Islamic funerals are known as ‘Janazah’, marking the important transition of the person who has died into the eternal afterlife. Muslim funerals bring the local Islamic community together to pray for the recently deceased and to give comfort to the grieving family. Here is a guide to help you to plan or prepare to attend a Muslim funeral service.
What happens before a Muslim funeral service?
When someone dies, Islamic faith requires them to be buried as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours. If a member of your family has died, you should start making arrangements with both a local funeral director and your local mosque as soon as possible. Exceptions are made for unexpected deaths or difficult circumstances.
Before a Muslim funeral service, the body of the deceased should be washed (known as Ghusi), with their hands placed in prayer, and then covered in white sheets (known as Kafan). Ghusi is typically performed by members of the same sex as the deceased, but there are some occasions when the spouse can do this.
After this, the body of the deceased will be transported to the mosque, where the funeral service will be held.
What is a Muslim funeral service (Janazah) like?
Islamic funerals are important spiritual occasions. Taking place at a mosque, the Muslim community will gather together to pray for the person who has died. The funeral service will usually be held in a prayer room, courtyard or community area outside the mosque.
During a Muslim funeral service, the body of the deceased and the mourners will face Mecca; the men will be at the front, followed by the children and then the women.
The Imam will lead the funeral prayers, known as Salat al-Janazah. The service will include prayers and readings from the Quran. The final prayer of the service comes from the family, to ask for forgiveness on behalf of the deceased.
The deceased will then be taken to the burial ground, followed by a silent procession of the guests.
What happens at an Islamic burial?
Traditionally only men would attend an Islamic burial, however some Muslim communities allow women and children.
According to Islamic law, Muslim graves should be at a right angle to the direction of Mecca. The deceased will be placed in their grave on their right side, to face the holy city.
Attendees of the burial will be invited to drop a handful of dirt into the grave.
Under Islamic law, cremation is not allowed for Muslim funerals.
How long does a Muslim funeral service last?
Muslim funeral services are short, usually lasting between 30 and 60 minutes.
What do you say at a Muslim funeral?
During the service, funeral prayers are led by the Imam. All Muslim men must take part in Salat al-Janazah, with women taking part if they wish.
Those who aren’t Muslim should remain quiet whilst listening to the prayers.
What should I wear to a Muslim funeral?
As a sign of respect, men and women should dress conservatively when attending a Muslim funeral. Men should wear a shirt and trousers. Women must wear a headscarf, plus a long skirt and a long-sleeved shirt with a high neck. Shoes will be removed before prayer.
What happens after a Muslim funeral service?
After the service and burial, the family of the deceased usually invites funeral guests back to their home for a meal. This is where guests can express condolences to the family.
The Islamic faith says that there should be a period of 40 days of mourning. During this time, it is customary to send flowers and food to the family of the deceased.
How much does a Muslim funeral cost?
Typical Islamic funeral costs are dependent on the region that the burial is taking place. These charges vary by area but your local funeral director will be able to let you know how much the funeral will cost.
Find out more about funeral costs.
Traditionally, a Muslim man will pay for his own burial, with money from his estate. He may also be expected to pay for his wife or family member’s, if they do not have the funds.
Our funeral directors can help you arrange a Muslim funeral service for your loved one. We’re experienced in arranging funerals for all, regardless of faith, religion or culture.
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