Does the grave have to be dug a certain depth?
Salaams. Mufti saheb does the grave have to be dug a certain length in depth eg. 6 foot, 8 foot, etc.
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
Alhamdulillaahi was salaatu was salaamu `alaa Rasoolillaahi wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa man waalaahu, wa ba`d:
Wa `alaykumus salaam.
The purpose of the depth of grave is to prevent the smell from escaping, and to prevent wild animals from eating the body.
Imaam Al-Haskafy Rahimahullaah says in Ad-Durrul Mukhtaar:
“(The grave should be at least) The depth of half a person’s height, but if it’s deeper then it is better.” [i]
Imaam Ibn `Aabideen Rahimahullaah comments on that and says in Raddul Muhtaar:
“His statement ‘The depth of half a person’s height…’ or until the height of a person’s chest, but if it’s made deeper until the height of a person then that is best, as in mentioned in Adh-Dhakheerah, so you come to know that the minimum depth is the height of half a person while the maximum is the height of a person.”[ii]
He continues and quotes Imaam Al-Quhustaani Rahimahullaah who said:
“Its depth should be the height of the person, and its width should be half his height.” [iii]
Thus the minimum depth should be half the height of a person, and the maximum depth should be the height of a person.
And Allaah knows best.
Ubaidullah Ibn Adam Aal-Ebrahim.
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Rashid Ahmed Moosagie.
Monday 7th Rabee` Al-Aakhir 1434 – 18th February 2013.
[i](مِقْدَارَ نِصْفِ قَامَةٍ) فَإِنْ زَادَ فَحَسَنٌ. – الدر المختار للإمام الحصكفي رحمه الله.
[ii](قَوْلُهُ مِقْدَارُ نِصْفِ قَامَةٍ إلَخْ) أَوْ إلَى حَدِّ الصَّدْرِ، وَإِنْ زَادَ إلَى مِقْدَارِ قَامَةٍ فَهُوَ أَحْسَنُ كَمَا فِي الذَّخِيرَةِ، فَعُلِمَ أَنَّ الْأَدْنَى نِصْفُ الْقَامَةِ وَالْأَعْلَى الْقَامَةُ. – رد اللمحتار للإمام ابن عابدين رحمه الله.