Condolence for the deceased

Q109 :You have mentioned in the past that it is not proper that the relatives of a deceased person stay at a particular house or place for people to come and offer their condolences. In a book on Hadith I have read that when the news of the martyrdom of Zaid ibn Harithah and Jaffer ibn Abu Talib reached Madinah, the Prophet sat in the mosque and grief could be seen in his face. Muhammad Ali commenting on this Hadith says: "To sit in some place so that people may come and express their sympathy with and console the bereaved family, is, therefore, in accordance with the Prophet's practice." Please clarify.


A109 : The Hadith you have quoted mentions only that the Prophet sat in the mosque, but there is no mention in the Hadith itself that he sat there for the purpose of receiving condolences by his companions. We cannot conclude from that Hadith anything more than the fact that, on receiving the sorry news of the death of his commanders, the Prophet announced that to his companions and made himself available. He sat in the mosque, feeling very sad. It was only natural that his companions, particularly those who were close to him, should come to find out whether he was planning anything to support the Muslim army which suffered a defeat. Again, it is natural that those who arrived in the mosque should offer their condolences to the Prophet. This is exactly what I have said, that the offering of condolences should be left to the time when we meet the relatives of the deceased [ which may be immediately upon hearing the news of the death]. Had the Prophet encouraged, or even permitted, the organizing of any type of function, or the assembly of the relatives in a particular place for people to come at a particular time to offer their condolences, as happens in many Muslim societies these days, these practices would have been followed each time one of the Muslims in Madinah died. It would have been reported to us, particularly since a good number of the Prophet's companions died in wars or in time of peace in those ten years when he founded the Muslim state in Madinah. Muhammad Ali has based his conclusion on this single incident, which does not suggest what he has concluded. May I ask whether this Muhammad Ali is the same as the Quadiani person who has translated the Qur'an? If so, then you should not take what he says because he is not a proper source from which to learn about Islam.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )