Method of Ghusl of Mayyat

It is obligatory to give three Ghusls to a dead body. The first bathing should be with water mixed with "Sidr" (Beri) leaves. The second bathing should be with water mixed with camphor and the third should be with unmixed water.

The quality of "Sidr" leaves and camphor should neither be so much that the water becomes mixed (Mudhaaf), nor so little that it may be said that "Sidr" leaves and camphor have not been mixed in it at all.

If enough quantity of "Sidr" leaves and camphor is not available, then whatever quantity available should be mixed with water.

If a person dies while he is in the state of Ihram his dead body should not be washed with water mixed with camphor. Instead of that, pure unmixed water should be used. However, in the following two situations, water with camphor should be used:

  1. If he or she dies in Hajj Tamattu' after completing Saee';
  2. and if it is Hajj Qiran or Ifrad, he died after having shaved the head

If "Sidr" leaves and camphor or either of these things is not available or its use is not lawful (e.g. if it has been usurped) the dead body should be given Ghusl, on the basis of precaution, with pure, unmixed water instead of the Ghusl which is not possible, and it should also be given one tayammum.

A person who gives Ghusl to a dead body should be a Muslim, preferably a Shia Ithna Asheri, adult, and sane, and should know the rules of Ghusl. And if an intelligent, discerning boy or girl, who is not yet baligh, gives Ghusl correctly, it will be sufficient. And if the deceased belongs to a sect other than Shia Ithna Asheri, and if he or she is given Ghusl according to the rules of his or her sect by a person of his or her sect, then the Shia Ithna Asheri momin will be relieved of the responsibility, except if he is the guardian.

One who gives Ghusl to the dead body should perform the act with the niyyat of Qurbat, that is, obedience to the pleasure of Allah.

Ghusl to a Muslim child, even illegitimate, is obligatory. But the Ghusl, Kafan, Dafan of a non-Muslim and his children is not allowed. And it is necessary to give Ghusl to a Muslim who has been insane since childhood and has grown up without having recovered.

If a foetus of 4 months or more is still-born it is obligatory to give it Ghusl, and even if it has not completed four months, but it has formed features of a human child, it must be given Ghusl, as a precaution. In the event of both of these circumstances being absent, the foetus will be wrapped up in a cloth and buried without Ghusl.

It is unlawful for a man to give Ghusl to the dead body of a woman and for a woman to give Ghusl to the dead body of a man. Husband and wife can, however, give Ghusl to the dead body of each other, although the recommended precaution is that they should also avoid doing so, in normal circumstances.

A man can give Ghusl to the dead body of a little girl and similarly a woman can give Ghusl to the dead body of a little boy.

If no man is available to give Ghusl to the dead body of a man, his kinswomen who are also his mahram (one with whom marriage is prohibited e.g., mother, sister, paternal aunt and maternal aunt) or those women who become his mahram by way of marriage or suckling can give Ghusl to his dead body. Similarly if no woman is available to give Ghusl to the dead body of a woman her kinsmen who are also her mahram or have become mahram by marriage or suckling can give Ghusl to her dead body. In either case, it is not obligatory to cover the body except the private parts; though doing so is preferred.

If a man gives Ghusl to the dead body of a man, or a woman to the dead body of a woman, it is permissible to keep the body bare, except the private parts. But it is better to give Ghusl from under the dress.

It is haraam to look at the private parts of a corpse and if a person giving Ghusl looks at them, he commits a sin, though the Ghusl will not be void.

If there is AYN Najasat on any part of the dead body, it is obligatory to first remove it before giving Ghusl. And it is preferred that before the corpse is given Ghusl, it should be clean and free from all other najasat.

Ghusl for a dead body is similar to Ghusl of Janabat. And the obligatory precaution is that a corpse should not be given Ghusl by Irtimasi, that is, immersion, as long as it is possible to give Ghusl by way of Tartibi. And even in the case of Tartibi Ghusl it is necessary that the body should be washed on the right side first, and then the left side. And the recommended precaution is that, if possible, none of the three parts of the body be immersed in the water. Instead water should be poured on the dead body.

If someone dies in the state of Hayz or Janabat it is not necessary to give him/her their respective Ghusls. The Ghusls given to the dead body will suffice.

As a precaution, it is haraam to charge any fee for giving Ghusl to the dead. And if someone gives Ghusl with an intention of earning and without the Niyyat of Qurbat, then the Ghusl will be void. However, it is not unlawful to charge for the preliminary preparations before Ghusl.