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Can We Delay the Burial of Someone To Avoid Dispute?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: There is a situation in my family concerning my ill grandfather. In the event that he were to pass, I fear that there would be family discord if we were to bury him immediately without waiting for his son to arrive. Given his location, this would realistically require 2-3 days. What would you advise to do in such an event?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Delaying the burial rites is disliked and contrary to the prophetic stipulations. Abu Hurayra narrates that the Prophet (Allah bless him) said, “Hasten the burial rites,” [Bukhari, Muslim] and Ibn `Umar narrated that he heard the Prophet (Allah bless him ) say, “If one of you die, hasten him to his grave.” [Tabarani, with an authentic chain as per Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari]

However, a slight delay is not disliked in order to have more people attend the funeral prayer and burial. Further, given that there are other factors at play in your particular situation, such as the potential for a family feud, there may be a case for delaying it slightly longer in order to let the son arrive.

However, this delay should not be excessive, and I would advise you to speak to the family members involved to ascertain whether delaying the burial would in fact lead to conflict and dispute.

Please see also: Burial Amongst Muslims, and a Directive for Proper Burial/Estate Division


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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