The process of shrouding is as follows:
- Open and lay the deceased on the table/bed
- Gently lift the body of the deceased and slowly place onto the shroud (kafn)
- The kafn material must be unstitched cloth and although no specific colour has been specified, the Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace and Blessings upon him) favourite colour was white.
THE MALES KAFN
- For a male, there are three pieces of Kafn.
– The first piece is worn like a vest (qamees). It should have an opening to fit through the head, covering both shoulders to the knee area. It is a long sheet that is folded in half and an opening slit is cut (like a V shape) to allow fitting onto the body.
– Ensure private areas are covered and carefully remove the towel from the body. Fold any excess material (from both sides) and tuck underneath body.
– The second sheet is the Izar which covers the body from head to feet and should be tucked in tightly while leaving the face area uncovered for men.
– The third sheet is called the lifafah and covers above the head and beyond the feet wrapping the entire body from left to the right
- Use soft straps/cloth as a tie for:
– the leg side (from ankles) so they do not come apart
– Middle part of the body
THE FEMALES KAFN
- This should cover from the shoulder to the ankle and consists of 5 pieces
– Qamees: a Sleeveless Shirt
– Izar: Waist Wrapper
– Lifafah: Winding Sheets
– A piece to cover chest
– Khimar – a piece to cover head like the head veil
- According to the Shafi’e school of thought, you can use more covers in odd numbers – 7, 9 or as much as possible
- Tie-backs are also used so Kafn does not untie itself
Some people use Ihram from a Hajj they have performed and scholars have explained that this is acceptable. There are no narrations which relate to using ZamZam water for ghusl or soaking the kafn in zamzam.
The body is now ready for the Janaza prayer.