Important: At all times the body of the deceased must be handled with great care and attention to ensure no harm or discomfort is caused. This is because the soul continues to feel pain after passing from this world based on the teachings of Islam.
A) IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEATH
When the soul departs, the body is still warm and flexible and its important to undertake these steps early others the body become rigid.
- Gently close eyes of the deceased
- Gently close their mouth and very slowly tie a piece of cloth (you can use a soft bandage) from the chin to the head to ensure their mouth remains closed
- Very gently, place their hands on their side
- Gently tie their ankles (or 2 toes) together, so they remain together (ensure legs are closed)
- The Sunnah is to keep the body of the deceased on the right side, if this can be done easily, so that they are facing the Qiblah, and their head is in a neutral position.
The next steps after this point are:
B) CONTACT A HEALTH AUTHORITY TO SEEK A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE
Before a death can be registered, a Doctor, normally the registered GP, will need to issue a “Medical Certificate” that shows the Cause of Death. Depending on the circumstances of death (Home, Hospital, Natural, Unexplained…) determines whether a use of a coroner may be required to certify the death. Generally, a death certificate can be obtained promptly if the GP has seen the patient in the last 14 days and there are no causes for concern about how the death occurred. If a further investigation into the cause of death is required, the Coroner will need to carry out a Post Mortem.
DEATH AT A HOPITAL
If the death occurs in the hospital, then the bereavement office will get involved until the deceased is transported to the Hospital Mortuary while the Registration talks place. Once the cause of death is established, the Bereavement office will need the death certificate which is obtained from the registry Office located at King street, Luton. After the registration, the body then can be released to your preferred Funeral director for funeral/Burial or to be placed in the community Mortuary.
When a death is reported to the Coroner, a decision needs to be made if a Post-Mortem is required to help determine the exact cause of death. You will not be able to register the death until this has been completed. The family of the deceased can request for a Non-invasive Post Mortem (using MRI Scanning). The MRI facility is provided at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and the body will need to be transported there and back to Luton. The additional cost of the scanning (approximately £600) will have to be met by the family.
CONTACT A FUNERAL DIRECTOR
Make contact with a local funeral director. If you would like to contact a Funeral Director in Luton, a complete list of services and Mosques are available here.
The Funeral Director will need to know some personal details about the deceased and proposed funeral arrangements and arrange a suitable time to arrange the funeral. They will be able to arrange for cold storage of the deceased, liaison with the cemetery and arrangement of the janazah (funeral prayer).
CAUSES OF DEATH
- (Form 100A) Certificate – When a doctor has informed a coroner of the death but the doctor has been given permission by the coroner to issue a Medical Certificate, you will receive the Medical Certificate and Formal Notice in the same way as detailed above. There may also be an ‘A’ certificate. This is a form from the coroner informing the registrar that they are aware of the death but no further investigation is necessary and permission has been given to the doctor to issue the Medical Certificate. In some parts of the country this is delivered by the coroner’s service direct to the registrar of births and deaths. In other areas you may be asked to collect this from the coroner and take it to the registrar with the Medical Certificate. The doctor, bereavement officer or coroner’s officer will explain this to you.
- (Pink form B / form 100) Notification by the Coroner – If the coroner has ordered a post mortem examination but there is no requirement for an inquest, the coroner will send this to the registrar (in some cases it may be given to you to take to the registrar). This is instead of the Medical Certificate from a doctor.
These forms are sent to the registrar, but sometimes given to you.
UNNATURAL CAUSES / NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE OF NATURAL CAUSES
- Order for Burial (form 101) – When there is to be an inquest and the person is going to be buried the coroner has to give permission for the funeral to proceed. This is usually collected by the funeral director from the coroner’s service on your behalf.
- Certificate After Inquest (form 99 (rev) – this states the cause of death and is sent to the registrar (the death is registered by the registrar with no-one present)
D) REGISTER DEATH
This will be done at your local Registrar’s Office and should be undertaken by the next of kin who will require a passport copy for the deceased as well as information such as nature and location of the death. If the Coroner is involved, the Registrar will communicate with the Coroner before allocating an appointment.
The doctor or the Coroner will either provide you with the relevant forms confirming the “Cause of Death” to give to the Registrars or they may send them over themselves for processing.
The registrars will in return give you 1 copy of the “Certificate for Burial” that you will need to give to your Funeral Director so that the burial can take place.
The registrars will also give you a form to send to the (DWP) Department for Works and Pension, to allow them to deal with the person’s pension and benefits.
Not many locations provide a full 7 Day Coroner operation, Death Registration and Burial service (including Bank Holiday), so please consult your local Funeral Director as soon as possible to try and get the process started and moving as quickly as possible.
Through the ongoing advocacy and partnership work of Imam Chishti and local councillors in Luton, the local authority now offers an emergency call out service on Saturday & Sunday from 9 to 11am by calling mobile number 07770 636038 to register a death out of office hours. To use this service:
- you will need a death certificate (Medical Certificate Cause of Death)
- there mustn’t be any referral to the Coroner.
The registrar cannot go ahead with the registration until the coroner has issued the necessary clearance/paperwork. As the coroner does not provide an out of hours service at the weekend the registration will be deferred until the clearance has been received from the Coroner’s office. Further information is available here.
REGISTERING THE DEATH
The registrar will issue as many certified copies of the death certificate as you need (priced at £4.00 each on 1 December 2013), a certificate of registration or notification of death (BD8) form for the Department of Work and Pensions and a certificate for burial or cremation (‘green form’). Both of these are free and the green form is sometimes replaced by a form from the coroner.
Many registrars will also inform you about the governments Tell Us Once service. This is available in most of the country and allows you to inform central and local government departments of the death very quickly. This helps to avoid over-payment of benefits and pensions and reduce the number of phone calls you need to make.
E) FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS
This can be arranged through your local mosque and/or a Funeral Director and consists of the following steps:
Please Note: You must have a Certificate for Burial (known as the Green Form) or Order for Burial (form 101) that a coroner has issued otherwise a burial cannot take place.
- Body Washing (Ghusul)
- Shrouding the body (Kafn)
- Funeral Prayers (Janazah Salãh)
- Funeral procession (carrying the funeral bier to the grave)
- Burial (Whether it’s in the UK or Abroad)
If the burial is to take place in Luton then burial must be booked with the Luton Crematorium office either through funeral directors or directly with the Cemeteries department.
TAKING THE BODY TO ANOTHER COUNTRY E.G. PAKISTAN, BANGLADESH
If you intended to take the body to another country for a funeral service where the burial will take place, there are a number of practical and administrative issues to deal with.
You need to notify the coroner if you want to move the deceased to overseas.
The death must be registered in the usual way, by attending the Register Office. You must also contact the Coroners’ Office to make them aware that you wish to move the body abroad and will need to complete a Form 104 (Form of Notice to a Coroner of Intention to Remove a Body out of England). This form can be obtained from either the Registrar who registered the death, the Coroner’s Office or from the funeral director you have chosen to undertake the repatriation. The Coroner will need to see any certificate for burial or cremation issued by the Registrar.
The Coroner requires at least four working days’ notice before the body is to be moved so that any necessary enquiries can be made. In urgent situations it may be possible to bring this forward and, if necessary, you should contact the Coroner’s Office in advance for advice.
The Coroner or your appointed funeral director will provide you with a Form 103 (an acknowledgement of Form 104 by the Coroner), in order that arrangements can be made for the body to be moved.
Your funeral director will guide you through the documents that may be required by the country concerned:
- Acknowledgement from the Coroner (Form 103).
- Certified Copy of an Entry from the Registrar (Death Certificate).
- Passport of the deceased.
- Certificate of embalming of the deceased.
- Declaration by the funeral director as to the contents of the coffin.
- Freedom from Infection Certificate.
- Permission from the appropriate consulate for disposal.
It is sensible not to make any flight bookings or funeral arrangements until the coroner’s acknowledgment (Form 103) has been issued and the appropriate documents obtained, in case there are any difficulties with the application.
To make arrangements for transporting the body, it is best to consult a funeral director who specialises in this type of work and has expertise in particular countries and airlines. It may also be appropriate to contact the country’s consulate for their advice and recommendations.
Repatriation will incur additional costs, for example, the deceased will need to be embalmed and then secured in a zinc lined coffin. The cost of the flight itself and expenditure in the destination country, together with consular charges also need to be considered.