Having recently lost another grandparent I have once again observed the inappropriate things people do at funerals. Therefore I would like to educate one and all about what to do and what not to do at funerals. In Shaa Allah we will share it with our loved ones so that the knowledge spreads and so that we do not become the perpetrators of such behaviors.
*First and most important, if you are experiencing your menses please do not sit in the room with the janaazah. The angels of Mercy will not descend near the body if you sit there.
*Don’t just sit around and wait for someone to talk to. Pick up a Yaseen kitaab or Para of the Quraan and read for the deceased. If you are in your menses make dhikr. Don’t sit around like a piece of glass. This applies to the men too. The men in general have a tendency to sit and talk and do nothing. You’re not exempt from praying.
*The most cliché one but I’m going to say it anyway: do not gossip. A person just passed away but we don’t take lesson from them, we don’t think that one day our bodies will be lying there too. How can one even think about gossip at a time like that?
*If the deceased was not your mahram (females) or your female family member with whom you cannot marry (males) then please do not insist on seeing their face.
*Don’t stand in the way such that you obstruct close family members from seeing the deceased, especially before the janaazah is picked up.
*Do not whatsapp or BBM or use any social media for that matter while you’re in the room with the deceased.
*Do not come without wudhu and then decline to read on that basis
*Do not read with a scarf that is see-through or with three-quarter sleeves (females).
*Do not boss the family around. Give your suggestion and if they choose to follow it Alhamdulillah. If they choose not to follow it don’t get angry.
*Don’t bother the bereaved family by asking for a burka or abaya to make namaz in. Come dressed decently in the first place.
*If you are served food do not send back the food and demand that it be heated
*When you’re done eating don’t linger on the table and make idle chit chat. Get up, clear your dirt away and offer to serve the family. It’s been a long day for them and they’re hungry too. If you sit and chat and don’t bother to pick up after yourself you just make it more difficult for the family
*In the days that follow the funeral do not just pitch up at the family’s house and expect food. It places undue pressure on the family to feed these uninvited guests who just pitch up unannounced.
*In grief people sometimes say or do things that they otherwise would not do. Grief makes people do strange things. Don’t hold grudges against the family for their behavior during their time of grief.
*Don’t make unnecessary dishes. Clean up after yourself and your children.
*Do not complain that you don’t eat this food or that food. If you don’t eat what’s being served go eat at home.
* Don’t stand in the way
* Don’t obstruct the opposite gender from getting in and out of the house
*In the days following the funeral do not visit late at night, nor should you stay till late. Some of the family members have to go to work the next day. Be considerate
*If you are in the position to do so then make something for the family to eat on the day. Death is always unexpected even when the person is sick. No one would have had time to cook or make food. Therefore if you can bring something for the family because it’s usually a long tiring day for them and they’re usually starving.
*In the days that follow cook a pot of food for them. They’re bereaved, cooking food is the last thing on their mind.
*Do come with wudhu and read something. Even if it’s not Quraan at least make dhikr with the intention of esaale thawaab for the deceased.
*The family doesn’t have time to go out and buy groceries, therefore if you can lighten their load by doing some shopping for them do so. Even supposedly mundane things like bringing soap or toilet paper that will help.
*Do offer your support to the family. It doesn’t have to be monetary contributions. Just being there emotionally for them helps.
*Give the family some space. They’ve been through a lot. Sometimes they just need some time alone
*If space in the funeral home is limited and you’re still young get up so that the old people can sit
*When food is being served let the old people eat first