Not Cooking for a Certain Period in the House of Deceased
Fatwa No: 83848

Question

1) In Bangladesh, we have a rule that in a house if anyone dies, for 40 days nobody can cook any food in that house. And also seeing TV is prohibited. After 3 days and 40 days, there must be a gathering (a crowd of people pray for him/her). After that, food are given to the peoples who prayed. Will you please tell me if there is any certain ruling like these?2) Another question is, is it OK to give flower or light a candle or throw sent on a grave? I went to the grave of Hazrat Shah Jalal (Rahmatullah Alaihi) in Sylhet, Bangladesh recently. I saw peoples doing so.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

As for giving up cooking food in the house of the deceased for forty days and then holding a party and serving food for the meeting on the occasion of supplicating for the deceased, we state that such a work is a Bid'ah (innovation) in religion, which Allah forbids, and every Bid'ah is misguidance.

Thus, the doers of such an act have to repent and return to Allah, The Great and Almighty, and have to follow the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) before death takes them by surprise.

As for watching TV, it is unlawful to watch what is forbidden on TV, such as woman's images, or to listen to songs and music on all days, at all times and all places. But, if people leave out such forbidden action for fixed days due to the death of someone, you have to seize such an opportunity and urge people to leave out what is forbidden forever. However, to avoid watching TV - even lawful things - due to the death of someone constitutes a Bid'ah and a form of legislation which Allah has not sent down.

As to lightening candles, spraying perfumes, and building tombs or plastering them, then such a work is prohibited by Allah and His Messenger. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) curbed people's glorification of tombs via lights, candles or even building up a mosque around some tomb.

Ibn 'Abbas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: “Allah's Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) cursed those females who visit tombs, those who build up mosques on them, and those who light candles (for tomb's inhabitant)” [Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa'i, At-Tirmithi and others]

Allah knows best.

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