First, all praise is due to Allah; we praise Allah and seek Allah’s help and forgiveness. Without Allah’s guidance and help, nothing can be achieved.
Death is a very painful and emotional time, yet spiritual faith may allow it to be one that is filled with hope and mercy. Muslims believe that death is a departure from the life of this world, but not the end of a person’s existence. Rather, they believe that eternal life is yet to come and pray for God’s mercy to be with the departed, in hopes that they may find peace and happiness in the life that is yet to come. At this difficult time, direct family members need as much love and support as possible to give them patience and ease.
In the UK many young Muslims are not familiar with what to do, both, from a religious requirement and in terms of the practical steps that need to be completed for the burial of one’s loved ones.
We have produced this document based on practical experience having to navigate and organise events at what is already a very painful and distressing time.
If you are unsure about any aspect, or you need help and guidance, member of the extended family, and your local mosque are always available to help and consult. We as Muslims have no central register or body, and it seems many people have their own interpretation of the religious requirements, without knowledge or understanding of the family needs and wishes.
Most mosques have a burial office or organiser where you can seek advice, however, these are mainly volunteers and not responsible to the mosque. Considering that these people are volunteers, there is enormous goodwill and compassion from them, unfortunately, level of organisation and process is often poor, at a time when you want to rely on someone to take care of all the formalities.
If you are a member of a mosque then you are generally given priority above non-members. Therefore, our first IMPORTANT TIP is to ensure that you and your family members have a membership of your local mosque. If you have elderly parents/family members we would encourage that you make contact informally and familiarise yourself with the formalities and services on offer.
Costs of funerals vary greatly, as a rule, a burial can cost between £4,000 – £7,000 dependent on a few factors. As a general costing guide see below:
- Burial Plot – can vary between £2,000 – £4,000
- Funeral Director – can vary between £1,000 – £1,500
- Donation to Mosque for Ghusl and Prayers
- Funds for Food / Catering for the burial and first 3 days
Notes to above –
- If you bury the deceased locally the burial costs are lower. (Non-residents typically pay a surcharge, which can double the cost of the burial plot). Although our Prophet (pbuh) encouraged us to bury where the person died and in haste, personal family circumstances, and the wishes of the deceased can vary, and nothing is prohibited.
- Using a Funeral Director can add around £1,000 – £1,500 to the total costs as shown above. IMPORTANT TIP In our experience, if you can afford to have a funeral director then we would definitely encourage this. The funeral director has the contacts and experience to ensure the deceased body is taken from the place of death to the mosque and then after Ghusl and Prayers to the Cemetery with Dignity. We have seen occasions where Funeral directors have not been used and burials are delayed or the burial cancelled as procedures have not been followed, and other occasions where Mosque helpers have moved deceased bodies in rental / hire vans. Clearly hiring a funeral director has a cost; if you are unable to pay this then you will need to plan with the Mosque a dignified and organised method of moving the body, and organising the burial at the cemetery. There are a few dedicated Muslim Funeral directors, however, in our experience, you can use any general service that has local experience/knowledge and contacts.
- In many cases, the Mosque will not ask for fees to carry out the Ghusl and Prayers. We would advise that you look to make a direct donation to the mosque so that they can invest in and improve their burial facilities for all community members.
- Food/catering for the occasion is often dependent on the number of people attending. If it is a small gathering you can organise this at the family home where the prayers are being made if it is a larger gathering most mosques will have an area where visitors can eat after the Janazah. The advantage of using the mosque facilities are if some women and children decide not to participate in the burial they can wait in the mosque after the Janazah prayer for the others to come back. Logistically this is easier at a time when people are distressed. Islamic traditions state that the food should be simple, however, there are no rules on what should be served.
- TIP – It is advisable, if possible, for you to have monies set aside for your funeral. This can be through regular savings or through a savings or insurance plan.
- TIP – Although nobody likes to discuss death, this is one area where our Prophet (pbuh) encouraged us all to think about, as it is the only one certainty in life. If you have any particular desires at your time of death you can state these in your Will, and or mention to family or place in writing.
WHEN A PERSON IS AT THE POINT OF DEATH
Family of the dying person and their close friends should be informed and if possible be present at their side to help them turn their thoughts to Allah, encourage them very gently to repent, remind them about all the good deeds that they did, about Allah’s mercy, and Allah’s forgiveness so that they may anticipate Allah’s mercy and Allah’s favours.
Those who are present near a dying Muslim should do the following:
- They should be kind and patient.
- They should make all efforts not to leave them alone. (if the person is in a hospital this can be difficult)
- They should give him hope, not allowing them to collapse out of pain or panic.
They should prompt them very gently (Encouragement without insistence) every now and then to say the Shahada: “La ilaha Ella Allah”, which means ‘There is no God but Allah,’ in a very kind and sincere manner as these may be their last words.
- There is no authentic evidence of reading chapter (Surah Yasin) beside a dying Muslim.
- There is no authentic evidence of directing the dying Muslim to the Qiblah.
- There is no Islamic teaching of putting the Quran under the head of a dead Muslim.
As long as the intentions of the family and friends are good, then nothing is prohibited and if the family and person gain ease and patience from the above, then they should proceed and make everyone as comfortable as possible.
For some people reading or playing the Quran on their mobile silently gives much comfort.
WHEN SOMEONE DIES
When the person is confirmed dead, family members or those who are present should:
Close the eyes of the deceased.
Um, Salma reported that: ” When her husband died, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) closed his eyes” (Muslim).
They should bind his lower jaw to his head so that it does not sag with a white cloth, or any scarf or cloth. Again you do not need to worry what you use, as long as it is clean, as this will be removed when the Ghusl takes place.
They should cover all their body completely with a clean sheet.
They should make Dua’ (Supplicate) to Allah to forgive him.
HEARING OF SOMEONE’S DEATH
It is usual on hearing of a death of a fellow Muslim, to recite the following brief prayer:
Innaa liIlayhi Wa Innaa Ilayhi Raaji’oon
(Verily we belong to Allah and will return to Allah) For people who cannot speak Arabic, it is perfectly acceptable to read the prayer in English or your own language.
Today, we live in a world where we communicate on mobile phones and social media. If you hear of someone’s death you can send him or her an electronic message. (If they are a family member of the close friend it is more dignified to personally visit them as soon as you hear, or call them on the telephone. For more distant relationships you can look to send an electronic message by phone, and or on social media messaging. Example of the message below:
Innaa liIlayhi Wa Innaa Ilayhi Raaji’oon. We are very sorry to hear about your loss. May Allah (swt) grant you and your family patience and ease, and grant you………. Jannat al Firdous.
ANNOUNCING SOMEONE’S DEATH
Traditionally close family members are very distraught and emotional at this difficult time so aren’t coherent enough to remember everyone. It is, therefore, the duty of family and friends to spread the news further giving everyone possible the opportunity to come and pay their respects and attend the funeral. (This should not be a time where we create issues/family disputes, it is the role of all to make this time as easy as possible for the direct family)
A Muslim should not wait for an invitation to a burial, if you hear of a loss, it is your duty to make inquiries and establish the formalities and burial arrangements. It is quite typical that people make announcements of a death on social media, whilst in the day of our Prophet (pbuh), it would have been frowned upon to advertise/amplify a death. We need to consider that in those days everyone lived in the same house/street, whereas today we live independently and often in different cities or even countries. Therefore with the changing circumstances, it is important that we adapt, and all loved ones get the opportunity to attend the funeral whatever communication method is used.
An example of an electronic message you would send:
Salaam, Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi Raaji’oon. Our father has just passed away. Please pray that Allah (swt) has mercy on his soul, forgives him for his sins and mistakes and grants him the highest paradise.
PRACTICAL STEPS – Expected Death
If the death was expected, contact the doctor who attended the deceased during their final illness.
If the doctor can certify the cause of death he or she will give you the following:
- A Formal Notice that states that the doctor has signed the medical certificate and tells you how to get the death registered and
- A Medical Certificate that shows the cause of death (this is free of charge and this will be in a sealed envelope addressed to the Registrar of Deaths).
- If the doctor treating the deceased had not seen him or her either after the death or within 14 days before the death, the death must be reported to the coroner, as explained later in the document.
See later sections in this document on what to do next.
PRACTICAL STEPS – Expected Death in Hospital
- If the death occurs in the hospital, the hospital staff will contact the person named by the deceased as next of kin.
- If close family or friends are in a hospital, it is important that you make sure that hospital staff are aware of and have recorded details of the next of kin in case of emergency.
- A doctor will issue a Formal Notice and Medical Certificate, as stated above. See later sections in this document on what to do next.
- The hospital will keep the body in the hospital mortuary until the next of kin arranges for it to be taken away. Please note that the hospital will not normally release the body until the Green Form is obtained from the Registrar of Deaths. The process for obtaining the Green Form is explained below.
- Hospital staff will also arrange for the next of kin to collect the deceased’s possessions.
If you are asked for permission to do a post-mortem, it is better to refuse, unless you feel it will help to save someone else’s life. As it is an expected death it is not normally required, it is preferable not to delay the burial further.
IMPORTANT ADVICE – Although the immediate time of death will be extremely distressing we would advise that you look to speak to the nursing staff and ask when and where you can collect the medical certificate from the Doctor. Because non-Muslim deaths don’t have the same haste, and medical staff shortages, if the doctor who looked after the deceased has left on leave or gone home it is not uncommon to see delays of 1 or 2 days in getting the medical certificate. Ensure that you inform them of the requirement to carry out the burial as soon as possible and that you need the medical certificate the same day.
PRACTICAL STEPS – Unexpected Death
If you discover a body or the death is sudden or unexpected, you should contact the following people:
- The family doctor
- The deceased’s next of kin
- The local mosque / Funeral Director
If necessary, the police will help find the people listed above.
If the cause of death is quite clear the doctor will be able to certify the cause of death and he or she will give you the following:
- A Formal Notice that states that a doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and tells you how the death can be registered and
- A Medical Certificate that shows the cause of death (this is free of charge and will be given in a sealed envelope addressed to the Registrar of Deaths).
If the doctor treating the deceased had not seen him or her either after the death or within 14 days before the death, the death must be reported to the coroner as explained in the next section of this guide.
Unexpected Death – reporting to the coroner
The coroner is a doctor or lawyer responsible for investigating deaths. In any of the following circumstances, the doctor may report the death to the coroner:
- If the cause of death is unknown or uncertain
- The death was sudden and unexplained, e.g. a sudden infant death (cot death)
- The death occurred in prison or in police custody
- The death was caused by an accident or injury
- The death was caused by an industrial disease
- The death occurred while the patient was undergoing an operation or did not recover from the anaesthetic.
Also as noted above, if the doctor treating the deceased had not seen him or her either after the death or within 14 days before the death, the death must also be reported to the coroner. The coroner is likely to be the only person to certify the cause of death under the above circumstances.
Unexpected Death – coroner’s post-mortem
The coroner may arrange for a post-mortem examination of the body to determine the cause of death if not known. The consent of relatives is not needed but they are entitled to be represented at the examination. When relatives have told the coroner they wish to be represented the coroner will, if at all practicable, tell them when and where the examination will be. If the post-mortem shows that death was due to natural causes, the coroner may issue a notification known as the Pink Form (Form 100), which gives the cause of death so that the death can be registered. The coroner usually sends the form directly to the Registrar of Deaths but may give it to you to deliver.
Unexpected Death – inquest
An inquest is an inquiry into the medical cause and circumstances of a death. It is held in public, sometimes with a jury. It is up to the coroner how to organise the enquiry in a way which best serves the public interest and the interests of the relatives.
The coroner will hold an inquest if the death was:
- Violent or unnatural or
- Caused by an industrial disease or
- The death occurred in prison or
- If the cause of death remains uncertain after a post-mortem examination.
The coroner may give you an Order for Burial (form 101) so that the funeral can take place. This may be done before the inquest is completed, provided the body is not required for further examination. The coroner will also send a Certificate After Inquest (form 99 [rev]), stating the cause of death, to the Registrar of Deaths. This allows the death to be registered
If a baby is stillborn (born dead after 24 weeks of pregnancy) you will be given a Medical Certificate of Stillbirth signed by the midwife or doctor, which should be given to the Registrar of Deaths. If no doctor or midwife was present and no doctor or midwife examined the body, you will not be given a Medical Certificate of Stillbirth. You must, however, sign a form (form 35)which the Registrar of Deaths will give to you when you go to register the death. If a baby is stillborn before 24 weeks of pregnancy it is treated as a “non-viable foetus”. You will be given a form by the midwife or doctor recording the details of the non-viable foetus. You do not, however, need to register the death of a nonviable the foetus with the Registrar of Deaths; no other paperwork is involved.
In Islam, a foetus is defined as a morsel of flesh/blood/water if less than 120 days (17 weeks) inside a mother’s womb. It becomes human after 120 days (17 weeks or more). A birth is given after 120 days (17 weeks) of pregnancy that is stillborn must be given a name. If it is difficult to determine the sex of the child then a neutral name suitable for both boys and girls must be given. Both a foetus and stillborn must be buried. It is important that you do this promptly, especially for “non-viable foetuses”, because if you do not then the hospital will make arrangements for disposal/burial in a multi-faith mass grave and your baby will be denied a Muslim burial.
In Islam, there are different schools of thought regarding organ donation. As writers, we see the saying of our prophet (pbuh) that “saving a single life is like saving all of mankind” therefore if your donation saves a life there is no higher calling that can be achieved. If you are still unclear please consult your own Imam and act according to their ruling.
Summary of Paperwork needed for burial
A burial cannot be carried out without the Certificate of Burial, known as the “Green Form”. Your local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages give this form. You will need to make an appointment with the registrar. The Registry office is not open on weekends and bank holidays. Most local authorities have an emergency number on their website and will prioritise Muslim and Jewish members of the community. You will be allocated a 30-minute appointment slot, and it is ESSENTIAL that you are on time.
You can find the address in the phone book / or online under
REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, DEATHS & MARRIAGES, or from the mosque, doctor, local council, post office or police station.
You should tell the Registrar the following at the meeting:
- The date and place of death
- The deceased’s last (usual) address
- The deceased’s first names and surname (and the maiden name where appropriate)
- The deceased’s date and place of birth (town and country if born in the UK, and country if born abroad)
- The deceased’s occupation and the name and occupation of their spouse
- Whether the deceased was getting a pension or allowance from public funds
- If the deceased was married, the spouse’s full name and address and their date of birth.
IMPORTANT TIP – When going for your appointment with the registrar you MUST take all mandatory documents otherwise they WILL NOT certify the death. A full list of the documents is available online, and each local authority may have different requirements so please check, however, these will include the documents listed below (It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the mandatory documentation)
- Death Certificate (or Pink Form 100, given by Coroner)
- Proof of Address for Deceased (Utility Bill, etc.)
- Passport of Deceased
- Driving License if available of Deceased
- National Insurance card of Deceased
- NHS Medical card of deceased
- Birth & Marriage Certificates for Deceased
- Spouse’s Passport (for their personal details)
- Your proof of Identity as the applicant, such as your driving license or passport
The Registrar who registers the death will give you the Certificate for Burial (known as the Green Form) unless the A coroner has already given you an Order for Burial (form 101). For a stillbirth, you will instead be given a Certificate of registration of Stillbirth. The above forms (only one of them is required, not both) give permission for the body to be buried. No burial can take place at the cemetery without presenting one of these forms to funeral director/cemetery staff. In addition, certain other paperwork including the Death A certificate is provided at the same time as the death is registered. Typically only one Death Certificate is given, however, you can ask the registrar for additional copies which will be charged at £4 per copy. IMPORTANT TIP – (We would advise that you purchase at least 2 or 3 additional copies as originals are generally required for statutory changes/notifications post-death.
Doctor/Coroner Gives: Registrar Gives
|Expected Death |
death not referred
|Formal Notice, and |
on Cause of Death
|Certificate of Burial |
(Known as the
|unexpected death |
|Form 100 (Pink form) |
or, Form 101, Order for
|Certificate for Burial(known as the Green |
form) if Form 100 if Given, Nothing
further needed If form 101 is given.
|Stillborn below 24th Week |
|Form giving details of |
|Nothing further needed |
|Stillborn in the 24th |
Or higher week of
|Medical Certificate |
|Certificate of |
Registration of Stillbirth
As soon as you have the right documents for burial, (GREEN FORM) or are sure of getting the documents by a particular time, you should look to plan the funeral as soon as possible.
If available, a cemetery (or section of one) set aside for Muslims is preferable. The deceased is laid in the grave (without a coffin if permitted by local law) on his or her right side, facing Mecca. Many people choose to have a simple coffin and although it was said that a shroud burial (without coffin) was preferable in the days of the Prophet (pbuh), either coffin or shroud is acceptable Islamically, and some councils do not allow a shroud burial.
IMPORTANT TIP – whether you are using a funeral director or not, we would advise that someone visits the cemetery and chooses the burial plot. On a practical basis plot locations often vary in price (some areas become waterlogged in the winter) and secondly you may have a particular site, a shade under a tree, or other location more desirable to the family.
In addition, whilst this may not be the time to decide, many cemeteries will now allow you to reserve an adjacent plot for other family members. If you leave this even a few days often the places will be gone as cemeteries bury in order of space.
You must have a Certificate for Burial (known as the Green Form) or Order for Burial (form 101) that a coroner has issued otherwise a burial CANNOT TAKE PLACE.
There are five main points for the preparation of a Muslim’s body for burial as listed below:
- Body Washing or Ghusl
- Shrouding the body – Kafn
- Funeral Prayers (Janãzah Salãh)
- Funeral procession (carrying the funeral bier to the grave)
The practical aspects of arranging funerals cover:
- Making arrangements for Ghusl
- Arranging transport of the body (from wherever it is being kept to the place where Ghusl is to take place, to the home of the family if required, to the mosque if Janãzah Salãh is to take place there and then finally to the cemetery)
- Making arrangements with the cemetery
You can arrange all or any of the above either through your local mosque or through a Funeral director. You can if you have the knowledge do any or all of the above yourself with help from friends and family.
IMPORTANT TIP –
- If affordability is not an issue, hiring the services of a Muslim Funeral Director or General Funeral Director who has knowledge/experience of Muslim Burials would be the best option. The prices range between £1000 – 1500, and this would include bringing the body to the Mosque and then after the Ghusl (washing) taking the body to the Cemetery.
The religious importance of burying quickly
In accordance with Sharee’ah, the burial should not be delayed on any account or for the arrival of family members or for any other reason.
Rasulullah (s.a.w.) has emphasised:
“Make haste in burying the deceased (mayyit): because if it is the Janãzah of a pious servant, then enjoin this goodness with its station quickly; and if it is the Janãzah of an evil person then quickly dispose of such a load from your shoulders.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Aboo Dawood, Tirmizi, Nasa’ee, Ibne Maajah)
Islamic scholars have stated:
“’If a person dies on a Friday, it is better to make all arrangements and bury the deceased before the Jumu’ah congregational Salãh. Delaying funeral with the thought that there will be many more participants in the Janãzah Salãh
after Jumu’ah is undesirable (makrooh).”
Moreover, the blessings and forgiveness for the deceased that will be acquired in a few (even though it be a handful) attending the funeral prayers before Jumu’ah in accordance with the command of Rasulullah (s.a.w) is more worthy then delaying the funeral prayers for later, notwithstanding the
greater number of participants likely to attend.
Ghusl (washing and shrouding)
When a Muslim dies, it is the responsibility of their family or other Muslims within the local community to wash them according to the Islamic rites of washing the deceased. Usually at least three to four people will be involved with the actual ghusal (washing and shrouding).
The persons who may wash the deceased should:
- Be an adult Muslim, honest and trustworthy person
- Be of the same gender as the deceased
- For a child, either males or females may do the ghusl
- It is recommended that those who performed the washing should make wudhu (ablution)
The washing of the body is preferably carried out at the Mosque. Most mosques have this facility and if in rare circumstances your mosque does not have this facility, you will need to establish where and who can help you carry out this very important part of the burial process.
The person in the mosque will be trained in carrying out the Ghusl according to Islamic rites; so family members just need to follow instructions.
- Washing the body of a very close family member is very distressing, so please ensure that you are prepared and able to carry out this task. If for any health or other reason you feel this will be too distressing, please nominate someone else on your behalf.
- In case the deceased is a female in her menstrual period or have childbirth bleeding, padding should be used to prevent blood from leaving the body.
- It is recommended that those who performed the washing should take a bath after performing the ghusl.
- There is no Islamic teaching of reading the Quran or of making any special dhikr during the ghusl.
Dress Code / Etiquette for Janazah
Black is an acceptable colour for Muslim funeral attire, but it is not required in most branches of the religion. However, dark tones are usually advisable. We recommend “conservative clothing and subdued colours” as a rule of thumb. You should reject any outfit with bright patterns or brand names. Of course, variation exists between different cultural groups and you may find that certain things are acceptable for some Muslims but not for others. In principle, the dress code for Men and Women should be modest. This means a shirt and trousers for men and fully covered (not tight or transparent) clothing for women. A headscarf is also essential for women.
Some men choose not to shave for the first three days, although there is no Islamic text to support this, people feel they are mourning and not beautifying themselves in this period. There is no prohibition or rule in Islam, as long as the intentions are good.
How to perform the funeral prayers (Janãzah Salãh)
Grief at the death of a beloved person is normal, and weeping for the dead is allowed in Islam. What is prohibited is to express grief by wailing ( Bewailing refers to mourning in a loud voice), shrieking, beating the chest and cheeks, tearing hair or clothes, breaking things or scratching faces or saying phrases that make a Muslim lose faith.
IMPORTANT – Every member of the family, including Female members, should be offered the same opportunity to be at the graveside and take part in the burial process if they wish.
The attitude of excluding women from funerals is questionable. When you take a closer look at the Islamic text the prohibition was conditional and not a blanket prohibition by the blessed Prophet (pbuh). Islam prohibits behaviour such as wailing, tearing the clothing, jumping into caskets, cursing God’s decree, beating one’s self, and similar behaviour. In fact, such behaviour is prohibited for both men and women.
It is important that all family members are aware of the etiquette of funerals. If they fear they may not be able to manage their emotions they can stay at the mosque or home. If your family is more traditional it may be better if Women remained around 5 metres away whilst the grave is being filled and then can come close for the prayer.
The Janãzah Salãh consists of FOUR TAKBEERS, THANA, DUROOD, a DUA for the deceased and TWO SALAAMS.
All these are said SILENTLY by both the Imam and the congregation. Just the Imam should call out the Takbeers and Salaams aloud.
There are two compulsory acts in the Janãzah Salãh: to stand and perform the Salãh and to recite all the FOUR Takbeers.
NIYYAT (intention) should be made as follows: “I am performing this Janãzah Salãh for Allah behind this Imam” (The Salãh being a prayer for the deceased). After the Niyyat the hands should be raised up to the ears and the Imam will give the first takbeer by saying “Allahu Akbar” loudly and the congregation will repeat this softly. Then fold your arms under the navel similar to all daily Salãh.
Then recite THANA softly:
Glory be to You Oh Allah, and praise is to You, and blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your Majesty, and there is none to be served beside You.
The Imam will then recite the Takbeer aloud and the congregation softly for the second time. The hands should NOT be raised when saying this and all subsequent Takbeers. The Durood Ibrahim should now be read:
Oh, Allah! Shower Your mercy upon Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the followers of Muhammad (s.a.w.), as You showered Your mercy upon Ibrahim and the followers of Ibrahim. Behold, You are Praiseworthy, Glorious. Oh, Allah! Shower Your blessing upon Muhammad (s.a.w.), and the followers of Muhammad (s.a.w.) as You showered Your blessings upon Ibrahim and the followers of Ibrahim. Behold, You are Praiseworthy, Glorious
Thereafter, the Takbeer should be said for the THIRD time and the following Dua be recited for an adult male or female:
Oh, Allah! Forgive those of us that are alive and those of us that are dead; those of us that are present and those of us who are absent; those of us who are young and those of us who are adults; our males and our females.
Oh, Allah! Whomsoever You keep alive, let him live as a follower of Islam and whomsoever You cause to die, let him die a Believer.
For a child who has not reached the age of puberty the following Dua should be recited after the THIRD Takbeer:
Oh, Allah! Make him/her (this child) a source for our salvation and make him/her a source of reward and treasure for us and make him/her an intercessor for us and one whose intercession is accepted.
The Imam should say the FOURTH Takbeer and thereafter recite the Salaam aloud TWICE while turning his face first towards the RIGHT shoulder and then once again while turning his face towards the left. The congregation should follow by saying the Takbeer and Salaam softly.
Prayer in the Cemetery
Rasulullah (s.a.w.) taught these words as a salutation to the people of the graves and to pray for their forgiveness:
Peace be upon you, O you of the believers and Muslims dwelling in these abodes. Behold, if Allah wills, we shall meet you. We beseech Oh Allah safety for us and for you.
There are many supplications that may be read at the graveside, the best is the recital of the Holy Quraan.
Stand to face the grave (back towards the Qiblah) and recite as much of the Quraan as possible and make Dua for the forgiveness of the deceased.
A few other ways of praying for the dead are given below:
- In a Hadith, it is reported that you should recite Surah IKHLAAS 11 times
- In a Hadith, it is reported that if a person recites Surah YASEEN in the cemetery, the punishment of the dead will be eased and the reciter will be rewarded just as much as the deceased.
- In a Hadith, it is reported that whoever visits the cemetery and recites the following Surahs and then prays for the dead, the people of the grave will also ask Allah for such a person’s forgiveness.
TAKAASUR (ALHAKUMUT TAKAASUR)
What do to after Death & Burial
It is important that you look to execute the deceased person’s Will and last wishes, as soon as possible, according to their wishes
On a formal basis, it is important that you notify the local authorities so they can ensure that all pensions and other local authority documentation are completed.
Loved ones and relatives should observe a three-day mourning period. Mourning is observed in Islam by increased devotion, receiving visitors and condolences, and avoiding decorative clothing and jewellery. Widows observe an extended mourning period (iddah) of four months and ten days in length, in accordance with the Qur’an 2:234. During this time, the widow is not to remarry, move from her home or wear decorative clothing or jewellery. (Exceptions to the above are made for elderly or outside of marriage age)
Depending on the degree of religiousness of the family, the mourning period may extend up to 40 days. Whether it is 3 or 40 days, It is advisable that close family members refrain from celebrations for the period of mourning out of respect for the deceased. This includes social media sharing, parties, and other joyous events
When one dies, everything in this earthly life is left behind, and there are no more opportunities to perform acts of righteousness and faith. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said that there are three things, however, which may continue to benefit a person after death:
- Charity given during life, which continues to help others, (If affordable you can give charity in the name of the person that continues, this can include the contribution towards a mosque, a school, a water well or other sustainable charitable donation that continues.
- Knowledge from which people continue to benefit,
- And a righteous child who prays for him or her.
Ayesha, The wife of the blessed Prophet Muhammad, reported that a man said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “My mother died suddenly and she did not leave a will, but I think that if she could have spoken she would have given in charity. Will she have a reward if I give in charity on her behalf?” The Prophet said: “Yes.”
Visiting The Cemetery
At the beginning of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) advised Muslim males not to visit the cemeteries, but after that he the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) gave them the permission to visit the cemetery to remind them of the Hereafter.
The purpose of visiting the cemetery is to remember the fact that everyone is going to die and that we must prepare for the day of judgment.
Visiting the cemetery benefits the dead too since the visitors will make dua’ (supplicate) for the dead to forgive his sins and have mercy on him.
Some scholars believe that you should not place flowers on graves. It is our opinion that as long as the intentions are good, any positive respect for your loss and understanding of the afterlife is good. Muslims should follow their heart and teach their children to respect above all other unsupported rites and prohibitions.