After the Funeral Prayer, the body should be taken to the cemetery for burial, usually without any delay. The coffin should be carried on shoulders and all those who accompany the coffin should take turns in shouldering it. If the body is to be carried a considerable distance for burial, a vehicle may be used. Those who follow the funeral procession should continue the remembrance of God as well as pray for the forgiveness of the deceased in a low tone.
The grave may be prepared either as a dug up area which contains a further niche inside for the body to rest in or it may be just an open dug up area. However, it is essential for the grave to be wide and spacious. In extreme cases more than one body can be buried in one grave. If the burial at a particular location is meant to be temporary, or if the burial ground is likely to be affected by flood waters, then it is permissible to use an iron or wooden box for the corpse so as to protect the body from decaying too early.
The body must be lowered into the grave with care and caution.
The following should be recited when the body is being lowered into the grave:
بسم اللّہ وباللّہ علی مِلّۃِ رسولِ اللّہ صلی
اللہ علیہ وسلّم
In the name of Allah and with his blessings, upon the path set by the conduct of the Messenger of Allah (saw).
Prior to the body is placed in the grave or the coffin is finally nailed, the sheet wrap should be loosened a bit at the opening and the face tilted a little towards the Qibla. The following should be recited on this occasion:
مِنھا خَلَقْنٰکم و فیھا نُعِیْدُ کم و مَنْھَا نُخْرِجُکُمْ
تارَۃً أُ خْریٰ
Minha khalaqnakum wa fiha nu idukum wa minha nukhrijukum taratan ukhra.
“We have created you out of this (dust) and we shall return you to it and it is out of the same that we shall revive you in the end”.
It is in keeping with the practice of the Holy Prophet (saw), to make the heap of the grave somewhat raised from the ground i.e; a slight hump-like form.
When the burial ceremony is complete, a brief silent prayer with raised hands should be made for the forgiveness of the deceased. Then the mourners should leave the cemetery reciting the following:
السلامُ علیکم و اِناَّ اِنْ شاءاللہُ بِکُمْ لَلَاحِقُون
Assalamu 'alaikum wa inna insha Allahu bikum la-lahiqun.
“Peace be upon you and God willing we are certainly bound to join you.”
We should keep the following graveside etiquettes in mind:
- Only people who are carrying the casket should be at close proximity of grave, other should stand well behind, so the close family have the opportunity to lower the remain in dignity
- When the remains are lowered in grave, give the family and elder of community should be given opportunity shovel the dirt.
- Form two lines on either side of pile of dirt and then quickly shovel some dirt (maximum three shovelfuls), while reciting Kalima Shahadat.