Muslim funeral in the West

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Was Salaatu Was Salaam ‘ala Rasulillah

Today I went to  a funeral which was announced at the local Masjid that I attended. The funeral prayer in this area usually takes place at a mosque that is near the grave yard.  So I went there and we prayed the funeral prayer which was after Salat ul Jumma. It  turned out that there were two Muslim’s that had passed away.

Anyways, after walking with the funeral procession to the grave yard, we got to the area where there was a grave dug up and the bodies which were in the coffins were placed on the ground. While standing, I heard some  loud sounds which were coming from a Pick- up truck  carrying dirt, and a digger/bulldozer-like machine which came and further dug up the place. There were also two very solid and heavy looking concrete enclosures (burial vaults) that the bulldozer was uncovering the lids off of.  At first  I thought  may be it’s for  someone else or another funeral, as the grave yard is kinda shared with the non believers. Later on the coffin was placed on top of that concrete enclosure with wood under it to support it and the coffin was opened. I was thinking that the body would now be carried out of the coffin and burried only in the shroud, but it turned out that someone brought the clay/soil in a showel and  started putting it in the coffin under the deceased and the deceased was being turned to face the kaaba.

It seemed confusing to me since I had never attended a funeral in a non muslim country and this was not how it was supposed to be done.  After that the coffin was lowered using straps in the concrete vault, I pulled one of the brothers aside (I knew him from another mosque). I asked is this how it’s done here? he replied saying it is the law here and that it has to be done this way. I also noticed that a Muslim sister was also at the funeral when she was not supposed to be there. I asked the brother about that too, and he mentioned that since the cemetary is a public place, she could press charges if she was forced to leave.  Unfortunately, this shows just how hard it is in a non- Muslim country to follow rules in accordance with the Sunnah.

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