How to attend a Muslim funeral: A funeral is a spiritual event that takes place when a person leaves this world for his last journey. In Islam, the Muslims hold the belief that this life is a temporary phase and the real journey starts after death. The final abode for the Muslims is Allah’s chosen place for him, Jannah or Hell.
Funerals in Islam, have certain sets of rules and regulations that are followed by the Muslim community. People gather around to pay respect to the dead and pray Salat ul Janazah. A Muslim’s dead body is given Ghusl and wrapped in a shroud following by the funeral prayer. Islam doesn’t allow cremation of the dead body therefore it is buried inside the ground in the graveyard.
How to Prepare for a Muslim’s Funeral?
6- What Happens at an Islamic Funeral?
Funerals in Islam, are held to pray for the person who has passed away and grieve with the family. People gather around to supplicate for an easy afterlife for the person being grieved and it also serves as a reminder of the temporary nature of this life. The funerals are usually held inside a mosque, courtyard or community center.
Muslims hold the belief that the body remains behind, whereas the soul goes to its Creator, Allah SWT. Therefore a Muslim’s body is buried under the ground. Before the burial, the body is bathed thrice properly to clean any ‘Najaas’ (uncleanness) and is wrapped tightly in the three layers of Kafan cloth. The male family members, friends, relatives or other Muslim brothers offer Salaat Ul Janazah for the soul of the deceased.
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5- Islamic Funeral Etiquette
There is always a set of etiquette that we have to follow before attending an Islamic event. People have to follow certain moral codes during their presence at a Muslim’s funeral. As it is a difficult time for the family, we should not hurt them with our actions or backbite about the deceased.
- Clothing– Before attending a funeral, one has to be mindful of his dress and clothes. He should not be wearing anything flashy that draws attention towards him.
- Speaking good of the dead– We should always be watchful of what comes out of our mouths while speaking. Our words should never hurt ur fellow brothers. And when someone has passed away, we should never mention his bad deeds or slander his character. We should speak of his good deeds or stay quiet.
- Do not take pictures– In the present times, taking pictures has become easier than ever due to our mobile phones. But, we should not be taking any picture of the dead body or the deceased’s family for any cause. We should pay utmost respect to them.
- Consoling the mourner – The family that a person leaves behind is in grave pain. They need a shoulder to lean on to cry out. We should help them in such trying times and console them with hopeful words.
- Praying for the deceased– We should pray for the deceased for his forgiveness and peace as they need our prayers the most.
4- Salat ul Janaaza
Salat ul Janazah is the funeral prayer that is recited by the members of the community for the ease and forgiveness of the deceased. It is Fardh Kifayah and should be recited for the Muslims who have passed away.
Method of the Prayer
This Salah is not performed like regular prayer, instead, it has certain criteria that have to be followed correctly by the believers.
- First Takbeer- The Imam should say the first takbeer, touching his earlobes with his hands and recite Sa’na and Surah Fatiha following by a short surah.
- Second Takbeer- The Imam could be touching his earlobes or not as both the methods are permissible. Then he should recite Durood e Ibrahimi.
- Third Takbeer- After the third takbeer, a supplication is recited for the forgiveness of the deceased.
- Fourth Takbeer- After the fourth takbeer one can pray silently for himself and the Muslim Ummah.
- Tasleem/Salam- Salam should be made to the right side or both sides like a regular prayer as both are permissible.
Exceptions- There are certain exceptions in the religion that a child who hasn’t reached the stage of puberty or who dies inside the womb will be buried without Dalat ul Janazah.
3- Importance of Attending Funeral in Islam
The most important right of a Muslim on his fellow Muslim brother is to attend his funeral and Salat ul Janazah. When we attend a funeral with a sincere and clean heart and helping the family to cope up with the loss, we will get countless rewards from Allah SWT. Such an event is also a reminder for us that this world is a temporary place and we will return to our Creator, Allah SWT.
2- Kafan Cloth in Islam
The kafan cloth is a garment that is used as a shroud to cover the body of the deceased. It is an important step to be taken when a Muslim dies. The family and the relatives should make sure that the shroud they are using for the deceased is;
Neat and clean. The shroud should be clean and free of any Najaas or uncleanness. According to Abu Qatadah, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
“If one of you is a guardian to his deceased brother, he should give him the best shroud he can.”
White in colour. It should be white and no spot or tinge of colour should be on the cloth. According to Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Tirmizhi, the Prophet, peace be upon him said:
“Wear white clothes, for these are your best clothes, and enshroud your dead in the
Scented. The kafan cloth should be scented with a non-alcoholic perfume. As Ahmad and Al-Hakim quoted that Prophet Muhammad PBUH said,
“If you perfume a dead body, do it three times.”
There should be three wraps for a man as the Prophet Muhammad PBUH was wrapped after he was called to his Creator. As reported by Hazrat Aisha RA;
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, was wrapped in three pieces of new white sheets of cloth from Yemen, without a shirt or a turban.
Women should be wrapped in five layers. The cloth should be large enough to cover the whole body.
1- Delaying Burial in Islam
The most important right of a deceased person is to bury the body as soon as possible. The delay is not advisable until there is a valid reason like waiting for the blood relatives to gather for the funeral prayer. Nonetheless, the body should be given Ghusl immediately and wrapped in the Kafan cloth and the family should hasten the burial. As the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, Himself stated,
‘Hasten the Burial’AL BUKHARI