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The 3, 7, 40-Day Practices

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Please comment on the ceremonies for the deceased held on the 3rd night, 7th night, 40th night, 100th night and on the 100th night. Some imams in Cape Town say that on certain nights certain events take place, for example, on the 40th night the head of the deceased bursts and on the 100th night the stomach bursts.

A group Zikr/Gadat/Khatam accompanied by food and cake distribution takes place on these occasions. These practices were taught to us since childhood, hence we follow suit. These practices are widely prevalent in Cape Town. I do not know if such customs are also practised elsewhere. I would like to know if these practices have a basis in the Sunna.


These Bid’ah and Haraam practices are found among the Malay and Indian communities. Both these communities have their origins in Buddhism and Hinduism. Both these religions are idolatrous ideologies. Both these religions of shirk have these customs of the 3rd, 40th day, etc. for their dead. They congregate and recite their holy books as do the Muslim Bid’atis recite the Qur’aan on these haraam Bid’ah occasions. 

There is absolutely no basis in the Sunnah for these evil innovations. Whether the head and stomach of the deceased bursts on the 40th or 100th day is irrelevant. It is lamentably stupid and ludicrous to forge a practice and give it a ‘Sunnah’ or ‘Islamic’ status – a status of ibaadat – when there is absolutely no basis in the Sunnah for it. Ibaadat is ONLY what was practised and taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah. All practices with the superficial form of ‘ibaadat’ fabricated after the era known as Khairul Quroon (the first three noble ages of Islam) are fraudulent, haraam acts of innovation  (Bid’ah). 

The Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) describe Bid’atis (Innovators) as Kilaabun Naar (The Dogs of the Fire). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also said: “Verily, Allah deprives every person of Bid’ah from Taubah.” One therefore finds the people of Bid’ah always justifying their innovations with stupid arguments such as the ‘bursting heads and stomachs’. All of their innovations are entirely lacking of Shar’i substance. 

Bid’ah is close to shirk since it distorts, mutilates and displaces the original Deen as imparted by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah. It was by way of Bid’ah that the Yahood and Nasaara had   completely mutilated and destroyed the Shariats of Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) and of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) respectively. In Judaism and Christianity there is no longer any semblance of the Shariats of these two Ambiya (alayhimas salaam). 

Never participate in these evil, unsubstantiated practices of innovation. If there was any validity in these nonsensical customs of bid’ah, surely the Sahaabah would have been the very first to uphold them. People died during the times of Rasulullah (sallalalhu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah. Why did they not deem it necessary to initiate such customs? 

The only valid practices of benefit for the deceased are to recite Qur’aan at any time, and any amount, individually at home whenever one wishes, or to visit the Qabrustaan to recite and make Dua for the deceased. Then giving Sadqah with the intention of the thawaab (reward) being passed to the deceased is extremely beneficial for them. These are individual and private acts of ibaadat rendered without ostentation, and without observing any party or merrymaking function as are the prevalent practices. 

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Every bid’ah is dhalaalah (deviation), and every Bid’ah will be in the Fire.”

5 Muharram 1437 (19 October 2015)

Last Updated on Monday, 19 October 2015 11:14  

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