If you have a close friend or loved one who is having a Muslim funeral, you may be wondering if there are any significant differences between a Muslim funeral and others that you have attended and whether there are any rules of etiquette that you are expected to follow. While there are no rules enforced across all Muslim practitioners, here are a few things you should expect.

The Mourning Period

Mourning for close relatives is expected to last for three days. During the period of mourning, it is considered acceptable to weep. However, it is not considered acceptable to cry out loudly when weeping. This is to avoid causing suffering for the departed spirit. Immediately after the death, those near the Muslim who have passed away are expected to try to remain calm, pray, and begin the preparations for burial.

One exception to the 3-day mourning period is for the spouse. This period is called Iddah and is expected to last four months and 10 days. The spouse must stop wearing jewelry and perfume, cannot leave the home for any purpose except for errands and work, and cannot remarry until after this period has ended. Therefore, you will not be expected to show significant outward displays of grief.

Call ahead of time to find out the specific expectations of the funeral. At some funerals, headscarves are passed out to non-Muslim attendees, but this is not always the case and you may need to purchase your own.

The Funeral Ceremony

The funeral does not have a visitation or wake. Once you arrive at the funeral, you will be directed on where to sit. Fortunately, you do not have to do anything other than be present. Do not take any pictures or video tape any part of the event.

The Dress Code

Men are expected to dress simply during the wedding. Do not wear jeans, since these are too informal. You can wear a jacket or tie, but this is not necessary. For women, the head must be covered with a scarf. Also, the clothing should cover the knees. Your clothing should be as modest as possible, covering most of your body. Both men and women should wear muted colors.

In some cases, you may not even be expected to attend a funeral. Muslim women are often not expected to attend the funeral at all. But since etiquette is not universal for all practicing Muslims and some Muslims have modified their rites in the modern world, it is always important to call and seek a clarification from the funeral home, one like Farone & Son Inc.

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