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Are we allowed to bury more than just one body in a grave?

 
Question

My question is about the refugees of Greece:

A lot of people are found dead in the sea as a result of the boats sinking. Sometimes it takes a long time to get buried which causes the body to get bloated, are we still allowed to do ghusl in such a case? We are asking this question as once the ghusl was done on a body like this and it burst open, inna lillahi wa inna ilahi radji’un.

Another question regarding this is, are we allowed to bury more than just one body in a grave. In Greece the ground needs to be bought and if we wait for the money, the bodies might stay out for too long.  Alhamdullilah all the people helping are doing this voluntarily, and do not always have the money to buy the graves for everyone.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

  1.  If a person passed away on sea, he should be washed (ghusal), shrouded (kafan) and placed in the water. However, if the body is brought on land and has started to bloat, water should be poured over the body with due diligence ensuring that the body does not burst open  after which the body will be shrouded. If there is fear that the body will burst open by performing the sunnah shrouding, one may suffice on one piece of cloth .
  2.  If there are no other graves, and there is fear that the bodies will start to decompose if not placed in the grave, only then on will be excused for placing multiple bodies in one grave .

It should be noted that a barrier of soil should be place between the bodies to separate them from each other. See below the sequence of placing multiple bodies in a grave.

 

 

 

We advise that a fund is created to support those that don’t have adequate means to  purchase graves when necessary.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hafizurrahman Fatehmahomed

Student Darul Iftaa
Netherlands

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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