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Moving the Dead from His Grave

Answered as per Maliki Fiqh by BinBayyah.net

My father passed away while I was a little boy. Soon after his burial, my mother moved his body from the charity graveyard to another private yard she had bought. As you most probably know, in my country we give great importance to such matters and we could not allow him to be buried in a charity graveyard. Is my mother a sinner for doing this? Is it true that the deceased will be questioned twice in this case? If we want to visit his grave, should we visit the first or second one? May Allah reward you well!

What your mother did is not permissible. When the dead body is buried it no longer belongs to anyone, even if it is in the disbelievers’ graves. It is not permissible to move it unless for the benefit of the Muslims. The basic ruling is that each corpse’s grave belongs to the corpse and it cannot be moved unless there is a necessity. What your mother did is not permissible, as it was based on traditions, not on any rule in Shari`ah. As for visiting your father’s grave and whether to visit him at the first or the second grave, this is based on where his body is. If his whole body or remains were moved, then you can visit him at the second grave, but if he had decayed in the first grave and was not put in a cascade, then visit him in the first grave. It all depends on the remains which you moved from the first grave, whether it was the body or just what the mother thought fit to move.
Regarding the questioning of the deceased, a person is questioned once he is put in his grave. The questioning process is not repeated and there is no evidence in Sunnah that supports this idea. One is questioned by the angels once he enters his grave. This is the answer regarding the questioning process, but if you are asking about his life in Barzakh, it continues whether he is in his first or second grave. If he was living it in Paradise, it will continue so, and if otherwise, it will continue so as well. We ask Allah to protect us and all of you!

This answer was collected from BinBayyah.net, which contains of feature articles and fatawa by world renowned ‘Alim, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, from Mauritania.

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