Ruling on extravagant and lavishness during funerals


What is the ruling on extravagance in funerals? The bereaved family serve dinners for those who come to offer condolences. There are also some customs that have spread, such as holding a ceremony for people to come and offer condolences again on the third, eighth, and fortieth day after death.


This is baseless; it is a Bid’ah (innovation in Islam), Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect), and one of the deeds of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance). It is impermissible to make dinners for the people who come to offer condolences, either on the first, third, fourth, fortieth or any other day after death. All these are groundless Bid’ahs and practices of Jahiliyyah. The bereaved family should rather praise Allah, be patient, thank Him (Glorified and Exalted be He) for His Decree, and ask Him to help them bear the suffering. They should not make dinner for the people who come to offer their condolences to the family.

Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah Al-Bajaly (may Allah be pleased with him), a noble Companion of the Prophet, said, “We considered gathering in the house of the bereaved family and cooking food after burial an act of wailing.” (Related by Imam Ahmad with a good Isnad (chain of narration)).

The Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) considered wailing prohibited, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade it. However, it is permissible for relatives and neighbors to send them meals, as they are too grieved to think of cooking. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was told of the death of Ja’far ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) in the Battle of Mu’tah in Jordan, he (peace be upon him) asked his family to send meals to Ja’far’s family, as “they were too grieved then.” 1

As for the bereaved family, they should not serve food for other people, either on the first day, the third, fourth, tenth, or any other day. There is no wrong in cooking for themselves or their guests. What is prohibited is gathering people and serving them meals, as it is contradictory to the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet).

  1. Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, Book on funerals, no. 998; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on funerals, no. 3132; Ibn Majah, Sunan, Book on funerals, no. 1610; and Ahmad, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 205.