Is it permitted to bury someone at sea?

I think it might be since voyages can be very long and if someone dies then it might not be possible to wait until the the ship reaches land.

If it is permitted, what are the Islamic teachings and rules regarding it?

Is the usual cloth Kafn used or a coffin is needed? Do they simply throw the body into the sea or is it weighed down by something? Are their any instances of the companions of the Prophet getting buried at sea? Is there any special dua or Janaza etc.

1 Answer 1


From the Encyclopedia of Islamic Fiqh, chapter: Burying the dead in the sea

فأما في البحر فإن الميت يغسل، ويكفن، ويصلى عليه، ثم يلقى في الماء، وذلك إذا خيف عليه من التعفن.

وإن كان الجو بارداً، أو السفينة قريبة من الساحل، أو وجد مكان لحفظه في ثلاجة ونحوها، فالأولى أن يبقى ثم يدفن بعد الوصول في المقبرة.

My translation:

In the sea, the deceased should be washed, covered in a cloth (kafan), prayed upon, and thrown in the water if it's feared that the body would decay.

But if the weather is cold or if the ship is close to the shore, or if there is a place to save the body in a fridge or similar then it's better to keep it until it's buried properly.

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