Feeding the deceased’s family before burial

Q. My father passed away and his family and friends travelled from across the country to attend his funeral. Before the funeral, there was confusion regarding feeding his family and friends attending the funeral. Some people were saying that we cannot feed family and friends at that time. Kindly advise?

A. There is no prohibition in feeding people before the burial of the deceased. In fact, other people are advised to prepare and send food for the deceased family during their time of bereaving the demise of the deceased. Consider the following:

It is reported that when Ja’far (Radiallahu Anhu) was killed, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam went to His family and said: “The family of Ja’far are busy with the matter of their deceased, so prepare food for them.” (Ibn Majah)

Note: This does not mean that a feast should be conducted. It is simply a form of consideration for the deceased family to ease their burden at such a trying time of grief and sadness. Furthermore, it is incorrect and impermissible to utilize funds from the deceased estate without the consent of the surviving heirs of the deceased to feed family members as this wealth now belongs to all the rightful heirs of the deceased. By doing so, one would be usurping the rights of the surviving heirs.

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa