Ceremonies after Death

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Q.) I would like to know the authentic opinion of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaat regarding "Quran Khawani", and "Chehlum." Is it permissible, in which conditions, and what brings it to the category of innovation? Please provide some Hadith regarding this matter, I would really appreciate it. [Yaser, Pakistan]

A.) Almighty Allah Taala states in the Noble Quran, "O' you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger…" [Al-Anfal 8:20] The life of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is indeed the best example for us to follow. During the time of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu 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 function 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 Shariah to commemorate any Muslim’s death at intervals of 7 days, etc.

It is not exactly clear as to the source of observing special functions forty days after death. We, as Muslims, follow the Noble Quran and the life model of our beloved Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. And Allah Taala Knows Best.