What is the ruling of sitting in mo...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

What is the ruling of sitting in mourning and reciting Qur’an over the dead at a wake?


What is the ruling of sitting in mourning and reciting Qur’an over the dead at a wake?


Al-Ta’ziyah (mourning) has the linguistic meaning of one who has been afflicted having patience, and this is the meaning that is used by the jurists. Al-Nawawi said, “It is the order to have patience, to bear it for the promise of reward, cautioning against sin, and praying for forgiveness for the deceased and for the righting of the calamity for those suffering.”

There is no difference of opinion among the jurists concerning the well-liked nature of mourning when one is befallen with calamity. The evidence for its well-liked nature is the saying of the Prophet, “Whoever pays their respects to one afflicted has a reward similar to theirs;” and his saying, “There is not a believer who pays his respects to his brother in affliction but that God clothes him in the finery of generosity on the Day of Resurrectiuon.”

The jurists have differed concerning the family of the deceased sitting in one place to receive mourners. Some of them have deemed it disliked due to what it comprises of inciting and reminding people of sorrow, while others have deemed it permissible. Sheikh Muhammad ibn Muhammad known as al-Hutab, one of the imams of the Maliki schools, said, “…Sanad said, ‘It is permissible for a man to sit for mourning. A’ishah said, ‘When Zayd ibn Harithah, Ja’far ibn Abi Talib, and ‘Abdullah ibn Rawahah were killed, the Prophet sat in the mosque and sadness was apparent on his face.’ ’”

The hadith of A’ishah that al-Hutab the Maliki used as evidence has been used by some scholars as eveidence for the permissibility of sitting in mourning whether it be in a mosque or in another place.

Ibn ‘Abdin the Hanafi muhaqiq said, “(His saying, ‘By sitting here’) meaning in mourning. Its use in its actual meaning here is fine because it is in opposition to what is better as has been stated in Sharh al-Munyah. In al-ahkam ‘an khazanah al-fatawa [it says], ‘There is a license for men to sit for three days due to an affliction, but women should not sit at all.’ Then it said, ‘But in al-Dhahiriyah it says ‘It is alright for the deceased family [to do so] in their home or in the mosque while people come and pay their respects to them.’”

Based on the preceding, it is our opinion that there is nothing wrong with sitting in mourning with the Qur’an being recited, regardless of whether it is at home or in a mosque, with the condition that it does not promote grief, annoy the neighbors with the volume of the recitation, or infringe on the public thoroughfare by erecting tents that make it hard for people to pass, for all of these things are impermissible since they include an infringement on the rights of others. If these things are avoided, then it is permissible and there is nothing wrong with it. And God is Most High and Knows best.

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