Death: Mourning

Q137 :When a member of the family dies, what sort of mourning is allowed?

A137 : Different societies have different customs and traditions associated with death in the family. In non-Islamic societies, there are visible signs of mourning which are supposed to convey grief. People, especially women, should wear black for a certain period, according to the degree of their relation with the deceased. Men may wear a black tie, etc. In certain communities, death is marked by loud crying and tearing of clothes, etc. All this is forbidden in Islam. This does not preclude that people may grieve for their deceased and they may express their grief with shedding tears. This sort of crying must not be accompanied by wailing. That is un-Islamic. The maximum period of mourning for a woman is three days, if the deceased is a very close relation to her, but not her husband. In other words, mourning for a deceased father, son or brother may be only over a period of three days, after that, she must show her acceptance of Allah's verdict. We have a report of two cases of the Prophet's wives, Um Habiba and Zainab. The first lost her father, Abu Sufian, and the other lost her brother. After three days, in each case, each of them requested perfume to wear. Both of them said that they had no desire whatsoever to wear perfume, but they had heard the Prophet saying: "It is not lawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the day of judgement to be in mourning for any deceased person for over three nights, except for her husband when the period of mourning is four months and ten days." As you realize, this is the length of the waiting period of a widow. During her waiting period, she must not wear make-up.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )