Translation: Ishaaq bn AbdirRaheem Aboo Aamir
Question: We are told that whenever the United Nations is aware of the death of a president of a member country in the Organisation, representatives of other countries in the Council would stand up (and remain in silence) for a complete hour to show their grief over the killed president, what is your view as regard that?
Answer: What some people do with respect to standing and remaining in silence because of the death of an important figure, or to salute the soul of the dead person is among the reprehensible and invented practices which were unknown during the time of the Prophet (sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam) or in the time of his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) nor in the time of Salafus-Saalih.
The practice does not agree with the etiquette of Tauheed nor with singling worship for only Allaah –the Blessed and Mighty – in form of magnification. But some foolish Muslims follow the examples of the Kuffâr with regard to that; they emulate them in their reprehensible custom, and in the manner of the latter going to the extreme with respect to their leaders and their important people whether the living or the dead among them. The Prophet (sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam) had forbidden the Muslims from emulating the Kuffâr.
What is known in Islâm with regard to rights of its people is making supplication for the dead Muslims, so also is giving charity on their behalf, mentioning their good deeds and refraining from their shortcomings; among other lofty character which Islâm explains and enjoins the Muslims to take care of when dealing with their fellow brothers whether the living ones or the dead ones among them. There is nothing like remaining silent, among all the Islamic etiquette toward the dead ones, as a sign of showing condolence over the death of important people; in fact the very basis of Islam abhors this.
(Fatawa Islamiyyah, 2/49), Fatwa rendered by the Permanent Committee.