Islam Death Rituals

Pre-burial Rituals

 Process of burying the dead must be

done 24hrs after death or as soon as possible.  The body is washed by a person of the same sex.  The body of a child can be washed by either a man or a woman.  Spouses are allowed to wash the body of their partner in the event of death.

Pre-burial Rituals
 Washing is done grave side if

available or in a mosque.  While the body is being washed, a white cloth is put on top of it.  Except in extraordinary circumstances, like in war or battle condition, the dead body must not be washed.

Prayers
 salat ul janazah- Funeral Prayer done

at the house of the deceased. This is also done to ask forgiveness from the dead.  Allāhu Akbar- (God is great) Funeral prayer which differs between age and sex.  Prayers are lead by a close relative or Imams (prayer leaders of the deceased’s mosque.

Procession
 Usually from the mosque to the

gravesite  Traditionally Carried by a horsedrawn hearse.  Mourners walk along side or in front of the hearse

Burial
 Embalming or cremating 

the body is forbidden. Only men are allowed to attend the actual grave service The body is laid on its right side and must be buried facing Mecca The wrapped body is placed directly into the ground. No casket of any kind. The grave is marked by a mound (uneven land)

Burial
 The use of

gravestones, special markers are discouraged.  Walking or sitting on top of a grave is strictly forbidden  The showed covering the face is removed  Those present pour 3 handfuls of soil while reciting from

Post-Burial/Mourning
 Official mourning lasts 3 days.  Widows observe an extended mourning period

around 4 months and 10 days long in accordance with the Qur’an. This event is called the Iddah wherein the widow is not allowed to remarry, move from her home, or wear decorative jewelry or clothing.  On the 3rd day relatives visit the graves once more to pray over the dead.  The dead is praised for all the good he has done and no negative comments are allowed.  A banquet is thrown on the 3rd day to

Post-Burial/Mourning
 Of course, it is natural to weep

during the death of a loved one, therefore, weeping for the dead is allowed in Islam.  But it is prohibited to express one’s grief by wailing, shrieking, beating the chest and cheeks, tearing hair or clothes, scratching faces, or speaking phrases which make Muslims lose their faith.

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