Death: Washing the dead

Q144 :What is the reason for washing a dead person before burying him, when we know that the process of decomposition starts with death?


A144 : When a person dies and he is prepared for burial, all his body is washed, in the same way as a living person washes his body to remove the state of ceremonial impurity. Death marks the end of the stage of our life on earth, and the beginning of another state which leads to life in the hereafter. The departure from this life is thus marked by an act of symbolic purification. The decomposition that takes place is a process which will eventually be reversed as we are resurrected. Therefore, the symbolic gesture of purification is useful because it marks an end to a stage of life where purification is necessary before any act of worship. It signifies that one is approaching the next stage without any lingering impurity.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )