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Lahad

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Laḥad (Arabic: لَحَد) is a rectangle hole dug at the bottom of the grave to the side facing the qibla where Muslims burry the body of a dead one of theirs. The philosophy of closing lahad is known to be that the soil does not reach the corpse.

Muslim jurists have considered closing of lahad recommended and Shia jurists have advised it to be hardened with mud and to recite a special du'a while placing lahad stones.

Meaning

Two structures of lahad and shaqq in the grave

Lahad is a rectangle hole dug at the side of the bottom of the grave. To create lahad, the side of the bottom of the grave which faces the qibla is dug in rectangle form to a size which fits the body of the dead one.

Adobes, stones or the like with which lahad is covered are called lahad stones.[1]

Ruling

According to Shia jurists, digging lahad for burying the dead body is recommended. If the ground is soft, it is better to dig a shaqq (a rectangle shaped hole at the bottom of the grave where the dead body is placed and its top is covered) instead of lahad.[2]

Based on Shia jurisprudence, it is recommended to cover lahad with adobe. Its philosophy is that the soil does not reach the corpse. It is also permissible to use stone, straws, wood or anything that prevents soil to reach the corpse. However, Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi, the author of Jawahir al-kalam, considered covering lahad with adobe to be better. Based on a hadith in Tahdhib, also Imam Ali (a) made a will to Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) to cover his lahad with adobe. According to another hadith, Imam Ali (a) covered lahad of the Prophet (s) with adobe. However, according to Sayyid Muhammad Sa'id al-Hakim (d. September 3, 2021)), among Shiite marja's, hardening the cover of the grave is recommended even by using materials other than adobe.

Some Sunni jurists have considered using wood and clay to be disliked for covering lahad.

Manners

Shiite jurists, based on hadiths, have said that it is better to harden lahad stone with mud and to recite the du'a below upon placing the stone:

“O God … take care of his loneliness, and appease his fear, … and soothe him with your mercy, a mercy that will make him needless of the mercy of anyone other than you…”

It is narrated from al-Qutb al-Rawandi, a hadith scholar and Shiite jurist of 6th/12th century, that Shiites begin placing lahad stones from the head of the dead body. Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi, the author of Jawahir al-kalam, believes that the reason for that is due to the higher importance of the head over other limbs of the body.

See Also

Notes

  1. Khomeinī, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 1, p. 94.
  2. Ṭabāṭabāʾī Yazdī, al-ʿUrwat al-wuthqā, vol. 5, p. 245; Shahīd al-Thānī, Ḥāshiya mukhtaṣar al-nāfiʿ, p. 21.

References

  • Khomeinī, Sayyid Rūḥ Allāh. Taḥrīr al-wasīla. Tehran: Muʾassisah-yi Tanẓīm wa Nashr-i Āthār-i Imām Khomeinī, 1392 Sh.
  • Shahīd al-Thānī, Zayn al-Dīn b. ʿAlī. Ḥāshiya mukhtaṣar al-nāfiʿ. Edited by Markaz al-Abḥāth wa al-Dirāsāt al-Islāmiyya. Qom: Markaz al-Nashr al-Tābiʿ li-Maktab al-Aʿlām al-Islāmī, 1380 Sh.
  • Ṭabāṭabāʾī Yazdī, Muḥammad Kāẓim al-. Al-ʿUrwat al-wuthqā wa al-taʿliqāt ʿalyhā. Qom: Muʾassisa al-Sibṭayn al-Ālamīyya, 1388 Sh.