Two years ago, Adil Imdad's cousin died of cancer. Imdad, a Ballwin resident and member of the at the corner at Weidman and Manchester roads, said he could not believe there was not a single Muslim funeral service in the area for his cousin.
“I felt so bad I thought we had to do something from our mosque to serve Muslims all around St. Louis,” Imdad said.
Earlier this month, Imdad and other members of the mosque hosted a fundraiser to raise money for a Muslim funeral home in an empty lot behind the West County mosque. Imdad said he does not know when construction will begin, but he is determined to raise the funds to make it happen.
“My religion teaches me to serve other people for God,” Imdad said. “I will not stop serving God.”
St. Louis-area Muslims have been using other funeral homes and cemeteries in lieu of a place that provides Muslim funeral services, said Mufti Asif Umar, Imam of the Daar-Ul Islam mosque.
“We have a simple, yet very different method of burying the dead,” Asif Umar said. “We have such a large Muslim community, I was surprised when I first came here there was no Muslim funeral home. It’s been long overdue.”
Imdad, an environmental and geotechnical engineer, took the initiative to start the funeral home at the mosque, and even earned a certificate in funeral directing from St. Louis Community College.
Now, Imdad said, it is up to the Muslim community to come out in support of the mosque’s funeral home fund, which will help both build the funeral home and give Muslims families of low income afford a proper funeral. The project it is still in the planning stages, and he said he wants to see how much money can be raised first.
“We ask all Muslims in the area to come out and support us,” Imdad said. “It’s our duty.”