Dear All,

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmathullaahi Wa Barakaathuhu!


All Praises are due to Almighty Allah. May Peace and Blessings be showered upon his last messenger Muhammad (PBUH), his family and companions!

Al Quran, Al Hadith, Al Ijmaa'  and Al Qiyaas are the four legislative sources in Islam. The laws of Islam are formulated on the basis of these.

  • It is the fundamental creed of Muslims that the Al Quran is the last of the Holy Scriptures revealed by Allah.
  • Al Hadith are the sayings, traditions and approvals of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
  • Al Ijmaa' is the unanimous, undisputed consensus of the religious scholars derived in the light of Al Quran and the Al Hadith.
  • Al Qiyaas is a methodology to derive jurisdictions based on the evidences from Al Quran and Al Hadith for modern contemporary issues that occur occasionally.

As far as Islamic legislation is concerned, Al Quran takes the foremost place. Certain verses of Al Quran serve as an explanation to other verses of Al Quran. Moreover, the Hadiths reported by The Prophet (PBUH) also serve as commentaries for Al Quran. Matters that aren’t expounded much in the Quran need to be understood through the Hadiths. For example, injunctions such as Prayer, Zakat, Fasting, Hajj, etc. have been prescribed in the Quran; however, the method of fulfilling these obligations, and details pertaining to these obligations are not mentioned in the Quran, they have to be understood through Hadiths. Mores ever, verses related to rulings cannot be understood without the help of Hadiths. The following verses confirm this:

وَاَنْزَلْنَاۤ اِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ اِلَيْهِمْ. (سورة النحل : 44)

“And We have sent down to you ˹O Prophet˺ the Reminder, so that you may explain to people what has been revealed for them, and perhaps they will reflect.” (Quran, AnNahl : 44)

وَمَاۤ اٰتٰٮكُمُ الرَّسُوْلُ فَخُذُوْهُ وَ مَا نَهٰٮكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوْا‌ ۚ (سورة الحشر : 07)

“Whatever the Messenger brings you, take it. And whatever he forbids you from, leave it.” (Quran, Al Hashr: 07)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا ((سورة النساء : 59)

“O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. Should you disagree on anything, then refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. This is the best and fairest resolution.” (Quran, An Nisa: 59)

It is very clear that the responsibility of explaining the Quran to the people is a responsibility assigned to The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and one should follow what he has instructed, and abstain from what he has forbidden.

According to the legislative sources above, if a solution for a matter cannot be found directly from the Quran, it would be referred to in the Hadiths. If a solution could not be found in either of them, then secondary sources such as Al Ijmaa', and Al Qiyaas would be respectively resorted to. This is the procedure of legislation. This procedure has been implemented in all matters since from the beginning.

Accordingly, all four of the Islamic authoritative sources: Al Quran, Al Hadith, Al Ijmaa', and Al Qiyaas clearly imply that the body of a dead person needs to be buried into the earth.

Verses in the Quran that prescribe burial:

1. مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ ( سورة طه : 55)

“From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time.” (20:55)

In the above verse, by stating that, after you are dead “We will return you” to the earth, Allah emphasizes the fact that, those who are deceased should be placed in the Earth.

The following verse clarifies the same:

2. قَالَ فِيْهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيْهَا تَمُوْتُوْنَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُوْن (سورة الأعراف : 25)

“He added, “There you will live, there you will die, and from there you will be resurrected.” (Quran, Al Ar’af: 25)

3. فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ غُرَابًا يَبْحَثُ فِي الأَرْضِ لِيُرِيَهُ كَيْفَ يُوَارِي سَوْأَةَ أَخِيهِ [المائدة: 31].

“Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the disgrace of his brother.” (Surah Ma’idah: 31)

In the above verse, Adam (PBUH) who was the first human and the first Prophet; when one of his sons died, and the other sibling wasn’t aware of what needs to be done with the body, Allah The Almighty sent a crow and taught man how to bury the body of the deceased into the earth. Through this it is evident that the first person who had died in the world, had been buried in the earth.

4. ثُمَّ أَمَاتَهُ فَأَقْبَرَهُ (سورة عبس : 21)

“Then He causes his death and provides a grave for him.” (Surah Abasa: 21)

In this verse, Allah signifies that the burial of a Janaza into a grave is a blessing to the deceased. Experts in Tafsir (Exegesis) of the Quran mention that, through the act of burial, the deceased is safeguarded from becoming prey to birds and scavengers, and is also protected from causing discomfort to others through the stench that stems from it. Thus, Allah has dignified the deceased.

5. أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الْأَرْضَ كِفَاتًا أَحْيَاءً وَأَمْوَاتًا. (سورة المرسلات : 25. 26)

“Have We not made the earth a container; of the living and the dead?” (Surah Al-Mursalat 25-26)

Allah has prepared the surface of the Earth for those with life to reside, and beneath it a place of rest for the dead. This verse also emphasizes the importance of burying the dead into the Earth.

Hadiths from The Prophet (PBUH) regarding this:

6. عن أبي سعيدٍ الخُدْريِّ رضِيَ اللهُ عنه، أنَّ رسولَ اللهِ صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم قال: اذهبوا، فادْفِنوا صاحِبَكم. (صحيح مسلم : 2236)

And he (the Holy Prophet (PBUH)) said (to his Companions): “Go and bury your companion” (Sahih Muslim: 2236)

7. عن جابرٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عنه، أنَّ النبيَّ صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم قال: ادفِنوا القَتْلى في مصارِعِهم. (سنن أبي داود : 8557)

When advising the companions about those martyred in In Uhud, the Prophet (PBUH) intructed them to bury the martyrs in the place where they had fallen. (Sunan Abu Dawud: 8557)

8. عَنْ عَلِيٍّ رضي الله عنه، قَالَ: لَمَّا مَاتَ أَبُو طَالِبٍ أَتَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَقُلْتُ لَهُ إِنَّ عَمَّكَ الشَّيْخَ الضَّالَّ قَدْ مَاتَ، قَالَ: " اذْهَبْ فَوَارِهِ قُلْتُ: إِنَّهُ مَاتَ مُشْرِكًا، قَالَ: اذْهَبْ فَوَارِهِ وَلَا تُحَدِّثْ شَيْئًا حَتَّى تَأْتِيَنِي «، فَوَارَيْتُهُ ثُمَّ أَتَيْتُهُ فَقُلْتُ قَدْ وَارَيْتُهُ فَأَمَرَنِي فَاغْتَسَلْتُ» (سنن النسائي : 193)

The Prophet (PBUH) said to Ali (rali) 'Go and bury your father (Abu Talib).’ (Sunan An-Nasa’i: 193)

The above Hadiths also emphasise that a deceased person needs to be buried into the earth.

In the Quran, apart from burying a person who has passed away, no other method has been mentioned. Even the Hadiths of The Prophet (PBUH) clearly and directly state the command “bury them”.

Generally if an explicit command is mentioned, it is has to be adhered to. Hence, deriving from both these authoritative sources, religious scholars have concluded that burial is the only method to be followed, and following anything otherwise is forbidden (Haraam) in religion.

When an explicit command is mentioned regarding a matter, a detailed clarification of the ruling of contradicting it need not be mentioned in the legislation; as the command itself suggests that contradicting it is impermissible.

Ijma'a (Comprehensive judgement of all Islamic Scholars) regarding this:

Scholars such as Imam Ibnul Mundhir, Imam Navavi, Imam Al Mardawi, Imam Ibnul Mulakkin, and Ibnul Aabideen (Rah) have stated that there is a unanimous consensus among the religious scholars that the deceased have to be buried.[1]

According to the above authoritative sources, it is evident that if a Muslim is deceased, it is essential to bury the body into the earth. Cremating it or casting it away are forbidden and sinful acts.[2]

A man who is honoured while he is alive, should also be honoured once he passes away. Allah states in the Quran “And, We have certainly honoured the children of Adam” (Al-Isra: 70).[3]

Ayesha (ra) reports as The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Breaking a man's bone after he is dead is like breaking it when he is alive.” (Sunan Abi Dawud: 3207)[4]

Accordingly If a Muslim is deceased, it is Fardh Kifaaya upon the Muslims to bathe the body, enshroud (kafn) it, conduct the prayers, and bury it in a dignified manner at a cemetery of the Muslims. At least a few of the Muslims have to fulfill these rites. If any of these rites are left out, the Muslims as a whole will be held responsible in the court of Allah, except in cases where Islam has made an exception.

Therefore, since the advent of Islam till the present day, it has been the practice of all Muslims to bury their dead.

Allah is the All Knower!



Ash Sheikh M.L.M Ilyas                                               

Secretary – Fatwa Committee                                    

All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama                                   


Ash Sheikh I.L.M. Hashim Soori

Supervisor – Fatwa Division

All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama


Ash Sheikh M.S.M Thassim                                        

Acting General Secretary                                            

All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama                                   


Ash Sheikh Mufti M.I.M Rizwe


All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama



[1]  قال ابن المنذر رحمه الله : (وأجمعوا على أنَّ دَفْنَ المَيِّت لازِمٌ واجِبٌ على النَّاسِ لا يَسَعُهم تَرْكُه عند الإمكانِ، ومن قام به منهم سقط فَرْضُ ذلك على سائِرِ المُسلمين). ((الإجماع)) (ص: 44).


قال النووي رحمه الله: (دَفْنُ المَيِّت فرضُ كفايةٍ بالإجماعِ). ((المجموع)) (5/282). وقال: (واعلَمْ أنَّ غُسلَ الميِّت، وتكفينَه، والصَّلاةَ عليه، ودفنَه- فروضُ كفايةٍ بلا خلافٍ). ((المجموع)) (5/128).


قال المَرداويّ رحمه الله ُ: (قوله: (غُسل الميِّت، وتكفينُه، والصَّلاة عليه، ودفنُه- فرضُ كفايةٍ) بلا نزاعٍ). ((الإنصاف)) (2/330). وقال أيضًا: (حَمْله ودفْنه، فرضُ كفايةٍ إجماعًا). ((الإنصاف)) (2/378).


قال ابن الملقِّن رحمه الله : (الكَفَن للميِّت واجبٌ، وهو إجماعٌ، وكذا غُسلُه، والصَّلاةُ عليه، ودَفْنه). ((الإعلام)) (4/455).


قال ابن عابدين رحمه الله : (قوله (وحفْرُ قَبرِه... إلخ) شروعٌ في مسائِلِ الدَّفْن، وهو فرضُ كفايةٍ إن أمكَنَ، إجماعًا.حِلْيَة. واحترز بالإمكان عمَّا إذا لم يُمكِن؛ كما لو مات في سفينةٍ كما يأتي، ومُفادُه: أنَّه لا يُجزئ دفنُه على وَجْه الأرضِ ببناءٍ عليه، كما ذكره الشافعيَّة، ولم أرَه لأئمَّتنا صريحًا). ((الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين)) (2/233).


[2]  دفن الميت فرض كفاية بالإجماع، وقد علم أن فرض الكفاية إذا تعطل أثم به كل من دخل في ذلك الفرض دون غيرهم، .....قال الشافعي رحمه الله: لو أن رفقة في سفر مات أحدهم فلم يدفنوه نظر إن كان ذلك في طريق آهل يخترقه المارة أو بقرب قرية للمسلمين فقد أساءوا ترك الدفن وعلى من بقربه دفنه، قال وإن تركوه في موضع لا يمر أحد أثموا وعصوا الله تعالى وعلى السلطان أن يعاقبهم على ذلك (المجموع شرح المهذب)


[3]  وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ (سورة الإسراء : 70)


[4]  عن عائشة رضي الله عنها: أن رسول الله ﷺ قال: كسر عظم الميت ككسره حيًّا.( سنن أبي داود 3207)