Ruling holding a funeral ceremony for the deceased

Question:

My mother (may Allah be merciful to her) gave me around LE 5,000 to invest for her, but she died on 2/8/1983 A.D. I have spent around LE 2,000 on her funeral ceremony and Sadaqah (voluntary charity) on her behalf for the sake of Allah (Exalted be He). Therefore, the sum in my possession which belongs to all heirs was LE 3,000, and it remained with me for a whole year till 12/7/1984 A.D. This sum of money was put in an investment project and yielded a profit of LE 545.

After that, I distributed LE 3,000 to the heirs, but I did not distribute the profit which was LE 545 as I thought to distribute it to the poor. However, I have not done this up till now. All the heirs know this well. One of my sisters came and gave me a sum of LE 200 to distribute it for the sake of Allah (Exalted be He), or as a donation to a Masjid (mosque) on behalf of our mother, but I kept the money and did not spend it on the intended purpose.

My share in my mother’s estate was LE 300, and the Zakah on me for one full year from 1983 to 1984 A.D. was LE 1100, but I did not pay it. I also intended to pay a sum of LE 611 as Sadaqah to the poor on behalf of my mother, but I did not. One of my relatives gave me LE 40 to spend as Sadaqah for the sake of Allah (Exalted be He) on behalf of my mother also, but I did not pay it as well. Two days before my mother’s death, she told me that she had to pay a sum of LE 80 as Zakah, and she asked me to pay this sum for her, but I did not. The purpose of not spending these sums was as follows:

I collected the mentioned sums which were 545 + 200 + 300 +1100 + 611+ 40 + 80 with a grand total of LE 2,876, then I put the money in an investment project in compliance with Islamic Shari’ah (Islamic law) in Egypt on 22/7/1984 A.D. I aimed at distributing the annual profit of this sum to the poor provided that the capital of this sum would be paid for the sake of Allah (Exalted be He). I authorized another Muslim brother to conduct this matter with me and I gave him the freedom to distribute the money to the poor in my absence. I aimed at increasing the capital through the donations of other Muslim brothers and Sadaqah or Zakah and this would result in increasing the profit and thus, increasing the number of poor receiving these donations. I had a good intention behind all that I did, in-sha’a Allah.

My question now is: Am I right in doing this and should I go on investing this sum, which is LE 2,876 and persist in increasing the capital through Muslim brothers by means of Sadaqah or Zakah that they pay, then distributing the profit to the poor provided that the capital would be for the sake of Allah (Exalted be He) at the end? Or should I distribute this sum to the poor and stop this project? I hope that Your Eminence would provide me with a prompt reply by post, so I stop doing this if there is anything wrong.

Answer:

First, offering funeral ceremonies for the dead is impermissible, so you have to repay the money that you spent on the funeral ceremony to the heirs.

Second, any permissible profits yielded from the invested money belong to the heirs, thus, it should be distributed to them unless they willingly give them up.

Third, you should pay the due Zakah for the year 1983, and that of your mother to the entitled persons mentioned in the saying of Allah (Exalted be He): “As-Sadaqât (here it means Zakât) are only for the Fuqarâ’ (poor), and the Masâkin (needy) and those employed to collect (the funds)” [al-Tawbah: 60] The same goes for the rest of the Sadaqah; for none of this money should be invested; rather, it should be paid to them.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  • Date: Muharram 12, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 9508
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan