What to do After a Death Occurs

When someone dies, there are many decisions and arrangements to be made. Unfortunately these are required at a time of great personal distress and sadness.

Coping with bereavement is something that we will all experience at some point in our lives. Different people react in different ways and it is common to feel a variety of emotions, which can be unnerving and at times overwhelming. Nothing can really prepare you for when you lose someone close to you. It is important to remember that you should allow yourself time to react to grief in the way that is best for you.

Quite often people are not familiar with what to do, either from a religious point of view or in terms of the practical steps that need to be completed to bury a loved one. This section is designed to address these needs.

The practical measures to arrange a funeral include completing legally required paperwork and organising the funeral itself.

If you are unsure about any aspect of the funeral, or if you need emotional and practical support, do approach members of your extended family, close friends who will only be too glad to help. We at Masjid Ramadan are also always available to offer you practical and spiritual guidance.

It is usual, on hearing of a death of a fellow Muslim to recite the following brief prayer:

Allah Says: “Innalilani wa inna ilayhi rajioon”

To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return

(Quran Surat Al Baqarah 2:156)

“Every soul shall have a taste of death, then to us you will be ultimately returned”

(Quran Surat Al Baqarah 29:57)

(Verily we belong to Allah and will return to Allah)

Expected Death

If the death was expected, contact the doctor who attended the deceased during their final illness.

If the doctor can certify the cause of death, he or she will give you a formal notice that states the doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and tells you how to get the death registered. A Medical Certificate that gives the cause of death will be provided in a sealed envelope addressed to the Registrar of Deaths.

You will then need to arrange an appointment at the local Registry Office to where the death took place. The Registrar will provide you with either a Green Form for burial or a certificate to allow you to apply for an Out of England document for repatriation. This is normally applied for by the Funeral Director (see Registering a Death below).

However, if the doctor treating the deceased had not seen him/her either after the death or within 14 days before the death, then the death must be reported to the Coroner. You should first call an ambulance on 111, so paramedics can come and verify the death.

Expected Death in Hospital

If the death occurs in hospital, the hospital staff will contact the person named by the deceased as the next of kin in case of emergency. A doctor will issue a Formal Notice and Medical Certificate, as above.

The hospital will keep the body in the hospital mortuary until the next of kin arranges for the deceased to be taken away. Please note that the hospital will not normally release the body until the Green Form is obtained from the Registrar of Deaths. Hospital staff will also arrange for the next of kin to collect the deceased’s possessions.

In the case of an expected death, if you are asked permission for doctors to do a post-mortem, please do not agree to this, as this is usually for research purposes only. Islam does not permit post-mortems if they are not required by Law. If the Coroner insists on a post-mortem, you can now request for an MRI depending on the cause of death. There is a separate fee for this.

Unexpected Death

Should a loved one pass away suddenly, immediately call 111 (the NHS advice line), which can offer advice on the next steps.

An unexpected death may need to be reported to a Coroner. A Coroner is a person whose primary role is to confirm and certify the death of an individual within their jurisdiction. A Coroner may conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death, and investigate or confirm the identity of an unknown person who has been found dead within the Coroner's jurisdiction. They may also call for a post-mortem or inquest to find out the cause of death. This may take some time, so the funeral may need to be delayed.

Registering the Death

You will need to take the Medical Certificate (see above) to your local Registrar’s Office to formally record the death.

The Registrar will take details of the deceased and will give you a Green Form (Form 9) to give to the Funeral Director (unless the Coroner has already issued one), and a White Form (Form BD8), which is for State Pension and Social Security purposes only, so they are aware of the person’s passing. You will need to complete and send Form BD8 in the envelope you are given to your nearest Social Security Office.

You will also be able to obtain death certificates from the registrar. Multiple original certificates will be needed to deal with the deceased’s assets and finances, for example, informing banks and insurance companies, which will ask for the original document and will not accept photocopies.

Organising the Funeral

It is a good idea to check where the money to pay for the funeral costs will come from before making any firm arrangements. The deceased may have savings or an insurance policy to cover these costs.

The Masjid Ramadan Funeral Service is ready to help. Our aim is to offer you appropriate support and advice at this difficult time.

We welcome your enquiries, so please contact us to discuss your requirements.

02072492244    07836 338766


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