Funeral homes Waite Hill, OH, may be involved when you’re saying goodbye to your deceased loved one. Many Muslims live in North America. Let us shed light on Muslims’ beliefs about funerals and what you may expect while attending a Muslim funeral.
Islamic Belief About Death
Muslims view death as a transition to the afterlife. For Muslims, the funeral is a highly spiritual event where the mourners not only comfort the bereaved but also pray to Allah, an Islamic term for God, to forgive the sins of the deceased. It is a community event where a large number of fellow Muslims are likely to show up.
A typical Muslim funeral lasts for about 30-60 minutes and involves:
Rites and Traditions of Islamic Funeral
- The most important ritual is that the burial should take place as soon as possible – possibly within 24 hours of the death. Most Muslims discourage autopsy and organ donation as they are considered as a sign of desecrating the body unless it’s mandated by law. Cremation is strictly prohibited in Islam – bar none.
- Similarly, embalming is also avoided in a normal situation. For this reason, wake, visitation, or viewing ceremonies are not held in Muslim funerals.
- Islamic arrangements begin soon after the death of the loved one. The deceased’s body is brought to the family home where it’s washed three times by the close family members of the same sex as the person died, called Ghusl. The cleaned body is then wrapped around in a White cloth – called Kaffan. Men are generally wrapped in three sheets while women, in five.
- The body is then carried to a courtyard, prayer room, or community square where the attendees congregate to offer the funeral prayer. The mourners are arranged in at least 3 rows with the closest males in the front row/s, preceded by children and women, all turned to face Makkah – the holy center of Islam. A religious scholar, same as a Priest in a Catholic funeral, leads the funeral prayers.
- After that, the procession is taken to the burial site where final words of prayers for the deceased are offered – typically, some readings from Quran – before he or she is lowered into the ground by immediate kin. Another conspicuous Islamic tradition is to have every attendee throw three handfuls of sand into the grave.
- Women are generally discouraged from attending the funeral prayers while in some communities, they do attend.
- After the funeral, the mourners gather in the family home of the deceased to show sympathy with the bereaved. Usually, a meal is served to all the guests. The mourning period lasts for 40 days during which the guests continue to show up – but most families tend to keep it shorter.
- Both men and women are expected to dress modestly, which includes a shirt and trousers for men and long-sleeved high-neck tops, ankle shirts with a headscarf for women.
- It’s very common for non-Muslims to visit Muslim funerals. While doing so, respect their traditions and don’t wear any tights, stockings, or see-through dresses. You may remain silent during the whole funeral service – which lasts 30-60 minutes.