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 Things That Benefit the Dead Part 1

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Ahmed
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Ahmed

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Registration date : 2006-10-07

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PostSubject: Things That Benefit the Dead Part 1   Things That Benefit the Dead Part 1 Icon_minitimeTue Oct 02, 2007 5:28 am

Things That Benefit the Dead Part 1


Muhammad al-Jibaly

From 'The Inevitable Journey: Life in al-Barzakh'



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"And that the human being can have nothing but what he has earned (good or bad)"
(53:39)



Commenting on this ayah, Ibn Kathir rahimahullaah, said: "Imaam ash-Shafi'ee
concluded from this ayaah that reciting the Qur'aan does not benefit the dead,
because it is not from their doing and earning. For this reason, Allaah's
Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam did not recommend it to his ummah,
encourage them to do it, or guide them to it with a text or a hint. Nor was such
a thing reported from any of the sahaabah rahimahullaah. Had this been any good,
they would have preceeded us in doing it. Matters of worship must be limited to
the texts, and are not liable to modifications based on analogies and opinions."
(Tafseer Qur'aan il-'Adheem) It is in general true that one cannot benefit from
other people's deeds after his death. But this has important exceptions detailed
in this chapter.



JANAZAH PRAYER



When the Muslims pray janazah for their deceased brother, they are granted
intercession for him. The more the number of Muslims who join in the prayer, the
more beneficial it is for the deceased.



This means that Allaah takes their testimony and supplication regarding the
deceased's apparent actions as a sufficient reason for forgiveness. Since those
Muslims who associated with him did not find any major problem to prevent them
from supplicating for him, Allaah the most generous accepts that and agrees to
forgive many of his hidden sins that they did not know. Anas and 'Aishah
rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
said:



"Whenever a (Muslim) person dies, and a group of Muslims numbering one hundred
pray janazah for him, all interceding on his behalf, their intercession is
granted (by Allaah) and he is forgiven." (Muslim and others).



Ibn 'Abbas rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
sallam said, "Whenever a Muslim man dies, and forty men stand for his janazah
prayer, all of them not joining anything with Allaah in worship, Allaah grants
them intercession for him." (Muslim and others).



Maymunah rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
sallam said, "Whenever a (Muslim) person dies, and a group of (Muslim) people
pray janazah for him, they are granted intercession for him." (an-Nasa'i,
verified hasan by al-Albaanee, sahih ul-jami'. no. 5787).



Maalik ibn Hubayrah rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam said, "Whenever a Muslim dies, and three lines of Muslims pray janazah
for him, he is granted forgiveness." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others, verified
hasan by al-Haafidh and others; al-Albaanee disagrees with this because Muhammad
ibn Ishaaq one of the narrators is known to be a mudallis (one who is ambiguous
in stating his sources) and did not declare direct hearing of this report (Ahkaam
ul-Janaa'iz, 128). Yet the Prophet's sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam practice of
forming three lines for janazah prayer provides a further supporting evidence
for this hadith).



DEEDS OF RENEWED BENEFIT



Any good deed that a Muslim starts during his lifetime, and that is of renewed
benefit and ongoing use for the Muslims, will continue to benefit him and
augment his record of good deeds, even after his departure - as long as its
benefits continue to reach others. Allaah subhanahu wa ta'ala says - "We record
that (deeds) which they have put forward and their traces (that which they have
left behind)." (Yaa-Seen 36:12)



Abu Hurayrah rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu '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 Islaam) from which others
benefit, and a righteous child who makes du'aa for him." (Muslim and others).




Abu Qataadah rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam said: "The best that a man can leave behind after his death are three
things: a righteous child who makes du'aa for him, an ongoing sadaqah whose
rewards continue to reach him, and a knowledge that continues to be implemented
after him." (Ibn Maajah, and others. Verified to be sahih by al-Mundhiri and al-Albaanee).



Abu Qataadah rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam said: "Among the good deeds that continue to benefit a believer after
death are: a knowledge that he taught and disseminated, a righteous child who
lived after him, a Qur'aan book that he left as inheritance a masjid that he
built, a house that he built for the two wayfarers, a stream that he ran, or a
charity that he gave from his wealth during his healthy lifetime so that it
would reach him (in rewards) after death." (Ibn Maajah and others. Verified
hasan by al-Mundhiri and al-Albaanee). Commenting on this, al-Mundhiri
rahimahullaah said: "Some scholars say that the deeds of a human being end with
his death. However, since he had caused these things (which are mentioned in the
above hadiths), such as the earning of a child, disseminating the knowledge
among those who take it from him, compiling a book that remains after him, or
establishing a sadaqah, the rewards of these things continue to reach him as
long as they continue to exist." ('Awn al-Ma'bud, 8:86)



The reason that one continues to receive rewards for these deeds even though
they are done by other people, is that he had initiated them during his life or
contributed to them to a certain degree, whether little or large. Since Allaah
does not neglect an atom's weight of deeds, He records these contribution for a
person even after his death. Abu al-Wafaa' bin 'Aqeel said: "The best
explanation for this in my view is that a human being, by his efforts and good
conduct, had earned friends, produced children, married spouses, done good, and
was amiable to the people. Because of this, they invoke mercy for him and do
good on his behalf. All of this is then a result of his own earning." (ar-Ruh,
Ibn al-Qayyim, p.171). And Rasheed Ridaa rahimahullaah said, "Among the deeds
that benefit a person, even though they are done by others, are those that count
like his own because he caused them, such as his children's supplication for
him, or their performing hajj, giving sadaqah, or fasting on his behalf - all of
which having been established with authentic hadiths." (Tafseer al-Manaar 8:247)




CHARITABLE DEEDS FROM A CHILD



One's child is from his earning



The above hadiths indicate that a righteous child benefits his deceased parents
with du'aa. It is further demonstrated here that he can benefit them by spending
sadaqah, as well as doing other charitable deeds, on their behalf. 'Aishah
rahimahullaah reported that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
said, "Indeed the best that one eats is that which he earns. And his child is
from his earning." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others. Verified sahih by al-Albaanee
in Akhaam ul-Jana'iz, 217).



The reason for this is that a parent benefits himself by rearing his child
according to the teachings of Islaam, and exerting a consistent effort to raise
him as a righteous person. As the child grows into adulthood and does righteous
deeds, his parents deserve a merit in that they helped him accomplish that and
his good actions are therefore, at least in part, from his parents' earning.
Sadaqah from a child A'ishah rahimahullaah reported that a man asked Allaah's
Messenger sallallaahu '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 sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied, "Yes! So give sadaqah on
her behalf" (al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others).



Ibn 'Abbas rahimahullaah reported that Sa'd bin 'Ubadah's mother died during his
absence on a trip. He came to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and
asked him, "O Allaah's Messenger! My mother has passed away during my absence.
Would it be of benefit to her if I give sadaqah on her behalf?" He sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam replied, "Yes!" He said, "Be my witness then that I give my fruitful
garden as sadaqah on her behalf."



Abu Hurayrah rahimahullaah reported that a man asked the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam "My father has died, leaving behind a wealth; but he did not bequeath
anything. Would it help him if I give sadaqah on his behalf?" He sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam replied, "Yes!". (Muslim, Ahmad and others).



Abdullaah ibn 'Amr rahimahullaah reported that al-'Aas bin Waa'il as-Sahmee (his
grandfather) bequeathed that one hundred slaves be freed on his behalf. His son,
Hishaam freed fifty; and 'Amr wanted to free the other fifty, but decided to ask
Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam first. He came to the Prophet
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and said, "O Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam! My father has bequeathed that one hundred slaves be freed on his
behalf. Hishaam has freed fifty and fifty are left. Should I free them for him?"
He replied: "Had he been a Muslim, your freeing slaves, giving sadaqah, or
performing Hajj on his behalf would all have reached (in rewards) and benefited
him." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Bayhaqi, verified hasan by al-Albaanee, in Akhaam
ul-Jana'iz, 218). Commenting on these hadiths, ash-Shawkaani said: "This
indicates that the rewards for a sadaqah from a child reach the parents after
their death - even if they had not bequeathed it. These hadiths restrict the
general meaning of Allaah's subhanahu wa ta'ala saying: "And that the human
being can have nothing but what he has earned." (53:39) But there is no
indication in these hadiths that the sadaqah except from one's own child, helps.
Since it is established that a person's child is his own earning, it is not
possible to claim that the meaning (of these hadiths) needs to be restricted. As
for the sadaqah from other than one's child, it is apparent from general
Qur'aanic texts that it does not help the deceased. This should then be
maintained unless an additional evidence can be brought to restrict it." (Nayl
al-Awtar 4:97)



Charitable Deeds from a Non-Child



Some scholars, such as an-Nawawi, hold the opinion that all charitable deeds on
behalf of a deceased person can benefit him, whether done by his children or
other people. This is refuted by ash-Shawkaani's above strong argument.
Similarly, al-Albaanee says in this regard: "Some scholars have treated a
non-child as a child (in this matter). This analogy is invalid for various
reasons:



1. It conflicts with the general Qur'aanic texts that make a person's good deeds
a condition for entering Jannah. There is no doubt that a parent benefits
himself by raising his child and nurturing him. Thus unlike other people, he
deserves a reward for this.



2. The difference between the two cases inhibits such an analogy. As in 'Aaishah's
hadith, Allaah has made a child part of his parent's earnings - but not of other
people's earnings. Al-'Izz bin 'Abdus-Salaam said: "If one does an act of
obedience and dedicates its reward to a living or dead person, the reward will
not reach that person. And if he starts an act of worship intending it on behalf
of a dead person, it would not be as intended - except for things excluded in
Islaam such as sadaqah, fasting and hajj." (al-Fatawa 24:2)



3. Had this analogy been possible it would have implied that it is recommended
to dedicate rewards to the dead. In such a case, the Salaf would have done this,
because they surely used to have more concern than us about doing good. But they
did not do it. Ibn Taymiyyah said: "It was not the practice of the Salaf, when
they performed a voluntary prayer, fasting, hajj or Qur'aanic recitation, to
dedicate the rewards of that to the dead Muslims. Thus, one should not abandon
the way of the Salaf, because it is better and more complete." (al-Ikhtiyaaraat
ul-'Ilmiyah 54. Note that Ibn Taymiyyah has another opinion contradicting this
one, which was advocated by his student, Ibn al-Qayyim in ar-Ruh. That opinion
conflicts with Ibn Taymiyyah's known position of rejected qiyas in matters of
worship; and it was refuted in a strong and sound manner by Rasheed Rida' in
Tafseer ul-Manaar 8:254-270).

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