Located at the top of Montara Montain Range with sweeping Pacific Ocean Views, Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park offers a wide variety of cremation and burial options, and a multilingual staff for your convenience.


Islamic Beliefs About Death and Mourning

Cemetery San Mateo

In a time of loss, funeral ceremony customs and traditions can be a comfort for the mourners. As with all religions, not all Muslims hold the same views or follow the exact same practices. However, the main elements of Islamic funeral services tend to be consistent across different cultures.

Imminent Death
When a Muslim is gravely ill or injured and is thought to be approaching death, his or her loved ones are encouraged to be present to offer comfort. The family may encourage the dying person to recite the shahada. As soon as the death has occurred, the family recites, "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un." The decedent's eyes are closed and the body is covered by a clean sheet.

Organ Donation
Imams generally agree that Islam allows organ donation. This is due to a line in the Qu'ran that reads, "Whosoever saves the life of one person it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind."

It is customary for Muslim families to refuse routine autopsies, as these are perceived as desecrating the body. Similarly, embalming is refused unless it is required by federal or state law. Cosmetology services are also typically refused.

Cremation is strictly forbidden in Islam. It is "haram," which means an unclean practice. Not only are Muslims prohibited from being cremated, they are prohibited from witnessing cremation or voicing positive opinions about it. These strict beliefs about cremation are due to the following tenets of Islam:

  • The dead must receive the same respect as those who are still living.
  • The dead are a reminder that death, as a natural conclusion to life, is not to be feared.
  • Allah resurrects the body from the tailbone, and cremation would destroy the tailbone.
  • A human cannot truly know what happens after death.

The only exception to cremation is if it is necessary to prevent the spread of diseases and an imam gives permission.

Funeral Services

After the body is ceremoniously washed and shrouded by the family, the body is taken to the mosque for the funeral prayers. Then, the body is taken to the memorial park for the burial. Because of the prohibition on embalming, there is no visitation and burial must take place as soon as possible.

At Skylawn Memorial Park, we are highly sensitive to the importance of cultural and religious traditions. Contact our funeral home in San Mateo to discuss our burial services, which include pre-need arrangements. You can reach us at (650) 349-4411.


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