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Death 1

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Funeral Rites In Islam BY
Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

Published in: Education
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Death 1

  1. 1. CHAPTER ONE: THE DYING PERSONCHAPTER ONE: THE DYING PERSON If one finds oneself on his or her deathbed orIf one finds oneself on his or her deathbed or what appears to be the deathbed, one is obligedwhat appears to be the deathbed, one is obliged or recommended to do certain acts of worshipor recommended to do certain acts of worship and people around the dying individual areand people around the dying individual are encouraged to be supportive and to provideencouraged to be supportive and to provide certain basiccertain basic services.services.
  2. 2. 1.1. TheThe ShahaadahShahaadah Those people who are present should encourageThose people who are present should encourage the dying person to repeat after them thethe dying person to repeat after them the Declaration of Faith (Declaration of Faith (Shahaadah) until he or sheShahaadah) until he or she passes away confirmingpasses away confirming Allaah’s unique onenessAllaah’s unique oneness ((Tawheed). Both Aboo Sa ‘eed al-Khudree andTawheed). Both Aboo Sa ‘eed al-Khudree and AbooAboo Hurayrah quoted the Prophet (r) asHurayrah quoted the Prophet (r) as saying,saying,
  3. 3. “Prompt your dying ones (to say): laa ilaaha il-lal laah ( Sahih Muslim, vol.2, p.435, no. 1996, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2, p.887, no.3111, Sunan Ibn-i- Majah, vol.2, p.365, no.1444, Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.337 and Riyadh-us-Saleeheen, vol.2, p.474, no. 918.) and whoever’s last words before dying are: laa ilaaha il-lal-laah, will enter paradise one day, even if he is afflicted before that by punishment.” (2 This addition is only found in Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan and it is authenticated in Irwaa al-Ghaleel, vol.3, p.150.) This prophetic statement does not simply mean that the Shahaadah should be mentioned by others in the presence of the one who is dying.
  4. 4. The dying person, himself or herself, should beThe dying person, himself or herself, should be instructed to say theinstructed to say the Shahaadah, as is evident fromShahaadah, as is evident from the Prophet’s statement “the Prophet’s statement “whoever’s last words are:whoever’s last words are: laa ilaaha il-lal-laah”. Thelaa ilaaha il-lal-laah”. The followingfollowing hadeethhadeeth narrated by Anas indicates the Prophet’s practise innarrated by Anas indicates the Prophet’s practise in this regard:this regard: Anas ibn Maalik reported that theAnas ibn Maalik reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sas) visited a man fromMessenger of Allaah (sas) visited a man from among the Ansaar and said to him,among the Ansaar and said to him,
  5. 5. ““O Uncle, say : laa ilaaha il-lal-laah. TheO Uncle, say : laa ilaaha il-lal-laah. The man asked,man asked, “Am I a maternal uncle or a paternal uncle?” and the“Am I a maternal uncle or a paternal uncle?” and the Prophet (r) replied, “Prophet (r) replied, “Indeed you are paternal.” TheIndeed you are paternal.” The man then asked, “Is it better for me to sayman then asked, “Is it better for me to say :: laa ilaaha il-lal-laah? The Prophet (r) replied, ‘Yes.’”laa ilaaha il-lal-laah? The Prophet (r) replied, ‘Yes.’” (3 Collected by(3 Collected by Ahmad and authenticated in al-Fat-h ar-Rabbaanee, vol.7, p.57, no.34 as well asAhmad and authenticated in al-Fat-h ar-Rabbaanee, vol.7, p.57, no.34 as well as inin Ahkaamul-Janaa’iz, p.11.)Ahkaamul-Janaa’iz, p.11.) Muslims are also encouraged to be present whenMuslims are also encouraged to be present when non-Muslims are dying in order to present Islaam tonon-Muslims are dying in order to present Islaam to them, in the hope that they would accept Islaamthem, in the hope that they would accept Islaam prior to their death.prior to their death.
  6. 6. For the acceptance of Islaam at this point to be of any benefit, it must beFor the acceptance of Islaam at this point to be of any benefit, it must be based on knowledge,based on knowledge, }} ““Know that there is no god worthy of worshipKnow that there is no god worthy of worship besides Allaah.” Chapterbesides Allaah.” Chapter Muhammad, (47):19.)Muhammad, (47):19.) It must be expressed sincerelyIt must be expressed sincerely 55 }} ““The were only commanded to worshipThe were only commanded to worship Allaah, makingAllaah, making the religion sincere for Him alone.” Chapter al-the religion sincere for Him alone.” Chapter al- Bayyinah, (98):5.Bayyinah, (98):5.
  7. 7. And with certainty,And with certainty, Aboo Hurayrah reported Allaah’s Messenger asAboo Hurayrah reported Allaah’s Messenger as saying, “saying, “I testify that there is no god worthy ofI testify that there is no god worthy of worship but Allaah and that I am the Messenger ofworship but Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allaah. Any servant who meets Allaah with those twoAllaah. Any servant who meets Allaah with those two [testimonies],[testimonies], having no doubt in them, will enterhaving no doubt in them, will enter paradise.” (Sahih Muslim, vol.1,paradise.” (Sahih Muslim, vol.1, p.20, no.41)p.20, no.41)
  8. 8. And it must take place before the actual throes of death begin.And it must take place before the actual throes of death begin. The Prophet (r) was reported by ‘Abdullaah ibnThe Prophet (r) was reported by ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar to have said, “‘Umar to have said, “Allaah, Most Great and Glorious,Allaah, Most Great and Glorious, will accept His servant’s repentance until the throeswill accept His servant’s repentance until the throes of death begin.”of death begin.” (Collected by at-(Collected by at- Tirmithee and Ibn Maajah and authenticated inTirmithee and Ibn Maajah and authenticated in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah, vol.2, p.418, no.3430.Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah, vol.2, p.418, no.3430. See alsoSee also Riyadh-us-Saleheen, vol.1, p.12, no.18, for an English translation of this hadeeth).Riyadh-us-Saleheen, vol.1, p.12, no.18, for an English translation of this hadeeth). 8 See8 See Sahih Muslim, vol.1, p.18, no.36.)Sahih Muslim, vol.1, p.18, no.36.)
  9. 9. This point is evident in the Prophet’s (SAS) attemptThis point is evident in the Prophet’s (SAS) attempt to get his uncle Aboo Taalib to bear witness toto get his uncle Aboo Taalib to bear witness to Allaah’s oneness when the latter was on hisAllaah’s oneness when the latter was on his deathbed.deathbed.(See Sahih Muslim, vol.1, p.18, no.36.) Aboo Taalib knew aboutAboo Taalib knew about Allaah, Islaam, and the Prophet (SAS) very well.Allaah, Islaam, and the Prophet (SAS) very well. Similarly, the following incident involving theSimilarly, the following incident involving the Prophet’s servant is one of a person who knewProphet’s servant is one of a person who knew about Allaah and the Prophetabout Allaah and the Prophet ((SASSAS).).
  10. 10. Anas also reported that, “When a Jewish youth, whoAnas also reported that, “When a Jewish youth, who used to serve the Prophet (SAS) got sick, theused to serve the Prophet (SAS) got sick, the Prophet (SAS) visited him. The Prophet (SAS) sat byProphet (SAS) visited him. The Prophet (SAS) sat by his head and said to him,his head and said to him, “Accept Islaam.” The boy“Accept Islaam.” The boy looked at his father who was near him and thelooked at his father who was near him and the manman said, “Obey Abul-Qaasim.” So the boy acceptedsaid, “Obey Abul-Qaasim.” So the boy accepted Islaam and the Prophet (SAS) left saying, “Islaam and the Prophet (SAS) left saying, “All praiseAll praise is due to Allaah who saved him from the Fire.”is due to Allaah who saved him from the Fire.” (( Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol.2, p.246, no.438, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2, pp.881-82, no.3089 and Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.328.)Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol.2, p.246, no.438, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2, pp.881-82, no.3089 and Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.328.) (When(When the boy died the Prophet (r) said, “the boy died the Prophet (r) said, “MakeMake salaah for your comrade.”)salaah for your comrade.”) ( This addition is found in( This addition is found in Musnad Ahmad and is authenticated in Ahkaamul-Janaa’iz, p.11.)Musnad Ahmad and is authenticated in Ahkaamul-Janaa’iz, p.11.)
  11. 11. 2.2.Good WordsGood Words People present may pray aloud for the dyingPeople present may pray aloud for the dying person, letting them hear their concern andperson, letting them hear their concern and compassion for them. Those present should alsocompassion for them. Those present should also avoid sayingavoid saying anything in the dying person’s presence which isanything in the dying person’s presence which is not good. Negative words will only increase thenot good. Negative words will only increase the difficulties which the sick and dying are facing. Ondifficulties which the sick and dying are facing. On the other hand, good words and positive thoughtsthe other hand, good words and positive thoughts will make the process of dying easier and thewill make the process of dying easier and the recovery from illness more bearable.recovery from illness more bearable.
  12. 12. Umm Salamah reported that the Prophet (sas) said,Umm Salamah reported that the Prophet (sas) said, ““If you are in the presence of a sick or dying person,If you are in the presence of a sick or dying person, you should say good things for verily the angels sayyou should say good things for verily the angels say ““Aameen” to whatever you say.”Aameen” to whatever you say.” Sahih Muslim vol.2, p.436, no.2002, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2, p.887, no.3109, Sunan Ibn-i- Majah, vol.2, pp.366-7, no.1447Sahih Muslim vol.2, p.436, no.2002, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2, p.887, no.3109, Sunan Ibn-i- Majah, vol.2, pp.366-7, no.1447 and Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.337.and Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.337. When Umm Salamah asked the Prophet whatWhen Umm Salamah asked the Prophet what should she say, he replied:should she say, he replied: ““Say:Say: Allaahumma-ghfirAllaahumma-ghfir lee wa lahu wa a‘qibnee minhu ‘uqba hasanahlee wa lahu wa a‘qibnee minhu ‘uqba hasanah [O -[O -Allaah, forgive him and me, and grant me a goodAllaah, forgive him and me, and grant me a good substitute after him.]”substitute after him.]” 1212 Sahih Muslim vol.2, p.436, no.2002.Sahih Muslim vol.2, p.436, no.2002.
  13. 13. 3. Soorah3. Soorah YaaseenYaaseen The practice of specifically reading the 36th chapterThe practice of specifically reading the 36th chapter of the Qur’aan, Soorahof the Qur’aan, Soorah Yaaseen, in the presence ofYaaseen, in the presence of the dying has no basis in the authentic Sunnah.the dying has no basis in the authentic Sunnah. There is an unauthenticThere is an unauthentic hadeeth narrated by Ma‘qil and collected in Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2,hadeeth narrated by Ma‘qil and collected in Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2, p.889 no.3115 andp.889 no.3115 and SunanSunan Ibn-i-Majah, vol.2, p.367 no.1448. See also Mishkat Al-Masabih,Ibn-i-Majah, vol.2, p.367 no.1448. See also Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.338. It is declared unauthentic invol.1, p.338. It is declared unauthentic in Da‘eef Sunan AbeeDa‘eef Sunan Abee Daawood, p.316, no.683.Daawood, p.316, no.683. Neither the Prophet (SAS) nor his companions did itNeither the Prophet (SAS) nor his companions did it or recommended that it be done. However, it doesor recommended that it be done. However, it does fall under the general heading of ‘good things’fall under the general heading of ‘good things’ which could be said in the presence of one who iswhich could be said in the presence of one who is dying, but it carries with it no special value.dying, but it carries with it no special value.
  14. 14. Reciting this chapter is like reciting any otherReciting this chapter is like reciting any other chapter in the Qur’aan. Consequently, one may readchapter in the Qur’aan. Consequently, one may read it for the dying, if one wishes to do so, or if the dyingit for the dying, if one wishes to do so, or if the dying person requests it due to his or her personalperson requests it due to his or her personal preference for it. However,preference for it. However, to specify that Soorahto specify that Soorah Yaaseen should be read for the dying and to believeYaaseen should be read for the dying and to believe that doing so hasthat doing so has special value is consideredspecial value is considered Bid’ah;Bid’ah; a sinful innovation in the religion.a sinful innovation in the religion.
  15. 15. 4. Facing Qiblah4. Facing Qiblah Turning the body of one who is dying so that he orTurning the body of one who is dying so that he or she faces theshe faces the QiblahQiblah [Makkah] has no foundation in[Makkah] has no foundation in the practise of the Prophet (sas) and histhe practise of the Prophet (sas) and his companions. The body should be turned to facecompanions. The body should be turned to face Makkah when it is placed in the grave, according toMakkah when it is placed in the grave, according to the Prophet’s instructions. However, at the time ofthe Prophet’s instructions. However, at the time of dying, there were not such instructions.dying, there were not such instructions.
  16. 16. Turning the body, became a custom after the timeTurning the body, became a custom after the time of the Prophet’s companions, but was objected to byof the Prophet’s companions, but was objected to by the scholars of that time. For example,the scholars of that time. For example, Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyib,Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyib, Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyib ibn Hazn (634-713CE), from the Madeenite tribe of Makhzoom, one of the seven leading legalSa‘eed ibn al-Musayyib ibn Hazn (634-713CE), from the Madeenite tribe of Makhzoom, one of the seven leading legal scholars of Madeenah. He was known as the most knowledgeablet scholar about ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab’s legal principlesscholars of Madeenah. He was known as the most knowledgeablet scholar about ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab’s legal principles and his rulings. He lived on what he earned from the sale of olive oil and never accepted grants. (and his rulings. He lived on what he earned from the sale of olive oil and never accepted grants. (Al-A‘laam, vol.3, p.155).Al-A‘laam, vol.3, p.155). one of the leading scholars among students of theone of the leading scholars among students of the Prophet’s companions, openly expressed his dislikeProphet’s companions, openly expressed his dislike for this practise. Zar‘ah ibn ‘Abdir-Rahmaanfor this practise. Zar‘ah ibn ‘Abdir-Rahmaan reported that he saw Aboo Salamah ibnreported that he saw Aboo Salamah ibn ‘‘Abdir-Rahmaan with Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyib whenAbdir-Rahmaan with Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyib when he was on his deathbed.he was on his deathbed.
  17. 17. When Sa‘eed lost consciousness, Aboo SalamahWhen Sa‘eed lost consciousness, Aboo Salamah instructed that his bed be turned towards theinstructed that his bed be turned towards the Ka‘bah. When Sa‘eed regained consciousness heKa‘bah. When Sa‘eed regained consciousness he asked, ‘Did you move my bed?” When they repliedasked, ‘Did you move my bed?” When they replied that they had done so, he looked at Aboo Salamahthat they had done so, he looked at Aboo Salamah and said, ‘I think it was done with your knowledge?”and said, ‘I think it was done with your knowledge?” He replied, “I told them to do so.” Then Sa‘eedHe replied, “I told them to do so.” Then Sa‘eed instructed them to return his bed to its originalinstructed them to return his bed to its original position.”position.” Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah inCollected by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf and authenticated in Ahkaamul-Janaa’iz, p.11,al-Musannaf and authenticated in Ahkaamul-Janaa’iz, p.11,nt..nt..
  18. 18. 5. Acceptance of Fate5. Acceptance of Fate The dying individual is obliged to accept his lotThe dying individual is obliged to accept his lot gracefully so that it becomes a source of reward andgracefully so that it becomes a source of reward and blessing for him on the Day of Judgement. Theblessing for him on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet(SAS) taught that patiently bearing theProphet(SAS) taught that patiently bearing the trials of this life is an act of righteousnesstrials of this life is an act of righteousness which expiates sins.which expiates sins. ‘Abdullaah stated that he‘Abdullaah stated that he visited Allaah’s Messenger (SAS) while he wasvisited Allaah’s Messenger (SAS) while he was suffering from a high fever and said to him,suffering from a high fever and said to him,
  19. 19. ““O Messenger of Allaah, you have a high fever.” HeO Messenger of Allaah, you have a high fever.” He replied, “replied, “Yes, I have a fever equal to what two of yourYes, I have a fever equal to what two of your men experience.” I asked, “Is it because you will havemen experience.” I asked, “Is it because you will have double the reward?” Hedouble the reward?” He replied, “replied, “Yes, it is so. AnyYes, it is so. Any Muslim who is afflicted with the harm of a thornMuslim who is afflicted with the harm of a thorn prick or more will have, as a result of it, some of hisprick or more will have, as a result of it, some of his sins expiated the way a tree shedssins expiated the way a tree sheds its leaves.its leaves. 1616 Sahih Al Bukhari, vol.7, p.374, no.551and Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1364, no.6235.Sahih Al Bukhari, vol.7, p.374, no.551and Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1364, no.6235.
  20. 20. Pitying those who are dying is counterproductive,Pitying those who are dying is counterproductive, because pity will only make it more difficult forbecause pity will only make it more difficult for those dying to accept their fate. Instead, those onthose dying to accept their fate. Instead, those on their deathbed should be encouraged to thinktheir deathbed should be encouraged to think positively by being told that they are fortunate.positively by being told that they are fortunate. They should be informed that, according to theThey should be informed that, according to the Prophet (SAS), Allaah has chosen them for aProphet (SAS), Allaah has chosen them for a special reward.special reward.
  21. 21. Aboo Hurayrah stated that Allaah’s MessengerAboo Hurayrah stated that Allaah’s Messenger (SAS) said, “(SAS) said, “Whoever Allaah wishes good for, HeWhoever Allaah wishes good for, He afflicts with trials.”afflicts with trials.” Sahih Al Bukhari, vol.7, p.373, no.548.Sahih Al Bukhari, vol.7, p.373, no.548. Those on their deathbeds should be instructed toThose on their deathbeds should be instructed to avoid questions like, “Why me?” and statementsavoid questions like, “Why me?” and statements like, “I’m too young to die!” and “It’s not fair!” as alllike, “I’m too young to die!” and “It’s not fair!” as all of these indicateof these indicate Kufr (disbelief). They should beKufr (disbelief). They should be reminded that it is all for the best,reminded that it is all for the best, if only theyif only they remain patient.remain patient.
  22. 22. Suhayb reported that the Prophet (SAS) said, “Suhayb reported that the Prophet (SAS) said, “AA believer’s affair is amazing; it is all for the good andbeliever’s affair is amazing; it is all for the good and that is not the case of anyone besides the believer. Ifthat is not the case of anyone besides the believer. If good times come to him, he is thankful and thus it isgood times come to him, he is thankful and thus it is good for him, and if bad times befall him, he is patientgood for him, and if bad times befall him, he is patient and, thus, it is also good for him.”and, thus, it is also good for him.” 1818 Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1541, no.7138. See also Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.2, p.1098.Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1541, no.7138. See also Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.2, p.1098. The dying individuals should also have goodThe dying individuals should also have good thoughts about Allaah and beconvinced that Allaahthoughts about Allaah and beconvinced that Allaah has chosen the most appropriate time and way forhas chosen the most appropriate time and way for them to die. In that way, they are able to protectthem to die. In that way, they are able to protect their faith from doubts and fears.their faith from doubts and fears.
  23. 23. Jaabir ibn ‘Abdillaah reported that he heard Allaah’sJaabir ibn ‘Abdillaah reported that he heard Allaah’s Messenger (SAS) say, three days before hisMessenger (SAS) say, three days before his death,death,“None of you should die except thinking the“None of you should die except thinking the best ofbest of Allaah.”Allaah.” Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1492,no.6877, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2, p.886, no. 3107 and Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.334.Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1492,no.6877, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.2, p.886, no. 3107 and Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol.1, p.334. Among those who will die with bad thoughts aboutAmong those who will die with bad thoughts about Allaah are those who were only cultural Muslims.Allaah are those who were only cultural Muslims. The only do some of the Islamic rites and ritualsThe only do some of the Islamic rites and rituals because it is the custom of their people withoutbecause it is the custom of their people without ever accepting true faith in their hearts throughoutever accepting true faith in their hearts throughout their lives.their lives.
  24. 24. When death approaches, they will not want toWhen death approaches, they will not want to accept their fate and their deathbed doubts willaccept their fate and their deathbed doubts will often tear down their false claims of belief, leavingoften tear down their false claims of belief, leaving them expressing statements of clear disbelief asthem expressing statements of clear disbelief as death over comes them. It will be a big surprise fordeath over comes them. It will be a big surprise for those around them, for everyone assumed that theythose around them, for everyone assumed that they were Muslims destined for paradise, based on theirwere Muslims destined for paradise, based on their practise of some or most of the basic religious rites.practise of some or most of the basic religious rites. Prophet Muhammad (SAS) addressed thisProphet Muhammad (SAS) addressed this phenomenon as follows:phenomenon as follows:
  25. 25. Sahl ibn Sa ‘d quoted the Prophet (SAS) as saying,Sahl ibn Sa ‘d quoted the Prophet (SAS) as saying, ““Indeed a man may appear to people to do the deedsIndeed a man may appear to people to do the deeds of the people of paradise, yet he will be of the peopleof the people of paradise, yet he will be of the people of hell.”of hell.”Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1395, no.6408.Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1395, no.6408. And in another narration related by Aboo Hurayrah,And in another narration related by Aboo Hurayrah, he quoted thehe quoted the Prophet (SAS) as saying, “Prophet (SAS) as saying, “Surely, aSurely, a person may do the deeds of the people ofperson may do the deeds of the people of paradise for a long time, then terminate his deedsparadise for a long time, then terminate his deeds with the deeds of the people of hell.”with the deeds of the people of hell.” 2121 Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1394, no.6407Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1394, no.6407
  26. 26. Since everyone’s deeds were already recorded in theSince everyone’s deeds were already recorded in the book of destiny,book of destiny, prior to the creation of the world,prior to the creation of the world, the change in deeds from good to bad was alsothe change in deeds from good to bad was also referred to by the Prophet (SAS) as the record orreferred to by the Prophet (SAS) as the record or destiny overtaking the individual.destiny overtaking the individual. ‘Abdullaah ibn‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood quoted Allaah’s Messenger (SAS), theMas‘ood quoted Allaah’s Messenger (SAS), the truthful, as saying:truthful, as saying: ““One of you may do the deeds of the people ofOne of you may do the deeds of the people of paradise until only an arm’s lengthremains betweenparadise until only an arm’s lengthremains between him and paradise, then what was written overtakeshim and paradise, then what was written overtakes him and hedoes the deeds of the people of hell andhim and hedoes the deeds of the people of hell and enters hell.”enters hell.” Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol.9, pp.411-2, no.546 and Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1391, no.6390Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol.9, pp.411-2, no.546 and Sahih Muslim, vol.4, p.1391, no.6390
  27. 27. From 6 - Between Fear and Hope CHAPTER ONE: THE DYING PERSONCHAPTER ONE: THE DYING PERSON Insha'Allah to be continuedInsha'Allah to be continued Presentation made byPresentation made by Sarandib Muslims.comSarandib Muslims.com For comments and questions please contact usFor comments and questions please contact us

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