Understanding Muslim funeral traditions and rites will help prepare you if you are planning to attend one or are just curious about their customs. Here is what you need to know about Islamic funeral customs and service rituals:
When To Hold a Muslim Funeral
Based on Islamic law, the body should be buried as soon as possible from the time of death. The bereaved family should contact the local Islamic community organization as soon as possible to help with arrangements for the funeral service and burial and coordinate with the funeral home.
Preparing the Body for Burial
In preparing the body for burial, it must be washed (“Ghusl”) and shrouded (“Kafan”). It is encouraged that the close same-sex family members wash the body. But in the case of spousal death, the spouse should perform the washing three times. It should be done in the following order: upper right side, upper left side, lower right side, and then lower left side. Afterward, the body should be covered in a white sheet.
In shrouding the body, the family member should lay three large white sheets on top of each other. The body should also be placed on top of the sheets. The shrouding should be secured with four ropes: one tied above the head, two tied around the body, and one tied below the feet. After shrouding, the body should be transported to the mosque for funeral prayers.
Islamic Funeral Rites
Muslim funerals are held outside the mosque or in a location where members of the community may gather, such as a prayer room or a community square. The body and all attendees are turned to face Mecca, the holy center of Islam. The Imam, the sacred leader, leads funeral prayers.
The mourning period of a death of a Muslim member for a relative is typically three days. Meanwhile, a widow may mourn up to four months and 10 days.
Comprehensive Information From Experts
If you want to learn more about Muslim funeral traditions, feel free to reach out to the team of Direct Cremation Services of Virginia. We’ll also be glad to assist you with various funeral planning options.