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Mourning traditions

  


Death and funerals ceremonies 

Either man or woman, old or young, at expectation of death should direct face towards Qibla (Mecca).
A single woman must remain with the person, going to die. It is not allowed to cry loudly or speak loudly at his/her side. It is not good to live a dieing person alone in the room.
After a person dies his/her eyes, mouth, jaw are closed shuts, hands and legs are extended straight to avoid a corpse to become ugly. Then his/her face is closed with a white cloth. If a death occurred at night a candle is burned ad put near corpse.
According to tradition human corpse should be immediately washed after death and be clean. Then a fire is set in yard and men sit und the fire in circle. The number of those sit in circle must be odd. When sit in circle if a strange person passes nearby, or come to circle then a fatiha is read.
The dead person is wrapped in shroud. Shroud is made of white linen or printed cotton, and consists of three parts: 1) cloth cut to wrap up the lower parts of body 2) shirt, 3) Cloth to wrap the demised from the top to down. Shroud must be sewn with a wooden needle. For deceased husband his wife or for deceased wife his husband or relatives or their children must prepare shroud.
Corpse must be taken at the same day, rather, the dead man should be buried on the day of death. 
When a corpse moved from home, he/she can not be taken directly. Catafalque must be three times put in ground and then taken. While taking the corpse one should not stop and look back or around. Or return from the half-way is not allowed. One should look only the straight-forward and stay mute while going.
When reached graveyard the coffin should not be put down directly. When reached graveyard a coffin should be put on the ground at place one meter away from grave. And coffin is put there and the funeral pray for corpse is read at the head of the deceased. If deceased is man a man praying funeral pray should stay close to the head of the dead man, if deceased is a woman, then little far. It is considered wrong to bury the deceased unless the funeral payer is read.
If a child under the age of six is died, a prayer is obligatory. However, for the child below this age the prayer is not necessary.
If a person died not on own, and died by suicide, the funeral pray is necessary for him/her, too. Before reading the funeral pray the mullah put his right hand on right shoulder of the deceased and left hand to left shoulder of the deceased, and shakes the dead man strongly and repeats three times these words to ear of demised. Hear, know and be aware, hey (calls name of demised)” and then begins to read prayer.
Women\'s grave is a little deeper than men.
According to tradition the Muslims are not buried in the coffin, but in some cases (if the body fragmented or found in decomposed condition) it is possible to bury in coffin. But in all cases the Muslim is wrapped in shroud, and buried without clothes and other things with face directed to Qibla.
Before the body is put down in the grave the coffin with corpse is put an taken from ground three times. Only after that corpse is put down in grave. If a deceased is a man when the coffin is put at ground for the 3rd time his face should be directed towards Mecca. A died man is put down in grave with his wide part. But died woman is immediately put with face towards Qibla and put down in the grave. When the corpse is put down in grave a man went down in grave to locate the demised should be without head cover or footwear. That man should press a demised from the foot side. He should drop a handful ground in the grave should say: We all belong to God and return to him. Only odd number of ground is dropped in grave. The ground on the grave should be of four-five finger height than ground. After the grave is covered with ground, a water is poured on the grave and seven times handful ground is dropped on it and prayed.
After all of it the close relatives of the dead man stay in row and all men in the graveyard give condolences to him/her. When condolences are said these words are told: May God have mercy on your demised. May Allah protect all live from trouble. God bless them . All return home and Koran is sited at that night.

Third day ceremony 
Although three is simple figure, but it became materialized and got the homonymous position for mourning ceremony. Third day” mourning ceremony is linked with the Zoroastrian traditions. According to Avesta it meant that the spirit of demised freed from condition of being without patronage and passing under the patronage of Sun. A long tradition of centuries had modernized this tradition under the Islamic influence and included it in the days of mourning. Like in seventh day, “”Thursday, Friday, and Fortieth day, the spirit of demised visits own home and be close to souls of relatives. In this case, in order to comfort the spirit funeral past is given, Yasin from Koran is read, and prayers are prayed.

Seventh day ceremony 
Seventh day having a mythic semantics among Azerbaijanis, the attitude to figure “seven’  connected with formation of thinking of our ancestors. Getting of mythic semantic by word seven is linked with the history of the mythical thinking of ancient Shumer, Akkad. Thus, the in writings of ancient Akkad and Elam there is story about the existence of seven evil spirits. In view that spirits have understanding of concept that world and linked with dead men, so the   mythical forces guided the evil spirits and it has  own position among the moral thinking products.
Seven figure also had a symbolic meaning of time of freeing from evil spirits of dead man (inkir-minkir). As one of the points of intersection of religions and cultures, as well as the environment of Azerbaijan became the center of introducing of this tradition in the local minds. The date of using of mythic image of “seven” in the territory of Azerbaijan dates back to III-II millennia BC. Among thoughts related to figure ’seven’ the opinions about seven slots on the body of man (two eyes, two ears, two nose opening, a mouth) are widely spread.

Fortieth day ceremony
Until passing of 40 days from the date of birth of a man till the separation from the mother’s womb body, the process of restoration of injuries arisen from separation of both mother and baby from each other occurs. During these 40 days both mother and baby are under 40 days. Protecting them from external contacts is considered necessary both from spiritual and hygienic view points. The leaving of man this world is marked with ending of this ”forty’ days. During 40 days the process of decomposition of corpse is completed. During this period, relatives of the dead man as is accustomed to this heavy loss, and become away from grief mentally by being engaged in busyness of mourning cases. When the man was born it takes forty day to be joined to realities of the world, so same happens when a dies. It takes also 40 days to be separated with everything in this world. The opinion of spirit studying scholars about the link of 40 days with spirit is that, during the 40 days the spirit of dead man stays little above the layer of the atmosphere. During this period the spirit of demised gets accustomed self this separation by staying away from the physical body. Regardless of the variation of world visions related to forty days, in Muslim world this mourning day is marked extensively than other previous mourning days (3rd, 7th day). 
Those, who participated in funeral are invited to this mourning day. By going to mourning its participants as if give the last debts to the deceased. The marking of the mourning ceremonies of “fifty second” day in Azerbaijan\'s north-eastern region has a special place. Marking of this day depends on owners of mourning. In poor families this day is not marked at all or marked slightly.



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