Q 3: What
is the ruling on gathering at the house of the family of a deceased person on the day following his death to supplicate,
try to relieve their sorrow and to console them for a period of three days or more? Some scholars have permitted doing this and others have forbidden it except in case of the Imam (ruler) so as to offer condolence, knowing that no one has submitted the evidence on this.
It is permissible to offer condolences to the bereaved family, its grown-ups and the juniors, with the intention of alleviating their grief, helping them to have patience and endure what they have been inflicted with. This is because of the general meaning that is implied in the Hadith
that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Whoever consoles a bereaved person, will have a reward similar to that of the bereaved (on being patient)''.
Al-Tirmidhy classified this Hadith as Gharib (a Hadith with a single narrator usually at the beginning of the chain of narration). This is also based on what was related by
Ibn Majah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever consoles their Muslim brothers for a disaster that inflicts them, Allah will dress them in a garment of honor on the Day of Resurrection.
The chain of narrators of this Hadith includes
Qays Abu `Imarah Al-Farisy - the Freed Slave from Al-Ansar (Helpers, inhabitants of Madinah who supported the Prophet), and it was classified as "Layyin Al-Hadith" (the Hadith includes a sort of deficiency but is not deemed weak). However, since all the Hadiths mentioned in the consolation support each other, they can be taken as evidence (Part No. 9; Page No. 140) to prove the validity of offering condolences without sitting and gathering for this purpose. This is because it is Makruh (disliked) to do this even for one day or more, as it was not authentically reported that either the Prophet (peace be upon him) or any of his Rightly-Guided Caliphs did this. Moreover, sitting and gathering with the bereaved family for a day or more leads to stirring up their grief and distracting them from returning to their normal life activities.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.