Thu 24 Jm2 1435 - 24 April 2014
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How long should burial of the deceased be delayed when waiting for his relatives?

Is it permissible to delay burying the deceased until some of his relatives come from other cities, at their request?

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible to delay (burial) except within the limits of what is needed to prepare him or to wait for his relatives or neighbours to come, if that will not take too long according to local custom, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Hasten to bury your dead….” This hadeeth was narrated by Maalik and Ahmad, 2/240; and by al-Bukhaari, 2/87-88. It is not permitted to hold a “wake” for him, or to set up pavilions (for mourners to gather), i.e., so called mourning rituals. Those who could not attend the funeral may pray over his grave, if he was in the city where he was, within a period of two months, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed over the grave of Umm Sa’d one month after her burial. 

Standing Committee for Research, p. 355
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