No supplication to stop decomposition of the dead
Fatwa No: 248149

  • Fatwa Date:24-4-2014 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 24, 1435
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Question

Du’a to preclude worms or worm-related creatures to devour the cadaver of a deceased Muslim Question: Asalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu. When a deceased person is buried under the ground, his cadaver shall eventually decompose to form part of the soil of the ground. While the cadaver is in the lying state deep down the ground, it is exposed to worms or related creatures that would naturally devour the body of the deceased person in the course of time. This maybe one form of decomposition. Is there any invocation (du’a) from the Noble Qur’an or the Hadith that would preclude worms or worm-related creatures to eat up the body of a deceased Muslim while undergoing decomposition? Of what immediate benefits to the deceased Muslim, if his cadaver shall undergo the natural decomposition, i.e., not be eaten up by worms or worm-related creatures? Or would it benefits the deceased person if his cadaver is eaten up by worms or worm-related creatures? Or is there a situation in Islam that we missed to see in the decomposition process? How would his good deeds (amal) come into the picture in this regard. Please enlighten us based on the Noble Qur’an and/or hadith. Thank you and may Allah (swt) reward you well.

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.

We do not know of a supplication in the Noble Quran or the Sunnah that prevents the decomposition of one’s cadaver. As far as we know, there is no authentic evidence in Islam indicating that the cadaver of any person is excluded from decomposition after burial, apart from the Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Allaah, The Exalted, has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of Prophets.” [Abu Daawood]

However, a supernatural event may occur to honor someone other than the Prophets when Allaah preserves their cadavers from decomposing in the earth. This is evidenced by real incidents. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 84233.

On the other hand, we could not find any textual indication of a benefit that the deceased Muslim gains out of the decomposition of his cadaver. Also, we do not know of any texts that mention the impact of the righteous deeds on (preventing) the decomposition of the Muslim's cadaver.

We would like to advise the dear questioner to submissively accept the religious texts and not to preoccupy himself with asking about details that the texts did not clarify, and are of no benefit to investigate. Some scholars have underlined that raising excessive questions about matters that are not open for questions was a reason for people's aberrance and deviation. Ibn Battah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote in Al-Ibaanah, “Know, my dear brothers, that I have pondered over the reasons that led groups of people astray, and drove them away from the path of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa‘ah to (tread) the path of religious innovations, and exposed their hearts to many calamities, and prevented the light of truth from illuminating their insights. I found two reasons for that: first, investigating matters of no significance, and raising so many questions about insignificant matters that do neither benefit nor incur any harm upon the believer; second, keeping the company of those from whose evil one cannot be totally safe and whose company corrupts the heart.” He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him cited Ahaadeeth that discourage raising so many questions (about insignificant matters). For example, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “… those who were before you were destroyed because of their excessive questioning and their opposition to their prophets...” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allaah Knows best.

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