The facility for washing the deceased at Imam Faisal ibn Turky Mosque in Dammam

Fatwa no. 19530 Praise be to Allah, Alone, and Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet after whom there is no other.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has read letter no. (22/1/250) dated 19/2/1418 which was sent to His Eminence, the Grand Mufty from His Excellency, the Director of the Center for Islamic Call and Guidance in Al-Dammam. Attached was a request for a Fatwa submitted by the official in charge of the facility for washing the deceased in Dammam, Muhammad Al-Kathiry. The request was referred to the Committee of the Council of Senior Scholars in letter no. (1237) dated 24/2/1418 and included (Part No. 7; Page No. 346) the inquirer's question as follows:As you know (may Allah keep you), people in this country, praise be to Allah, are keen to follow the Sunnah (acts, sayings or approvals of the Prophet Muhammad) and avoid all forms of Bid`ah (heresy in religion), following the example of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of the Muslims Ummah. With this in mind, we receive an influx of inquiries on what occurs in the Dammam cemetery. After burials, a mobile platform is erected with steps for the consolers' when entering and exiting to offer their condolences to the family of the deceased. In this regard, we deemed it necessary to ask for a Fatwa. After burial, people in great number gather around the mobile platform, and this gave rise to some inappropriate personal behaviors from some individuals, with difference of opinions between those who support the erection of such platforms and those who do not.Attached is a report by a member of the Guidance Center in Al-Dammam, Sheikh `Aly ibn Husayn Al-Bin`aliy, in which he stated the following:In reference to your Eminence's instructions concerning the letter sent by the official in charge of the facility for washing the dead at Imam Faisal ibn Turk Mosque in Al-Dammam, which referred to an inquiry about the permissibility of a mobile platform with steps for the purpose of receiving those who wish to offer their condolences to the families of the deceased following the burial and his request for a Fatwa on this issue, we wish to inform you that the above-mentioned platform has been in use for some years. It is a ten meter long and three meter wide, an iron structure mobilizes on wheels to facilitate it positioning near to the burial spot. (Part No. 7; Page No. 347) This platform is shaded with an iron canopy and surrounded on three sides with an iron railing to prevent anyone from falling over. The fourth side is completely sealed off and a long iron bench is placed against it for seating the consolers. The platform rises one meter above the ground with fitted steps at both ends with entrance and exit signs. It was basically erected in order to protect the people from the heat of the sun especially in summer. The bereaved relatives of the deceased line up on it and people enter to offer their condolences after burial. It is painted in green. These are the facts I gathered concerning this platform. Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions.

After the Fatwa Committee examined the matter, it concluded that his Eminence, the Mufty, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim (may Allah have mercy upon him) has previously issued a fatwa on 16/5/1377 A.H. As did the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' in Fatwa no. (4474) dated 23/3/1402 A.H. from the Council of Senior Scholars Assembly no. (684/2) on 8/3/1410 A.H. both of which maintained the banning of erecting a platform to receive condolences by the grave entrance since this will lead to other acts of corruption and because the Salaf were not known to have practiced this. Any canopies (Part No. 7; Page No. 348) that have been erected in the old sites of the cemetery must be removed in order to block all means of deceptive arguments. Based on this, it is of greater priority to prohibit the mobile iron platform from the cemetery.May Allah grant you success! May Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!