Aqeeda of Esal e sawab [ praying for dead and sending them blessing ] in Islam
Hadith # 1
Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever died and he ought to have fasted (the missed days of Ramadan) then his guardians must fast on his behalf.”
[Sahih Bukhari Book 31 Hadith 173]
Hadith # 2
في ذكر البصرة الملاحم سنن أبي داود
حدثنا محمد بن المثنى حدثني إبراهيم بن صالح بن درهم قال سمعت أبي يقول
انطلقنا حاجين فإذا رجل فقال لنا إلى جنبكم قرية يقال لها الأبلة قلنا نعم قال من يضمن لي منكم أن يصلي لي في مسجد العشار ركعتين أو أربعا ويقول هذه لأبي هريرة سمعت خليلي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إن الله يبعث من مسجد العشار يوم القيامة شهداء لا يقوم مع شهداء بدر غيرهم
قال أبو داود هذا المسجد مما يلي
The sahabi, Abu Hurayra, urged some people to pray 2 raka’ahs in Masjid Ashaar and told them to say after the prayers, “Haaza li Abi Hurayra”. THIS IS FOR ABU HURAYRA (Abu Dawud vol 2 p236)
Hadith # 3
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As:
Al-‘As ibn Wa’il left his will that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf. His son Hisham emancipated fifty slaves and his son Amr intended to emancipate the remaining fifty on his behalf, but he said: I should ask first the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). He, therefore, came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: Apostle of Allah, my father left in his will that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf and Hisham has emancipated fifty on his behalf and fifty remain. Shall I emancipate them on his behalf? The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Had he been a Muslim and you had emancipated slaves on his behalf, or given sadaqah on his behalf, or performed the pilgrimage, that would have reached him.
[Abu Dawud Book 17 Hadith 2877 ]
Hadith # 4
Abdullah b. Buraida (Allah be pleased with him) reported on the authority of his father: When we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), a woman came to him and said: I had gifted to my mother a maid-servant, and now she (the mother) has died. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: There is a definite reward for you and she (the maid-servant) has been returned to you as an inheritance. She (that woman) again said: Fasts of a month (of Ramadan) are due upon her; should I observe them on her behalf? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Observe fasts on her behalf. She (again) said: She did not perform Hajj, should I perform it on her behalf? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Perform Hajj on her behalf.
[Sahih Muslim Book 6 Hadith 2558]
Hadith # 5
Jabir b. ‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) reported: We performed Hajj along with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and we sacrificed a camel on behalf of seven persons, and a cow on behalf of seven persons.
[Sahih Muslim Book 7 Hadith 3026 ]
Hadith # 6
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:
A woman said: Apostle of Allah, my mother suddenly died; if it had not happened, she would have given sadaqah (charity) and donated (something). Will it suffice if I give sadaqah on her behalf? The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Yes, give sadaqah on her behalf.
[Abu Dawud Book 17 Hadith # 2875],
Hadith # 7
A man said to the Prophet, “My mother died suddenly, and I think that if she could speak, she would have given in charity. May I give in charity on her behalf?” He said, “Yes! Give in charity on her behalf.”
[Sahih Bukhari Book 51 Hadith 22]
Hadith # 8 :
On issue of Sacrificing for Dead
أَنَّهُ كَانَ يُضَحِّي بِكَبْشَيْنِ أَحَدُهُمَا عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَالْآخَرُ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ فَقِيلَ لَهُ فَقَالَ أَمَرَنِي بِهِ يَعْنِي النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَلَا أَدَعُهُ أَبَدًا
Sayyidina Ali (RA) always sacrificed two rams, one on behalf of the Prophet (SAW) and one on his own account. Someone asked him, Why do you do that? He said, ‘The Prophet (SAW) had commanded me to do it. So I will never neglect it.”.
[Abu Dawud ,Book 15 ,Hadith 2784 [ under heading of sarficing for deceased/those in graves]
Hadith # 9
‘A’isha reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) saying: If a company of Muslims numbering one hundred pray over a dead person, all of them interceding for him, their intercession for him will be accepted.
[Sahih Muslim Book 4 Hadith 2071]
Hadith # 10
Even animals , mankind, birds can do ishal e sawab
عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَغْرِسُ غَرْسًا أَوْ يَزْرَعُ زَرْعًا فَيَأْكُلُ مِنْهُ إِنْسَانٌ أَوْ طَيْرٌ أَوْ بَهِيمَةٌ إِلَّا كَانَتْ لَهُ صَدَقَةٌ
Sayyidina Anas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said, “If a Muslim plants a tree or cultivates land and a man, a bird or an animal eats from it then that is a sadaqah[charity] on his behalf
[Bukhari 2320, Muslim 1553, Ahmed 12497]
أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ ثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوبَ ثنا العباس بن محمد قال سألتُ يحيى بنَ مَعِيْنٍ عن القراءَةِ عندَ القبرِ فقالَ: حدثنا مُبَشِّرُ ابنُ إسمعيلَ الحلبيُّ عن عبد الرحمن بن العلاء بن اللجلاج عن أبيه أنه قالَ لبنيهِ: إِذَا أَدْخَلْتُمُوْنِي قَبْرِيَ فَضَعُوْنِي في اللَّحْدِ وقولُوا: بِسْمِ الله وعَلَى سُنَّةِ رسولِ الله صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وسُنُّوا عَلَىَّ الترابَ سَنًّا، أَوْ اقْرَؤُا عِنْدَ رأسِي أَوَّلَ البَقَرَةِ وخَاتِمَتَهَا، فإنِّي رأيتُ ابنَ عُمَرَ يَسْتَحِبُّ ذَلِكَ
Translation: Abbas bin Muhammad (rah) asked Imam Yahya bin Ma’een about “RECITING (QURAN) AT THE GRAVE” he replied: It is narrated from Mubashar ibn Ismail al-Halbi who narrated from Abdur Rahman bin al-Ala bin Lajlaaj, who narrated from his father (Sahabi) that his father said to his sons: When you are entering me in the qabr then make a Lahd then say: In the name of Allah and upon the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (Peace be upon him)” and then start adding dust, after this stand on my (head’s) side reciting the “BEGINNING AND ENEDING OF SURAH AL-BAQARAH” because I saw Ibn Umar (ra) considering this as a “RECOMMENDED DEED” [Sunnan Bayhaqi al-Kubra (5/404), Hadith # 7097]
Regarding such ahadith mentioned in Bayhaqi, Imam al-Nawawi (rah) the legendary scholar said:
Translation: It is narrated in <> with “HASAN CHAIN” that Ibn Umar (ra) considered it “MUSTAHAB/RECOMMENDED” to recite the beginning and ending of Surah al-Baqarah “UPON THE GRAVE AFTER BURIAL” [Imam al-Nawawi in Kitab ul Adhkaar (1/162)]
Proof # 4bVolume 1, Book 4, Number 215: (Sahih Bukhari)Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Once the Prophet, while passing through one of the grave-yards of Medina or Mecca heard the voices of two persons who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, “These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid).” The Prophet then added, “Yes! (they are being tortured for a major sin). Indeed, one of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmiy between friends). The Prophet then asked for a green leaf of a date-palm tree, broke it into two pieces and put one on each grave. On being asked why he had done so, he replied, “I hope that their torture might be lessened, till these get dried.”
Why punishment is reduced due to plants on grave?
The reason is that trees, leaves, plants do “Dhikr of Allah” so the logic of Adhaab being reduced is that till the time they remain fresh they will do dhikr due to which the punishment on Sahib-e-Qabr will be reduced, when Tasbih of Plants benefits the deceased then imagine the benefit of humans reciting Quran at graves and denoting the thawaab.
This is why Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (rah) said:
إن المعنى فيه أن يسبح ما دام رطباً فيحصل التخفيف ببركة التسبيح، وعلى هذا فيطرد في كل ما فيه رطوبة من الأشجار وغيرها. وكذلك فيما فيه بركة كالذكر وتلاوة القرآن من باب الأولىTranslation: The meaning of it is that till the time the stem remains fresh it will keep on doing Tasbih and due to Barakah of that Tasbih the punishment will be reduced. It is also derived from this that everything which has freshness from trees/plants then to put it on graves is a cause of reducing punishment. Similarly “EVERYTHING WHICH HAS BARAKAH LIKE DHIKR AND RECITATION OF QURAN, IS MORE AWLA (I.E. GREATER) IN THIS REGARD” [Fath ul Bari, Sharh Sahih ul-Bukhari (1/426)]
b) The Practise of Salaf as-Saliheen & Explanation by Classical scholars
Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah is amongst the top ranking scholars of misguided Wahabi/Ghair Muqalid sect and they claim him to be a champion and reviver of deen. Although he is not Hujjat for us and proofs for Isaal e Thawaab are proven from many other true Ahlus Sunnah scholars but I am showing proof from Ibn Qayyim so that opponents are left with no excuses.
Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah on real Salaf as-Saliheen
He states in his Kitab ar-Ruh:
وقد ذكر عن جماعة من السلف أنهم أوصوا أن يقرأ عند قبورهم وقت الدفن قال عبد الحق يروى أن عبد الله بن عمر أمر أن يقرأ عند قبره سورة البقرة وممن رأى ذلك المعلى بن عبد الرحمن وكان الامام أحمد ينكر ذلك أولا حيث لم يبلغه فيه أثر ثم رجع عن ذلك Translation: It is narrated from a group of Salaf that they advised to recite Quran on their graves after burying them. Abdul Haq has narrated that Ibn Umar (RA) ordered (others) to recite Surah Baqarah on his grave. Muala bin Abdur Rahman also holds the same opinion, Imam Ahmed (rah) did not agree to this in the beginning because proof had not reached him then, however later he agreed. [Kitab ar Ruh by Ibn Qayyim, Page No. 64, Published by Dar Ibn Kathir, Damascus, Syria]
That has hit bulls eye from Ibn Qayyim and destroyed the Wahabi version of Islam today, so Alhamdolillah it stands proven that Sufis are true followers of Salaf whereas Ghair Muqalideen/Salafis of today are just deceivers who disguise themselves with catchy names like “SALAFI”
Also note that Imam Ahmed (rah) rightly accepted reciting Quran on graves after proof reached him, unlike Ghair Muqalid sect of today who remain persistent even after proofs have reached them.
Hence Muslims should often visit graves of Awliya or their relatives and recite Quran there, Alhamdolillah I had the Sa’dat of doing that at Jannat ul Baqi in Madina al Munawwara.
Proofs from Majority of scholars including Salaf
Imam Zayn ud-din Ibn Nujaim al-Misri (rah) said:
والأصل فيه أن الإنسان له أن يجعل ثواب عمله لغيره صلاة أو صوماً أو صدقة أو قراءة قرآن أو ذكراً أو طوافاً أو حجاً أو عمرة أو غير ذلك عند أصحابنا للكتاب والسنة
Translation: According to us the thawaab of deeds performed by one person reaches the other, this includes Praying, Fasting, Charity, “RECITATION OF QURAN”, Dhikr, Tawaf, Hajj, Umra or any other (good) deeds. This is proven from Quran and Sunnah [Al-Bahr ar-Ra’iq Sharah Kanz al Daq’aiq (3/62)]
Also refer to Hashiya Dur ul Mukhtar by Allama Ibn Abideen ash-Shami (rah) [Volume No. 4, Page Nos: 12-28]
Imam al-Khalal Abu Bakr (rah) the great Muhadith wrote a whole booklet especially on this topic with title: “Al Qira’ Andd al-Quboor (i.e. Recitation of Quran near the graves)” he narrates many proofs in it including this one
عن إبراهيم النخعي رحمه الله قال : ” لا بَأْسَ بقراءةِ القرآنِ في المقابِر
Translation: Imam Ibrahim al-Nakha’I (rah) said: There is no harm in reciting Quran inside tombs [Al Qira’ Andd al Quboor, Page No. 3]
Imam Jalal ud-din Suyuti (rah) says:
إختلف في وصول ثواب القراءة للميت فجمهور السلف والأئمة الثلاثة على الوصول
Translation: There is difference of opinion whether the dead receives Thawaab due to “RECITATION OF QURAN” The majority of the Salaf and the three Imams are of the opinion that “IT REACHES” [Sharh as Sudoor (1/302)]
Note: Imam ash-Shafi’i (rah) was of the opinion that Thawaab does not reach the dead but Alhamdolillah even he accepted that “THERE IS NO HARM IN RECITING QURAN AT GRAVES EVEN DOING KHATM E QURAN IS FINE” [Refer to Kitab ul Adhkaar of Imam al-Nawawi, Page No. 278]
Note: Alot of above research work is done by Brother Aamir Ibrahim, Jazakallakhairan to him for his hardwork.