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10 Muslim Funeral Traditions

The Funeral
Muslim mourners pray over a lost loved one in New York in 2009.
Muslim mourners pray over a lost loved one in New York in 2009.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Funeral attendees stand in three horizontal lines facing toward Mecca: men in the front row, children in the second row and women in the third row. Like the silent prayer, this occurs outside of the mosque, if possible, and the entire prayer service takes place standing. Participants silently set pure intentions for the funeral service, and then they silently recite the Fatihah, the first section of the Quran. This seven-verse prayer asks for Allah's mercy and guidance.

After the silent Fatihah, there are four more prayers in a traditional Muslim funeral service. Before each of the next four prayers, attendees say, "Allahu Akbar," which basically means "God is good." The four prayers are the Tahahood, a prayer to the prophet Muhammad, and three personal prayers for the deceased. If the funeral is for a child, the third personal prayer is often for the child's parents.

After the funeral, it's time to move the body to the cemetery for burial. As we'll see next, this transportation has some traditions of its own.

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