In the Middle East, customs and rituals related to death vary from one region to another. In many cases, mourning traditions become deeply ingrained, almost synonymous with the mourning process. People see them as integral parts of bidding farewell to a loved one. That’s why, in Arab society, even after someone passes away, there are fascinating rituals and customs that continue. From the funeral ceremonies to the meals shared among mourners in the first days, along with their attire, each element reflects a deep sense of tradition and respect. 

Let’s start with some common phrases said in the period of mourning by Arabs:

الله يِرحَمُه

/allah yirHamuh/

May God rest his soul.

البَقاء لِله

/albaqaaʼ lillaah/

Survival belongs to God.

إِنّا لِله وَإِنّا إِلَيهِ راجِعون

/ʼinnaa lillaah wa ʼinnaa ʼilayhi raajiʼoon/

Indeed, we belong to Allah, and indeed, to Him we return.

Engaging in mourning serves as a pathway for reflection and remembrance, fostering spiritual growth in the process. It’s a reminder about the inevitability of death and the meaning behind living a righteous life for the hereafter. This period makes people closer to each other, and with Arabs, it is all about family and loved ones where they stand with each other even more than before. Family members and friends usually respond immediately by offering condolences and support by helping with funeral arrangements and offering prayers for the deceased. This practice serves as a comforting tool for Arabs in these times, where they always wish the family of the deceased to have patience after losing a loved one, emphasizing that it will get easier. For example, in Arab culture, the mourning period following the death of a loved one can vary in length and customs depending on the specific cultural and religious beliefs of the family. During this time, family members may refrain from participating in festivities as a sign of respect for the deceased, and that period usually lasts for four days. Therefore, the only thing they need during this time is patience.




Regarding meals for mourners, they hold a special place in the Arabic traditions, symbolizing solidarity and comfort during grief. These meals are cherished and rarely altered, except in exceptional circumstances or urgent family needs, serving as a source of solace and connection for those mourning the loss of a loved one. It is usually a meal sent by people outside the family circle as an act of solidarity. Almost all the time, it is rice with lamb meat sent to the deceased family from their friends to remind them that they need food to stay strong.

Having a dress code during the mourning period in Arabian culture is not a fixed tradition. However, it is encouraged to wear modest, loose-fitting clothing, avoiding decorative clothing and jewelry because the more you are simple, the more you are fitted during that period with Arabs. The only way you can show your support to the deceased family is by coming as you are with nothing to show off. Culturally wise people tend to wear black during funerals, but it is not a must because the color is not associated with death in the Arabian culture. As long as you don’t wear bright colors, you are doing great.

During times of mourning, Arabs tend to find solace in meaningful rituals. Loved ones come together to recite Quranic verses, particularly those offering comfort and seeking divine mercy for the departed. Alongside this spiritual support, friends and community members visit the bereaved family to offer condolences and practical assistance. These acts of compassion, often accompanied by food and other offerings, ease the burden of grief and provide comfort during a difficult time.

Finally, Arabs honor the departed not just through remembrance but also by spreading kindness in their name. Giving to charity, through sadaqah or zakat, is seen as a noble act, bringing comfort to the soul of the deceased and blessings to those in need. Families often donate to mosques, schools, or other charities, continuing the legacy of compassion on behalf of their loved ones. It's a beautiful tradition that lightens the load for the family while extending a significant favor to the deceased. Visit