The Islamic Center of Greater Austin Muslim Cemetery first came into existence in the early 1980s with a non-profit WAQF donation of 20 acres of land just outside of Austin. The ICGA administration sees itself only as a custodian of the cemetery. Since its inception, this Muslim cemetery has served not only the Austin community, but the Central Texas region including areas as Killeen, San Antonio, College Station, and even Houston. Since the cemetery was founded through a non-profit land grant, it offers services to all Muslims on a strictly non-profit basis. Furthermore, because of its non-profit status, the ICGA is legally permitted by the State of Texas to bury Muslims in complete accordance with Islamic laws. This is contrary to other cemeteries with Muslim sections that are not run by Islamic centers where the funeral home must follow licensed funeral laws which come into conflict with Muslim funeral rites.
The ICGA Funeral Committee is committed towards serving all Muslims regardless of their race or socioeconomic background. The committee is also committed towards keeping trained Muslims involved in all aspects of the funeral and burial. All members on the committee are trained in Janazah and Ghusul rites. From washing to prayer to burial, trained Muslims lead and run the entire process. The ICGA also has trained sisters to provide services to deceased Muslimah. The cost of services is well below that offered by commercial cemeteries. An independent endowment fund helps to subsidize and defray costs making the cemetery’s services accessible to all Muslims. Private donations, normally by the family members of the deceased often well exceed the required costs. These donations are made with intention of supporting the WAQF foundation upon which the cemetery was founded.
Because of its WAQF status, the ICGA Cemetery land is free for all Muslims. The only cost involved is the grave digging (third party / NON-ICGA cost paid directly to third party). Even with this expense, the overall cost to the family is well below that of any other cemetery. If there is difficulty associated with this cost, please contact Sheikh Nur Ahmad, ICGA Funeral Services Coordinator @ 512.961.2443.
The ICGA Muslim Cemetery enjoys broad based support among the Austin community. In addition to having active support of the Islamic Center of Greater Austin (ICGA), The North Austin Muslim Community Center (NAMCC), The Islamic Center of Round Rock (ICRR) and The Islamic Center of Brushy Creek (ICBC). In coordination with other communities outside the Austin area, the ICGA Funeral Committee is expanding its independent endowment fund for further land development and funeral service support.
ICGA Muslim Cemetery policy, rules and procedure:
ICGA funeral director must keep a record of all burials and follow all state and local laws and regulations. ICGA strictly enforces the following policy, rules and procedure for any and all burials at its site. Unless otherwise requested, the default location for all body transportation within the Austin area is Manor Masjid located on 5110 Manor Road Austin, TX.
1. When a Muslim death occurs and the family wishes to bury the deceased in ICGA Muslim Cemetery, a grave to bury the body must be assigned from ICGA funeral director or his designated person. Please request for ICGA funeral service to make all necessary arrangements to bury the deceased. (Please call the designated representative of the ICGA Muslim Cemetery. Please see ‘Contact Numbers’ section.)
– In case the family of the deceased wishes to perform the Ghusul and the Janazah prayer at a site other than Manor mosque, the family is still required to provide all information listed below (item 2).
– A grave will be assigned after completing the information requested and ICGA will arrange for digging and burying of the deceased.
– Complete any necessary paperwork as guided by the cemetery representative.
– A donation to the cemetery operation fund is appreciated.
2. In order to assign a grave site, the following must be provided to ICGA funeral services by next of kin or guardian:
– Name of legal guardian and relation to the deceased
– Name of deceased
– Social Security number
– Place of birth
– Place of death
– Death certificate (or).
– Ghusul request or verification that Ghusul was performed by according to Islamic teachings.
3. After all immediate details are finalized, ICGA funeral services will assign a grave site, arrange for the grave to be dug and prepared. The family and ICGA will also arrange for the date and time for Janazah prayer.
4. Next of kin or guardians must meet in person with a cemetery representative at Manor Masjid at least one hour prior to washing of body to complete all necessary paperwork associated with burial.
5. Next of kin or guardians must agree to abide by all ICGA policies and guidelines before washing of body can begin (Ghusul). The entire process of Ghusul, covering by a Kafan & Janazah prayer must be led by ICGA imam or his designate.
6. Ghusul will be performed by qualified ICGA Ghusul team members. Participation of family members is optional and should be requested in advance.
7. After Ghusul the body will be covered in a Kafan and placed into a temporary casket for transport to cemetery.
8. Salat-ul-Janazah will then be prayed on the body in the masjid. The Janazah prayer must be performed by ICGA imam or his designate. To ensure greater attendance, all efforts will be made to schedule Janazah prayer to coincide right after a regular prayer time.
9. After Salat-ul-Janazah, the deceased will be transported for burial to the ICGA Muslim Cemetery located in Dale, TX located approximately 30 miles outside of Austin.
10. Unauthorized burial at the Muslim cemetery will be dealt with swiftly. All costs associated with remedial of the unauthorized burial including attorney fees and ICGA additional charges will be billed and collected from persons responsible for the unauthorized burials.
ICGA will strictly enforce its policies and take all necessary measures to ensure those policies are followed. Guardians or next of kin must agree in writing to abide by ICGA Cemetery Policies prior to any action. Attendees of funeral sessions will also be asked to obey all ICGA policies as well. Unless otherwise decided, trained ICGA funeral team members will perform all the services necessary for a proper Islamic burial.
The designated funeral committee representative will brief all attendees on standards of conduct prior to transport of body for final burial.
Unauthentic/Prohibited Beliefs and Actions: These practices are not supported nor have any basis in the Qur’an and Sunnah. They were not practiced by the Prophet or the Sahabah.
– Putting the Qur’an under the head of a dying Muslim
– Putting flowers or candles in the deceased’s room
– Use of Zamzam water on the deceased’s body
– Making special Zikr (words to remember Allah) during the ghusul, or before, during, and after the burial
– Writing on the shrouds
– Putting the picture of the deceased, his clothes, or flowers in front of or around the Kafan (shroud)
– Revealing the face of the deceased after putting the body in the grave
– Planting or putting flowers, food, water, money or anything around the grave ‘to benefit’ the deceased
– Slaughtering an animal during or after burial
– Staying in a state of sadness for one year
– Wearing black clothes
– Visiting the grave of parents every Friday
– Visiting graves on special days, such as Eid, Ashura, or during Ramadan
– Wiping hands over the grave or kissing the grave
The newly formed ICGA Funeral Committee has recently been given a broad mandate to take immediate measures at improving the existing cemetery as well as developing land for a new cemetery area. The committee is committed towards bringing the ICGA cemetery to the standard at and above commercial non-Muslim cemeteries. Professionalism will not be sacrificed for full Islamic services or vice versa.
In addition to providing financial support for the endowment fund which includes capital improvement projects, funeral training, and subsidized services, the ICGA Funeral Committee is actively seeking community input to its existing process and planned improvements. Besides meeting in person with concerned members from the greater Austin Muslim community, the committee is always open to input and comments via email. For questions or comments please email the ICGA Executive Committee and title your email ‘ATTN: Cemetery’. Messages will be forwarded to the Funeral Committee for review.
Community support is essential towards the running, maintenance, advertising, and continued improvement of the ICGA Cemetery. The ICGA Cemetery is able to meet all required Islamic guidelines for burial because of special exemption for non-profit religious burials. All for-profit cemeteries – including those with Muslim sections must compromise Islamic guidelines because of the requirements imposed upon all licensed, for-profit funeral homes. This makes community donations essential to the running of the ICGA non-profit cemetery.
We are only able to maintain such a status of exemption and offer our services at reduced cost because of the Will of Allah and your generous donations. Because of its full support by the Austin Muslim community, donations can be made at any Masjid (ICGA, NAMCC, ICBC, ICRR) with the specific title: “ICGA Muslim Cemetery Donation”. Please contact ICGA Funeral Services Coordinator via email at email@example.com for direct donations or specific questions. Please title your email “Cemetery Donations”
In addition to providing Islamic funeral services, the ICGA is committed towards training community members in the greater Austin area on funeral rites. The FC will provide regular training for those willing to make a commitment to serve the ICGA Muslim cemetery. All upcoming training events will be posted under the ‘Regular Updates’ section. Please be aware that because of limited resources, priority will go to those willing to be on-call for ICGA as funeral team members. For additional questions on recruiting, please contact ICGA Funeral Services Director firstname.lastname@example.org and title your email “Cemetery Volunteer.”
1920 County Line Rd. Dale, TX 78616