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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Reading Quran for the deceased & offering food to the Family of the deceased.

Q;Bro I need to know the Islamic Ruling on the issue. where a person dies and there relatives cook something and serve to poor people in order to ask Allah mercy upon the deceased soul. Or call some one to recite and Quran and ask Allah mercy upon the deceased one. I would be thankful for your answer.

A; All-Praise is due to Allah,

In regards to making food for family and others at the time of someones death, Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said,
It is better for neighbours and relatives to make food in their own houses then bring it to the household (of the deceased), because it was narrated that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) heard that his cousin Ja’far ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) had died in the Battle of Mu’tah, he told his family to make food for the family of Ja’far, and said, “Because there has come to them that which will preoccupy them.”

But it is not permitted for the family to make food for people because for the sake of the deceased. This is one of the actions of the Jaahiliyyah, whether it is done on the day of the death, or on the fourth or tenth day after the death, or at the new year. All of that is not permitted, because it was narrated that Jareer ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Bajali (may Allaah be pleased with him) – one of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – said, “We used to count gathering with the family of the deceased and making food for them after the burial to be a kind of wailing (niyaahah).”

But if guests come to the family of the deceased during the mourning period, there is nothing wrong with them making food for them for the sake of hospitality, and there is nothing wrong with the household inviting whoever they want of their neighbours and relatives to eat with them from the food that has been given to them. And Allaah is the Source of strength. (Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah vol. 9, p. 325)

As for reading Quran for deased, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak said, Gathering to read Qur’aan and give the reward for that to the deceased is a bid’ah (reprehensible innovation), even if it is not done in return for any payment. If it is done in return for payment then it is haraam, because it is being done for a reason other than for the sake of Allaah, and any such action will not earn any reward. But if a person reads Qur’aan by himself and gives the reward for that to a relative or friend, without gathering with others for that purpose and without seeking payment, then there are two scholarly views in this case, one of which says that it is permissible and that the reward for the reading will reach the deceased.

The second view is that it is not prescribed to give the reward for the reading to anyone, because there is no evidence (daleel) to indicate that this is prescribed.End of Quote.

(Islam Q&A Fatwa: 4910)

Shaykh ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in regards to reading Quran for the deceased,
There is no report in the Holy Qur’aan or in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) to indicate that it is prescribed to give one's reading of Qur’aan (or the reward thereof) to one's parents or to anyone else. Rather Allaah has enjoined reading Qur’aan so that one may benefit from it, learn from it, ponder its meanings and act upon it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“(This is) a Book (the Qur’aan) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember”

[Saad 38:29]

“Verily, this Qur’aan guides to that which is most just and right”

[al-Isra’ 17:90]

“Say: It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing”

[Fussilat 41:44]

And our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Read the Qur’aan, for it will come as an intercessor for its companions.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Qur’aan will be brought on the Day of Resurrection along with its people who used to act upon it, preceded by Soorat al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan, like two clouds or two flocks of birds, spreading their wings, pleading on behalf of their companions (i.e., those who used to read them).”

The point is that it was revealed to be acted upon and pondered, to be read as an act of worship and read a great deal, not to be given to the dead or to anyone else. I do not know of any reliable basis for giving it to one’s parents or anyone else. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.”
Some of the scholars are of the view that that is permissible, and they said: There is no reason why the reward for reading Qur’aan and other righteous actions cannot be given to others, and they liken that to the case of charity and du’aa’ for the deceased and others. But the correct view is the first view, because of the hadeeth quoted above, and other similar reports. If giving the reward for reading to another was permissible or prescribed, the righteous salaf would have done it. It is not permissible to make analogies with regard to acts of worship, because they can only be proven by a text from the Book of Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, or the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because of the hadeeth quoted above and other similar reports.

(Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 8/360, 361)

As for doing what is prescribed from the Sunnah For the deceased Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajid said,
The scholars are agreed that the benefits of du’aa’, praying for forgiveness, giving charity and Hajj reach the deceased.

With regard to du’aa’ and praying for forgiveness, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who came after them say: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith’”

[al-Hashr 59:10]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Pray for forgiveness for your brother and ask that he be made steadfast, for now he is being questioned.”

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you offer the (funeral) prayer for the deceased, then make du’aa’ sincerely for him.”

With regard to charity, it was narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Aa’ishah that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “My mother died suddenly and she did not leave a will, but I think that if she could have spoken she would have given in charity. Will she have a reward if I give in charity on her behalf?” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Yes.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 1388; Muslim, no. 1004.

And it was narrated by al-Bukhaari from Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah that his mother died when he was absent, and he said: “O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has died when I was absent. Will it benefit her if I give in charity on her behalf?” He said: “Yes.” He said: “I ask you to bear witness that my garden that bears fruit is given in charity on her behalf.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2756.

With regard to Hajj, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to one who asked him about Hajj: “Don’t you think that if your mother had a debt, you would pay it off for her?” She said: “Yes.” He said: “A debt owed to Allaah is more deserving of being paid off.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6699; Muslim, 1148.

From the above you will know that giving charity on behalf of the deceased will benefit him and its reward will reach him.

There is a da’eef (weak) hadeeth about offering prayer on behalf of the dead. Imam Muslim mentioned in his introduction to his Saheeh that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak regarded this hadeeth as weak, then he said:

There is no difference of opinion concerning giving charity (i.e., on behalf of the dead). End quote.

The correct view is that the dead can benefit from the physical acts of worship undertaken by their living relatives with the intention of giving the reward to them (physical acts of worship include fasting and reading Qur’aan). The same applies to financial acts of worship, such as giving charity on behalf of the deceased or freeing a slave on his behalf, even though some of these actions are not prescribed as such.

But giving charity on behalf of the deceased is better than reading Qur’aan for them, just as making du’aa’ for them and seeking forgiveness for them is better than other deeds.

If you give in charity on behalf of your deceased relative, or you make du’aa’ for him – or other actions – the deceased will benefit from that, and you will also have the reward for that, for the Bounty of Allaah is immense.

References: (Islam Q&A Fatwa's: 42384 & 6648)

So it is quite clear that according to the Sunnah it is permissible for neighbours and relatives to make food for the household of the deceased, so long as it's not the family making food for the people because for the sake of the deceased. With regard to reading Qur’aan, the well-known view of the Shaafa’i Madhhab is that the reward for that does not reach the deceased. Some of his companions said that its reward does reach the deceased. Some of the scholars were of the view that the reward of all acts of worship – prayer, fasting, reading Qur’aan, etc – reaches the deceased… Then al-Nawawi mentioned that the reward for du’aa’, charity and Hajj reaches the deceased, according to scholarly consensus.

It says in Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj (7/72):
The deceased can benefit from charity given on his behalf, which includes a waqf of a Mus-haf etc, or digging a well, or planting a tree, whether he does that during his lifetime or it is done by someone else on his behalf after his death.

So to sum it up asking for Allah's Mercy on a deceased soul is best through Du'aa, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 'and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young' [17:24]

We Ask Allah to guide us to what is right and to bestow His Mercy upon us living and the deceased, and we send peace and blessing of Allah upon His honorable Prophet, his Family and companions and to all the those whom followed their guidance until the day of judgement.

And Allah knows best...

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