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Is Esaale Sawaab permissible

Question and Answer:
Q. I always knew we can read quran and give the sawab to the deceased and I do this all the time for my late dad. Recently I was told this is wrong and the dead cant benefit from my reading. Please clarify as I’m now confused
(Query published as received)
A. There are numerous Ahadith to prove that the rewards of the Qur’an and good actions reach and benefit the deceased when performed on their behalf.
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
When a person passes away, then all his actions cease except for three: a) Sadaqah Jaariyah (perpetuating charity), b) Knowledge which he imparted and is now being benefitted from or c) a pious child who will make Dua for him. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith #: 1631)
In the chapter titled “recitation by the deceased”, Imam Abu Dawood (Rahimahullah) transmitted the Hadith reported by Sayyiduna Ma’qal bin Yasar (Radiyallahu Anhu) that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
“Recite Surah Yaseen upon your dead”(Abu Dawood, Hadith #: 3121)
Allamah Ayni (Rahimahullah) states:
The rewards of all good actions benefit the dead including Salaah, fasting, Hajj, charity, Zikr etc (Ramzul Haqa’iq)
In Sahih al-Bukhari, the narration from Sayyidatuna Aa’ishah (Radiyallahu Anha) is recorded where a man came to the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asked him:
“My mother passed away suddenly and she did not get a chance to make a bequest. I think that if she had a chance, she would have given charity. So if I give charity on her behalf, will she be rewarded and will I also be rewarded?
The Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied in the affirmative. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith #: 2717)
These are just a few narrations from the many that establish that reciting the Qur’an and performing good deeds on behalf of the deceased will benefit them in their graves. You should continue doing good deeds on behalf of your father, be it in the form of charity, keeping optional fasts, optional Salaah, Istighfar, Zikr or the recitation of the Qur’an etc and all of this will benefit him Insha Allah.

And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport, Durban
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