We have a tradition when one of the people die, some of the family of the deceased stand at the end of the masjid and others (stand) upon chairs whilst the people offer them their condolences. It has now reached the stage where this is established at most funeral prayers. What is the ruling of this?
This is an innovation from the innovated matters and a newly invented practice from the newly invented practices that must be fought and warned against.
Indeed the people approve (the introduction of these practices) into the religion, I swear by Allah.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ did not use to gather with his family when one of his relatives passed away. Not in the case of Khadeeja (may Allah be pleased with her) or in the case of Hamza (may Allah be pleased with him) or any of his daughters (may Allah be pleased with them all) – except (Fatima may Allah be pleased with her) because she died after him.
He ﷺ certainly (would not) sit in the masjid whilst the people gather. This person is on a chair and that person is in a line whilst the people offer their condolences. This is not known. As for offering condolences, whoever you find on your path you may offer your condolences to them.
There is no need for gatherings in the masaajid or for gatherings in homes.
However, if someone remains at his home in sorrow and grief and some of the people go to his house to offer their condolences because his affliction is heavy (then this is permissible).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ went to the house of the man who used to attend one of his ﷺ gatherings then abandoned it. He ﷺ went to him and asked ‘where is such-and-such?’. They said ‘his son died, Oh Messenger of Allah’. He ﷺ said ‘Come on! Let’s go to (visit) him’.
So, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ went to him lighten his grief and to lighten what he was going through. Not in order to gather in homes collectively offering condolences. The basis of the visit is in opposition to this.
Answered by: Shaykh Abu Bilaal Al Hadhramy – may Allah preserve him
Answered on: 14, Safar 1441 (13th October 2019)
Translated by: Abu Sufian Saami Ibn Daniel Al-Ghaani