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Isale Sawaab for my parents



I have in the past built a mosque for my deceased parents and now, with my wife and her brother and sisters we will Insha Allah build a mosque with the niyat that my mother and father in law will benefit as Isaal e Thawaab. My Niyyat is one purely for benefit our deceased family members and ourselves. I am a true believer of Isaal-e-Thawaab projects but will meet resistance from some quarters in the family who will say .. “When a person is dead that is it ! You cannot do anything for him … his amaal naama is closed!”

Please look at the hadith below which I picked up from Faza’il  E Sadaqaat and intended to quote to the family.

Rasulullah SAW has said that the returns for a person’s virtues come to an end when he dies; but there are three such things, the returns for which keep accruing even after death:

  1. A Sadaqah with recurring benefits
  2. Knowledge from which people continue to benefit
  3. Virtuous children who offer duas for their deceased parents

Having also read the explanations to the Hadith it seems to make reference to a living person spending and acquiring deeni knowledge  when he alive or his virtuous children making duas for him after his death to benefit on an ongoing basis after his death. I cannot see clearly where it says that the children have to spend in the path of Allah in the name of their parent on a cause the returns for which keep accruing for the benefit of the deceased parent. Have I picked up the right hadith … is there something else which is authenticated  I could quote in support of the cause.

I need guidance …. How do I justify encouraging or appealling to the family to contribute to build a mosque or a well or to educate children for the benefit of their deceased parents? My Niyat is clean and Allah knows best.

You comments or those of someone who can quote authenticated hadiths with some authority or can put forward his view point in favour of the project will be appreciated!

( Question posted as received )


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

It is encouraging to note that members of your family including yourself have taken the responsibility to establish Masaajid and other Islamic related projects. Indeed this is a great service to Islam and the Muslims at large. What can be greater than promoting the construction of the “Houses of Allah Ta’ala (the masaajid)”? Amongst the concerns of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) upon his arrival in Madina Munawwarah was the construction of a Musjid. We make du’a to Allah Ta’ala that he accepts your efforts and assist you in your mission, Ameen.

There is no doubt that construction of a musjid will accrue rewards for person during his lifetime as well as after his death. Construction of a musjid is a Sadaqa (charity) that has recurring rewards. From the Ahadith, we understand that any Sadaqa that has recurring benefits will accrue rewards during one’s lifetime as well as after death. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) mention:

عن أبى هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إذا مات الإنسان انقطع عنه عمله إلا من ثلاثة إلا من صدقة جارية أو علم ينتفع به أو ولد صالح يدعو له

“When man dies, his actions come to an end except three, the rewards of which keep accruing even after his death, (they are) Sadaqa (charity) that have recurring benefits, knowledge from which people continue to benefit, pious children who offer du’a on behalf of their deceased parents”(Sahih Muslim, vol 2, pg 41, Kutub Khana Rasheediyya)


In another Hadith, Rasullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) mention that construction of a musjid will accrue reward for a person even after his death.

عن أبي هريرة قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : إن مما يلحق المؤمن من عمله و حسناته بعد موته علما علمه و نشره أو ولدا صالحا تركه أو مسجدا بناه أو بيتا لابن السبيل بناه أو نهرا كراه أو صدقة أخرجها من ماله في صحته و حياته تلحقه من بعد موته

“The deeds for which a believer continues to receive their rewards even after his death are: Knowledge which he taught and propagated; pious children which he left behind; a musjid that he constructed; a residence for travellers that he constructed; a canal that he dug; sadaqa (charity) that he gave during his life in good health; all these will assist him after his demise” (Sahih Ibni Khuzaima, #2490, Al-Maktab al-Islami)


We also learn from the above Ahadith that digging of wells and propagating knowledge and education are also forms of “Isaal Al-Thawwab”. Nowadays, by simply sponsoring a well or sponsoring the education of a child will earn a person the same reward.

The abovementioned Ahadith are the rewards for constructing a musjid, sponsoring wells and propagating knowledge. However, this does not negate the fact that the rewards of these actions could also be conveyed to ones deceased parents. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) mentioned:

عن عمرو بن شعيب عن أبيه عن جده قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لأبي :

إذا أردت أن تتصدق صدقة فاجعلها عن أبويك فإنه يلحقهما و لا ينقص من أجرك شيئا

“Whenever you intend giving charity, then do so on behalf of your parents; for its rewards will surely reach them without your rewards decreasing in the least bit” (Shu’ab Al-Imaan, #7533, Al-Maktaba al-Rushd)


However, the act of “Isaal Al-Thawwab” should not be confined to one’s parents only; rather it is advisable that it should be done on behalf of all the muslims, as explained by the Fuqahaa. This will not reduce ones reward in the least bit. (Radd Al-Muhtar, vol 2, pg 595, HM Saeed)

According to one narration, we understand that the deceased are resembled to a drowning person who frantically awaits rescue. Similarly, the deceased awaits dua’s or any good deed from his parents, brother and friends. When he receives the gift (of dua or any good deed), he cherishes it more than the world and whatever it contains. (Shu’ab Al-Imaan, # 7527, Al-Maktaba al-Rushd)

Sa’d bin Ubadah (Radiyallaahu anhu) once asked Rasullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam): Can I donate something on behalf of my late mother? Rasullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) replied: Yes! Sa’d bin Ubadah (Radiyallaahu anhu) asked: Which form of charity is most virtuous? Rasullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) replied: “Arranging water for masses to drink” (Sunan Al-Nasaaie, #3664, Maktab Al-Matbu’aat al-Islamiyya)

In light of the above explanation;

  1. Constructing ofMasaajid,providing water for the masses and educating children are forms of reward during one’s life as well after death.
  2. Conveying the rewards of these projects to ones parents will also earn them the recurring rewards.
  3. When constructing amusjid,ones intention should be to benefit the muslims masses as well as conveying the rewards to all the muslims.

And Allah knows best


Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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