Mu-Ghayeb: a culture-specific response to bereavement in Oman

Samir Al-Adawi*, Rustam Burjorjee, Ihsan Al-Issa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Studies with normal subjects and patients suggest that in grieving the dead, the bereaved has to go through a progressive course of psychological and social reorganization. The Mu Ghayeb belief in Omani society involves a complete denial of the loss for a relatively long period with the expectation of the return of the dead. This belief persists even after an elaborate ritual of burial and a prescribed period of mourning. The deceased are expected to leave the grave after burial and join their families when the spell placed on them by a sorcerer is broken or counteracted. Although the Mu Ghayeb belief is inconsistent with Muslim religion, it may be explained in terms of sudden and untimely death which used to be rife in the seafaring Omani society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


  • Attitude to Death
  • Bereavement
  • Culture
  • Denial, Psychological
  • Humans
  • Magic
  • Mortuary Practice
  • Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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