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Burying the deceased on land owned by someone else

Question:

What is the Islamic ruling of burying someone on a piece of land without seeking the owner’s permission to do so?

Answer:

It is Haram (impermissible) to bury someone on a piece of land without the owner’s permission. Those people who do so will be committing a sin. If a deceased person has made a will to bury him on a property without seeking the owner’s approval, then the deceased person is sinful.

There will be no reward for the bereaved family to fulfil such a will. In fact, they will be wrong to put such a will into action. All the sayings of the Messenger ﷺ urging the Muslims to respect and honour the grave do not apply to such an unlawful grave. If someone has been buried without the owner’s approval, the owner is free to remove the dead body from the grave, or to flatten the grave and do whatever he wishes on that particular grave area. Having said that, Muslims are very kind-hearted and in particular, they are very compassionate towards their Muslim brothers and they respect the graves. If one forgives the follies of his Muslim brothers, Allah Almighty ﷻ will also forgive his mistakes. If the land owner forgives the deceased person, respects the unlawful grave on his land and does not flatten it, indeed Allah Almighty ﷻ will also give him respect and honour in this life and in the hereafter

And Allah ﷻ knows the best

Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه

Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk