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US Muslims Burial Dilemma: No imam available, no funeral director, no Muslim cemetery

Friday, 18 May 2012
St. Louis, May 18:

Facing years of a dilemma to bury their dead according to Islamic teachings, a growing American Muslim minority is trying to find low-cost burial services, funding what would be Missouri's first Muslim funeral home.

"The community is growing, and things are going well for Muslims in St. Louis now," Adil Imdad, an environmental and geotechnical engineer in St. Louis, told St. Louis Today website on Friday, May 18.

"But this is one area where we are way behind."

Like thousands of US Muslims, Imdad faced burial dilemma when his 28-year-old cousin died of cancer in Ohio two years ago.

The family's grief was compounded by the absence of Muslim ritual following her death, with no imam available to handle the religious customs, no funeral director and no Muslim cemetery where the family could lay her to rest.

At this moment, Imdad decided to take night classes at St. Louis Community College, graduating last spring with a certificate of specialization in funeral directing.

Waiting for his state license, he started raising funds at Daar-ul-Islam mosque for what he says will be Missouri's first Muslim funeral home to cut funeral costs which reach $5,000 or $7,000.

Mufti Asif Umar, the imam at Daar-ul-Islam, said keeping costs down for families was also at the heart of his support for Imdad's Muslim funeral home idea.

"We have a lot of needy in our community, people who can't afford burial fees," Umar said.

In August, the Bosnian Islamic Center in Lemay bought a large plot of land in the old Odd Fellows Cemetery on Broadway, making it the first Muslim cemetery in St. Louis, said Imam Enver Kunic.

Burial fees in other cemeteries "were too high," Imam Enver Kunic said.

"We had to do this for us."

Though there are no official statistics, the US is believed to be home to 7-8 million Muslim.

Religious Rituals

For US Muslims, Islamic cemeteries offered them a better opportunity to practice the correct religious rituals surrounding burial of the dead.

In Muslim countries, death and burial are "treated as a purely religious affair," Mohammed Hussein, a radiation oncologist from Washington, said.

In the US, when someone invests in mortuary school and various other funeral-related degrees, certificates and licenses, "naturally, they want to make a living of it."

Islam calls for respecting human beings whether alive or dead.

A Muslim’s dead body should be immediately taken to a mortuary for washing and preparation.

Two or three adult Muslims should wash the body and then put on the shroud (kafan). Before the burial, the funeral prayer should be done.

The burial should be done as soon as possible. It is makruh (reprehensible) to delay the burial of the dead.

After months of studying such Muslim funeral texts as "Funerals: Regulations & Exhortations" and "A Brief Summary About the People's Violations in Funerals," Imdad said he is ready to help ease people's burdens during a trying time in their lives.

With a deal he has arranged with the new Bosnian cemetery, Imdad hopes to cut the total cost of preparation, funeral and burial down to less than $2,000.

"Helping people satisfies something inside you," he said.

"When they pray for you later, you know it comes from their inner heart."

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I really wonder where did

I really wonder where did anyone get this news from. I'm from St Louis and the muslim community here is huge. Since the time I moved here there have been lot of funerals and they are all buried in Muslim cemetery. All they are doing now is trying to build their own funeral home where deceased are washed before the prayers. I believe you should recheck you news from a genuine source. It looks like cut copy paste news taken from a local news which are as bad as above. Such news are adding fire to already hostile environment. Please be more considerate before you post something like this on paper. Jazakum Allah

Can you read?

You MUSLIMS are big part on this nation called INDIA and you should be proud of it that you are in the main stream of Indian democracy and culture. You did NOT ask for Pakistan, who asked for Pakistan they are gone to Pakistan. You are true Hindustani and Bharati. Throw out the attitude and belief that Muslims are backward and less intelligent.
• You can change your life, your community life and country if you wish. Think about you and your family education, economics, and security conditions first. Don’t be emotional and make mistakes. Be cool even in the worst situations which will help you. You will be chided and called names but be cool and stay focused.
• Step-up your struggle for best education and jobs as you are been stopped at many places.
• You can change and achieve what you want only thing required in you is DISCIPLE, HARD WORK, FOCUS, and PRAYERS.
• You have given lot of sacrifices for this country as you all are descended of original Hindus community and will have to give more sacrifices to grow and prosperous with so much hate and opposition. Keep working hard with patience. Stand stronger and ask for justices with peaceful manner. Build good relations with all communities.
• Take and develop leadership role and don't fight within yourself for money or fame or power.
• Give room for everyone in your family to develop and grow. Honesty must be your strength.
• Encourage young Muslim generation for EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION & SKILL’s DEVELOPEMENT. Take the jobs in Police, Army, Medical, Engineering, compete in Administrative exams like IAS, IPS, IFS, etc. To make India a global power. To make a global super power everyone in the country has to work together.
• You are very intelligent but lazy to take challenges. WHY? Don’t you like success & good life?
• You all are Lucky that you have Quran in one hand, and you should have science, Math, History, Finance, Law books in other hand. You don’t need to fear for life as we all will die one day.
• You are 20% population with 1% representation in Central jobs and 2% in State jobs …WHY? WAKE-UP & STOP YOUR CHAI, PAN, & BIRYANI.
• If you don’t change now, than you will be worst than Dalits (of before Azadi). This is what Sangh parivar/BJP wants to make you, and Congress wants to cheat your votes. Don’t give them a chance or opportunity.
• WE HINDU’s want Muslim to grow and make our INDIA STRONGER.
I am not a political person nor from any organization but wants everyone to work and grow as a Team to build A NEW INDIA of 21st CENTURY


I agree with u my brother n I would appreciate your sypathy towards muslims, which sounds a brotherly call to us. We all should make INDIA stronger a super power by our enthusiasm Insha Allah.

100% True


This is the fact, even in Indianapolis the same thing no one knew how to give gusul, though couple of brother has learned how to do, Today also my fellow brothers went to give gusul to one of the brother who died yestarday, we few people knews how to give gusul, InshaAllah I'm also learning, I would request every Muslim Ummah to learn the basics teaching. This is very very importan, Here in US one has to buy the grave in advance which would cost around 8000$, becuase of this couple of muslim has opted to cremated the body which is too sad.

Please ask forgiveness from Allah SWT. We're in the last stage and all signs are showing Qayamat is very near.

Please do not spread lies

Again Siasat is spreading false news. There is natural death of muslim almost every week in US. And they have given full honor by the state(yes by state) and then community. I personally attended two this year. Please do not spread lies, its against the journalism as well as Islam.

Stop cow shitting here -

Idiot. Can you read the news and english language. It seems you are from Half chaddi organization and your are trying to pee from back side you guys try to do all the time.

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