The Islamic Society of East Bay (ISEB) in Fremont has contracted with a nearby funeral home to provide the following:
Arrange for the removal of the deceased;
Transport the deceased to the Mosque;
Obtain required legal documents to allow for the burial of the deceased;
Transport the deceased to the final resting place;
Provide death certificate;
For unnatural death, work with the local coroner’s office and;
Embalm in unusual cases.
For any questions or details about the funeral process and the body washing process (or to volunteer to help perform ghusl on bodies in the East Bay), please get in touch with these individuals at ISEB:
In the event of a Muslim’s death in the San Francisco Bay Area, please get in touch with Imam Siraj Desai at (510) 943-9600. Imam Siraj is affiliated with the Islamic Society of East Bay (ISEB), which provides funeral services and arrangements in the East Bay.
The MCC East Bay does not have its own mortuary services. We provide only advice to families needing direction for burial and financial assistance for the funeral and burial of indigent Muslims in the Bay Area. The Burial Assistance application is here. Questions? Aminah Abdullah at (925) 264-9297 or email@example.com.
When MCC covers the funeral/burial cost, we work closely with the (ISEB), which has a body storage facility and a team of male and female volunteers to perform the washing (ghusl) and we also arrange a burial at the Five Pillars Farm Cemetery in Livermore, CA. The ISEB and Five Pillars Farms are separate entities from the MCC.
Obtain the required legal documents to allow for the burial of the deceased
Transport the deceased to the final resting place
Provide death certificate
For unnatural death, work with the local coroner’s office
Embalm in an unusual case
For any questions or details about the funeral process and the body washing process (or to volunteer to help perform ghusl on bodies in the East Bay), please visit this page or contact these individuals at ISEB:
Abdel Elkadi (Muslim Community Association (MCA) at (408) 794-9440
The cost for an adult burial in the Bay Area is about $7,500:
Hearse transport within the Bay Area (based on mileage to retrieve the body) to bring the body to ISEB and later to Five Pillars Cemetery, a burial permit, and a death certificate: $1,800 – $2,500 (Khan Funeral Home)
Body storage in a cold room, washing and shrouding the body, and performing the Islamic last rites (Salat al-Janazah): $500.00 (Islamic Society of East Bay)
Can a woman see a man’s body after the ghussul? Yes, only mahram women can see the man’s deceased body. An example of a mahram is a wife, daughter, sister, mother, and niece.
Is there a maximum or minimum number of sisters who can perform the ghusul (washing)?
No, there is no such thing as maximum or minimum requirements, but ISEB management has rules to have only five family members and four experienced women from ISEB, in which one would be a new trainee. They have four participants from ISEB because the body is kept in the freezer, and the body may be heavy, and they need to lift the body if they are not using the machine. Most of the family members that come are in grief and mourning and cannot always lift the body. They usually can do the ghusl, but emotionally lifting may be too difficult. Also, the room is too small according to the radius.
How do you get release of the body to transport it in a family car? ISEB has no knowledge or information in regards to transporting family members in a family car.
Why do we have to throw away all the clothes? Why can we not take it as a memory? California law does not allow you to take clothes home. All clothes worn must be disposed of in a hazardous waste bag.
Does a body need to be picked up by only mahram men from the freezer?
No, before the ghussul any man can pick up the body from the freezer and put it on the table.
Why do we bury women deeper in the grave than men?
This is not true. Men and women are buried at the same depth.
If there is no mahram who will put the body in the grave?
This will be most pious person or other family members.
Is the Ghussul only done through organizations or can we do it at home?
ISEB has no input with regard to ghussul’s being done at home. However, Ghussul’s can be done at home if proper arrangements are made. They should contact the state and city requirements to find out more information.
Does the family provide the kafan or pay the masjid for it?
ISEB provides the kafan and all necessary items for the ghussul.
Can a woman on her period perform the ghussul of her dead relative?
What is the width of the lifafa?
150cm/180cm to cover from head to toe. This measurement is used in Taleem-al-Haqq, but I use 120 cm width.
Where is the cemetery?
There is a Muslim cemetery in Livermore – at 1761 Laughlin Road. It is called the Five Pillars Cemetery. There is also a cemetery in Hayward called The Chapel of Chimes, with a Muslim area. These are the primary two that are used in the East Bay.
Out of the immediate Bay Area, another popular and affordable resting place for Muslims in Northern California is the Islamic Cemetery of North California in Lodi. Their phone number is (209) 607-8915.
We heard that no scissors should be used for the kaffan?
Sewed material cannot be used, but we have to cut the kaffan so we have to use scissors.
What is the Dua when closing the eyes of the deceased?
Will the deceased feel cold water if warm is unavailable (i.e. washing in secular mortuaries)? Faatawa Shaamiyah states that when bathing the deceased, water should not be too hot as the mayyit also feels pain and is harmed just as the living. As concerning hearing, many Ahaadith conform to this, but it should be understood that Allah grants permission for the deceased to hear what Allah wishes, i.e., a person cannot hear of his own free will.
I heard the family should stay a little after the burial. Is this true, and why?
It is advisable to remain behind after burying the deceased in the grave to occupy oneself in making zikr and supplicating for the deceased. It is permissible to supplicate by the grave while either standing or sitting.
It is reported by Uthman (ra): When Nabi (saw) would finish burying the deceased, he would stand by it, and he would say, “Seek forgiveness for your brother, and ask for him firmness, for he is being questioned now.” [Sunan Abī Dāwūd, (al-Janā`iz), 2: 103
Can a woman on her period do Ghusul of her dead relative?
It is disliked (makruh) for a menstruating woman to give ghusl to a deceased person. It is advisable for a menstruating woman not to be present by the dying person.
MCC strongly recommends our community to consider these documents:
Last Will and Testament – Your will accomplishes three primary objectives: (a) name individuals (or charitable organizations) who will receive your assets after your death, either by outright gift or in a trust; (b) nominate an executor who will be appointed and supervised by the probate court to manage your estate; pay your debts, expenses, and taxes; and distribute your estate according to the instructions in your will; (c) include nominations of guardians for minor children.
Power of Attorney – This document authorizes an individual (usually a trusted relative or friend) to act as your agent or attorney-in-fact to make confident decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Without a properly drafted power of attorney, your family must go to court and ask the court to give them the authority to handle your affairs. This process, known as a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding, is needlessly expensive and time-consuming, and more often than not, the court’s decision may not be what you wanted.
Advance Health Care Directive – Much like a durable power of attorney for financial decisions, your health care power of attorney authorizes an individual you trust to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions yourself. You can also include preferences with respect to end-of-life care and Islamic bioethics. Since injuries or illness can occur at any age, a healthcare power of attorney isn’t just something for the elderly – all adults should have one in place.
Revocable Living Trust – A family trust functions similarly to a will but is far more effective in most cases. With a revocable living trust, your assets are transferred into the trust, administered for your benefit during your lifetime, and passed to your family (and charitable beneficiaries if desired) when you die — all without court involvement. Thus, a well-drafted and fully-funded trust avoids unnecessary probate proceedings and allows for efficient, private, and shariah-compliant distribution of assets after your passing. In addition, trust is a highly effective tool for incapacity planning. We recommend this option when a client has a net worth of a few hundred thousand dollars.
Some attorneys in our community who deal with end-of-life documents: