Class 9-Benefitting The Dead

Class 9 
‘Benefitting The Dead’

At the outset please know, that in Islam, death is not perceived as an end of life. It is just the end of the worldly existence as we witness it, and the beginning of a new existence, in which the soul experiences a new world. And instead of crying or wailing on the death, it is prescribed to do the things mentioned in the Sunnah that would benefit our Dead.

There is a difference of opinion amongst scholars about the things that can benefit the deceased. We are quoting here only the things that there are no disputes about leaving out matter that the scholars have differed about.

Salat Al Janazah (Funeral Prayer)
Amongst the first things that we do after a death is offer Funeral Prayer. That also is a means of benefitting the Dead. When the Muslims pray janazah for their deceased brother, they are granted intercession for him. The more the number of Muslims who join in the prayer, the more beneficial it is for the deceased.
This means that Allaah takes their testimony and supplication regarding the deceased’s apparent actions as a sufficient reason for forgiveness. Since those Muslims who associated with him did not find any major problem to prevent them from supplicating for him, Allaah the most generous accepts that and agrees to forgive many of his hidden sins that they did not know. Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whenever a Muslim man dies, and forty men stand for his janazah prayer, all of them not joining anything with Allaah in worship, Allaah grants them intercession for him.” (Muslim and others).

In another narration, the number 100 was mentioned instead of 40

So strive to offer Funeral prayers and try and get as many Muslims to attend the Funeral prayer and request them to pray for the deceased.


It is not prescribed in Islam to give the rewards for any action to a living person, but with regard to the dead it is permissible within the guidelines set out in the reports (of the Sunnah). We shall look at this matter in detail below, in sha Allaah.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about giving the reward for reading Qur’aan and naafil prayers to one’s mother who could neither read nor write. He said: There is no evidence (daleel) in sharee’ah to indicate that one can give (the reward for) prayers and reading Qur’aan to another person, whether he is alive or dead.

But it is prescribed for you to make du’aa’ for her and to give in charity on her behalf, and to do Hajj and ‘Umrah on her behalf, if she is old and cannot do Hajj and ‘Umrah. Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 9/321.

2. With regard to giving the reward for good deeds to the dead: Islam permits doing this in the case of some deeds, so we should limit ourselves to that – it is not right to make an analogy between these and other deeds, because the basic principle concerning acts of worship is not to do anything unless there is evidence (daleel).


Among the deeds whose rewards we are allowed to give to the dead, or by means of which the dead can benefit from the actions of the living, are the following:

(i) Du’aa’
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith…” [al-Hashr 59:10]

It was narrated that ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan said: “When the Prophet ﷺ  finished burying someone who had died, he would stand over him and say, ‘Pray for forgiveness for your brother, and ask that he may be made steadfast, for even now he is being questioned.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3221).

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The fact that the dead benefit from du’aa’s is indicated by the consensus of the ummah on offering du’aa’ for him during the janaazah (funeral) prayer, hence we know that du’aa’ benefits the deceased. This is supported by many ahaadeeth and is in fact is the whole point of praying for the deceased. The same applies to making du’aa’ for him after the burial, and making du’aa’ for them when visiting their graves.” (al-Rooh, 118, 119)

(ii) Making up fasts that were obligatory upon the deceased because of vows, as expiation (kafaarah) and so on
It was reported from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ  said: “Whoever dies and had any fasts outstanding, his heir should observe those fasts on his behalf.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1851; Muslim, 1147)

(iii) Paying off debts
The seriousness of this and ahadeeth related to paying off debts was quoted in class 4 (Family reacting to the Death).

(iv) Fulfilling vows to do acts of worship
It was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that a woman from Juhaynah came to the Prophet ﷺ  and said: “My mother vowed to go for Hajj, but she did not go for Hajj before she died. Should I do Hajj on her behalf?” He said, “Yes, do Hajj on her behalf. Do you not think that if your mother was in debt you would pay it off for her? Pay off the debt that is owed to Allaah, for Allaah is more deserving that what is owed to Him should be paid off.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1754)

(v) Performing Hajj on his behalf
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ  heard a man saying “Labbayka ‘an Shubrumah (At your service, O Allaah, on behalf of Shubrumah).” The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ  said, “Who is Shubrumah?” He said, “A relative of mine.” The Prophet ﷺ  said, “Have you ever done Hajj before?” He said, “No.” he said, “Do this Hajj for yourself, then do Hajj on behalf of Shubrumah.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1811; Ibn Maajah, 2903 – this version was narrated by him).

(vi) Charity given by Children
Charity (sadaqah) given on behalf of the deceased will benefit him and its reward will reach him, according to the consensus of the Muslims.

It was narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Aa’ishah that a man said to the Prophet ﷺ : “My mother died suddenly and she did not leave a will, but I think that if she could have spoken she would have given in charity. Will she have a reward if I give in charity on her behalf?” The Prophet ﷺ  said: “Yes.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 1388; Muslim, no. 1004.

And it was narrated by al-Bukhaari from Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah that his mother died when he was absent, and he said: “O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has died when I was absent. Will it benefit her if I give in charity on her behalf?” He said: “Yes.” He said: “I ask you to bear witness that my garden that bears fruit is given in charity on her behalf.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2756.

The deceased can benefit from charity given on his behalf, which includes a waqf of a Mus-haf etc, or digging a well, or planting a tree, whether he does that during his lifetime or it is done by someone else on his behalf after his death.

However the this is only subject to Charity being given by the Child of the deceased. Charity by other people on behalf of the deceased is not proven form the Sunnah and the scholars have differed about it with the stronger view being the charity of others doesn’t reach the deceased.

vii) Righteous deeds done by the children of the deceased
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Whatever righteous deeds the righteous son does, his parents will have a reward like his, without it detracting from his reward in the slightest, because their child is part of their striving and earning. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad)’ [al-Najm 53:39]. The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ  said: ‘The best that a man can benefit from is that which he earns, and his son is also part of his earnings.’ (Narrated by Abu Dawood & Nisai)

With regard to reading Qur’aan: the correct view is that nothing from these actions reaches the deceased, because there is no evidence (daleel) to that effect.

Imaam Ibn Katheer said: “‘And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad)’ [al-Najm 53:39 – interpretation of the meaning]. This means, just as he cannot bear the burden (of sin) of another person, so too the reward for the things he has done can only go to himself. From this aayah al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) and those who followed him understood that the reward for reading Qur’aan cannot be given to the dead, because it is not something that they have done and earned. Hence the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ  did not recommend or encourage his ummah to do this, and did not command or hint to them to do this. Nothing to this effect has been transmitted from any of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them). If it was a good thing, they would have done it before us. Acts of worship are restricted to things that are indicated in the texts (Qur’aan and Sunnah), and there is no room for analogy (qiyaas) or personal opinions.” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/259)

So being the best asset of the parents one should act like one and give his best to do good benefitting the dead parent, rewarding oneself and also setting an example for your own children so that they do the same for you when you die.

Link to Urdu Lecture by Shaikh Yasir Al-Jabri

Note: -The Lecture can have more or less details from the that what is written here in English. The Tests will ONLY be from what is written here in English. The Lectures are provided to have give better understanding of the matter.