548. The ghusl, ÎunÙÔ, shrouding, prayer and burial of a deceased believer is obligatory upon every Muslim. If some of the Muslims undertake these tasks, others will be relieved of it. However, if no one undertakes the responsibility, all of them will have sinned.
549. If a person engages himself in performing the rites for a dead person, it is not obligatory upon others to proceed towards the same. However, if the person does not complete the rites, others should do so.
550. If a person attains certainty that others are engaged in performing the rites of a dead person, or obtains a proof authorized by the sharia to that effect, it will not be obligatory upon him to proceed towards it. However if he is doubtful of it, or speculates that they may be engaged in it, it will be obligatory for him to proceed towards fulfilling the rites.
551. If a person knows that the ghusl, ÎunÙÔ, shrouding, prayers or burial of a deceased was performed incorrectly, he should perform it again. However if he speculates that it was invalid, or doubts whether it was performed incorrectly or not, it will not be necessary for him to perform it again.
552. The permission of the guardian of the deceased must be sought for performing the ghusl, ÎunÙÔ, shrouding, prayer and burial for the deceased.
553. The guardian of a woman is her husband. As for others, the men who inherit from the deceased have precedence over the women, and precedence is subject to their precedence in inheritance.
In the event that one who is closer in blood-relationship and one who has precedence in inheritance are both present—for example, if the paternal grandfather of the deceased and the son of the deceased’s grandson are both present—the obligatory precaution is that the one who has precedence in inheritance should take the permission of the one who is closer in blood-relationship.
554. If a person claims to be the guardian of a dead person, his claim should be accepted if one attains satisfaction in it, or if the corpse is in his possession. It should also be accepted if two just persons attest to his claim, or even if one trustworthy person attests to his claim, provided that there is no strong reason to assume otherwise.
The same will apply if a person claims that the guardian has permitted him to perform the ghusl, shrouding and burial of the dead person, or claims to be the appointed executor of the deceased in the matter of the his final rites.
555. If the dead person appoints a person other than his guardian to perform his ghusl, shrouding, prayer and burial, then the authority will lie with the appointed person in these matters. The recommended precaution is that he should also seek the permission from the guardian.
The person who is appointed by another to undertake the responsibility of his final rites, can refuse the responsibility while the testator is alive. If he accepts it though, he should act according to it. If however he does not refuse to undertake it while the testator is alive, or if his refusal is not conveyed to him, the obligatory precaution is that the appointee should act according to it.