Muslims wear white to funerals, although not exclusively so. Other colors that fit the serious mood of such an event are also appropriate. It isn't imperative for mourners at funerals to wear white, although the bodies of the deceased are adorned in this color. Bodies are first cleansed in water and then carefully covered in clean, pure white sheets
Apart from white, muted darker colors are also acceptable for funerals in Islamic communities, including black, gray or brown. Intense colors such as pink, red, yellow, purple and orange are considered inappropriate. The point is to show reverence in an understated manner for the deceased rather than calling attention to the mourners.
Significance of White
The Hadith in Islam refers to the writings of the Prophet Muhammad. These accounts indicate that white clothing is the finest and most immaculate clothing a person owns. White is also associated with purity and humility in Islamic culture.
Attire for men and women attending funerals for Muslims must be humble and unassuming. Shirts and standard pants are acceptable for males, while females typically wear ankle-length skirts. Women also must conceal their arms, necks and hair. Headscarves called hijabs work well for the latter purpose. Transparent, revealing or tight apparel is not appropriate.
Islamic funerals generally take place at local mosques. Organizers of the funeral often request that the guests take off their shoes, generally prior to granting them entry into prayer halls. Mourners prepare by ensuring that the stockings or socks they wear are clean and suitable for others to see.
The formal mourning process doesn't end with the funeral. Friends and family continue mourning the deceased for a span of three days after the funeral -- a cultural observance of loss rather than a deep emotional experience that cannot be quantified by a set time frame. During this time, they are expected to stay away from ornamental accessories and apparel. The Quran states that widows are to grieve their husbands for four months and 10 days. Widows are to wear drab clothing during this period.
- Muslim Burial Council: Attending a Muslim Funeral - A Guide For Non-Muslims
- Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures; Suad Joseph, Afsana Nagmabadi
- A Dictionary of Islam; Thomas Patrick Hughes
- Faith & Philosophy of Islam; Shamim Akhter
- Everyday Life in the Muslim Middle East; Donna Lee Bowen and Evelyn A. Early
- Islam; Andrew Egan
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