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Chapter 162
ﻪﻟ ءﺎﻋﺪﻟاو ﺖﻴﻤﻟا ﻦﻋ ﺔﻗﺪﺼﻟا بﺎﺑ
Charity on behalf of the Deceased and Praying for him
Allah, the Exalted, says:
"And those who came after them say: `Our Rubb! Forgive us and our brothers who have preceded us in
ﺎَﻬُﺴْﻔَﻧ ْﺖَﺘﻠُﺘﻓا ﻲﱢﻣُأ ﱠنإ ﻢﱠﻠَﺳو ِﻪْﻴَﻠَﻋ ُﷲا ﻰّﻠَﺻ ﱢﻲﺒﱠﻨﻠﻟ لﺎﻗ ًﻼُﺟَر ﱠنَأ ﺎَﻬْﻨَﻋ ُﻪﱠﻠﻟا َﻲﺿَر َﺔَﺸِﺋﺎﻋ ْﻦَﻋو
ﻮﻟ ﺎَهاَرُأَو
لﺎﻗ ؟ ﺎَﻬْﻨَﻋ ُﺖْﻗﱠﺪَﺼﺗ نإ ٌﺮْﺟَأ ﻦﻣ ﺎَﻬﻟ ﻞَﻬَﻓ ، ْﺖَﻗﱠﺪَﺼَﺗ ، ْﺖَﻤﱠﻠَﻜَﺗ
» ْﻢَﻌَﻧ «
ﻪﻴﻠﻋ ٌﻖﻔﺘﻣ
`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: A man said to the Prophet (PBUH):
My mother has died
suddenly. I think that if she were able to talk (alive) she would have given in Sadaqah (charity). So, if I give
Sadaqah now on her behalf, will she get the reward?''
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,
"Yes (she will be
rewarded for that).''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
This Hadith plainly tells us that the reward of the alms given on behalf of a dead person reaches his
or her soul just like the benefit of prayer, if accepted by Allah. Charity and prayer are two permissible forms of the
transmission of blessing to the dead. But rites like `Qul' and `Chehlum' are all of Hindu origin to which the ignorant
Muslims have taken a fancy. Similarly, Qur'an reading meant to transmit reward to a dead man's soul is against the
Prophet's example. All such observances are of no use to the dead. Only scriptural channels can be beneficial to
them and they are only two - prayer and charity. But only that charity counts which comes from the children of the
dead and the Hadith too has specified it. Obviously, almsgiving by any other person than the offspring cannot be
considered rightful or rewarding to the dead. For further detail, one can refer to Sheikh Al-Albani's Ahkam-ul-
لﺎﻗ ﻢﱠﻠَﺳو ِﻪْﻴَﻠَﻋ ُﷲا ﻰّﻠَﺻ ِﻪﱠﻠﻟا لﻮُﺳر ﱠنأ ُﻪْﻨَﻋ ﻪﱠﻠﻟا َﻲﺿَر َةَﺮْﻳَﺮُه ﻲﺑأ ﻦﻋو
َﻊَﻄﻘﻧا ُنﺎَﺴﻧﻹا َتﺎَﻣ اذإ
ٍثﻼَﺛ ْﻦِﻣ ﱠﻻإ ُﻪُﻠَﻤﻋ
ٍﺪَﻟَو ْوَأ ، ِﻪِﺑ ُﻊَﻔَﺘْﻨُﻳ ﻢﻠِﻋ ْوأ ، ٍﺔَﻳرﺎﺟ ٍﺔَﻗﺪَﺻ
ﻪﻟ ﻮُﻋﺪَﻳ ٍﺢﻟﺎَﺻ
ﻢﻠﺴﻣ ﻩاور
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,
"When a man
dies, his deeds come to an end, except for three: A continuous charity, knowledge by which people derive benefit,
pious son who prays for him.''
A thoughtful reflection of this Hadith will reveal that the three things are indeed man's own good
deeds which somehow continue to exist even after his death. For example, places like a hospital, a mosque, a
religious school and a well built by a man continue to operate like a trust as traces of his activity in earthly life. To
quote the Qur'an:
"And We record that which they send before (them), and their traces [their footsteps and walking on the earth with
their legs to the mosques for the five compulsory congregational prayers, Jihad (holy fighting in Allah's Cause) and
all other good and evil they did, and that which they leave behind].''
So long as they exist and people benefit from them, the dead person will keep receiving his due reward. The same is
pertinent to the spread of knowledge of Islamic disciplines to people's moral uplift. For instance, if during his
lifetime he wrote books based on Qur'an and Hadith, advocated the cause of Islam, instructed lots of pupils in
Islamic teachings, it will be counted as an unending activity on his part. To quote a Hadath: "The one who called
people to adopt the Right Path will receive reward in the same measure as did those who had the good fortune to
follow him.'' Besides, this Hadith tells us that, after his death, man will receive reward by the prayers of his virtuous
children, and other Ahadith too confirm it. This clears the issue of sending the fruit of good works to the welfare of a
dead person's soul. Charity or the continual charity from the part of a dead person himself, beneficial
knowledge and prayer are acts of Sunnah under this rule. With the exception of these, all other deeds do not benefit
the dead. However, if the dead person was under obligation to perform Hajj or had missed obligatory or vowed fasts,
his heirs are commanded by the Prophet (PBUH) to observe them on his behalf. Because this is like a debt payable
by the dead person and his heirs are under obligation to discharge it for him. Yet, this rule is inapplicable to other
forms of physical worship.