{Inna Lillaahi wa inna Elaihi raji’oon}
Indeed to Allah we belong and Indeed to Him shall we return.
This is a brief guide for the time when a family member or a friend passes away and you need to organise the funeral.  Common terms used throughout this guide are explained below:
  • Janazah: Islamic burial and preperation process
  • Ghusl: Islamic process of washing of the body
  • Kafn: Shroud used to cover the deceased body for burial
  • Dafn: Burial of the body

If you are arranging a burial yourself please advise the community as soon as possible. Community advisors (listed below) will be able to help you prepare for the funeral, inform the community, and provide support to the family.  Community advisors can also help arrange for sufficient helpers to be available for each of the tasks required to complete the burial.

It is essential to have sufficient helpers for carrying out the ghusl and for lowering the body into the grave in a dignified and safe manner. Also, it is the right of the deceased that the community prays Salatul Janaza at his or her funeral.

We recommend that you appoint one family member or friend to take charge of all the arrangements from your side. This person will then be able to give his attention to the details as well as present one view to those helping out.

When arranging a funeral, we need to take to following steps which are explained in detail throughout this guide :

  1. Contact a Community Organiser
  2. Obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  3. Collect the Body from the Hospital
  4. Arrange a Plot at the cemetery and time of burial
  5. Arrange for ghusl or bathing of the body
  6. Arrange for kafn or shroud for the body
  7. Arrange for burial of the body
  8. Register the death with the Department of Internal Affairs

Step 1: Contact a Community Organiser

Contact one of the organisers as soon as practical. Organisers will be able to help you prepare for the funeral, inform the wider community and give you and your family support. Names and phone numbers of the organisers are provided below:

Main Contacts

Person Role Home Phone
Br Yakub Khan Arrange grave at Makarai 389 0501 / (04) 380 0900
Asif Koya IMAN President 021 1814951

Wellington / Kilbirnie

Person Role Home Phone
Br Tahir Nawaz Arrange Grave 027 5710929
Br Mohammed Abdul Aziz Advisor 021 02577805
Br Mohammed Abati Advisor 027 248 8455
Br M Hanif Ali Advisor 027 209 3933
Br Sultan Eusoff Advisor 021 786 262 / (04) 387 8023
Br Afraz Liaqat Advisor 021 239 5502
Br Agam Syam Advisor 021 1590397
Br Agung Osianto Advisor 027 4432117
Br Asman Abdullah Advisor 022 08005614
Br Khadar Abdulaziz Advisor 027 3661614
Kilbirnie Islamic Centre Advisor (04) 387 4226

Porirua

Person Role Home Phone
Shaikh Abdul Jabbar
Imam 021 1700850
Br Mohammed Yunus
Advisor 027 366 1368
Porirua Islamic Centre
Advisor (04) 235 6637

Lower Hutt

Person Role Home Phone
Br Sameer El-Matary
Advisor 021 423 712
Br Mohammad Ait Balla
Advisor 021 1814951

Newlands

Person Role Home Phone
Br Zaid Al-Dabbagh
Advisor 021 025 45085
Br Gul Hassan
Advisor 022 625 7763

Ladies Washing and Kafn

Person Role Home Phone
Sr Rehanna Ali Ladies’ Ghusl and Kafn 021 623931
Sr Leila Adam IMAN President 021 0786801

Step 2: Obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

Before we bury, it is essential that the relevant authorities are aware of the death. The authorities will give, or undertake to give, a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. This is an important document.

Death at home
If a person passes away at home, call the person’s doctor to verify the death. The doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death if she or he is satisfied that the death is not suspicious. It is not necessary to obtain the certificate before burial, as long as the doctor is satisfied about the cause of death.

Death in the Hospital
If the person dies in hospital, the Coroner will issue a Coroners Authorisation or the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. You will need to take the coroner’s certificate at the time of taking the body form the hospital.

Other issues
If the authorities are unsure about the cause of death, the police may become involved. The police or the hospital may ask for an autopsy. This may take some time. However, you can consult the coroner and explain our need for an early burial and the coroner may be able to help release the body early.

Step 3: Collect the body from the Hospital

You can usually collect the body from the hospital ward as soon as a person dies. If you do not do this, the hospital will keep the body in the mortuary and then you will need to arrange a time to collect the body. If possible, we advise that you collect the body from the hospital ward, since this is easier than collecting it from the mortuary.

If you have to collect from the mortuary, you will need to arrange with the Duty Manager of the mortuary to collect the body. Hospital staff can also help. Ask members of the community for guidance if you are unsure. The phone numbers of the Duty Managers are on the last page.

You will need a coffin and a large vehicle to hold the coffin when collecting the body.

Coffins
Two coffin boxes are available at the Wellington Islamic Centre in Kilbirnie and one is available at Porirua Islamic Centre. Voluntary contributors have provided these coffins.  In Wellington one is for males and another for females. They are for use by everyone, at no charge. Use the coffins for transportation between home, hospital, Funeral Home and the cemetery. Clean the coffin and return it to the respective Islamic Centre.

Transport
If you are not able to arrange transport, you can hire a van for the day from a car rental company. The hiring cost is about a $100. Br Tahir, contact listed above, may be able to help hire a suitable vehicle.
Arranging a burial plot at the Cemetery

Call Br Yakub to arrange the grave and burial time at Makara Cemetery in Wellington.
Call Hafiz Abdul Jabbar or Br Mohammed Yunus to arrange a grave and burial time at Whenua Tapu Cemetery near Porirua.
We advise you not to contact the Sexton directly.

Step 4: Arrange a Burial Plot

Br Yakub Khan arranges the grave and burial time at Makara Cemetery, you may also contact Br Tahir Nawaz. For Whenua Tapu Cemetery call Shaikh Abdul Jabbar. We advise you not to contact the Sexton of the cemeteries directly.

Step 5: Arrange for the Ghusl (Washing)

Members of the community can help with the ghusl (washing). But Islam encourages that close family members be actively involved and those performing the ghusl should be aware of the relevant Islamic etiquettes. Advisors are available to provide guidance and support.

Washing the body is similar to the sunnah way of making ghusl ourselves. The difference is that we are doing this to someone else and we do not put water in the person’s mouth and nostrils.

You can wash the body at home, at the hospital if the facility is available, or at a funeral home.

When arranging the venue for washing, you need to consider hygiene, convenience of handling the body, family sensitivity, sensitivity of neighbours, access and transporting the body after washing.

Some funeral homes provide private washing rooms with trolleys, tables, and washing equipment. They can also keep the body until the time of burial and provide a hearse if required. Funeral homes will charge for the services they provide. Their charges can be very high.

Step 6: Arrange for the Kafn (Shroud)

A shroud may be available at the Kilbirnie Islamic Centre. Otherwise you can buy shrouds from a fabric shop. Advisors can tell you how much white material to buy.

The shroud is put on like the garments worn at hajj and an outer sheet is wrapped around to cover the whole body. Females have two extra pieces; a chest-band and a headscarf.

We recommend that you buy a white single cotton bed sheet for the outer garment, because most material is not wide enough to properly wrap the body. Ties of cloth are used to fasten the outer sheet. Make sure the ties are wide and strong as these help with lowering the body into the grave.

Someone familiar with putting on the kafn can help.

Step 7: Arrange for Dafn (Burial)

Usually members of the community will be present to help with the burial. Once again it is better for family members to handle the body, particularly the body of a female.

For convenience of Muslims who live and work all around greater Wellington, we perform the Salatul Janaza at the cemetery. After Salatul Janaza the casket is taken close to the grave. The body is removed and placed in the grave. A timber deck is laid to make a cavity and then the soil is filled into the grave.

There is a lot of lifting during burial, so make sure that sufficient people are around to help lift the body from the coffin and lower the body into the grave (guided by some people inside the grave). People will get their clothes soiled, and they need to be reasonably strong.

If you have particular wishes in respect of the carrying and handling of the body (e.g. by the son or brother or father or friend) please let the community advisor know well in advance.

Step 8: Register the Death

The law requires us to register a death within 3 days of burial.

Registration forms are available from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages – Department of Internal Affairs. Copies may be available at the Kilbirnie Islamic Centre. If you need help to fill out the form, please ask one of the advisors.

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages issues the Death Certificate on application, after you have registered the death. We suggest that you ask for a death certificate when you send in the registration form. (Ie. The issuing of the Death Certificate is not automatic.)

You will need a Death Certificate for any official business regarding the deceased.


Frequently Asked Questions

Janazah Prayer

We pray Janaza salah or funeral prayer for a deceased person before burial.

Janaza salah is said standing up. It does not have any ruku, sujood or juloos.  Salatul janaza is said in congregation or jamaat.

How to say the Funeral Prayer:

  1. Make intention that you are saying a prayer for the forgiveness of the dead person.
  2. After Allahu Akbar; read Iftetah (also called thana) or Surah Fatiha or both thana and Surah Fatiha.
  3. After second Allahu Akbar read ‘salawat alan nabiyy’ (darood shariff) that we read in normal salaah.
  4. After third Allahu Akbar; read the dua of forgiveness. There are a number of duat that you can read. You can learn the one below.
  5. Prayer ends with salaam after the fourth Allahu Akbar.

Dua after the third Allahu akbar for an adult male or female.
Allahummaghfir lihayyinaa wa mayyitinaa wa shaahidinaa wa ghaa-ibinaa wa sagheerinaa wa kabeerinaa wa dhakarinaa wa unthaanaa.
Allahumma man ah-yaytahu minnaa fa-ahyihi ‘alal-islaam.
Wa man tawaffaytahu minnaa fatawaffahu ‘ala-leemaan.

Dua after the third Allahu akbar for a boy
Allahummaj ‘alhu faradaw wajalhu lanaa ajraw wa dhukhraw wajalhu lanaa shafi’aw wa mushaffa’aa.

Dua after the third Allahu akbar for a girl
Allahummaj ‘alhaa faradaw wajalhaa lanaa ajraw wa dhukhraw wajalhaa lanaa shafi’ataw wa mushaffa’ah.

Estimates Costs

This section provides a guideline on costs for Makara cemetery. Costs for Whenua Tapu cemetery are slightly different.
Please note that these costs can change at any time.

Burial Costs at Makara in March 2012

Board for the grave $173
Plot $1,122
Maintenance Fee $778
Berm Construction $153
Internment $627
Total $2,853
Internment for those out of Wellington is $887.
Funeral House costs approximately $300 per hour.
Contact Numbers
Wellington City Council – (04) 499 4444
Porirua City Council – (04) 237 5089
Makara Cemeteries(Ask for Sextant) – (04) 476 6109
Whenua Tapu Cemeteries(Ask for Sextant) – (04) 239 9078
Wellington Hospital – Duty Manager, Mortuary – (04) 385 5999
Porirua Hospital – (04) 2374589
Lower Hutt Hospital – (04) 566 6999
Police Communications – (04) 3812000
Harbour City Funeral Home (Near Wellington Islamic Centre) – (04) 387 8301