Reading Qur’an for the Deceased

Reading Qur’an for the Deceased

Unfortunately, in recent years, this subject has sparked a lot of debate and heated debate among Muslims. It is increasingly normal to see Muslims shunning other Muslims over the matter, expressing enmity against them, or even labeling them as deviants as a result! However, Islam forbids such bigotry and intolerance, and the shari’ah does not sanction it.

Reading Qur’an for the Deceased

An impartial examination of the topic indicates that classical jurists disagreed on whether or not the benefits of Quranic recitation might be “donated” or “given” to the departed (known as isal al-thawab or ihda al-thawab). One set of academics believes it can be donated and that the deceased would profit from it, whereas the other believes it cannot.

Consensus on Reading Qur’an for the Deceased

The vast majority of jurists agree that such a gift reaches the departed and that they gain from it. ‘Any act of worship a person conducts, presenting the reward of it to a departed Muslim, the deceased would profit from it; God willing,’ Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi declared in his highly famous al-Mughni, typifying the popular position. Now, when it comes to supplication, seeking pardon, and providing charity [for others], or activities that can be performed on someone else’s behalf, I’m not aware of any distinction in their permissibility. 

He goes on to offer a few genuine hadiths that unequivocally prove that some acts of devotion performed by the living can reach and benefit the departed. These are the acts: 

  1. Requesting pardon (istighfar) and supplicating (du’a): Because the Qur’an instructs surviving believers to pray for their departed brethren, as stated in verse: “And those who follow them pray: “Our Lord!” Please forgive us and our forefathers in faith who came before us.’ [59:10]
  2. Charity (sadaqah): According to the woman ‘A’ishah, S’ad b. ‘Ubadah said, “O Messenger of God! My mum passed away suddenly and without leaving a will. Will she benefit if I make a charitable donation on her behalf? ‘Yes!’ he said. [Muslim, no. 1388; Bukhari, no. 1388] .1004]
  3. Pilgrimage (hajj): The Prophet, peace be upon him, was asked: My mother promised to go on pilgrimage, but she died before she had the opportunity. Shouldn’t I make a journey on her behalf? ‘Yes,’ he said. Isn’t it true that if she had a debt, it would have to be paid?’ Yes, said the man. ‘The debt owing to God is more deserving of being settled,’ the Prophet remarked. [According to Al-Bukhari, no .6699] 
  4. Fasting (siyam): According to the Prophet, peace be upon him, “anyone dies and a fast is due upon him, a trustworthy family member must make it up in his place.” [Muslim, no .1147]
  5. Freeing Slaves (‘itq): ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Amr once questioned the Prophet, peace be upon him, if the freeing of slaves on his behalf would help his departed father. ‘Had your father been a Muslim, and you liberated slaves on his behalf, donated charity on his behalf, or did pilgrimage on his behalf, it would have reached him,’ said the response. [No, Abu Dawud] .2883] 

‘In these sound hadiths is evidence that the deceased gains by any act of devotion,’ Ibn Qudamah wrote after quoting the aforementioned hadiths. Fasting, travel, and supplicating are all corporeal acts of devotion, and God has granted their blessings to the departed.

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