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Conveying the reward of good deeds to the deceased

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: If a person recites some portion of the Qur’aan and thereafter conveys the reward of the recitation to a deceased, will the reward reach the deceased and will the deceased benefit through the recitation? Some people claim that neither does the reward reach the deceased nor does the deceased benefit from the recitation in any way. They claim that this is proven through the verse of the Qur’aan

وَ اَنۡ لَّیۡسَ لِلْاِنۡسَانِ اِلَّا مَا سَعٰی

And man does not deserve but the reward of his own actions

Is this claim correct? Is there any proof or evidence in the Mubaarak Ahaadith that the reward of the recitation reaches the deceased and the deceased benefits through it?

Bismillaah

A: There are many Ahaadith which prove that the thawaab of good deeds can be conveyed to the living as well as the deceased. This is the view of Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), Taabi’een (rahimahumullah), the four Imaams of Fiqh (rahimahumullah) and the majority of the ummah. ‘Allaamah ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) has stated that this view is the view of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa‘ah.

Proof from the Ahaadith

There is ample proof from authentic Ahaadith which substantiate this view.

The deceased benefiting through du‘aa

Hadith One

عن أبي هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال إذا مات الإنسان انقطع عنه عمله إلا من ثلاثة إلا من صدقة جارية أو علم ينتفع به أو ولد صالح يدعو له (رواه مسلم #1631)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “When a person passes away, all his actions come to an end (he is unable to carry out actions thereby earning reward) except for three actions; sadaqah-e-jaariyah, knowledge from which people benefit and a pious child who makes du‘aa for him.” (Saheeh Muslim #1631)

Hadith Two

عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إن الرجل لترفع درجته في الجنة فيقول أنى هذا فيقال باستغفار ولدك لك (رواه ابن ماجه #3660 و البخاري في الأدب المفرد و البيهقي في السنن #13459 و ابن أبي شيبة #12207 و قال البوصيري في الزوائد هذا إسناد صحيح رجاله ثقات)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Verily a person’s rank will be raised in jannah so he will ask ‘How did this happen?’ The answer will be given, ‘Through your child seeking forgiveness on your behalf.’” (Al-Adabul Mufrad/Sunanul Kubraa lil Bayhaqi #13459/ibn abi Shaibah #12207/Ibn Maajah #3660)

The deceased benefiting through Sadaqah-e-Jaariyah

Hadith Three

عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إن مما يلحق المؤمن من عمله وحسناته بعد موته علما علمه ونشره أو ولدا صالحا تركه أو مصحفا ورثه أو مسجدا بناه أو بيتا لابن السبيل بناه أو نهرا أجراه أو صدقة أخرجها من ماله في صحته وحياته تلحقه من بعد موته (رواه ابن خزيمة في صحيحه #2490)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Verily from among the good actions that reach a person after his demise is deeni knowledge which he acquired and disseminated, or a pious child which he leaves behind, or a copy of the Qur’aan which he leaves in his inheritance, or a musjid which he constructed during his lifetime, or a traveller’s inn which he built for the travelers during his lifetime, or a river which he dug or sadaqah which he spent during his life while he enjoyed good health. In all these cases, the reward of these good deeds will continue after his demise and reach him.” (Saheeh ibn Khuzaimah #2490)

The deceased benefiting through nafl sadaqah [1]

Hadith Four

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها أن رجلا قال للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إن أمي افتلتت نفسها وأظنها لو تكلمت تصدقت فهل لها أجر إن تصدقت عنها قال نعم (رواه البخاري #1388 و مسلم #1004)

Hazrat Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) narrates that a person asked Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “Verily my mother passed away unexpectedly. I feel that if she had spoken (and made a wasiyyat), she would have given sadaqah (from a portion of her wealth). Will she receive the reward of sadaqah if I give it on her behalf?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #1388 / Muslim #1004)

Hadith Five

أنبأنا ابن عباس أن سعد بن عبادة رضي الله عنهم أخا بني ساعدة توفيت أمه وهو غائب عنها فأتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله إن أمي توفيت وأنا غائب عنها فهل ينفعها شيء إن تصدقت به عنها قال نعم قال فإني أشهدك أن حائطي المخراف صدقة عليها (رواه البخاري #2762)

Hazrat ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) mentions that the mother of Hazrat Sa‘d bin ‘Ubaadah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) passed away when Hazrat Sa‘d (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was not with her. He therefore came to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and said, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! My mother passed away when I was not with her. Will it benefit her if I give something in charity and convey the reward to her?” Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes.” Hazrat Sa‘d (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then said, “I then make you witness that I have given my orchard, Mikhraaf, in charity for her.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #2762)

Fasting and carrying out haj for the deceased

Hadith Six

عن عبد الله بن بريدة عن أبيه رضي الله عنه قال بينا أنا جالس عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذ أتته امرأة فقالت إني تصدقت على أمي بجارية وإنها ماتت قال فقال وجب أجرك وردها عليك الميراث قالت يا رسول الله إنه كان عليها صوم شهر أفأصوم عنها قال صومي عنها قالت إنها لم تحج قط أفأحج عنها قال حجي عنها (رواه مسلم #1149)

Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Buraidah (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) narrates that his father, Buraidah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said, “While I was seated in the blessed presence of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), a woman came to him and asked, ‘I had given a slave girl to my mother in sadaqah and my mother has now passed away (I inherited the same slave girl from her, so will I get the reward of the sadaqah?)’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, ‘Your reward is certain and inheritance has also returned her to you (you have received your reward and also once again own the slave girl).’ She then asked, ‘O Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! My mother has one month of fasting which she did not fulfill. Can I fast for her?’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instructed, ‘Fast for her.’ She finally asked, ‘My mother never performed haj. Can I perform haj for her?’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, ‘Perform haj for her.’ (Saheeh Muslim #1149)

Freeing slaves on behalf of the deceased [2]

Hadith Seven

عن عمرو بن شعيب عن أبيه عن جده أن العاص بن وائل أوصى أن يعتق عنه مائة رقبة فأعتق ابنه هشام خمسين رقبة فأراد ابنه عمرو أن يعتق عنه الخمسين الباقية فقال حتى أسأل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فأتى النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال يارسول الله إن أبي أوصى بعتق مائة رقبة وإن هشاما أعتق عنه خمسين وبقيت عليه خمسون رقبة أفأعتق عنه فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إنه لو كان مسلما فأعتقتم عنه أو تصدقتم عنه أو حججتم عنه بلغه ذلك (رواه أبو داود #2883 و سكت عنه المنذري #2761)

Hazrat Amr bin Shu‘aib narrates from his father who narrates from his grandfather that ‘Aas bin Waa’il had made a bequest that 100 slaves be freed on his behalf (after his demise). His son Hishaam therefore freed 50 slaves for him. Thereafter his son ‘Amr decided to free the remaining 50 slaves. However he said, “I will first ask Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” So he came to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and said, “O Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Verily my father made a bequest that 100 slaves be freed. Hishaam has freed 50 for him and fifty slaves remain. Shall I free (the remainder) for him?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “If he was a muslim and you then freed slaves for him or gave sadaqah for him or performed haj for him, it will reach him.” (Abu Dawood #2883)

Hadith Eight

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت قال رجل أعتق عن ابني يا رسول الله قال نعم (رواه الحاكم في صحيحه #2850 و قال الهيثمي هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين ولم يخرجاه)

Hazrat ‘Aai’shah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) narrates that a man asked Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “O Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Can I free slaves for my (deceased) son?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes.” (Haakim #2850)

Conveying the reward of qurbaani to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) after his demise

Hadith Nine

عن علي : أنه كان يضحى بكبشين أحدهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم والآخر عن نفسه فقيل له فقال أمرني به يعني النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فلا أدعه أبدا قال ابو عيسى : هذا حديث حسن غريب (رواه الترمذي #1495)

It has been narrated from Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that he would slaughter two rams; one for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the other for himself. When he was asked regarding this, he replied, “He (ie. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)) instructed me to do this so I will never leave it.” (Tirmizi #1495)

The living and deceased benefiting through qurbaani

Hadith Ten

عن جابر بن عبد الله أن رسول لله صلى الله عليه و سلم أتى بكبشين أقرنين أملحين عظيمين موجوأين فأضجع أحدهما وقال بسم الله والله أكبر اللهم عن محمد وآل محمد ثم أضجع الآخر فقال بسم الله والله أكبر عن محمد وأمته من شهد لك بالتوحيد وشهد لي بالبلاغ رواه أبو يعلى وإسناده حسن (مجمع الزوائد ص22 ج4)

Hazrat Jaabir bin Abdillah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) mentions that two horned, black and white, large castrated rams were brought to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made one of them lie down and slaughtered it saying, “Bismillah Allahu Akbar! O Allah! This is from Muhammed (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the family of Muhammed (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” He then made the other lie down and slaughtered it saying, “Bismillah Allahu Akbar! This is from Muhammed (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and his Ummah, those who testify to your oneness and those who testify that I have conveyed the message.” (Majma‘uz Zawaa’id vol. 4 page. 22)

From the hadith above we understand that it is permissible to convey the reward of good deeds to both the living as well as the dead, since Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) performed the Qurbaani on behalf of his entire ummah – the living as well as the dead.

The abovementioned ten authentic Ahaadith make it abundantly clear that it is permissible for one to do good actions and convey the reward to the living and the deceased.

Reciting a portion of the Qur’aan in order to benefit the deceased and convey the reward to them

As far as reciting a portion of the Qur’aan and conveying the reward of the recitation to the deceased is concerned, since this is also a good action, it enters under the ambit of the abovementioned ten authentic Ahaadith and hence will be permissible. There are many Ahaadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and narrations of Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and Taabi‘een (rahimahumullah) reported which establish that the deceased benefit through the recitation and receive the reward conveyed to them. This is the view of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), Taabi‘een (rahimahumullah) and the four Imaams of Fiqh viz. Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Maalik, Imam Shaafi‘ee and Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (rahimahumullah). Their view is substantiated by the under mentioned proofs:

Ahaadith regarding the deceased benefiting through recitation of the Qur’aan

عن أبي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال من زار قبر والديه أو أحدهما فقرأ عنده أو عندهما يس غفر له (أخرجه العيني في عمدة القاري ص118 ج3 عن كتاب السنن لأبي بكر النجار)

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddeeq (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever visits the graves of his parents or the grave of one of his parents and recites Surah Yaseen at the grave side, his sins will be forgiven.” (‘Umdatul Qari vol. 3 page. 118)

عن أنس رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال من دخل المقابر فقرأ سورة يس خفف الله عنهم يومئذ (أخرجه العيني في عمدة القاري ص118 ج3 عن كتاب السنن لأبي بكر النجار)

Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “Whoever enters the cemetery and recites Surah Yaseen, Allah will grant the inmates ease for that day.” (‘Umdatul Qari vol. 3 page. 118)

عن أنس رضي الله عنه ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال من دخل المقابر فقرأ سورة يس خفف الله عنهم و كان له بعدد من فيها حسنات (ذكره ملا علي القاري في مرقاة المفاتيح عن عبد العزيز صاحب الخلال بسنده ص198 ج4)

Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever enters the cemetery and thereafter recites Surah Yaseen, Allah Ta‘ala will grant the inmates of the graves ease and grant the reciter reward equivalent to the number of the inmates.”(Mirqaat vol. 4 page. 198)

عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول إذا مات أحدكم فلا تحبسوه وأسرعوا به إلى قبره وليقرأ عند رأسه بفاتحة الكتاب وعند رجليه بخاتمة سورة البقرة في قبره (مجمع الزوائد #4242)

Hazrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) mentions that he heard (Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying: “When any one of you passes away, then do not delay (in his funeral) and hasten in burying him. Thereafter recite Surah Faatihah at the head side of the grave and the last verses of Surah Baqarah at the foot side. (Majma‘uz Zawaa’id #4242)

عن عبد الرحمن بن العلاء بن اللجلاج قال قال لي أبي يا بني إذا مت فالحد لي لحدا فإذا وضعتني في لحدي فقل بسم الله وعلى ملة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ثم سن التراب علي سنا ثم اقرأ عند رأسي بفاتحة البقرة وخاتمتها فإني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول ذلك (أخرجه الهيثمي في مجمع الزوائد #4243 و عزاه للطبراني في الكبير و قال رجاله موثقون)

Hazrat Abdur Rahmaan bin Alaa’ bin Lajlaaj narrates that his father (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had instructed him saying, “O my son! When I pass away then dig my grave. When you place me in my grave, say ‘بسم الله وعلى ملة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم’ and thereafter sprinkle the soil over me. Then recite the beginning and last verses of Surah Baqarah at my headside for verily I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mention this.” (Majma‘uz Zawaa’id #4243)

عن الشعبي قال كانت الأنصار إذا مات لهم الميت اختلفوا إلى قبره يقرؤون القرآن (أخرجه الخلال في الأمر با المعروف و النهي عن المنكر ص123)

Hazrat Sha‘bee (rahimahullah) mentions that when one of the Ansaar would pass away, the other Ansaar would frequent his grave and recite the Qur’aan there. (Amr bil Ma‘roof Wan Nahy ‘anil Munkr lil Khallaal page. 123)

روي أن رجلا سأل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال كان لي أبوان أبرهما حال حياتهما فكيف لي ببرهما بعد موتهما فقال له صلى الله عليه وسلم إن من البر بعد الموت أن تصلي لهما مع صلاتك وتصوم لهما مع صيامك (ذكره ابن الهمام في فتح القدير ص143 ج3 عن سنن الدارقطني) 

It has been narrated that a man asked Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “I was obedient to my parents in their lifetime. How do I remain obedient to them now that they have passed away?” Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Verily an act of obedience to them after their death is that you perform salaah for them together with your own salaah and you fast for them together with your own fasting.” (Fat-hul Qadeer vol. 3 page. 143)

Ahaadith regarding conveying the reward of recitation to the deceased

عن علي رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال من مر على المقابر فقرأ فيها قل هو الله أحد إحدى عشرة مرة ثم وهب أجره الأموات أعطى من الأجر بعدد الأموات (الرافعى عن على) أخرجه الرافعى (2/297) (أخرجه السيوطي في جامع الأحاديث #23962و العيني في عمدة القاري ص118 ج3 عن كتاب السنن لأبي بكر النجار )

Hazrat Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever passes by a graveyard and recites “قُلْ هُوَ اللهُ أَحَد” (Surah Iklaas) eleven times and thereafter conveys its reward to all the deceased, he will be granted reward equivalent to the number of deceased.” (‘Umdatul Qari vol. 3 page. 118)

عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من دخل المقابر ثم قرأ فاتحة الكتاب وقل هو الله أحد و ألهاكم التكاثر ثم قال اللهم إني جعلت ثواب ما قرأت من كلامك لأهل المقابر من المؤمنين والمؤمنات كانوا شفعاء له إلى الله تعالى (ذكره الملا علي القاري في مرقاة المفاتيح ص198 ج4 و عزاه لأبي القاسم سعد بن علي الزنجاني في فوائده)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever enters the cemetery and recites Surah Faatihah,
“قُلْ هُوَ اللهُ أَحَد” and “أَلْهَاكُمُ التَكَاثُر” and thereafter says, “O Allah, I have conveyed the reward of whatever I recited from your Word to the believing male and female inmates of the graves.”, all the inmates will intercede to Allah on his behalf.” (Mirqaat vol. 4 page. 198)

Moulana Zafar Ahmed Thaanwi (rahimahullah) states in I’laaus Sunan that though the individual narrations regarding conveying the reward of recitation to the deceased may be weak, however, due to the multitude of narrations reported in this chapter, the weakness is compensated for. Thus, all the individual Ahaadith relating to the same subject matter collectively reach the status of “hasan” (i.e. it can be used as a basis). Hence according to the principle of the Muhadditheen, they can be used as a basis for proving ahkaam (Shar’ee laws and injunctions). In any case conveying the reward of good actions has already been proven from the many authentic Ahaadith which were quoted in the beginning.

The view of the Hanafi Mazhab

It is stated in Fataawa Hindiyyah, in the chapter of performing haj on behalf of someone: “The principle in this chapter is that it is permissible for a person to convey the reward of his good deeds to others, regardless of whether it is salaah, fasting, sadaqah, haj, the recitation of the Qur’aan, making zikr or other ‘ibaadaat. (Aalamghiri vol. 1 page. 257) [3] The same ruling appears in Shaami vol. 1 page. 166/ vol. 2 page. 243 and Fataawa Taataarkhaaniyyah vol. 3 page. 268. [4]

The view of the Maaliki Mazhab [5]

Ibn Rushd (rahimahullah) has mentioned in his Nawaazil, “If a person recites the Qur’aan and conveys the reward of his recitation to a deceased, it will be permissible and the deceased will receive the reward.”

Ibn Hilaal (rahimahullah) has mentioned in his Nawaazil, “The view according to which Ibn Rushd (rahimahullah) gave Fatwaa, which is also the view of many of our Ulamaa in Andalus, is that the deceased benefits through the recitation of the Qur’aan. Its benefit reaches him and he receives its reward when the reciter conveys the reward to him. The Muslims have continued practising on this view in the east and west and it has been the basis of them making many things waqf. This view has continued since the early times.” (Haashiyatud Dasooqi vol. 1 page. 671) [6]

Sheikh Muhammed bin Ahmed Dasooqi (rahimahullah) has written in his commentary of Sharhul Kabeer that the latter-day Maaliki ‘Ulamaa’ have permitted conveying the reward of reciting the Qur’aan to a deceased. He then quotes ibn Rushd (rahimahullah) as saying, “The difference of opinion only arises when the recitation is not made as a du‘aa. In order to make the recitation as a du‘aa, one will make the following du‘aa before commencing recitation, ‘O Allah! Convey the reward of what I will recite to so-and-so.’ By making du‘aa for the reward to be conveyed, the reward will be conveyed to the deceased according to all ‘Ulamaa’ without any difference of opinion.” (Haashiyatud Dasooqi vol. 2 page. 211) [7]

The view of the Shaafi‘ee Mazhab

Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) has mentioned that Sheikh Abdul Kareem Saaloosi (rahimahullah) had said, “If the person reciting the Qur’aan makes the intention that the reward of his recitation be conveyed to the deceased, the reward will not reach the deceased. However, if he first recites and then conveys the reward to the deceased, this will be a du‘aa for the conveying of the reward to the deceased and this will benefit the deceased.” (Rowdhatut Taalibeen vol. 4 page. 266) [8]

Ibn Nahwee (rahimahullah) has mentioned in Sharhul Minhaaj, “According to the well-known view of our mazhab, the reward of reciting the Qur’aan does not reach the deceased. The preferred view, however, is that it will reach the deceased when the reciter makes du‘aa and asks Allah to convey the reward of his recitation.” (Hukmul Qira’ah lil Amwaat page. 17) [9]

The view of the Hanbali Mazhab

Allamah ibn Qudaamah (rahimahullah) has written in Al-Mughni, “If a person carries out any good deed and thereafter conveys the reward to a deceased Muslim, it will benefit the deceased inshaa-Allah.” Allamah ibn Qudaamah (rahimahullah) thereafter cites numerous proofs from the Qur’aan and Ahaadith to substantiate this view after which he writes, “These Ahaadith are Saheeh and indicate that the deceased benefits from the reward of all types of good deeds conveyed to him. The reason is that the Ahaadith mention fasting, haj, du‘aa and istighfaar, which are all physical ‘ibaadaat, and Allah had conveyed the reward of these actions to the deceased. Hence the ruling of other good deeds will be the same.” (Al-Mughni vol. 3 page. 521) [10]

Imaam Nawawi (rahimahullah) mentions in “Azkaar” that Muhammed bin Ahmed al-Marwazi (rahimahullah) heard Imaam Ahmed bin Hambal (rahimahullah) saying, “When you enter the cemetery then recite Surah Faatihah, Mu‘awwazatain (Surah Falaq and Surah Naas) and Surah Ikhlaas and convey the reward to the inmates of the graves, for verily the reward reaches them. The purpose of visiting the grave is that the visitor will take lesson and the inmate being visited will derive benefit from his du‘aa.” (Mirqaat vol. 4 page. 198) [11]

Incident of Imaam Ahmed bin Hambal (rahimahullah)

The following incident proves the viewpoint of Imam Ahmed (rahimahullah) regarding reciting the Qur’an at the grave:

Hazrat Ali bin Musa Al-Haddaad (rahimahullah) mentions, “I was attending a janaazah with Imaam Ahmed bin Hambal (rahimahullah) while Muhammed bin Qudaamah Al-Jowhary was reciting the Qur’aan. When we had buried the deceased, a blind man came and began to recite the Qur’aan at the graveside. On seeing this, Imaam Ahmed (rahimahullah) prevented him from reciting saying, ‘O person! Verily reciting the Qur’aan at the graveside is a bid‘ah.” When we emerged from the cemetery, Muhammed bin Qudaamah (rahimahullah) asked Imaam Ahmed (rahimahullah), ‘O Abu Abdillah! What do you say regarding Mubasshir bin Ismail?’ Imam Ahmed (rahimahullah) replied, ‘He is thiqah (a reliable narrator).’ Imam Ahmed (rahimahullah) then asked him, ‘Have you recorded any Ahaadith from him?’ Muhammed bin Qudaamah (rahimahullah) replied, ‘Yes. Mubasshir bin Ismail informed me from Abdur Rahmaan bin Alaa’ bin Hajjaaj from his father that he had made a bequest for the beginning and ending of Surah Baqarah to be recited at his headside after his burial and he said that he heard Hazrat ibn Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) make the same bequest.’ When he heard this, Imam Ahmed (rahimahullah) instructed, ‘Go back to that man and tell him to recite.’” [12]

The view of Ibnu Taymiyyah (rahimahullah)

After detailing the views of the four great Imaams, that after reciting the Qur’an the reward may be conveyed to the deceased, it was not necessary to mention any further views. However, for the benefit of those who only follow Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah), his view is also mentioned.

Ibnu Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) has mentioned, “As for the reward of good deeds such as reciting the Qur’aan, giving sadaqah etc reaching the deceased, the Ulamaa of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa‘ah have unanimously agreed that the reward of monetary ibaadaat such as sadaqah and freeing a slave will reach the deceased just as the du‘aa and istighfaar made in the janaazah salaah as well as the du‘aa made at his graveside reach him. The Ulamaa’ however differ regarding whether the reward of physical ibaadaat such as fasting, salaah and reciting the Qur’aan reach the deceased. The correct view is that the reward of all good deeds reaches the deceased.” (Majmoo‘atul Fataawa vol. 24 page. 205) [13]

Conclusion

The abovementioned narrations all prove that it is permissible to perform a good action and thereafter convey its reward to the deceased. This is the mazhab of the four Imaams of Fiqh. All four Imaams regard it permissible to convey the reward of the recitation to the deceased. Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) and Imaam Ahmed (rahimahullah) are of the view that merely making an intention at the time of recitation that the reward be for the deceased, the deceased will receive the reward. According to Imaam Maalik and Imaam Shafi’ee (rahimahullah), merely making the intention will not suffice. Instead, one should make du‘aa to Allah to convey the reward of the recitation to the deceased. In this way the deceased will receive the reward. Hence, in principle all are unanimous that the reward of the recitation of the Qur’aan does benefit the deceased.

As far as the Aayah وَ اَنۡ لَّیۡسَ لِلْاِنۡسَانِ اِلَّا مَا سَعٰی (And man does not deserve but the reward of his own actions) is concerned, the ‘Ulamaa’ have given various interpretations to the meaning of this verse. ‘Allaamah ‘Aini (rahimahullah) has explained nine interpretations of this verse as recorded in ‘Umdatul Qari, the commentary of Saheeh Bukhari. One explanation chosen by the Muhadditheen is that this verse is in relation to a Kaafir. Whatever good deed he carries out, he will be repaid for his good in this world and will not receive any reward in the Hereafter, nor is it possible for anyone to convey good deeds to him in this world and the next. Another explanation given by Hazrat Moulana Gangohi (rahimahullah) is that the effort mentioned in the Aayah refers to an Imaani effort i.e. a person who does not possess Imaan cannot be benefited by the Imaan of any other person. As far as a believer is concerned, the Aayah does not negate him being benefited by other believers through du‘aa or by the reward conveyed to him by them. This interpretation clearly reconciles the Aayah of the  Qur’aan and all the Ahaadith mentioned.

Thus, it is abundantly clear that apart from a very small fringe group of people, the entire Ummah has been unanimous, in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah, that the reward of the recitation does reach the deceased. Hence, only those who wish to deprive their deceased near and dear one’s, and also deprive themselves from this great act of kindness, will refrain from conveying the reward of the recitation to the deceased.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

[1] عن عطاء قال يتبع الميت بعد موته العتق والحج والصدقة (أخرجه ابن أبي شيبة #12212)

[2] عن أبي جعفر أن الحسن والحسين كانا يعتقان عن علي بعد موته (أخرجه ابن أبي شيبة #12214)

[3] الباب الرابع عشر في الحج عن الغير  الأصل في هذا الباب أن الإنسان له أن يجعل ثواب عمله لغيره صلاة كان أو صوما أو صدقة أو غيرها كالحج وقراءة القرآن والأذكار وزيارة قبور الأنبياء عليهم الصلاة والسلام والشهداء والأولياء والصالحين وتكفين الموتى وجميع أنواع البر كذا في غاية السروجي شرح الهداية (الفتاوى الهندية ص257 ج1)

[4] مطلب في القراءة للميت وإهداء ثوابها له  تنبيه صرح علماؤنا في باب الحج عن الغير بأن للإنسان أن يجعل ثواب عمله لغيره صلاة أو صوما أو صدقة أو غيرها كذا في الهداية بل في زكاة التاترخانية عن المحيط الأفضل لمن يتصدق نفلا أن ينوي لجميع المؤمنين والمؤمنات لأنها تصل إليهم ولا ينقص من أجره شيئا هـ هو مذهب أهل السنة والجماعة (شامي ص243 ج2)

مطلب في إهداء ثواب الأعمال للغير  قوله ( بعبادة ما ) أي سواء كانت صلاة أو صوما أو صدقة أو قراءة أو ذكرا أو طوافا أو حجا أو عمرة أو غير ذلك من زيارة قبور الأنبياء عليهم الصلاة والسلام والشهداء والأولياء والصالحين وتكفين الموتى وجميع أنواع البر كما في الهندية ط وقدمنا في الزكاة عن التاترخانية عن المحيط الأفضل لمن يتصدق نفلا أن ينوي لجميع المؤمنين والمؤمنات لأنها تصل إليهم ولا ينقص من أجره شيء اه (شامي ص595 ج2)

قراءة القرآن عند القبور عند محمد رحمه الله تعالى لا تكره ومشايخنا رحمهم الله تعالى أخذوا بقوله وهل ينتفع والمختار أنه ينتفع هكذا في المضمرات (الهندية ص166 ج1)

جامع الجوامع الأفضل لمن تصدق نفلا أن ينوي لجميع المؤمنين و المؤمنات لأنها تصل إليهم و لا ينقص من أجره شيء (الفتاوى التاتارخانية ص268 ج4)

[5] الثالث أنه لو قرأ في بيته وأهدى له لوصلت وكيفية وصولها أنه إذا فرغ من تلاوته وهب ثوابها له أو قال اللهم اجعل ثوابها له فإن ذلك دعاء بالثواب لأن يصل إلى أخيه والدعاء يصل بلا خلاف وإذا كان كذلك فلا يحتاج أن يقرأ على القبور (المدخل لابن الحاج ص266 ج1)

[6] وفي آخر نوازل ابن رشد في السؤال عن قوله تعالى { وأن ليس للإنسان إلا ما سعى } قال وإن قرأ الرجل وأهدى ثواب قراءته للميت جاز ذلك وحصل للميت أجره اه وقال ابن هلال في نوازله الذي أفتى به ابن رشد وذهب إليه غير واحد من أئمتنا الأندلسيين أن الميت ينتفع بقراءة القرآن الكريم ويصل إليه نفعه ويحصل له أجره إذا وهب القارئ ثوابه له وبه جرى عمل المسلمين شرقا وغربا ووقفوا على ذلك أوقافا واستمر عليه الأمر منذ أزمنة سالفة (حاشية الدسوقي ص671 ج1)

[7] ( فأجازه بعضهم ) أي وهو الذي جرى به العمل وهو ما عليه المتأخرون وقوله وكرهه بعضهم أي وهو أصل المذهب قال ابن رشد محل الخلاف ما لم تخرج القراءة مخرج الدعاء بأن يقول قبل قراءته اللهم اجعل ثواب ما أقرأه لفلان وإلا كان الثواب لفلان قولا واحدا وجاز من غير خلاف (حاشية الدسوقي ص211 ج2)

[8] والثاني ذكر الشيخ عبد الكريم السالوسي أنه إن نوى القارىء بقراءته أن يكون ثوابها للميت لم يلحقه وإن قرأ ثم جعل ما حصل من الأجر له فهذا دعاء بحصول ذلك الأجر للميت فينفع الميت (روضة الطالبين ص266 ج4)

[9] و في شرح المنهاج لابن النحوي : لا يصل إلى الميت عندنا ثواب القراءة على المشهور و المختار الوصول إذا سأل الله إيصال ثواب قراءته إلخ (حكم القراءة للأموات هل يصل ثوابها إليهم ص17)

[10] وأي قربة فعلها وجعل ثوابها للميت المسلم نفعه ذلك ان شاء الله … وهذه أحاديث صحاح وفيها دلالة على انتفاع الميت بسائر القرب لأن الصوم والحج والدعاء والاستغفار عبادات بدنية وقد أوصل الله نفعها الى الميت فكذلك ما سواها (المغني ص521 ج3)

[11] قال النووي في الأذكار قال محمد بن أحمد المروزي سمعت أحمد بن حنبل يقول إذا دخلتم المقابر فاقرأوا بفاتحة الكتاب و المعوذتين و قل هو الله أحد و اجعلوا ثواب ذلك لأهل المقابر فإنه يصل إليهم و المقصود من زيارة القبور للزائر الإعتبار و للمزور الانتفاع بدعائه إلخ و في الإحياء للغزالي و العاقبة لعبد الحق عن أحمد بن حنبل نحوه (مرقاة المفاتيح ص198 ج4)

[12] قال النووي في الأذكار قال محمد بن أحمد المروزي سمعت أحمد بن حنبل يقول إذا دخلتم المقابر فاقرأوا بفاتحة الكتاب و المعوذتين و قل هو الله أحد و اجعلوا ثواب ذلك لأهل المقابر فإنه يصل إليهم و المقصود من زيارة القبور للزائر الإعتبار و للمزور الانتفاع بدعائه إلخ و في الإحياء للغزالي و العاقبة لعبد الحق عن أحمد بن حنبل نحوه (مرقاة المفاتيح ص198 ج4)

[13] فصل وأما القراءة والصدقة وغيرهما من أعمال البر فلا نزاع بين علماء السنة والجماعة في وصول ثواب العبادات المالية كالصدقة والعتق كما يصل إليه أيضا الدعاء والاستغفار والصلاة عليه صلاة الجنازة والدعاء عند قبره وتنازعوا في وصول الأعمال البدنية كالصوم والصلاة والقراءة والصواب أن الجميع يصل إليه (مجموعة الفتاوى ص205 ج24)

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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