Completing a reading of the entire Qur’an for the deceased


Completing a reading of the entire Qur’an for the deceased







Completing a reading of the entire Qur’an for the deceased






We reviewed request no.95for the year 2006which includes the following:


Some people complete a reading of the entire Qur`an three days after a person’s death. What is the ruling for this, and does the reward for it reach the deceased?


Reading the Qur’an is unrestricted in Islamic



Reading the noble Qur’an is one of the best acts of worship that a Muslim practices to draw closer to his Lord. In Islamic law, the command to read the Qur’an occurs in an absolute sense; it is established in the principles of jurisprudence that unrestricted matters entail all places, times and conditions except what has been omitted or restricted by Islamic law.


Reading the Qur’an over a deceased


According to the consensus of scholars, it is permissible to read the Qur’an to a deceased at the time of his death or after; at his home, in the mosque, at his grave side or any other place and at time of burial or after.


Some Maliki scholars maintained that it is specifically disliked to read the Qur’an at the graveside. However, Sheikh al-Dardir, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The later scholars from the Malikis maintained that there is no harm in reciting the Qur’an, making remembrance of Allah and dedicating the reward to a deceased; the reward for these acts reaches him by the will of Allah.”


Scholarly authorship

Al-Qira`a ‘ala al-Qubur by the Hanbali scholar Al-Khalal;

The Hanbali luminary Shams Al-Deen Al-Maqdisi wrote a treatise on this subject;

Tawdeeh al-Bayan li Wusul Thawab al-Qur`an by ‘Abdullah al-Ghumari; and others.


Evidence from the Sunnah on the Permissibility of Reading the Qur’an for the Deceased

Ma’qal ibn Yassar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet [pbuh] said: “Read Ya Seen over your dead”[Reported by Ahmed, Abu Dawud and ibn Majah. Ibn Hiban and al-Hakim declared it authentic]. The hadith demonstrates the permissibility of

Reciting Ya Seen both at the time of death and after.


Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) say: “When any of you dies, do not delay [his burial] but hasten to take him to his grave. Afterwards, read al-Fatiha at his head and the closing verses of Surat al-Baqarah at his feet”


[Reported by al-Tabarani and al-Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman. Ibn Hajar declared it fair].


Another phrasing of the hadith mentions ‘the opening verses of Surat al-Baqarah instead of the Fatiha.


Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, instructed that the opening and closing verses of Surat al-Baqarah be read at his graveside when he is buried [Reported by al-Khalal.


Ibn Qudamamh declared it authenticandAl-Nawawi declared it fair].


It was mentioned in another narration that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) said “read the opening verses of Surat al-Baqarah (i.e. first five verse)” instead of Al-Fatiha.”


Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet [pbuh] said,


“Whoever enters a cemetery and recites (Ya Seen), Allah will mitigate the punishment of the grave dwellers, and he will receive a reward equal to the number of deceased therein”


[Reported by ‘Abdul ‘Aziz the student of al-Khalal. Ibn Qudama mentions it in al-Mughni].



Scholarly opinions


The stronger opinion concerning this matter is the permissibility of reciting the Qur`an for the deceased and some scholars even maintain that there is a scholarly consensus on this matter; these include:


The Hanbali scholar, ibn Qudama al-Maqdisiwho said:


“Any act of worship the reward of which is dedicated to a deceased Muslim will benefit him by the will of Allah … some scholars contend that if the Qur’an is read at the side of the deceased or its reward is dedicated to him, the reader receives the reward and the deceased will gain the mercy of its recitation … The opinion of our school which we have previously mentioned, is the unanimity of Muslims [on the permissibility of donating the reward of Qur`anic recitations to the deceased];


Muslims in every place and age have gathered to recite the Qur`an and dedicated its reward to their dead without any criticism”[Al-Mughni, 2/225].


Sheikh al-‘Uthmani cited the unanimous scholarly agreement in his book Rahmat al-Ummah fi Ikhtilaf al-A’immah, and said:


“Scholars unanimously agreed that asking forgiveness for the deceased, supplicating for him, and the reward of giving out in charity, performing Hajj and manumitting [slaves] on his behalf reaches and benefits him and that it is recommended to recite the Qur’an at the grave.”


Scholars deduced the permissibility of reciting the Qur`an for the deceased from that of making Hajj on his behalf and the fact that its reward reaches him. This is because Hajj includes prayers which, in turn includes the Fatiha and other Qur`anic chapters. What reaches the deceased in whole reaches him in part; therefore, according to the majority of scholars, the reward of reciting the Qur`an reaches the deceased if the reciter intends to donate the reward to him.


The Shafi’is maintained that the recitation reaches the deceased as a supplication; one is to say: “O Allah! Give the deceased a reward similar to that which I earned for my recital”; the reciter must not donate the recital itself.


There should not be any controversy over this matter.


Allah Almighty knows best.




ISAAL-E-THAWAAB (to perform a virtuous act and grant the reward to any person, alive or deceased) is permissible and in fact (Mustahabb)meritorious.

There are basically 2 forms of ISAAL-


a) The conveying of the reward of charitable deeds.

b) The conveying of the reward of physical deeds that do not entail wealth, e.g. Salaat, fasting, Dhikr, recitation of the holy Qur’an, Tawaafof the Ka’abah, etc.

The first form is unanimously acceptable by the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. The second form is correct according to the Hanafiand HanbaliMadhab and several Shaafi’ee and Maalikischolars as well.

As for the reward of Du’aa(which is separate from the above), there is also unanimity of the scholars in its reward reaching and benefiting the deceased.

(Refer al-Azkaar of Imaam Nawawi)

Hafiz ibnul Qayyim (RA)states that if one accepts the charitable form of ISAAL-E-THAWAAB and refutes the physical form, it would be said to him:

What is the proof to show that the recitation of the holy Qur’aan does not reach the deceased?’

And Allamah Qurtubi states, ‘Just as the reward of charitable deeds benefit the deceased, similarly, the recitation of the holy Qur’aan, Du’aa and Isghtifaar also do the same, because all of these are regarded asSadaqah(charity)in Shari’ah.’

(Al-Tazkirah pg.71)

He, thereafter, mentioned 2 narrations recorded in Sahih Muslim which prove that even Salaat and Dhikr of Allah(Tasbeeh, Takbeer and Tahleel)were all classified asSadaqah by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). Hence, there remains no dispute in whether the reward of Qur’aanic recital benefits and deceased or not.

Besides the above, we will now for academic reasons, mention some proofs that substantiate both forms of ISAAL-E-THAWAAB

1. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) slaughtered sheep during his farewell Hajj and made intention for himself and all those(alive, deceased and to come) who bring faith on his prophethood.


(Sahih Bukhari)

2.Imaam Bukharihas reported on the authority of Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbaas(Radhiallaahu Anhu) that Sayyiduna Sa’ad ibn Ubaadah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was away when his mother passed away.


When he returned, he asked Rasulullah, ‘Will it be of any benefit if I give charity on her behalf?’ Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied in the affirmative.


(Sahih Bukhari Hadith2762)

Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani (RA) states in his monumental commentary of Sahih Bukhari entitled, ‘Fath al-Bari’,This Hadith proves the permissibility of charity on behalf of the deceased and that the reward will reach him.’



(Fath al-Baari vol.5 pg.477 Hadith2761)

3. Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbaas

(Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports a man once asked Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam),


O Prophet of Allah! My father has passed away and he did not perform Hajj, can I perform Hajj on his behalf?’ Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) enquired of him, ‘If your father had any debt, would you have paid it.?’ The man replied, ‘Yes.’


Upon this, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘In that case, the Deen of Allah has more right.’



(Sunan Nasaaie Hadith26331)

4.A separate incident of a similar nature has been recorded by Imaam Bukhari in his Sahih (Hadith6698).


Hafiz ibn Qayyim (RA), the famous student ofHafiz ibn Taymiyah (RA), after quoting the above Ahaadith, states:

These quotations all concur with the fact that when the living carry out any deed on behalf of the deceased, the reward will reach him (benefit him).’

(Kitaab Ruh pg.161)

5.Sayyiduna al-Lajlaaj (Radhiallaahu Anhu), a companion of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), had bequested his son that after he leaves this world, he should recite the beginning and end of Surah al-Baqarah at the head side of his grave.


Sayyiduna al-Lajlaaj(Radhiallaahu Anhu) then mentioned that he heard this from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).

(Al-Mu’jamul Kabeer of Imaam Tabrani; Hafiz Haythami has regarded the narrators of this tradition as reliable –

Refer Majmauz-zawaaid vol.3 pg.44)

6. Such has also been recorded to be the practice of SayyidunaAbdullah ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu).

(Sunan al-Kubra of Imaam Bayhaqi vol.4 pg.56).

This narration has been classified asHasan(sound) by Imaam Nawawiy and Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA).(Al-Azkaar pg.212 Hadith493;al-Futuhaat al-Rabbaaniyya vol.3 pg.194)

Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA)has mentioned in a reply to a query of whether the reward of recitation of the Qur’aan reaches the deceased, that; it is Mustahabb(meritorious) for one to do this form of (ISAAL-E-THAWAAB) abundantly.

(Refer Tawdehul Bayaan li wusooli thawaabil Qur’aan of Shaykh Abdullah Siddique al-Ghumariy pg.2)

Besides these there are numerous other narrations of this nature.

It thus becomes abundantly clear through the abovementioned Ahaadith that Isaal-e-Sawaab is totally permissible in all it’s forms and is in fact a very virtuous deed. This is the view of the overwhelming majority of the classical scholars (Muhadditheen and Fuqahaa) of Islam.

(Refer Kitaab al-Rooh of ibn Qayyim pg.153; Fathul Baari vol.5 pg.477 Hadith2761; Sharhus-Sudoor of Allamah Suyuti pgs.402, 403 Dar ibn Kathir; al-Hidaaya vol.1 pg.296-297; Fathul Qadeer vol.3 pg.65-66; Shaami vol.2 pg.243 – HM Saeed)

If after understanding the above, one still denies the validity of the physical form of Isaal-e-Sawab, then the following method can in no circumstance be refuted. And that is that after one carries out a physical form of worship(i.e. Salat, fasting, recitation of the holy Qur’aan, etc.),he should make a Du’aa to Almighty Allah that Allah, firstly, accepts this noble deed and he should thereafter ask Allah to grant the reward to so and so person.


In this way, if Allah accepts the Du’aa, the reward will automatically be conveyed to that specific person alive or deceased.

This method has been prescribed by great scholars like Imaam Nawawi and Hafiz ibn Hajarso as to remove all differences of opinion. We have already mentioned that there is no doubt in the deceased benefiting from the Du’aas of the living. In a narration of Sahih Muslim, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has mentioned that one thethree thingsthat will benefit the deceased is the Du’aa of his pious children.


(Sahih Muslim pg.4199)

Lastly, we would like to mention that this
Mas-alah(issue) is not something connect to beliefs, instead it is a Faraaidh(secondary) issue which entails a difference of opinion as well.

(Fatawa ibnus salaah vol.1 pg.149).

Hence, no one can claim that either part is guilty of perpetrating an act of Bid’ah (innovation), bearing in mind that the majority of the scholars accept all forms of Isaal-e-Sawaab.

(Refer Kitaab al-Ruh)

The incident of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal has been recorded by Imaam Abu Bakr al-Khallaal in his Kitaabul Jaami as well as in his booklet entitled, ‘Amr bil Ma’roof Wa Nahy anil Munkar, and according to this, Imaam Ahmad had approved of the recitation of the beginning and end of Surah al-Baqarah

(Refer Atharul Hadith of al-Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad Awwaamah pgs.162-163)

As for your specific query of the validity of reciting the Qur’aan from the homes, it will suffice to say that there is no difference – in this instance – between recital in the graveyard and in the homes, just as there is no difference in making Du’aa for the deceased in the graveyard or from the home. And allow us to ask the question, what is the proof for the act of reciting from home and dedicating its reward to the deceased being void and incorrect?

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Moulana Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon Abassommar



Article taken (with Thanks) from




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