Offering food at graves is an innovation
Fatwa No: 11197

Question

Is it permissible to distribute bread or any kind of food as charity on behalf of the dead person at a graveyard?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

 

The custom of offering bread and food at a graveyard  by the relatives of a dead person on the forty-day memorial and the annual memorial and hiring someone to recite the Quran on  these occasions are different forms of Bid'ah (a religious innovation), because they have no basis in the Quran or Sunnah.

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that if anyone introduces something new (i.e. innovates) into this religion, it will be rejected from him. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was also narrated on the authority of Jaabir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, judged that introducing something new into this religion is a Bid’ah, and said that every Bid’ah is a misguidance.

Therefore, whoever wants to give charity on behalf of  a dead person should do this away from the graves.  

Allaah Knows best.

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