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Last Updated: 2010/07/20
Summary of question
We found the dead body of a lady in the desert, how can we find out if she was Muslim or not?
question
We found the dead body of a lady in the desert, how can we find out if she was Muslim or not?
Concise answer

Burying the body of a Muslim is upon all Muslims, but if some do it, the rest will be exempt. [1] If a body has signs of being Muslim, it should be buried as a Muslim, but if there are no signs of it being Muslim, and one doesn’t know whether it belonged to a Muslim or not, it will be pak, but not all rulings of being Muslim will apply to it. There is a difference of opinion amongst the ulema as to which rulings of being Muslim apply; some say: “It is permissible to ghusl it and pray over it and bury it in the Muslim graveyard.” [2] , while others believe that it shouldn’t be buried in the Muslim graveyard. [3] Yet others say that if the body was found in a Muslim state, all rulings of being Muslim apply. [4]

Related question:

Question 3642 (website: 3865) Burying a non-Muslim in a Muslim graveyard.


[1] Tawdihul-Masa’el (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 1, pg. 313.

[2] This is Ayatullah Tabrizi’s fatwa. See: Tawdihul-Masa’el (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 1, pg. 79.

[3] This fatwa belongs to Imam Khomeini. See: Tawdihul-Masa’el (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 1, pg. 78.

[4] This is Ayatullah Zanjani’s fatwa. See: Tawdihul-Masa’el (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 1, pg. 79.

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