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Fidau Feast Is Prohibited: Fidau Prayer Is A Bid'ah Not A Practice Of The Prophet


11 January 2011

By Bashir Amolegbe

It is a Muslim's duty to pay condolences, comfort, and sympathise with the family of the deceased. This strengthens relationships within the Muslim community. When offering condolences. words should be chosen carefully and said gently to convey sympathy and to encourage the family of the deceased to accept AlIaah's will and help them to get back to their normal life. Condolences should be offered before, during or after the burial for up to three days, and later if a person did not hear of the death at the time.

It is recommended to leave after offering condolences to give the family time to take care of their affairs. Assistance may be offered for anything the family may need. and one may stay to help. if asked. It is sunnah that friends, neighbors, and relatives prepare food for the family of the deceased for the loss of then loved one occupies the family's whole attention.

Abdullaah Ibn Ja'far says, when the news of the death of Ja'far (RA) reached the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) he said:- "Prepare food for the House of Ja'far because a thing has come to them that has preoccupied them. "(Abu Daawood)

Nowadays, many people use this hadeeth ignorantly. With it, they justify the expensive and wasteful tradition of feasting that accompanies the death of a loved one. The older the dead, the bigger the party – Special uniforms (aso ebi) are sown, cows are slaughtered and musicians are on hand to complete the gathering. A whole industry has evolved that services this pomp; including one that lends money to the members of the deceased's family that are too poor to throw a "befitting burial party" for the soul of the dear departed. Yet, there is no justification in this hadeeth for this extravaganze!

Jareer Ibn ‘Abdullaah (RA) said: – "We (i.e the Companions) would consider it a form of lamenting and mourning to gather at the deceased's house to eat from there" (Ibn Majaahlsaheeh). And it is known from authentic narrations that crying on the deceased loudly, lamenting and mourning are actions of the people before Islaam and are unlawful according to the majority of the pious predecessors. In his Sham Saheeh Muslim (1/303), an-Nawawee (RAH) stated that there is ijmaa' (consensus) on this; and it is also understood from the statement of Jareer that eating from the deceased's house is equally unlawful.

As for the correct meaning of the hadeeth; Imaam Shaafiee (RAH) has said: – "That I prefer or like for the relatives of the deceased that on the day of the death they prepare so much food for the [immediate] household [of the deceased] that will last them the day and night so that they are satisfied because this is the Sunnah and it is good. And this is the action of the people of good before and after us; because when the news of the death of Ja'far reached the Messenger of A11aah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) he said "Prepare food for the House of Ja ‘far because that thing has come to them that has preoccupied them. "[ Kitaabu/­Umm (1/317)]

All the schools of Islamic law disapprove of the deceased's family preparing food for the people coming to pay them condolences, for it adds to their grief and further encumbers them unnecessarily. Such a practice would also resemble the custom of the Arabs before Islam. Some scholars consider it to be absolutely forbidden (haram). Muwaffiqud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah (d.620H) wrote: ‘'The food that is prepared for the people by the deceased's family is disliked (makrooh) because by this the family is further pushed into trouble and unnecessary pre-occupation and also there is resembling (mushabbahah) the polytheists and the people of ignorance." (al-Mughnee) Ibn Hajar al-Makkee ash-Shaafi'ee was questioned:

"What is the hukm (ruling) on the food that is prepared in the deceased's house for the fuqaraa' [The poor, destitute] on the third and the seventh day"? He replied, "All the things mentioned in the question are all prohibited innovations. (bida'mamnoo'ah). II (Fataawaa Kubraa)

From the Malikee school, Ibn Ameer al-Haaj (d.737H) wrote: ‘'Some people have introduced this innovation that on the third day they prepare food at the deceased's house and this is a nonn amongst and within them." [Butl ‘'preparing the food of the deceased and the gathering of the people, then there is no menaon of this but it is an innovation and disliked. " [al-Madkhal} Ibn Shihaab Kardaree Hanafee wrote: "The three days feasting is disliked (makrooh) and so is the food because feasting is at the times of happiness and preparing food on the first, second and third is also disliked and likewise after a week (seven days). (Fataawaa Bazzaaziyyah)

This is also the position of the scholars. Imaam Nawawee stated in Shamul-Minhaaj: "That gathering at the grave on the third day and distributing roses (flowers) and incense and feeding the people within specific days i.e. the third, fifth, ninth, tenth, twentieth, fortieth, sixth month and after a year, then all in all these actions are prohibited innovations (bida' mamnoo'ah) "

Fidau prayer

This practice is not established in the sunnah of Allaah's Messenger. Shedding more light on the issue, Sheikh M. S. AI-Munajjid, a prominent saudi Muslim lecturer and author, says:

"What happens in some Muslim countries – where the friends and relatives of the deceased gather after 40 days to read the Qur'an, make du' a' for him and remember him – is undoubtedly a reprehensible bid' ah, for which no authority has been revealed by Allah. It is not permissible to take part in or attend such gatherings. We have to speak out against such practices. The Muslim should pray for his brother at all times, not only for three days after his death, or forty days or one year later, etc. May Allah help us to follow the Sunnah, and may He bless our Prophet Muhammad."

Almighty Allah states in the Qur'an, "0 you who believe! Obey Allaah and His Messenger … " (AI-Anfal: 20) The life of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) is indeed the best example for us to follow. During the time of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) many of his family members, his wives, daughters, uncles and his illustrious companions left the world. Despite the Prophet's deep love for them, he did not (on any single occasion) commemorate the innovative custom of having a special prayer 7 days, 40 days, 100 days, etc, after their death.

The Hadith is clear, in that, the immediate family should mourn for three days. There is no basis in the Shari' ah to commemorate any Muslim's death at intervals of after 3, 7, or 40 days.

It is not exactly clear as to the source of observing special functions forty days after death. We, as Muslims, follow the Glorious Qur'an and the life. model of our beloved Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam)."

When the Muslims pray janazah for their deceased brother, they are granted intercession for him. The more the number of Muslims who join in the prayer, the more beneficial it is for the deceased.

Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: "Whenever a (Muslim) person dies, and a group of Muslims numbering one hundred pray janazah for him, all interceding on his behalf; their intercession is granted (by Allaah) and he is forgiven. "(Muslim and others).

Ibn ‘Abbas rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, "Whenever a Muslim dies, and forty men stand for his janazah prayer, all of them not

joining anything with Allaah in worship, Allaah grants them intercession for him." (Muslim and others).

Maymunah rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, "Whenever a (Muslim) person dies, and a group of (Muslim) people pray janazah for him, they are granted intercession for him. "(an-Nasa'i, verified hasan by al-Albaanee, sahih ul­jami'. no. 5787).

Maalik ibn Hubayrah rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, "Whenever a Muslim dies, and three lines of Muslims pray janazah for him, he is granted forgiveness. " (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others)

Any good deed that a Muslim initiated during his lifetime, and that is of renewed benefit and ongoing use for the Muslims, will continue to benefit him and augment his record of good deeds, even after his departure – as long as its benefits continue to reach others. Allaah says – "We record that (deeds) which they have put forward and their traces (that which they have left behind)." (Yaa-Seen 36:12)

Abu Hurayrah rahimahullaah reported that Altaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: "When a human being dies, all of his deeds are terminated except for three types: an ongoing sadaqah, a knowledge (of Islaam) hom which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes du'aa for him. "(Muslim and others).

The reason that one continues to receive rewards for these deeds even though they are done by other people, is that he had initiated'them during his life or contributed to them to a certain degree, whether little or large. Since Allaah does not neglect an atom's weight of deeds, He records these contribution for a person even after his death.

Ones child is from his earning

The above hadiths indicate that a righteous child benefits his deceased parents with du'aa. It is further demonstrated here that he can benefit them by spending sadaqah, as well as doing other charitable deeds, on their behalf. ‘Aishah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘'Indeed the best that one eats is that which he earns. And his child is from his earning. "(Ahmad, Abu Dawud  and others. Verified sahih by al-Albaanee in Akhaam ul-Jana'iz, 217).

The reason for this is that a parent benefits himself by rearing his child according to the teachings of Islaam, and exerting a consistent effort to raise him as a righteous person. As the child grows into adulthood and does righteous deeds, his parents deserve a merit in that they helped him accomplish that and his good actions are therefore, at least in part, from his parents' earning.

A'ishah rahimahullaah reported that a man asked Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, "My mother had a sudden death, and did not have chance to bequeath anything. Had she been able to do, I think that she would have given sadaqah. Would she or I get any rewards if I give sadaqah on her behalf?" He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, "Yes! So give sadaqah on her behalf" (al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others).

Ibn ‘Abbas rahimahullaah reported that sa'd bin ‘Ubadah's mother died during his absence on a trip. He came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and asked him, "0 Allaah's Messenger! My mother has passed away during my absence. Would it be of benefit to her if. I give sadaqah on her behalf?" He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, "Yes!" He said, "Be my witness then that I give my fruitful garden as sadaqah on her behalf."

Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr rahimahullaah reported that al-'Aas bin Waa'il as-sahmee (his grandfather) bequeathed that one hundred slaves be freed on his behalf. His son, Hishaam freed fifty; and ‘Amr wanted to free the other fifty, but decided to ask Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam first. He came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, "0 Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! My father has bequeathed that one hundred slaves be freed on his behalf. Hishaam has freed fifty and fifty are left. Should I free them for him?" He replied: "Had he been a Muslim, your freeing slaves, giving sadaqah, or perfonning Hajj on his behalf would all have reached (in rewards) and benefited him." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Bayhaqi, verified hasan by al-Albaanee, in Akhaam ul-Jana'iz, 218).

Commenting on these hadiths, ash-Shawkaani said: "This indicates that the rewards for a sadaqah from a child reach the parents after their death – even if they had not bequeathed.

Aa'ishah rahimahullaah reported that Allah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

"Whoever dies while he has a fasting to fulfill (as a vow) his wali' (kin/guardian) should fast for him. "(al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others).

Ibn Abbas rahimahullaah reported that a woman was travelling in the sea, and she vowed that if Allaah saved her she would fast for one month. Allaah saved her, but she died before fulfilling her vow. Her daughter came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and mentioned this to him. He asked ‘'Had she owed money as debt, wouldn't you have paid it on her behalf?" She replied, "Yes". He said: "Allaah's debt is more worthy of being fulfilled. So fulfill (the vow) for your mother." (al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others).

Standing guard in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala benefits a person after his death. Fudaalah ibn ‘Ubayd and ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: "The deeds of a dead person are sealed (at the time of death) except the one who stands guard i the way of Allaah/ his good deeds continue to increase until the Day· of Resurrection and he is protected from the trial of the grave. " (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, and others, verified sahih by al-Albaanee in Sahih ul-Jami' no. 4562).

Calling to a forgotten Sunnah or fighting an established bid'ah are among the most important charitable deeds that a person can do during his lifetime. They help revive Allaah's deen to Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam .

. Allaah's Messenger said: ‘'He who initiates in Islaam a good way gets his reward for it, as well as rewards similar to those who follow him into it, without reducing any of their rewards. And he who initiates in Islaam an evil way gets his burden for it, as well as burdens similar to those who follow him into it, without reducing any of their burdens. "He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then recited: "We record that which they have done, as well as their traces – and We have enumerated everything in a clear book." (36:12). (Muslim, Ahmad and others, Ahkaam ul-Janaa'iz, 224-226).

 

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