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Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Why do we bury the dead in the ground?

Burial is a method in which a dead person or animal is placed into the ground. This is often practiced to pay respect for the dead. People look after them perhaps in the belief that there is some form of life after death. This method is also practiced to prevent the odor of decay and to avoid its smell. There are different methods for burials, i.e. natural burial, mummification, embalming and the use of containers such as shrouds, coffins, graves, etc.

          There is a long tradition of burying our dead that dates back more than 100,000 years. Some burial sites have been found at Mehrgarh, Pakistan by the archeologists which indicate that the burial method was practiced thousands of years ago. It is an important tradition and holds a great value to many, but let us explore more specifically why this is done.

            All religions have different traditions and rituals that serve to honor the dead and assist bereaved families in handling their grief. Each major religion has its customs concerning burial. Although that vary widely, the one common denominator is respected for the body.

            In Islam, the deceased are to be buried within 24 hours of death. “The 24 hours burial is not in the Qu’ran but is a cultural practice form the faith’s desire to respect the body and to avoid decay,” says Russell Mohammed. 

He is the director of the Mid-America Muslim Cemetery. The body is taken to cemetery (place where the remains of dead people are buried) after the prayers. They bury the body in the ground, where it becomes part of the soil. The upper part of the body, the head, is turned toward Mecca.

    In Hinduism, there is no burial. The bodies are burned in a special ceremony (Mukhagni). According to the Hindu religion, when someone dies, the soul passes into another body. 

Hindu funerals have three main parts:

1. Funeral in the family’s home
2. Mukhagni (cremation ceremony)
3. Shraddha (takes place about 10 days after the death)

The ashes of the burnt body are put in an urn and given to the family.
        In Christianity, people believe that dying is the end of a person’s life on earth, but that soul lives on in an afterlife. The funeral is typically held about one week after the time of death. It serves to reflect on the righteousness of the life that has one’s soul will go to Heaven. The three official goals of Christian funeral are:
1. Reflect on someone’s life on earth.
2. Pray to God that the loved one gets into Heaven
3. Give strength to friends and family to cope with their loss.

With most modern cultures cementing the location of their deceased with grave stones, can be hugely important.

Non -Religious Funeral

A non-religious funeral means a ceremony to honor the body that is not tied to any traditions, rituals or beliefs of any particular religion. Because there is no tradition set for non-religious burial ceremonies, they tend to be highly personalized. The guests who attend a non-religious funeral can expect a range of scenarios: an open casket funeral, a closed casket funeral, etc.

As we discussed, different religions have different rituals practice for burial and the reasons why we bury our dead are many. But the most important is that it reveals much about who we are and where we come from.



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Prakhar is a Forensic Science graduate, writer and blogger. He has also been working as a Freelancer for the last 6 years. While still in school, he, as a ghostwriter, wrote a number of academic books ranging from subjects like Math, English and edited guides and workbooks for Olympiad preparations. His work not only includes writing but also extends to sending those written works in a typed version, and he has been into this for more than 8 years. Almost all of his writing work is typed solely by him. He has designed logos for a couple of institutes in India, mostly coaching centers. He also runs a blog of education where he puts in important key information in an interestingly readable way. Over the last 8 years, he has successfully gained an audience base of more than 71,000. In that domain, he is currently working with Google Ad-Sense. He likes to fill his spare time with reading, e-learning, and content writing and typing, in collaboration with authors of different publication houses.

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