General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Funeral practices in Muslim World

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Noph:
Good morning!  I'm at a total loss on etiquette, so of course I came here first. 
  I have a client that has been a client of my family business for almost forty years.  One of his young children has passed away, in their home country.   In the West, it would be ok to find out what funeral home was in charge and send flowers.  However, I am not at all familiar with how funerals are carried out in the Middle East. I do know my family friends are Muslim.    We would like to send flowers, but we do not know if that is acceptable.  Is anyone here able to give me some insight on how we can express our sympathy and compassion for this lovely family at this tragic time in a respectful and culturally correct manner?   This lovely family has invited me to weddings and other events that I'd never have the opportunity to be a part of and even beyond their acceptance and sharing their happy events with me, they are a wonderful loving family that anyone would be proud to know.  I'm heartbroken for their loss.  Usually I ask the father of this family my cultural questions, but this I do not feel comfortable asking him for quidance  since his young daughter has just passed away. 

Thank you for any help and light you can shed on how to repsectfully show our condolences.

Margo:
I'm not sure about see ding flowers but I do know that in the Muslim tradition, the funeral usually takes place very soon after the death, often within 24 hours. Outward displays are discouraged, (there are regional variations, but it's relatively unusual to put flowers or wreaths on the grave, for instance, and in some traditions even gravestones are discouraged)

If you have an address or e-mail address I would suggest sending a card or letter, expressing your condolences and sympathy.

If there is a mosque near you, or of you know the mosque where the family worship, you could also contact the Iman and ask whether there is anything which would be appropriate / welcome

Noph:
Thank  you!  I already called the oldest son's cell phone when a cousin told me what had happened. I told him that even tho I'm on the other side of the world right now, that they are in my thoughts and that if there is anything we can do to help to please let us know.  You told me what I really wanted to know, that it is like Jewish custom where the deceased is laid to rest as soon as possible. 

evely28:
Margo, burial is usually within 24 hours not days.

Margo:
yes, that was a typo - I corrected it about 5 mins after posting :-)

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