Finding a place to bury the dead could be a real struggle for many Muslim communities in the west.
With the increasing number of Muslims in Manitoba province, demand has increased for funeral services and funeral homes.
To change the status quo, the Manitoba Islamic Association is planning to build the first Muslim funeral home in the province.
To build and equip the new funeral home, the association needs $600,000, of which $450,000 has been raised.
The association hopes to have the home, which will be an extension of the Manitoba Grand Mosque in Winnipeg, ready by March.
Therefore, the group is putting on a telethon to help raise funds to build the first Muslim funeral home in Manitoba.
“We have, for many decades, provided a service for the community, in terms when somebody passes away, we take care of the funeral arrangements,” Idris Elbakri, president of the Manitoba Islamic Association, told CBC.
“Our partners are struggling with this as our numbers increase,” Elbakri said, adding that the MIA has at least one funeral each week.
“We’re doing the old-fashioned telethon where people can call in and pledge or donate on the phone,” Elbakri said, adding that the telethon would be posted on Facebook this week.
Funeral in Islam
Islam calls for respecting human beings whether alive or dead.
A Muslim’s dead body should be immediately taken to a mortuary for washing and preparation.
Two or three adult Muslims should wash the body and then put on the shroud (kafan). Before the burial, the funeral prayer should be done.
The burial should be done as soon as possible. It is makruh (reprehensible) to delay the burial of the dead.
Funerals in Islam have always been simple with no elaborate services or extravagant caskets.
Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey estimated Muslims in Canada to be around 1,053,945, or about 3.2% of the population, making Islam the second-largest religion in the country after Christianity.
First Muslim immigrants arrived in Manitoba from Eastern Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Lebanon in the early 1900s.
According to Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, there were 12,405 Muslims in Manitoba representing 1% of the population.