Funeral Etiquette

Like everything in society, funeral etiquette and what is expected of you has evolved over time.  As always common sense and good discretion is the best guide to proper funeral etiquette.  Here are a few do’s and don’ts of funeral etiquette.


  • Islam encourages gender segregation and the same is held for the Funeral Prayers.
  • Express your condolences – It’s not easy to come up with the words to offer sympathy to someone who has just lost a loved one.  It is commendable for the near and dear ones, or neighbors, to provide meals to the bereaved family for one time at least.
  • One must not give in to any superstitions. The condolences and conditions of bereavement should be maintained for three days. After that life should come back to normal.
  • Loud wailing and bawling are not permitted in Islam. Silent weeping and crying are permitted. However, all grief should be borne with patience and fortitude, placing all one’s trust in God.
  • Condolences must be offered to those related to the deceased. Words of condolence must be such that help the individual and also do not disparage the deceased.
  • It is commendable for the near and dear ones, or neighbors, to provide meals to the bereaved family for one time at least.
  • Keep in Touch – You may feel that the family needs their space and time to grieve, but a simple phone call or note after the funeral lets the family know you care.  With social networking leaving a quick note is as simple as a click of a mouse.  It is the months following a death when grieving friends and family need the most support.


  • Bring your cell phone – Your phone ringing will be highly inappropriate and will cause a disturbance, so turn any ringers or notifications off.  Even better, leave your phone at home or in your car, a funeral is not the time to be texting or checking your messages.
  • Allow your children to be a distraction – From a very young age children are aware of death, and if the funeral is for someone that was close to them (grandparent, aunt, uncle) they should be given the option to attend.  However if it is not appropriate for your child to be there, and if you feel they will cause a commotion, leave them with a babysitter.