[Q-ID0674] When carrying the deceased to the graveyard, in which direction must the head be?

QUESTION:

What do the noble ulamā say regarding this that what is the Islamic method of taking the deceased to the graveyard? Some people say that the deceased’s head should be in the direction of the Qiblah, some others say the deceased’s head should be in the direction of the graveyard whilst others say the deceased’s head should point forwards. Please advise us as to the Sharī’ah ruling concerning this matter.

ANSWER:

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

When the janāzah is lifted keeping the deceased’s head forward and the feet behind is the Islamic method. Doing opposite to this i.e. putting the feet forward and head behind is not correct.

It is mentioned in Badā’ī al-Sanā’ī :

“The head should be place forward in the state of carrying the Janāzah because it is from the most noble of limbs therefore placing it forward is most preferred and the meaning of honouring is found in giving precedence.”

[Badā’i al-Sanā’I Volume 2 page 44]

It is mentioned in al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah:

“In the state of walking with the Janāzah the head should be placed forward.”

[al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah Volume 1 page 162]

It is stated in al-Fatāwā al-Ridwiyyah:

“The Janāzah should be lifted and taken in such a way that the head-side is forward.”

[al-Fatāwā al-Riddwiyyah Volume 9 page 82]

It is mentioned in Habīb al-Fatāwā:

“Whichever direction the graveyard may be, in every state the deceased’s feet should be behind and head should be forward. This is the ruling from the Sharī’ah, this is the Islamic method and distinguishing practise.”

It is further mentioned in the same text:

“When the janāzah is lifted and carried on then at that time the deceased’s head should be placed forward and feet behind. This is masnūn i.e. it is the Sunnah. To do opposite to this such that the feet are forward and the head behind is in opposition to the Sunnah.”

[Habīb al-Fatāwā page 576]

الله أعلم عز و جل و رسوله أعلم صلى الله تعالى عليه وآله و سلم

Answered by Mufti Abū Muhammad ‘Alī Asghar al-Attārī al-Madanī
16th Dhul Hijjah al-Harām 1439 AH (28th August 2018)

Translated by Ustādh Ibrar Shafi

Source: Dār al-Iftā Ahl al-Sunnah (Da’wat e Islami)

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0674] When carrying the deceased to the graveyard, in which direction must the head be?

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