How to Give Ghusl to a Dead Body Hanafi
Answer: To shroud (i.e. give Kafan) to the deceased is Fard e
Question: What are the different categories of Kafan?
Answer: There are three categories of Kafan:
• Zaroorat – Necessary
• Kifaayat – Sufficient
• Sunnat – Sunnat
Question: How many pieces are there in the Kafan of a male?
Answer: The Kafan for a deceased male has three pieces. They are:
• The Lifaafah – The Outer Covering / Sheet
• The Izaar – The Inner covering (i.e. The Lower Garment)
• The Qamees – The Shirt-like garment
Question: How many pieces are there in the Kafan of a female?
Answer: The Kafan for a deceased female has five pieces. They are:
• The Lifaafah – The Outer Covering / Sheet
• The Izaar – The Inner covering (i.e. The Lower Garment)
• The Qamees – The Upper Garment
• Orhnee – The Head Covering
• Seena Band – Chest Covering / Strap
Question: What is the Kifaayat Kafan for a male (i.e. the Kafan which
will suffice) and what is the Kifaayat Kafan for a female?
Answer: The Kifaayat Kafan for a male has two pieces. In other
words, the Lifaafah and the Izaar. The Kifaayat Kafan for a female has
three pieces. In other words, The Lifaafah, The Izaar and the Orhnee,
or The Lifaafah, The Qamees and The Orhnee.
Question: What is the minimum requirement for both when the
complete Kafan is not available due to some unforeseen
Answer: The minimum requirement for both the male and the
female, is that which covers the entire body. [Durr e Mukhtar;
Question: What should the length of the Lifaafah (i.e. the over sheet
or covering) be?
Answer: The length of the Lifaafah should exceed the height of the
deceased, so that it can be tied up on both ends. [Alamgiri; Raddul
Question: What should the length of the Izaar (i.e. the inner
covering or lower garment) be?
Answer: The length of the Izaar (also known as the tahband, i.e.
waist cloth) should be from the top of the head to the feet. In other
words, it should be shorter than the length (of the Lifaafah) which
was left for tying. [Alamgiri; Raddul Muhtar]
Question: What should the length of the Qamees (i.e. the shirt-like
Answer: The Qamees, which is also known as the Kafni should be
from the neck to below the knee (i.e. including the knees). This
should be equal in length, both at the front and at the back.
There is a practice amongst the ignorant whereby they keep the
back shorter, this is not correct. It should also not have a front
opening and sleeves. [Alamgiri; Raddul Muhtar]
Question: Is there any difference between the Kafni of a male and a
Answer: Yes, there is a difference between the Kafni of a male and
the Kafni of a female. The Kafni of the male must be slit at the
shoulders, and the Kafni of the female must be slit towards the chest.
Question: What should the length of the Orhnee (i.e. the head
Answer: The Orhnee should be three hands in length. In other
words, it should be 1 ½ yards (i.e. approximately 1.4 metres in
Question: What should the length of the Seena-band (i.e. the chest
Answer: The Seena-Band (i.e. the chest covering) should be from the
breasts to the navel, and it is better for it to be upto the thigh.
[Alamgiri; Raddul Muhtar]
Question: Of what quality should the Kafan be?
Answer: The Kafan should be of good quality. In other words, it
should be the kind of clothes that men use in Jumu’ah and both Eids
and the kind of fabric that a female wears when she used to go to
visit at her mother’s home. It should be of that value.
Question: Has there been any mention in the Hadith about the
quality of the Kafan in which the deceased are shrouded?
Answer: Yes, there is emphasis in the Hadith that the deceased
should be shrouded in good Kafan.
It has been reported in the Hadith, ‘Shroud the deceased in good
Kafan as they meet with one another and they are proud of one
another.’ In other words, they become pleased with good Kafan.
Question: Is there any mention in the Hadith Shareef about the
colour of the Kafan?
Answer: Other colours can be used, but white is best. The Beloved
Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Shroud your deceased in white clothes (i.e. white
fabric)’. [Ghuniya; Raddul Muhtar]
I would like to present here a few more narrations from the Sharhus
Sudoor of Imam Suyuti which answers this question and the
previous two questions as well.
While explaining this Hadith, ‘Shroud the deceased in good Kafan
as they meet with one another and they are proud of one
another.’ Imam Suyuti says,
The Ulama have mentioned that good Kafan means that it should be
white, pure, clean and not too expensive, because the use of very
expensive Kafan has been disapproved from the Hadith.
Ibn Abi Daniya reported in Musannaf from Hazrat Ibn Sireen, that he
used to prefer good Kafan and it has been mentioned that the
deceased meet with one another in their graves.
Ibn Adi reported from Hazrat Abu Hurairah that Sayyiduna
Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Adorn your deceased in good Kafan because
they meet with one another in their graves.’
Aqeeli and Khateeb have reported from Hazrat Anas that
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘When the brother of one of you is
given in your care (i.e. after he passes away), then give him
good Kafan, because they meet with one another in their Kafan.’
It is reported by Tirmizi, Ibn Majah, and by Muhammad ibn Hazali in
his Sahih, Ibn Abi Daniya and Baihaqi in Shu’bul Imaan from Hazrat
Abu Qatadah that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘When the
brother of any of you is handed over to you (after his demise),
then give him good Kafan because they meet with one another
in their graves.’
Raashid ibn Sa’ad reported that a person’s wife passed away,
so in his dream he saw many women, but his wife was not amongst
them. He asked the reason for his wife not being there, so they
mentioned, ‘You did not afford her the proper Kafan, so she is
now ashamed to come forth.’ That person presented himself
before Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم and explained the incident, so
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, Take care of a reliable (pious) person.
Coincidentally an Ansari was about to pass away i.e. on they were on
He said to the Ansari, ‘I wish to give (send) the Kafan for my wife.’
The Ansari said, ‘If the deceased are able to recognise the
deceased, then I will recognise her.’
Hence, this person brought two saffron coloured sheets and kept
them in the Kafan of the Ansari. That night he had a dream, wherein
he saw her (i.e. his wife) standing there wearing the clothes i.e. the
Kafan (which he sent).
Question: Are there any specific colours that should not be used in
Answer: Fabric which is dyed in Safflower, or saffron colour, or silk
is disallowed for males. However, this is permissible for females. In
other words, that which was allowed in their lifetime is allowed for
Kafan, and the kind of fabric which is impermissible in one’s lifetime
is impermissible for Kafan. [Alamgiri]
Question: Will a Khunsa Mushkil (i.e. a hermaphrodite) be given the
Kafan of a male or the Kafan of a female?
Answer: A Khunsa Mushkil (i.e. a hermaphrodite) will be given the
same Kafan as that of a female. However, silk and safflower and
saffron coloured Kafan is not permissible for them. [Alamgiri]
Question: What is the Kafan for the one who is Na-Baaligh (i.e. a
minor, meaning he or she has not reached the age of puberty)?
Answer: If the Na-Baaligh is already at a stage where he feels lust, he
will fall under the category of the person who has reached the age of
puberty. In other words, he will be given the same amount of Kafan
as given to one who is Baaligh. A younger boy (i.e. a Na-Baaligh who
has not reached the level of desire) will be given one piece of fabric
and a small girl will be given two pieces of fabric. However, it is
better if a boy is also shrouded in two pieces, and it is best and most
virtuous to shroud both of them in the full Kafan, even if it is a day
old baby. [Raddul Muhtar]
Question: Does the Kafan have to be new unused fabric?
Answer: This is better but not necessary. One can also be shrouded
in old cloth, but if it is an old cloth it should be washed (i.e. clean),
because it is likeable for the Kafan to be clean. [Jauhira]
Question: Who should pay for and arrange the Kafan etc. for the
Answer: If the deceased left behind some wealth (i.e. money etc.),
then the Kafan should be from the wealth of the deceased. However,
if the deceased did not leave behind any wealth, then the
responsibility of the Kafan is the duty of the one who was
responsible for financially supporting him or her in their lifetime.
Question: What happens in the situation when the person has no
one and no finances as well?
Answer: If there is none who was financially responsible for the
deceased, or if there is someone but that person is not currently in
the financial position to fulfil this, then the Kafan must be given
from the Baitul Maal (Islamic Treasury) and if there is also no Baitul
Maal there, like is the case in most countries today, then it is the
responsibility of the Muslims there to provide the Kafan.
Question: What if the Muslims were aware of the situation but still
they do not make effort to provide the Kafan for the deceased
Answer: If they are aware of the situation and still they did not
provide the Kafan, then in this case, all of them are sinful. [Jauhira]
Question: Is the husband responsible for the Kafan of his wife, and is
the wife responsible for the Kafan of her husband?
Answer: Even if a female has left behind wealth, the responsibility of
her Kafan is her husband’s, on condition that at the time of her
death there is no such circumstance prevailing whereby her Nafaqa
(financial support/maintenance) is not the responsibility of the
husband any longer.
If a husband dies and his wife is wealthy, then too the Kafan is not
Waajib upon the wife. [Alamgiri; Durr e Mukhtar]
Question: Is it permissible to write Kalima etc. on the Kafan or with
the finger on the forehead of the deceased, or to place the Ahad
Naama etc. in the Kafan as there are those who say it is not
Answer: It is permissible to do so, and those who say it to be
impermissible are misleading the masses.
Sayyidi Aala Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat has written a superb
analysis on this discussion and gave sufficient evidence from the
Imam Ahle Sunnat quotes numerous grand scholars and also says
that Imam Ibn Hajar Makki quoted a special Tasbeeh in his
Fatawa which is well-known and has numerous merits.
He reported from some of the great Ulama that:
One who writes this (Tasbeeh) and places it between the Kafan
and the chest of the Mayyit (deceased), the deceased will be
spared from the punishment of the grave, and neither will
Munkar and Nakeer come to him. The explanation of this Dua is
very virtuous and it is a Dua of peace and comfort. [Fatawa
Kubra, Vol.2, Pg.6]
The writing of Ahad-Naama on the forehead, Turban and Kafan
of the deceased gives hope of forgiveness for him. A certain
person advised that الرحيم الرحمن االله سم �should be written on his
forehead and chest. His request was fulfilled. After his demise,
he was seen in a dream (by another person) who asked about
his condition (in the grave). The deceased said, ‘When I was
placed in my grave, then Angels of punishment came towards
me. When they saw الرحيم الرحمن االله سم written on my forehead, they
said, ‘You are spared from the punishment of Allah’. [Durr e
Mukhtar, Vol.1, Pg.126]
Question: What about placing Tabar’rukaat, i.e. Sacred belongings of
the pious, in the Kafan of the deceased? Is this permissible?
Answer: Yes, it is permissible and a means of attaining blessings.
This too was explained in detail by Sayyidi Aala Hazrat
Sayyidi Aala Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat رsays,
I must say that it is in the Sahih Hadith that either Hazrat Abdur
Rahmaan ibn Auf or Sayyiduna Sa’ad ibn Abi Waq’qas
requested the Beloved Rasool صلى الله عليه وسلم to give them a Tahband (waistcloth) which a lady had sewn and prepared very beautifully for Him
صلى الله عليه وسلم ,which He صلى الله عليه وسلم required. The Beloved Rasool صلى الله عليه وسلم immediately gave
it to the said companion.
The other Sahaba e Kiraam
were not pleased with this
as this was the only waist-cloth that the Beloved Rasool صلى الله عليه وسلم had at
that time. They also informed him that he was aware of the fact that
the Beloved Rasool صلى الله عليه وسلم never turned away any person who asked for
anything from Him صلى الله عليه وسلم .It was for this reason that the other Sahaba
felt that the said companion should not have asked for the waistcloth. When the companion heard their feelings, he said,
“By Allah, I did not ask for it so that I may wear it (as clothing)
but I asked for it so that it may be used as my Kafan.”
The Beloved Rasool صلى الله عليه وسلم did not object to his reason for asking and
when he passed away, it was used as his Kafan.
To better understand this discussion study the book Al Harful Hasan
Fil Kitaabati Alal Kafan written by Sayyidi Aala Hazrat Imam Ahmed
Raza Khan This book has also been translated into English and
is available under the name, ‘Writing on The Kafan’.
THE METHOD OF SHROUDING THE DECEASED
1. After giving the Ghusl, wipe the body of the deceased with a
pure (clean) cloth (towel etc.), so that the Kafan does not
become wet or soiled.
2. Then fragrance the Kafan 3, 5 or 7 times with the smoke from
incense (or Lobaan etc.). Do not exceed this amount.
3. Now spread out the Kafan (shroud) in this way; First spread
out the Big Sheet (Lifaafah), then the Izaar (inner-covering) on
top of it, then the Kafni (shirt-like) garment on top of that, and
thereafter place the deceased on top of this.
4. The Kafni should then be put on.
5. Fragrance should then be applied to the beard and the entire
6. Camphor should be put on the spots of Sajdah, i.e. the
forehead, nose, hands (palms) and feet.
7. Then wrap the Izaar first from the left side then the right.
8. Thereafter, wrap the Lifaafah first from the left side then from
the right, so that the right side remains on top.
9. Then tie it at both ends. In other words, at the head-side and
below the feet, as there is a risk of it being blown.
CONCERNING THE FEMALE DECEASED
• After putting on the Kafni divide her hair into two
portions and place it on the chest (breast) over the Kafni.
• The Orhnee should be spread out from under her upper
back, bringing it over the head, and placing on the face
like a veil, so that it remains on the chest. Its length
should be from the upper half of the back upto the chest.
The width is from the lobe of one ear to the lobe of the
• Then, the Izaar and the Lifaafah must be wrapped as
• Then right at the top the Seena-band (chest strap) it
should be tied from above the breasts until the thighs.
A Very Important Note: The body of the deceased must be
covered at all times, even after the Ghusl, when moving the
deceased onto the shroud.