Shifting the body to another country for burial.

Question:

A relative of mine passed away in Canada and his family here in Trinidad wants that the body be sent back home as it is difficult for them to go to Canada for the Janazah Salah. My question is, it permissible to shift the body from Canada to Trinidad for this purpose?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The body should be buried in a Muslim cemetery close to where the person died, to shift the body even within the country to a far distance when there is a Muslim cemetery within the area is disliked.[1] This is because it causes an unnecessary delay in the burial in which The Holy Prophet Peace be upon him has instructed us to hasten with.

أسرعوا بالجنازة, فان تك صالحة فخير قدمتموها

Hasten the burial, if the deceased was righteous, you are hastening him to good…..[2]

إذا مات أحدكم فلا تحبسوه، وأسرعوا به إلى قبره.

If one from amongst you dies, then do not withhold him (burial) and hasten with him to his grave[3]

Shifting the body from Canada all the way to Trinidad will cause a great amount of delay in the burial. Besides the delaying factor, there is a huge cost factor involved, all of which is unnecessary.

Furthermore, order for the body to be shifted to Trinidad embalming is required by law. Embalming is a process done in order to temporary preserve the body from decaying. This process involves the following:

(1) Removing the blood and body fluids from the body and replacing it with a chemical preservative.

(3) Small incisions in the arteries and veins of the body in order to remove the blood from the body.

(4) The body is usually not covered for this procedure and the private parts of the body is exposed.

(5) The facial and body hairs are normally removed to facilitate the process of embalming.

All of the above are not permissible and against the laws of Shariah.

Therefore it will not be permissible to shift the body to Trinidad for Janazah and burial. The Janazah should be performed by the local Muslim community in that area and then proceeded for burial at the nearest Muslim cemetery or one that is in close proximity.[4]

Even though the family members would not be able to attend the Janazah they can still make dua to Allah Ta’ala, asking Him to forgive and have mercy on the deceased.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Kaleem Muhammad

 

[1] البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق ومنحة الخالق وتكملة الطوري (2/ 210)

قال: وقد جزم في التاجية بالكراهة، وفي التجنيس وذكر أنه إذا مات في بلدة يكره نقله إلى أخرى؛ لأنه اشتغال بما لا يفيد، وفيه تأخير دفنه وكفى بذلك كراهة.

 

[2] أخرجه الشيخان اليخاري و مسلم (و الإسراع في الجنازة يشمل الإسراع في تجهيزها والإسراع في تشييعها والإسراع في دفنها)

 

[3] فتح الباري لابن حجر (3/ 184)

حديث بن عمر سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إذا مات أحدكم فلا تحبسوه وأسرعوا به إلى قبره أخرجه الطبراني بإسناد حسن ولأبي داود من حديث حصين بن وحوح مرفوعا لا ينبغي لجيفة مسلم أن تبقى بين ظهراني أهله.

[4] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 428)

(قوله وعن بعضهم إلخ) قال في البزازية: نقل الميت من بلد إلى بلد قبل الدفن لا يكره وبعده يحرم قال السرخسي وقبله يكره أيضا إلا قدر ميل أو ميلين.