Janaza is the Arabic word for funeral, which encompasses both the prayer and burial. Muslims follow the Quranic mandate of a burial occurring within 24 hours of a person’s passing away. The preparation process is simple: the deceased’s body is washed by and wrapped in a simple white cloth. The deceased is then taken to the closest mosque for the funeral prayer.
During this prayer, which is mostly silent, the Imam (prayer leader) and attendees recite various verses from the Qur’an along with making a supplication for (1) the deceased person, (2) those who have passed away and (3) those who are still alive. Muslims stand in un-even rows facing Makkah, with the deceased’s body in front of them. There is no bowing or prostration in this prayer. The call to prayer is not made at the funeral, because it has been made to the person at his / her birth. This is meant to remind every Muslim of the shortness of life and encourage every one to focus on doing as many good deeds as possible.
After the prayer, the deceased is taken for burial, where the body is placed into the ground without a casket, with the entire body tilted slightly in order to face Makkah. Supplications are made for the person’s forgiveness and for God’s mercy while the grave is closed.
Non-Muslim family members, relatives, friends and co-workers are welcome to attend funeral prayers held at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. We ask that you remain seated for the duration of the funeral prayer.