1. tropicanahana

    tropicanahana Member

    Nov 2, 2008
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    Grieving Muslim

    Discussion in 'Research' started by tropicanahana, Jun 30, 2018.

    My novel is a horror/sci-fi. A supporting character is a pakistani muslim who lives with his fiance and her family (who are a different culture and not muslim, but accept him and see him as a son). Half-way through, we experience his fiance’s death. I’m wondering if he would have a religious or cultural related way to mourn. Her family will want to cremate her, how big of an issue would that be for him?
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    How observant is he? Islam considers cremation to be haram, so... if he's a traditional Muslim, it'd be a pretty big problem. (Unless the horror/scifi aspect includes an element of contagion that makes the cremation necessary to keep others safe? There have been exceptions made to the "no cremation" rule in times of plague, so... maybe.)

    You can probably get some pretty good information on this stuff by googling. I'm not sure if we have any practising Muslims on the board, but we might...
    tropicanahana and Spencer1990 like this.
  3. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

    Mar 13, 2016
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    @Mans seems pretty knowledgeable about Islam, but he's not a frequent flier. Maybe he lurks a lot and he'll see this tag.
    Mckk, tropicanahana and BayView like this.
  4. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

    Aug 24, 2015
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    I'll agree with Bayview and ask how devout your character is. That'll have a considerable impact.

    Keep in mind that if he's not especially lax, the fiance will have to belong to a People of the Book (Christian, Jewish, or Sabean/Mandean), so you'll need to make sure cremation even makes sense for her religious views. Most Christian denominations are open to cremation these days, it's taboo in pretty much all but Reform Judaism, and I have no clue about Sabeans.

    This link has info on Islamic mounting customs:


    Not being Muslim, it's hard to speculate on how he'd feel about her family creating her. I imagine that whatever distaste he has toward the idea, it will eventually settle into begrudging acceptance. It's my understanding that Islamic interfaith marriages allow the wife full practice of her religion. And your characters aren't even married yet.
  5. S A Lee

    S A Lee Contributor Contributor

    Feb 4, 2017
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    Greater London, England
    I agree with what has been said about how fundamentalist the bereaved is.

    One point that hasn't been mentioned, however, is the stance of the deceased. Her family isn't Muslim, but did she convert? Was she going to as part of their wedding? Or did they come to a religious compromise?

    If she converted before she died or she voiced she was going to, he may resist cremation a bit more strongly citing her desires on this. However, Islam also holds the notion that women belong to their fathers until they are married, so unless it is to enforce her own religious choice, his own religion says that since she only promised to marry and didn't actually do so the father has final say.

    Regardless of the format of the funeral, there is nothing to stop him grieving in a manner that best suits him.
    Dreamer96 likes this.

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