Date of Event: January 25, 2013
by Amber Shaikh
A very well-organized Janazah Workhop was held at Masjid An-Noor on Friday evening, January 25th. This workshop was sponsored by ISNF with much help from Imam Nazim, his wife, Sawdah, Dr. Saleh Fetouh, Imam Daoud and Mohammed Raheemuddin. A 60-page booklet titled “Guide to Muslim Funerals in Western New York” compiled by Dr. Saleh Fetouh and Tarek Bahagat was given out to all who attended.
Our Imam started out with a very nice dua and went over the five steps of the funeral process: preplanning before death, preparing the body for funeral (ghusl), shrouding, funeral prayer, and burial. After dua, Imam spoke about the importance of living life as if it’s your last day. He mentioned that 150,000 people die every day around the world, but not many are prepared for it and are, in fact, surprised if death comes to them sooner than expected. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said that “the smartest of all of you is one who prepares for death the most.” The Imam then continued speaking about preparations for death.
Dr. Saleh Fetouh later went over the booklet we all received regarding Janazah. He first thanked Imam Daoud and Dr. Raheem for all their time and energy in helping out with funerals over many years. He then spoke about his research on a number of local cemetaries and funeral homes. He spoke to the executives of these funeral homes and informed them of the services the Muslim community needs.
They conducted tours, looking at caskets and the preparation room, as well as discussed pricing for funerals. Dr. Fetouh continued discussing pre-arrangement, which includes three steps: looking at cemetaries, picking out a funeral home, and getting all paperwork together for loved ones, in case of death (Family Record Guide in booklet). It was a very informative lecture, followed by a Q&A session lead by Imam Nazim.
The men and women then separated to view a demonstration on how to wash and shroud the body before the funeral. A table was set up with sheets and all the details were given by sister Sawdah for the women. After this workshop, it was nice to see so many sisters sign up to volunteer to do ghusl for whomever passes away in our community. I guess it helps to know that we would be well rewarded in the afterlife for this good deed.