Could the body of one who died due to drowning be exempted from washing?
Fatwa No: 135774

  • Fatwa Date:20-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 19, 1435
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Question

A man died due to drowning and remained in the water for three or four days. Should his body be washed once again before shrouding and performing the funeral prayer over him or is his stay in the water considered a washing for him?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

Washing a dead body is obligatory and does not lapse due to death by drowning. For this reason, the deceased should be washed before shrouding and performing the funeral prayer over him. If his body has been distorted because of his long stay in the water, then it is sufficient to pour water over his body without passing the hand over it as is the case with him whose body is covered with sores, and then it should be shrouded.

According to Maalik in Al-Mudawwanah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him if it is feared that a dead body may tear, it is enough to pour water over it without rubbing.

Allaah Knows best.

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