Negotiating an Islamic burial
An examination of burial resources for Muslims in Central Texas
Among all the ritual performances following the death of an individual, special attention is given to the corpse in almost all religions. Islamic Sharica laws provide specific guidelines as to how to treat the corpse, including washing, drying, shrouding and burial. These practices differ from American Christian-based funeral practices of embalming and planning a memorial service through a funeral home. In the Austin (Texas) metropolitan area, there are a few options for members of the Muslim community seeking Islamic burial services for deceased individuals, including a cemetery that provides an ‘Islamic section’ where Muslims in the Austin area can practise the traditional requirements for burials. The purpose of the study reported here was to examine the resources available to those seeking an Islamic burial in this area. Through semi-structured interviews conducted with religious leaders, organizers and
volunteers in Muslim communities, this research offers new and important information detailing the experience of seeking and acquiring an Islamic burial in Central Texas.