Death in Islam is seen as a natural event and a journey to the hereafter. Muslims are encouraged to prepare for death and manage it in a dignified and sensitive manner.
WHEN A MUSLIM IS AT THE MOMENT OF DEATH
What does Islam teach about life after death?
When a Muslim is approaching death, family members and very close friends should be around to offer support, comfort and advice to the loved one. They should encourage him/her to turn to Allah, supplicate and most importantly encourage him/her to utter the ‘Declaration of Faith’ – لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ. “There is none worthy of worship except Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is the true messenger of Allah”. Also they may wish to recite from the Qur’an
Those who are present near a loved one should do the following:
- They should be kind and patient
- They should never leave the person alone
- They should remind the patient of the good things that they have done in their life, reinforcing hope in the Mercy of Allah.
As soon as the person is at the stage of passing away, those who are present must immediately call a doctor to confirm the death.
AFTER A DEATH HAS BEEN CONFIRMED
What does a Muslim say before dying?
After the death has been confirmed by the doctor, إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” (“Verily we belong to Allah, and truly to Him shall we return”).should be recited.
A medical professional will give you a confirmation of a death notice or a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and advise what to do next.
Once the patient is deceased, family members or those who are present should –
- Close the eyes and mouth of the deceased.
- Bind the lower jaw with a bandage or a strip of cloth tied on the top of the head so that the mouth is held in a closed position.
- The ankles should be fastened together with a bandage or a strip of cloth to avoid opening of the legs.
- Arms should be placed straight.
- The body should be covered with a clean sheet.
Advice: Leadership is very important in this situation prior to making decisions. Appointing one/two person(s) to communicate with the respective professionals (e.g. Doctor, Funeral director, Coroner, Mosque, Media announcements, and Cemetery etc) is vital, so that the necessary arrangements can be made smoothly moving forward with the Janazah prayer and burial of the deceased.