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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Death Committees

Q: Are death committees halaal? Basically a death commitee involves a certain number of people. They all put in a monies and then when somebody passes away the money is used to pay for a funeral. Would this set up be considerd halal?

A: This type of fund must operate under the following conditions:
1) The 100 pounds each one contributes must be considered as lillah.
2) The money collected must be handed to one or more people who will be the representatives of all donors. These must be trustable and reliable people who are accountable for the money in their possession. To ensure protection of the funds it must be stipulated that they deposit the money in a bank, preferably an Islamic bank.
3) As long as the money is in their possession it will remain the ownership of the donors. That means that at any stage if any family wants their money back, it must be given to them.
4) The representatives can be mandated to spend the money on the funeral costs of the families who donated.

An alternative to the above is that each family donates 500 pounds. Take the total sum and purchase a property and then make the property waqf. The beneficiaries of the income of this waqf will be the 100 families who contributed money. A condition to be added here is that when these 100 families and their descendants are no more living then the beneficiaries of the waqf will be the poor. If this option is chosen then obtain further details and finality from your local ulema.
And Allah Knows Best

Moulana Nazeem Moosagie and Mufti Siraj Desai