Should I Go to a Burial at the Cemetery?

A loved one passing away is a highly emotional & distressing time. Our natural urge is to attend janazah and burials for our family and friends. Prayers for our deceased are amongst the last things we can do for them in this world.

The Coronavirus pandemic has though turned things upside down for all our communities. Before the pandemic, large numbers were encouraged for funerals/burials. However, large numbers now present real problems for the whole community, especially for our funeral and cemetery key workers, as this email from Gardens of Peace Cemetery explains.

They continue to receive more than their limit of 10 people max for burials. Large numbers now:

  • Make it difficult to manage funerals / burials.
  • Make it difficult to enforce social distancing.
  • Create parking problems for neighbours.
  • Could lead to a ban on all attendees, including close family members.
  • Could lead to closure of the cemetery.

In addition the new track & trace system launched by the government means if anyone attending a funeral has tested positive for Covid-19, everyone they have come into contact with will be required to self-isolate. This includes masjid funeral workers and cemetery workers.

As mentioned, we know this is a highly emotional time for all, an impossible time even. We know there is an overwhelming urge to attend the funeral/burial.

But just one person can affect funerals/burials for the whole community if key workers have to go into self-isolation. All our Muslim cemeteries serve very large catchment areas – across many London boroughs and surrounding areas.

If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, please do not go to the funeral/burial – don’t risk it, don’t chance it. Please don’t be that one person that affects dozens or hundreds of funerals/burials.

Please adhere to strict funeral/cemetery guidelines which apply for Covid and non-Covid funerals/burials. They are there to ensure the deceased can be buried with dignity throughout this pandemic period, and to protect you & your family.

So to answer the Question: Should I Go to a Burial at the Cemetery?

We urge all extended family and friends to check with the immediate family on numbers. Support the immediate family at this extremely distressing time. You should assume you can’t go, and certainly don’t be offended if numbers don’t allow you to join, nor put any undue pressure on the family. Please don’t just turn up at the funeral/burial which only adds to the pressures on the family and cemetery workers. Taking precautions to protect ourselves, our families and communities is our Islamic duty – the rest is we leave to Allah سبحانه و تعالى .

If you can’t go to the funeral/burial, perhaps one of those attending can live broadcast, or share a recorded video, from the cemetery using Zoom, Webex, Skype, MS Teams.

You can also recite the Holy Quran or Surah Yasin. On behalf of the deceased you can send blessings on the Holy Messenger صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم or give Sadaqa Jaria. You can also do duas in abundance for their forgiveness.

Finally, you can visit the cemetery after the burial at quieter times. Just check with the cemetery before you go to make sure their current rules allow this.

If you have had a bereavement, we ask Allah سبحانه و تعالى to forgive your loved one and to grant them a place in Jannat Al Firdous. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى make it easy for you & your family and lift this pandemic quickly. Ameen.

Please share this with family and friends so they can understand why there are limits to numbers, and how to help families during a bereavement.

If you are unsure about anything regarding funerals/burials, please speak to your local undertaker or cemetery where-ever you are.

Specifically for WFIA funerals/burials, please speak to Haji Nazir (contact details).

Alternatively, you can send us a message below.