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Shari’ah compliant Janazah policy

Fatwaa ID: 1352

Question:
Bismillah

Dear Muftian Kiraam, Assalamualaykum

Please help us in solving the following issue:

Due to the very high funeral/janaza and burial expenses, some brothers are trying to create a fund for this purpose to help out Muslims. The brothers have come up with a possible set-up and would like to know if such a fund is shariah-compliant and permissible. And if it is not, how can the fund’s system be changed to become shariah-compliant and permissible?

Ajeebu wa tujaroo. (This istiftaa is being sent to DUNY as well.)

This set-up of the fund will be as follows:

JanazahFund.org will solve the problem of very expensive funeral and burial costs through collaborative funding by way of sharing the funeral expenses among it’s group members.

Members will sign up with complete information about themselves and family members.

What constitutes a family:

Husband, wife and Unmarried children under 25 years of age constitutes as one family

Married children of any age are considered as a separate family.

Members will submit registration fees (one-time fee): $25 for single person and $50 per family of up to 3 family & $10 per each additional person.

Registration status would need to be updated in event of family altering situation like birth, death, or marriage, etc.

Janazah Cost per person:

Since Janazah cost is distributed among its members, the more members sign-up, the lesser the cost per member.

For example: if there are 100 members and the funeral costs $5,000 then each member would chip in $50 for each janazah.

If there is an increase in the group members to 1,000, contribution requirement for each member would become $5 per janazah.

Procedure for Funds Collection:

In the event of death of any of the members a text/email notification will got out to the participants. The date and time of funeral will be announced.

This would also act like a notice for all living members to check their bank accounts to make sure that the funds are available in your bank account.

The cost of the janazah and the amount owed per member will also be announced.

Janazahfund.org organizes the funeral by contacting the funeral company and graveyards.

Funeral expenses are paid to the funeral company from the registration money that was collected from members.

Within 24hours Funds are transferred from members’ accounts to JanazahFund.org

Process:

Inform the death by phone (1-800-JanazhFund) with the information of the deceased person.

JanazahFund will then contact the funeral services on the family’s behalf.

The body of the deceased will be arranged for pickup from the hospital to a funeral home.

Cemetery will be contacted for the purchase of a grave and to get a burial time.

Funeral homes and cemeteries are paid for the services via check. Any excess charges for additional services, the family of the deceased desires to choose, will be deemed as extra and will have to be paid by the family prior to burial.

Coverage:

JanazahFund.org reserves the right to designate which cemetery to choose and which funeral home to use in any given city.

Expenses covered will be limited to what constitutes a “normal” burial procedure by JanazahFund.org.

Burial expenses with maximum caps are set according to what constitutes as a “normal” burial proceeding by JanazahFund.org.

No cross-country transportation charges are covered by the JanazahFund.org.

No cross-state transportation charges will be covered by the JanazahFund.org

JanazahFund.org will not pay any cash amount to the deceased’s family.

All expenses will be paid directly to the authorized funeral services provider.

Donation Form:

I am pleased to support Janazah Fund with my contribution of Hadya in the

amount of:

                 $1,000   $500    $250   $100    $50   $25   Other: $.........

Running costs:

Administrative costs (salaries of administrators to run the project) will be paid for using the money collected from the members’ registration fee.

Wassalam.

Answer:
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

Muhtaram Mawlana saheb (Hafizakumullaah),

We make du’aa you are in the best of imaan and health. We apologize for the late response to your query.

It is indeed true that funeral and burial costs and expenses in the US are very high and at times unaffordable. It often depletes the funds of the estate or even burdens the heirs. The above initiative is a commendable one. It is a source of charity and reward as well. We make du’aa that Allaah Ta’aala brings it to fruition and rewards those behind in abundantly.

We take note of the details of your query. The procedure and process proposed is mostly suitable. To ensure Shari’ah compliancy and feasibility, we suggest that the Waqf model be used. The initial members will create a waqf pool and the subsequent members will donate to that pool. This includes the initial registration fee as well as the contributions per death thereafter. These contributions are voluntary commitments (tabarru’). Members will contribute funds as waqf and will intend thereby benefitting the beneficiaries of that pool. The administrators will be appointed to use and manage the funds as they deem best, keeping in mind the best interests of the pool and its beneficiaries.

As this is a waqf model, members relinquish ownership and rights upon contributing the funds and thus no amount would form part of their estate. Likewise, no claim may be laid in the event that they do not benefit from the pool should they pass away where the pool does not cover. Likewise, it should be noted that the only way a member or his/her family can receive benefit from the waqf is NOT by virtue of paying into it but rather by virtue of being enlisted as beneficiaries of the waqf. When a registration fee is paid, it is at that point that the payer’s name or someone they nominate is enlisted as a beneficiary of the waqf.

We advise that once the contracts and agreements are drawn up, they should be revised and approved by the Darul Iftaa or other reputable scholarly boards. Likewise, it will be in the best interests of the project to have regular audits by indepent scholarly boards.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

12/08/1444 AH – 06/26/2023 CE | 397

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

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