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Home » Prophetic Traditions

Concerning the Hadeeth ''Breaking A Muslim's Bones When He Is Dead Is Tantamount To Breaking Them When He Is Alive''
Question:

Is it true that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: كسر عظم الميت ككسره حيا "When someone breaks the bones of a Muslim man who is dead, it is as if he has broken the bones of a Muslim man who is alive."
Answer:

This Hadeeth is authentic and has been ascribed both to the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) and to one of the Companions. Regarding the narration that is ascribed to the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, it is recorded by 'Abdur-Razzaq in his Musannaf, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah in their Sunans, as well as Ibn Hibban in his Sahih.

Their chains of narration reach 'Umrah bin 'Abdur-Raham who related it from 'Aishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, who related that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

كسر عظم الميت ككسره حيا

"To break a dead person 's bone is like breaking the living person bone." (Abu Dawud no. 3207)

'Abdur-Razzaq included it under the heading, "Chapter: Breaking the Bones of the Dead." Then he mentioned the Hadeeth with his chain of narration. Abu Dawud included it under the heading "Chapter: To Find Bones While Digging, Should Digging be Diverted to Another Place" and he mentioned the Hadeeth with his chain of narration. Ibn Majah included it under the heading, "Chapter: Prohibiting Breaking the Bones of the dead." Then he mentioned the Hadeeth with his chain of narration. In Mawarid Az-Zaman ila Zawa'id Ibn Hibban, al-Haythami included it under the heading, "Chapter: About One who Harms the Dead." And he mentioned the Hadeeth with his chain of narration.

As for the narration from the Companions, in Al-Muwatta; under the heading of "What is reported about digging" with his chain of narration reaching 'Aishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, who said, "To break a Muslim's bone when he is dead is like breaking it when he is alive." Meaning the sin in doing so. Imam Ash-Shafi'i mentioned in the Book of Shrouding, under the heading, "After Shrouding." He mentioned from Imam Malik that it was conveyed to him that 'A'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said, "To break a Muslim's bone when he is dead is like breaking it when he is alive."

May Allaah send peace and blessings upon Muhammad, his family, and his Companions.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 7, Pages 191-193, DARUSSALAM
Other subjects of interest:

Science Of Hadeeth


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