Assalam alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu. Salaams and greetings to all the scholars, specially our dearest Sultan, Malwana Shaykh Hisham and Hajjah Nazihe. May we be guided by them forever.
For various reasons Muslims residing in North America are faced with the issue of embalming the dead bodies of their relatives such as for transporting the dead body overseas for burial, etc. It will be very beneficial to know what should and should not be done to the dead body, including embalming, putting in the freezer in the morgue etc.
Many Muslims also do not think that the deceased can actually feel pain in the physical body– please elaborate on this issue also. Is it also better for the body to be buried close to buried relatives?
wa `alaykum salam,
First of all, it is extremely disliked (makruh tahriman) to ship a deceased person from one area to another for burial. (Radd al-Muhtar 1:602, 5:275)
Second, we are to purify the deceased by bathing it, perfuming it, but in case of shipping overseas it has to be embalmed and the process of embalming is very problematic as it requires incisions to be made on the body and removal of the blood from it replacing it with a formaldehyde base fluid.