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Author Topic: Help me with wording Funeral Brochure  (Read 9504 times)
Sr.Kathy
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« on: Feb 12, 2009 05:32 PM »


As salaamu alaykum
i am updating the brochure we hand out to non Muslims at a Muslim Funeral. i am having trouble with getting the right words that won't offend people or make those who like to challenge the system a reason to join in..

What i want to say is please do not join in the prayer lines.
( i know enough Americans who would join just because we said they can't- ehm... i probably would have- pre Muslim days)
I want to say they can watch.

Please refrain from joining the prayer lines seems like not enough. example- I can imagine my truck driving brother saying- I am going to pray for my sister! or the liberal cousin jumping in line with the bros.




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« Reply #1 on: Feb 12, 2009 07:19 PM »

salam

How about, please allow space for the Islamic worship, do not stand in front of the worshippers, stand to the back till the worship is completed..??

I think the trick is not to bar, rather try to encourage a little mutual respect.

Would a well versed imam, be better off indicating that formal Islamic worship is about to take place, could non Muslims please allow for space for the worship to take place, and he will call everyone up for communal prayers for the departed?

Or maybe just re-word that.

Out of interest what would have made you jump in during a formal act of worship for a religion you were not a part of, before you reverted? Maybe the answer will answer your question also.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 12, 2009 07:28 PM »

Guessing...Just because I wanted to pray and would have thought it 'cool' to join the Muslims.
Also i would have left disappointed, when i left, that i wasn't able to particiapate in the prayers of my loved one.
the muslim funeral is so uneventful compared to the catholic masses and all its traditions.

you are on target with a positive instruction verses a negative... you can't join us!

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« Reply #3 on: Feb 12, 2009 07:55 PM »

Guessing...Just because I wanted to pray and would have thought it 'cool' to join the Muslims.
Also i would have left disappointed, when i left, that i wasn't able to particiapate in the prayers of my loved one.
the muslim funeral is so uneventful compared to the catholic masses and all its traditions.

you are on target with a positive instruction verses a negative... you can't join us!


Muslim Association of Hawai'i has a guide made by the San Francisco Muslims:

http://www.iio.org/janazah/bur_1299.pdf

I believe it's time we form a common document library so that other communities can go to one source for documents.

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« Reply #4 on: Feb 12, 2009 09:08 PM »

Guessing...Just because I wanted to pray and would have thought it 'cool' to join the Muslims.
Also i would have left disappointed, when i left, that i wasn't able to particiapate in the prayers of my loved one.
the muslim funeral is so uneventful compared to the catholic masses and all its traditions.

you are on target with a positive instruction verses a negative... you can't join us!


Muslim Association of Hawai'i has a guide made by the San Francisco Muslims:

http://www.iio.org/janazah/bur_1299.pdf

I believe it's time we form a common document library so that other communities can go to one source for documents.


Another Useful Link:

http://islam1.org/iar/imam/archives/images/Islamic_Funerals.pdf

by
Mohamed Baianonie
Imam of the Islamic Center of Raleigh, N.C. U.S.A.

Your heart will not truly open until you understand Surah 21 : Verse 92  (Al-Anbiya: The Prophets)

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« Reply #5 on: Feb 12, 2009 09:17 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


All praise be to Allah.


I don't see any great harm in a non-Muslim guest in a Masjid spontaneously trying to join in prayer, that would necessitate mentioning it in the booklet.  Perhaps they are interested in seeing how Muslims pray, and the death causes them to reflect on their own lives and it may be a source of guidance for them.  It will not invalidate the prayer of those next to them, and if there is a real fear, perhaps you can leave it to the descretion of the Imam.


In any case, what we have to avoid is being rude to people and pushing them away from Islam, especially if this is the first time they came to a Masjid, rather, we need to be kind and inviting towards them.  Masjids have to be inviting places that attract the hearts of the people.


And Allah knows best.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 12, 2009 09:40 PM »

Wa alaykum as salaam wa rhamatullah wa baraktu
Ahh... good to know thaat this won't invalidate the prayer. I will leave it off.
UBAB- I am looking for material to hand out to non Muslims- kind of like a program for an event. Thanks for the links- they are very useful for muslims.
Quote
In any case, what we have to avoid is being rude to people and pushing them away from Islam, especially if this is the first time they came to a Masjid, rather, we need to be kind and inviting towards them.  Masjids have to be inviting places that attract the hearts of the people.

Absolutely and Exactly. We have had a couple of Muslim funerals with tons of non- Muslims- so far it has not been a good experience for them because they were confused and did not know what was going on, then they felt left out. So- I am going to make these and give them to my sis for mine.

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« Reply #7 on: Feb 12, 2009 10:38 PM »

salam


I put this in and deleted it.

But I think if an Imam sees a non-muslim presence at a funeral he should take time to speak of death and lead a dua for the departed which the non-muslims could actively join in with. I mean you know where everyone says ameen?

I've always found it very deeply painful not being allowed to pray for a loved one...

Death is a very emotional time for loved ones, nobody is going to want to hear you can't pray for him/her, they will want to pray for the salvation of the deceased. Besides which I'm guessing most people will be considered people of the book anyway. Who knows who's prayers are answered

Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 13, 2009 02:27 PM »

asak
Over night and waking up I thought about Abdurahman's advice. While he is right and the Imam should say something- he never has.

When he gives directions there are problems too. Half of the directions are in Arabic the other half in Arabic terms- like Al-Fatiha, dua, no ruku..., all of it is in a thick accent, no microphone for the back of the room and in the separate room for women. So people don't get it anyway. All they are thinking is 'what is he saying, i can't hear him and i don't understand?'

I have been to too many funeral prayers where i want to step up and 'guide' the non Muslims. So i am thinking I gotta put a line in.

disclaimer: I am not dissing our Imam- he is a fine brother, intelligent and compassionate- it's just the way things are.

"Allah surely knows the warmth of every teardrop... " Jaihoon
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« Reply #9 on: Feb 13, 2009 03:38 PM »

Assalamu alaikum,
Subhan Allah when I read the first question I thought the exact same thing as Abdurrahman.  Why shouldn't they be allowed to join? Would it cause harm to anyone?  I think that the fact they're there says a lot already, and preventing them from participating could be a real turn-off at an opportunity when they might actually be thinking of the afterlife, alternatives... 
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« Reply #10 on: Feb 14, 2009 03:28 AM »

lol- our Muslims are still having coronaries that bros and sisters are praying in the same room- i have even seen a respected member do everything he can to force sisters out. What you are saying is true- but this is reality:

Guy enters line.
 oldshaykh What's the matter with you- take your shoes off.
 Guy: Oh sorry, comes back in line. Bro sees guy's right hand is over his left hand
 oldshaykh Hey- are you Muslim?
Guy- No
 oldshaykh We are praying- only Muslims allowed- we can't have a Christian breaking our line. We don't even allow Muslim boys in line with us. Go in the back.
Guy: What?
 oldshaykh We don't pray with Christians.

Sisters:
Gal enters line
 niqabisis We are praying now
Gal- Yes- i want to pray
 niqabisis This is for Muslims- you aren't even covered
Gal- puts on a coat scarf and gets back in line
 niqabisis Do you have wudu?
Gal- what's wudu?
 niqabisis never mind- you can't pray because you have nail polish on.

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« Reply #11 on: Feb 14, 2009 05:01 AM »

ws,

you know in reality we need to educate the muslims in etiquette. if they knew how to behave with respect and 'dawahness' we wouldn't have these problems Sad it really is the imam's job to make the muslims toe the line and be respectful as well as guide the non-muslims with openness. if he's not able to do that then: chaos for sure... the brochure seems really nice it could be helpful but maybe you could think about doing one for everyone - muslims and non-muslims. in it you could put the details of the actual janazah prayer and the dua that is said and what it means and also that it is fine for non-muslims to stand in the lines at the end respectfully or something like that?

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« Reply #12 on: Feb 14, 2009 07:19 PM »

asak
Great idea to have the info for Muslims too!
Yes, I have included what is happening & said in the non Muslim one.
You are right- so many Muslims have no idea. Let's see if the exec. committee thinks it is a good idea! They all ready rejected the non Muslim one years ago...
But it is a new day and if anything.... the brochure will be ready for my funeral, Insha Allah


"Allah surely knows the warmth of every teardrop... " Jaihoon
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« Reply #13 on: Feb 15, 2009 07:39 PM »

salaam,

Sr. Kathy, I dont really have advice for your brochure. I just recall this one janazah for a great aunt of mine several years ago. It was in Toronto Canada. They held the Janazah in the gym of the masjid's school. Needless to say, tehre were a lot of people. Simply, the imam asked if you would liek to join into prayer to step up. I think people who were not Muslims seriously joined in that day. I dont see a problem with it. It along with the whole death thing, brought me to tears. I dont know, but there's something very special in sharing such intimate moments with random people.

much love,
Peace
timbuktu
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« Reply #14 on: Feb 15, 2009 10:47 PM »

peace be upon you

Quote
It will not invalidate the prayer of those next to them,

? really?

I would like some evidence from Quran and Hadith of that.

Being People of the Book isn't enough.

Sure, some non-Muslims including atheists would like to join, as sure many would like to go to the Harmain.

Why cannot non-Muslims pick up the Mushaf before they have had a bath?

For all you know, the non-Muslim next to you in the prayer may have come after having a lager or even a glass of wine. His breath would not smell of alcohol, and the blood would not show alcohol over the secular legal limit, but would that be OK with you.

There is some confusion in our minds. To do Dawah, we are ready to compromise on many things. Or we take it in a reciprocal way: If I am admitted to a church prayer, why can we not allow non-Muslim people of the Book to joi us in jamaah?

For the simple reason that Satan does not care how he gets us into shirk. There is but one true path, and in all others there is a satan sitting to mislead us. Would you sing hymns to the Father in a Church standing before Jesus on a Cross, or would you make the sign of the Cross, or like the Jews, cry at the Wailing Wall? I have been to churches, and I have attended their prayers in their rows, but not prayed, not sung hymns, and basically just observed.

I don't know for sure about the no harm bit, but are we not a distinct Ummah? or are we a part of the great melting pot of religions and faiths, where anything goes, and all that matters for your salvation is your good deeds to fellow life forms.

Sure I would emphasize the need to focus on the positive message, not the NO thing. But if you go the reciprocal way, there are going to be many pitfalls.

So I think unless proved from the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw), this would be an innovation in the deen.

As for the Imam's discourse in Arabic, it is indeed a pity that many imams (and desis) do not have the command over the local language where they live.

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« Reply #15 on: Feb 15, 2009 11:24 PM »

Subhanna Allah-
If it is possible for all religions to mix and stand in line for the funeral prayer- what an awesome sight that would be.
Timbuktu- I am thinking the same way you are- but i really want lala marcy experience to be all right too! Allahu Allum.

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« Reply #16 on: Feb 16, 2009 01:24 AM »

Asalamu alaikum wrt wb,

All praise be to Allah.


Dear brother Timbuktu,


May Allah reward you for your Gheera for the religon, and your eagerness to avoid innovations in the religion and Shirk.   However, you must be careful not to allow your Gheera to cause you to make mistakes in judgment when it comes to Fiqh.


A common example of this, is when people of gheera kick non-Muslims out of the masjid, saying they are Najs.  They use as evidence, from the Quran, the verse: "Indeed the idolators are impure."

However, if they referred to the Ulema, they would have found, that this impurity is spiritual, not physical, and contrary to the literal understanding of the verse, not only is it allowed for a non-Muslim to enter a Masjid, other than the two holy mosques, it is required of them, since coming to the mosque is the very means by which they can accept tawheed and remove their najaasssa, which is shirk.

As for stating that we should not pray behid the kuffar, you are absolutely correct.  It is never permissible, however, in this case, the Imam is leading the prayer, a Muslim.  The Kuffar are merely looking on, and if they attempt to pray, it will not be accepted of them.  However, this does not mean we should be rude to them.

For example, if a non-Muslim woman wants to wear hijab for a day, or a non-Muslim man wants to try fasting in Ramadan, we should not yell at them and say, "Hey you are a Kaffir, you can't do that!"

That is not from wisdom.  As you know from the seerah, when the Prophet, pbuh recited Surah Najm and the Kuffar were listening, when he came to the last verse, which is a verse of Sajdah, he made Sajdah, and so did all the kuffar around him, and the Jinns and believers, they all fell prostrate.

The Prophet, pbuh, didn't get up afterwards and say, "Hey you Kuffar, you can't make Sajdah to Allah, you have to be Muslim first!"


We have to use wisdom when giving dawah, and of course, wisdom means obedience to the Sunnah, and staying away from innovations.


If you refer back to the original post, I did not say that the kuffar should be encouraged to pray with the Muslims.  I said, if a guest in the mosque spontaneously tries (though his prayer is unacceptable in the sight of Allah) to pray with the Muslims, there is no great harm that merits condemning that in a pamphlet, and if there was harm, such as a drunk coming to the mosque, as you mention, the Imam should deal with it.  The keyword here is spontaneously.

Now coming to the point of whether the mere standing of a Kafir near a Muslim will cause his prayer to be invalidated, this is not from the things that cause invalidation of prayer, such as talking, moving, passing gas or urine, or according to some scholars, having a black dog, etc cross in front.  You cannot say that something invalidates a prayer unless you have evidence.

Having said that, you are correct brother in saying that having a group salat with the kuffar is an innovation.  However I did not say that, if you read my post carefully.  I said if a guest of a masjid spontaneously stood near the prayer line, one should not jump up and yell at him.  That would cause him to dislike Islam and Muslims.

A very important hadith in this regard is the hadith of the beduoin man who uriinated in the Masjid.  Can you imagine, a man urinating in the masjid!  The Sahabah wanted to throw him out!  But the Prophet, pbuh, said, no, leave him.  And he showed him kindness and taught him what is correct.  This is Sunnah, showing kindness.  So many people only take certain hadith, and forget the rest.  This is why the scholars say, we need to look at all hadith before making a ruling.  We need to apply Sunnah using Sunnah, which includes Akhlaaq, kindness, adab, and easy goingness.


Again, I remind myself and everyone, my respected brothers and sisters, to not let your Gheera for the religion cause you to push people away from the deen, and be rude.  If the deen gives us enough room to be courteous, then we must use that room.  But I do commend you for your eagerness to adhere to the Sunnah, may Allah accept from you.

Also, I please ask you brothers and sisters on the board to keep me in your duas, I hurt my back recently and haven't been able to walk.  Also, please forgive me if I have been harsh or hurt anyones feelings, I am sorry.


And Allah knows best.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 16, 2009 04:14 AM »

peace be upon you

Thank you brother Abdur Rehman, and may Allah (swt) cure your back and any other illnesses you may have.

I agree that we should encourage non-Muslims to come to the Masjid, so that they can see what Islam is all about. And for this I have the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) who received and discussed several things with non-Muslims in the Masjid. These non-Muslims were allowed to observe the Muslims for days, while staying at the Masjid.

However, I have not heard of a non-Muslim praying the Salah with the Prophet (saw). If there was such an incident, or if the Prophet (saw) allowed us to let non-Muslims stand in our rows for Salah, I would like to hear of that.

The question is not whether an Imam leads the prayer or a non-Muslim does. It is obvious that we cannot pray behind one who does not say the shahada. The question is whether the requirement of forming unbroken rows of Muslims (without a space for Shaytan to get in) is fulfilled or not. If it were a single Muslim praying beside a non-Muslim, who may or may not join the prayer, there would be no problem. This is the case of the congregational prayer.


Subhanna Allah-
If it is possible for all religions to mix and stand in line for the funeral prayer- what an awesome sight that would be.
Timbuktu- I am thinking the same way you are- but i really want lala marcy experience to be all right too! Allahu Allum.

Yes, it would be great Dawah opportunity, and maybe some will come to Ilsam because of that, yet I hesitate because I can also see the harm. This was a Canadian experience. The Muslims in North American are experimenting with ways to blend in the society, just as others in other non-Muslim societies did. The latter ended up with innovations, some of which led them out of Islam. Ages ago, it was related to me in Canada that when the Toronto Mosque was built and a Muslim from such backward lands as ours, visited the Mosque, he was astonished to see a dancing hall attached to the mosque. The reason ggiven was so that young ones may be attracted to the Mosque. Eventually the dancing hall was used for something else, but we must remember that the Muslims of that area were not some illiterate ones; they were well-educated immigrants who had been taught the basics of Islam by their parents and the societies thay had emigrated from.

One has to tread a careful path.

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« Reply #18 on: Feb 16, 2009 07:38 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


Thank you dear brother Timbuktu for your duas.  Jazakumallahu khairan also for your clarifications, you are right, what happened in Toronto and other places are a very sad sight.  I hope the Muslims in the West will stick to the Sunnah and stay away from innovations too.  May Allah reward you.


And Allah knows best.

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« Reply #19 on: Feb 17, 2009 08:20 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


All praise be to Allah.



I spoke to one of the scholars here, and just to further clarify, he said:  The Ulema mention that the Salat is from the Shaa'ir of Allah, the Signs of the worship of Allah, so it is not permissible to have non-Muslims partake in the Salat, since their Salat is invalid, and that would result in a type of 'abaath, or making light, of the Salat, and this is not permissable.  Out of respect for this mark of worship, only Muslims are allowed to partake in the formal salat.


And Allah knows best.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 28, 2009 03:45 AM »

asak
From Allah we come and to Allah we return
A 43 year old sis died and we finished the brochure to hand out the next day. There were a lot of non Muslims there- she worked in the city, was a community type person with children.

The pamphlet went over well. The funeral home liked them so much they offered to print the next batch for free.
We are doing a little bit of tweaking for the next batch and Insha Allah, will post it here- if possible so other Muslims can use if if they choose to.

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« Reply #21 on: Feb 28, 2009 05:15 AM »

wsalam,

that's great sr kathy! i'll take a look on my computers hard drive and see if i have anything useful to share inshallah Smiley

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