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Q: What is the status of ‘Khatam’ in the Shari’ah, where food is also offered after three days, forty days, etc. upon the death of a relative?

A: When a person passes away, it is an act of worshipand great reward to attend his funeral. The moralobligation to attend to his funeral and console his/her family will be according to his relationship withThe miracle of numbers in the Quran – FUNCI – Fundacion de Cultura Islamica the deceased.

According to the Shariah, the period of mourning is only three days. It is not permissible to mourn for more than three days. One may console and express condolences to the bereaved family. The practice of mourning the death by reciting Quran as a custom on Thursdays or the third day, etc. has no basis in the Shariah. It is an act of Bidah. Rasoolullah (s.a.w.) condemned all acts of Bidah and stated that all acts of Bidah leads one to the fire of hell. It is advisable for people close to the deceased, friends and relatives, to read (on an individual basis not collectively) for the deceased and send the reward for him. There is more ikhlaas and sincerity in that.

It is permissible for friends to gather at the house of the person who lives abroad and whose close family members had passed away to console and comfort him. In this situation too, it is not permissible to practise any form of Bidah like gathering specifically for reciting the Quran, etc. One may offer duaas for the bereaved family and deceased, for example, “MayAllah (s.w.t.) grant you sabr, “May Allah (s.w.t.) forgive the deceased, “May Allah (s.w.t.) grant the deceased high status in Jannah, etc.Almighty Allah (s.w.t.) states in the Noble Quran, “O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger” (Quran 8:20)

The life of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is indeed the best example for us to follow. During the time of theProphet (s.a.w.) many of his family members, his wives, daughters, uncles and his illustrious companions left the world. Despite the Prophets(s.a.w.) 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.