Bin Laden at Sea?? Our professional opinion on the recent comments in the press

posted in: News Room 60

Why the USA buried Osama Bin Laden at Sea

Since the operation in Pakistan eliminating Bin Laden, we at have had scores of people contact us and visit our site to ask questions about Muslim burials at Sea. I thought it best to post in our blog known scientific, geographic and religious facts.

The US Navy did the right thing by burying the body within 24 hours.

Muslims, as a rule, do not bury at sea.  Muslims typically use a traditional in ground burial and position their dead casket free, bound in a shroud in the ground facing Mecca. (See exact religious custom detail below).

The Arabian Sea has a mean water temp of 68 degrees, perfect for the 56 species of sharks to habitat, some of which are  man eating.

A Full Body burial at sea from an aircraft carrier or destroyer is not necessarily a “gentle” ride as the Navy described.  It is the equivalent of dropping heavy weight from the tenth story of the Empire State Building. 

At New England Burials at Sea LLC we deploy a shrouded full body at actual sea level in a very gentle way.

Our experience tells us that cold water ocean burials are best (Atlantic and Pacific oceans specifically) and most practical using our Atlantic Sea Burial Shroud® that we developed which is properly weighted with over 150 pounds of cannon ball ballast and has the proper exhaust venting system to insure that the body stays on the ocean floor.

“Muslim belief is that the dead human body should be respected and not harmed in any way. After death the body of the deceased is washed and anointed with scents, the washing is done by the family members, men wash the bodies of men and women wash the bodies of the women, when there is the death of a child a man or woman may perform the washing ritual, there is an exception to a man washing the body of men and the same for women, this is when there is a loss of a spouse. A husband may wash his wife and the wife may do the same for her husband. After the washing of the body the body is placed in a plain white shroud where the head and the feet are tied with a piece of the same shroud, it is tied in such a way where the head and feet can not be distinguished from one another.

The burial usually happens within 24 hours and gives reason for preplanned funeral arrangements relieving the stress on the family. Silence is recommended for most of the funeral proceedings which take place outside of a mosque. The deceased is laid in the grave on his or her right side without a casket if permitted by law with their head facing the Muslim holy city of Mecca in the capital city of Saudi Arabia. At the gravesite, it is discouraged for people to place flowers, headstones or markers. There is typically a mourning period of three days and according to the Quran if there is a surviving widow there is an extended mourning period of 4 months and 10 days for which the widow may not remarry, move, nor wear jewelry or decorative clothing. Often there is a special meal to remember the deceased attended by friends and family and it is appropriate to send flowers after the funeral.”

In closing on this topic, we have had many questions on this recent event so if we have not answered them all for you, check out our FAQ section or send us an email ( or give us a ring toll free at: (877) 897.7700.

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