Is a Memorial Service for a Non-Muslim Permissible in Islam?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: The father of my grand-daughter who is not muslim died very suddenly and she wanted a funeral service for him here. His family want to send him back to his homeland Bangladesh. Can she have a memorial service after he has been buried back in his homeland?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Firstly, I would like to extend my condolences for the loss your family has experienced. May God makes matters easy for all the people effected by the death of your grand-daughter’s father.

Regarding the question of a memorial service, I am unaware of anything within Islam that would prohibit this in the situation you describe. Your grand-daughter is perfectly in her right to host a memorial service for her deceased father.

You should also note that what has been mentioned regarding “his soul being stuck here on earth and will never rest” is baseless speculation. Islam has not commanded anyone to judge the next-worldly fate of individuals. This is a matter left to God. Additionally, I cannot see what connection this has to the stance Islam takes towards memorial services.

I hope the above answers your question.


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani