Q&A (Fatwa)

#419: Ruling on Paying Condolences to the Family that lost a Non-Muslim


” Assalamu Alykum warahmatullah
Admin pls is it permissible to pay condolence visit t …to a Muslim family over their non Muslim child’s death? Pls I’m waiting for the response @ admin”


Wa alaykum salaam warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh


The Fuqahaa have differed on the ruling of this.

Maalik’s position on this states that it depends on the situation and the intention.

Some of the Imaams like Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i – rahimahullaah – and Abu Hanifah – in one of his fatwas – hold that it is permissible to pay condolences to a Muslim who lost a Kaafir relative or a Kaafir who lost a relative as long as the Kaafir in question is a Dhimmi (Muslim subject).

Ref: Al-Majmu’ 5/275; Haashiyatu Ibn ‘Aabidin 3/140

Imaam Ibn Qudaamah Al-Maqdisi – rahimahullaah – (d.620H) said:

“And Ahmad (Ibn Hanbal) was silent over paying condolences to the Ahlu Adh-Dhimmah – and it is a matter that is compared to visiting their sick. About it there are two narrations from Ahmad first of which is that it isn’t permissible to pay their sick visit and therefore not permissible to pay them condolences. The reason is the Prophet – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – said: “do not initiate the Salaam to them” – this applies to it.
The second (narration from him) : we can pay them visit when they are sick due to what was narrated by Anas Ibn Maalik – radiyallaahu ‘an hu – who said: there was a Jewish boy that served the Prophet – salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam – and when he became ill, the Prophet – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – visited him and sat by his head and said: ‘become Muslim’. He (the boy) looked at his father who was by his side who said to him: ‘obey Aba Al-Qaasim’ (the Rasul). He then became Muslim and the Prophet – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – came out of the house saying: ‘Praise be to Allaah who saved him from hell.’ Based on this (Hadith) we pay them condolences.”

Al-Mughni 3/486

The hadith Imaam Ibn Qudaamah refered to is recorded by Al-Bukhaari in the Sahih.

Imaam An-Nawawi – rahimahullaah – said:

“And it is permissible for a Muslim to condone a Dhimmi kaafir for the loss of a Dhimmi relative and he should say ‘may Allah make you be inherited by many and not reduce you in number'”

Rawdatu At-Taalibin 2/145

Their are several narrations where the Companions visited Kaafirs who are dhimmis and are not enemy of Muslims to pay condolences to them when they lose any relatives.

Therefore, though the Ulamaa differed on this, it is permissible to say condolences to the Muslim who lost a Kaafir relative under the following conditions:

1. The kaafir that passed away isn’t of those that are hostile and repugnant of Islam. Rather, of those that were of great help to the Muslim who is being condoled.

2. That you don’t pray for the dead kaafir for forgiveness and mercy. This is clearly Haraam.

Allāhu A’alam

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

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