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40 day Mourning Period

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Nasihah (Advice): Duration for Mourning the Deceased


Sayyidatuna Ummu Atiyya Radhiyallahu Anha narrated, “We were forbidden to mourn for more than three days except for a husband.” (Bukhari)




Question and Answer:


Q: Aslm Mufti, hope you well, I wanted to find out what the significance of the 40 day Mourning Period is?
Firstly is this allowed, and if it is what are we supposed to do?


(Question Published as Received)



A: There is no Islamic significance to the 40 day mourning period.


Among the religions that hold to this practice, perhaps the most prominent is the Eastern Orthodox Church.


“The mourning period for Eastern Orthodox Christians can vary with each family, but generally lasts for forty (40) days. Within the forty day mourning period, the third day, the ninth day, and the forty (40th) day have special significance.” 



“The 40th Day concludes the 40-day memorial period and has a major significance in traditions of Eastern Orthodox. It is believed that the soul of the departed remains wandering on Earth during the 40-day period, coming back home, visiting places the departed has lived in as well as their fresh grave.” 



These beliefs and practices are alien to Islam. It is not permissible for Muslims to observe these practices.


And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Moosa Salie

(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh unless otherwise stated.) 

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