What to do at the Time of Maut (Death)

Majlisul Ulama

When Maut (Death) arrives, the muhtadhar (the person who is about the die) should be laid on his back with feet outstretched in the direction of the Qiblah. His head should be slightly raised so that he faces the Qiblah. It is said that this position facilitates the emergence of the Rooh (Soul). 

It is also permissible to lay the muhtadhar on his right side in the direction of the Qiblah. Although both ways are permissible, the first method is the most popular and has been the standard practice from the earliest time among the pious predecessors (Salf-e-Saliheen). Nevertheless, whichever way appears best for the muhtadhar may be adopted. 

Those present should start reciting loudly the Kalimah so that it reaches the ears of the muhtadhar inducing him to recite the Kalimah. The muhtadhar should not be instructed to recite the Kalimah. Those present should continue with the recitation until the muhtadhar recites it himself. 

When the muhtadhar has recited the Kalimah once, all present should maintain silence. An attempt should not be made to induce the muhtadhar to be constant in the recitation of the Kalimah. There is no need for the recitation to be right until the last moment of death. The object is that the last statement uttered on earth should be the Kalimah

However, if the muhtadhar after having recited the Kalimah, indulges in worldly conversation, then those present should renew the recitation of the Kalimah so that the muhtadhar too renews his recitation. After he renews the Kalimah, maintain silence. 

When the very final moments of death set in and the muhtadhar breathes in rapid gasps, then all present should recite the Kalimah loudly again. 

Recitation of Surah Yaseen is beneficial for the dying person. It lessens the pangs of death. 

There should be no worldly conversation in the presence of the muhtadhar. Such talk which attracts him to the world is disastrous on this occasion. At the time of departing from earth, the endeavour should be to induce greater awareness of Allah Ta’ala in the muhtadhar. Death with the heart attached to worldly objects of love, is indeed an evil demise.

Persons in the state of janaabat (requiring an obligatory ghusal) should not be present by the muhtadhar

After the muhtadhar has died, arrange the body parts properly. Tie a piece of cloth from under the chin to above the head to ensure that the mouth does not remain open. Close both eyes. Place the feet together and tie the two big toes with a ribbon of cloth to prevent the legs spreading apart. Place the hands at the side and cover the body with a sheet.  When arranging the body as described above, recite:  


“In the name of Allah and on the Millat (Deen) of Rasulullah”

Place something of sweet fragrance nearby, e.g. perfume, incense. Alcoholic western perfumes and air-fresheners should not be used. 

Anyone in the state of janaabat (i.e. requiring ghusl) should not remain by the mayyit (deceased). 

The Qur’aan Shareef should not be recited by the mayyit prior to the body having been given ghusl
Now proceed with the ghusl and kafan of the mayyit without delay.


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