Please give me a ruling about the condolences to be given to the deceased’s family. The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There should be no sitting for condolences.” What should the deceased’s family do if their relatives come for condolences from far off places and it is difficult on them to leave once the deceased is buried? They are forced to spend a night or two with his family. Are the relatives sinful by that act? Many thanks.
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 ruling pertinent to sitting for condolences is open to difference in opinions among the scholars between unfavorableness and permissibility. In his commentary in Fat-h Al-Baari, Al Hafith ibn Hajar talks about the Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah . She said that when the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, received the news of the martyrdom of Zayd ibn Haarithah, Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib and ‘Abdullaah ibn Rawaahah : “He sat down with signs of grief visible on his face,” Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar said: “Another benefit of this Hadeeth implies the permissibility of sitting for condolences with tranquility and reverence.”
There is agreement among the scholars on the fact that condoling a Muslim because of his calamity is an act of the Sunnah. In confirmation, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “He who condoles a person stricken with a calamity receives the like of his reward (for patience on it).” [Ibn Maajah and At-Tirmithi: Ghareeb] He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “He who condoles his brother because of a calamity, Allaah will Dress him in the dresses of dignity on the Day of Resurrection.” [Ibn Maajah]
We have not found the Hadeeth you mentioned, “There should be no sitting for condolences.” As for the fact that the relatives coming from afar sit (with the deceased’s family), there is no harm in it because there is a dire need or necessity for it and by it the difficulty is removed. In this case it is a sitting for a dire need and not for condolences.
Allaah Knows best.
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