Q: This question is related to offering condolences.
Did the Prophet (peace be upon him) use to raise his hands and recite Surah (Qur'anic chapter) Al-Fatihah as our Sudanese brothers do?
It is also their habit that they meet with the bereaved family on Fridays at the flat of the association in
Huge numbers of Sudanese brothers, more than 500 persons, stay there from `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer to `Isha' (Night) Prayer. Each one gives five riyals to the bereaved family. They drink tea and some of them even smoke cigarettes. Because of this occasion of exchanging condolences, some of them abandon the congregational Salah (Prayer) on all week days except Fridays just to attend the Khutbah (sermon). We told them that this practice is tantamount to Bid`ah (innovation in religion) but they replied that they are just following the habit of their ancestors. Finally, they asked me to provide an official letter from you regarding this matter.
If the matter is exactly as what is mentioned in the question, this practice is a Bid`ah for it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever did any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.