Giving Ghusl to the deceased Body Who has Died as a Result of Coronavirus

30th March 2020

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Question: If someone has passed away due to coronavirus and the hospital staff has returned the body wrapped up in a plastic bag so that no one is affected with the disease then how should the body be given ghusl?


الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful



In reference to your query, it must be noted that there are many obligatory rights that are afforded to the deceased person, amongst which is the ghusl; whether full ghusl according to the sunnah method or mere pouring water over the body. So long as Ghusl is possible, resorting to other means such as wiping or tayammum will not suffice. [1] Based on the information provided from reliable sources and speaking to those experienced in the field, washing (as well as shrouding) the dead body possess very little risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the body to the person provided that adequate precautions are adopted by those washing and shrouding the body.[2] This suggests that it is not permitted to discard the ghusl due to the fear of transmission if it is proven to be less likely the case. The jurists have mentioned that without the ghusl and burial had commenced, then ghusl would have to be given and Janazah Salah repeated.[3] Given the current circumstances, those washing the body must wear the appropriate gear; the PPE (personal protective equipment) to fulfil this obligation.

If in a hypothetical situation, ghusl becomes no longer possible due to the severity of the situation and government bans it altogether, then due to dharurah, one can wipe wet hands/cloth (soaked that is) over the body bag like as if someone wipes over a bandage due to a wound. If this is not possible then it is permissible to resort to tayammum (dry ablution).[4]

If the governmental restrictions tighten, then in absolute dire situations the deceased would then have to be buried with neither ghusl nor tayammum. However, as indicated above that this is currently not the case hence, the body must be washed (or wiped over with water or dry ablution if need be that is).


[Allāh Knows Best]



Written by:  Maulana Anas Mullah      Reviewed by: Mufti Abdul Waheed

Attested by: Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

 JKN Fatawa Department



[1] Al bahr al raaiq, Kitaabul Janaaiz, vol 2, p 187

وَلَمْ يَذْكُرْ الْمُصَنِّفُ صِفَةَ الْغُسْلِ، وَمَنْ يَغْسِلُ وَالْغَاسِلَ وَحُكْمَ الْمَيِّتِ قَبْلَهُ وَبَعْدَهُ أَمَّا الْأَوَّلُ فَهُوَ مِنْ فُرُوضِ الْكِفَايَةِ كَالصَّلَاةِ عَلَيْهِ وَتَجْهِيزِهِ وَدَفْنِهِ حَتَّى لَوْ اجْتَمَعَ أَهْلُ بَلْدَةٍ عَلَى تَرْكِهَا قُوتِلُوا، وَلَوْ صَلَّوْا عَلَيْهِ قَبْلَ الْغُسْلِ أَعَادُوا الصَّلَاةَ، وَكَذَا إذَا ذَكَرُوا قَبْلَ أَنْ يُهَالَ عَلَيْهِ التُّرَابُ يُنْزَعُ اللَّبَنُ وَيُخْرَجُ وَيُغَسَّلُ وَيُصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ، وَإِنْ أَهَالُوهُ لَمْ يُنْبَشْ، وَلَمْ تُعَدْ الصَّلَاةُ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَوْ بَقِيَ مِنْهُ عُضْوٌ فَذَكَرُوهُ بَعْدَ الصَّلَاةِ وَالتَّكْفِينِ يُغَسَّلُ ذَلِكَ الْعُضْوُ وَيُعَادُ، فَإِنْ بَقِيَ أُصْبُعٌ وَنَحْوُهَا بَعْدَ التَّكْفِينِ لَا يُغَسَّلُ وَقَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ يُغَسَّلُ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ كَذَا فِي الْمُجْتَبَى


[2] See, Dr S.Shahid, Evaluating the current guidelines regarding the handling and ritual washing (Ghusl) of the Muslim Deceased Patient with COVID-19, Leicester, [25th March 2020]

British Board of Scholars & Imams (BBSI), [Accessed 29th March 2020].

According to the Royal College of Pathologists, a Body bag is not required but only to maintain dignity, see,

[3] ref: 1

[4] Kasani, Bada’I al Sanaa I’, Kitaabul Janaaiz, Vol 1, P 304

وَمِنْهَا وُجُودُ الْمَاءِ؛ لِأَنَّ وُجُودَ الْفِعْلِ مُقَيَّدٌ بِالْوُسْعِ وَلَا وُسْعَ مَعَ عَدَمِ الْمَاءِ فَسَقَطَ الْغُسْلُ، وَلَكِنْ يُيَمَّمُ بِالصَّعِيدِ لِأَنَّ التَّيَمُّمَ صَلُحَ بَدَلًا عَنْ الْغُسْلِ فِي حَالِ الْحَيَاةِ فَكَذَا بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ، غَيْرَ أَنَّ الْجِنْسَ يُيَمِّمُ الْجِنْسَ بِيَدِهِ؛ لِأَنَّهُ يُبَاحُ لَهُ مَسُّ مَوَاضِعِ التَّيَمُّمِ مِنْهُ مِنْ غَيْرِ شَهْوَةٍ، كَمَا فِي حَالَةِ الْحَيَاةِ فَكَذَا بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ

Radd al Muhtaar, Kitabul Janaiz, vol 2, p 201

(قَوْلُهُ يُمِّمَ لِفَقْدِ مَاءٍ إلَخْ) قَالَ فِي الْفَتْحِ وَلَوْ لَمْ يُوجَدْ مَاءٌ فَيُمِّمَ الْمَيِّتُ وَصَلَّوْا عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ وَجَدُوهُ غَسَّلُوهُ وَصَلَّوْا عَلَيْهِ ثَانِيًا عِنْدَ أَبِي يُوسُفَ وَعَنْهُ يُغَسَّلُ وَلَا تُعَادُ الصَّلَاةُ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَوْ كَفَّنُوهُ وَبَقِيَ مِنْهُ عُضْوٌ لَمْ يُغَسَّلْ فَإِنَّهُ يُغَسَّلُ ذَلِكَ الْعُضْوُ وَلَوْ بَقِيَ نَحْوُ الْأُصْبُعِ لَا يُغَسَّلُ اهـ

 Fatawa Hindiyya, vol 1, p 160

وَإِذَا مَاتَ الرَّجُلُ فِي السَّفَرِ وَلَيْسَ هُنَاكَ مَاءٌ طَاهِرٌ يُيَمَّمُ وَيُصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ، هَكَذَا فِي الْمُحِيطِ.
رَجُلٌ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَجِدُوا مَاءً فَيَمَّمُوهُ وَصَلَّوْا عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ وَجَدُوا مَاءً غُسِّلَ وَصُلِّيَ عَلَيْهِ ثَانِيًا فِي قَوْلِ أَبِي يُوسُفَ – رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى – كَذَا فِي فَتَاوَى قَاضِي خَانْ .