Say: ‘Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the visible and He will inform you about what you used to do.’ Al-Jumu’a 62/8.
I find it hard to talk about death and how it affects me personally but two sisters died in our community in the last couple of days, one celebrated and one lesser known. Both converts, both washed according to Islamic teachings, yet only one buried in the Muslim way.
And I was just informed that someone else I know is dying.
Some of the Muslim bloggers in the area have written about one of the sisters, Maliha’s eloquence here and here. Tariq Nelson here the comment from HijabisOverrated is poignant and I also wanted to go on that ski trip, and Abu Sinan here.
As for the other sister, we had to reach out to those in the community to help wash and wrap her body. Alhamdulillah, one sister had a janaza kit for us to use and amazingly we called a good number of sisters and about 8 were able to come to the funeral home to help prepare our sister. Then we prayed the funeral prayer for her at a local masjid.
These deaths as well as one several years ago of a convert I know (knew) whose family never accepted her Islam and buried her in the Christian way (I still feel this burden to make sure the funeral prayer is prayed for her), and of my grandmother have served as a reminder to me to talk to my family about any eventualities in case of my death, write a will, and get proof of my conversion to Islam that will stay on record at a masjid (even though I’ve always found that notion of needing proof of one’s Islam insulting but now it seems very practical).
I am beginning to prepare my own janaza kit consisting of about 15 yards of white cloth (although it doesn’t have to be white) cut into 5 pieces, soaps and shampoo, camphor, and perhaps another sweet smelling oil just so it is ready and no one has to be burdened with trying to put that together for me at the last minute.
Also we by the grace and will of Allah are planning a workshop on how-to perform the ritual washing of the dead, writing wills for everyone but especially for converts, preparing the certificates of conversion, and preparing janaza kits to distribute free of charge in the the community.
From the Muslim Apple Storehouse:
Language Failure: Death of a Child