What is the opinion of religious scholars about the Kafan (shroud); how many clothes are there for men and how many for women? And how many clothes for children?
(The following answer is based on authoritative text of Radd Mukhtar).
The Sunnah is three clothes for men:
- Wrapping – A wrapping is a sheet that covers the body from head to toes.
- Shirt – A shirt covers the body from the base of the neck to the to the toes.
- Envelope – An envelope is a sheet that is about two feet longer than the length of the body, so that after wrapping the body it can be tied at the feet and at the head.
For women there are five pieces of cloth; three as for men and an additional two, which are:
4. Head Cover – A head cover is about a metre long.
5. Chest Brace – The chest brace is a piece of cloth to tie the breasts (it should cover the
chest to naval button)
This is the Sunna shroud. However for men it can be reduced to two pieces; the wrapping and envelope, and for women these two and the head cover. If one cannot afford much then the minimum will be one single envelope.
For adolescents (children ten years or older) the above will apply; three pieces of cloth for boys and five for girls. For a still-born child, it is sufficient to wrap the body in a single piece of cloth.
And Allah ﷻ knows best
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه
Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk