In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

What to do for the dying Muslim patient

بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ

A fundamental belief  of a Muslim is in Divine  predestination (al-qadar) or fate determined by the Almighty. All suffering and death is determined by the Will of God Almighty. Muslims with a strong Faith, therefore, accept sickness as part of God’s Will and as an atonement for sins but at the same time a Muslim should seek remedy for his/ her illness.  

  1. Where death is expected, the patient's wishes should be paramount and they should be allowed to choose where they wish to die if this is possible. Where a patient is dying in hospital, the patient should, if possible, be offered a single room with natural light away from the busy ward to give both family and patient peace. Ideally most Muslims would like to die at home. Facilitating this where possible and safe to do so would be appreciated.  

  2. If a Muslim patient is dying the next of kin should be informed as soon as possible. Muslim relatives may wish to be next to the dying person to provide spiritual guidance and comfort to the dying person but also respect requests for privacy. 

  3. If no Muslim relatives or friends of the deceased can be contacted, or the deceased did not have any next of kin, then please contact the hospital Muslim chaplain. But as a general rule there is no need for a Muslim imām or Muslim chaplain to be present at the death of a Muslim, as there is no concept of last rites within Islām, as found in Christianity (Catholics). 

  4. The family members may recite the Holy Qurʾān and other prayers in the presence of the dying person. 

  5. The patient’s family may wish to position the patient so that his/her face is facing the Sacred Mosque in Makkah which in the UK is in a South-East direction. Facilitating this where possible and safe to do so would be appreciated. 

  6. In Islām visiting the sick is encouraged, so the sick and dying person often has many visitors.  Similarly, after death there may be many visitors, care should be taken to manage the number of visitors, so as not to inconvenience other patients. 

  7. Where death is sudden or traumatic the impact on relatives and carers is likely to be heightened, and additional time will be required for initial adjustment. 

  8. Offer the support of the hospital Muslim chaplain or other appropriate religious leader.