Muslim Tradition: Funerals

Nationality: American
Primary Language: English
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, California
Performance Date: 9 April 2024

Tags: Muslim, Islam, funeral, death, burial, graves


Muslim funerals can be compared to the solemn tradition seen in most modern Western funeral progressions, but with a few key differences. Guests wear all white attire instead of all black, and the body is also wrapped in a white sheet, after having been washed and prayers having been said. Coffins are apparently similar to sarcophaguses (for lack of a better comparison), and the dead are buried above ground because it is seen as very improper to walk over the dead. Gravestones are very clean and do not have much writing on them other than the dead’s name and lifetime, and it is not as common for people to go to graveyards to visit, as the view is that once a person is dead, they let them stay dead.


J is a student studying ANTH 333 in the University of Southern California. She regularly participates in Muslim traditions and cultural activities with her friends and family, which unfortunately includes some funerals in the past.


Small details in the difference between general Western funerals and Muslim funerals might seem insignificant in the long run, but they can reveal large differences in the cultural and traditional aspects of each region’s values and morals. It is through these differences that we can realize how alike we really are, unified under common instances that make each one of us different.