98308: Shrouding the deceased in a chemise


Is it permissible to shroud a man in a chemise?.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is better not to shroud a man in a chemise, rather he should be shrouded in three pieces of cloth which are wrapped around him, as was done to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was shrouded in three pieces of white Yemeni cotton cloth among which there was no chemise or turban. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1264) and Muslim (941).  

Ibn Hazm said: Allaah does not choose anything but the best for His Prophet. End quote. 

Al-Muhalla (5/118). 

So it is better not to shroud a man in a chemise, but if he is shrouded in a chemise, it is permissible. 

Al-Nawawi said: It is not makrooh to shroud the deceased in a chemise because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him, which says that when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ubayy died, his son came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allaah, give me your chemise so that I may shroud him in it, and (come and) offer the funeral prayer for him, and pray for forgiveness for him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave him his chemise, and said: Call me so I may offer the funeral prayer for him. He called him, and when he wanted to offer the prayer for him, ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) objected and said: Didn’t Allaah forbid you to offer the funeral prayer for the hypocrites? He said: “I have been given the choice. [Allaah] said (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Whether you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them — (and even) if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness — Allaah will not forgive them’ [al-Tawbah 9:80].” He offered the funeral prayer for him, then Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): “And never (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave” [al-Tawbah 9:84]

And it was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ubayy after he had been placed in his grave and ordered that he be brought out. He lifted him onto his knees and blew some of his saliva onto him and clothed him in his chemise. And Allaah knows best. ‘Abbaas was also clothed in a chemise. Sufyaan said: Abu Haroon Yahya said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was wearing two chemises. The son of ‘Abd-Allaah said to him: O Messenger of Allaah, give my father the chemise that is closest to your skin. Sufyaan said: They think that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave ‘Abd-Allaah his chemise in return for what he had done (for al-‘Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle). Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1270). 

Al-Bayhaqi included this hadeeth in al-Sunan al-Kubra (3/564) under the chapter heading: “Permissibility of shrouding in a chemise even though we prefer that which was chosen for the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). End quote. 

The reason why the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) shrouded ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ubayy in his chemise: 

It was said that it was to soften the heart of his son. Al-Nawawi said: This is what appears to be the case. 

And it was said that it was because he [‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ubayy) had given al-‘Abbaas, the paternal uncle of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), a garment to wear when he was taken prisoner on the day of Badr, so the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave him a garment in return, so that he would not owe any favour to a kaafir.  

And it was said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did that in response to the request of his son when he asked him for that. 

See: al-Majmoo’ (5/152) and al-Mughni (3/384). 

Some of the scholars said that it is makrooh to shroud the deceased in a chemise. 

Al-Nawawi said: This is weak, and in fact is false in terms of evidence, because what is makrooh is that concerning which there is a proven prohibition, but nothing is proven in this case, so the correct view is that it is not makrooh, but it is contrary to what is best. End quote. 

See: al-Majmoo’ (5/153) and al-Mughni (3/368). 

With regard to women, they may be shrouded in a chemise. See the answer to question no. 98189 which describes how a woman is to be shrouded. 

And Allaah knows best.

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