Cultural Funerals: Muslim Funeral Services

Muslim Funeral Traditions

Basic Funerals is proud to serve Muslim families. Our team of funeral professionals is experienced in all aspects of arranging a Muslim funeral and is here to guide you through every step.

Beliefs About Death

Those that practice Islam generally believe that after someone dies, the actions they have committed in their life will either yield them entry into Paradise in which they experience peace, or they would be condemned to Hell in which they experience suffering. Some Muslims believe that the dead will remain in their tombs until the Last Day (Day of Judgement), then they would either go to Paradise or Hell.

What Happens After Death Occurs?

When a Muslim is approaching death, their family members and very close friends should be present. They usually encourage the dying person to say the Shahadah before death which confirms that there is no God but Allah. When the death occurs, the ones present should close the deceased’s eyes and jaw, then cover the body with a clean sheet. They should also pray to Allah to forgive any sins that the deceased might have committed in their life time. An Imam of a local Muslim community should be contacted as soon as the death occurs in order to start the necessary preparations for the service. The preparation needs to start happening as soon as the death occurs since Islamic law states that the body should be buried as soon as possible after death occurs.

Preparing the Body

The body of the deceased must be washed and shrouded during the preparation. Close family members of the same gender generally do the washing of the body, but in the case of a spousal death, the widowed spouse may perform the washing if they choose to. The body should be washed an odd number of times, usually three times. If the body is not clean by the third wash, then it is washed until it is cleaned and the amount of washes is odd. After the washing is done and the body is cleaned, it should be covered in a clean white sheet. The body is then shrouded using three large white sheets that are made of affordable materials. The body is placed on the sheet, dressed properly according to Muslim traditions, and is put in a position of praying. The sheets are then folded over the body and secured properly. After that, the body would be ready to be transferred to a mosque for the proper prayers to be done.

Is Cremation Allowed in Islam?

Cremation is not permitted in Islam under any circumstances.

Views on Embalming

Embalming is not allowed in Islam. It is not necessary due to the urgency of when the body must be buried and it conflicts with the Islamic law.

Click here if you like to learn more about Embalming.

The Muslim Funeral Service

Since the body needs to be buried as soon as possible after death, there is no time for a viewing before the funeral service. After the body is prepared and cleaned, it is moved to a mosque in which the funeral prayers begin. Funeral prayers are performed by all members of the community that are present at the service. Those praying should face Mecca and form at least three lines based on the relationship with the deceased. The closest male relatives would be in the first line, followed by women, then by children. After the funeral prayers are completed, the body is then transported to a cemetery for burial. The grave should be dug perpendicular to the Mecca, and the body should be placed in the grave in a way that it would face Mecca. After the body is placed, a layer of wood or stones is placed on top of it in order to prevent contact between the body and the soil that will fill the grave. Each mourner present should place three handfuls of soil into the grave then the grave will be filled. Once it has been filled, a marker can be placed at the grave so that it can be recognized.

Muslim Mosques and Community locations in Canada

Masjid Toronto - Muslim Association Of Canada

This community centre in Toronto offers various Muslim services to all Muslims interested. They offer worship services on a daily basis while also providing many services and programs that help keep in touch with their religion while integrating into Canadian Society.

Ottawa Mosque - Ottawa Muslim Association

This mosque is home to a community that is governed by the guidance of the teaching of Islam an the Prophet to serve Muslims in the Greater Ottawa area. This community provides services such as daily prayers and helps Muslims in need within their community.