When a person dies in
his body is put in a coffin. What is the Islamic ruling on that?
It is an act of the Sunnah (commendable act) that a dead person is not buried in a coffin or something of the sort. Neither the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor his Sahabah (Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all) are reported to have buried anyone in a coffin. Following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sahabah is a means towards attaining all that is good. Moreover, burying the body of a Muslim in a coffin is an imitation of the burial ceremonies held by Kafirs (disbelievers). However, it is not wrong to bury him in a coffin if this is the only possible way. This is based on the Qur'anic Ayah (verse) in which Allah (Exalted be He) says:
...and He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship
In another place Allah (Exalted be He) says: (Part No. 8; Page No. 432)
Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.