Funeral Services

How to prepare for imminent death?

Family members of the dying person and their most pious friends should be present at their side to help turn the final thoughts to Allah, reminding the person of all the good deeds they did, about Allah’s mercy, and Allah’s favors. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Let no Muslim die except expecting and hoping the best from Allah” (Muslim).

Family members and friends can advise the dying person very gently (encouragement without insistence) to say the shahada: “La Illaha illallah”, which means there is no God but Allah, in a very kind and sincere manner as these may be their last words. Abu Saeed Al-Khuduri reported that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Help Muslims who are dying to say “La Illaha illallah” (Muslim).

Family members should make Dua (supplication) to Allah to help make the final moments easy, and to forgive them.

All efforts are to be made to fulfill any requests that the person may have before dying.

What to do after death?

Immediately after the death has occurred and it has been verified, close the eyes of the deceased. The mouth and jaws are tied gently with broad bands or pieces of cloth so that they do not remain wide open; the legs should be tied in the same way. The body should be covered, and must always remain covered, preferably with a white sheet of cloth.

Invoke Allah and say: “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” (To Allah we belong and to Him is our return).

Crying with no wailing is permitted. The prophet (PBUH) wept on the death of his son, Ibrahim, and said:
“The eyes shed tears and the heart feels pain, but we utter only what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim! We are aggrieved at your demise.”

Please contact these masajid with regards to the Janazah services:

  • South Bay Islamic Association
  • MCA
  • Masjid Abu Bakr – Hayward

To cause no delay in the funeral arrangements, relatives and friends should also be notified immediately. The body must not be kept waiting unnecessarily. Close family and friends should prepare food for the bereaved family for at least three days.

What information you will need?

When you contact the funeral staff to obtain the death certificate, finalize the paper work and the cemetery plot, please have the following information available about the deceased (to make the paperwork and the process of obtaining the death certificate easier):

  • Social Security Number
  • California Drivers License#
  • Address
  • Employment Status
  • Phone Number

Determine if the dying person has any preferences for people who will carry out the Ghusl (washing) and Kafan (burial cloth). If there is none, then the next of male kin to males, and next of female kin to females should be available to perform the Ghusl.

If the death occurred over the weekend, contact the doctor or hospital to determine if the hospital can store the body over the weekend. Please note that a death certificate must be obtained prior to burial from the County office. Most County offices are open only during weekdays and for a few hours on Saturday. Furthermore, the cemetery does not typically open graves and allow burials on Sundays. As such, in the event of death on Saturday, the burial may have to wait until Monday afternoon.

It typically takes about two to three hours to make all the arrangements at a minimum (obtain death certificate, open the grave, arrange the transportation). As such, a person can be buried on the same day if the death occurred prior to 8 AM. If the death occurred after that time, the arrangements will be typically made for burial the next day.

Determine if the dying person has any preferences for people who will carry out the Ghusl (washing) and Kafan (burial cloth). If there are none, then the next of male kin for males, and next of female kin for females should come forward to perform the Ghusl.

Typically the Janaza prayer is performed right after the Dhuhr prayer (12:30 PM in winter months or 1:30 PM during daylight savings time). The Ghusl is typically performed before the Janaza prayers (around 11 AM or 12 Noon).

If you have any more questions with regards to the funeral services, please contact the following individuals/businesses:
Five Pillars Cemetery
Br. Zaki Ahmed 510-517-8397 (C)
Br. Noor Ahmed 510-304-8689

Funeral Home Services
Br. Miskin Yaar 510-247-9583 (C).