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The dead receive the reward for recitation

Posted by muhammedm on May 11, 2009


Giving the reward to the dead

Fatawa li Hafidh ibn Hajar fil ‘Aqidah:
“Ahl us Sunnah differed regarding the bodily worships, a group from the Salaf, and it’s the opinion of some of the Ahnaf and is reported of Imam Ahmed, that it’s authentic (the reaching) for the dead, and he or she benefits, and others differed in that….
Ibn Hamdan al-Hanbali clarified in his book (ar-Ri’aya) that all acts reach the dead, whether it’s bodily or monetary, such as Charity, freeing of slaves, prayer, Hajj and recitation. Then he said, “it’s said, “if he (the one doing the act) intends while doing the act or before it, the (reward) reaches the dead, and if not, it doesn’t reach the dead….
Al-Khallal said, Abu Bakr al-Marwizi reported to us, I heard Ahmed bin Muhammed bin Hanbal say, “when you enter the cemetery, recite the opening of the book, Mu’awwidhatayn, Surah Ahad, and make it (the intention) for the people in the graves, for indeed it reaches them.” It’s reported from az-Za’farani, he said, “I asked as-Shafi’I about reciting at the grave, he said, “There’s no problem with it”. This text is rare from as-Shafi’I, az-Za’farani is from the early reporters, and he’s trustworthy. And if nothing new is reported that differs with the old text, then it’s practiced upon. But it (the report) doesn’t necessitate that Imam Shafi’I held the opinion of the recitation reaching the dead…” (Imam Shafi’I had two schools, the earlier one and the latter one).

Hafidh in al-Fatawa:
“Indeed, there have come few narrations from the Salaf regarding reciting at the grave, then the people continued this action from the time of the Imams of cities until our times. From that which has appeared regarding this is what al-Khallal narrated in his book, Al-Jami’, he said, “Al-‘Abbas bin Ahmed ad-Dawri said, I asked Ahmed bin Hanbal, “did you memorize (ahadith) anything regarding reciting at the grave?” He said, “No”, He (Al-‘Abbas) said, “and I asked Yahya Bin Ma’in, he narrated to me on the authority of Mubashshir bin Isma’il al-Halabi, he said, AbdurRahman bin al-‘ala’ bin Al-Hallah, on the authority of his father, he said, my father (Sahabi) said, “when I die, put me in the grave and say “in the name of Allah ta’ala, and upon the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah ta’ala, and read near my head the beginning of al-Baqarah, and it’s end, for indeed I heard Sayyidina Ibn Umar will this (act). Then Al-Khallal narrated from another path, that Ahmed was at a Janaza, when the deceased was buried, a blind man came… (The hadith is mentioned above). Al-Khallal also said, “Abu Bakr al-Marwizi narrated to us that “I heard Ahmed bin Muhammed bin Hanbal say, “when you enter the cemetery, recite the Fatiha…”

Mulla ‘Ali Qari in Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar:
“It’s disagreed regarding (the reaching of the reward) bodily worship, such as fasting, recitation of the Quran, and remembrance of Allah ta’ala. The opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmed and the majority of the Salaf (Allah ta’ala have mercy on them) is that it reaches the dead, and the well-known opinion of the Madhab of Imam Ash-Shafi’I and Imam Malik is that of not reaching the dead…
The recitation of the Quran at the grave is disliked according to Imam Abi Hanifa, Imam Malik, and Imam Ahmed, because it’s an innovation, it’s not mentioned in the Sunnah. Muhammed bin al-Hasan and Ahmed, in one narration, said it’s not disliked because of what is narrated on the authority of Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar (Allah ta’ala be pleased with him) that he advised that the beginning and end of Surah Baqara should be recited at the grave at the time of burial. And Allah ta’ala knows best.”

‘Allama Suyuti said in Sharh us Sudur:
“It’s differed upon regarding the reward of the recitation for the dead. The majority of the Salaf and the three Imams agreed on the reward reaching the dead. Our Imam, As-Shafi’I, differed in this, deriving the ruling through the ayah “there is nothing for man except that which he strived for”, the first ones (the Imams who said it reaches) answered regarding this ayah through many ways….
(He also mentions the report of az-Za’farani and Imam as-Shafi’i).

Imam an-Nawawi in al-Adhkar (under the chapter of what to say after burying):
“Imam As-Shafi’I and the companions (of the Madhab) said, “It’s recommended to recite something of the Quran, and they said if they recite the whole Quran then it’s great. We narrate in Sunan al-Bayhaqi with a fair (hasan) chain that Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar recommended that the beginning and the end of the Surah baqarah be recited at the grave.”

In the chapter of what benefits the dead from the saying of others:

“The scholars disagreed about the reward of recitation reaching the dead, the well-known opinion of the Shafi’I Madhab and a group that it doesn’t reach the dead. Imam Ahmed, a group of scholars, and a group from the scholars/companions (Ashab) of Imam Shafi’I said that it reaches the dead. The chosen wording is that after finishing the recitation, the recitor should say, “O Allah ta’ala, make the reward of what I recited reach such and such, And Allah ta’ala knows best…”

Imam al-Qurtubi al-Maliki says at-Tadhikira under the chapter of what has come regarding the recitation of the Quran at the grave while burying, and after it; and that the reward of the recitation reaches the dead…
“Abu Hamid in his Kitab al-Ihya and Abu Muhammed AbdulHaq in his book al-‘Iqaya has mentioned it. Muhammed bin Ahmed al-Maruruwidhi said, “I heard Ahmed bin Hanbal say, “When you enter the cemetery, recite Surah al-Fatiha, the Mu’awidhatayn, and Surah Ahad. And make it (the reward of the recitation) for the people of the graves, for it reaches them.”…
As-Salafi reported a hadith of Sayyidina ‘Ali, that he said, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “whoever passes by the cemetery and reads Surah Ikhlas eleven times, and bestows the reward to the dead, he’ll be given the reward equal to the number of people who are dead.” It’s reported a hadith of Anas, the servant of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “when a believer recites Ayatul Kursi, and gives the reward to the people of the graves, Allah ta’ala puts in the grave of every believer from the east to the west forty Nur (light), and Allah ta’ala expands their resting places, and Allah ta’ala gives the recitor the reward of sixty prophets, and raises a rank for him to the amount of deceased, and writes for him ten rewards for every deceased.”….
The Shaykh, the author, said that the root of this chapter (discussion) is Sadaqa, upon which there is no difference of opinion, just as how the reward (of Sadaqa) reaches the dead, likewise the reward for recitation, supplication, asking for forgiveness reaches the dead, for each of these is a charity (sadaqa), for Sadaqa isn’t restricted to wealth. …
“It’s reported from a hadith of Sayyidina Anas, that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “whoever enters the cemetery and then recites Surah Yasin, Allah ta’ala will lighten for them and for him (the recitor) is the reward equal to the numbers of deceased in the graves. It’s reported from Abdillah bin ‘Umar bin al-Khattab, Allah ta’ala be pleased with both of them, that he commanded that Surah Baqarah be recited at his grave. It’s been reported the permissibility of reciting the Quran at the grave from al-‘Ala’ bin AbdurRahman. An-Nasai and others mentioned the hadith of Ma’qal bin Yasar al-Madani, from the Prophet, peace be upon him, that he said, “recited Surah Yasin upon your dead”, this (hadith) carries/implies the recitation near the dead while he’s dying and it (also) carries that the recitation be at the grave.”
“It’s said that the reward of the recitation is for the recitor, and for the dead is the reward of listening, and because of that mercy will reach him. Allah ta’ala said, “When the Quran is recited, listen to it and keep silent so that you would obtain mercy.” I say, “It’s not distant/far regarding the generosity of Allah ta’ala, that the reward of the recitation and the listening reaches him (meaning both reaches him), and the reward that he gives to him from the recitation reaches him, even if he doesn’t hear him, such (acts) as charity, supplication, forgiveness which we have mentioned. And because the Quran is Dua’ (supplication), seeking forgiveness, humbling (oneself)…
“Al-Kharaiti mentioned in Kitab al-Qubur, he said, “a Sunnah of the Ansar was when they carried the dead, that they recited Surah Baqarah.”…
“Indeed we prolonged the discussion because the Shaykh, Faqih, Qadi, the Imam, Mufti al-Anam, Abdul-‘Aziz bin AbdusSalam would give the verdict that the reward of the recitation doesn’t reach the dead, and he sought evidence through the ayah, “And man doesn’t have except that which he strived for”, so when he passed away, Allah ta’ala have mercy on him, one of his companions who would keep his company saw him (in his dream) and asked him regarding this, he said to him (the Shaykh), “you used to say, “the reward of recitation doesn’t reach the dead, so how was the matter? He said, “Indeed, I used to say that in the abode of Dunya, and now I’ve returned from it (the opinion) when I saw the generosity of Allah ta’ala in that, and indeed it reaches him (the dead).”

Allama Majd ud Din in al-Muharrar says under the chapter of Janaiz:

“…He should be encouraged to say La Ilaha Illa Allah by saying it once, and it shouldn’t be more than three. If he says something after it, it should be repeated. Yasin should be recited over him. And if he dies, his eyes should be closed…”

“Whoever does an optional deed which draws one close (to Allah ta’ala), and gifts it to the dead Muslim, this will benefit him (the dead). (In the commentary/Hashiya by Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali, he defends this and goes into detail (about three pages) regarding different acts.)

Although reciting at the grave isn’t the topic at hand, but here is the position on reading at the grave:
“…It’s disliked to sit and lean on the graves, and it’s not disliked to recite at the grave.”

‘Allama As-Saffarini in his Sharh on Mukhtasar al-Muqni’ he says the same about recitation, and says “it’s authenticated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that he willed (the hadith is mentioned above)…”

‘Allama Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi in al-Mughni:

وقد روي عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال : { من دخل المقابر فقرأ سورة يس خفف عنهم يومئذ ، وكان له بعدد من فيها حسنات } . وروي عنه عليه السلام { من زار قبر والديه أو أحدهما ، فقرأ عنده أو عندهما يس غفر له } .

وأي قربة فعلها ، وجعل ثوابها للميت المسلم ، نفعه ذلك ، إن شاء الله

Hafidh ibn Qayyim in Kitab al-Ruh:
“They disagreed regarding (the reaching of the reward) the bodily acts of worship such as fasting, prayer, recitation of the Quran, remembrance of Allah ta’ala. The Madhab of Imam Ahmed and majority of the Salaf is that of it reaching the dead, and it’s the opinion of some of the companions of Imam Abi Hanifa…”

Regarding articulating the reward:
“Allah ta’ala knows the intention of the slave, and if he mentions his intention for the act, it’s permissible, and if he leaves its mentioning and suffices with the intention, it will reach him, it’s not necessary to say, “O Allah ta’ala I’m going to fast tomorrow on behalf of so and so.”

Ibn Taymiyya in Iqtida as-Sirat al-Mustaqim:
أن ثواب العبادات البدنية من الصلاة والقراءة وغيرهما يصل إلى الميت كما يصل إليه ثواب العبادات المالية بالاجماع وهذا مذهب أبي حنيفة وأحمد وغيرهما وقول طائفة من أصحاب الشافعي ومالك وهو الصواب لأدلة كثيرة ذكرناها في غير هذا الموضع
والثاني أن ثواب العبادة البدنية لا يصل إليه بحال وهو المشهور عند أصحاب الشافعي ومالك وما من أحد من هؤلاء يخص مكانا بالوصول أو عدمه فأما استماع الميت للأصوات من القراءة وغيرها فحق”


One Response to “The dead receive the reward for recitation”

  1. mik said

    even ibn taymiyya approved of it… (majmu’ fatawa, in book 24 page 297)

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