Funeral: Speedy funeral and burial

Q232 :Is it necessary to speed up the preparation for burial, or can the body be kept at home for some time to allow people who are coming from distant places to attend the funeral?

A232 : It is a well known tradition throughout the Muslim world that when a person dies, arrangements for his funeral and burial start without delay. If the death occurs in the morning, the deceased is often taken to the mosque for prayer at the time of Dhuhr or Asr. If he dies in the evening, he is sure to be buried before midday the following day. And this is considered a gesture of doing what is right for the deceased person. There is a Hadith to support this attitude. Al-Bukhari relates on the authority of Abu Hurairah who quotes the Prophet as saying: "Speed up the funeral; if it is one of a good person, you are only taking that person to a good prospect. If otherwise, then he is no more than an evil you are putting off your shoulders." Some scholars understand this Hadith as an instructions to walk fast when taking the body to be buried, while others take it to mean speeding up the preparations for prayer and burial. This latter view is supported by other Hadiths. The first one is related by At-Tabarani on the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar who says: "I heard Allah's messenger (peace be upon him) say: When anyone of you dies, do not keep his body. Be speedy when taking him to his grave." Another Hadith related by Abu-Dawood quotes the Prophet as saying: "It is not right that the corpse of a Muslim is kept at home with his family."

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )