Friday, November 24, 2017 - 5 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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What is the correct way to burry the dead and the correct shape of graves?

What is the correct way to burry the dead and the correct shape of graves?

Answer

Graves fall into the following categories:
It is legally established that the obligatory minimum for a grave is a hole that conceals the corpse, prevents the emanation of odor which may harm the living and protects the body from being dug up and eaten by animals.

- Lahd: is the best grave used for burial: It consists of a lateral hollow large enough for the body dug into the side of the grave that is towards the Qibla [direction of prayer]. It is designed like a house and ceilinged with raw bricks.

- Shaqq: If the earth is soft and it is feared that the lahd may collapse, it is preferable to build a shaqq—i.e. a rectangle ceilinged hole dug in the middle of the grave with walls built from blocks or other, and its height is equal to that of an average man with his arm fully extended upward. Ibn Abu Shayba and ibn al-Mundhir narrated that 'Umar ibn al-khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) recommended burying the deceased in shaqqs.

- Fasaqi: i.e. small underground rooms which are large enough for the deceased and the people who bury him. People resort to burying their dead in fasaqi if the soil is soft and moist and the site is located beside a river or if there are large amounts of groundwater underneath it. These types of graves are common in Egypt and other countries. Scholars agree that it is permissible to bury the dead in fasaqi when necessary; but they differ over other cases when it is not. According to the opinion of accomplished scholars, it is permissible to bury in fasaqi and they are considered legal if they are completely sealed, prevent the emanation of odor and cannot be dug by animals. This opinion has been implemented for fatwa and applied in Egypt since long ago.
 

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