Kafan (Shroud)

Lesson Two

The burial shroud (kafan)

The male’s kafan according to the sunnah consists of:

1. Qamis- this is the Long shirt.

2. Izaar- the inner shroud

3. Lifafa-the outer shroud

The womans kafan has two extra coverings and according to the sunnah, the kafan consists of:

1. Qamis- this is the Long shirt.

2. Izaar- the inner shroud.

3. Lifafa-the outer shroud.

4. Khimaar- this is the face/head covering.

5. Khirqa- this is to cover/tie the chest

  • Kafan made from white cotton is most preferred.
  • Both the izaar and lifafa should be long enough to cover the body from the head to the bottom of the feet (the lifafa should be a little longer to facilitate the tying of the kafan at the ends).
  • The qamis should not have any sleeves and its ends should not be hemmed, it should only have a slit large enough for the head to get through.
  • It is disliked placing a turban on the head of the deceased male.

The izaar and lifafa are sufficient to fulfill the obligation for a man’s kafan (kafan al-kifaya).

For the woman, the izaar, lifafa and khimar are sufficient to fulfill the obligation of the kafan (kafan al-kifaya). 

The method of wrapping the kafan

1. The Lifafa needs to be laid to the ground (approx. 3 yards longer than the body on all sides).

2. Then the izaar on top of this, (approx 3 yards wide on both sides and long enough to cover the whole body).

3. Then the qamees on top of the izaar, (approx double the size of the body- from head to the ankles in length).

The body is placed on the qamees and the top half is put over the body with the head through the slit of the qamees. Thereafter, the izaar is wrapped over the body (left side and then right side). And then the lifaafa is wrapped around the body (left side and the right side). Both ends of the lifaafa are tied.

Note: a towel is put over the satr of the body to cover it up until the izaar Is being wrapped, and then it is removed.

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