Task: Discuss the Islamic Belief concerning death and funeral using Act 5: Scene1. Concentrate on the words of the gravedigger, hamlet and action of Laertus.
The two most prevalent beliefs that are shared by Islam and Christianity are the concept of death, suicide and funerals. In, William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the concepts that are common between the monotheistic religions are reflected vividly and dramatically.
One of the dominant concept that was portrayed in Act 5: scene 1 was that of the sin underlying a suicidal act. In Islam, whatever applies to the crime of murder applies to that of suicide. Whoever takes his life by any means had unjustly takes a life Allah has made sacred. Since a human being cannot create him nor even a single cell of a body, the life of the individual does not belong to him. It is only a trust given to him by Allah and he has no rights to diminish or harm something that is not his. According to Islam, an individual shall be resolute in facing hardships and dilemma. He is not permitted to give up and runaway from his responsibility, when there are obstacles ahead of him. This belief is also shared by the Christians, although these two religions do have differences in their burial rites. In Shakespeare's prominent play, Hamlet, one of the characters named Ophelia, Polonius's daughter had committed such an act. The readers were informed that she is a beautiful young woman with whom Hamlet has been in love. Ophelia is a sweet and innocent young girl, who treis her best to obey her father and her brother, Laertes. Dependent on men to tell her how to behave and to define her role as a lady, she was became confused and was caught in a dilemma. When the news of her father murder by her beloved has further thrust Ophelia is a state of insanity. Even in her lapse into madness and death, she remains maidenly, singing songs about flowers and finally drowning in the river amid the flower garlands she had gathered.