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FIDAU AND DEATH OF CELEBRATION IN OUR SOCIETY



By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori


In our contemporary society, if a young person dies, the fidau (innovated gathering for the dead) will not exceed three (3) days. You will hear people saying: "aa bu saara se ni" (we would hurriedly do the sadaqah). But if an elderly person dies, they will count complete eight (8) days for the fidau. Although, the economic situation in the country has made them to start reducing the days as they so wish, whether the dead is young or old. They regard the death of an elderly person as something that calls for celebration. They took this practise from the Kuffaar. 

For instance, when Christians lose an elderly person, they will tag the burial as "celebration of life well spent". To them, a good life is based on age and worldly achievements. It is unfortunate that these are the kind of people a lot Muslims now follow today. You will hear them saying: "oku oka ni" (it is a death of yam flour). No wonder, 'amala' is the main food they usually serve to guests who attend the events. They will eat, eat and eat. 

The important question we need to ask here is: who gave them all these funeral directives? It is certainly not Allaah or His beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. They gave it to themselves and regulate it the way they so wish. This is why bid'ah and imitation of kuffar is so dangerous. They give room for all kinds of evils. That is why bid'ah, if not properly curtailed could easily lead to shirk. Those who engage in fidau do it in such a way that you will think it is a must for them to do it. They hold it so firm in their hearts as if anyone who fails to do it is a kaafir. 

If you advise them not to do it not being part of Islaam (Sunnah), they will look at as if you are not a Muslim. They will tell you that is how our forfathers did it. This means that it is our forefathers they rely on in doing it because the matter of fidau is not from Allaah or His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. Those who engage in it are doing what some people have laid down for them in the deen, without the permission of Allaah or the support of his Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. This is dangerous. Regarding this kind of matter, Allaah says: 

(أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُمْ مِنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَنْ بِهِ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ)

Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment. [Surat Ash-Shura 21]

This is one of the ways by which shaitan mislead people. Shaitan would deceive people to innovate in the deen of Allaah, and would feed them with some excuses they would use to defend themselves. Shaitan would inspire them to lie against those who are comdemning their evil acts. When they are advised to shun innovations in burial services, they would say they are being discouraged not to pray for the dead. Praying for the dead is from the Sunnah. But the prayers must be done in accordance with the Sunnah.

It is easy to know when something is driven by innovation (bid'ah) or desire (hawaa'). The modalities of doing it will be inspired by shaytaan, dictated by human thoughts and desires. When something is not from the Sunnah, the way to do it will never be found in the Sunnah. 

Let's stop deceiving ourselves, there is nothing like fidau in Islaam. The Sunnah is to always pray for the deceaseds individually anytime we remember them. No gathering is required. Many people died among the relatives and Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, how many days of fidau did he do? A Companion, Jareer ibn 'Abdillah al-Bajali رضي الله عنه said they used to regard gathering at the house of a deceased as an act of an-niyaahah (wailing).

Someone lost his father. On the day they wanted to do their traditional fidau, he went to his place of work because fidau is not from Islaam. But his colleagues in the office went for the fidau leaving their place of work. Please, what is the meaning of this? Do they love his father better than him? It is an obligation upon every Muslim to prefer the Sunnah to any other thing. 

May Allaah lower the status of bid'ah and elevate the status of Sunnah in our society


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