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Coffin is box in which corpse is buried and is also used to carry the corpse to the grave.

But Muslims carry the the corpse in cage sort of a thing, remove the corpse from it and then bury it. So technically the definition of coffin wouldn't apply to it. Is that right?

If so, then what term could be used to describe it?

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Don't the Muslims have a name for it? We can just use that. –  Oldcat Jan 16 at 19:58
    
tabut. –  Bleeding Fingers Jan 16 at 20:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think bier might be the word you want; it's defined in modern usage as a "table or platform" on which the corpse or coffin is placed, but I've generally seen it used to describe exactly what you're talking about:

Then he approached the bier on which the body lay, wrapped in a shroud. The word soros often means a 'coffin', but MM show that it was also used for a bier. ... When he touched the bier the bearers stood still.

Luke: An Introduction and Commentary, Leon Morris

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Apparently, the correct word for this is cot. Though, in a Western context, it has a slightly different form and function (from the Death and Funeral Glossary):

COT - The stretcher-like carrier used to remove deceased persons from the place of death to the funeral home.

Example of its use, from Themes and Readings for Assemblies:

I remember the hakim was concerned for the body of Teshoo Lama. He haled it out of the holy water in his hands, and there came afterwars thy horse-seller from the North with a cot and men, and they put the body on the cot and bore it up to the Sahiba's house.

Of course, the best thing would be to use whatever word the locals (the Muslims referred to in this particular instance) use--if they have a specific term for it.

For example, if you were describing the scene you could say:

The people placed the shrouded body in the tabut (a sort of metal cot for carrying the deceased to the burial site).

Sources:

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Wish I could accept both answers. It was a difficult decision but I found bier to be slightly more accurate. Anyway thanks. –  Bleeding Fingers Jan 17 at 18:52

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