La Tahzan Wa La Khauf

Don't Be Sad My Friends

The Funeral Rites

Justify FullDeath will enter every house, because death is an inevitable fact. Thus each Muslim who believes in Allah and the last day has to prepare for the day of departure and to meet his end. When a Muslim is near death, those around him or her are called upon to give comfort, and reminders of God's mercy and forgiveness. They may recite verses from the Qur'an, give physical comfort, and encourage the dying one to recite words of remembrance and prayer. It is recommended, if at all possible, for a Muslim's last words to be the declaration of faith: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah." Upon death, those with the deceased are encouraged to remain calm, pray for the departed, and begin preparations for burial. 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 necessary, but should be done with the utmost respect for the dead.

The funeral rites of Islam are different from those of other religions. When a Muslim has died, his body is normally transported quickly to the mortuary of a mosque or a cemetery. Later, fellow Muslims will cleanse the body with pure water and wrap it up from head to toe in a white shroud. When the shrouding is complete, a Jenazah Prayer will be conducted, after which the body will be carried to the graveyard and buried.

The ceremony is simple but solemn. It is normally performed in the afternoon and lasts for an hour or so. From the moment a Muslim dies until his burial, all the funeral procedures and religious rites are performed by fellow Muslims; professional undertakers have no part to play in all this at all.

The funeral rites are very important for two reasons: to show respect for the dead and perhaps more importantly, they give the relatives and friends of the dead person time to mourn and show their grief in a certain way. People often said that showing their grief formally helps them to get over their loss. In Islam, loved ones and relatives are to observe a 3-day mourning period. Mourning is observed in Islam b increased devotion, receiving visitors and condolences, and avoiding decorative clothing and jewelry.

There are five main points for the preparation of a Muslim’s body for burial. The first step in the preparation for burial is washing the body. The deceased will be washed respectfully, with clean and scented water. Family members often assist in the washing. Men wash a man’s body and women wash a women’s body. Either men or women may wash a child’s body. A husband may wash his wife’s body and vice versa if the need arises.

Next, wrapping the body. The shroud used for wrapping the body must be a clean cloth, called the kafan (preferably white cloth) and should cover the whole body. The shroud is tied at the head and feet with a piece of cloth (from the same shroud) in such way that one could differentiate the head from the feet.

The deceased id then transferred to the site of the funeral prayers. Those who involved in the funeral prayer divide themselves into rows and facing the direction of Mecca (qiblat), with the prayer leader in front. The body or bodies is placed in front of the congregation. The funeral prayer is similar in structure to the five daily prayer with a few variations like there will be no bowing or prostration and the entire prayer is said silently but for a few words. Everyone performing it should have ablution like any other prayer.

As for performing the funeral prayer on the dead Muslim and escorting him to his grave, all this becomes a bound duty on other Muslims; for here is an abundant reward from Allah (S.W.T). This is clear from the tradition reported by Abu Hurairah RAA who quoted the Prophet p.b.u.h who said: “Whoever witnesses a funeral until the prayer is performed for it, he will have a carat worth of reward, and he who witnesses it until it is buried will have the equivalent of two carats. When he was asked about the carats the Prophet p.b.u.h said: like the two great mountains agreed upon.”

The deceased then is taken to the cemetery for burial. Those who are riding or driving should follow in silence. It is preferred for a Muslim to be buried where he or she died, and not be transported to another location or country, which may cause delays or require embalming the body. 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, the Prophet was reported to have said: “Seek God’s forgiveness for your (deceased) brother and pray for his steadfastness because he is now being questioned (about his faith).”

When you are attending a dying Muslim who is one of our relatives or friends then you are asked to say only what is good and appeal to Allah to support you in your misfortune and to compensate you with what is better, because angels confirm what you say with Amen meaning Oh Allah please accept. All of us will return to Allah one day. So the dying ones are only our predecessors and we shall follow them.

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.


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"To Sharing Islamic Knowledge With Muslims In The World"