Two persons in one grave

Question

As-salamu alaykum, There is a question we have around the re-use of graves with immediate effect and we wanted confirmation from the MJC Fatwa department. If we bury the deceased at an initial depth of 2,2 meter deep, are we able to use that same grave immediately (even the next day), if the next deceased person will be buried with 400 mm of sand in between the 1st deceased and the later deceased person? (Of course the process will entail us getting an affidavit from the family representative of the 1st deceased and the 2 deceased to be buried in the same hole will be related). If our question is asked differently: What are the requirements for us to bury 2 people in the same hole immediately? Currently the waiting period is 15 years to re-open a hole and bury therein.

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Regarding your question on the permissibility of burying two persons in one grave, with one above the other and a barrier of sand between them, please consider the following:

  1. Burying two persons in one grave is only permissible in cases of necessity (ḍarūrah). In the absence of dire need, it is considered prohibited (ḥarām). [Nawawī, Majmū’]
  2. It is important to clarify that when we refer to ‘one grave’, we are specifically talking about the laḥd or shaqq, which are niches within the grave. The laḥd refers to the side niche where the deceased is placed before being covered with wooden planks or the like. The shaqq refers to the niche in the floor of the grave.
  3. The jurists have stated clearly that if a grave has two laḥds or shaqqs, it would be permissible to bury two persons in that grave. [Ḥashiyah al-Bājūrī] Similarly, if a grave already has one occupied laḥd, it is permissible to reopen the grave and bury another deceased in a separate laḥd. However, they emphasize the condition that there must be a barrier between each laḥd or shaqq when burying two persons simultaneously. In the case of reopening a grave with one occupied laḥd, such a barrier must be maintained between the deceased and the laḥd being accessed, which prevents any odor from escaping. Failure to adhere to these conditions would render the process prohibited (ḥarām). [Ḥāshiyah al-Jamal]
  4. Based on the details you provided, where there is a 400mm layer of sand between the first and second laḥd, we do not see any reason why burying in this manner would be impermissible.
  5. Finally, we advise exercising caution when reopening a grave to ensure that the sanctity of our deceased is always honored.

والله تعالى أعلم

And Allāh knows best

 

النصوص المستندة إليها

فتوحات الوهاب (معروف بــــ “حاشية الجمل ” لـــــ سليمان الجمل) وفي صـــــ 202 جــــ 2:

(ﻗﻮﻟﻪ اﺑﺘﺪاء) ﺃﻱ ﺇﻣﺎ ﺩﻭاﻣﺎ ﺑﺄﻥ ﻳﻨﺒﺶ اﻟﻘﺒﺮ ﺑﻌﺪ ﺩﻓﻦ اﻟﻤﻴﺖ ﻟﻴﺪﻓﻦ ﻓﻴﻪ ﺁﺧﺮ ﺃﻱ ﻓﻲ ﻟﺤﺪﻩ ﻓﻤﻤﺘﻨﻊ ﻣﺎ ﻟﻢ ﻳﺒﻞ اﻷﻭﻝ ﻭﻳﺼﺮ ﺗﺮاﺑﺎ، ﻭﻋﻠﻢ ﻣﻦ ﻗﻮﻟﻬﻢ ﻧﺒﺶ اﻟﻘﺒﺮ ﻟﺪﻓﻦ ﺛﺎﻥ ﻭﺗﻌﻠﻴﻠﻬﻢ ﺫﻟﻚ ﺑﻬﺘﻚ ﺣﺮﻣﺘﻪ ﻋﺪﻡ ﺣﺮﻣﺔ ﻧﺒﺶ ﻗﺒﺮ ﻟﻪ ﻟﺤﺪاﻥ ﻣﺜﻼ ﻟﺪﻓﻦ ﺷﺨﺺ ﻓﻲ اﻟﻠﺤﺪ اﻟﺜﺎﻧﻲ ﺇﺫا ﻟﻢ ﺗﻈﻬﺮ ﻟﻪ ﺭاﺋﺤﺔ ﺇﺫ ﻻ ﻫﺘﻚ ﻟﻷﻭﻝ ﻓﻴﻪ، ﻭﻫﻮ ﻇﺎﻫﺮ ﻭﺇﻥ ﻟﻢ ﻳﺘﻌﺮﺿﻮا ﻟﻪ ﻓﻴﻤﺎ ﺃﻋﻠﻢ

المرجع السابق صـــــ 203-202

(ﻗﻮﻟﻪ ﺑﻤﺤﻞ ﻭاﺣﺪ) ﻛﺄﻧﻪ اﺣﺘﺮﺯ ﺑﻪ ﻋﻤﺎ ﻟﻮ ﻛﺎﻥ ﺑﺎﻟﻘﺒﺮ ﻣﺤﻼﻥ ﻛﻠﺤﺪﻳﻦ ﺃﻭ ﺷﻘﻴﻦ ﻭﺑﻴﻨﻬﻤﺎ ﺣﺎﺟﺰ ﻛﻤﺎ ﻳﻌﻠﻢ ﺫﻟﻚ ﻣﻦ ﻋﺒﺎﺭﺓ ﺷﺮﺡ ﻣ ﺭ اﻩـ.

حاشية البيجوري صــــ 308 جـــــ 2

قوله: (ولا يدفن اثنان…) إلخ، أي: يحرم ذلك ابتداءً عند السرخسي، وهو المعتمد..

المرجع السابق صــــ 9

قوله: (في قبر واحد) أي: في شق واحد أو في لحد كذلك، بل يفرد كل ميت بشق أو لحد ولو في قبر واحد، فالمراد بالقبر هنا: اللحد أو الشق، لا القبر المعروف.

قوله (إلا لحاجة..) أي: ضرورة، كما في كلام الشيخين، فالمراد بالحاجة هنا: الضرورة.

MJC (SA)

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