Saudi King Abdullah mourned in simple burial
Updated: 2015-01-24 17:41
Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi King Abdullah following his burial in Riyadh January 23, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]
RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah was carried in a simple white shroud to an unmarked grave on Friday in a Riyadh cemetery where many of his commoner subjects rest, in keeping with ascetic traditions.
The Saudi state school of Wahhabi Sunni Islam holds ostentatious displays of grief or mourning to be sinful, akin to idolatry.
There was no official mourning period in Saudi Arabia and flags around the kingdom all flew at full staff. Despite his apparent popularity among his subjects, there were no spontaneous gatherings on city streets to mark his passing.
Government offices, closed for the Middle East's normal Friday-Saturday weekend, will open as usual on Sunday.
While the afternoon prayer that preceded Abdullah's burial took place before ranks of Muslim leaders, Saudi princes, powerful clerics and billionaire Arab businessmen, his body was transported to the mosque in a city ambulance.
It was borne through the crowds on a carpet on a simple stretcher, laid in front of the faithful at prayer and then carried by Abdullah's male relatives to the graveyard, where it was laid in the ground with no ceremony.
Abdullah's predecessors and other half brothers have also been interred in unmarked graves in the al-Aoud cemetery where he was buried on Friday, as well as in other simple graveyards in the kingdom's other cities.