Tamanna (swingandswirl) wrote in little_details,

Muslim military funerals; non-Muslims attending Muslim funerals

I have a Delta Force operative, K, who was KIA in either Iraq or Afghanistan in the early 2010s. Enlisted, career Army, and practising but not super devout Muslim. Everything I've ever read about military funerals has been Christian in nature; is there any protocol for a Muslim servicemember?

I know that, for instance, that for Muslims the body is supposed to be buried as soon as possible, and that it's generally only family members who attend, but I'm curious to know if there's some way for the military to officially honour K's service, even if it's not a military funeral, perhaps a ceremony of some sort?

I tried Googling for 'military muslim funeral,' all I got was arrant nonsense from right-wing sites about Muslim clerics disrespecting soldiers because Obama. I KNOW I've seen pictures of gravestones at Arlington with crescents on them, so clearly the concept exists, I just can't find any details.

As for my second question. A, (the POV character), K's best friend, is non-Muslim. K's family is not super devout, and is very close to A. A happens to have a gay partner, C; K knew about them and was one of A's groomsmen. A and C would like to be there for K's widow and children; however, I'm not sure if his other family would consider it haraam for them to participate, or even attend, given that Islam doesn't support homosexuality. Ideally, they would be pallbearers, but I can't for the life of me find an answer as to whether that's halaal or haraam.

I've looked at Muslim funeral customs, and I do have a general idea of what goes on, but it's complicated by the fact that K is former military and that A and C are gay. I really don't want to step on any toes, not being American, Muslim, or even remotely religious myself.

Any advice for how I can be respectful while writing the funeral would be appreciated.
Tags: usa: military (misc), ~funerals, ~religion: islam

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