Poonch Muslim Funeral Association[vc_column_text]FUNERAL GUIDE
THE PROCEDURES listed below are a basic and brief outline of the steps required to ensure a quick burial of a departed relative in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The first step in all cases is to contact the following people immediately:
1. Family Doctor
2. Funeral Director
3. Close relatives
1.0 STEP 1 – MEDICAL CERTIFICATE
a) Death at Home/Hospital- cause of death known
• If the deceased persons GP had attended them, at home, during their last illness and, can certify the cause of death or, if at hospital, the doctor is aware of the cause of death, then a medical certificate will be issued free of charge stating the cause of death.
To expedite the arrangements, it is important that this is obtained as soon as possible.
b) Death at Home/Hospital- cause of death unknown
• If, at home, the deceased persons GP is unable to certify the cause of death then he/she will inform the police who will in turn inform the Coroner. If at the hospital the doctor is unable to certify the cause of death, then he/she will inform the Coroner. (the Coroner is usually a doctor or lawyer responsible for investigating certain deaths)
The matter is referred to the Coroner if death occurs in any of the following circumstances at home or at the hospital:
I. If the deceased person was not attended by a doctor during his last illness or after death or within 14 days prior to death.
II. If the cause of death is uncertain.
III. If the death was sudden, violent or caused by an accident.
IV. If the death occurred during an operation.
V. If the death was caused an industrial disease.
• The coroner will probably arrange for a post-mortem examination of the body. The main purpose of this is to ascertain the cause of death. The consent of the relatives is not needed for this. They are however entitled to be represented at the examination by a doctor. If they are represented the Coroner will if practicable tell the relatives the time and place of the examination.
• If the death was found to be of natural causes then the Coroners office will issue a pink form (form 100)
After the post-mortem
If the cause of death is uncertain or was due to an accident, violence or industrial disease, then an inquest will be held. An Inquest is an enquiry into the medical causes and circumstances of death. It is held in public and sometimes with a jury. It is up to the coroner to decide how to organize the enquiry in a way to best serve the public interest and the interest of the relatives.
It may be important to have a lawyer to represent you if the death was caused by a road accident, or an accident at work, or other circumstances which could lead to a claim for compensation, contact your nearest citizens advice bureau to see if you can get legal aid for this.
After the inquest the coroner will give you, free of charge an order for burial (form 101), this gives permission for the body to be buried and should be given to the funeral director so that the funeral can be held. The coroner will also send a certificate after inquest (form 99), stating the cause of death to the registrar. This allows the death to be registered.
2.0 STEP 2 – FUNERAL ARRANGEMENT
The relatives should choose a Funeral Director of their choice. A list can be found in Yellow Pages or alternatively numbers of Mosques also make these arrangements.
• Inform the Funeral Director that a medical certificate has been issued. In some cases, the Funeral Director will ask for a copy of the Medical Certificate. He will then make arrangements with the hospital to transport the body to his/her premises and arrange with the designated cemetery, or alternatively, if the body is to be transported to Pakistan, he/she will make the necessary arrangements with the Airline. The Funeral Director will also provide hearse for transportation.
3.0 STEP 3 – REGISTRATION OF DEATH
• To register the death, you should take the medical certificate to the registrar of births and deaths of the area where the death took place (the registrars is usually situated at the Civic offices or the Town hall – your doctor, local council, post office, police station, should know the address.
• You do not have to make an appointment to see a Registrar, but without one you may have to wait.
• When you go to the registrar you should also take the following:
the deceased’s NHS medical card if available, birth and marriage certificates if available and any valid
passports. You should inform the registrar of: the date and place of death, the deceased date, town, and
country of birth; the deceased occupation and if married the date of birth of the deceased’s widow/er.
• The Registrar issues two free certificates:
Certificate for burial – (green form) this form should be given to the funeral director as an authorization for burial.
Certificate for registration of death – (form BD8) this is for Social Security purposes and for probate etc…This certificate can be taken to the social security office if you wish to claim death grant or widows benefit. You have to wait for this certificate otherwise it will be posted to you.
4.0 Further information
• In hospital deaths the doctor may want to carry out a post-mortem purely for there or the hospitals satisfaction but, they have to obtain permission of the nearest relative. You don’t have to give permission in these cases and your decision is respected.
• The body would normally be transferred from the ward to the hospital mortuary. But if arrangements are made swiftly the body can be collected by the Funeral Director from the ward and then taken to the mosque or funeral directors mortuary ready to be bathed.
5.0 Other useful information
• A death certificate is obtainable from the Registrar and is a certified copy of the entry in the death register.
There is a fee for this certificate and one is required for the will, personal claims etc…It is better to obtain
several copies straightaway as the price increase if you need one later.
• During public holidays or after office hours the certificate for burial (green form) can be obtained from the Registrar from his/her home.
There telephone numbers can be obtained from the civic offices or town hall. This service is only available
in the event of an emergency/if burial has to take place and offices are closed.
• It is recommended that at least four persons be presented to help bathe and carry the body. Washing will normally take place at the funeral directors premises. The imam of the local mosque should be available to provide the washing and Kafan.
• In the U.K, during the summer months the last time for burial is usually 4pm and during winter it is normally 3pm.
• Certain cemeteries don’t allow coffin boxes to be opened at the graveyard. Therefore to ensure the head of the deceased is facing the “Qibla” and where it is in relation to the coffin, make sure this is done before closing the coffin and entering the cemetery.
• Some cemeteries are now allowing bodies to be buried without using a wooden coffin so that Muslims can be buried in the Kafan only. In most cases, prior arrangements have to made to do this. Please check with your local council cemetery department.
• There are also now several private Muslim burial sites throughout the UK. Funeral Directors will have details of these.
• Please see the classified section for Funeral Directors who will be available to advise further.
Kaleem Khan – General Secretary
POONCH MUSLIM FUNERAL ASSOCIATION.