Hastening to prepare the deceased

Q 3: What is the ruling on burying the dead in their clothes; their regular clothing of a jacket, pants, shirt, and tie?

A: It is obligatory to shroud the dead in a fully covering cloth. The Sunnah (an act following the example of the Prophet) is to shroud men by wrapping them in three white pieces of cloth. If a man was shrouded in his regular clothes, such as a jacket, pants, and shirt, or in sewn clothes with sleeves, such as the clothing of this world, it will suffice the purpose, but it will not be in conformity with the Sunnah that used to be followed in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sahabah (Companions). It is authentically reported from ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was shrouded in three pieces of white Yemeni cotton cloth, not including a Qamis (long shirt) or a turban.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Wear white clothes, for they are the purest and the best (of clothes), and shroud your dead in them.” (Related by Ahmad and the Compilers of Sunan [Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa’y, and Ibn Majah]) (Part No. 8; Page No. 431) As for women, it is Sunnah to shroud them in five pieces of cloth: an Izar (garment worn below the waist), a long shirt like garment, a Khimar (head cover to the waist), and two wrappers, according to what was narrated by Layla bint Qanif Al-Thaqafiyyah, who said, “I was among those who washed Um Kulthum, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when she died. The first thing that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave us was the Hiqa’ (lower garment), then the Dar‘ (chemise), then the Khimar (head cover), then the Milhafah (wrapper), then she was wrapped in a last cloth.” She said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was sitting by the door with her shrouds, handing them to us piece by piece.”