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When death approaches, a Muslim will recite Islam's most important sentence: "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger".

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According to Islamic tradition, a dead person should preferable be buried within 24 hours. A dead man is washed by a male relative or an Imam. A dead woman is washed by a female relative or a midwife. The body is laid out with the arms along the side, and swaddled in white linen.

Before burial, the burial prayer must be recited. In Islamic countries, there are special places that are reserved for this purpose. In Norway, however, the coffin is driven to a mosque in a hearse. The prayer takes only a few minutes, and the coffin is transported further to either the cemetery or the airport for transport to the deceased country of origin.

On the day of resurrection, all good souls are awakened directly from their graves to live eternal life. This is why Muslims are against cremation. The body is buried lying on its right side and with the face turned toward Mecca. Usually, all those who participate in the ceremony will cast three hands full of earth on the grave while they recite: " "Of this (i.e. the earth) We created you, and to it shall We cause you to return, and of it We shall cause you to be resurrected a second time."

According to Islamic beliefs, two of Gods angels come to the grave site immediately after the funeral ceremony is finished in order to inquire whether the deceased has lived a good life without sin. During the "interrogation", the angels will ask about what the dead person knows about God and the Prophet. Prayers from the living who are present at this moment are considered to be able to help the dead person.

Islamic tradition in general prefers graves to be simple, without fancy decoration. The graves of many Muslims are therefore either unmarked, or marked only with a wreath or bush. However, about half of the graves in Islamic cemeteries in Oslo are marked with a gravestone. There is a tendency that more and more family members choose to erect grave monuments in order to have memorials of their loved ones to visit.

Praise be to God, Lord of the Universe,
the Mercygiving, the Merciful!
Ruler on the Day for Repayment!
You do we worship and You do we call on for help.
Guide us along the Straight Road,
the road of those whom You have favored,
with whom You are not angry,
nor who are lost!

– Opening prayer from the Koran

Published Mar. 24, 2020 12:28 PM - Last modified Dec. 14, 2020 9:01 AM