Muslim Community Center – East Bay
Contact email: [email protected]
December 11, 2022 (2:30pm)
December 11, 2022 (4:30pm)
Muslim Community Center – East Bay
– United States
We are encouraged by our faith to wash & shroud the body of our loved one. Get prepared for this challenging, necessary task in this free, interactive workshop for brothers & sisters ages 18+.
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Sunday, December 11 | MCC Conference Room (women) & MCC Prayer Hall (men) | Free; no registration required
Rehana Markar facilitates the sister’s workshop. Abdur Rehman facilitates the men’s workshop. Afterward the parallel workshops, you can sign up to prepare bodies for burial at the Islamic Society of East Bay’s morgue.
These parallel and separate men’s and women’s workshops are conducted by experienced mortuary volunteers. This is an excellent opportunity for couples.
This workshop’s content and washing simulation are not appropriate for children and adults who are faint of heart.
Questions? [email protected]
– MCC’s Islamic End of Life Talks Playlist: https://mcceastbay.org/end-of-life
– Islamic burial services in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay: https://mcceastbay.org/funeral
“He who washes a dead body and conceals what he notices of physical defects, he will be forgiven forty times.” [Al-Hakim]
Topic covered in this workshop include :
- – What to do when death is occurring?
- – Forms required by State of California
- – Order of preference for who is preferred to perform the ghusl on the deceased
- – What we should do before we start the ghusl (body washing)?
- – Preparing the kafan (shroud) and ghusl items (soap, warm water, camphor (powdered dry sidr leaves), cardboard box, etc.
- – Preparing and cutting the kafan
- – Preparing the body for washing and process of washing the body
- – Applying the shroud on the washed body
- – What to do after shrouding the body?
We will describe how to perform the Islamic ceremonial process of washing and shrouding a deceased person (mayit) before Janaza and burial.
al-Mayyit (Arabic: الميت) is the term to refer to the deceased in Islam. There are prescribed burial rites to be given upon the death of a Muslim, including the salat al-mayyit, or “prayer of the dead.”
Abdur Rehman is a prolific volunteer who has volunteered to wash and shroud Muslims in the East Bay for more than a decade. A convert to Islam from Hinduism, he brings a unique understanding of the relationship to death and burial in both faith traditions. At mosques, Br. Abdul Rahman demonstrates practical ghusl and shrouding in workshops and he encourages area Muslims to learn how to wash their loved ones. He is a volunteer with the Fremont-based Islamic Society of East Bay’s mortuary. The masjid is also known as Lowry masjid.
Muslim funerals in the East Bay are community affairs, and non-family members partake in several aspects of funerals, from jānazah prayers to burials.
Community members are essential in conducting ghusl, a body-washing ritual on the deceased. In the ghusl ritual, the entire dead body is washed, which requires the helping hands of multiple people to lift and move the body around for washing. Muslim families often need outside assistance from the community to wash their deceased because they don’t have family members trained to perform it or be too emotional to perform it themselves. In such instances, volunteers step up to help families wash their dead.
How Volunteers Become Involved
Many might be surprised to learn that anyone would volunteer to wash the dead body of a stranger.
Ethics of Washing
Washing the body of the dead requires an ethical approach. It is an act that should be carried out in a dignified and respectful manner and it is important that we avoid causing harm to the body. In addition to not harming the body, the ethical approach includes avoiding idle talk around the body, making prayers for the dead individual, and making sure that all the steps of the ghusl are done properly. Under the pressure to finish washing the body in time for the burial.
Lessons from Volunteering (“He is down today, I am tomorrow.”)
The experience from washing during funerals does not simply remain in the wash facilities, but rather the volunteers carry lessons from the experience into their lives. Volunteers say that dealing with death has instilled them with humility. In remembering death while washing, it reminds us of the meaning in life: family, community, living a righteous life, and above all, worshiping her Creator.