By Adil James, TMO
Flint–July 10–The Flint Islamic Centerâ€™s Garden of Peace cemetery is slowly and inexorably growing, as one might expect.
Last year I wrote an article about the opening of the first Muslim cemetery in Flint, Garden of Peace (http://muslimobserver.com//?p=6191). At the time the cemetery had only five people interred there–and at the time I wrote the article I had never visited the site.
Now I have visited the cemetery, and it has grown to about 29 people buried there.
Most of the graves have stones lying horizontally on top, and stone markers saying the name and dates of birth and death of the deceased, however a few are only marked by dirt.
The cemetery itself is in very gently rolling hills–a very simple site has been prepared for use, of a few acres–of which only a small amount of space has been occupied. The access is very adequate but very simple–perhaps the biggest investment other than buying the land was the fence and gate that enclose the cemetery–which is as advertised last year only a very short distance from the Flint Islamic Center mosque. A simple asphalt driveway comes to a stop and cul-de-sac about a quarter mile from the gate, and from there the headstones are a short walk.
I looked at the headstones, and the graves are a testament to the unpredictability of death, with a few older people as one might expect, but also a few infants and some middle-aged people–a reminder to all of us that we cannot expect to stay on this earth for any guaranteed amount of time.
One WWII hero is buried at the cemetery, a Bronze Star recipient–and from this position of his grave it appears that he was one of the very first people interred–a convert to Islam.
The corporate name for the cemetery is the â€œFlint Islamic Cemetery,â€ and it is administered by the Flint Islamic Center. Its policies have matured somewhat since its inception a year ago.
The policies follow:
1. 24 Hours advance notice should be given to arrange preparations for burial.
2. A completed application form (available at the FIC office) must be filled out and duly certified by the respective Islamic Center. The following items should be submitted before the burial is accepted:
â€¢ Certified check or money order in the name of Flint Islamic Cemetery or cash for the applicable amount (no personal checks are accepted).
â€¢ Hospital release / death certificate must accompany the application.
â€¢ Interstate transportation certificate (if applicable).
3. Ladies attending the funeral must observe proper Islamic attire while in the Islamic Center and/or cemetery.
Unfortunately cemetery officials were not available for comment before this article went to print.
The cemetery is at 1310 South Morrish Road, in Swartz Creek, Michigan. For more information, you can call Hossam Shukairy, 810-691-7738, Abed Khirfan, 810-877-1415; or Muhammed Saleem, 810-730-1776.