Understanding Islamic Funeral Rituals
When my mother knew that my sister and I were learning about funeral rites she was so happy. She prayed that “One day, my children will shower for me pray for me and do the Solat (prayers) for me. It’s our responsibility to shower them to shroud them. The showering process is your last touch and this is how we should repay our parents [In Malay] for everything they’ve done. [Islamic prayers] My name is Haji Roslan and I’m the Director of Pengurusan Jenazah Sinaran Baharu. I’m an Imam. For me as an Imam, we shouldn’t judge the body (deceased). When the deceased passes away there are three good signs and three bad signs. If the eyes open up that’s a good sign. Because Allah (God) is showing you all the good things you did when you were alive. It’s like (viewing) a video. But when the soul that comes out of the body sounds like a camel or a cow being slaughtered [Mimics low growling sound] that’s one of the bad signs. “When he dies like this, he must be a bad person.” No, we cannot think that way. Never, never badmouth or curse the deceased. If you think, “All these people going to enter hell, useless.” Come on, brother. How are you going to answer to the Malaikat’s (Angel) question? [In Arabic] “Who are your brothers and sisters?” Whether he dies in a good way or bad way even if he committed suicide as muslim brothers, we have to pray (wish) the best for him. because punishment is from God, not us. In Singapore, we practise Talqin. The purpose of Talqin is to teach the deceased what to do at the graveyard. After the burial the two angels will come. The angels will question the deceased at the graveyard. “Who is your god?” “Who is your prophet?” “What is your religion?” “Who is your Imam?” “Who are your brothers and sisters?” All those still alive listening to the Talqin you have to be prepared that you will be lying there (dead) and be questioned as well. Then, you won’t be arrogant. Because at the end of the day all your rank, your house, your wealth whatever valuables (you have) in this world you will have to leave behind. [Passing traffic sounds] [Soft piano playing]
[Passing traffic sounds] Intan: Today’s deceased will arrive from the hospital to the Pusara Aman Mosque to be showered and shrouded. After which, we will do the prayers and go to the cemetery. We will make all the preparations for the Jenazah (deceased) from A to Z. Haji: I got my sister to join me because she used to be a stay-home nurse. Now that I’m 55 years old I need to get someone whom I can trust (to help me). So I got my sister. When I first started the business with my wife we were always waiting for people to call us. People are praying to have a long life but we are always expecting people to die. Sorry, sorry, sorry. Because it’s the reality it’s my job scope, you see. If nobody dies, there’s no job. No job, no income. I was thinking that we were doing the wrong thing. I told my wife “Why don’t we conduct classes to teach those who want to learn about funeral.” At least you know how to become an Imam when your parents pass away. Think of death. When you think of death you become a good man.