• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

The Muslim Way of Death
The Muslim way of death

Islam, the religion embraced by approximately 25% of the world's population, is based on the contents of a sacred book, the Koran (orQur'an), and the pronouncements, actions, behavior, and other details of the life of Prophet Mohammed, which are collectively referred to as the Sunna. Muslims believe that the Koran, which contains 114 chapters (each called aSura), constitutes God's divine words, which were transmitted unchanged to Prophet Mohammed through the angel Gabriel (e.g., see Ali 1983:19–29). They also believe that details of how Prophet Mohammed behaved in particular instances and the substantive meanings of a set of authenticated statements (each known as aHadith) that he made over time provide a context that define proper behavior and ...

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