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“The Final Journey”

February 14, 2008 by  


By Sadaf Ali, MMNS

Canton-February 9–Over 250 women gathered at The Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs (MCWS) here in Canton to learn all about the sacred Islamic traditions regarding burial and funerals.

The event, entitled “The Final Journey,” was divided into English and Urdu sections and started with various lectures on visiting the sick, what to do at the time of death and how to perform ghusl (washing) on the deceased. It ended with a live demonstration of how to wrap the kafan, or funeral shroud.

However, during the live demonstration, many women were moved to tears, including Seema Ahmad, who said death was something she really didn’t think about in her daily life.

“Just imagining yourself in that position, we tend to forget that in our daily lives, especially being dead and punished,” she said, “It was really moving.”

Prompted by a death in the family, the main coordinator, Ayesha Naseer, and members of The Quran Circle of Canton (QCC) organized the ladies-only event, not only to educate members of the Canton community, but also as a way to empower women.

“I want women to go and teach their husbands, brothers and sons Namaz-E-Janazah,” said Naseer, “It’s very important to know how to do that. We don’t even know how to do the basic things.”

According to Ahmad, exposure to such detailed Islamic traditions was an invaluable experience.

“We really don’t have the opportunity to learn so much about our religion, especially in this fashion where women take the leading role in conducting the seminar and also taking priority in the audience,” she said.

However, preparing the Muslim youth was the main target of Saturday’s event.

“We need to be role models for them, because they are our future. They are in training now. They are our future ummah and they need to know what to do in situations like this,” said Ayesha Joz, a speaker.

Eighth-grader Naureeb Ayub said she felt more prepared for the future.

“I learned how to wrap the shroud and do the ghusl. If my mom were to die, at least I would know how to wash the body,” she said.

Naseer and her team, who conduct all workshops out of their own expense, plan on continuing to educate communities around Michigan. They’re even willing to go out of state to help.

“We have a PowerPoint presentation ready and speakers ready. Our team would love to serve wherever we are needed.”

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