Sending Rewards ( Esaale Sawaab) to the Deceased
Hereunder are the proofs from authentic ahaadeeth to prove the permissibility and benefit of “Esaale Sawaab”.
1.Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) slaughtered sheep during his farewell Hajj and made intention for himself and all those (alive, deceased and to come) who bring faith on his prophethood. (Sahih Bukhari)
2. Imaam Bukhari has reported on the authority of Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that Sayyiduna Sa’ad ibn Ubaadah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was away when his mother passed away. When he returned, he asked Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wa salaam, Will it be of any benefit if I give charity on her behalf???
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied in the affirmative.
(Sahih Bukhari Hadith2762)
Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani (RA) states in his monumental commentary of Sahih Bukhari entitled, Fath al-Bari, This Hadith proves the permissibility of charity on behalf of the deceased and that the reward will reach him.
(Fath al-Baari vol.5 pg.477 Hadith2761)
3. Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports a man once asked Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), O Prophet of Allah! My father has passed away and he did not perform Hajj, can I perform Hajj on his behalf??
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) enquired of him, If your father had any debt, would you have paid it.?? The man replied, Yes.
Upon this, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, In that case, the Deen of Allah has more right.
(Sunan Nasaaie Hadith26331)
4. A separate incident of a similar nature has been recorded by Imaam Bukhari in his Sahih (Hadith6698).
Hafiz ibn Qayyim (RA), the famous student of Hafiz ibn Taymiyah (RA), after quoting the above Ahaadith, states:
These quotations all concur with the fact that when the living carry out any deed on behalf of the deceased, the reward will reach him (benefit him). (Kitaab Ruh pg.161)
5. Sayyiduna al-Lajlaaj (Radhiallaahu Anhu), a companion of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), had bequested his son that after he leaves this world, he should recite the beginning and end of Surah al-Baqarah at the head side of his grave.
Sayyiduna al-Lajlaaj (Radhiallaahu Anhu) then mentioned that he heard this from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). (al-Mu’jamul Kabeer of Imaam Tabrani; Hafiz Haythami has regarded the narrators of this tradition as reliable ( refer Majmauz-zawaaid vol.3 pg.44)
6. Such has also been recorded to be the practice of Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu).
(Sunan al-Kubra of Imaam Bayhaqi vol.4 pg.56).
This narration has been classified as Hasan (sound) by Imaam Nawawiy and Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA).
(al-Azkaar pg.212 Hadith493; al-Futuhaat al-Rabbaaniyya vol.3 pg.194)
Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA) has mentioned in a reply to a query of whether the reward of recitation of the Quraan reaches the deceased, that; it is Mustahabb (meritorious) for one to do this form of (Isaal-e-Sawaab) abundantly.
(refer Tawdehul Bayaan li wusooli thawaabil Quraan of Shaykh Abdullah Siddique al-Ghumariy pg.2)
Besides these there are numerous other narrations of this nature.
It thus becomes abundantly clear through the above mentioned Ahaadith that Isaal-e-Sawaab is totally permissible in all its forms and is in fact a very virtuous deed.
This is the view of the overwhelming majority of the classical scholars (Muhadditheen and Fuqahaa) of Islam.
(refer Kitaab al-Rooh of ibn Qayyim pg.153; Fathul Baari vol.5 pg.477 Hadith2761; Sharhus-Sudoor of Allamah Suyuti pgs.402, 403 Dar ibn Kathir; al-Hidaaya vol.1 pg.296-297; Fathul Qadeer vol.3 pg.65-66; Shaami vol.2 pg.243 ? HM Saeed)
If after understanding the above, one still denies the validity of the physical form of Isaal-e-Sawab, then the following method can in no circumstance be refuted.
And that is that after one carries out a physical form of worship (i.e. Salat, fasting, recitation of the holy Quraan, etc.), he should make a Du’aa to Almighty Allah that Allah, firstly, accepts this noble deed and he should thereafter ask Allah to grant the reward to so and so person.
In this way, if Allah accepts the Du’aa, the reward will automatically be conveyed to that specific person alive or deceased.
This method has been prescribed by great scholars like Imaam Nawawi and Hafiz ibn Hajar so as to remove all differences of opinion. We have already mentioned that there is no doubt in the deceased benefiting from the Du’aas of the living.
In a narration of Sahih Muslim, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has mentioned that one the three things that will benefit the deceased is the Du’aa of his pious children.
(Sahih Muslim pg.4199)
7 ) It is narrated in a Hadîth which is reported by Abu Da’ud, Nasaai, ibnu Maja, Ahmad, ibnu Hibbaan and Hakim from Ma’qal ibnu Yasaar radhiallâhu ‘anhu that Rasulullâh sallallâhu alaihi wasallam said that: “Recite Yaaseen upon your dead.” (Classified as Saheeh by Hakim)
Lastly, we would like to mention that this Mas-alah (issue) is not something connected to beliefs, instead it is a Faraaidh (secondary) issue which entails a difference of opinion as well.
(Fatawa ibnus salaah vol.1 pg.149).
Hence, no one can claim that either part is guilty of perpetrating an act of Bid’ah (innovation), bearing in mind that the majority of the scholars accept all forms of Isaal-e-Sawaab. (refer Kitaab al-Ruh)
The incident of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal has been recorded by Imaam Abu Bakr al-Khallaal in his Kitaabul Jaami as well as in his booklet entitled, “Amr bil Ma’roof Wa Nahy anil Munkar”, and according to this, Imaam Ahmad had approved of the recitation of the beginning and end of Surah al-Baqarah (refer Atharul Hadith of al-Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad Awwaamah pgs.162-163)
The Quraan can also be recited in the home for the deceased, as there is no difference in reciting at the graveyard or reciting at home just as there is no difference in making Du’aa for the deceased in the graveyard or from the home.