President Obama wants everyone to understand that bin Laden’s burial was done by the book. So that’s what we must consult, since the administration refuses to give any more details.
According to “Navy Military Funerals,” the manual governing sea-burial protocols, the body of a person of Muslim faith—like Osama bin Laden—must be washed, wrapped and positioned in very specific ways to meet Islamic funeral requirements. Prayers must be said as well—including one that would have asked Islam’s god to “pardon” bin Laden, “grant him security,” “provide him a nice place and spacious lodgings” and a “better” partner and family. This is hardly the petition the U.S. government should be making for a man responsible for murdering thousands of Americans.
SERVICE FOR THE COMMITTAL OF A PERSON OF THE MUSLIM FAITH
1. During the Committal service, if for a person of the Islamic faith, the commanding officer or such person appointed by the commanding officer shall ensure that the service is set up as follows:
—It is not recommended to use a casket unless there is a need for it. The body must have been washed and wrapped as required for the bodies of muslims.
—Plan the setting so that those who have gathered to pray will be facing toward Mecca, with the appointed leader in front facing them.
—Place the body (or bodies) in between the congregation and the appointed leader in such a way that the body is parallel to the congregation and so that, from the point of view of the congregation, the body’s head is to the right.
—The appointed leader should face the congregation and stand by the middle of the body if the deceased is a man and by the shoulder if the deceased is a woman.
—If there is more than one body, then they should be put one in front of the other, those of the men nearest to the appointed leader, and those of the women furthest away.
2. If Muslims are present, permit them to come forward and perform the formal funeral prayer (Allahu Akbar) while others stand and pray silently.
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds; Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. Show us the straight way, the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.
4. Supplication of Funeral Prayer
O Allah, forgive our people who are still alive and who have passed away, forgive those who are present here and those who are absent, forgive our young and our elderly, forgive our males and females. O Allah, the one whom you wish to keep alive from among us make him alive according to Islam, and anyone whom you wish to die from among us, let him die in belief and faith. O Allah, do not deprive us from his reward and do not put us in hardship or any type of trial after his death.
O Allah, forgive him, have mercy on him, pardon him, grant him security, provide him a nice place and spacious lodgings, wash him (off from his sins) with water, snow and ice, purify him from his sins as a white garment is cleansed from dirt, replace his present abode with a better one, replace his present family with a better one, replace his present partner with a better one, make him enter paradise and save him from the trials of grave and the punishment of hell.
O Allah, you are its Lord, you have created it, and you have guided it towards Islam, and you have taken out his soul and you know best about its secret and open deeds. We have come as intercessors, so forgive him.
O Allah, grant us good in this life and good in the life to come, and save us from the torment of hell.
5. Supplication at the Committal site:
(Lower the body into the water at this time, in such a way that the face is toward Ka’aba (in Saudi Arabia).)
O Allah this is your servant who is now your guest, and you are the best of hosts. Forgive him and expand his entrance.
Source: “Navy Military Funerals,” Bureau of Navy Personnel