Burial Service

The HIC negotiated unique contracts with Hampton Cove and Berryhill Funeral Homes, for an exclusive burial section known as the “Islamic Garden” including the use of their facility to prepare the deceased for washing and burial.  This contract/agreement is based on Islamic practices and traditions and includes private access to the facility for purpose of washing (ghusl), shrouding (kafan), prayer (Janazah), burial, and complete access to the cemetery seven days a week. There are two options to chose from:
Option A:
a. Use Berryhill Funeral Home for funeral services
b. Use Hampton Cove Funeral Home for burial services
For details click Here
Option B:
a. Use Hampton Cove Funeral Home for both funeral and burial services.
For details click Here

Contact Us

In the event of death, please contact:
Huntsville Islamic Center
1645 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL  35816
Tel:  256-721-1712
Fax:  256-721-1714
Email:  Hunsville Islamic Center
Point of Contact:  Imam Sheikh Ragab – 256-919-4478


Hampton Cove Funeral Home is located at 6262 Highway 431 S (Governor’s Drive), Owens Crossroads, Alabama, 35763 (256-518-9168)  The facility is located  approximately 12.7 miles east of the HIC.

Berryhill Funeral Home is located at 2305 North Memorial Parkway Huntsville, Alabama 35810

Funeral Services (Janazah)

During the time of loss, the Huntsville Islamic Center may be contacted to inquire about final arrangements and preparations for your loved one to ensure they are taken care of in accordance to Islamic standards and principles.   The HIC offers assistance with the washing (ghusl) and shrouding (kafan) of the deceased, performance of the Janazah prayer, and burial.

Death is a very painful and emotional time, yet one that may be filled with hope and mercy. Muslims believe that death is a departure from the life of this world, but not the end of a person’s existence.  Rather, eternal life is to come, and we pray for ALLAH’s mercy to be with the departed, in hopes that they may find peace and happiness in the next life.

When a Muslim is near death, those around him or her are called upon to give comfort, and reminders of ALLAH’s mercy and forgiveness. They may recite verses from the Qur’an, give physical comfort, and encourage the dying one to recite words of remembrance and prayer.  It is recommended, if at all possible, for a Muslim’s last words to be the Shahada: أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله ; declaration of faith: “I bear witness that there is no god but ALLAH and MUHAMMAD is His (last) Prophet.”

Services Offered:

Funeral Services arranged through the Huntsville Islamic Center in conjunction with Hampton Cove or Berryhill Funeral Homes include:

  • Release of the Body
  • Transportation of Body to the Funeral Home
  • Preparation for Burial (Washing/Shrouding)
  • Coffin (Box) and Kafan (Shroud)
  • Janazah Prayer
  • Full Burial Registration of Death
  • Grave Marking

Planning Ahead

Costs for burying a loved one can be expensive.  The following provides an estimate of costs associated with burial.

Burial Lots

The Huntsville Islamic Center owns a number of burial lots which should facilitate the burial of Muslims in the Tennessee Valley in accordance with the Islamic burial rites. The burial lots are located in Islam Garden at  Hampton Cove Funeral Home and Crematory , 6262 Hwy 431 South, Hampton Cove, AL 35793.  Interested parties must obtain consent and burial lot assignments from HIC for the use of these burial lots.

In Case of Death

Steps to take in case of death in your family

Please contact the Huntsville Islamic Center at 256-721-1712 or Muhammad Elhady @ 256-797-6317 to start the burial process (i.e. washing the body and burial) in accordance with the Islamic teachings

Only one family member or friend must co-ordinate the burial activity with the Cemetery Committee.
Call Hampton Cove Funeral Home at 256-518-9168 or Berryhill Funeral Home at  (256) 536-9197 to make the necessary arrangements to transport the body either from home or hospital

Fee for Burial Lots:

The current cost for plots (payable to the Huntsville Islamic Center) is $600 for members of the HIC, and $1,000 for non-members.

Other Fees:

Option A or Option B above

General Procedures

  • All Muslims shall have the right to be buried in the HIC Muslim Cemetery.
  • No reservation of the grave site(s) will be permitted. Only the gravesite immediately next to an occupied one, in compliance with the master plan, will be used.
  • No structure shall be allowed atop the grave site(s) except for a grave marker with at most the following information on it: the name and dates of birth and death of the deceased.

Basic rules of Islamic funerals

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).

Surat ‘Āli `Imrān Verse 185 (Family of Imran)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The following are some of the issues/frequently asked questions facing the family members and relatives of deceased individuals.  It is requested that Muslims familiarize themselves with these issues at all times since death can approach anyone at any given time or place.
I ask Allah (SWT) to bestow on us sincerity in our speech and actions, to forgive our mistakes, and to place us with His pious servants; and for Him to listen and grant us what we ask for.  We must always say — All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

What are important things that family members and friends should do when someone is dying?
It is recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) to do the following:

The dying person should be asked to pronounce, “Laa ilaaha illal Lah.” (There is no God but Allah.) before death. The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “Ask your dying fellows to pronounce, “Laa ilaaha illal Lah.” (There is no God but Allah.)” [Reported by Imams Muslim, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmithi, An-Nisa’I and Ibn Majah]

The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “The one whose last words are “Laa Ilaaha Illal Lah.” (There is no God but Allah) will enter Paradise.” [Reported by Imams Abu Dawood]

What should family members and friends do immediately after the death of their loved one?

They should consult with a doctor or experienced professionals to ensure that the person has truly died and is not in a coma.

They should also supplicate and say “Inna Lillahi Wa inna ilaihi Raje’oon.” (To Allah we belong, and to Him we will all return.) Allah (S.W.T.) says what can be translated as, “…Who, when afflicted with calamity, say:’ To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.’ They are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and mercy. And they are the ones who receive guidance.” [Surat Al-Baqarah, verses (156,157)]

Um-Salama heard the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) say: “Whomsoever is inflicted by a misfortune and then says: ‘Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi Raje’oon, and then says, O’ Allah, reward me because of my misfortune, and bestow on me a better substitute,’ then Allah will reward him because of his misfortune and will bestow on him a better substitute.” Um-Salamah said: ‘When my husband, Abu-Salama died, I said what the messenger of Allah ordered me, so Allah bestowed on me a better substitute, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.).” [Reported by Imams Muslim and Ahmad]

Those near the deceased should also close the dead person’s eyelids. The Messenger of Allah went to see Abu-Salama after he died; he found his eyes open, so the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) closed them and said: “When the soul is retrieved, the sight follows it.” [Reported by Imam Muslim] They should also cover the dead. The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) upon his death was wrapped with a piece of striped cloth.” [Reported by Imams Bukhari and Muslim] According to all scholars, it is permissible to kiss the dead and to cry for him, because the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) kissed Othman Bin Math’oon and cried for him until the tears wet his two cheeks when he died.” [Reported by Imams At-Tirmthi and Ibn Majah]

Also, Abu-Bakr (R.A.) kissed the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) between his eyes after his death and said: “O’ Prophet, O’ Dear Friend”

They should also hasten in preparation for the Islamic burial. They must contact the Cemetery and Burial Committee members of the Huntsville Islamic Center .

The family or friends of the deceased should pay off the debts of the dead person from the wealth that he has left, or by donations to pay off his debt if there is no wealth left.  Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “The believer’s soul is attached to his debt until it is paid,” [Reported by Imams Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmithi] meaning that the dead person’s soul will not rest until his debt is paid.

They should also notify the relatives and friends of the deceased about the death: that the Prophet (S.A.W.) announced the death of Al-Najashi (the ruler of Ethiopia) on the same day of his death to the people. He also gathered people in the mosque, lined them up, and made four Takbeerat, (meaning: they prayed the Janazah prayer which consists of saying “Allah Akbar” four times). [Reported by Imams, Bukhari, Muslim and others] the prophet (S.A.W.) announced the death of Zaid, J’afar, and Ibn-Rawaha (R.A.) before he received news of their death from the people. [Reported by Imams Bukhari and Ahmad]

It is permissible to cry after the death, but not permissible to yell or weep: Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “Allah does not punish a person as a result of tears, or of the sorrow of the heart, but Allah punishes or bestows His mercy as a result of this.” And the, prophet pointed to his tongue. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) cried because of the death of his son, Ibrahim, and said:” The eye tear and the heart grieve, and we say nothing except what pleases our Lord, and we grieve as a result of your departure, Ibrahim.” [Reported by Imams, Bukhari and Muslim]

It is permissible for the woman to mourn the death of her relative for three days: (Mourning includes giving up perfume, jewelry, Kuhl, etc.); it is forbidden for her to mourn for more than three days except if it was her husband in which case she has to mourn, at home, throughout the “Iddah” waiting period, which is four months and ten days. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “The woman must not mourn for more than three days except for her husband where she must mourn for four months and ten days.” [Reported by Imams Bukhari, Muslim and the six Imams except At-Tirmithi]

It is recommended that food be prepared for the deceased’s family. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said when J’afar (R.A.) died: “Prepare food for the family of J’afar, for they have been inflicted by a matter that occupied them.” [Reported by Imams Abu Dawood, Ibn-Majah, and At-Tirmithi] .

How should the preparations begin for the Islamic burial?

Preparing the dead for burial is a “Fard Kifayah” duty, meaning that if some Muslims properly carry out this duty, then other Muslims are exempt from the responsibility. Preparing the dead for burial consists of the following:  Bathing the dead, wrapping the body with a shroud, praying for the dead, and burying the body.  The Huntsville Islamic Center’s, Cemetery and Burial Committee will make all the necessary arrangements in consultation with the family members of the deceased. Hence, it is important that the family members contact the Cemetery and Burial committee as soon as possible.

How is the bathing of the dead (Ghusl) carried out?

Volunteers at the HIC are trained to carry out this procedure and will help you as needed. The following information is for your help.

Deceased males should be washed by men, while deceased females should be washed by women. It is permissible for either spouse to wash the other after death.

It is obligatory to wash the whole body once with water with the intention of bathing the dead.

It is recommended that the body be laid on an elevated platform off of the floor, the body stripped of its clothes, and the private parts of both male and female be fully covered.   Those bathing the body should press the abdomen of the deceased to release any impurities. Impurities should be removed and washed off of the body. The person should wrap a cloth around his/her hand to wash the private parts of the dead, since touching the private parts is forbidden. Then, perform ablution to the dead, meaning the dead is washed as if he were to perform ablution. Then the body is washed three times with water and soap starting with the right side.

If the deceased were a woman and her hair is braided, then her braids should be loosened and washed, and then braided back in three separate braids that go down her back. If there are any hair clips, bows, or bands,  they should be removed before washing the hair.

After the bathing is done, the body should be dried with a clean cloth and perfumed. Only the people who are needed for carrying out this process should attend.
When can Tayammum [dry Wash] be performed on the deceased?

We should also know that Tayammum [dry wash] for the dead person can substitute washing the body in any case when water is not available or the place for washing the dead person is not available, or if there are no tools available for washing the dead person.

Also, it is permissible if there is a concern that the body will disintegrate if touched by water such as in cases of burn victims. We could also use Tayammum [dry wash] for deceased females if there are no women available to wash her body, and the same goes for men, if there are no men available to wash their bodies.

How is Tayammum [dry wash] performed for the dead person?

The person performing the Tayammum [dry wash] should tap one hand on any materials from the earth, such as stones, marble, bricks, sand, or soil. Then he should wipe his hand over the whole face of the deceased person. He then should tap material’s from the earth again with one hand and wipe each hand of the deceased person up to his/her wrist.

How is the Kafan (shroud) prepared and placed?

Trained members of the community will help you with this.   It is obligatory that the body be covered by at least a single shroud.

Recommendations about the shroud

A clean shroud is used.

A white shroud is used, because the Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “Wear white clothing it is the best of your clothes, and wrap the dead with it.” [Reported by Imam Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah]

The shroud is perfumed. The Prophet (S.A.W) ordered a group of women to wash his deceased daughter three times and for the third time, add Kafoor” (a good smelling substance).” [Reported by Imams Bukhari, Muslim, and others]

The shroud consists of three pieces for the male, and of five pieces for the female, at the most. This limit was placed because “The prophet (S.A.W.) himself was shrouded by the companions in three white sheets.” [Reported by Imams Bukhari, Muslim, and others]

How is the “Salatul Janazah” performed?

All the requirements that are observed in regular prayers should be observed here (i.e. ablution, facing Qibla, etc.)

The Janazah (funeral prayer) has six essentials:

Intention to pray the Janazah prayer lies in the heart.
Standing up for prayer for those who are capable of doing so.
After the first Takbeerah recite surat (Al-Fatiha) silently.
After the second Takbeerah, saying a prayer for prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).
After the third Takbeerah supplicating to Allah (S.W.T.) for the deceased.
After the fourth Takbeerah, make “Tasleem” saying: “Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah” and turning your head to the right. It is optional to add another Tasleem to the left side.