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40 days of mourning: Breaking down Islamic funeral rituals

After the death of officer Anthony Dia, many have been wondering about the Islamic funeral rituals.

TOLEDO, Ohio —

Hundreds of people and law enforcement officials attended fallen Officer Anthony Dia's funeral on Tuesday while many more watched it from their screens. 

The event had many viewers wonder about Islamic funeral rituals.  

Imam Saleh Qazwini, who is a high-ranking Islamic scholar, broke down the mourning process according to the Muslim faith. 

He explained that after a person dies, holding a memorial consisting of prayer and donations to charity is encouraged. This is called spoua and is pronounced SPOOAH. 

"When a person passes away, the family and the community get together seven days after for the spoua. And 40 days after what is called the arbyin,  and one year after the one year anniversary. When we gather in these gatherings, we recite the Quran, we give to charity, we do good deeds on the behalf of the deceased,” Qazwini said. 

The imam explains those who follow the Islamic faith believe the soul is separated from the body during death. But the soul lives on and may visit loved ones on the seventh and 40th days after death as well as one year later.  

"It kind of comes back and visits the family, visits the home, and the soul is expecting a gift, it's expecting something from the family from the loved ones," Qazwini said. "And the greatest gift that one can give to the deceased from the family is to do a good deed on their behalf." 

In the Islamic tradition, burying the body as soon as a person passes away is considered a sign of respect. 

"To respect and honor the soul, the person that has passed away. And it's recommended to go to this person as soon as possible. Now, when we bury the person, before the burial there is a prayer that is performed before the burial and then the person is buried," Qazwini said. 

While this grieving process doesn't make a loss of a loved one easy, it helps to have the support and a memorial in their honor. 

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