Muslim Funeral Traditions

Muslim Funerals

Islamic funerals, like many other traditions, adhere to spiritual funeral rites that focus on belief in an afterlife determined by a person’s actions throughout their life on earth. Individuals who live a good life and perform good deeds will gain entry into Paradise and those who don’t face Hell. Muslims also believe in physical resurrection, so the faith does not allow cremation and an autopsy is usually forbidden, however, some communities accept organ donation as a final kind act.

Muslim Traditions and Funeral Arrangements

Islamic law is very explicit about funeral arrangements which must start immediately after the death, and this speed is considered a mercy on the deceased and family. There is no viewing or visitation or the passed loved one with mourners expected to attend the mosque to offer prayers for the departed. Traditions associated with the body include the preparation of the body by immediately after death closing the eyes and mouth, then the body is washed three times by close family members. Finally, they are laid out and positioned with the left hand on the chest and the right on top, before being shrouded with a large white sheet and tied with ropes.

Mourners gather at the mosque to recite funeral prayers known at the Ṣalāt al-Janāzah, seeking pardon for departed loved ones while also praying for all Muslims who have passed on. Everyone faces Mecca, the holy city in Islam. After prayers are complete, the body is taken to a chosen burial site where the grave should be perpendicular to Mecca, with the deceased’s body positioned so their right side faces the Holy City.

Prayers are recited as the body is lowered into the grave which is lined with wood or stone to prevent the body from coming in contact with dirt. Traditionally, only men attend burials, however, some communities allow women to attend. There are usually funeral prayers and reading from the Quran. Finally, each mourner places three handfuls of soil into the grave, committing the body to the earth. Large grave monuments or ornate headstones are not customarily permitted, and sometimes the grave is unmarked. Other times a small stone marker is left to identify a loved one’s final resting place.

After a funeral, the family gathers to receive mourners at home with guests often bringing food for the days after the funeral. The mourning period usually lasts for forty days, but this depends on the traditions of the family. This will be a time to gather and reflect on the loved ones life and the loss to the family and community. There are other traditions for widows including a longer mourning period of four months and ten days where the widow wears black and remains in the husband’s home for the period.

Choose a Muslim Funeral with County Funerals

When choosing Muslim Funeral with County Funerals you will have peace of mind that we will handle all arrangements with dignity and respect for customs and traditions. For more information on how we can help, reach out to our team of experienced funeral directors.

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