GSMC Rules/ Regulations for Burial Services (Janazah)
In United States, when a person passes away the body is released to a Funeral Home that initiates the process of burial and transportation of the body to the cemetery for final internment.
The Greater Sacramento Muslim Cemetery (GSMC) a “not for profit” religious organization, has been established to handle the final rites in accordance with the Islamic Principles while observing the laws and regulations of the Federal, State and County in which the Cemetery is located.
GSMC recognizes that Muslim Umma has multiple ethnicities and different Madhahib and consequently, all efforts are being made to accommodate such differences within the ambiance of the prevailing Laws. Imam or community leader chosen by the family of the deceased will conduct the burial services (Janazah) according to the Islamic Principles of the respective Madhab of the deceased, which accepted.
GSMC board has approved the following rules as a pre-requisite for the use of the GSMC facilities by the Muslim Community for the final internment of their loved ones. All burials at the Cemetery shall strictly adhere to the Rules as follows:
Burial services (Janazah) is performed in three stages which are (i) Ghusl (washing the body), (ii) Salat-ul- Janazah (prayers), and (iii) Tadfeen (burial) of the deceased. Separate sets of Guidelines/Rules are available for the victims of death caused by Covid-19 pandemic/Special Arrangement condition are posted on Cemetery website.
Washing and preparation of the body of the deceased is performed at GSMC’s own modern ghusl facilities. GSMC has qualified professional teams of brothers (for male ghusl) and sisters (for female ghusl), who are responsible for performing the ghusl for the GSMC. However, any family member wishing to perform the ghusl themselves shall be permitted to do so under the supervision of the Team Leader registered with the Management. Because of the liability issues, the safety of those performing the ghusl, usage of toxic chemicals and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements, the number of family members allowed in the ghusl room at any one time shall be limited to a maximum of four (4) persons with the Team Lead supervising the washing. Permission to do so shall be approved by the Management upon request by the family of the deceased and obtained at time of finalizing the burial formalities. Families wishing to perform ghusl at locations of their choice off-site, and by their preferred group shall be permitted to do so. Using the Cemetery Ghusl Room will be according to GSMC Rules.
The professional team is also responsible for the cleaning and thoroughly sanitizing the ghusl room after each washing in preparation for future use of the premises since the family members normally proceed to pray Salat-ul- Janazah and perform Tadfeen and not have the time to clean-up after them. Maintaining a clean ghusl room is also very critical in the era of Covid-19 pandemic and a requirement of the County Health Laws.
Prayers for the deceased are performed according to the Islamic Principles. The family members of the deceased are encouraged to have Imam or community leader of their choice, to perform the ‘Salat-ul-Janazah’. In case the family of the deceased has no preferred Imam, GSMC will organize to have one for this purpose, as well as the ‘Talqeen’ at the burial site.
Tadfeen is the stage of burial of the deceased body and submission to the grave. The State and Local Government regulations mandate that burial take place only after a “Burial Permit” has been obtained from the local County Office. This process can often take longer than expected and can delay the Janazah proceedings. Therefore, the community members of the deceased are advised to expect delays, as the process is not in the control of the Management. GSMC will do all it can to expedite and will work diligently with the Funeral Director who is responsible for obtaining the necessary a signed copy of the burial permit. Upon receipt of the burial permit, the casket is carried to the grave site for Talqeen and Tadfeen (final stage of the process).
Only immediate family members are encouraged at the grave. Others are requested to remain a distance away and join at the grave site for prayers and ‘DUA’ after burial is completed. Burial is a very solemn, sacred procedure and calls for the last farewell to the deceased be accorded with the utmost respect. Hence interference with this solemn process is discouraged.
Funeral Director does not decide the time and day of burial, as this responsibility solely rests with GSMC. It is, therefore, imperative that the arrangements for burial are always made with the GSMC management.
The family members of the deceased in all instances will be required to sign necessary documents as a condition of usage of cemetery facilities and shall take full responsibility for the actions/behavior of their family members and friends attending the Janazah. Management will take necessary disciplinary actions against members displaying conduct unbecoming of a respectable Muslim and violating the sanctity of the sacred ground where our loved ones are buried. They could be disbarred from future visits to the Cemetery and reported to Law Enforcement.
Parking along Fire Lane (red-painted curbs), double parking, blocking the driveway and parking on Eagles Nest Road are not permitted. County Parking Enforcement will issue citation on all such occurrences. Illegally parked vehicles may be towed at owner’s expense. Blocking entrance to the Cemetery may prevent emergency services from reaching their destination.
In its efforts to maintain control of the number of visitors, GSMC will allow a maximum of two (2) burials at any one day and finish Tadfeen (burial) services at least an hour before Maghrib.
GSMC will from time to time update the rules and guidelines to conform to the changing circumstances and in compliance with current Government Laws.GSMC expects cooperation from the deceased family and community members in adhering to these rules and regulations.
May Allah swt bless us all and reward us with a place in Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen!!!