CAIR: Funeral Prayers Today for Slain NY Imam and Associate

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/15/16) – Later today, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will join a community news conference prior to funeral prayers for a New York imam (religious leader) and his associate shot and killed on Saturday.

[MEDIA NOTE: Monday’s news conference will be livestreamed on CAIR’s Facebook page: ]

The funeral prayer for Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin will be held at 2:30 p.m. after the 1:45 p.m. news conference at Grant Avenue Municipal Parking Field, 581 Grant Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208.

WHEN: Monday, August 15, 1:45 p.m. News Conference, 2:30 Prayer

WHERE: News Conference and Funeral Prayers at Grant Avenue Municipal Parking Field, 581 Grant Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,

Backgrounder: Islamic Funeral Practices

CAIR today issued an outline of Islamic funeral and burial rites as background information for journalists.

There are five main points for the preparation of a Muslim’s body for burial.

1. WASHING THE BODY - Family members often assist in the washing. Men wash a man's body. Women wash a woman’s body. Either men or women may wash a child’s body. A husband may wash his wife’s body and vice-versa if the need arises.

2. WRAPPING THE BODY - The shroud used for wrapping the body must be a clean (preferably white) cloth and should cover the whole body. The shroud is tied at the head and feet, with a piece of cloth (from the same shroud) in such a way that one can differentiate the head from the feet.

3. PRAYERS - Those praying stand in rows facing the direction of Mecca, with the prayer leader in front. The body (or bodies) is placed in front of the congregation. The worshipers make a personal intention to offer a funeral prayer. They say “God is Great,” then fold their hands on their chests. The opening chapter of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, is read quietly. Prayers are recited for the deceased, the Prophets Abraham and Muhammad and for the Muslim community. Saying “peace be to you” concludes the prayer. The entire funeral prayer is performed while standing.

4. FUNERAL PROCESSION - Mourners walk in front of or beside the body. Those who are riding or driving should follow it. Silence is recommended.

5. BURIAL - The body is laid in the grave. No casket is used unless there is a need for it, e.g., if the soil is very loose or wet. Each person present shares in filling the grave by pouring three handfuls of soil.

The Prophet Muhammad said: “(Weeping) is the mercy that God has placed in the hearts of His servants.” The Prophet also said that only good things should be remembered about a person’s life after he or she dies.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,