Each major religion has its customs concerning burial. Although they vary widely, the one common denominator is respect for the body. In the Islamic religion, a dead person is treated with equal respect as that accorded to the living. It is for this reason that there are special burial traditions that have to be adhered to.
These burial rites are special when compared to those of other religions. Let's have a look at some of them:
1. Burial within 24 hours
Muslims are supposed to burry the departed ones within 24 hours. 24-hour burial is not in the Qur’an but is a cultural practice that is part of their faith. It also shows respect to the body and to avoid decay.
In some Arab nations for example, it is very hot and so the body may start to decompose if not buried in time.
Cases that may guarantee the burial being delayed include death in war or when there is a case involving the dead person that needs to be sorted to ascertain the cause of the death before burial. There may also be delay if the distance to the burial grounds is long and cannot be covered within 24 hours.
2. Autopsies are not done
Since that would injure the body, autopsies are avoided. Instead, the dead person is washed before being wrapped in a white shroud ready for burial.
3. Muslims don't do embalming
Embalming is considered as disrespect to the body. Therefore it is avoided. Only washing is done then the body is wrapped in a white shroud. Afterwards, prayers are done and the body is taken to the cemetery.
4. Muslims don't normally use caskets
Muslims don’t normally use caskets. They just bury in the ground, where the body becomes part of the soil. The upper part of the body, the head, is turned toward Mecca during burial.
Part of why coffins are not used is because in some Arab nations, there may not be wood or timber to make these coffins. In addition, it is considered cost effective because after all, the person is going to decompose.
Coffins may however be used if for example the the death was as a result of fire that mutilated the body in a way that it cannot be handled.
5. Only the immediate family of the deceased is allowed to view the body
They do not allow viewing of the body except for the immediate family after the washing.
6. Women are not allowed to attend the burial
Some Muslim countries do not allow women to go to the cemetery because they think they will be too emotional.
They are only allowed to stand at a distance, and after the burial site is covered, they can come closer.
7. No eulogy
No eulogy is done for the dead. According to them, whatever you are going to say about someone should be said while the person is alive. However, special prayers are made and a few people are allowed to speak about the good deeds of the person in honor of the deceased.
Which among the 7 stood out for you? Could there be any other that was not included? Feel free to add in the comments section. Thank you for reading to the end.
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