Muslim scholars have 2 different views on burying a Muslim in a coffin in societies where Muslims are minorities. The first discourages it and the second permits it in certain conditions as in case of soft land.  

Burying a Muslim in a Coffin

Similar Questions 

· Burial according to the Christian way.

The Issue

Muslim minorities live in societies with a non-Muslim majority, and these communities have their own rituals about burying their dead, for example putting the body in a coffin. Perhaps this is due to the nature of the land in these areas, but is it permissible that a Muslim should be buried in a coffin, as non-Muslims are?


This is a question on which scholars have different views, with some discouraging it and others permitting it. What is new is that the need continues to be on the increase in countries with minority Muslim communities. 

The first view discourages it. 

1. Ibn Qudamah said: ‘Burying a deceased person in a coffin is reprehensible because it has not been reported that the Prophet or any of his companions did that. Moreover, it adopts the ways of other people. The solid earth is better for the remains of the body. Ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni, vol. 2, p. 503.
2. In its Fatwa section, Islam Web says: ‘The normal verdict is that it is discouraged unless the land is soft, when it becomes permissible. Burial in a coffin is reprehensible. Al-Khatib al-Shirbini said: “It is unanimously agreed that burial in a coffin is reprehensible, because it is deviation from the proper practice, unless the land is soft. In this case, it is not reprehensible. The deceased’s will to be buried in a coffin, if any, should not be carried out except in this case.

The second view permits it.

The Palestinian Department of Fatwa says: ‘Burial in a coffin is permissible when needed, as in the case of soft land or when a person dies while travelling by sea and the ship is far from dry land. The body may start to be affected if left unburied. In this case, the body is placed in a coffin which is then thrown in the sea. The same applies if the deceased had suffered burns or disfigurement which necessitates that the body could only remain intact in a coffin.’ 


· Al-Khatib al-Shirbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj, vol. 1, p. 361.
   · Ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni, vol. 2, p. 503.
   · Home page for website .   
   · The website of the Egyptian Department of Fatwa .
   · The website of Ibn Taymiyyah .