Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 3 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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Reciting the Qur`an for the deceased: does he receive the reward?

Reciting the Qur`an for the deceased: does he receive the reward?

Answer

Scholars agree that reciting the Qur`an at the grave of the deceased is not prohibited and the reciter incurs no sin whatsoever. The position of the majority of scholars from the Shafi’i, Hanafi, and Hanbali schools of jurisprudence is that such an action is recommended and praiseworthy. This opinion is based on the hadith narrated by Anas who said, “Whoever enters a cemetery and recites the chapter of Yasin, the plight of the deceased is reduced and they receive a reward equal to the amount of graves present.” Also it was soundly narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Prophet advised [Muslims] to recite Al-Fatiha and the concluding verses of Al-Baqarah at the grave of the deceased.

As for the Maliki school they are of the opinion that it is reprehensible to recite the Qur`an at the grave of a deceased. However, Sheikh Ahmad Dardir said, “The later scholars of the Maliki school held that there is nothing wrong with reciting the Qur’an and invocations and donating their reward to the deceased as the reward will, God willing, reach them.”

The scholarly debate on this issue is weak, and the opinion maintaining that this type of recitation is recommended and permitted is stronger. Some scholars have even argued that this issue, of such a recitation being permitted, is one of consensus. One such scholar who held this position is Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi as he wrote, “Some scholars have stated that if one recites the Qur`an for the deceased, or donates the reward of its recitation to them, the reward is for the reciter and the deceased is as if they were present and we hope for mercy for them and us. What we have written here is the consensus of the scholars of Islam, as in every time and place, they gather to recite the Qur`an and donate its reward to their deceased without censure.” Consensus on this issue has also been documented by Sheikh Uthmani who said, “They [the scholars of Islam] have reached a consensus that asking for forgiveness, supplicating, giving in charity, performing pilgrimage, and manumitting a slave on behalf of the dead benefit them and the reward of all of these actions reaches them. Also the recitation of the Qur`an at the grave is recommended.”

Scholars have documented that the reward of Qur`anic recitals reaches the deceased based on the pilgrimage made on behalf of a deceased and the reward of it reaching him. The pilgrimage consists of prayer and prayer consists of Qur`anic recitations, and whatever reaches in full reaches in part. Therefore the reward of Qur`anic recitals reaches the deceased by the permission of God especially if the reciter asks God to convey the reward to them.

Based on the above, the vast majority of scholars have maintained the permissibility of reciting Qur`an for the deceased. The majority of scholars hold that the reward for such recitations do reach the deceased. Shafi’i scholars say that the reward reaches the deceased as a supplication such that the reciter says, “O God! Give the like of the reward for this recitation to so-and-so” and not the actual action itself. Scholarly differences of opinion on this issue are slight and it is not becoming to engage in dispute on it. God is most high and all knowledgeable.
 

Related links
» The kalimah (word) in the Quran: What does it mean?
» The Qur`an Attending to the Intellect as an Action or Power
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» How many prostrations of Qura`nic recital are there?
» Is the one who doesn`t offer the prostration of Qur`anic recital considered sinful?