The meaning structures of Muslim bereavements in Israel: religious traditions, mourning practices, and human experience.

Research paper by Hend H Yasien-Esmael, Simon Shimshon SS Rubin

Indexed on: 29 Sep '05Published on: 29 Sep '05Published in: Death studies


The grief and mourning of Muslim citizens in Israel are considered. First, a series of mourning customs spanning the period from notification of death until post-mourning are presented from 3 perspectives: (a) the requirements of the Islamic Sunni tradition; (b) the manner in which Islamic mourning rituals are practiced; and (c) the authors' interpretative perspective. Next, a synopsis of the personal experiences of two adult children to the death of their elderly father illustrates Muslim bereavement from a narrative point of view. Lastly, the concluding section continues a consideration of the distinction between the Islamic religious emphasis on return to functioning and the myriad ways in which the memory and relationship to the deceased are experienced. The article demonstrates how belief system, Islamic mourning rituals, and the power of loss create an experiential blend that is neither monolithic nor stereotypical.