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Do Muslims Cry at Funerals?

It’s not easy to cope with the death of a loved one. But every religion has an acceptable way of grieving. Islam is one such religion with strict rules (sharia) guiding crying over a dead person.

Although Muslims are permitted to cry at funerals, when it’s accompanied by wailing and lamenting, it becomes haram (forbidden) and attracts punishment. This is because it’s believed that the wailing torments the deceased’s soul.

Let’s take a look at what happens during and after the death of a Muslim.

Islamic Death Rituals

Islam has two sects, Sunni and Shi’a. They have slightly different traditions but believe that another life begins after death. 

Before Death Comes

When a person is dying, family members and friends gather to encourage the person to proclaim that there’s no God besides Allah (shahada). This profession of faith in Allah grants the soul access to paradise (Jannah). But if the dying person did evil during their time on earth and refuses to say the shahada, they’ll go to hell (Jahannam).

When the person passes, the people present will say, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un,” which means, “Indeed, we belong to Allah, and indeed, to him, we will return.”

After that, they will close the eyes of the deceased, bind the lower jaw and then cover the body with a piece of white fabric. Also, prayers will be offered to Allah to forgive the sins of the deceased.

The Funeral Service

The service is held outside the mosque and is open to every member of the denomination. It can also take place in the deceased’s family home or around a cemetery. The attendees recite prayers from the Qur’an, asking Allah for mercy.

The Mourning Period

The burial takes place within 24 hours, but the mourning period lasts for three days. It may last longer, depending on your relationship with the deceased or if people are coming from a far distance to mourn with the family.

Women can mourn for about 128 days without having anything to do with the public. Friends and other family members will cater to their needs. However, it is customary for a man to save enough funds before his death so that his wife can mourn properly.

While crying shows that you’re grieving, you shouldn’t wail, lament, or break items. Doing so shows that you don’t have faith in Allah. Instead, the mourning period should be spent meditating on God’s goodness, praying, and reading the Qur’an.

Wrap Up

Islam has strict laws regarding grieving. Muslims can cry but not with a loud voice. Otherwise, it would be seen as a lack of faith. The funeral service and mourning period are devoted to praying to Allah for forgiveness and meditating on the Qur’an, so wailing is seen as a disturbance.