Dear readers, I hate to be of the type that complains about everything but after attending the Mayyit (funeral) of my dear aunt (may Allah grant her Jannah), I have renewed irritation. So here goes my very own dos and don’ts of attending a Mayyit. (This is intended for ladies of South Africa).
1. The purpose of attending a Mayyit is to offer condolences to the family, remind yourself of approaching death & the unpredictability of life and to make Du’aa for the deceased. Do not sit there and stare at all the people that are grieving and contemplate on who you think is ‘feeling it the most’. WTH.
Solution: Please take one of the many Qura’ns and read it as Ithaale-thawaab for the deceased.
2. I realize that in today’s rat-race of a life, one often only meets people at hatches, matches and dispatches... but really! Do not loudly whisper about the health, education status and emotional well-being of all your long-lost friends. This is not the time! In addition, it is not the time to announce “How you came to know about the Mayyit” and “who dropped you off at the house and how you intend finding your way home”.
Solution: Make Dhikr and please leave these unnecessary panchaat stories for later. Take note of your long-lost friends and give them a call the next day to catch up on details.
3. Keeping quiet must really be a challenge but try to control yourself when the Mayyit has just been lifted up. It totally pisses me (sorry for the bad word) that the Mayyit has barely reached the end of the drive-way road and there goes the noise. No more whispers. Now it’s loud talking amidst tears, oohs and shames. Why must it be that someone must start a loud recitation of the Qur’an before our wonderful sympathy-offerers shooooosh?
FYI this is terribly RUDE.
Solution: KEEP QUIET and read something. Make Du’aa. This is the time for asking for forgiveness for the deceased.
4. A Mayyit was never and will never be a ceremony. So do not sit and wait to be served food. Especially if you are from the same city, please go home and have your next meal. Is it really necessary for people to go and have large meals prepared for you?
(In SA, food is served but is intended for the immediate family & people coming from far- away places.)
Solution: Food should be sent to the deceased house (as mentioned in Hadith) and not eaten from there!
5. It is both unnecessary and contrary to Sunnah for every Fathima, Ayesha and Maryam to request ‘seeing the face’.
Solution: Please refrain from doing this.
6. Personal hygiene and dressing neatly is definitely an important aspect of Islam – but NB NB NB – this does not mean you must wear your latest Swarovski/ excessively gaudy Abaya. !!! . This is a Mayyit and is by no means an opportunity for ostentatious parading.
Solution: Figure out yourself. And forget the make-up for the day as well.
7. When attending a Mayyit you ought to remember that you still remain a guest in that house. You can be as untidy as you wish in your own house but please do your bit (when @ a Mayyit house) and keep the bathrooms/ wudu areas etc as clean as possible. (It was particularly frustrating to see my aunt’s [well-known for her almost OCD-clean habits] house being messed up)
8. And finally, learn how to offer sympathy. Stop asking people to stop crying – crying is only a natural emotion and it is within limits allowed in Islam. Telling a grieving person “it’s very hard” is also not the best. Try to encourage them to display patience and to accept the will of Allah.
Solution: learn how to offer sympathy or keep quiet.