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Thursday 23 November 2017  
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Home » Faith and Creed

Offerings to Dead People
Question:

Some people in my country worship other than Allaah, Glorious is He. They have a traditional custom that whenever a person dies they kill a cow or a sheep or any animal. After killing it, they distribute its meat among some Muslims who live around them. But those Muslims refuse to accept it, saying it is unlawful. Thereupon they told those Muslims, Take a cow and kill it in your own way, so that it will be a charitable gift on behalf of the dead person, who worshipped other than Allaah, the Exalted. Is it permissible for us to take that cow and slaughter it, according to our Islamic ritual, and distribute its meat to Muslims, or not? Would accepting a cow on our part be considered as participating in their customs?
Answer:

Worshipping other than Allaah in terms of making vows or seeking aid from other than Allaah, from dead, absent people, trees, or the like constitutes Shirk. Those who refused to take the meat of the cows that are slaughtered by those who do not worship Allaah, for their dead, did the right thing. There is no harm in taking live cows to be slaughtered according to the Islamic method, without intending slaughtering it at the time of the death of that person. This is not considered as taking part in their innovation, and should not be intended as an act of charity on behalf of the dead person, if such a person worshipped other than Allaah. If they intend timing its slaughter with the death of that person, and join the procession of the funeral, then it would not be permissible to accept such an animal, because it will be considered as sharing their innovation. May Allaah exalt the mention of our Prophet Muhammad, his household, and Companions and render them safe from evil.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah Vol. 1 Page 33
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