Quran for the deceased
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I'd just like to comment on the fact that I disagree that you cannot pass reward on. My understanding is that the reward for reciting the Qur'an will go to the other person without diminishing your own. What about the narrations about how a deceased person can benefit in the grave one of those categories is leaving behind pious chidren who would pray for you. Surely, this includes reading of Qur'an and the deceased getting blessing for it without diminishing the blessing of the reader?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Quran for the deceased
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Abu Hurairah reported that The Prophet (saws), said, 'When a person dies all his good deeds cease except for three: a continuous act of charity, beneficial knowledge, and a righteous son (children) who prays for him'.'' (Muslim, and the Sunan)
Also Abu Hurairah reported The Prophet (saws) said, 'The righteous works that continue to benefit a believer after his death include the knowledge that he taught and spread among others, a righteous son whom he leaves behind, or a copy of the Qur'an that he bequeaths to his inheritors, or a mosque that he builds, or a rest house that he builds for the wayfarers, or a canal of water that he digs for the benefit of others, or a charity that he gives out of his property during his life while he is sound of health. He will continue to receive reward for all these even after his death.' (Ibn Majah)
In light of the above narrations of the Messenger of Allah (saws), it is evident that the Book of Records is ceased, except for three categories:
A continuous act of charity which the person did which is beneficial to people after his death.
Beneficial knowledge the person spread during his lifetime.
Righteous children whom the person brought up.
Ref: Category 3 - Righteous children
What is meant here is that the deceased parent brought up righteous children, taught them the deen, or facilitated them to learn and practice the deen. And his children grew up to be righteous believers and strove in the Cause of Allah Subhanah. Now since this person had a role and made an effort to raise his children righteously in Islam, Allah has promised him a share of all the good deeds his children do; without diminishing the reward of the children themselves!
Thus if his children grow up and become righteous muslims because of the teachings and guidance of his parents, and pray, and spend in the Way of Allah, recite Quran, and strive in the propagation of Islam and the Cause of Allah; Allah will, Insha Allah, give the parents an equal reward for all the good deeds done by their children. It is not as if the children need to gather and sit down and recite the Quran in the name of their deceased parent, and then specifically apply to transfer this particular good deed to the account of their parents. Whatever good deed they do, Allah will give their parents an equal reward, without diminishing their own; because their parents played a pivotal role in the child being righteous.
But lets say, the parent was a person who disobeyed the commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws) all his life; never prayed nor observed any of the boundaries set by Allah; and never tried to teach or guide his children to become believers.. and after the death of the parent, Allah chose to guide these children to Islam and they became good believing muslims and worshippers of Allah! In such cases, it cannot be expected that the deceased parents will receive any reward for the good deeds of their children; simply because they had absolutely no role in it! There are several examples of such cases in the Holy Quran, where Prophet Abraham (a.s.) was a believer and his father was a disbeliever. And no reward of Prophet Abrahams (a.s.) was transferred to his father, who is promised the Fire of Hell by Allah Subhanah in the Holy Quran!
Allah did not even allow the Prophet Mohamed (saws) to beg forgiveness for his own mother, who had died as a disbeliever!
Abu Hurairah reported: "The Prophet (saws) visited his mother' s grave and cried, and everyone there cried with him. Then the Prophet (saws) said: 'I sought my Lord's permission to seek forgiveness for her, but He did not permit me. I then sought permission to visit her grave and He permitted me to do this. You should visit graves, because they will remind you of the reality of death.'' (Muslim, Ahmad, and the Sunan)
For acts of worship, we must always follow what is said by Allah and His Messenger (saws). Besides, there is absolutely no evidence that the Messenger of Allah (saws), his noble ahly-bayt, or any of his noble companions ever read Quran for the ajr or peace of any deceased person!
The Glorious Quran is a Book of Guidance revealed by Allah for the guidance of the living amongst mankind and one who is alive will definitely benefit from its recitation and from its commands of Wisdom and Knowledge. In light of the above narrations of the Messenger of Allah (saws), all the good deeds of a person who dies cease except for three things specifically mentioned; and the recitation of the Quran over the deceased is not one of them!
Just as one cannot do a sin and transfer it to the account of the deceased; one cannot do any good deed and transfer it to the deceased unless specified by Allah and His Messenger (saws)!
But what we can and must do is make constant supplication for his deceased brother/sister in faith to the Merciful Lord, and beseech Him to be Merciful on the departed soul, forgive his/her sins and grant them an honorable place in Paradise. This was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Thus gathering and the ceremonial reading of the Quran over the deceased and/or to transfer the reward of the recitation of the Quran to the deceased, is a clear and manifest innovation, and this act must be avoided by the believers who sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,