- 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 :
Contact a Community Organiser
Obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
Collect the Body from the Hospital
Arrange a Plot at the cemetery and time of burial
Arrange for ghusl or bathing of the body
Arrange for kafn or shroud for the body
Arrange for burial of the body
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:
|Br Yakub Khan||Arrange grave at Makarai||389 0501 / (04) 380 0900|
|Asif Koya||IMAN President||021 1814951|
Wellington / Kilbirnie
|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|
Shaikh Abdul Jabbar
Br Mohammed Yunus
|Advisor||027 366 1368|
Porirua Islamic Centre
|Advisor||(04) 235 6637|
Br Sameer El-Matary
|Advisor||021 423 712|
Br Mohammad Ait Balla
Br Zaid Al-Dabbagh
|Advisor||021 025 45085|
Br Gul Hassan
|Advisor||022 625 7763|
Ladies Washing and Kafn
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
- Make intention that you are saying a prayer for the forgiveness of the dead person.
- After Allahu Akbar; read Iftetah (also called thana) or Surah Fatiha or both thana and Surah Fatiha.
- After second Allahu Akbar read ‘salawat alan nabiyy’ (darood shariff) that we read in normal salaah.
- 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.
- 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.
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|