How familiar are you with funeral services in the Muslim tradition? Muslim funeral traditions are generally based on the belief that the bodies of the deceased should be buried as soon as possible after death. Read on to learn more about how Muslims honor the lives of their loved ones through their funeral traditions.
Muslim Beliefs About Death
Although there are two different sects of Islam, Shi’a and Sunni, all Muslims believe in an afterlife. Some hold the belief that the deceased will stay in their graves until the Last Day of the world, when they will then be admitted to Paradise or Hell based on the good deeds that they performed or sins that they committed during their lives. When a person dies, those who are nearby should pray for forgiveness of the deceased’s sins. Then, they should close the eyes and lower jaw of the dead and place a sheet over the body.
Muslim Funeral Traditions
Islamic law states that the deceased should be buried as soon as possible after death. Thus, people in the Muslim community must begin making funeral plans immediately after a loved one dies. Autopsies, embalming, and cosmetology for the deceased are prohibited by Islam, as these practices are seen as desecrating the body of the deceased. As the body is not preserved, it must be buried quickly, and thus there are not viewings or visitations in the Muslim funeral tradition. While small grave markers are common, large monuments or elaborately decorated headstones are generally not acceptable. Finally, cremation is prohibited in the Muslim community, making burial the most common choice among Muslims.
If you’re planning a funeral ceremony near Hayward in the Muslim tradition, consider choosing Chapel of the Chimes Hayward . We can help arrange funeral or cremation services for a variety of beliefs. Call (510) 398-6922 to learn more about the memorial park at our funeral home, including our Garden of Noor and Culshane Rahmat Garden.
Shi’a and Sunni Muslims share similar funeral service traditions. Like funerals in other religions, Muslim funerals involve prayer and post-funeral receptions. If you plan to attend Muslim funeral services, here is what you can expect.
Muslim funeral services are held in a mosque, and Muslims in the community are encouraged to attend, even if they did not know the deceased. Women frequently do not attend Muslim funerals, but when they do, they should wear loose, ankle-length skirts and loose tops with long sleeves and high neck. All women, including non-Muslim women, should wear headscarves and—because shoes must be removed in the prayer hall—clean socks, tights, or stockings. Salat-al-Janazah, or funeral prayers, are recited by all in attendance in a prayer room, study room, or the mosque courtyard. Everyone faces Mecca during the funeral prayers. Attendees are in multiple lines during prayer: the first line includes the men who were close to the deceased and the second line has the remaining men in attendance. If women and children are present, children are in the third line and women are in the rear.
After the funeral services, the deceased is transported to the burial location by the men in the community. The deceased must be buried perpendicular to Mecca and on his or her right side, facing Mecca. Everyone in attendance throws three handfuls of soil on the deceased. In some cases, only men attend the interment, while in other cases, women and children are welcome.
The family of the deceased often welcomes people for a post-funeral reception immediately after the service. This can be a good time to offer condolences. After the reception, it is traditional for members of the community to provide meals for the family for the next three days.
At Chapel of the Chimes Hayward, our Garden of Noor and Culshane Rahmat Garden offer spaces specifically for the Muslim Community. We can assist in every stage of the process when you need to arrange a funeral in Hayward, including planning ahead and grief support. Learn more about our services by calling (510) 398-6922.
The Qur’an teaches that death is a natural transition from one life to the next. It states, “To God we belong and to Him is our return.” Rather than being a punishment from God, a terminal illness is perceived as being a journey to the next life. Since the Islamic faith requires that a decedent be buried right away, the surviving family members must begin planning the funeral services promptly.
Toward the End of Life
In some cases, it may be appropriate to begin pre-planning the funeral during a terminal illness. The preferences of the dying patient should be honored whenever possible. In the event that the individual is in a hospice program in a facility, rather than the home, family members must inform the physician that Islam forbids routine autopsies, except where required by law. In general, organ donation is permitted, although the family may wish to consult an imam.
Immediately Following Death
Immediately upon the passing of the loved one, the family members who are present may recite a religious saying, close the decedent’s eyes and lower jaw, and place a clean sheet over the body. Then, the family members may make “dua” or supplication to God. The body should be taken to the funeral home without delay. Unless state or federal law requires it, the Islamic faith frowns upon embalming and cosmetology. Individual family preferences may vary. The body must be washed, usually by a same-sex family member, at least three times before being shrouded.
During the Funeral Services
Since Muslims generally prefer to bury their loved ones as quickly as possible after death, visitation is not held. Instead, the community recites the traditional funeral prayers. This is often done within a prayer room or study room at a mosque; however, some families may prefer to hold this ceremony at the funeral home. Following prayer recitation, the body is taken to the cemetery for burial.
At Chapel of the Chimes Hayward , we are honored to provide funeral services that respect families’ religious beliefs and cultural preferences. Our cemetery in Hayward includes the Garden of Noor and the Culshane Rahmat Garden for Muslim families. Call (510) 398-6922 if you would like to discuss planning ahead for a funeral or choosing a burial plot.
Funeral services in Hayward can vary tremendously according to family and religious traditions. While Catholic funerals involve a church service, Jewish funerals mandate that the deceased have proper burial services instead of cremation. After the death of a loved one, it is important to work with a funeral home that has handled the kind of funeral services you prefer. Continue reading to find out more about Muslim traditions for departed loved ones.
A special funeral prayer is an important element of all Muslim funeral services. Prayer services should be performed in the same city or area where the person died. A funeral prayer is designed to be performed in congregation by both men and women, and even individuals who did not know the deceased are encouraged to participate in this ritual. Because the Prophet said that forty pious Muslims should pray for each deceased, Muslim families encourage as many people as possible to attend funeral services and pray together.
Islamic mourning rituals require that the eyes of a deceased are closed immediately after death . A simple prayer is said before the body is completely covered in a pious shroud. While normal grief is permissible under Islam, the religion discourages wailing and screaming.
Islam advises burial for all individuals who have died. Rich or poor, all Muslims are buried in cemeteries and with similar burial services. After identifying a burial plot, it is important to bury the body of a deceased as soon as possible after death. However, no burial services may occur between sunrise and when the sun has completely risen. Burial services are also restricted from when the sun begins to pale and when it has set.
Chapel of the Chimes Hayward is proud to offer Muslim funeral services in addition to Catholic funerals and Jewish funerals. Whether you want to pre-plan a funeral or want more information on how to arrange a funeral for a deceased loved one, contact our funeral home by calling (510) 398-6922 today.