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Death and Funeral Customs

One of the thoughts that always comes to mind when I lock my home before embarking on a trip is whether I’ll be returning home safely.

I try to keep my affairs in order and take appropriate precautions. My Will is kept up to date and my family members have copies of my emergency documents and planned itinerary (even if it’s just thoughts on where I plan to visit), a list of all my investments, login details for various accounts online (including this travel blog which I’d hope persists for a while (somebody would need to make sure my hosting fees have been paid when my bank accounts are frozen)). I always take good travel insurance on international trips (top-up credit card insurance is generally not good enough for adventure sports enthusiasts) and take calculated and acceptable risks (in my view) on the adventures I embark on.

What would be unfortunate is if I lose my life overseas, away from family or a community that could bury me according to my cultural and religious customs. Flying a deceased body internationally is out of the question in my religion if it means unacceptably delaying burial.

For me the only exception in preference to being laid to rest in South Africa would be to die in Makkah or Madinah (in Saudi Arabia) – the Holy Lands where any Muslim wishes to be buried.

I was recently asked to contribute to an article on the funeral customs of various communities in South Africa. Although a bit of a heavy article to write (emotionally), it was a good exercise that lead me to remember and reflect on my purpose in my limited existence on Earth.

Check out the article here which includes information on the funeral customs followed by Muslims in South Africa.

Image Credit:

“Cemetery in Sale” and “Seljuk Cemetery” by Evgeni Zotov  under CC License by-NC by-ND 2.0

About Zaid

Zaid is an intrepid traveler from South Africa that has traveled to all 7 continents. He loves to explore new destinations, experience new activities and go off the beaten path.
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