Transferring Reward to the Dead (Esaal-e-Sawab)

Please click the following link to read this article in Urdu:
ایصال ثواب – فوت شدہ انسانوں کو اپنی عبادت کا ثواب ارسال کرنا

Let us see what the Qur’an states about transferring sawab (reward) to the dead against any good deed done by the living:

“This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.” [02:134 & 141]

“Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against it; and your Lord is not in the least unjust to the servants.” [41:46]

The Qur’an clearly states that each and every human being will be judged and compensated (tormented or rewarded) for his own deeds performed during his life. So each individual will reap the harvest of what he had sown in this world.

To judge if a particular action constitutes an innovation in religion (or Biddah) we must look towards authentic Hadith and find proof there. In this regard, not a single Hadith can be found which mentions Quran-Khawani (recitation of the Qur’an) and Esaal-e-Sawab (transfer of the reward). As a Muslim, we must have belief in the fact that the Qur’an is nothing more than a guiding book and only those people who are alive can find guidance for themselves, and therefore, salvation in the life after death. Recitation of the Qur’an for a dead person cannot make any difference in his balance sheet of sins and good deeds.

This particular issue is directly related to basic Islamic beliefs, one of which is the absoluteness of the death of a person and the fact that the soul cannot leave Barzakh, neither can we alleviate the punishment of a soul in Barzakh. As Islam was perfected 14 centuries ago, we cannot accommodate the practice of Esaal-e-Sawab as a part of true Islamic practices. The deeds that can benefit a person after his death are outlined in the following Sahih Ahadith:

Anas Bin Malik reports: Allah’s Apostle said, “When carried to his grave, a dead person is followed by three, two of which return (after his burial) and one remains with him: his relative, his property, and his deeds follow him; relatives and his property go back while his deeds remain with him.” [Sahih Bukhari – Volume 8, Book 76. Hadith 521]

Abu Huraira (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased). [Sahih Muslim – Book 13, Hadith 4005]

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW)) as saying: He who called (people) to righteousness, there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called (people) to error, he shall have to carry (the burden) of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect. [Sahih Muslim – Book 34, Hadith 6470]

It is obvious from the above-mentioned sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that a dead person can only benefit from the following:

  1. His/her deeds that he performed during his lifetime
  2. Sadaqa-e-Jaaria (continuing charity)
  3. If he disseminated the truth to people around him and therefore helped them to lead a better life in this world and in the Hereafter.
  4. If the deceased person’s children prays for forgiveness, provided the deceased did not die on Shirk.

It is crystal clear that the best one can do is to pray for forgiveness of a parent, or to complete a charitable project that the deceased had intended to do but had been unable to accomplish in his lifetime. In this regard, the concept of Sadaqa-e-Jaaria should be elaborated, since the explanations given by our clergymen are either inadequate or totally incorrect.


There are two types of Sadaqa-e-Jaaria proven through the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith:

  1. Good deeds done by the deceased during his life that will continually benefit other people. For instance, if he or she had built a mosque, planted a tree or dug a well.
  2. Sawab of Sadaqa-e-Jaaria is also given to the dead against the intention of a good deed, which he or she planned during his or her life but death took him and his children then completed the project. (This is called Mannat or ‘vow made to Allah.’ It is important to clarify this concept.

The concept of the second type of Sadaqa-e-Jaaria cannot be extended to reciting the Qur’an for the dead, or saying Nawafil prayers for the deceased, or fasting with the intention of invoking Allah and requesting Him to transferthe Sawab (reward) to the dead. It is the sole prerogative of Allah to give reward or to punish a person for his or her deeds and no one else, human or angel, has the authority to amend the records that contain the details of a person’s acts in this world (the amaal-nama). The only exception in this case shall be granted to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) – or other pious Muslims – on the Day of Judgement when he will be able to request Allah (perform Shifa’at) for the salvation of Momineen. We find in other authentic ahadith, like Sahih Bukhari, Book 76, Hadith 584, that those Muslims who commit Biddah (innovate new religious practices) will not be able to seek the Shifa’at of the Prophet on the Day of Judgement.

What needs to be understood is that all the deeds mentioned in [Sahih Muslim – Book 13, Hadith 4005] are added to the book-of-deeds after the death of a human and Esaal-e-Sawab through recitation of Qur’an is mentioned nowhere.

The concept of Esaal-e-Sawab is promoted by sects and their molvis who get paid for reciting the Qur’an or for arranging the services of different Madrasa children for this purpose. Another short-cut adopted by many so-called Muslims these days is to arrange for periodic monthly payments (called Wazeefah) to a Madrasa. Any number of recitations of the Quran can be bought against this apparent act of charity. Whether the Quran was actually recited that many times by the Madrasa students is a matter never looked into. Another outcome of these Esaal-e-Sawab recitations is the emergence of the “Bismillah” Qur’an, in which the Bismillah is recitedrepeatedly. This is evidence of the inherent tendency of Biddah to proliferate and reach any extreme, all in the name of Sawab (reward).

MANNAT (Vow/Promise made to Allah)

We find in Sahih hadith that if a person makes a vow to Allah, e.g. voluntarily fasting for a month, and then dies before fulfilling this vow, it is seen as a debt towards Allah and the deceased’s children should fulfill it. However, often the concept of mannat or vow is mixed up with Esaal e Sawab and the following riwayat of Sahih Bukhari is quoted in support of Esaal e Saawab:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The mother of Sad bin ‘Ubada died in his absence. He said, “O Allah’s Apostle! My mother died in my absence; will it be of any benefit for her if I give Sadaqa on her behalf?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Sad said, “I make you a witness that I gave my garden called Al Makhraf in charity on her behalf.”  [Sahih Bukhari, Book 51, Hadith 19)

However, when we analyse the above hadith in the light of other Sahih Ahadith, such as the two copied below, we learn that the mother of Sad bin ‘Ubada (RA) also had an unfinished vow/mannat thus Muhammad(SAW) ordered him to give charity on her behalf.

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Sad bin Ubada consulted Allah’s Apostle saying, “My mother died and she had an unfulfilled vow.” The Prophet said, “Fulfill it on her behalf.”  [Sahih Bukhari, Book 51, Hadith 23]

Narrated Sa’id bin ‘Ubada Al-Ansari: that he consulted the Prophet about a vow that had been made by his mother who died without fulfilling it. The Prophet gave his verdict that he should fulfill it on her behalf. The verdict became Sunna (i.e. the Prophet’s tradition).  [Sahih Bukhari, Book 78, Hadith 689]

(Please also see Sahih Bukhari 29:77, 31:174 and 92:418 on the issue of making a vow to Allah).

What must be understood here is that Esaal e Sawab is voluntary charity or good deeds performed on behalf of the dead which is completely different from mannat/vow and so we cannot generalise this concept and perform voluntary good deeds on behalf of the dead and transfer the sawab to the dead’s account.

SOYEM (3rd day after death), CHALEESWAN (40th day after death), BARSI (Death Anniversary)

It is a common practice in many Muslim communities, especially in Pakistan and India, to gather together the family on the 3rd, 10th and 40th day after the death or the death anniversary of a family relative. Copies of the Qur’an are handed to the attendees and they are asked to recite as much as they can, with the intention of transferring the reward of the recitation to the dead. This is followed by a family feast, the lavishness of which depends on the financial circumstances of the family. Sometimes, due to the demands made by society, people even borrow money to arrange for the feast. There is no precedence of this in the teachings or actions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his noble Sahaba (RA), who were the best Momineen. In fact, the verses and ahadith quoted above tell us that Allah has not given us the right to make any amendments to the sum total of rewards/sins collected by a person in his lifetime. Thus, Soyem and Chaleeswan are innovated practices (Biddah) and Muslims must refrain from these.

There is also the issue of eating the food cooked on the day. Since the food is cooked with the niyyah (intention) of the reward going to the dead, the food becomes associated to the dead person. According to the Qu’ran 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115, any slaughtered animal or food on which any name other than Allah’s has been taken, or which is associated to anyone other than Allah, is forbidden for consumption. Therefore, Muslims must boycott such events and also refrain from eating the food cooked on the day.

He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [Translation by Pickthal, Al-Baqara 2:173]

He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [Translated by Mohsin Khan, Al-Baqara 2:173]

The best we can do for the deceased, if they die in the state of Emaan, is to pray for their forgiveness. This is done through participating in their funeral prayer and by sending duas to Allah for the dead person’s maghfirat (salvation). We cannot do any more than this and we shouldn’t do any more than this. All other rituals, which have become an integral part of the ‘commemoration of the dead’ ceremony, are innovated practices.

Assalam o alaikum


Filed under Innovations (Bid'ah)

98 responses to “Transferring Reward to the Dead (Esaal-e-Sawab)

  1. There are some muslims in our country who keep the janaza in the middle of the mosque and perform hadra before the janaza prayer. Is this permissible ? Assalamu Alaikkum.

  2. Zakhir

    Hadra is a form of group dhikr where the attendees most often stand in a circle. Assalamu Alaikkum.

    • The Real Islam

      Brother Zakhir,

      We are not aware of any such practice mentioned in authentic hadith. So we don’t think that this practice has any room in Islam; we will change our opinion if we come across any example of this.

      Janaza is a dua for maghfirat (forgiveness of the dead) and a Muslim should perform it according to the practice of Muhammad (SAW) and his Sahaba (RA).

      Assalam o alaikum

  3. anver

    Zakhir has explained what is hadra, what is your answer? Assalamu Alaikkum.

  4. adeel

    assalam o alekum brother zakhir..can u plz tell me is it good if i recite ist kalma for 1 lakh 25 thousand times to give sawaab to my deceased father? Thanks..

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother Adeel,

      I think that it is best that you read the article on Esaal-e-Sawab first. In our view, there is no concept of transferring the sawaab of your own good deeds to the amaal-nama (record of deeds) of a deceased person. Therefore, whatever you recite will benefit you , not your father; and the reward will be added to your amaal-nama. You can send a dua to Allah for the forgiveness of the deceased (dua-e-maghfirat). This matter is explained in detail in the light of the Qur’an and Hadith in the full article. Here is the link:

      Lastly, we shouldn’t do Ibadah a fixed number of times unless there is an example of this in Muhammad’s (SAW) sunnah and we find a reference to it. For example, the Tasbeeh after salaat (33 times Subhan Allah, 33 times Alhamdulillah, 34 times Allah o Akbar) is proven from Sahih hadith so we can do that. But there is no mention of saying the kalima 1 lakh 25 thousand times. We should stay away from doing Ibadah like this, as this may constitute a biddah (innovation in Islam) and prophet Muhammad (SAW) has warned against Biddah.

      After you have read the full article, please feel free to post your comments and questions here.

      Assalam o alaikum

  5. noufal

    A pious son is not sadka jaaria??? His good deeds will not do good for his parents

    • The Real Islam

      Dear Noufal,

      Thanks for reading our blog and for your comment. You have mixed various things in your short question so let us clarify.

      1. According to the Quran, a person will bear the burden of his deeds only. Therefore, whatever we earn in the Hereafter will depend on our deeds in this world.
      2. There are certain actions, the rewards of which may continue to be added to our Amaal-nama (record of deeds) after our death, as per Allah’s wish. These are stated in [Sahih Muslim – Book 13, Hadith 4005]. These include recurring charity (done by the dead person himself), truthful or good knowledge taught to others and pious children praying for forgiveness.
      3. If a parent taught piety and goodness to his children, then the parent will benefit from teaching them a good thing (but that is the parent’s own good deed). However, many children become Muslims even though their parents died on shirk so in such a situation, the pious children cannot perform good deeds and keep transferring sawab to their parents. In fact, any independent good deed of a pious child will benefit the child not the parent. Many Sahaba (RA) were momineen yet their parents were mushriks (notably Abu Bakr’s (RA) father); in such a situation, the Sahaba’s piety could not be attributed to their parents.

      We hope that this further clarifies the blog post. Please do not hesitate to post further questions or comments.

      Assalam o alaikum

      • Jahangir

        “……However, many children become Muslims even though their parents died on shirk so in such a situation, the pious children cannot perform good deeds and keep transferring sawab to their parents. In fact, any independent good deed of a pious child will benefit the child not the parent. Many Sahaba (RA) were momineen yet their parents were mushriks (notably Abu Bakr’s (RA) father); in such a situation, the Sahaba’s piety could not be attributed to their parents.”
        It is not right for the Prophet and for the believers to pray for the forgiveness of the polytheists, even if they are closely related to them, after it has become apparent that they are people of hell. (Al-Taubah 9: 113)

      • The Middle Nation

        Dear brother Jahangir,

        No, because the sadaqa e jariya results from the parent’s own actions. For example, if someone plants a fruit tree and if people benefit from it after his or her death, then the sadaqa e jariya will be added to the account of the person who planted the tree. The Qur’an has given a very simple law which is that each soul will be answerable for its own deeds and will only bear the burden of its own deeds. There is no need to complicate that simple and very fair law.


  6. kashish

    Assalam valikum i want to know that can we read daily 100times kalma and can transfer to the dead person for his forgiveness….

    • The Real Islam

      Assalam o Alaikum,

      In our view, doing Ibaadah and/or good deeds and then transferring their sawab to the dead is not a proven practice in Islam and thus a Biddah. We can of course seek Allah’s forgiveness by making Dua e Maghfirat for the deceased (if they died on Emaan) but recital of Quran or Kalima is not a part of Dua e Maghfirat. Please read the article “Transferring Reward to the Dead (Esaal-e-Sawab)” in full as the question you have asked has been discussed in detail.

      • Jahangir

        Sadqa e Jariya continues to transfer sawab to one’s account even after death, right??
        Leaving behind pious children is also Sadqa e Jariya. And don’t you think this Sadga e Jariya would also continue to transfer sawab to their dead parent’s (as it implies)?

      • The Middle Nation

        Brother, I am not sure where the complication is arising from and why we must resort to splitting hairs. If someone leaves behind pious children, then Allah will recognise that and reward accordingly. But it is a completely different thing to say that children can, voluntarily and of their own free will, do some good deeds and start sending sawaab to their parents. Because that would mean that I can sit at home and read 100 nafl and ask Allah to send 100 nafl to my grandfather. How’s that logical and how does this follow from the concept of sadaqa e jariya? Sadaqa e jariya is nothing but Allah’s mercy and fairness to keep giving reward for a deed that outlasts a person’s life. And it is entirely up to Allah as to how He allocates that reward. It is not us humans who send sawaab. It is only Allah’s prerogative to give reward as He sees fit. This is where the idea of esaal-e-sawaab messes up the basic and fair principle in the Qur’an.

        Dead people are dead. They have taken their deeds with them. There is nothing we can do for them except pray for their maghfirat. So I would suggest that Muslims leave the matter of reward to Allah, to whom this right actually belongs. We should accept that once our loved ones are gone, there is nothing we can do to change their fate on the Day of Judgement.

        We have written further articles on this subject and you may wish to refer to them.


  7. Nadia

    Abu Huraira (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased). [Sahih Muslim – Book 13, Hadith 4005]
    Hi I have few questions regarding your blog, would really appreciate if you can elaborate a bit further.
    1. Is it necessarily has to be a son a daughter cannot “prays” for her father?
    2. If son/children are praying for their deceased father, what exactly the word “prays” encompasses?
    If it’s just asking Allah for his forgiveness for the deceased one than how would you come up to this conclusion since it’s not explained there?
    For instance in my case my father (May Allah bestowed him the best place in heavens) passed way about a year and half ago. I performed Umrah on his behalf and right after that not only in my dreams but also in my siblings dream we saw him really tall and strong and Alhamdulillah in typical Islamic attire. And he looks mashaallah happy.
    1. The Quranic verses, Hajj , Umrah , Namaz e Istighfar are not included in the word “Prays”?
    2. Recurring charity: it is not clear in the above narration that only the charity which a deceased one intended to do while he was alive will provide him the benefit after his death, and that any other charity which his children are doing on their own for his Sawab will not give him any benefit.
    My father was a doctor, not only that we are still benefiting ourselves with the kind of treatment/cure he used to provide us while he was alive but there are unlimited people who used to receive free treatments /advice from my father for their illness/diseases. Does this covers point no.1 of recurring charity since he had never digs a well or plant a tree when he was alive.

    • The Real Islam

      Dear sister Nadia,

      Thank you for reading our blog. Here are the answers to your questions:

      1. The prayer for a deceased parent can be said by that person’s children regardless of gender. Most of the words of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were directed at his Sahaba (RA) who were mostly men. So the words ‘pious son’ do not mean that only sons have been given this opportunity to pray for their parents. Daughters can pray as well.

      2. The hadith refers to praying for forgivenss of a deceased parent. This can be done either through established prayers like ‘Rabbi ja’alni’ that you say in each salaat or you can send a simple prayer in your own language (English may be) and ask Allah to forgive the deceased relative. However, you cannot perform Umra on your father’s behalf unless he had promised Allah that he will perform Umra but was unable to do so before he died. In other words, ‘prayer’ does not mean doing Ibadah like Umra for your father. There are ahadith mentioned in this blog post that clarify the concept of promise to Allah and that such a promise is binding on a person.

      We are unable to provide you with any interpretation of dreams. But please keep in mind that any worship you do (Umra or Hajj) is for you and the reward is for you because it is your own good deed. We have not been given the right to perform an Ibadah and transfer sawaab to someone else.

      As for the latter 2 questions, as explained ealier, ‘prayer’ simply refers to asking Allah to forgive a person; it does not mean performing an act of worship and asking Allah to transfer the reward to the deceased. As for recurring charity, this is the charity done by the deceased. This hadith is easy to understand if you approach it according to the basic principle established in the Qur’an that all souls shall bear the burden of their own deeds:

      “This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.” [Al-Baqara 02:134 & 141]

      In [Q41:46] and the above verse, Allah refers to the concept of justice. So there is justice in this approach, that we will all be answerable for our own deeds and we will be rewarded for our own good deeds. If your father did an act of recurring charity in his life (free treatments and advice) then he will continue to get the reward for what was his own good deed. Digging a well or planting a fruit tree are simple examples to explain a point that recurring charity can take many forms, including knowledge of the Truth given to others.

      So, in a nutshell, we are rewarded for our own acts but Allah has allowed the children of a deceased Muslim to pray for his forgiveness. This prayer is simply a dua. This permission does not mean that we can plant a tree or perform a Hajj and dedicate the reward to a deceased parent. If you or I plant a fruit tree, then that is our own act and we will get the reward of this recurring charity. We can only plant a tree for a parent if they left this in thier will (the promise to Allah).

      The most important thing to understand is that to hold any views, which fall in the category of belief or ibadah, we have to find evidence first. When we find evidence in Hadith about any acts of worship done on behalf of parents, we also find that the parent had intended to do that act and promised Allah but had died before fulfilling that promise, or parents sometimes made this a part of their will (waseeyat). But we find no evidence of children doing acts of charity voluntarily and then asking Allah to transfer the reward to the dead. So, as Muslim, we should always form opinions according to the information and evidence provided in the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith.

      We hope that this clarifies the matter. Please do not hesitate to pose further queries on the subject.

      Assalam o alaikum

  8. Shabana

    Assalaamualaikum Brother/Sister,

    Though this question is not relevant to any post on this site, but I really need to know about this in the light of Quran and Hadith.
    Allah (SWT) mentioned about respecting and caring for parents numerous times in Quran. Is this only for boys? I know it is not, but then why a girl is restricted to do everything what a boy would do for his parents whether it is financial support or if she wants her mother to live with her after marriage as her mother is alone. Please help me to understand this issue.

    Jazzak Allah Khair,

    • The Real Islam

      Dear sister Shabana,

      That is a very important question, actually. According to the Qur’an:

      O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqun (the pious. See V.2:2)]. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. [Al-Hujraat 49:13]

      Allah does not discriminate on the basis of gender: both men and women will be judged according to the same standard which is Taqwa. However, Islam recognises the different roles that men and women have to play in society. It has given men the responsiblity to look after their households; therefore, men will be questioned on this. Women have not been given responsiblity for the financial wellbeing of their parents or children. But this does not mean that women are restricted from doing so. In fact, women have complete freedom in how to spend their own money (contrast this with men who have to spend on family first). Both men and women are given great reward for looking after their parents and children; for women, this reward is even greater if they fulfill a task they do not bear the responsibility for. Any money or time you spend looking after a dependent is an act of charity.

      Not all parents have both sons and daughters. Some of us only have daughters or only sons. Does this mean that the parents of daughters are destined to face difficulties? Not at all. Islam gives complete financial freedom to women and they should look after their old parents if they are able to, financially and time-wise. We would like to refer you to the following article on our blog, which will give you an idea of how empowered Muslim women should be:

      Women’s Rights in an Islamic State

      The core issue, of course, is not religion; the restrictions are purely cultural. Unfortunately, Muslims have picked up the worst possible from cultures that discriminate against women. Particularly in South Asia, we are much influenced by Hinduism, where it is considered an absolute insult for a parent to live with her daughters. Hinduism is a culture that bars women from inheriting property and sees her as a slave of parents (when unmarried) and then a slave of her husband (when married). It also gives dowry (jahaiz) to women because it does not allow inheriting from parents. Because there is widespread acceptance of these ideas, the in-laws of married women don’t allow their parents, even widowed mothers, to live with their daughters. The curse of the joint family system makes this even more complicated. So what we need to do is raise awareness of these issues and understand that these have nothing to do with Islam. These are purely cultural problems that cause much grief to our parents in their old age. In our individual capacity, we must set a good example. For example, if you have a son, you must ensure that you don’t get a penny in dowry.

      If you are planning to look after your mother, then you should discuss this with your husband in the first instance and try to convince him. There is nothing in Islam which stops you from looking after an old parent. However, you and your husband will have to look into the practicalities of this move (where will she live, privacy, financial support etc.)

      All the best.

      Assalam o alaikum

  9. madiha kaleem

    ok i agree with you what you say can you please tell me the dua for forgiveness of dead parents as it is mentioned in hadees

    4.If the deceased person’s children prays for forgiveness, provided the deceased did not die on Shirk.

    and i would like all of you to please pray for my mother MARHOOMA MAUHTARMA SHAMIM RAFIQ SAHIBA for her forgiveness.

    • The Real Islam

      Dear sister Madiha,

      Assalam o alaikum

      There is no prescribed dua for forgiveness of deceased parents. You can say the dua in your own language, Urdu or English or Punjabi, simply asking Allah for forgivess of a parent who died on the correct Aqeeda of a Muslim. There are also some verses of the Qur’an which are common duas and many Muslims read them in their daily salaat. I am copying a couple of these below:

      O my Lord! Make me one who performs As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat ), and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation. Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established. [Surah Ibrahim 14:40-41]

      My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. And to the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, and disbelievers) grant You no increase but destruction! [Surah Nooh 71:28]


  10. Shu'aib

    Assalaamu’alaykum wa rahmatullaah.

    May Allaah reward you for your efforts.

    Since the 3 things that continue to help a deceased person (i.e. reward) are ongoing charity, du’aa from pious child and knowledge that he left behind.

    Say for example my grandad dies. With regards to the knowledge left behind, my parents say that he would have left my dad to teach me how to read Qur’an; now would this be counted as my grandad’s reward after death since it is knowledge that he left for my dad who taught me. So based on this my parents ask “why isn’t reading the Qur’an for deceased allowed especially when your grandad has left knowledge behind (indirectly), from that you have learnt Qur’an.”?

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother Shu’aib,

      Assalam o alaikum

      The following hadith adds a lot of clarity to the idea of continuing to earn sawaab:

      [Sahih Muslim – Book 34, Hadith 6466]
      Jareer ibn Abdullah (RA), he said: “Some people came to Prophet (PBUH) wearing woolen garments. He saw they were in bad shape and in desperate need, so he (PBUH) urged the people to give them charity. People were very slow to respond, and it could be seen on his face (that he was upset). Then a man from the Ansar brought a package of silver, then another came, then after him another and another, and his face was filled with joy. He (PBUH) said: “Whoever starts a practice (Sunnah) in Islam, and others do likewise after him, there will be written for him a reward like that of those who followed him, without detracting it in the least from their reward. Whoever starts a bad practice (Sunnah) in Islam, and others do likewise after him, there will be written for him a burden of sin like that of those who followed him, without detracting it in the least from their burden.”

      So when your grandfather taught your father to read the Qur’an, it was your grandfather’s own deed and for this he will be rewarded. However, your father cannot recite the Qur’an and ask Allah to transfer the reward of the recitation to your grandfather (esaal-e-sawab) because the recitation is your father’s deed. In any case, we cannot ask Allah to reward so and so; it is entirely up to Allah who He wants to reward and why. Your father’s recitation of the Qur’an will always remain your father’s deed for which he will receive reward.

      Your grandfather would have taught your father some other good deeds, for example, saying the salaat. Every time your father says his salaat, he gets the reward for the salaat itself, and your grandfather will get the reward for teaching it to him. But this does not mean that your father can start saying extra salaat and send sawaab to his father. Therefore, you need to look at the ‘ownership’ of the deed. Your grandfather’s deed was teaching something good. Your father’s deed is that he continues to practice the salaat and for this he gets reward. However, no one can add to or take away from a dead person’s account. Only Allah may reward your grandfather for teaching something good to your father. This is explained in the Qur’an in these verses:

      This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did. [Al-Baqara 02:134 & 141]

      Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against it; and your Lord is not in the least unjust to the servants. [Fussilat 41:46]

      Therefore, your father can only read the Qur’an for himself and he can only say the salaat for himself. There is absolutely no concept of transfer of reward to the dead. The dead have departed from this word, taking with them ‘what they earned’.


  11. rukh

    Asalam o alaikum
    bro I have some questions plz answer me.
    if a woman wants to take care her mother who is either widow or just needy, but her husband clearly forbids her to do so or if a husband in any case says that she cannot even meet her parents, should she obey her husband as I heard this from many husbands that they have right to stop their wives by meeting their parents or siblings??? is it allowed in Islam?? if not then what she should do???

    is it Halal to buy a woman and when she becomes MAMLUK LONDI one can have sexual relationships with her and can also have children from her???
    or it was only halal during the Era of our Beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH)????
    I know a husband who says that it is not FARZ for a husband in Islam to give NAAN NAFQA (pocket money) to his wife if he provide her food clothes and shelter.
    if the husband has some cultural or religious issues with his in laws because of their rituals or cultural movements then is it possible for husband to stop his wife by meeting her family .

    • The Real Islam

      Assalam o Alaikum and thank you for your questions.

      Sister the scenarios that you have given are purely cultural rather than religious. Islam does not stop a daughter from supporting her widowed mother either emotionally or financially (if she can). Similarly a husband also cannot forbid his wife from meeting her parents, siblings or family. So this is not a matter of a husband’s right or whether it is allowed in Islam.

      Moving to your second question, concubines (londi) is one of the many misinterpreted and controversial topics in Islam. Firstly, all Islamic rulings regarding slavery would only be applicable in a society or in a world where slavery exists or is allowed. The rulings on slavery came into existence during the time when Quran was revealed and at that time slavery was a common practice in Arabia as well as the rest of the world. Islam put certain rulings in place to tackle slavery because it would have been impractical to put an immediate ban on slavery without providing an alternative system which would help rehabilitate slaves. We have given some detail about the gradual abolition of slavery in this reply:

      Similarly freeing a slave was declared a charitable act. When Muslims were able to form their own welfare governments on correct Islamic principles then slavery was abolished, slaves were freed and had the same rights as everyone else. Similarly, some other Islamic rulings on concubines referred to ‘prisoners of wars’ and the rulings cannot be generalised today to say that it is perfectly fine for a man to keep concubines. Therefore, the rulings were very specific to that time and those circumstances.

      If rulings regarding fighting in the way of Allah are being discussed then one will have to see if the fight is actually being done in the way of Allah or if it is a correct form of Jihad. In short people today overlook the most important part about Islamic rulings as well as punishments and as a result they either criticise the religion as a whole or try to implement these rulings in isolation or without fulfilling the prerequisites. For instance we cannot start cutting hands of thieves in Pakistan in the name of an Islamic punishment because neither people nor the government meet the requirements of Islam, therefore such a law cannot be implemented in a society where people may be forced to steal loaves of bread in order to put food on the table.

      Regarding a husband not giving Nan Nafqa (pocket money) to his wife, the technical answer is that it is difficult to find a reference for a ‘cash pocket money’ for a wife that a husband must pay. What you will find is that a husband is responsible for the financial well-being of his family, including his wife, and he has been given ‘responsibility’ over women.

      And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. [Al-Baqara 02:228]

      So the nan nafqa is something to be negotiated between a husband and his wife and a husband may choose not to give his wife pocket money but provide for her well otherwise.

      You have to also keep in mind that a woman has other rights in Islam. She is given gifts at the time of marriage, including Mahr from her husband, and she is entitled to inheritance from her blood relatives. She also has the right to education and employment. Unfortunately, in Muslim societies women are raised to be dependent on men and this complicates things. Secondly, women are rarely given their share in inheritance because of which they never attain financial independence, which makes things difficult in a marriage whereby a husband is the only one she can ask for financial support. The ‘dependence’ of women is thus more of a cultural and social issue.

      But because Islam does not specify a regular cash sum that a man must give a woman, it is best to conclude that this is more a matter between husband and wife, and of having a successful married relationship. In a good marriage, apart from fulfilling all the usual needs, a husband would be happy to include a reasonable amount of cash money in his wife’s Nan-Nafqa as after all she may not only have some personal needs to meet but there might be situations where she might need to make payments for the household. This would also mean giving her more confidence and respect. This is why many couples operate joint bank accounts to sort the day to day financial matters.

      Lastly, we would require more specific details about your last question about ‘husband having cultural/religious issues with in laws of their rituals’. If you wish you can send us a private message using the ‘Contact us’ page on the blog and we will reply to you via email and it wouldn’t be posted on the blog.


  12. afshan

    Thanks bro for these information.
    the answer of question no.3 shows that if a woman doesn´t earn, she can not do sadqa coz her husband doesn´t give her money. Islam says do sadqa in the way that even the left hand does not know about it. but in this way she can´t give the hidden sadqa and if she wants to do so then she must ask her husband for money and then he comes to know about it.
    Am I right???
    a Hadith says that if Prophet Muhammed would allowed to do sajda he would allowed the woman to do sajda before her husband??? is this an authentic hadith???

    • The Real Islam

      Dear sister Afshan,

      Assalam o alaikum

      Firstly, the hadith about doing sadaqa quietly refers to the fact that sadaqa is an act of worship and all worship is for Allah only. If people start publicising their charity, then an element of ‘raya’ comes into it, and a person starts to care more about his repute in society as a ‘charitable human being’ rather than the act of charity itself. However, a husband and wife will often know about each other’s decisions and if a woman doesn’t earn, she may even consult with her husband before giving money in sadaqa. As always, the intention or niyyat behind a deed is important and if a woman consults with her husband before spending in sadaqa, then there is no harm in that.

      Secondly, I have a feeling that you are thinking of sadaqa in terms of cash only. Sadaqa can be done in many ways and monetary sadaqa is just one type. An educated woman can teach a child for free. This is an act of great sadaqa for which she does not need to ask her husband for money. If she has a helper in the house (a servant), she can look after the helper well. Teaching one’s children the Qur’an and other beneficial knowledge is also sadaqa. So sadaqa itself is not dependent on having a lot of cash around.

      Thirdly, If a woman has a skill through which she can earn some money, then she can use that to do sadaqa. In fact, we find an inspiring example of this from the Umm ul Momineen Zainab (RA), who used to tan leather and would do charity from the sales. If a woman knows how to stitch clothes or knit sweaters, she can either sell those and use the money for charity or she can give clothes to the poor and needy. This too is sadaqa.

      To be honest, I don’t see not having an access to cash as a problem for doing charity. All these things depend on whether both the woman and her husband are Muslims or not and if they have a good married relationship or not. If they are Muslims, surely the husband will be more than happy for his wife to do charity.

      Lastly, the hadith about sajda before a husband is an ‘if’ hadith and the expression in the hadith is a figure of speech. Here is the full hadith:

      Narrated Qays ibn Sa’d: I went to al-Hirah and saw them (the people) prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, so I said: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) has most right to have prostration made before him. When I came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him), I said: I went to al-Hirah and saw them prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, but you have most right, Apostle of Allah, to have (people) prostrating themselves before you. He said: Tell me , if you were to pass my grave, would you prostrate yourself before it? I said: No. He then said: Do not do so. If I were to command anyone to make prostration before another I would command women to prostrate themselves before their husbands, because of the special right over them given to husbands by Allah. (Abu Dawud, Book #11, Hadith #2135)

      If you notice, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says very clearly that one must not prostrate about another human being and he also forbids from prostrating at his grave after his death. He then uses an ‘if’ expression to make the point that a husband has special rights over their wives and husbands deserve respect. This hadith is similar to another one in Tirmidhi where Nabi (SAW) says that if there were a prophet after him, it would be Umar (RA). This does not mean that Umar (RA) would definitely be a prophet. Similarly, reference to a sajda doesn’t make a husband worthy of worship.

      Finally, this ‘sajda to husband’ hadith is from the Sunan Abu Dawud, which contains both Sahih and weak ahadith. I am unable to say at the moment if this hadith is authentic or not and will have to consult further on this. But do not trust such ahadith unless you are absolutely sure about their authenticity.

      I would just like to add here that on this blog, we concentrate on issues of Aqeedah (beliefs) only and we rarely go into discussions on peripheral matters like marital relationships. The reason is that all the talk of sadaqa or marriage among Muslims is pointless if people’s aqeedahs are not correct. Sadaqa has no benefit for a person who recites the Shahadah and then goes running to the grave of a dead saint and asks for help. So I would make a request to concentrate on the bigger issue, which is to purify our Emaan from all shirk. All other matters settle eventually when our Emaan is pure.


  13. afshan

    Im thankful for your answer and do understand your point of view.
    so go ahead, may Allah bless all of you and us too, ameen

  14. syed
    can u go thro this site as it says isaale sawab is allowed and has given refrences and i think it is correct.

    • The Real Islam

      Assalam o Alaikum,

      Brother it is not possible for us to visit individual websites and then provide answers against every argument. We think Esaal-e-Sawaab or doing voluntary ibaadah or good deeds for the dead has no existence in Islam and we have explained our stance with clear references from Qur’an and Sahih Hadith.

      Another reader recently provided a similar link and posed the same request as you have done, so we have recently written another article on the topic to follow up on any arguments brought to support esaal-e-sawaab. This new article can be read at the following link:

      Further proof that Esaal-e-Sawaab is wrong

      We have said many times that belief is a matter of choice. You have now been presented with two very different arguments about esaal-e-sawaab and it is now up to you to make up your mind. We are very clear that esaal-e-sawaab is wrong and it is a practice that challenges Allah’s fairness and mercy.


  15. Our imams and others have said that the recitation of Koran at someone’s death is recommended, especially the chapter of Ya Sin. The majority of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunna agree that the recital of Koran at someone’s death does benefit them, whether it is the chapter of Ya Sin or any other, for all of it contains blessings and benefit. Actually, the recitation of Ya Sin has been specifically commanded in what has been narrated by Imam Ahmad and al-Nasai’ and Ibn Majah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Read Ya Sin for your dead.”

    [text deleted ]

    Thus, it can be seen from all of this that the hadith of reading Ya Sin for the dead has an irrefutable basis, even if it is weak, as some of the abovementioned have said, who were, in turn, contradicted by others mentioned. And the weak hadith can be applied in matters of virtue, according to the consensus of the scholars.

    And the conclusion is that the expert Imams from the hadith scholars and the jurisprudents are agreed that reciting Ya Sin and other chapters from the Koran for the dying is recommended. And the one who rejects this is wrong and ignorant of the way of the Salaf and the Imams who are considered for the explanation of laws. And Allah guides to what is right.

    All that is left is for me to point out that the scholars have differed in the meaning of ‘the dead’ in the hadith ‘Read Ya Sin for your dead.’ Ibn Hibban said in his Sahih: the meaning of this is whoever is on the verge of death; it is not recited over the person who has already died. But al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar mentioned in al-Talkhis al-Habir that Imam al-Hafiz al-Tabari refuted that; meaning, he said that the definition of ‘the dead’ in the hadith is what is obvious, and that is the person who has departed life.

    Amjad Rasheed
    [Translated by Sr. Zaynab Ansari]

    [Some text has been deleted by blog admin]

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother Mohammed,

      Assalam o alaikum

      Thank you for reading our blog. Your comment was very long so I have deleted some text. Here is our reply to the points you have raised.

      I think there are two points being mixed here:

      1. One is that a particular Surah of the Qur’an helps a living person by making his death easy and
      2. The second is if a Surah helps him after he has died.

      The Hadith discussed at great length in the article you shared refers to a living person and not the dead and thus it cannot be used to justify esaal-e-sawaab, which means carrying out voluntary Ibaadah or good deeds on behalf of a dead person. In short, the entire article by Mr Amjad Rasheed refers to a ‘dying’ person where as our article is about the ‘dead’ person.

      Moreover, we feel that this article emphasises a single hadith digging every sort of support for it, which we do not see as the correct approach. As Muslims we must rely first and foremost on the Qur’an, which is very clear on the matter (see the verses we have brought in our articles on esaal-e-sawaab). Similarly the rule of deriving a ruling from Hadith is that all ahadith on the topic should be gathered and then these should be discussed primarily under the Qur’anic ruling. Next, the view explained in the highest level of ahadith or mutawatir ahadith is taken into account. And if the Qur’an and majority of sound ahadith unanimously form a decision on a particular topic then it should be accepted as it is. Fishing for isolated ahadith found in comparatively low rated collections of ahadith and then backing these up with heaps of fatwas from scholars is a typical approach by sects but it is of course incorrect. It should be the Qur’an and Hadith first and then a conclusion, not the other way around. Sects always take the ‘conclusion first’ approach.

      The other problem in this approach is that by basing an entire belief or practice/ritual on a single Hadith we may end up denying other ahadith or even Qur’anic verses, which is the case on the topic of esaal-e-sawaab. It is not correct to say that esaal-e-sawaab is a matter of ‘Fazail’ and a weak hadith can be accepted in this matter. Esaal-e-sawaab is a matter of faith in Allah’s judgement, which is that no soul shall bear the burden of another. Any hadith that contradicts that simple ruling cannot be relied upon.

      We are not publising the Arabic Hadith text that you have quoted as it is not accompanied by an English or Urdu translation. Please also share an authentic translation and we will share it on the blog.


      • Mohammed Mubashir

        Walekum Asalam Warahmtullah,

        O.K. we take it like this you tell if I read a Ayah from Quran does it called Quran or something else?

        If I read this, Rabbij ‘alni muqimassalāti wamin zurritati, rabbana wataqabbal du‘ā. Rabbanagh firli waliwallidaiya walilmu’mini nayau ma yaqu mulhisâb. (My Lord, make me an establisher of solat, and from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established.)” [Ibrahim, 14:40-41], Rabbir-hamhumaa kamaa rabbayaanii saghiiraaa.(Al-Isra’-24), Rabbighfir lii wa li-waalidyya wa lima dakhala baytyi mu’minanw-wa lil-mu’miniina wa mu’minaat.(Nuh-28)

        Does this ayah said any where that I have to read it for living/dying/dead no! it is a general dua for Past/Present/Future by Qura’an it self Allah Ta’ala is asking us to make by and how He Himself in His own Words He teached us!

        Then why the hell you people saying reciting Qura’an is a Bida’a!!!

        Nouzubillahi mndhallik Allah may forgive every ignorant and stuborn make it easy for every one to do good deeds, Allahumma Faatiras-samaawaati Wal-‘arzi ‘Aalimal-ghaybi wash-shahaadati Anta tahkumu byna ‘ibaadika fii maa kaanuu fiihi yakhtalifuun. Rabbanaghfir lanaa wa li-‘ikhwaaninallaziina sabaquuna bil-‘iimaani wa laa taj’al fii quluubinaa gillal-lillaziina ‘aamanuu Rabbanaaa’innaka Ra’uufur -Rahiim. Wala jahilan illa a’lam tah, Allahumma Salli Ala Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa Ala Ali Muhammadin Wa Sabihi, Wa Adada Malumatika Wa Barik Wa Sallim. – Ameen.


      • The Real Islam

        Dear brother Mubashir,

        Assalam o alaikum

        You are mixing 3 things in your post:

        1. Recitation of the Qur’an itself.
        2. Praying for the forgiveness of Muslims or sending the Dua-e-Maghfirat for those who died in the state of Emaan.
        3. Recitation of the Qur’an to transfer sawaab to the dead.

        Reading the Qur’an is a deed of great sawaab and there is no confusion here. Similarly, it is a believer’s duty to pray for the forgiveness of a believer who has passed away. The funeral prayer is the best way of doing this. The dua you have quoted above, Rabbij’alni, is also a prayer for forgiveness, again for ‘all the believers’ (notice the words in the dua you have copied). A prayer for forgiveness is very different from doing a voluntary good deed to transfer sawaab to another person. Allah has not given us the right to mess about with the sawaab or sins people have earned. It is only Allah’s right to allocate sawaab. It is a very simple point!

        About Ibrahim (AS), Allah also tells us in Surah Tauba:

        And Ibrahim’s invoking (of Allah) for his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he [Ibrahim] had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to him [Ibrahim] that he (his father) is an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily Ibrahim was Awwah (one who invokes Allah with humility, glorifies Him and remembers Him much) and was forbearing. [At-Taubah, Chapter 9, Verse 114]

        So Ibrahim AS stopped praying for his father once he realised that he was an enemy of Allah. What we see around us today is that parents die in the state of shirk or bidd’ah and their children recite dozens of Qur’an and try to send ‘sawaab of recitation’ to them. The practice of doing a good deed and then asking Allah to transfer its sawaab to a dead person is not proven through the Qur’an, the Sunnah of Muhammad (SAW) or the views of his companions, the Sahaba (RA). Can you prove that any ‘gatherings for Qur’an recitation for the dead’ ever took place at the time of Muhammad (SAW)?

        In fact, the Qur’an tells us that each soul will bear its own burden. This means that no one can lighten the burden a soul will bear. This is Allah’s justice. Not only is esaal-e-sawaab a bidd’ah, it is a very unfair belief and practice with many problems, which we have highlighted in this article and another one called ‘Further proof that esaal-e-sawaab is wrong’. I would urge you to read that article with an open mind, without getting angry. Hopefully, it will then become clear to you that our views are fully evidenced by the Qur’an and authentic Hadith.

        When you post a comment in the future, try to be polite. No one likes being called ignorant or stubborn and ‘why the hell’ is not a very nice way of expressing your views. You say impolite things to us on our blog and also expect us to post them and reply to your arguments but in the future we will be under no obligation to do so. You need to change your approach to expressing disagreement.


  16. Mohammed Mubashir

    Afrer your stubborn answer I don’t have any thing to do with you as Quran teached me I am saying “Salaam” to you and concludes about yourself Infact if I could sum your scholarship up it would be in 6 words “daeef”, “taqlid” “kufr” “biddah” “shirk” “takfir”. Your whole being is focussed on other muslims and how incorrect they are!

    Allah may give you Hidayah if you find time go to this link:

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother,

      If this is how you feel than I am afraid we cannot do much. You are entitled to your views. I have posted a blog post in reply to your ‘tasting death’ comment. Do take out a few minutes to read it.

    • zahid

      Mr mubashir , u dressed like Muslim but talks like …. the more the blogger is trying to make u understand with simplest waya child would have understand….but time and again u twisted…follow the reference s from Quran and saheeh haddeth.

      Not the mare options of your scholar s. May ALLAH open your heart .

  17. Thanks i have read your article and it help me alot because i lost my husband i want pray for him for forgiviness been we dont have child who could pray for him

    • The Real Islam

      Dear sister,

      Anyone can pray for the forgiveness of a Muslim provided that he dies in the state of Emaan. This should simply be an ordinary prayer and should not take the form of Esaal-e-Sawaab as we have discussed in detail in this article.


  18. Salaamun Alaikum

    Please see the following Hadith:

    Urdu, Kitab-ul-Wasaya, Vol. 4, Hadith 4219

    Sahih Muslim Book 013, Hadith Number 4001.
    Sahih Muslim Book 13. Bequests
    Chapter : The deceased is entitled to reward for the sadaqa given after his death.
    Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported that a person said to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him): My father died and left behind property without making any will regarding it. Would he be relieved of the burden of his sing if I give sadaqa on his behalf? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Yea.

    Which means that other person can give sadaqa on behalf of dead, on his own will, without the will of dead person, and then the burden (gunah) will be relieved from him.

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother,

      I wanted to look into the exact wording of this hadith before replying to you. This hadith is not hujjat (proof) in the matter of Esaal-e-sawaab due to the following reasons:

      1. The words of this hadith are: “Fahal Yukkafaru Anho Un Atasadaqqa”. This tells us that this hadith is about a matter of ‘kaffara’, which must be paid if someome commits a sin. If you notice, the latter part of the hadith reinforces this: “Would he be relieved of the burden of his sin….” It seems that the narrator of the hadith did not narrate this fully or properly.

      2. All the reports in Bukhari, Muslim and Muwatta Imam Malik that refer to giving sadaqa on behalf of someone else are about matters of ‘nazar’ where someone made a pledge to Allah to do a good deed but was unable to fulfill it. Such a pledge is a promise towards Allah and needs to be fulfilled. We have written about this in detail in this article and the one I gave you a link to a few days ago. Did you read that article?

      3. A narrator of this hadith is Abu Usama. Coincidentally, he is a Mudallis and is quite well-known for doing Tadlis. Tadlis means that the reporter hides the identity of his teacher. This is why Allama Ibn-e-Hazm has critcised Imam Muslim for recording a report from this narrator (Kitab-ul-Alal pg.655). Some scholars have considered Abu Usama to be ‘saqqa’ or reliable but his reports cannot be compared in authenticity to those brought by Imam Malik, Imam Bukhari, Imam Hammad bin Zaid, Imam Yahya bin Saeed-ul-Qitaan, Ali bin Masher, Shoaib bin Ishaq, Rooh bin Qasim and Jaffer bin Aun. This is because this report is against the Qur’an and other more authentic Hadith. Such a report is called munkir.

      4. Another narrator of this hadith is Ala’a bin Abdul Rehmaan about whom hadith scholars differ. Some consider him weak and some consider him reliable but no one considers him hujjat (proof).

      5. This hadith is an isolated report (khabar-e-wahid) as no one other than Ala’a reports it, so we cannot base our Aqeedah on it.

      6. Moreover, this hadith is one of the 17 ahadith in Muslim which have been critised by Ibn-e-Taymiyyah in Minhaaj-us-Sunnah.

      Now let’s look at this hadith from the ‘content’ point of view. Because this hadith is about ‘Kaffara’ it cannot be used to prove Esaal-e-sawab. A hadith that contradicts many Qur’anic verses and other Sahih Hadith should not followed. And if it is followed, then it should be interpreted in the light of the Qur’an and other Sahih Hadith on this matter. This is because it is illgical to cling to one hadith and reject Qur’anic verses or other Sahih hadith, especially when the chain of narration is also not sound.

      Therefore, the conclusion you have derived from this hadith is not correct.

  19. Salaamun Alaikum

    One more Hadith:

    Sahih Muslim Book 13. Bequests

    Sahih Muslim Book 013, Hadith Number 4003.

    Chapter : The deceased is entitled to reward for the sadaqa given after his death.

    ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that a man came to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah’s Messenger, my mother died all of a sudden without making any will. I think if (she could have the opportunity) to speak she would have made a Sadaqa. Would there be any reward for her if I give charity on her behalf? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Yes.

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother,

      Please read the articles in full before commenting.

      This hadith refers to the incident of the death of Sad bin ‘Ubada’s mother, who had an unfulfilled vow. We have discussed this in more detail in this article:

      There is no concept of Esaal-e-sawaab in Islam. Every soul shall bear its own burden, for Allah is the Most Just and Merciful.

      Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people. ”
      (Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #286)

      Say: “Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing.”
      (Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #164) [Emphases added]


      • Salaamun Alaikum

        Dear Brother

        I have read your article, and I know how you relate this to Saad bin ‘Ubada’s mother. But, this Hadith does not refer to the same. Read again and again, it clearly tells about the person’s mother:

        “… my mother died all of a sudden without making any will. I think if (she could have the opportunity) to speak she would have made a Sadaqa. Would there be any reward for her if I give charity on her behalf?”

        He (the Holy Prophet) said: Yes.

        Please see following clear statements:
        * Persons’ mother died without making any will
        * She didn’t say her son to give Sadaqa on her behalf

        Sahih Muslim Book 013, Hadith Number 4001 also confirms similar situation for the father of another person.

        Please follow Quran and Hadith, do not make Quran and Hadith follow your beliefs.

        Quranic Ayat which you referred is Haq. But, dear brother, you are getting wrong conclusion from this ayat.

        Let’s be logical and consistent:

        Ayat Al-Baqarah 2:286, you mentioned, has these two statements relevant to our topic:

        *2:286_S1 A person gets reward for that (good) which he has earned.
        *2:286_S2 The person is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.

        The above two statements are “rules of justice”, and these are also applicable in countries where people do not believe in Quran:

        A person doing 8 hours job will get his/her payment.
        A person doing 6 hours job will get his/her payment.
        A person making theft will be prosecuted for the theft.

        But the statements of 2:286_S1 and 2:286_S2 does not mean:

        * A person cannot get gift from another person

        So a person giving gift to another is not included in 2:286.
        Similarly there is no mention of gift from another person in Al-Anaam 6:164.

        So there is no ayat in Quran which tells that “Gift of Sawab” is not allowed, it is against Justice.

      • The Real Islam

        Dear brother,

        First of all, please read our replies to your previous comments. It is a well-known fact that this hadith is about Sad bin Ubada’s mother. Moreover, the words of the hadith are:
        “I think if (she could have the opportunity) to speak she would have made a Sadaqa.” So this hadith is about a promise made to Allah that could not be kept. Please read our previous replies to you.

        Secondly, the belief in esaal-e-sawaab is the completely illogical. Maybe a person sins all his life but somehow manages to raise a pious child, and then that pious child starts doing esaal-e-sawaab and the person is forgiven? Where is the logic in this? Your interpretation of the Qur’an verse is simply your personal opinion and I would very much ask you not to compare matters of Islamic belief with employment practices in this world.

        Allah has established in clear words in various places in the Qur’an that every soul will bear its own burden. These is 100% justice in this. The belief in esaal-e-sawab creates injustice. It is plain as daylight to see why this injustice is created. We have referred to this in detail and I would urge you, once again, to read both our articles on Esaal-e-sawaab with an open mind.

        None of us can do good deeds to get our parents or friends pardoned. If they died in shirk or committed grievous sins, then they will answer Allah for that. The door of Tauba closes on a person when he dies and there is nothing we can do to save anyone.


  20. jawed akhtar

    The only exception in this case shall be granted to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) – or other pious Muslims – on the Day of Judgement when he will be able to request Allah (perform Shifa’at) for the salvation of Momineen.

    You happen to write the above verse.

    May i know where you got this narration from , that “Other pious muslims”
    will be allowed to intercession of momineen.

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother Jawed,

      Please see the following references in this regard:

      None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from the Most Gracious (Allah).
      ( سورة مريم , Maryam, Chapter #19, Verse #87)

      On that day no intercession shall avail, except the one for whom the Most Gracious (Allah) has given permission and whose word is acceptable to Him.
      ( سورة طه , Taha, Chapter #20, Verse #109)

      And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with.
      ( سورة النجم , An-Najm, Chapter #53, Verse #26)

      “Anas b. Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I would be the first among people to intercede in the Paradise and amongst the apostles I would have the largest following (on the Day of Resurrection). [Sahih Muslim, Book #001, Hadith #0381]”

      Also see selected part of this long hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Hadith 0352) with the following words:

      “Surely Allah wrongs not the weight of an atom; and if it is a good deed. He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward” (al-Qur’an, iv. 40). Then Allah, Exalted and Great, would say: The angels have interceded, the apostles have interceded and the believers have interceded, and no one remains (to grant pardon) but the Most Merciful of the mercifuls. He will then take a handful from Fire and bring out from it people who never did any good and who had been turned into charcoal, and will cast them into a river called the river of life, on the outskirts of Paradise.”

      And in Bukhari, book 93, see hadith 532s with the following words:

      “Abu Sa’id said: If you do not believe me then read the Holy Verse:– ‘Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant) but if there is any good (done) He doubles it.’ (4.40) The Prophet added, “Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, ‘Now remains My Intercession.”

      On the Day of Judgement believers, angels, prophets and even good deeds like Salaat or Qur’an recitation may be allowed to intercede with Allah’s permission.


    • zahid

      Mr student of… , I was following your views , blogger in simplest language is trying to makes you understand …which a child would understand…you follow your so called scholar s then that of Quran and shahee hadeeth . WE NEED NOT TO DO THAT MUCH IBADAH…LETS OUR CHILD SEND US GIFTS (in your language) after our death….WE WILL RECEIVE AND BY THOSE GIFTS WE GET …WHAT ???? YOU ANSWER . I AM WAITING .

  21. Dear Brother
    Salaamun Alaikum

    Thank you for your detailed reply. I have also read the previous replies.

    This is your ‘guess’ not a ‘fact’ that hadith 4003 is about Sad bin Ubada’s mother. I reproduce Hadiths here for ready reference:

    ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that a man came to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah’s Messenger, my mother died all of a sudden without making any will. I think if (she could have the opportunity) to speak she would have made a Sadaqa. Would there be any reward for her if I give charity on her behalf? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Yes.
    [Sahih Muslim Book 13, Hadith 4003]

    Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The mother of Sad bin ‘Ubada died in his absence. He said, “O Allah’s Apostle! My mother died in my absence; will it be of any benefit for her if I give Sadaqa on her behalf?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Sad said, “I make you a witness that I gave my garden called Al Makhraf in charity on her behalf.” [Sahih Bukhari, Book 51, Hadith 19]

    Due to similarity in wording you are equating that man is Sad bin ‘Ubada.
    But how can we say it fact?
    This could be another man!
    At lease I will take it as a separate man, there is an ample space for that.

    Now come to another Bukhari Hadith 23:

    Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Sad bin Ubada consulted Allah’s Apostle saying, “My mother died and she had an unfulfilled vow.” The Prophet said, “Fulfill it on her behalf.” [Sahih Bukhari, Book 51, Hadith 23]

    Now compare Hadith 19 and 23, which both are about Sad bin Ubada’s Mother:

    These are discussing two different things, Hadith 19 is discussing about Sadaqa, while 23 is discussing about mannat (vow), so it is unjustified to equate both of these to the same thing.
    Do you think Sadaqa is the same as mannat?
    Both are presented by Ibn’ Abbas.

    Do you think Ibn’ Abbas changed wordings in both narrations?
    Which is not possible!! Ibn’Abbas is a responsible person and he cannot change wordings.

    Therefore the conclusion is that Ibn’Abbas actually tell us about two different things about Sad bin Ubada’s Mother. One about mannat and the other about Sadaqa.

    Read wordings again and again, you will be convinced.

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother,

      You have now latched on to another hadith and what is surprising is that you pay no attention at all to the principle of justice that Allah has established in the Qur’an and which we have quoted. You are also refusing to interpret the hadith in the light of the Qur’an. I suggest that you change this approach.

      The incident of both narrations is the same but, for the sake of argument, even if we agree that the first hadith refers to ‘a man’ and not Sad bin Ubada (RA), still the son merely fulfilled what he thought would have been the last words or the will of his mother. The point to be understood over here is that Esaal e Sawab is ‘voluntary’ good deeds on behalf of the dead. The dead in the case of Esaal e Sawab does not leave any will, wish, last words or vows. So comparing either of these ahadith with Esaal e Sawab is incorrect in our view, because these ahadith are about vows, or wills, or promises.

      Furthermore, we cannot build the entire empire of Esaal e Sawab on the basis of a single hadith as this is not how we derive rulings in Islam. This approach is only followed by those who draw a conclusion first and then dig any type of references to fit their existing belief/practice. The fact is that Qur’anic verses as well as all the Sahih Ahadith copied in our article refute the concept of Esaal e Sawab and so we must stick to these and form our belief accordingly. Islamic rulings cannot be based on ‘could be’, ‘would be’ and ‘maybe’ etc. Your theory about ‘gifts’ of sawaab is just that, a theory, with no evidence whatsoever to back it up. Do also note that when we derive a ruling, we have to keep all relevant verses and hadith in mind and then derive a conclusion. Here, you keep bringing one hadith and then ask for all other verses and hadith to be interpreted accordingly.

      Regarding Ibn Abbas (RA)’s narrations, the key point you are missing here is the ‘chain’, which means that Ibn Abbas (RA) is the common narrator in both ahadith but other narrators are different, which means the same incident reached Imam Bukhari through different chains and thus with slight change in words.

      The chain of the Hadith 19 is as follows (if you can’t read Arabic, let me know and I will translate it):
      حدثنا محمد بن عبد الرحيم،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ أخبرنا روح بن عبادة،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ حدثنا زكرياء بن إسحاق،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ قال حدثني عمرو بن دينار،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ عن عكرمة،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ عن ابن عباس

      Where as the chain of Hadith 23 is as follows:
      حدثنا عبد الله بن يوسف،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ أخبرنا مالك،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ عن ابن شهاب،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله،‏‏‏‏ ‏‏‏‏ عن ابن عباس

      You then say in your other comment:

      “If a person sins all his life without repentance, then Allah will not allow him to be forgiven just by Esaal-e-sawaab or by shafaat.”

      Then why do Esaal e sawaab? Is esaal e sawab done only for those who sin mildly? Or is it only done for the pious? Do the pious need gifts of extra sawaab? Do sinners not have decent children? Where have you got the theory that sinners cannot have pious children? How can you say Allah will not allow him to be forgiven? Here is an eye-opening hadith:

      Abu Dharr reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, stated:” He who comes with goodness, there are in store for him ten like those and even more than those: ‘And he who comes with vice, ‘ it is only for that that he is called to account. I even forgive him (as I like) and he who draws close to Me by the span of a palm I draw close to him by the cubit, and he who draws close to Me by the cubit I draw close to him by the space (covered) by two hands, and he who walks towards Me I rush towards him, and he who meets Me in the state that his sins fill the earth, but not associating anything with Me, I would meet Him with the same (vastness) of pardon (on My behalf).” This hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Waki’. (Sahih Muslim, Book #035, Hadith #6499)

      Allah will forgive whom He wills.

      There really is no such thing as esaal e sawab, gifts or otherwise. Still if you don’t agree with our opinion then its your choice. We don’t enforce our understanding upon anyone and we don’t like to argue.

      All the best.

  22. Salaamun Alaikum
    Dear Brother

    This is reply to second part:

    Esaal-e-sawaab is truly logical, when we consider it as a GIFT to dead persons from the living persons.

    If a person sins all his life without repentance, then Allah will not allow him to be forgiven just by Esaal-e-sawaab or by shafaat. In such a case:
    a) he will not be able to find a good child to do esaal-e-sawaab
    b) esaal-e-sawab from haram income is not beneficial
    c) If there is still a child doing good for him, then it will not be beneficial for him, because gift is acceptable, when main course of the person is true.
    e) If someone commits shirk or its basic beliefs are not correct, then nothing is beneficial for him.

    As far interpretation of the Qur’an verse is concerned, if we consider your opinion right, then how you justify other person doing Roza, Mannat, Sadaqa, etc. on behalf of others? Which principle you follow in those cases? List that principle and justify with reference to Qur’anic verse.

    Thus, these Quranic verses do not stop living person doing good deeds for the persons as Gift, whether they are alive or dead.

  23. fahad


    First of all I am not a scholar or the like.

    What I have gathered from different discussions (from internet blogs and forums) is that the actions which can be performed after a persons death which could benefit him are the ones he himself wanted or promised to do or was ordered to do but could not do (e.g. hajj) due to any reason. In other words these deeds are his debt to Allah which he has not paid.

    This is only my opinion thus far but I could be wrong as I am still gathering knowledge in this regards. Maybe someone can share some knowledge regarding this.


    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother Fahad,

      JazakAllah, you have summed up the concept in a beautifully concise manner. Please also see the following article for further details:

      This concept is also summed up nicely in the following hadith, which tells us that it is a dead person’s own good deeds that he did in his lifetime that continue to benefit him. This is special mercy from Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate:

      [Sahih Muslim – Book 13, Hadith 4005]
      Abu Huraira (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased).

  24. Nusrath Ahmed

    Dear Brother Salamalaikum

    Please clarify me on the below hadiths:

    Imam Abu Dawood (d. 275H) (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that Aa’s son of Vayl had made a will to free 100 slaves on his behalf (after his death). His son Hisham freed 50 slaves, his other son wanted to free 50 slaves but said first let me ask the Prophet of Allah (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam). So he went to the Prophet (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) and asked, “Ya Rasool Allah! (Oh Prophet of Allah!) (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) my father had made a will to free 100 slaves and my brother has freed 50 shall I free the other 50” Prophet (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) replied, If he (Aa’s bin Vayl) had been Muslim then if you would free them or do charity or perform pilgrimage it would reach him.

    Imam Abu Dawood (may Allah be pleased with them both) narrate that Saad son of Ubaddah (may Allah be pleased with him) went on holy wars (gazwaa’t) with the Prophet (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) and when he returned to Madina his mother had passed away. He (Saad) asked the Prophet of Allah (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam), ‘Umm e Saad’ meaning my mother has died which charity [sadqa] is better for her. Prophet (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) replied, “Water!” Saad (may Allah be pleased with him) dug a well and said this well is Saad’s mother (that is, may its reward go to Saad’s mother). (Mishkat)

    Imam Muslim (d. 261H) narrates from Ayesha (may Allah be well pleased with her) said one man came and said “Ya Rasool Allah! (Oh Prophet of Allah!) (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) my mother has suddenly passed away and she has made no will. I suppose if she would have got a chance to talk she would have given charity (sadqa) so if I give charity on her behalf would its reward get to her sprit (Ruh) The Prophet (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) replied, Yes it will reach her! Imam Nawawi (d. 676) in his explanation of Muslim (Sharh Muslim) says this means this narration (hadith) proves that if charity is given for the dead body its reward gets to the dead. Scholars have consensus on this.

    Imam Nassai (d. 303) narrates from Son of Abbass (may Allah be well pleased with him) said one woman asked the Prophet (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam), my father has passed away and he did not perform pilgrimage (hajj). Prophet (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) replied perform pilgrimage from your father (i.e., on his behalf).

    Imam Tibrani (d. 360) and Darul Qatnni (d. 385) narrated that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallaho Alihi Wassallam) said, whoever passes by the grave and recites “Qul ho Wallah-ho Ahd…” (Al-Ikhlas Chapter 112) So the grantor will get the reward equal to the quantity of the dead bodies.

    All these hadith mentioned above are in proof of having a Quran Khawani “reciting Quran”. Also remember that benediction [dua’] is accepted when the Quran is completed and so several people recite the Quran in times of calamity and depression and at the end make benediction for peace.

    • The Real Islam

      Wa’alaikum us salaam,

      As far as the first few hadith about wills and vows are concerned, we have covered these in details in this article:

      As for the last opinion about reciting the Qul, please provide the full reference and the isnad (chain) of the hadith so that we can verify its authenticity. Qur’an khwani (or Qur’an recitation on death to transfer sawaab) is a Bidd’ah in religion because Allah’s Last Prophet (SAW) and the Sahaba (RA) never did such a thing.

      Allah says in the Qur’an very clearly that no soul shall bear the burden of another and thus, no living soul can do voluntary deeds to benefit or harm a dead soul. Allah is the most just and it is His clear justice that no human being is allowed to add anything to the book of deeds of another human being. Any opinion that stands against this basic Qur’anic belief can be rejected. Those who are dead shall be accountable for what they did in their lifetimes and this is a very simple and fair concept. We may wish desparately to try to ‘save’ our dead parents or friends, but there is nothing we can do about this because they will bear the burden of their own deeds and will be accountable for their own faith (or absence of faith).


  25. Asim

    Salaam Brother,

    I am soo confused about all of this, what do you make of the following hadieths:

    Reported S. Jaber (Allah be well pleased with him): We came out with the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to Saa’d bin Muaz when he expired. When the Holy Prophet performed his funeral prayer, and he was buried in his grave and the earth was levelled upon him, the Holy Prophet read “Tasbeeh” and we also recited “Tasbeeh” for a long time. Then he recited “Takbeer”, so we too recited “Takbeer”. It was asked “;O the Messenger of Allah! Why have you recited “Tasbeeh” and “Takbeer” He said, “The grave became too narrow for this pious man till Allah made it spacious because of it (the recitation).” (Ahmed, Mishkaat)

    Narrated Abu Huraira (Allah be well pleased with him): The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)said while standing near the graves of the martyrs of Uhud, “I bear witness that you are alive in the sight of Allah.” Then turning towards those present he said, “So visit them, and greet them – I swear by the One in whose power lies my life, they will answer back to whoever greets them until the Last Day.” (Hakim, Baihaqi)

    “A woman came to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said, ‘ I have given charity on behalf of my dead mother by giving away her female servant.’ The Holy Prophet answered, ‘You will have its reward [and so will she] but return the female servant so that the inheritance [may be properly divided].’ The woman then said, ‘She used to owe fasts, can I fast on her behalf’ He answered, ‘You may fast on her behalf.’ The woman then said, ‘She did not perform Hajj, can I perform on her behalf’ The Holy Prophet answered, ‘Yes. You may perform Hajj on her behalf.” (Tirmizi)

    Narrated Ibn `Abbas (Allah be well pleased with him): The mother of Sa`d bin ‘Ubada died in his absence. He said, “O Allah’s Apostle! My mother died in my absence; will it be of any benefit for her if I give Sadaqah on her behalf” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Sa`d said, “I make you a witness that I gave my garden called Al Makhraf in charity on her behalf.” (Bukhari)

    Narrated Abdullah Bin Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) that our beloved Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has said, “that if anyone dies amongst you then do not keep it, send it towards the Kabr, and after burying it, Stand before its head side and recite the first Ruku of “Surah Bakarah”, i.e. from Alif Laam Meem Zaalikal Kitaab to Humul Muflihoon; and recite by it’s feet side the last Ruku of “Surah Bakarah”, i.e. From Aamanar rasoolu till the end of the Surah, Fansurna alal qumil kaafireen. (Mishkaat).

    Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah (Allah be well pleased with him) said: I heard Ibn `Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) say: I heard the Holy Prophet say: “When one of you dies do not tarry, but make haste and take him to his grave, and let someone read at his head the opening of Surah Baqarah, and at his feet its closure when he lies in the grave.” (Tabarani)

    Please see many more in the following wibesite:

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother,

      Thank you for reading our blog and for taking time to comment.

      We are not sure why you are confused about this. If you start from the point that esaal-e-sawaab is not possible (as the Qur’an tells us clearly) and then look at these hadith, you will realise that in all cases of children doing a good deed for parents, there was an unfulfilled vow the parent had made that needed to be completed.

      Could the Prophet (SAW) ever issue a ruling about a matter of aqeedah that didn’t agree with the Qur’an? So the only possible explanations are either that the person interpreting the hadith is wrong, or the hadith itself is not reliable. Certainly the Baihiqi hadith copied above seems unreliable based on its content since it contradicts the Qur’an (Allah tells us that the dead cannot hear and it does not make a distinction whether the dead person is a martyr or not). The sects that believe in esaal-e-sawaab will interpret the hadith to suit their existing beliefs, but they will not pay attention to what the Qur’an is saying, which is simply that all souls will bear the burden of their own deeds.

      To read more about unfulfilled vows, please see this article.

      We hope that this will clear the confusion. We always request readers that in matters of aqeedah, they must always be very careful and put the Qur’an first and not rely on any hadith that seems to go against the Qur’an. Hadith should be interpreted in the light of the Qur’an, not the other way around.


      • syed

        If this is so, then what do u say about Verse number 21 of Surah Toor of Holly Quraan which states that due to good deeds of parents, their children will also be rewarded. Please elaborate

      • The Real Islam

        Brother Syed,

        What about the verse? I am copying it in full below:

        And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in Faith: to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything. Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned. [At-Tur 52:21]

        The verse tells us that those who are in the state of Emaan and their children also follow them in Emaan, then the children will reach the same rank and the reward of the parents will not decrease. The verse then lays waste to the idea of esaal-e-sawaab by saying that each person holds a pledge for what he has earned.

        So perhaps you need to read the verse again with an open mind to realise that it is telling you that every soul is responsible for what it earns. That is the pledge.


  26. Arsalan

    Assalamu alaykum,

    I, somehow, came across a video, in which the self appointed Sheikh ul Islam, Tahir ul Qadri [amended by admin], was talking about Esaal e Sawab. He mentioned a Hadith from the collection of Sahih Muslim about the food cooked and distributed after the death of a family member for continuous seven days for the purpose of easing the Azab e barzakh (azab e qabar, in his words). Is there such a Hadith? Also, he claimed that this was practiced by the Salaf Saliheen. Please comment on this as well. Thanks!

    JazakAllah Khair

    • The Real Islam

      Assalam o alaikum

      Thank you for your comment.

      We are not aware of such a hadith. We suggest you read the following short booklet in our library section to get detail of most ahadith that are quoted in support of Esaal e sawab (voluntary good deeds on behalf of the dead):

      Esal e Sawab Quran ki Nazar Mein

      Kind regards

  27. Haroon Yousaf

    For those who validate Esaal-e-Sawab I ask them a question and give them a food for thought.

    “If you, by whatever logic, validate Esaal-e-Sawab you must also,. by the same logic and dynamics, validate Esaal-e-Gunah! i.e. Go on the road and kill someone or loot someone and then say, “Ya Allah, please forward / attribute this sin / gunah that I committed in the register of my deceased enemy! Amen!”.

    Only if you have Aqal (wisdom) and ilm (knowledge) you know the answer to the above – that this is absolute stupidity.

    Please stop passing on / forwarding “Khatam, Quran Khawani especially on fruits, Niaz etc. etc” because it’s ain’t going to the deceased’s credit.

    • The Real Islam

      Excellent point. Though its not restricted to Khatam, Quran Khawani or Niaz but any voluntary good deeds or ibaadah. So this would also include voluntary fasting, qurbani and other forms of ibaadah on behalf of the dead.

    • syed

      For u and the admin, i have a very good question:-
      Once u intend doing something good/pious, why Sawab of that intention/Niyyat starts accumulating for u. At the same time, once u intend committing some sin/doing something wrong, the punishment of the same is not made ur fate or written for u till the time u actually commit that sin physically.
      Please try to understand, our beloved ALLAH SUBHANH-O-WA_TA’AALA has kept such a system for us to favour us. HE wants to forgive his men by favouring them and this is the the justice of ALLAH. Dont u understand the system of justice.
      For u it should have been the other way round e.g. if one intends doing something good, he should only be rewarded if he physically does something good and not only by Niyyat/intention. So please try to understand, this system is in place if some one performs something good. Its a long discussion and i hope u people will understand and if u dont then answer the question.
      I have a famous Hadith for u.
      Reported S. ‘A’isha (Allah be well pleased with her) : Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) commanded that a ram with black legs, black belly and black (circles) round the eyes should be brought to him, so that he should sacrifice it. He said to ‘A';isha: Give me the large knife, and then said: Sharpen it on a stone. She did that. He then took it (the knife) and then the ram; he placed it on the ground and then sacrificed it, saying: Bismillah, Allah-humma Taqabbal min Muhammadin wa Al-i-Muhammadin, wa min Ummati Muhammadin (In the name of Allah,” O Allah, accept on behalf of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the Umma of Muhammad”). (Muslim)
      The evidence here is that the Holy Prophet sacrificed animals and donated its reward to his entire Ummah -; which includes both the living and the dead – i.e. all those who existed in his time and to all those who were to come after him, until the last day.
      As regard Ibaadah on behalf of the dead, please read following Hadith:-
      “A woman came to the Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, ‘I have given charity on behalf of my dead mother by giving away her female servant.’ The Holy Prophet answered, ‘You will have its reward [and so will she] but return the female servant so that the inheritance [may be properly divided].’ The woman then said, ‘She used to owe fasts, can I fast on her behalf’ He answered, ‘You may fast on her behalf.’ The woman then said, ‘She did not perform Hajj, can I perform on her behalf’ The Holy Prophet answered, ‘Yes. You may perform Hajj on her behalf.” (Tirmizi)

      • The Real Islam

        Brother Syed,

        All the hadith mentioned above have been discussed on this blog.

        Regarding the ram sacrifice hadith, see this link.

        Regarding the unfulfilled vows, please see the discussion on this link.

        Regarding the Muslim hadith of Nabi (SAW) doing qurbani; first of all this is a special act which he did, he never recommended this to his companions and so his companions never sacrificed animals on behalf of the dead (no sahih hadith confirms this). This is further authenticated by the words of hadith, which shows that the sacrifice was for the entire Ummah, which included people who were alive at that time and even those who were not even born at the time. So once again this shows that it was a special act of Prophet (SAW) which he did not recommend anyone to do and thus it cannot be justified for the entire Ummah to follow.

        Finally the last hadith that you have quoted from the reference of Tirmizi (again without any reference of chain of narration), wherever you have copied this from they have changed the wording of this narration in order to suit their wrong belief of Esal e Sawab. The correct words of hadith can be read below, which is collected by Imam Muslim in his Sahih.

        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 #006, Hadith #2558)

        The word of your fake narration are: “I have given charity on behalf of my dead mother by giving away her female servant.” This sentence is obviously twisted to imply as if the daughter had set free a maid-servant or a slave as charity on behalf of her dead mother. However, the correct words of hadith, as shown in Sahih Muslim hadith, are completely different and confirm that the daughter had gifted a maid-servant to her mother whilst she was alive. This was obviously done so the servant would help her old mother with her daily routine or household work.

        As for the remaining part of the hadith about fasting or hajj is a matter of mannat/vows which means the dead woman had promised to fast/hajj but couldn’t fulfil her mannat. The concept of mannat/vows and its difference from Esal e Sawab is explained in our article and this can also be understood in the light of the following hadith of Bukhari

        Narrated Ibn Abbas: A man came to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! My mother died and she ought to have fasted one month (for her missed Ramadan). Shall I fast on her behalf?” The Prophet replied in the affirmative and said, “Allah’s debts have more right to be paid.” In another narration a woman is reported to have said, “My sister died…” Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: A woman said to the Prophet “My mother died and she had vowed to fast but she didn’t fast.” In another narration Ibn ‘Abbas is reported to have said, “A woman said to the Prophet, “My mother died while she ought to have fasted for fifteen days.” (Bukhari – Book #31, Hadith #174)

        Mannat, vow or promise is a debt owed to Allah, which has to be fulfilled at all cost, however this cannot be generalised to include voluntary fasting/ibaadah for people who did not have any mannat. Therefore, matters of unfulfilled vows are different from doing good deeds voluntarily and then transferring the reward.

        One is not allowed to mess up the system of fairness and justice in Islam, which is that every soul shall bear the burden of its own deeds. The Qur’an has ruled on this clearly and one cannot argue against that or negate it. This is why we say that esaal-e-sawaab is a bid’ah and a corruption of aqeeda / belief.


  28. Neelam

    Asalam alai kum

    I just wanted to ask that the small dua such as entering the house , bathroom etc if said in english would be most preferred or saying these duas in arabic would be expected of

    Thank you

    • The Real Islam

      Dear sister Neelam,

      Saying a dua in Arabic is preferred but one must still know the meaning so they understand what they are reciting. A lot of duas taught to us are not proven from the Prophet (SAW) i.e. they are not ‘masnoon’. So it is best to verify first if a dua was indeed taught by the Prophet (SAW) before reciting it regularly.


  29. Need Guidance

    Asalam walaikum, a cousin of mine had a dream about my deceased mum, it was somewhat like she was upset with us becaus we had not prayed for her enough and she goes i’ll pray for myself. she was a very religious lady herself. My cousin suggested we do a quran khaani (gather people to read quran for her).The cousin who had the dream is also a very religious person. Alhumdulilah me and my siblings, we pray regularly too, and also do sadqas in her name. This has gotten us all well upset, what should we do,we all love her a lot.

    • The Real Islam

      Assalam o alaikum,

      Thank you for your question /comment.

      As explained in our article, we believe there is no evidence whatsoever in the Qur’an or Sahih Hadith that refers to doing voluntary ibaadah, charity or good deeds on behalf of the dead as they will be compensated only for their own beliefs and deeds they performed whilst they were alive. All we can do for the dead is pray (make Dua to Allah) for their forgiveness if they died on true Emaan. This means they died whilst not associating partners with Allah, which unfortunatly majority of sect-followers do today.

      In view of this your coursin dreaming about his mother who has passed away and then concluding on his own that he must recite Qur’an for her is not justified especially when it is not an established practice in Islam. What I gather from your words is that his mother mentioned not praying enough, how can this be translated as doing Qur’an Khuani or sadaqa/qurbani? If she died on true Emaan then all her children should do is pray for her forgiveness. They cannot perform good deeds/ibaadah on her behalf and then add the sawaab of their own good deeds into her a’maal-nama / book of deeds. This is already discussed at length in our article which we would request you to read in full.

      Secondly, the souls of the deceased have no connection with the living so they cannot communicate from behind the barrier of Barzakh. So one should not try to interpret dreams this way. The fact of the matter is that we cannot do anything for the dead except pray for their forgiveness if they died Muslim (i.e. while not committing Shirk).

      Kind regards

  30. syed

    Before you moderate these comments, think whether it would be just to delete of some the authentic information which is against your agenda. Read the following Hadith:-
    The Holy Prophet (May peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him)said: “Recite Ya Seen [Qur’an 36] over your dead.” (Abu Daud, Nasai, Ibn Majah).
    Admin what would you say about this Hadith. Please don’t lead stray the innocent Muslims. There are numerous references present from Hadith as one mentioned above. There is another Hadith explaining the same:-
    Narrated Abdullah Bin Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) that our beloved Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has said, “that if anyone dies amongst you then do not keep it, send it towards the Kabr, and after burying it, Stand before its head side and recite the first Ruku of “Surah Bakarah”, i.e. from Alif Laam Meem Zaalikal Kitaab to Humul Muflihoon; and recite by it’s feet side the last Ruku of “Surah Bakarah”, i.e. From Aamanar rasoolu till the end of the Surah, Fansurna alal qumil kaafireen. (Mishkaat).
    One more important issue is reciting of Holy Quraan for some one after one dies. People say there is no authentic evidence of such an event during the times of Holy Prophet (May peace and blessing of ALLAH be upon him). For them following is the answer
    During times of Prophet (May peace and blessing of ALLAH be upon him), was Holy Quraan in a compiled state (1 book containing all 30 Paras) as we have it today. The answer is surely not as this process began after our beloved Prophet (May peace and blessing of ALLAH be upon him) left this world. As regards having 30 or so persons reading the Holy Qur’an separately, it would not have been possible at the time of the Holy Prophet (May peace and blessing of ALLAH be upon him) or the Sahaba immediately after him since the Holy Qur’an was not compiled, nor was it printed. The first compilation was hand written, and then only a few manuscripts were copied for preservation. The number of companions who had memorized the entire Qur’an were just a few. Also most of the early companions knew the Qur’an only in small parts, and that too not in the order we have it printed today. It would have thus been very difficult for them to coordinate reciting the entire Holy Qur’an in one sitting. The practice followed now is a matter of convenience and in no way can be termed against Sunnah.
    I pray to ALLAH ALMIGHTY, the Exalted and Glorious, for showing us all the right path. Aameen

    • The Real Islam

      Thank you for your comment.

      Firstly, you did not provide any reference or chain of narration for the Abu Daud/Nasai/Ibn Majah hadith you quoted so its authenticity cannot be checked.

      Secondly, would you please analyse this hadith in the light of Qur’anic verses we have quoted in our article [02:134 & 141] and [41:46] and then Sahih Ahadith [Sahih Bukhari – Volume 8, Book 76. Hadith 521] and [Sahih Muslim – Book 13, Hadith 4005] and then explain how can we derive a completely different conclusion in view of an unknown and reference-less narration and reject Qur’anic verses and other more sound ahadith of Bukhari and Muslim in the process?

      Next you have brought a Mishkaat hadith, again without any reference or chain of narration and once again this hadith rejects the Qur’anic order as well as other Sahih Hadith on the subject. Once again when the Quran says, “they shall have what they earned” and when the Nabi (SAW) said in the Bukhari hadith that a dead person’s own deeds remain with him then why would Nabi (SAW) contradict himself at another place and order something that is not only against the Qur’an but also against one of his other sayings? Would he recommend recitation of Surah Baqarah for the dead?

      Please also download and read an Urdu booklet called “Esal e Sawab Quran ki Nazar Mein” from our library section as it discusses the chain of narration and authenticity of all the weak and fake ahadith that are presented in support of the bid’ah of Esaal e sawab. Following is the link to the PDF booklet:

      Esal e Sawab Quran ki Nazar Mein(ایصالِ ثواب قران کی نظر میں)

  31. siddiqi

    is it permissible in islam ,after reciting wazifa bimillah 1000 times daily, sawab being sent to Prophet Muhammed p.b.u.h,some mulana told me and said wazifa wont work if you dont send sawab like it true??please help

    • The Real Islam

      Assalam o alaikum

      Thank you for your comment.

      We are not aware of this practice being proven from Sahih Hadith. You should seek a detailed reference from the scholar you referred to. What is proven from Sahih Ahadith is as follows:

      Sahih Bukhari
      Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever after listening to the Adhan says, ‘Allahumma Rabba hadhihi-d-da’ watit-tammati was-salatil qa’imati, ati Muhammadan al-wasilata wal-fadilata, wab’ athhu maqaman mahmudan-il-ladhi wa’ adtahu (O Allah! Lord of this perfect call (of not ascribing partners to You) and of the regular prayer which is going to be established! Kindly give Muhammad the right of intercession and superiority and send him (on the Day of Judgment) to the best and the highest place in Paradise which You promised him)’, then intercession for me will be permitted for him on the Day of Resurrection”). (Book #11, Hadith #588)

      Narrated Abu Huraira: I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who will be the luckiest person who will gain your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?” The Prophet said, “O Abu Huraira! I have thought that none will ask me about this Hadith before you, as I know your longing for the (learning of) Hadiths. The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,’ sincerely from the bottom of his heart.” (Book #76, Hadith #574)

      Narrated Shaqlq bin Salama: ‘Abdullah said, “Whenever we prayed behind the Prophet we used to recite (in sitting) ‘Peace be on Gabriel, Michael, peace be on so and so. Once Allah’s Apostle looked back at us and said, ‘Allah Himself is As-Salam (Peace), and if anyone of you prays then he should say, At-Tahiyatu lil-lahi wassalawatu wat-taiyibatu. assalamu ‘alalika aiyuha-n-Nabiyu wa rahmatu-l-lahi wa barakatuhu. As-Salam alaina wa ala ibadil-lah is-salihin. (All the compliments, prayers and good things are due to Allah: peace be on you, O Prophet and Allah’s mercy and blessings be on you. Peace be on us an on the true pious slaves of Allah). (If you say that, it will be for all the slaves in the heaven and the earth). Ash-hadu an la-ilaha illa-l-lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluhu. (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I also testify that Muhammad is His slave and His Apostle).” (Book #12, Hadith #794)


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  33. Shakeel-Ul-Ali

    please tell me if there are some belongings of the deceased like some gold ornaments or clothes can those be donated on the behalf of the deceased? Furthermore if someone owes money to the deceased can that be donated ? How can the bank balance of deceased be used in the best way ?
    The deceased is my mother and i owe some cash to her how can I use that so that it becomes sadqa-e-jaria for her?

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother Shakeel,

      The clothes and belongings of the deceased form part of the inheritance of the children and the children can give them away in charity if they wish. But that would be the children’s choice / decision and they will get a reward for it. Therefore, such an action cannot be done on behalf of the deceased. The bank balance of the deceased should be divided amongst his / her children as specified in the Qur’an. Once the property has been divided, the inheritors may wish to give away some amount in charity (Prophet SAW allowed one-third to be given away in charity). Again, this will be the kind act of the children and they will get the reward for it, not the deceased.

      If you owe cash to your mother and she has passed away, you can give it away to a poor deserving person but this cannot be sadaqa-e-jaaria for your mother. Sadaqa-jaaria accumulates to the dead person for the actions they took. No one can do sadaqa on another’s behalf.

      It seems that you have not yet read our article in full. Please take out 15 minutes to read the following two articles on this topic:

      Transferring reward to the dead
      Further proof that Esaal-e-sawaab is wrong


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  35. A salami Alaikum,there is Hadith in Sahi Bokhari,( just in brief)narrated by the mother of believers ,S Ayisha (RA) that Prophet(PBUH) used to regard the loved ones of HAZRAT khudeja through presenting gifts.May you please comment on its objectivity .Allah May reward you for educating me.

    • The Real Islam

      Walaikum salam and thank you for your comment.

      We would be grateful if you could copy the hadith in full with his full reference so we can see what it refers to.

      Jazak Allah.

  36. Asalamo Alaikum,Sahi Bokhari Vol 5 Book No 58,166;please.

    • The Real Islam


      Here is the full text of the hadith:

      Narrated ‘Aisha: I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadija though I did not see her, but the Prophet used to mention her very often, and when ever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadija. When I sometimes said to him, “(You treat Khadija in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadija,” he would say, “Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children.”

      This hadith is not about esaal-e-sawaab but about the Prophet (SAW) remembering his wife. He used to share the meat of the slaughtered animal with the women friends of Khadija (RA). That is what the report tells us.

      I would request you to read both articles on Esaal-e-sawaab and more importantly, gain an understanding of the basic Qur’anic principle that a soul shall bear the burden of its own deeds. This principle basically refutes all arguments in favour of esaal-e-sawaab. Also all hadith reports on this matter must be analysed in the light of this principle.

      Please click here to read the other article.

  37. Muhammad Yaqub

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته. I want to as can we make dua asking Allah something in sadaqah of prophet

    • The Real Islam

      Assalam o alaikum

      In our view the appropriate ways of making dua is where Allah is invoked upon either through His divine names and attributes or through ones own good deeds.

      Jazak Allah.

  38. ASSALAMO ALAIKUM, We Muslims offer Salam to our Prophet (SAW)and Darood-e-Ibrahimi for seeking ALLAH’s blessings for our Prophet(SAW) in our Salats,and bound to do so as per Quranic injunctions,although Prophet is not living amongst us.Does it not imply that one can pray and invoke ALLAH FOR MERCY AND FORGIVENESS for the dead Muslims too.With respect , I regret my inability in understanding.

    • The Real Islam

      Dear brother Mahmood,

      Wa’alaikum us salaam

      We can pray to Allah to forgive those who died in the state of Emaan. The Qur’an and sunnah recommend this practice. However, we cannot invoke or call on dead people and neither can we pray for the forgiveness of someone who died in such a state that he or she openly committed shirk and did not listen to the message of Islam. The proof of this must be very clear and obviously we can only make this decision about someone we know well. For ordinary Muslims who have passed away, there isn’t much we can do other than pray for their maghfirah. We cannot transfer rewards or sins of our own deeds to them.

      We do not send salaam to the Prophet (SAW). Rather, we request Allah to bless the Prophet (SAW) and that is the purpose of reciting the Durood e Ibrahimi.

      Do this answer your question?

  39. Aslamo Alaikum.Incontinuation of previous query ,I submit Hadith! Abu Hurayrah, rahimahullah, reported that Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “When a human being dies, all of his deeds are terminated except for three types: an ongoing sadaqah, a knowledge (of Islam) from which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes du’a for him.” [Muslim and others] !Furthermore,
    A’ishah, rahimahullah, reported that a man asked Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “My mother had a sudden death, and did not have chance to bequeath anything. Had she been able to do, I think that she would have given sadaqah. Would she or I get any rewards if I give sadaqah on her behalf?” He replied, “Yes! So give sadaqah on her behalf.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others]

    From the above ,I think that:

    A person’s deeds are sealed by his death. Nothing that takes place after that can affect his records; and
    The exception to the above rule is that anything, good or bad, that takes place after a person’s death, which he contributed to its occurrence in any manner during his lifetime, will appear in his records in proportion with his contribution to it.May consider to comment about this for my serene understanding,because dua (which is also Aibadat) is permissible and,Haj-I-Badal and Sadaqa is also done for the deceased parents.Thankyou for patient hearing and true Islamic guidance to seek ALLAH,S RAZAA AND ITBAHI RASOOL IN OUR DEEDS AND ACTIONS,AMEEN.

    • The Real Islam

      Brother Mahmood,

      These issues have been discussed in the comments under the article (there are lots of comments on this) and also in part 2 on this topic. You can read part 2 here.


  40. shabana

    Can we give quran in mosque on the name of our dead parents? As salaam alaikum

    • The Real Islam

      Assalam o alaikum,

      Thank you for your question.

      Please read our article in full as it gives insight to the concept of Esal e Sawab and the practices associated with it, including the concept of vows/mannats.

      Although we must point out our mosques are already full of the copies of Qur’an. We should therefore practice as well as encourage others to develop an understanding of the meaning of Qur’an.


  41. Unknown

    How about doing a sacrifice on behalf of someone deceased?

    • The Middle Nation

      Assalam o alaikum

      We are no scholars so can only give our opinion as students of Islam. As explained in our article, in our view a Muslim can only do animal sacrifice on behalf of a dead relative if the deceased has made a promise to sacrifice in their life but was unable to do so. So the children of the deceased should sacrifice an animal to fulfil the promise. However this is not a general practice as a dead personal is only compensated for the deeds they performed when they were alive.


  42. Dear Brother,
    Assalamu Alaikum. I have been reading this blog from last few months. This is the first time I am asking you question. Please note that the intention of my question is to make myself clear on this issue.Your writing is very informative. My Question is………
    When we offer our Quarbani to Allah SWT by slaughtering a cow, we offered it on behalf of seven names of whom some are dead like my grand mothers, uncles etc. Now, if the reward is not transferable(That I strongly believe) how can we justify making quarbani on behalf of dead people along with alive people?

    How can we connect this two things?or is making quarbani on behalf of dead people permissible?
    The same question applies to badla Haajj (perform Hajj on behalf of dead people)
    can you please share some knowledge regarding this.

    May Allah Help you.

    • TM Blog admin

      Dear brother,

      May I ask why someone is doing qurbani on behalf of dead people? The qurbani of a cow is done for living people who put a cash share in the purchase of a cow (generally 7 shares). The meat is distributed to the 7 owners after the slaughter. This is the simple method taught by the Prophet (SAW) so I am not sure where this idea of qurbani for dead is coming from. I think this practice may have developed as a result of the wrong belief that we can somehow change the balance of someone’s good or bad deeds by adding something to them.

      Hajj badal or hajj on behalf of someone was allowed only if the person intending to do hajj couldn’t fulfil his niyyah or vow. The eternal principle of justice established in the Qur’an is this:

      “… that no one shall bear the burden of another, that man shall have only that which he strived for, and that his striving shall soon be examined [and] then he shall be rewarded with a complete reward.” (Al-Najm 53: 38 – 41)

      So how can anyone do a good deed voluntarily and then post the sawab to someone else? This is against Allah’s justice. The only exception made was to allow the fulfilment of a vow. Unfortunately, Muslims have taken the exception to be the rule and we find this practice of transfer common in society. In actuality, no such transfer can take place. For further reading, please see this article.


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