What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: There are Khatam programmes in the Masjids here in the U.K – where is this proven from, is it correct to do Fātihah on the 3rd and the 40th, and what is the proof for this?

Questioner: Islam from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

It is permissible and a pleasant act to send the reward of reciting the Holy Qur’ān, the Kalimah [1st & 2nd Declaration of Faith], voluntary salāh, or any other physical or wealth-related worship on behalf of any person; be they living or deceased. Furthermore, our belief is that the Īsāl al-Thawāb from the living reaches and benefits the deceased, and this is mentioned in the books of Fiqh & ‘Aqā’id, such as Sharh ‘Aqā’id Nasafiyyah, etc.

For instance, when the blessed mother of Sayyidunā Sa’d Ibn ‘Ubādah, may Allāh Almighty be pleased with him, passed away, he thereby requested, ‘O Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, my mother has passed away. What is the best form of charity for them?’ The Noble Prophet ﷺ stated, ‘Water (is the best form of charity’, thereby) Sayyidunā Sa’d Ibn ‘Ubādah, may Allāh Almighty be pleased with him (acting upon the blessed saying of the Noble Prophet ﷺ) dug a well. He then (attributing this to his blessed mother) said,

“ھذہ لأمّ سعدٍ”

“This well is for the mother of Sa’d.”

In other words, may the reward of this reach her soul.

[Mishkāh al-Masābīh, vol 1, pg 527, Hadīth no 1912]

In fact, Sayyidunā Sa’d, may Allāh Almighty be pleased with him, further clarified this matter by asking the Noble Prophet ﷺ so that no doubt would remain.

“وَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، أَيَنْفَعُهَا أَنْ أَتَصَدَّقَ عَنْهَا؟ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ‘نَعَمْ'”

“He said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, will this form of charity benefit my mother?’ The Holy Prophet ﷺ stated, ‘Yes, absolutely.’”

[al-Sunan al-Kubrā li al-Bayhaqī, vol 6, pg 445]

Furthermore, the reward of all actions cease to continue, other than the reward of three actions, which continue even after the passing of such person. Just as the Noble Prophet ﷺ stated,

“إِذَا مَاتَ الْإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ ثَلَاثَةِ أَشْيَاءٍ: مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ، أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ، أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ”

[al-Sunan al-Kubrā li al-Bayhaqī, vol 6, pg 447]

It is stated in a like manner in another Hadīth that,

“أَنَّ رَجُلًا سَأَلَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: إِنَّ أُمِّيَ افْتُلِتَتْ نَفْسُهَا، وَأَظُنُّهَا لَوْ تَكَلَّمَتْ تَصَدَّقَتْ، فَهَلْ لَهَا أَجْرٌ فِي أَنْ أَتَصَدَّقَ عَنْهَا؟ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ‘نَعَمْ'”

“A person presented himself in the noble court of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ and requested, ‘My mother died suddenly without having made any will. I think she would have definitely given charity if she had been able to speak. Would she gain reward reward if I gave charity on her behalf?’ He (the Holy Prophet ﷺ) replied, ‘Yes.’”

[Sahīh Muslim, pg 502, Hadīth no 1004]

‘Allāmah Nawawī, may Allāh Almighty shower countless mercies upon him, states in the explanation to this Hadīth that it is proven from this Hadīth that if something is given on behalf of the deceased, then its benefit & reward reaches such person; there is a consensus of scholars upon this.

[Sharh Sahīh Muslim, vol 1, pg 324]

Furthermore, it is stated in a greatly credible book of our beliefs – Sharh ‘Aqā’id Nasafiyyah,

“(وفي دعاء الأحياء للأموات وصدقتھم) أي: صدقۃ الأحياء (عنھم) أي: عن الأموات (نفع لھم) أي:للأموات خلافاً للمعتزلۃ”

“The supplication and charity of the living benefit the deceased, unlike the Mu’tazilites (who believe there is no benefit at all whatsoever).”

[Sharh ‘Aqā’id Nasafiyyah, pg 352]

Nevertheless, there is a consensus of the four Imāms upon the fact that Īsāl al-Thawāb i.e. the living sending reward for it to reach the deceased is permissible. Specifying a day for Īsāl al-Thawāb i.e. sending reward on the 3rd, 40th, etc. is also permissible because this specifying is not declared by Sharī’ah, nor does anyone think of this to be the case, as no one says that the reward will specifically reach on this very day.

Nonetheless, when we have mentioned the universal rule regarding the sending of reward & Fātihah being permissible, one thereby comes to know of the rulings to all the particular cases of sending reward via this general rule itself. So, the recital of the Qur’ān and the Blessed Kalimah [1st & 2nd Declaration of Faith] takes place, and then the reward of this is sent to the deceased three days after said person has passed away because this is a method of sending reward, hence permissible and good, thus one should do as so. Likewise, some food is cooked and distributed among the poor & needy exactly forty days after the deceased has passed away, and the recitation of the Qur’ān also takes place, and then the reward for this is sent to the deceased. Similarly, the reward of feeding and also reciting, etc. is sent also after a year. These are all permissible and rewardable acts; hence they should be enacted.

However, one is to totally abstain from inviting the well-off to feasts & banquets and arranging such lavish events for them; this is a foul innovation and it is essential that it be avoided because this is not the occasion to be feasting, just as is mentioned in Fatāwā Ridawiyyah.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0742] Is it permissible to have a ‘Khatam’ for a deceased person, do they receive the reward?

Also see:

[Q-ID0004] My possible future husband disagrees with Khatams – should I be concerned?

[Q-ID0218] Can a person donate the reward of his actions to a deceased person?

[Q-ID0288] The concept of Khatam amongst the Pakistani community

[Q-ID0761] Is there an easier method of performing the Khatam?

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