Economy, Business And Markets

The Cost of Burial

The Cost of BurialThe Cost of Burial

D eath is the inevitable outcome of everyone’s lives, however how much does it cost bereaved family members when that day happens?

The Financial Tribune contacted the recently bereaved along with Behesht-e-Zahra (Zahra’s Paradise) graveyard authorities to find out the current costs. The average cost of burial in Tehran has edged up slightly again this year with the municipality charging 11 million rials for the cheapest grave – this is a grave in the new section of the large expansive graveyard to the south of Tehran.  Behesht-e-Zahra has an area of 534 hectares and is still expected to be expanded.

The price for washing the recently dead roughly equates to 2 million rials and then the price for the person who chants at the funeral procession costs an additional 1 million rials and up depending on the notoriety of funeral chanter.  

When we called the graveyard authorities asking about prices, they said, “In the older central parts of Behest-e-Zahra, graves cost around 200 million rials.” However, recent reports say this number is nowhere near the top end price, with some graves being sold for 500 million rials and above.

If an outside grave doesn’t fit the bill, families can now purchase entire tombs – something which has recently becoming available again after a 35 year hiatus– with 16 plots inside. The price for this high-end burial can reach in excess of one billion rials; however, it needs to be noted that this price wasn’t officially confirmed by the graveyard administrators.

The number of people that can be buried with the new triple-decker burial in theory would be 48 people. If the tomb doesn’t match your tastes, for an additional 400 million rials, you can request from local stonemasons to upgrade the fascia of the tomb to whatever you wish.

On a recent visit the Tribune noted some quite extravagant designs costing in the hundreds of millions of rials.

At the other end of the spectrum, the graveyard authorities also offer larger discounts for people who cannot afford the high price of burial. These prices reported to the paper can cost in excess of 7 million rials and can be paid over a long term period without interest to comply with Islamic banking principles.

There are also zones within the graveyard dedicated to the martyrs of the Iraq-Iran war.  In addition, there are funds available from charitable organizations around the country, which help in the overall cost.

Tehran Municipality also plays host to non-Muslim graveyards, including Christians of different denominations, Jews and Zoroastrians.   For foreign citizens who die in Iran, their governments’ embassies should arrange their body to be transferred and the cost would be incurred in the persons’ home country.