In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

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Who Pays for the Funeral Expenses

Who Pays for the Funeral Expenses

 

All Muslims strive to live their lives as ordained by the Almighty and embodied in the religious law called the Sharīʿa.  Sharīʿa dictates that after a Muslim man dies there are 4 duties which need to be performed regarding the estate which he has left behind. The first two of these duties are payment of burial/ funeral expenses and debts from the estate of the deceased. Details relating to Islāmic inheritance law can be found here

Some scholars consider it obligatory for the husband to pay for the shrouding of his wife just as he was obliged to spend on her when she was alive. The funeral should be neither extravagant nor deficient. According to the Ḥanafī fiqh (view of imām Abū Yūsuf ( )), the husband should pay for the funeral expenses of his wife. This is also the view of the Mālikī fiqh. According to the Shāfiʿī fiqh, the husband should pay for his wife’s funeral expenses if he is rich. If the wife was rich, the funeral expenses will be paid out of her estate.

With rising funeral costs in the UK have risen a staggering 112% since the first report by Sun Life in 2004 the question is, “Who pays for the funeral cost?”.

 

A Muslim man is obliged, by Sharīʿa, to pay for his funeral expenses from his estate (tarika),  these costs would also include the cost of any digital autopsy, if performed.

So what constitutes the estate of the deceased?

In brief, the estate (tarika) of the deceased includes:

  1. All property, whether moveable or immoveable, self-acquired or ancestral,
  2. All debts,

 

So the funeral expenses must be paid out of the deceased Muslim man’s estate.

 


 

It is also worth pointing out that wealth acquired by harām means such as by selling alcohol, gambling, ribā, theft, cheating, deception, extortion, breach of trust etc. does not form part of the deceased’s estate.

The majority of the jurists of the 4 schools of jurisprudence are of the view that death does not make what is harām wealth halāl; it must be returned to its rightful owners. If the owner cannot be identified, the ill-acquired wealth should be given away in charity on behalf of the real owner(s). This was also the view of Ibn Taymiyyah ( ).

 

 

Dr. A. Hussain

22nd Dec. 2017