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Holding a Muslim funeral

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Many expats have concerns about how to plan their funeral when living abroad. But when it comes to a religious service, the process can be even more difficult, from knowing where to hold it to who should conduct it.

Golden Leaves are able to help with planning all types of funerals, including religious services.
Here, Golden Leaves sets out how to hold a Muslim funeral in Spain.

Islamic funerals

Islamic funerals, or Janazah, mark the transition of a person into the afterlife.
Traditionally, the community comes together to comfort the family of the departed and pray for them.
For Muslims, it is important for the deceased to be buried as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours, so the mosque and funeral director should be contacted as soon as possible. Under Islamic law, cremation is not allowed.

Preparation

Before the funeral, the body of the deceased should be washed (Ghusl) three times and their hands placed as if they were in prayer. This is usually done by relatives of the same sex. The body is covered in white shrouds (kafan), laid upon other white sheets and taken to the mosque where the Muslim funeral service will be held, usually in the largest available communal area.
The shroud is secured with ropes; one above the head, two around the body, and one below the feet. There is no viewing of the body before the funeral.

Service

Muslim funerals are very spiritual and during the service, the body of the deceased as well as the mourners face Mecca, men at the front, followed by children and women.
The service, usually between 30 and 60 minutes long, includes prayers and readings from the Quran, led by the imam, in which men must participate. The last prayer comes from the family, asking for forgiveness for the deceased. According to the Quran, Muslims will only be allowed entry into Paradise if their good deeds in life outweigh the bad.
Non-Muslims should remain quiet and listen to the prayers. Do not take photos or videos.
The deceased will then be taken to the burial ground with a silent procession following on.

Burial

The burial itself was traditionally only attended by men, although some communities are more flexible about this. Women usually visit the burial site the following day to pay their respects. Muslim graces should be at a right angle to the direction of Mecca with the deceased placed on their right side, to face the holy city.
Attendees are invited to drop a handful of earth into the grave and sometimes plants are put near the grave which friends and neighbours will water and keep tidy in future.

The Wake

After the burial, the family usually invites guests back to their home. The community provides food for the family and their guests for at least the first three days. There is a period of mourning of up to 40 days during which it is customary to send food to the family.

There are several Muslim cemeteries throughout Spain, and to begin planning your Muslim funeral in Spain contact Golden Leaves today who will help you choose the right funeral plan for you.

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