Faithful Mourning


On this Memorial Day weekend, we'll look at some of the customs of mourning among three major faiths -- Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Although customs can vary within faith traditions and cultures, the following descriptions provide some insight into how many people honor those who have died. . . Islam When a Muslim dies, the body is washed and wrapped in white cloth, said Nabil Seyam, spokesman for the Islamic Society of Wichita. Prayers are said over the body at the time of death, followed by a quick burial, preferably the same day. More prayers are offered for the deceased at the cemetery. In most cases, the mourning period lasts three days, Seyam said.

"You mourn for three days, because you give people time to visit you." During those three days, there is a continuous recitation of the Quran, he said. The form of it varies. In some places, including in the United States, an audio recording is played; in others, someone may be brought in to recite or several people may do it. Frequent visits to the cemetery are encouraged so people can better cope with their grief, Seyam said. "Once a week, that would be great," he said about visits to the cemetery. "And if you can't for any reason (go), at least once a month." Ultimately, "we're all going to die," Seyam said, "and we need to continue life." (MORE)

 


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