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Janazah - Muslim Burial

Faith in a life after death is the last of the basic articles of faith in Islam. The word generally used in the Qur'an to indicate this life is al-akhirah, which means, that which comes after. Death, according to the Qur'an, is not the end of man's life; it only opens the door to another, a higher form of life (56:60,61). Just as from the small life-germ grows the man, and he does not lose his individuality for all the changes which he undergoes, so from this man is made the higher man, his state being changed, and he himself being made to grow into what he cannot conceive of at present.

Funerals in Islam follow fairly specific rites, though they are subject to regional interpretation and variation in custom. In all cases, however, sharia (Islamic religious law) calls for burial of the corpse, preceded by a simple ritual involving bathing and shrouding the body, followed by salah (prayer). Cremation of the body is generally forbidden.

Burial rituals should normally take place within 72 hours and include:

1) Bathing the dead body, except in extraordinary circumstances as in battle of Uhud.

2) Enshrouding dead body in a white cotton or linen cloth.

3) Funeral prayer.

4) Burial of the dead body in a grave.

5) Positioning the deceased so that the head is faced towards Mecca (Makkah Al-Mukarramah).

To download more information on Janazah according to Quran and Sunnah click here.

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