What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: There was a death in our family and we didn’t know what actions were supposed to be performed with the dying person. We didn’t know when to close the eyes of the person, whether or not the head must be turned towards the Qiblah, etc. We didn’t know much about it. Please explain, in order, the actions to be performed in such a situation.
Questioner: Brother from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
When a person is nearing death, it is sunnah to turn them to their right and their face towards the Qiblah. If the person experiences difficulty with this, then they can be left in the position that they are in. Once this is done, the below actions are to be performed in order.
1. When the soul is departing and has not reached the neck yet, do talqin, i.e. in a loud voice, recite
اَشْھَدُ اَنْ لَّا اِلٰـہَ اِلَّا اللہُ وَاَشْھَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَّسُوْلُ اللہِ
However, do not command the person to recite it. When they have recited the kalima [testimony of faith], stop the talqin. If the person says something after reciting the kalima, then do talqin again so that the last words of the person be the kalima or لاَ اِلٰـہَ اِلاَّ اللهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ الله. It is mustahabb [preferable] to recite Surah Yasin and use fragrance (like frankincense or incense sticks) when talqin is performed.
2. When the soul departs, tie a wide cloth around the head and jaws of the person so that their mouth is not kept open.
3. Close the eyes of the deceased. Recite the following supplication when closing the eyes.
بِسْمِ اللہِ وَعَلیٰ مِلَّۃِ رَسُوْلِ اللہِ اَللّٰھُمَّ یَسِّرْ عَلَیْہِ اَمْرَہٗ وَسَھِّلْ عَلَیْہِ مَا بَعْدَہٗ وَاَسْعِدْہٗ بِلِقَآئِکَ وَاجْعَلْ مَا خَرَجَ اِلَیْہِ خَیْرًا مِّمَّا خَرَجَ عَنْـہُ
Translation: “In the Name of Allah and upon the Nation of the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace be upon him). O Allah! Ease his task and ease what comes after that. Bless him with your meeting. Make better that which he has set out towards than that which he has set out from.”
4. Place a heavy object (like iron, wet mud, etc.) on the belly of the deceased person so that it does not swell.
5. Inform people about the death of the person so that more and more people attend the funeral. It is also appropriate to make an announcement.
6. Make arrangements for the bathing, shrouding and burial of the deceased as soon as possible.
[al-Durr al-Mukhtar, vol. 3, pg. 91]
Apart from the above reference, these rites are mentioned in the books of the Hanafi school, under the chapter of the funeral prayer.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath Team
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0750] What steps should we take when seeing someone die in front of us?