17 April, 2021 | 5 Ramadan, 1442 H

"A man who sits with his family is more beloved to Allah (swt) than spending the night in worship (itikaf) in my masjid"

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)


Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History


Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Death & Burial Rituals in Islam


The process and significance of death rituals in Islam. In Islam, death rituals are a step by step process. 



Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 


Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! Just like drinking water, death and burial rituals are universal in all cultures. Islam’s death and burial rituals are some of the most complex in the world.  


In this lesson, we’re going to take a look at some of them.  


Before we begin though, please note we will be giving you a general outline of death and burial rituals in Islam. Given the scope and time limit of this lesson, it is not possible to cover every aspect or every detail. For more information, please contact your Marja’s office.  




According to Islamic belief, when a person dies, he or she immediately begins life in the afterlife. In Islam, the afterlife begins in the grave itself. Everything turns dark, but then the angels Munkir and Nakir show up and question the person about their life and deeds. According to the Prophet Muhammad (s), this process is an excruciating one.  


When the questioning is done, for most people, everything turns blank until the person is woken up again when the Day of Resurrection begins. Only two types of people do not see their existence go blank during this period, the really evil people and the really good people.  


The really evil people begin their punishment in the world of barzakh or purgatory. The really good people who led morally good lives and were faithful to God live in bliss. In the next work, they live in a heavenly purgatory before the real heaven. 


While these are happening, we who are alive have responsibilities for the dead. Immediately after a person dies, these rituals must begin without delay. Here we will outline some of the key funeral rituals and practices of Islam. 


Death and funeral rituals are obligatory on the community. Only when the obligation is fulfilled by some people is the rest of the community relieved of the obligation.  


Ghusl al-Mayyit (Washing of the Dead Body) 


The first step in Muslim funerals is to wash the dead body. This ritual washing is called ghusl al-mayyit or the washing of a dead body.  The body is to be washed of all ritually impure entities, such as urine, stool and blood. When washing the body, a person must make the intention (niyyah) of washing the body. While the body is being washed, the private parts should be covered with a cloth.  


The body should be washed by a person of the same gender. If such a person cannot be found, then a family member who is mahram should do the washing. Again, the body should be covered with a cloth while this happens. 


One is not allowed to be paid for the ritual washing. If one is paid, the ghusl is void. 


For more specific details on what to say and what water to use, please see our further reading list.  


Once the washing is done, the body should be dried.  


Tahnit (Applying Camphor to the Body) 


When the washing is complete and the body is dried, the other step is to apply camphor to the seven parts of the body which touch the ground when a person prostrates in prayer. These are the forehead, the palms of hands, the knees, and the toes. They can also be applied to the nose and chest. The process of applying camphor to the dead body is called tahnit (pronounced tahnīt). 


Like the ghusl, the process of tahnit also requires a niyyah. 


Kafan (Shrouding) 


The third step is to shroud and wrap the body with three pieces of clothing. These pieces of clothing are: 


  1. Loin cloth (which is like an apron): covers the front and back part of the body from the navel to the ankles. 
  2. Long shirt: this is a big shirt that covers the shoulders up until the knees. It’s preferable that it goes up to the ankles.  
  3. Large cloth: this is a large cloth that covers the entire body and should overlap at the front. The bottom parts can be tied with a string. 


There are some other recommended clothes that one can add in addition to these three, please see what your Marja says on the subject. 


It is recommended that the cloths be white and the body facing the Qibla while shrouding. It is also recommended that one recites verses of the Qur’an while shrouding the body. 


Salat al-Mayyit (Prayer for the Dead) 


The prayer for the dead (salat al-mayyit) is the fourth obligatory step of the funeral process. The prayer is usually done in congregation. What is different about this ritual prayer is that there are no rukus (bowing) or sujud (prostration). 


On how to perform the salat al-mayyit, please refer to the “further reading list” of this lesson. 


 Dafan (Burial) 


The final physical process of the body is to be buried. The body must be buried in a Muslim graveyard or a graveyard where a part of it has been reserved for Muslims only. If this is not possible, then the body is to be shipped to a Muslim country and be buried there. If this is not possible for some reasons, then the body can be buried in the graveyard of the Ahl al-Kitab, that is, Jews, Christians or Zoroastrians. 


During the burial, among other steps, the body must be placed on its right side facing the Qibla. This part is obligatory. Some of the kafan should also be untightened and have some earth put under the cheek of the dead. A pillow made of earth is to be made so that the head may rest on it.  


Ghusl For Having Touched a Dead Body and Salat al-Wahsha 


Touching a dead body where the body has gone cold makes one ritually impure. As a result, one must make ghusl if one is to pray afterwards.  


In order to help the souls of those who have died, especially on the first night which is the hardest for the soul, one should do a two rakat prayer for the departed soul on the first night of the funeral between Maghrib and Isha prayers. In Islam, this is called salat al-wahsha.  


Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh 

Salat al-Mayyit

prayer for the dead 

Ghusl al-Mayyit

ritual washing of the dead 



burial shroud 

Salat al-wahsha

a two rakat prayer for the departed soul on the first night of the funeral between Maghrib and Isha prayers. 




applying camphor on the seven areas of the body that touches the ground during prayers 


Munkir and Nakir

the two angels that interrogate you in the grave 



What is salat al-mayyit?

Prayer for the dead in Islamic funeral laws 


What is ghusl al-mayyit?

Ritual washing of the dead in Islamic funeral laws 


Do Muslims need to be put in a coffin during burial?

No, only a shroud is needed 


Are people’s souls conscious in the grave after they die?



What happens in the grave once you die?

You are interrogated by the angels Munkir and Nakir concerning the kind of life you lived while you were alive on earth. 


death in islam
death rituals in islam
salat al-mayyit
salat al-wahsha
prayer for the dead
ghusl al-mayyit
washing of the dead body
munkir and nakir
Muslim funeral

Eternal life by Murtada Mutahhari 

Burial Rituals by Muhammad husein Kermali