Question 31: What is the reason for the shroud for the dead, and what is its benefit?
Answer: Indeed the body of the dead is respected, considering the connection of his spirit to it before his death. Therefore his loin and his body must be covered in front of the people and at the time of burial, just as he cared for covering his loin and body in this worldly life in the past. Moreover, the shroud is the garment of the dead during his resurrection, God willing, just as clothing him in this garment, which is preferred to be from the finest types of fabrics, is a plea that his soul has worn the finest types of the garment of piety at the time of his death, and it is a plea that Allah will bestow upon him and clothe him with the garment of piety after the believers have clothed him with the shroud. And this meaning has been narrated from them pbut in the story of the young man# in the company of David and the Angel of Death, in which Allah had mercy on the young man and He lengthened his age due to the mercy of David on that young man.
* Abu Jafar said, “It has been shown to us – according to our Prophet and his progeny (a.s) – that David was sitting and with him was a young man with a ragged appearance who frequently sat with him and has always been of long silence. Then the Angel of Death came to David , he greeted him and then set his sight towards the young man. Then – according to our Prophet and his progeny (a.s) – David said, “Have you looked at that [person]?” So he said, “Yes I have been commanded to seize his soul in seven days at this location.” So David had mercy on him, and said, “O young man, do you have a woman?” He said, “No and I have never married.” David said, “Then go to so-and-so, a man who was mighty in strength within the Children of Israel, then say to him, ‘David commands you to wed your daughter to me’ and take from the expenses whatever you need, and stay with her. get what you need for it from expenses (money) and stay with her and if the seven days have passed then come to me in this location, so the young man proceeded with David’s message -according to our Prophet and his progeny – so the man wed his daughter to him and they brought her to him and he resided with her for seven days, thereafter he went to David on the eighth day, and David said to him, “O young man, how did you find the state you were in?” He said, “I have never been in a blessing nor happiness greater than that which I was in.” David said, “Take a seat.” So he sat down and David waited for his soul to be received and when the time became long he said, “Go to your house and stay with your family and meet me here on the eighth day.” So the young man left and visited David on the eighth day, then left for another week and visited him afterwards, so the Angel of Death came to David, so David pbuh said, “Did you not tell me that you were commanded to take this young man’s soul in seven days?” He said, “Yes.” David said, “It has been eight days, another eight and then another eight!” He said, “O David, Allah swt was merciful toward him due to your mercy toward him, so he delayed his time for thirty years.” Bihar al-Anwar Vol. 4 page 111.
The Allegories – volume 2