Islamic funeral

Islamic funeral

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Funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

s in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

follow fairly specific rite
Rite
A rite is an established, ceremonious, usually religious act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories:* rites of passage, generally changing an individual's social status, such as marriage, baptism, or graduation....

s, though they are subject to regional interpretation and variation in custom. In all cases, however, sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 (Islamic religious law
Religious law
In some religions, law can be thought of as the ordering principle of reality; knowledge as revealed by a God defining and governing all human affairs. Law, in the religious sense, also includes codes of ethics and morality which are upheld and required by the God...

) calls for burial
Burial
Burial is the act of placing a person or object into the ground. This is accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing an object in it, and covering it over.-History:...

 of the body, preceded by a simple ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

 involving bathing and shrouding the body, followed by salah (prayer). Cremation
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

 of the body is forbidden.

Common Islamic burial rituals



Burial rituals should normally take place as soon as possible and include:
  • Bathing the dead body, except in extraordinary circumstances as in battle of Uhud
    Battle of Uhud
    The Battle of Uhud was fought on March 19, 625 at the valley located in front of Mount Uhud, in what is now northwestern Arabia. It occurred between a force from the Muslim community of Medina led by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and a force led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb from Mecca, the town from...

    .
  • Enshrouding
    Shroud
    Shroud usually refers to an item, such as a cloth, that covers or protects some other object. The term is most often used in reference to burial sheets, winding-cloths or winding-sheets, such as the famous Shroud of Turin or Tachrichim that Jews are dressed in for burial...

     dead body in a white cotton or linen cloth.
  • Funeral prayer .(صلاة الجنازة)
  • Burial of the dead body in a grave.
  • Positioning the deceased so that the head is faced towards Mecca
    Mecca
    Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

     (Makkah Al-Mukarramah).

Bathing the deceased


The corpse
Cadaver
A cadaver is a dead human body.Cadaver may also refer to:* Cadaver tomb, tomb featuring an effigy in the form of a decomposing body* Cadaver , a video game* cadaver A command-line WebDAV client for Unix....

 is washed (ghusl
Ghusl
Ghusl is an Arabic term referring to the full ablution required in Islam for various rituals and prayers. The ablution becomes mandatory for any adult Muslim after having sexual intercourse, any sexual discharge , completion of the menstrual cycle, giving birth, and death by natural causes.Islam...

bathed), the purpose is to physically cleanse the corpse. The exact manner: the method, style and accessories used for bathing the corpse may vary from locale and temporal
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 position. However the deceased is bathed, it is an essential ritual of the Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 of the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, and therefore a part of the Islamic Sharia. Ideally, this occurs as soon as possible, within hours of the actual death.

The orthodox practice is that the body is washed while a cloth is put on top of it so that his/her awra (keeping specific organs of the body hidden according to Sharia) is kept hidden. The water is then poured over the body with the cloth on the body. The awra should be covered at all times.

The "washers" are commonly the same gender
Gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

 as the deceased, and immediate family members. In the case of violent death, or accident where the deceased has suffered trauma
Physical trauma
Trauma refers to "a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident." It can also be described as "a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow." Major trauma can result in secondary complications such as circulatory shock, respiratory failure and death...

 or mutilation
Mutilation
Mutilation or maiming is an act of physical injury that degrades the appearance or function of any living body, usually without causing death.- Usage :...

, morgue
Morgue
A morgue or mortuary is used for the storage of human corpses awaiting identification, or removal for autopsy or disposal by burial, cremation or otherwise...

 facilities accommodate this practice and mend or pack the body in a shroud (so there is minimal blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 or fluid
Fluid
In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually deforms under an applied shear stress. Fluids are a subset of the phases of matter and include liquids, gases, plasmas and, to some extent, plastic solids....

 leakage, which would distress the mourners) prior to the body of the departed being surrendered to the mourners.

Enshrouding the deceased


The corpse is typically wrapped in a simple plain
Plain
In geography, a plain is land with relatively low relief, that is flat or gently rolling. Prairies and steppes are types of plains, and the archetype for a plain is often thought of as a grassland, but plains in their natural state may also be covered in shrublands, woodland and forest, or...

 cloth (the kafan).
This is done to respect the dignity and privacy of the deceased. The specifics of this ritual, including the material, style, and color of the cloth, may vary across regions. However, the shroud
Shroud
Shroud usually refers to an item, such as a cloth, that covers or protects some other object. The term is most often used in reference to burial sheets, winding-cloths or winding-sheets, such as the famous Shroud of Turin or Tachrichim that Jews are dressed in for burial...

 should be simple and modest
Simplicity
Simplicity is the state or quality of being simple. It usually relates to the burden which a thing puts on someone trying to explain or understand it. Something which is easy to understand or explain is simple, in contrast to something complicated...

. It is for this reason that Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s have generally preferred to use white cotton cloth to serve as the shroud.
For men using only three pieces of cloth and for females five pieces of cloth. Some perfume may be applied to the cloth as well.

The deceased may be kept in this state for several hours, allowing well-wishers to pass on their respects and condolences.

Funeral prayer


The Muslims of the community gather to offer their collective prayers for the forgiveness of the dead. This prayer has been generally termed as the Salat al-Janazah (Janazah prayer).

The Janazah prayer is as follows:
  • like Eid prayer
    Eid Prayer
    The Eid prayer was prescribed in the first year after the hijra. It is Wajib and Muhammad always performed these prayers.-Procedure:...

    , the Janazah prayer incorporates an additional (four) Takbir
    Takbir
    The Takbīr or Tekbir is the Arabic term for the phrase ' . It is usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great". It is a common Islamic Arabic expression...

    s, the Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

     name for the phrase Allahu Akbar, but there is no Ruku'
    Ruku'
    Rukūʿ refers to the bowing down following the recitation of the Qur'an in the standing position while praying according to Islamic ritual . There is a consensus on the obligatory nature of the ruku...

     (bowing) and Sujud (prostrating).
  • Supplication
    Supplication
    Supplication is the most common form of prayer, wherein a person asks God to provide something, either for the person or who is doing the praying or for someone else on whose behalf a prayer. This because of a supplication is being made, also known as intercession.The concept of supplication is...

     for the deceased and mankind is recited.
  • In extraordinary circumstances, the prayer can be postponed and prayed at a later time as was done in the Battle of Uhud.
  • Dogma
    Dogma
    Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

     states it is obligatory for every Muslim adult male to perform the funeral prayer upon the death of any Muslim, but the dogma embraces the practical in that it qualifies, when Janazah is performed by the few it alleviates that obligation for all.

Burial



The deceased is then taken for burial (al-Dafin). The exact manner, customs and style of the grave
Grave (burial)
A grave is a location where a dead body is buried. Graves are usually located in special areas set aside for the purpose of burial, such as graveyards or cemeteries....

, the burial and so forth may vary by regional custom
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

.

The grave should be aligned perpendicular
Perpendicular
In geometry, two lines or planes are considered perpendicular to each other if they form congruent adjacent angles . The term may be used as a noun or adjective...

 to the Qibla
Qibla
The Qiblah , also transliterated as Qibla, Kiblah or Kibla, is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during salah...

 (i.e. Mecca). The body is placed in the grave without a casket
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

, lying on its right side, and facing the Qibla. Grave markers should be raised only up to a maximum of 30 centimetres (11.8 in) above the ground. Thus Grave markers
Headstone
A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.- Use :...

 are simple, because outwardly lavish displays are discouraged in Islam. Many times graves may even be unmarked, or marked only with a simple wreath
Wreath
A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs and/or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring. They are used typically as Christmas decorations to symbolize the coming of Christ, also known as the Advent season in Christianity. They are also used as festive headdresses...

. However, it is becoming more common for family members to erect grave monuments.

In Middle Eastern cultures women are generally discouraged from participating in the funeral procession. The reason for this is that in pre-Islamic Arabia it was customary in Arabia for grieving women to wail loudly. Wealthy families often even hired 'wailers' to attend the funerals of their deceased relative. Wailing at funerals is not permitted in Islam.

Three fist-sized spheres of hand-packed soil (prepared beforehand by the gravediggers) are used as props, one under the head, one under the chin
Chin
In the human anatomy, the chin is the lowermost part of the face.It is formed by the lower front of the mandible.People show a wide variety of chin structures. See Cleft chin....

 and one under the shoulder. The lowering of the corpse, and positioning of the soil-balls is done by the next of kin. In the case of a departed husband, the male brother or brother-in-law usually performs this task. In the case of a departed wife, the husband undertakes this (if physically able). If the husband is elderly, then the eldest male son (or son-in-law) is responsible for lowering, alignment and propping the departed.

The orthodoxy
Orthodoxy
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

 expects those present to symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

ically pour three handfuls of soil into the grave while reciting a Quranic verse in Arabic meaning "We created you from it, and return you into it, and from it We will raise you a second time". More prayers are then said, asking for forgiveness of the deceased, and reminding the dead of their profession of faith.
The corpse is then fully buried by the gravediggers, who may stamp or pat down the grave to shape. Commonly the eldest male will supervise. After the burial, the Muslims who have gathered to pay their respects to the dead, collectively pray for the forgiveness of the dead. This collective prayer is the last formal collective prayer for the dead. In some cultures e.g. South East Asian Muslims, the surviving members of the deceased scatter flowers and perfumed rose water upon the grave as the last action prior to leaving the grave.

Mourning


According to orthodoxy
Orthodoxy
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

, loved ones and relatives are to observe a 3-day mourning
Mourning
Mourning is, in the simplest sense, synonymous with grief over the death of someone. The word is also used to describe a cultural complex of behaviours in which the bereaved participate or are expected to participate...

 period. Islamic mourning is observed by increased devotion, receiving visitors and condolences, and avoiding decorative clothing and jewelry.

Widow
Widow
A widow is a woman whose spouse has died, while a widower is a man whose spouse has died. The state of having lost one's spouse to death is termed widowhood or occasionally viduity. The adjective form is widowed...

s observe an extended mourning period (iddah
Iddah
In Islam, iddah or iddat is the period a woman must observe after the death of her spouse or after a divorce, during which she may not marry another man. The period, three months after a divorce and four months and ten days after the death of a spouse, is calculated on the number of menses that a...

, period of waiting), 4 months and 10 days long, in accordance with the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

. During that time, the widow is not to remarry, interact with na-mahram (with whom she can marry). (This rule is to confirm that the woman is not pregnant with the deceased's child prior to remarrying). However in case of emergencies such as visiting a doctor because of a health emergency, the widow can interact with na-mahram.

Grief at the death of a beloved person is normal, and weeping for the dead (by males or females) is perfectly acceptable in Islam.

Islam does expect expression of one's grief to remain dignified: Islam prohibits the expression of grief by loud wailing (bewailing refers to mourning in a loud voice), shrieking, beating the chest and cheeks, tearing hair or clothes, breaking objects, scratching faces or speaking phrases that make a Muslim lose faith, although much latitude is granted in practice, as fatigue and emotion can adversely affect ones' behaviour, and such behaviour is rarely censured.

Directives for widows


The Qur'an prohibits widow
Widow
A widow is a woman whose spouse has died, while a widower is a man whose spouse has died. The state of having lost one's spouse to death is termed widowhood or occasionally viduity. The adjective form is widowed...

s to engage themselves for four lunar month
Lunar month
In lunar calendars, a lunar month is the time between two identical syzygies . There are many variations. In Middle-Eastern and European traditions, the month starts when the young crescent moon becomes first visible at evening after conjunction with the Sun one or two days before that evening...

s and ten days, after the death of their husbands. According to the Qur'an:
Islamic scholars consider this directive a balance between the mourning of a husband's death and the protection of a widow from cultural or societal censure if she became interested in re-marrying after her husband’s death, often an economic necessity. This provision also operates to protect the property rights of the unborn, as the duration is enough to ascertain whether a lady is pregnant or not.

Husbands are recommended to make a will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

in favor of their wives for the provision of one year’s residence and maintenance, except if the wives themselves leave the house or take any other similar step. As stated in Qur'an:

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