Ta’ziyat is the practice of condolence – of sympathizing with, and giving moral support and encouragement to the bereaved – to those who have lost dear ones.
When a death takes place, it is Sunnat to visit the bereaved and to offer moral support, and to comfort them with the virtues of Sabr. Ta’ziyat should take place within three days of Maut. Ta’ziyat after three days is not permissible. However, for those who live in other towns, Ta’ziyat is valid whenever they happen to visit the home of the bereaved relative/friend.
Once the act of Ta’ziyat has been discharged, it is not permissible to renew it a second time. Ta’ziyat is not the congregation of the burial crowd at the home of the bereaved after burial. All customs in vogue in this regard are bid’ah. Ta’ziyat should be on an individual basis. There is no congregational Ta’ziyat practice. It is not Sunnat to recite Surah Mulk or engage in any dua custom on the occasion of Ta’ziyat.
Ta’ziyat may be affected by letter as well. On the occasion of the demise of the son of Hadhrat Muaaz Bin Jabal, the Governor of Yemen, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) wrote the following letter of Ta’ziyat (condolence):
“From Muhammad, the Rasool of Allah to Muaaz Bin Jabal. Assalamu Alaikum! All praises are due to Allah besides Whom there is no deity. Now hereafter – May Allah Ta’ala bestow a munificent reward to you in lieu of this grief. May He grant you Sabr-e-Jameel (Beautiful Sabr), and may He grant us all the taufeeq for shukr.
Our lives, children, wives and all our possessions are all the blessed gifts of Allah. We have been authorized to derive the benefit of these gifts until an appointed time. At the appointed time, these trusts will be repossessed.
It is incumbent on every Insaan to express gratitude on receipt of these Bounties and to adopt Sabr at the time of their repossession. Your son was also an Amaanat in your custody. Allah Ta’ala had bestowed that gift to you with great pleasure, and with the promise of great reward for repossessing it.
O Muaaz! Do not wail and moan. Do not allow your wailing and moaning to destroy your Thawaab. Neither will such wailing return the deceased nor reduce your grief. Lighten the grief of this calamity with the contemplation: ‘Tomorrow, I too have to die.”