Running head: MY REACTIONS TO THE MUSLIM CULTURE My Reactions to the Muslim Culture Savannah State University MSWK June 25, 2008 In the United States, Americans die every day; however, the dying process and funeral rituals are different from culture to culture. As professional workers we must be aware and have knowledge of a variety of culture behaviors when it comes to death. Before doing this assignment I had little knowledge about other cultures rituals and arrangements on death.
In the social work profession a client’s culture background is very important and in order to be an effective social worker we must be aware and have knowledge on the entire life span process of our clients from birth to death. Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Baptist and different religion preferences are diverse within themselves. No religion has one race or class. The dying process of Muslims is unique. When someone is ill and is about to die the people in this culture grieve in their own unique way. First, they have the individual who is dying to join them in saying chants and scriptures from the Qur’an.
My thoughts on that are when people have the opportunity to say their last word, I believe they should acknowledge God and thank Him and if they need forgiveness they should repent; however, I think a person should also share some last words with their family members too. People last words should be whatever they want them to be and although I don’t agree with the request, I will still respect my client’s culture. Second, I think closing the eyes of the decease is appropriate, but I feel as if a person reactions to dying and losing a love one should not be measure and given restrictions on how to grieve and how long.
Dying is a unique process that everyone who is born a man or woman must endure. I was shock to read that excessive mourning was forbidden by their culture. The Mourning process is time limit process in the Muslim culture. The loved ones of decease are entitled to grieve for three days and a wife four months and ten days. My reaction to this rite as an individual was, “What! ” My mother has been dead for over sixteen years and I still grieve her lost on special occasions at time.
To give a person a time live on how long to grieve is insane, however as a professional, I will abide by our Code of Ethics values of service and importance of human relationships. When working with wives who lost a spouse I will use creative tools in assisting her with her grief without acknowledging that she is grieving the lost of her husband after the allotted time. The funeral rites of the Muslim culture are simple and to the point. When someone’s dies in this culture out of respect they should be cleanse and wrap unless murdered. I believe that a person who is killed should be cleansing as well and washed more thoroughly.
It’s already sad that they were killed and to bury in the clothes that you died in is not the way I would like for people to see or remember me. I would like to do some further research to find out why this rite exist and what is the purpose of burying a person in the closed they were killed in. Again, my professional values as a social worker when working with clients is the only value that counts and regardless to what my personal values is, I must respect the value, culture, and rites of every religious preference, race, or class. In the Muslim culture they believe that when a person dies that another life starts after death.
Women are not allowed to walk with the men to the burial. In their culture repast is a time of praying for the decease forgiveness and they gather to show respect. Men in this culture are the backbone for the women and in the dying and death process they must respect the rite and abide by their roles. As a woman and in my culture we have no restrictions about dying, death, or grief. Prior to doing this assignment I had no knowledge of how Muslims dying and after life process. There was so much information on their culture that I didn’t know where to begin.
I had a previous experience attending a Muslim church but their funeral process is so much different than my culture. This assignment made me aware of how their culture values and norms is not the same as mine. This task was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be because I assumed that their culture had little respect for women. I learned a great deal from this research. As a social worker it gave me awareness to knowledge that would assist me in assessing a client with a Muslim background. This task was as an emotional as I thought it was going to be. I also eliminated some bias that I associated with the Muslim faith.