The Wudhoo’ and Ghusl (washing) of the deceased is only to clean and honor him
Fatwa No: 155103

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

Does the Wudhoo’ of the deceased become invalidated, whether a man or a woman, when someone touches the corpse?

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.

The deceased is exempted from all legal assignments, so it is not said that his ablution is invalidated or that it is not invalidated. Washing his body is only done to clean him, not to lift a ritual impurity so that someone would ask, “Is his ritual purity invalidated by touching him?”

An-Nawawi said: “Washing him after his death is only obligated for the sake of cleaning and honoring him.

For that reason, the scholars of Fiqh stipulated that the one who washes him should merely intend the act of washing and not the removal of ritual impurity, unless he knew that he was Junub (in a state of Janaabah).

The Hanbali scholar Ar-Ruhaybaani said: “Then the one who washes him only intends to wash him, i.e. without the intention of removing ritual impurity or removing the impurity brought about by death, because he is only washing him as an act of worship (in obedience to Allaah). But if the one washing knew that he was in a state of Janaabah (sexual impurity) or otherwise, he should intend to lift that state as well.

Allaah Knows best.

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