Question: We are some Sunni students in a university (Iran). We receive vows in the days of Ashura and death anniversary of Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her. There is difference between us over regulation of such vows; what is the ruling for such vows and foods? Can we use them?
There is an agreed regulation at Ahl-us-Sunnah wa-l-Jama’ah that there is no any authentic text in the principle books to specify any particular time or place for eesal-e-thawab, forwarding rewards to others. So it is Bid’ah, innovation, to figure out any particular time and place for “forwarding rewards” constantly. Although such foods are Halal but it is innovation to eat/use them. This is the most possible positive opinion if the person means only to forward rewards and vow. But if vow is for pleasing holy persons or for getting something from them, it will be Haram, illegal, and meaning of «ما أهل به لغیرالله», (and those upon which (a name) other than that of Allah has been invoked.)
Dar-ul-Ifta Darululoom Zahedan