Muslim Burials

Liverpool City Council announced on 15th March 2017 that within a year there will be no more room for Muslim burials in the city’s cemeteries. As such, a new section in Allerton Cemetery is to be developed specifically for those of the Islamic faith.

Once the work is complete, there will be 500 more grave spaces for Muslim burials in the city where the United Kingdom’s first mosque which opened in Brougham Terrace in 1889. It means that Liverpool will have enough cemetery capacity to accommodate Muslim burials for the next twenty years.

Sharia Law calls for the deceased to be buried as soon as possible so when a Muslim dies the preparations begin almost immediately. The body is washed three times and if possible the hands are placed in a position of prayer. It is then wrapped in a shroud, as no viewings are allowed to take place. The funeral service takes place at the mosque, with mourners facing Mecca as they pray. The closest male relatives are at the front, then other men, children and finally women.

Muslim burials

After prayers the body is taken to the cemetery where usually the only mourners to witness the interment are men. The body is on its right side as it is lowered into the grave facing Mecca. There is then a reciting of of “Bismilllah wa ala millati rasulilllah” which translates as “In the name of Allah and in the faith of the Messenger of Allah”.

The body is first covered with wood or stones so that it doesn’t come into direct contact with the soil. Then all mourners present each deposit three handfuls of earth into the grave. Muslim graves traditionally do not have large elaborate headstones and are much more likely to be have simple markers which are sometimes made of wood. That is not always the case however, and modest granite and stone memorials are not uncommon.

In Allerton Cemetery, there is an area of Muslim woodland where eco-friendly burials take place and where no headstones are allowed. However, at Allerton and other Liverpool cemeteries there are also graves where traditional memorials are present. Sarsfield Memorials prides itself on providing memorials for all denominations and if you are considering a memorial for a Muslim grave, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.