Fatwa ID: 01738
Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
What should nurses do when Muslims pass away
If the death occurs in the Hospital and the cause of death is known, then the doctor will issue a medical certificate so that the disposal certificate can be obtained from the register of deaths. Normally the body will be transferred from the ward to the hospital mortuary. If arrangements are made swiftly then the body may be collected by the undertaker from the ward and taken to the Masjid Mortuary. (What to do when a Muslim dies P.8)
After a Muslim passes away nurses should straighten the limbs carefully and gently. 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 bind the ankles with a ribbon of cloth to prevent the legs spreading apart. Place the hands at the side and cover the body with a sheet. If they will not straighten (i.e due to stroke) do not force them, as this could cause breakage. In this situation leave the limbs as they are.
Until the time of bathing, the body must remain covered by a clean piece of sheet. It is desirable to put something of a sweet fragrance nearby. e.g. perfume, incense… (Fatawa Hindiyyah P.157 V.1)
However, care should be taken that male see to the male deceaseds and female-to-female deceased.
Nurses should also make sure that the deceased’s close relatives are called.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.