What is the ruling on reciting the Qur’an for the deceased so that they would be rewarded?

Answered by Shaykh Abul ‘Ataa Ahmad Banaja (may Allah preserve him)


What is the ruling on reciting the Qur’an for the deceased so that they would be rewarded? What are the permissible actions that could possibly be done for the dead?


My dear brother this kind of act (reciting Quran for deceased by the intention of sending the reward to them) is wrong because there is no daleel to prove it therefore it’d been rejected by the Ulamaa.

As this action is quite famous among the عوام (common Muslims), lots of the fatawa have been issued by our scholars regarding it. Therefore this issue is well-known and clearly demonstrated in order to correct the wrong understanding of those Muslims. Fatawa of this kind (related to widespread misbehavior’s among Muslims) would always be abundance and easily found.

So my dear brother this action is بدعة (Innovation) because there is no clear authentic evidence to prove that we are allowed to recite the Quran for the sake of the dead people. It causes the recitation of Quran been placed on the wrong purpose. Allah Azza wa Jal sent the Quran to remind us, to correct our life by practicing the rulings in it, and to use it (Quran) as a cure for our heart and our body.

And my dear brother regarding the ahadeeth about reciting Yaseen, Al-Mulk etc. on the deceased had been rejected by the majority of Ahlul Hadeeth as it’s not authentic. We are not allowed to practice religion came through these ways and methods.

Shaikh Uthymeen رحمه الله has a very beautiful fatwa, and have a tafseel in it. He said, this kind of actions like reciting the Quran for the deceased consists of two great mistakes, two Bida’a.

First is the Intention, wrong intention. because no authentic daleel (evidence) to prove it, from the Quran and the Sunnah.
Second is that most people even hire reciters to fulfill this wrong act. Fault would be from the payer and the reciter who normally tries to make an income out of it.

Regarding second part of the question,

We must understand that the original ruling (اصل ) is that everyone holds their own deeds and is responsible for them only.

وَلَا تَكۡسِبُ كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ إِلَّا عَلَیۡهَاۚ

“No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only)”

وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةࣱ وِزۡرَ أُخۡرَىٰۚ”

“And no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another” [Surat Al-An’am 164]

لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلا نَفْسَكَ

“You are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself” [Surat Al-Nisaa 84]

Therefore, the original ruling is no one would be held accountable for whatever good or bad that been done from others. EXCEPT for what Allah has permitted us.

For example:

1) الصدقة :

Has ijmaa’ (Concensus of Muslim Ummah) As Abdullah bin mubarak said in the introduction of Muslim. Narrated by Aisha radiyAllahu anha: A man said to the Prophet (ﷺ), “My mother died suddenly and I thought that if she had lived she would have given alms. So, if I give alms now on her behalf, will she get the reward?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied in the affirmative. [Sahih al-Bukhari 1388]

2) الدعاء :

Allah said,

وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوۡزِعۡنِیۤ أَنۡ أَشۡكُرَ نِعۡمَتَكَ ٱلَّتِیۤ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَیَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَ ٰ⁠لِدَیَّ وَأَنۡ أَعۡمَلَ صَـٰلِحࣰا تَرۡضَىٰهُ وَأَدۡخِلۡنِی بِرَحۡمَتِكَ فِی عِبَادِكَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِینَ

[Surat An-Naml 19]

وَٱلَّذِینَ جَاۤءُو مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ یَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَلِإِخۡوَ ٰ⁠نِنَا ٱلَّذِینَ سَبَقُونَا بِٱلۡإِیمَـٰنِ وَلَا تَجۡعَلۡ فِی قُلُوبِنَا غِلࣰّا لِّلَّذِینَ ءَامَنُوا۟ رَبَّنَاۤ إِنَّكَ رَءُوفࣱ رَّحِیمٌ

[Surat Al-Hashr 10]

These ayahs show that we are allowed to send Dua for the dead people.

Abu Huraira(رضي الله عنه) reported, Rasool ﷺ saying as: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge by which people are benefited, or a pious son who prays for him (for the deceased).
[Sahih Muslim 1631]

3) الصوم

As authenticated from Ahadith from Abu Huraira, Ibn Abbas regarding the missed obligatory fasts of the deceased.

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: The prophet (ﷺ) said, “If a person passed away without fulfilling his Saum (fasting), his Wali should make it up on his behalf.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

4) الحج و العمرة

According to the correct opinion.

Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated, ‘A woman from the tribe of Juhainah came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, ‘My mother had vowed to perform Hajj, but she died before fulfilling her vow. Should I perform Hajj on her behalf? The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Yes perform Hajj on her behalf. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it or not? So, pay off her debt to Allah, for He is most deserving of settlement of His debt.” Related by Al-Bukhari. [Bulughul Maram 716]

5) الذبح
Slaughtering an animal on behalf of a deceased is rewarded according to the correct opinion, which is also the opinion of majority as it is a kind of Sadaqa.

All acts on behalf of the deceased are prohibited except those that had made permissible based on authentic daleel (evidence).

.بارك الله فيك

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