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 called “Barzakh.” The soul may experience this new life with or without its original body, according to its own rank allotted to it by Allah the Almighty, the Supreme. There are too many proofs from the Holy Qur’an and Hadeeth (Holy Prophet’s Traditions) regarding the above, and warrant an extensive article on the same. But that is not the question here.
The question that some people ask is that if a person is dead, can we increase its status or decrease its torment by conveying rewards of OUR deeds
It is the consensus of the Sahaba, the earlier Ulema, and the latter ones that the above is (a) Effective and that (b) it is certainly permissible, in fact meritorious, to do so.
If one wants to convey the reward of one’s recital of Holy Qur’an, charity, Nafil Salaat (Non Obligatory), fasts and good deeds, Hajj, Umrah etc., then one should convey it to the virtuous soul of our beloved Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), one’s relatives, and all the Muslim men and women. All of them will receive the same reward without any deduction; the one who has carried this out will also receive the same reward without any loss. It is also valid to convey the reward to the living persons. (Fatawa Shami).
- All the Ulama-e-Haq and the Buzrugaan-e-Deen hold the belief that to send Esaal-e- Sawaab to the souls of the deceased is permissible.
- It is permissible for a Muslim to send the Sawaab of his deeds, such a Salaah, Saum, Zakaah, Hajj, Sadaqa, etc. to others. (Hidaya)
- If a person kept Fast, performed his or her Salaah, or gave Sadaqa and then sent this Sawaab to another person, either living or deceased, then to do so is permissible, and that Sawaab reaches the said person. (Bahrur Raa’iq)
- Hazrat Anas (radi Allahu anhu) asked the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam): “If we send Sawaab to the deceased, give Sadaqa and Khayraat and ask Du’a for them, does this reach them?” The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily it reaches them. Read Salaah for them as you read for yourself and fast for them as you fast for yourself. In other words, make Esaal-e-Sawaab of Salaah and Saum for them.” The meaning of this Hadith Shareef is that we should send the Sawaab of our actions to the deceased, since in reality one cannot perform Salaah and keep fast for another person or on his behalf, but we can send the Sawaab of our actions to them.
- Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) has stated: “On the Days of Eid, the 10th of Muharram, the first Friday of Rajab, on Shabbe Baraat, and on Thursday nights, the souls of the deceased are left free to go to their homes, wherein they go and ask for Sadaqa and Khayraat. If they do not receive any Du’a or Fateha, then they return to their graves saddened and disappointed and they say, ‘O Allah! They have deprived us, You deprive them'”.
- The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) as said: “When a person passes away and the family of the deceased gives Sadaqa, Khayraat and makes Du’a for him, then Sayyiduna Jibraeel (alaihis salaam) takes it to them in their graves on a tray that is beautifully decorated. When they receive this, they become so pleased as if someone in the world becomes pleased on receiving a gift, and his neighbour who has not received any Sawaab becomes sad”.
- Hazrat Sa’ad ibn Ubaadah (radi Allahu anhu) once came to the Prophet(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and said: “Ya Rasoolallah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! My mother has passed away. What can I do for Esaale Sawaab?”The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Prepare a well for water”.When the well was prepared, Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) went close to the well and made Du’a: “This is for the Esaale Sawaab for the mother of Saad”. While making this Du’a, he raised his hands high, and after Du’a, he turned his hands over his blessed face.
- For those who object to Fateha and Du’a, the following is for their perusal:-
- It is allowed to make Du’a in front of the Niyaz (offering), as this is what the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did by coming close to the well to make Du’a.
- It is allowed to lift up the hands for Du’a and to end the Du’a by turning the hands over the face.
- It is preferable to call a pious person to make the Du’a.
- To make Fathia on Niyaz is allowed. If it were not, then the Prophet(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) would not have made Du’a near the water, but would have said that the intention was sufficient.
- For the person to obtain the Sawaab, it is not necessary to feed the Niyaz first, but Du’a can be made before this since the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) made Du’a even before any person drank out of the well.
- Whosoever makes Khatam of the Holy Quran and then makes Du’a, 4 000 Angels say Aameen on his Du’a. They then continue making Du’a for him and they continue asking blessings for him until the morning or afternoon.(Tafseer Roohul Bayaan)
- At the time of Khatam Shareef, there is a flow of mercy and to make Du’a after completing the Quran is Mustahab.
- When Hazrat Anas (radi Allahu anhu) used to complete the Holy Quran, then he would call all his family and friends and make Du’a. (Jila’ul Afhaam)
- When making Fathia, one should follow the procedure of the pious Saints. When making the Fateha, send the Sawaab to the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the pious servants, the Companions, and then through their blessing, ask for it to be sent to the soul of the deceased. This is the prescribed method, and this is the method that the Ahle Sunnah has always followed.
- By making Esaal-e -Sawaab, it gives comfort to the deceased, pleases them, saves them from the torment of the grave, elevates their status and causes benefit to the sender as well as the receiver.