Death is one of the most misunderstood concepts within our religion. Its mere mention provokes fear and a sense of finality. Islam encourages a direct confrontation with the reality of death and frames it with lessons of life with each of the rituals.
The human body deserves careful treatment (e.g. performing of ghusl, takfeen, never leaving the body alone until the actual burial, salaa ‘alal mayyit and talqeen). Burial is swift and mourners are asked to participate in the actual burial. This reality encourages one to question the purpose of life. We need to appreciate that the process of death, similar to conception and birth, is one of a series of transitions on the journey of life. Death needs to be recognised for what it truly is – a return to one’s Creator.