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Bismillah.

Dear brothers of faith, may peace be upon you all.

I am recent convert to Islam and got some worries about cremation rituals for my non Muslim family. My old religion encourages burning cremation ceremony and as I am elder one I would need to step up to light the fire. What is the ruling on this.

Is it forbidden or discouraged to step up for lighting fire.

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It is required for you to bury the bodies of those who have departed from this world. God has provided us in the Holy Quran on what to do with the corpse, with the example of a crow scratching in the ground, as seen in the following verse within the Holy Quran,

Thereupon Allah sent forth a raven who began to scratch the earth to show him how he might cover the corpse of his brother. So seeing he cried: 'Woe unto me! Was I unable even to be like this raven and find a way to cover the corpse of my brother? Then he became full of remorse at his doing.

-Quran 5:31

It is also noted within the traditions of the Prophet that one must not harm or deform the corpse, especially the breaking of the bones, which would most likely happen upon a cremation procedure.

The Prophet Muhammad said:

Breaking a dead man's bone is like breaking it when he is alive.

-Sunan Abi Dawud 3207

Therefore, it is clear that in accordance with the laws of God that the burial of the corpse is the most appropriate way to proceed with.

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  • Hi Jaban, what was as the event or context behind the hadith Sunan Abi Dawud 3207? any idea? Apr 12 at 7:10
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It is not allowed for you to assist in cremation. That is a tradition of Hinduism and not allowed in Islam. If the funeral were up to you, you would simply bury him.

A fatwa on this topic:

Q. Can a Muslim male (only boy to his parents) perform funeral rites for his Hindu father? There may be no one else to do it.

A. In performing such rites, one will have to perform certain rituals which are connected to the beliefs and ideologies of another religion, which are opposed to the teachings of Islam. Hence, it will not be permissible for the Muslim son to perform the funeral rites of his hindu father which is done according to the practices of Hinduism. If it is a matter of burial, then the Muslim son can do this, however, when it is connected to cremating the body, shaving the head and other similar rituals, these are totally unlawful in Islam, and one is prohibited from doing these.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan (https://islamqa.org/hanafi/darululoomtt/52291)

Similarly, you will find plenty of fatawa explaining that you need to bury anyone who dies even if non-Muslim. You cannot assist them in rituals and traditions of another religion like cremation or anything related to that.

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  • The Z, I understand Islam encourages burnial. But we usually classifly things into Farz, sunnat, makroor and wajib which one is this. if I step up for lighting fire as a elder son are there any consequences. I can say no to all other rituals but the final rights of burning cannot be debated for Hindu. Apr 9 at 9:29
  • @AyaanSaini As the fatwa says, it would be haram for you to light the fire. Let those who are Hindus do that if they wish.
    – The Z
    Apr 9 at 12:36
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It is clear that Islam prescribes burial, not cremation.

You may to opt for burial, if this is not encouraged but permitted in the religion of your relatives (you did not say what other religion you mean).

If this is excluded, you might also assist cremation. The following Hadit implies that Allah may forgive you in this case.

al-Bukhari 3478

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Amongst the people preceding your age, there was a man whom Allah had given a lot of money. While he was in his death-bed, he called his sons and said, 'What type of father have I been to you? They replied, 'You have been a good father.' He said, 'I have never done a single good deed; so when I die, burn me, crush my body, and scatter the resulting ashes on a windy day.' His sons did accordingly, but Allah gathered his particles and asked (him), 'What made you do so?' He replied, "Fear of you.' So Allah bestowed His Mercy upon him. (forgave him).

P.S. Muslim are allowed to assist a non-Muslim funeral and it's unusual to bury a non-Muslim according to the prescriptions of Islam.

P.P.S. I have added the last sentence according to my education and our practise, where we are mostly attending or assisting the funeral of Christians which are to a larger part compatible with Islam. This fatwa treats the subject, in conclusion confirming that we may attend and support the funeral but not fulfill rites that contradict Islam. It also confirms that we are not supposed to give a Muslim funeral to a non-Muslim.

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  • Jeschu, Old religion is Hindu Apr 8 at 16:50
  • This hadith provides no proof that a person can help do a non-Muslim method of burial. 1) We are not told they are Muslims. 2) Even if they were Muslims, we are not told they were following the laws (in fact, gives the opposite indication). 3) Even if they were following their law, gives no indication that this law still applies to us.
    – The Z
    Apr 8 at 17:12
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    Please refrain from giving fatawa without support.
    – The Z
    Apr 8 at 17:17

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