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Muslims and non-Muslims attending each others' funerals - is it allowed?


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Author Topic: Muslims and non-Muslims attending each others' funerals - is it allowed?  (Read 3005 times)
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« on: March 19, 2008, 05:54:49 pm »

I found this article by Dr. Muzamil Sidiqi in my cousin's collections of papers. I thought it was an useful topic to clarify as such occasions arise frequently in many parts of the West that have large Muslim populations. Since I'm typing the article from a paper in the file, I don't have the weblink but it's taken from Islam Online.

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Dr. Sidiqi's says that when a Muslim dies, he or she should be buried in an Islamic way. This means washing the body according to Islamic rules, putting on the shroud, offering the funeral (janazah) prayers and finally placing the body in the grace. All such acts of burying the dead are included in 'ibadah' (worship of Allah) and following the instructions of Allah. Thus, the general principle about burying the dead is that Muslims should bury Muslims.

However, there is no prohibition if non-Muslim relatives and friends want to attend the funeral of a Muslim as long as Muslims bury the Muslim according to Islamic rules. There is no prohibition if a non-Muslim drives the dead body of a Muslim to the mosque for funeral prayers or to the Muslim cemenery for burial. There is no prohibition according to Islam if a non-Muslim funeral director supervises the burial or non-Muslim cemetery workers dig the grave or close it. Such services are very common in North America and they have to be accepted by Muslims without any reservations.

Muslims are also allowed to attend the funeral of their non-Muslim relatives or friends without participating in the funeral prayers of non-Muslims. Muslims only pray in the Islamic way. There is no non-Islamic way of prayer permissible for Muslims.

For Muslims living in non-islamic countires the question also arises whether it is permissible for Muslims to be employed in non-Muslim cemeteries and supervise or help in the burial of non-Muslims in non-Islamic ways. I cannot say that it is forbidden or Haram but in my opinion it is better for Muslims to avoid such jobs. It is indeed 'Makruh' (non-recommended) if not Haram.

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Let me add, many Muslims would like to put the body in the grave with the face turned in the direction of the Kaa'bah.

Secondly, responding to Dr. Sidiqi's response of Muslims working in non-Muslim cemeteries and surpervising burial in non-Muslim ways, as far as I know, those Jews and Christians who decide to bury the dead body of their deceased folks do not apply any methods for burial that are really unIslamic. I mean, from what I've heard, the Jews bury the body with the shroud just like Muslims. Christians bury the body with the coffin. If a Muslim cemetery worker assists with such burials, I don't think there's anything wrong. And of course, if a Muslim works in a non-Muslim cemetery, as a mere worker he won't be required to participate in any non-Muslim funeral prayers anyway. So that way he is safe.

It is correct that many modern Christians (if not Jews) also cremate the body which is totally unIslamic. In my opinion, Muslims must never take up such jobs where they will be expected to help with such procedures in the funeral homes.
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 02:08:52 am »

Thanks brother.   I'm sure this is informative for our readers.
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 02:34:55 am »

Thanks Brother.
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