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I am really confused on what a person can and cannot do for the dead.

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 am really confused on what a person can and cannot do for the dead.


You said, that reciting Quran or any Surah for the dead is an innovation (bidaa) and that a son/daughter cannot fast for their deceased parents.


But follwoing is what i read on another Islamic website ( : "Abdullah ibn Buraydah reported that his father (may Allah be pleased with him) said: While I was sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), a woman came to him and said: I gave my mother a slave-woman in charity, and now my mother has died. He said: You have got your reward, and your right of inheritance has brought your gift back to you. She said, O Messenger of Allah, she still had one month to fast can I fast it on her behalf? He said, FAST IT ON HER BEHALF. She said, She never went to Hajj can I perform Hajj on her behalf? He said, Perform Hajj on her behalf." (Reported by Muslim)


This website also stated the following:

"Many scholars include reading of the Quran in this category of permissible good works that one may do on behalf of ones deceased parents or relatives. They have done so based on their reasoning that there is no reason to exclude such an act from the above general permissions granted by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)"


I have attached the following link for you to read in detail and then provide the answer.

Awaiting your reply.


May Allah bless you for your hard and sincere work.


(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.)




Deeds for the dead

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 none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 74 Surah Muddaththir verse 38:

38 Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its (own) deeds.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 164:

164 Say: "Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than Allah when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)?" Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. Your goal in the end is toward Allah: He will tell you the truth of the things wherein ye disputed.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 41 Surah Ha-Meem verse 46:

46 Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul; whoever works evil it is against his own soul: nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His servants.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 25:

25 But how (will they fare) when We gather them together against a day about which there is no doubt and each soul will be paid out just what it has earned without (favor or injustice)?


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 59 Surah Hashr verse 18:

18 O ye who believe! Fear Allah and let every soul look to what (provision) he has sent forth for the morrow. Yea fear Allah: for Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 286:

286 On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns and it suffers every ill that it earns.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 35 Surah Fatir verse 18:

18 Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another's burden. If one heavily laden should call another to (bear) his load not the least portion of it can be carried (by the other) even though he be nearly related. Thou canst but admonish such as fear their Lord unseen and establish regular Prayer and whoever purifies himself does so for the benefit of his own soul; and the destination (of all) is to Allah.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 134:

They were a people who passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned, and you shall have the reward of what you will earn. And you will not be questioned as to what they did.


Dear and beloved brother in Islam, in light of the above and various other verses of the Glorious Quran, the guiding principle in Islam is that every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself. Just as one cannot do evil deeds and transfer them to another, one cannot do good deeds and by themselves, transfer them to their loved ones.


Abu Hurairah reported, "The Prophet (saws) said, 'When a person dies all his good deeds cease except for three:

  1. a continuous act of charity (which the deceased did in his own lifetime),
  2. beneficial knowledge (which the deceased left behind),
  3. and a righteous son (children) who prays for him'.''

Related by Muslim and Abu Dawood.


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 (children) 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.'

Related by Ibn Maajah.


Allah and His Messenger (saws) have been extremely clear regarding what benefits the deceased; and all the rites and rituals do in the name of their deceased loved ones like fatihah, urs, quran khani, etc. have absolutely no legal basis in either the Quran or the authentic and established Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.418 Narrated by Ibn Abbas

A woman came to the Prophet (saws) and said, "My mother vowed to perform the Hajj but she died before performing it. Should I perform the Hajj on her behalf?" He (saws) said, "Yes! Perform the Hajj on her behalf. See, if your mother had been in debt, would you have paid her debt?" She said, "Yes." He (saws) said, "So you should pay what is for Him, as Allah has more right that one should fulfill one's obligations to Him."


If one who was dying instructed her off-spring or loved one to do so something specific for them like Hajj or Umrah or charity etc.; or one who has died intended or vowed to perform the pilgrimage or give charity, etc.; or one who had missed or vowed some fasts and intended to fulfill them, but death overtook them before they could fulfill their vow or intention..the Messenger of Allah (saws) indeed permitted the off-spring or a loved one of the deceased to fulfill the intention or vow of their deceased loved one.


But for one from themselves to start doing deeds for their deceased loved ones, or make it a annual ritual to do something in the name of their deceased loved ones, etc..such acts have absolutely no basis or legality or permissibility in Islam.


If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,




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