Reciting the Quran for the deceased, does he/she receive the reward?
What is the ruling for reciting the Qur’an for the deceased, and does the reward of such a recitation reach the deceased?
The scholars are in agreement that reciting Qur’an at the grave of the deceased is not prohibited and the one who does this incurs no sin whatsoever. The majority of scholars from the Shafi’i, Hanafi, and Hanbali Schools are of the opinion that such an action is recommended and praiseworthy.
This opinion is based on the hadith narrated by Anas who said, “whoever enters the grave yards and recites the chapter of YaSeen, the plight of the deceased is lessened and they receive a reward equal to the amount of graves present.” Also it is soundly narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that he advised if someone died to recite at their grave the Fatiha and the concluding verses of Baqara.”
As for the Maliki School they are of the opinion that it is reprehensible to recite at the grave. However, Sheikh Ahmad Dardir said, “the later scholars of the Maliki school held that there is nothing wrong with reciting Qur’an and invocation and having their reward go to the deceased as the reward will God willing reach them.”
The scholarly debate regarding this issue is weak, and the opinion that says 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 that held this position is Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi as he wrote, “some scholars have stated that if one were to recite the Qur’an for the deceased, or if one were to donate the reward of this recitation to them, the reward is for the one reciting and the deceased is considered as if they were present and we would be hopeful of mercy for them. What we have written here is the consensus of the scholars of Islam as in every time and place they gather and recite the Qur’an and donate the reward to their deceased without any criticism.”
Consensus regarding this issue has also been documented by Sheikh Uthmani who said, “they [the scholars of Islam] have reached consensus that asking for forgiveness, supplication, charity, pilgrimage, and manumission benefit the deceased and the reward of such actions reach them. Also the recitation of Qur’an at the grave is recommended.”
The scholars have documented that the reward of Quranic recitation reaches the deceased based on one performing the pilgrimage for a deceased and the reward of it reaching them. The pilgrimage consists of prayer and prayer consists of Quranic recitation, and whatever reaches in full reaches by part. Therefore the reward of the Quranic recitation reaches the deceased by the permission of God especially if the one reciting asks God for it.
Based on the preceding the vast majority of scholars are of the opinion that reciting Qur’an for the deceased is permissible. As for the reward of such a recitation reaching the deceased the majority of scholars hold that it does reach. The Shafi scholars say that the reward reaches as a supplication such that the one reciting says, “O God make the like of the reward from this recitation to so-and-so.” and not the giving of the actual action. The differences in this issue are slight and we should not be engaged in dispute in such an issue. God is most high and all knowledgeable.