Holding festivals to bid farewell to a pilgrim and to welcome him
Fatwa No: 115708

Question

Assalaamu Alaikum. In some cultures, gatherings and celebrations are held for Hajjis before leaving to Makkah and when they are received back home. Is it the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam? What do you think of these traditions? I am afraid that such celebrations could be some sort of showing off that may lessen the benefits gained from Hajj. I look forward to your response as I have been searching through the web for answers but could not find any. May Allaah bless you.

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

It is not an act of Sunnah to organize a festival to bid farewell to a pilgrim (when he sets off for Hajj) or to welcome him (when he comes back), and believing that it is a Sunnah to organize such a festival is a religious innovation. Moreover, if the purpose of organizing a festival is showing off, then this is a sin, and showing off invalidates acts of good deeds; Allaah Says (what means): {And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate [anything] with Allaah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.}[Quran 39:65]

However, it is permissible to just gather to say good bye to a pilgrim as well as to welcome him  when he comes back in order to say Salaam to him, even if this gathering is accompanied with serving food as an act of being grateful to Allaah. Indeed the jurists  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them when mentioning the desirable food invitations, they mentioned among them the food that is prepared for someone who comes back from a travel and the food that a person who returns from a travel prepares for the people who visit him. This is in regard to a person who comes back from a travel, whether it is from Hajj or else; for more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 83649.

Allaah Knows best.

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