Funeral

Funeral:

Funeral offer funeral co-ordination services. There are certain costs associated with a funeral and the largest portion of this is the cost of the plot in the cemetery.

Guidance on Islamic Funerals

Islam encourages us to do the following during a dying person’s last moments. Advise the dying person to say La ilaha illa-Allah [There is no god but Allah]. The purpose is to remind him/her of the Oneness of Allah. Mu’adh ibn Jabal states that the messenger of Allah, (pbuh) said, “He whose last words are ‘Lailaha illa-Allah’, shall enter Paradise.” [Abu Daw’ud; Al-Hakim – a sound hadith]. But one who is unable to speak might say these words in his heart. The scholars state that no pressure should be put on the dying person.

 When Death Occurs

Once the person is confirmed dead, family members or those who are present should first say: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’ un [Verily we belong to Allah, and truly to Him shall we return]

Close the eyes of the deceased.

  • They should try to close his/her lower jaw to his head so that it does not sag.
  • They should cover all his/her body completely with a clean sheet.
  • They should make Dua’ (Supplicate) to Allah to forgive him/her.

Muslims strive to bury the deceased as soon as possible after death, avoiding the need for embalming or otherwise disturbing the body of the deceased. An autopsy may be performed, if legally required but should be done with the utmost respect for the dead.

 Washing and Shrouding

In preparation for burial, the family or other members of the community will wash and shroud the body. (If the deceased was killed as a martyr, this step is not performed; martyrs are buried in the clothes they died in.) The deceased will be washed respectfully, with clean and scented water, in a manner similar to how Muslims make ablutions for prayer. The body will then be wrapped in sheets of clean, white cloth (called the kafan).

 Funeral Prayers

The deceased is then transported to the site of the funeral prayers (salat-l-janazah). These prayers are can be held outdoors, in a courtyard or public square and, not necessarily inside the mosque. The community gathers, and the imam (prayer leader) stands in front of the deceased, facing away from the worshippers. The funeral prayer is detailed on page 3 (there is no bowing or prostration, and the entire prayer is said silently).

Burial

The deceased is then taken to the cemetery for burial (al-dafin). While all members of the community attend the funeral prayers, only the men of the community accompany the body to the gravesite. It is preferred for a Muslim to be buried in the land where he or she died, and not be transported to another location or country (which may cause delays or require embalming the body). If available, a cemetery (or section of one) set aside for Muslims is preferred. The deceased is laid in the grave (without a coffin if permitted by local law) on his or her right side, facing Mecca. At the gravesite, it is discouraged for people to erect tombstones, elaborate markers, or other mementoes. Rather, one should humbly remember Allah and His mercy, and pray for the deceased.

Mourning

Widows observe a mourning period (iddah), 4 months and 10 days long, in accordance with the Qur’ an 2:234. During this time, she is not to remarry.

When one dies, everything in this earthly life is left behind, and there are no more opportunities to perform acts of righteousness and faith. The Prophet Muhammad once said that there are three things, however, which may continue to benefit a person after death: charity given during life which continues to help others, knowledge from which people continue to benefit, and a righteous child who prays for him or her.