pieces of cloth, one for the top front, one around the whole bottom part, one for the head, and two pieces to wrap the whole body. Thereafter, the funeral prayer may be preformed.

The Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwaas, Saudi Arabia.