If a loved one has recently passed away, you might wonder about the etiquette. Are you visiting the family to offer your condolences? What do you give a Muslim family when someone dies? We’ll explain what to do and what not to do below.
Gifts to a Muslim Family
Muslim families typically don’t place much emphasis on material objects but appreciate your support and condolences. So, rather than gifts, you can make them food. The family would be grieving, so ready-made food gives them the time to grieve without worrying about meals.
Why Prepare Food for the Deceased’s Family
It’s a good idea to give food to the family of a Muslim because the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says: “Prepare food for the family of Ja’far as something has occurred to them that is occupying them.”
This is especially helpful because the family usually receives many visitors offering their condolences in the three days following the funeral.
To illustrate, they might feel the need to be good hosts and serve food, which is draining in terms of time, money, and energy. So, bringing food can alleviate that pressure, allowing the deceased’s family to grieve in peace.
What Foods to Prepare for the Deceased’s Family
If you’re non-Muslim, note that the food you bring the family must be halal. If you’re unsure what’s halal, vegetarian dishes without alcohol are a safe bet. Also, avoid pork and alcohol.
If it’s halal, the food you bring can be anything, including fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and full-on meals they can reheat. However, Barley Porridge is preferable for the family of the deceased in the Muslim tradition.
Barley Porridge or Talbeenah is an excellent dish to bring to the grieving family because Prophet Muhammad states that the Talbeenah holds distressed hearts together and reduces their sadness. This isn’t widely known, but a particularly religious Muslim household might know about it.
So, what is Talbeenah? Simply put, it’s a soothing broth with medicinal properties. To prepare the dish, you’ll need ground barley, milk, and honey.
When you visit the Muslim family of your deceased friend, you shouldn’t go bearing gifts. However, bringing them food (fruits, vegetables, baked goods, or else) can be helpful, as it allows them to grieve without worrying about preparing meals. A particularly excellent dish is Barley Porridge or Talbeenah, which is soothing and comforting.
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