What Is An Islamic Burial And Did Osama Deserve One?

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Many people are criticizing President Obama today for burying Osama Bin Laden at sea directly after his death at the hands of NAVY SEALs.

While the majority of the country is content with bin Laden dead, many feel he didn’t deserve a proper burial for his thousands of murders.

Below is a description of what an Islamic burial is. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Funerals in Islam follow specific rites procedures. Sharia law (Islamic religious law) calls for burial of the body which includes a ritual where the body is bathed and shrouded followed by salah (prayer). Cremation of the body is forbidden as most burials occur in a grave with the head facing Mecca.

Bin Laden was not buried in a grave because U.S. officials wanted to prevent any type of honoring of his body by his supporters.

BATHING & ENSHROUDING:

The body is washed immediately after death with a shroud over it. Water is poured over the body with the cloth on top of it. In the case of Osama, who was probably disfigured, the body is placed in a shroud so blood leakage can be minimal. The cloth is plain and it is called Kafan. This is done to respect the dignity and privacy of the deceased. The deceased is kept with a shroud over him for several hours so people can pay their respects. This did not occur with Bin Laden.

FUNERAL PRAYER:

Muslims join together for a prayer that has been generally termed as the Salat al-Janazah (Janazah prayer).

Here is the Janazah prayer:

- Like Eid prayer, the Janazah prayer incorporates an additional Takbirs, the Arabic name for the phrase Allahu Akbar, but there is no Ruku’ (bowing) and Sujud (prostrating).

- Supplication for the deceased and mankind is recited.

- In extraordinary circumstances, the prayer can be postponed and prayed at a later time as was done in the Battle of Uhud.

- Dogma states it is obligatory for every Muslim adult male to perform the funeral prayer upon the death of any Muslim, but the dogma embraces the practical in that it qualifies, when Janazah is performed by the few it alleviates that obligation for all.

BURIAL:

The exact manner of burial is different amongst various Islamic groups.

The grave is aligned perpendicular to Qibla (i.e. Mecca). The body is placed in the grave without a casket. Most graves are marked only with a simple wreath. However, it is becoming more common for family members to erect grave monuments.

In Middle Eastern cultures women are generally discouraged from participating in the funeral procession. Many women scream loudly at funerals and Muslim men discourage that at such a ceremony. In fact, many wealthy families in pre-Islamic Arabia often hired “wailers” to attend funerals of the deceased. The reason for this is that in pre-Islamic Arabia it was customary in Arabia for grieving women to wail loudly. Wailing at funerals is not permitted in Islam.

Three handfuls of soil are poured into the grave by the orthodoxy while reciting a Quranic verse in Arabic meaning “We created you from it, and return you into it, and from it We will raise you a second time”. More prayers are then said, and the corpse is then fully buried by the gravediggers, who may stamp or pat down the grave to shape.

MOURNING:

Family members of the deceased are to observe a 3-day mourning period. It is observed by increased devotion, receiving visitors and condolences, and avoiding decorative clothing and jewelry.

Grieving is normal and weeping is accepted in Islam unlike wailing.

Widows observe an extended mourning period (iddah, period of waiting), 4 months and 10 days long, in accordance with the Qur’an. During that time, the widow is not to remarry, interact with na-mahram (with whom she can marry).

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Osama Dead

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