Assalamualaikum Dato’ SS Mufti. I want to ask, what is the ruling of burying a deceased together with the Quran just as has been requested by the deceased in his will while he was alive? Hope for an explanation. Thank you.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Allah SWT has honoured the Quran al-Karim as the sacred book from Him. Allah SWT conserve and dignify the Quran like no other revelation before by protecting it from being altered or modified by the evil deed of humans, just like they did to previous revelations such as the Bible and the Torah. Allah SWT states:
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian.”
Surah al-HIjr (9)
The scholars agreed that it is obligatory to honor the mushaf of the Quran, respect, protect and preserve it from anything dirty and impure. The scholars state that a person must be in a pure state (not in minor or major hadath) before he touches or holds the mushaf of the Quran. It is prohibited for a woman who is on her menstruation to touch it. Allah SWT states:
لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ
“None touch it except the purified.”
Surah al-Waqi’ah (79)
Due to this, Imam Muslim narrated that the Prophet PBUH restricted the companions from bringing the pages of the Quran into enemy territories. The reason is, if the Quran falls into the hands of the enemy, the Prophet PBUH worry that hey may degrade the sanctity of the Quran. (Refer Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 1:79)
Allah SWT describes the Quran with ‘al-‘azim’ which means glory and ‘al-karim’ means noble. Hence, it is understood that Allah SWT glorify and honoured al-Quran which is the last book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. That is how Allah SWT glorify al-Quran al-Karim as the last sacred book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Coming back to the ruling of burying a deceased together with the Quran, it is prohibited and someone should not request to be buried together with the Quran in the first place due to the following reasons:
- The act contradicts the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH (mukhalafat al-sunnah) for the Prophet PBUH, his companions RA and the tabi’in do not do it. Furthermore, even the imam of the madhab including Imam al-Syafie also never request to be buried together with the Quran.
- It may result in a form of degradation towards the Quran, for it is placed in an inappropriate place exposed to the elements that could degrade its sanctity. As an example, the Quran is buried underneath the soil, where the soil is then stepped on by the person burying the deceased. This should never have happened for it is degrading to the Quran.
- The Quran can no longer be of benefit to people who are still alive. All the while, if the Quran is donated to the mosque, surau or school, then it could be used and be of a great benefit. Furthermore, the rewards of the donation are continuous for the deceased.
- The purity of al-Quran will be dirtied by najis, pest and disgusting substances from the decomposing body of the deceased under the earth.
Syeikh Hasanain Makhluf in his fatwa states: “Undoubtedly, a buried body will decompose which will produce najis and filthy liquid substances. If the mushaf of the Quran is placed together with the deceased in the grave, then, surely, the najis and filthy substances will dirty the Quran. Hence, the act of burying the mushaf of the Quran together with the deceased in the grave is prohibited in Islam.” (Refer Fatawa Syar’iyyah wa Buhuth Islamiah, 1:45)
According to the above discussion, we conclude that the ruling of burying the Quran together with the deceased is prohibited for it will result in degradation and disrespect towards its sanctity.
Furthermore, it is also prohibited to request to be buried together with the Quran in a will according to Islamic law. If the deceased has already did so, the heirs of the deceased should not fulfil it.
Consequently, we suggest that the Quran to be donated to appropriate places where it will be of benefit to others, such as surau, mosque, tahfiz schools and others. Thus, the rewards of the people reciting the Quran will also be rewarded to the deceased and it continues for as long as it is of benefit to others.
On another hand, we should understand that placing the mushaf of the Quran will not help us or save us from the punishment of the grave. The only thing that could help us in the grave is our own recitation of the Quran and good deeds that we perform while we are alive. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
إِذَا مَاتَ الْإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ: إِلَّا مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ، أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ، أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ
“When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: Ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.”
Sahih Muslim (1631)
May Allah SWT give us the correct understanding for us in this religion and bless us with guidance to continue with our worships and be sincere towards Him. Amin.