Question & Answer
Is it bidaa to recite alfatithah or surah yasin and present as a gift for that dead?


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

We begin with Allah’s blessed name, we praise him and we glorify him, seek his forgiveness and ask him to guide us. Whoever Allah guides, None can lead astray and whoever he misguides, None can guide. There is no power and no strength except from Allah, The most high, the Most great, the most powerful. We bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers. We pray for peace and blessings on all the noble messengers and in particular on the last of them all “the blessed prophet Mohammad (pbuh)”

There is general agreement that a deceased person benefits from all good deeds for which he or she in his or her life might have been a cause.

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased). SAHIH MUSLIM[Book 13 : Hadith 4005}

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'The rewards of the good deeds that will reach a believer after his death are: Knowledge which he taught and spread; a righteous son whom he leaves behind; a copy of the Qur'an that he leaves as a legacy; a mosque that he built; a house that he built for wayfarers; a canal that he dug; or charity that he gave during his lifetime when he was in good health. These deeds will reach him after his death.'" IBN MAJAH[English reference: vol. 1, book 1, hadith 242 ::: Arabic Reference : book 1, hadith 249]

A thoughtful understanding of these narrations will reveal that the three things are indeed one’s own good deeds which somehow continue to exist even after ones death.

For example, if one builds place like a hospital, a masjid, a school, a bridge, a road etc, then these will continue to add to ones deeds after ones death . Allah Says in the glorious Quran:

... We are recording all the deeds they have done and also that which they have left behind. We have preserved everything in an open Book. (36:12)

“that which they have left behind” means the deeds they have done in their life time but are still in the world benefiting the people.

So long as they exist and people benefit from them, the dead person will keep receiving his due reward. Similarly if one has in one’s life time spread the Islamic knowledge amongst the people, to make them aware of the religious matters, then thay will also be counted as an unending activity on his part. Alike god fearing son praying for the dead father would also benefit the dead.

Thus Charity or the continual charity from the part of a dead person himself, beneficial knowledge and prayer are acts of Sunnah under this rule. With the exception of these, all other deeds do not benefit the dead. However, if the dead person was under obligation to perform Hajj or had missed obligatory or vowed fasts, his heirs are commanded by the Prophet (PBUH) to observe them on his behalf. Because this is like a debt payable by the dead person and his heirs are under obligation to discharge it for him.

That is whatever influences one has left behind of one’s good and bad actions on to the future generation, on society and on mankind as a whole, will go on being recorded in ones account as far as they reach and as long as they remain active and operative in this world.

Ibn al-Qayyim said, "The best present for the deceased is an act that is most beneficial to people, for example, freeing a slave.Thus a sadaqah giving in charity is better than fasting on behalf of the deceased. The best charity is that which fulfills someone's need and is continuous. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "The best charity is to give people a drink of water." This applies to a place where water is scarce. Otherwise, giving someone a drink of water from a river or a canal would not be better than feeding the hungry who need food. Likewise, supplication and asking forgiveness for the deceased is beneficial to the deceased, especially when the supplicant is sincere, earnest, and humble in his supplication. Such a supplication is better than charity, just as regular prayer (salah) is better than the funeral prayer and than supplicating for the deceased by his grave.

In general, the best gift to send the deceased is freeing a slave, giving in charity, asking forgiveness for him or her, and making the Hajj (pilgrimage) on his or her behalf.

There is absolutely no proof that our beloved prophet (pbuh) or any of the companions ever recited any surah and gifted its reward to any dead. Rather our beloved prophet (pbuh) guided us that “When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased)”

However some of the scholars are of the opinion that gifting Recitation of the Qur'an to the dead does reach and benefit the dead.

An-Nawawi said, "The most well-known position of the Shafi'i school is that this does not benefit the deceased." Ahmad ibn Hanbal and a group of Shafi' i scholars hold that it does benefit the deceased . The reciter has an option. He may supplicate for the deceased to be rewarded for the recitation, saying: "O Allah! Grant the reward of what I recited to so-and-so."

Ibn Qudamah in al-Mughni stated, "Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, 'The deceased will receive the reward for every good done on his behalf. This is proved by textual evidence found on this subject. The fact that Muslims in every city gather to recite the Qur'an for the benefit of the deceased and that they have been doing so without any disagreement or disapproval show that there is consensus on this subject'."

Those who hold that the deceased benefits by the recitation of others make it conditional upon the reciter not to accept any payment for his recitation. If the reciter is paid for reciting, it is unlawful for both the giver and the receiver, and he shall have no reward for his reciting. Abd Ar Rahman ibn Shibl reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Recite the Qur'an, and do good deeds .... Do not neglect it, nor be extreme in it. Do not make it a means of living nor a source of your wealth.'' (Reported by Ahmad, At-Tabarani, and Al-Baihaqi)

Ibn al-Qayyim said, "Worship is of two types: financial and physical. The Prophet, peace be upon him, has informed us that because charity (sadaqah) benefits the deceased, all other acts of charity will also benefit the deceased, and that because fasting on his behalf benefits the deceased, all other physical acts of worship will likewise benefit the deceased. Similarly the Prophet, peace be upon him, informed us that the reward of making Hajj, which involves both physical and financial sacrifice, does indeed benefit the deceased. Thus these three types of beneficial acts of worship are supported by both the revealed texts and reason."

Ibn 'Aqil said, "If one performed any act of obedience, for example, a prayer, fasting, or recitation of the Qur'an and made its reward a gift to a deceased Muslim, the deceased will receive the reward for it, provided that he has a prior intention of making it for the benefit of the deceased, and the act and the intention go together." Ibn al-Qayyim supports this opinion.

This is their opinion with the reason, but we still want to assure you that There is absolutely no proof that our beloved prophet (pbuh) or any of the companions ever recited any surah and gifted its reward to any dead.Our beloved prophet (pbuh) said:

Narrated An-Nu'man bin Bashir: The Prophet said "Both legal and illegal things are obvious, and in between them are (suspicious) doubtful matters. So who-ever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal; and who-ever indulges in these (suspicious) doubtful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly illegal. Sins are Allah's Hima (i.e. private pasture) and whoever pastures (his sheep) near it, is likely to get in it at any moment." SAHIH AL-BUKHARI[VOL:3, BOOK:34, HADITH:267]

Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: "…If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His Angels, and by all the people." Abu-Dawood [Book 39 : Hadith 4515]

Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: "The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error." Sahih Muslim [Book 4 : 1885]

Thus in our humble opinion a believer should always strive to follow the guidance given by our beloved prophet Mohammad(pbuh) as there was, is, or never will be anyone in the annuls of creation who worshipped Allah more or better than the Noble Last and Final Messenger of Allah. And Allah alone knows the best.

I ask Allah to make this a sincere effort, seeking his pleasure, and I ask him to grant us refuge in him from the evils within ourselves, and that in our deeds. I ask him to grant us success in achieving whatever pleases him; And May Allah Shower His blessings and mercy upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his family and his Companions and on all those who follow him until the final hour.

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