Every man has two special days, the day of good which signifies the day we were born and the day of evil which signifies the day we will die. Hence, no one can remove or add a second to the time he was born and the day he will die.
Ustaz Mhikail Shittu, an Islamic Teacher in Marcaz Shababul Islam, Lagos in his own view said:
Many people especially the non Muslims have a wrong notion about how we bury corpses in Islam. They believe we hasten to bury our corpses in Islam without following due process as laid down by Allah, which is totally untrue.
There are procedures to follow in Islam before funeral is announced and carried out. In a case where a person dies suddenly, maybe as a result of heart attack (almaut fijihat) in Islam, the first thing we do in Islam is to get a doctor to confirm if the person is dead. If the doctor confirms that the person is dead, then we must close the personâ€™s eyes and render prayers thus:
â€œOâ€™ Allah, forgive [name of the person] and elevate his rank among those who are guided. Send him along the path of those who came before,and forgive us and him, O Lord of the worlds. Expand for him his grave and shed light upon him in it.â€
And inform his relatives and friends about the personâ€™s demise. The next line of action is to undress the corpse and begin to say good things about the dead because the angels will be there to say Amin .
We also have to know if the dead person has any debt or anybody is owing the dead before hastening to bury the person. Then we give the dead a special bath before it is laid to rest. All these put together shows that we do not totally hasten to bury our corpses in Islam.
However, in Islam starting from the time of Prophet Adam, the dead are buried on the same day they die except when the person dies at night because it is wrong to bury the dead at night in Islam.
Leaving a corpse for long before burying is another way of suffering the dead and increasing the pains of their loved ones because the more they see their loved one lying lifelessly, the more they feel bad.
The teachings of Prophet Mohammed explains that there are three things we do not postpone in Islam. Asalat, najazat and almout according to hadeeth fiquiwathe page 380.
It may cause more havoc â€” Ustaz Akintoye Ismaeel Adewale (An Islamic Instructor, Engineer)
Islam has taught us the best way to care for our dead ones. When a person leaves this world, he or she does not belong here anymore and so should be given the ticket to board on the next journey which is burying his body. Aside this, leaving a corpse among the living can cause more havoc to the health of the living especially a dead person that has spent many years on the sick bed.
Burying a corpse almost immediately when he or she dies will not make the dead become a terror to his loved ones as many people get scared and run away from the corpse. It will make the dead rest peacefully.
When the news of death in the family reaches the relatives and friends, the first thing that they should say is Qurâ€™an verse (2:156): â€œInna lil-laahi wa innaa ilayhi raajiâ€™oon [Truly! To AllÃ¢h we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.]â€. This duâ€™aa is known in arabic as al-Istirjaa. Also, the hadeeth of Bulugunuromi babajunasat page 105) says not burying a dead person on time means increasing the suffering of the dead especially who has encountered one hardship or the other.
Itâ€™s the teaching of the prophetâ€” Alhaji Alabi Jamiu Orelope
(Islamic scholar and Pilgrims Co-ordinator, Abeokuta)
It is not permissible for Muslims to delay the burial in order for the maximum number of relatives to see the deceased, which is common practice among other communities.
Once death is evident, the body should be prepared and taken out of the house for prayer and burial as soon as possible. In this way, contact with the dead body is minimised, which keeps the grief and hurt of seeing the dead down to a minimum. Abu Hurayrah related that the Prophet (May Allahâ€™s peace and blessings be upon him) said â€œHasten the funeral ritesâ€ hadeeth Sahih Al-Bukhari vol.2,p.225.
Also, the Prophet made us to understand that the dead should be buried in the same area where they died. Transporting the body to another area or another country is not permissible if it will unnecessarily delay the burial or cause financial or other hardship.
The Qurâ€™an made us to understand that when a man dies, he is entitled to either paradise or suffering and some angels are already available after his death to give him which ever he is entitled to.
Delaying the burial of a corpse will delay his enjoyment in Paradise and in a case where he is entitled to suffering, the angels will begin to punish him right there in the house and this could affect the living around him negatively. Another reason we bury our corpse on time in Islam is to adhere to the teachings of Allah.