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What Happens Before a Muslim Funeral Service?

Muslim funeral services have a specific order in which they unfold, and some preparations precede them. So, if you’re a non-Muslim, a new Muslim, or a Muslim who hasn’t dealt with this situation before, you’ll ask: “what happens before a Muslim funeral service?”

Muslim Funeral Preparations

The preparations are composed of two steps. First, the deceased’s body is washed in the “ghusl.” Then, it’s covered and wrapped in white sheets called the “kafan.” These preparations happen fast because the body needs to be buried as soon as possible. Some people contact Islamic organisations for help with them.


Before the ghusl, or full wash, people shut the deceased’s eyes then close their mouth with a broad bandage. Then, it’s time to clean the body before burial.

Same-sex family members take on this shore, and the husband or wife of the deceased may be permitted to partake in it. They place the deceased on a bed for the ghusl, remove their clothes and jewellery, and cover their private parts with a thick piece of cloth.

Next, they perform the wash in its specified order and repeat it three times. However, they may do it five or seven times if needed. Afterwards, they dry off the body. If the deceased is a woman, they fix her hair in three braids.


The kafan is like a shroud and it consists of large white simple sheets in which Muslims wrap the deceased’s body for modesty. They’re usually three sheets for men and five for women. Those conducting the ghusl put the body over the sheets.

Then, they wrap it in them, securing the kafan with ropes: one tie over the head and one under the feet. If needed, they might make two or three ties around the body.

There’s a particular fragrance for the deceased that can be applied between the sheets. Also, it’s added to certain parts of their body.

Finally, the body is ready to be carried to a mosque for the funeral prayer and following customs.

Since the body is fully covered, there are no pre-funeral service viewings of the deceased’s body, which makes sense considering the urgency of burial in Islam.

Final Words

Ultimately, preparing the body of the deceased for a Muslim funeral service consists of two steps. Firstly, same-sex relatives wash the deceased’s body in a specific order, known as the ghusl. Secondly, they wrap and cover it in plain sheets and secure it with rope. This way, the body is ready for the funeral prayer and burial.