Baha’i Funeral Customs and Rituals

Baha'i Funeral Customs

Quick Reference
Length of Service
Dress Code? (Men/Women)
Recording Devices?
Source of Readings?
Baha’i Prayers
Open Casket?
Return to Work? (Days)
No. of Days to Mourn?

Overall, the Baha’i funeral customs are relaxed and designed to accommodate the personal preferences of the family and are based on the faith’s teachings regarding consciousness and the soul.

Originating in the 19th century, the Baha’i faith stems from Islam in Iran. Its founder, Mirza Ali Muhammad was a direct descendent of the prophet Muhammad. After his death, the grandson of one of his disciples vowed to expand the Baha’i community.

At the core of the Baha’i belief is the unity of all religions and humanity.

The Baha’i regard Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha and Jewish prophets and other prophets as manifestations of God’s divine presence. They believe that other prophets will come, but there is no ultimate “savior” or final prophet.

In terms of death, the Baha’i faith teaches that there is a separate consciousness or soul for every human. Upon death, the soul is relieved of physical bonds and enters the spiritual world, a timeless extension of the universe. Spiritual development determines whether one is closer or farther from God.

Baha’i funeral customs and practices do not permit embalming unless it is required by law. Believers also bury the body within one hour’s travel time from the place of death because they discourage becoming attached to any particular geographic site.

Services are normally held within two or three days after the death. Guests may dress according to personal preference and local custom. The family arranges for the officiate to read the prayers. Those who are not of the Baha’i faith are not required to nor discouraged from participating.

View Additional Pages

Go to Index of Funeral Customs
Go to Funeral Guide — Index of Topics.

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