Isaale Sawaab | A Portal To Connect With The Deceased
When a near and dear one passes away, it is natural to grieve at the loss of such a person. However, as Muslims, we believe we could still connect with our near and dear ones. Shariah has created an avenue for us to maintain and express our love for the deceased through Isaal-e-Thawaab.
Isaal-e-Thawaab is to perform a virtuous act, for example, perform Nafl Salah, recite Quran, make Zikr or give Sadaqah, and pass the reward of the virtuous act to the deceased.
The deceased receive the rewards of such acts from their near and dear ones and benefit tremendously. Hereunder are some ways to connect with the deceased and make Isaal-e-Thawaaab for the deceased.
1. Charity on Behalf of the Deceased
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) to give charity on behalf of the deceased. See the following hadith:
أَنَّ سَعْدَ بْنَ عُبَادَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ تُوُفِّيَتْ أُمُّهُ وَهْوَ غَائِبٌ عَنْهَا، فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ أُمِّي تُوُفِّيَتْ وَأَنَا غَائِبٌ عَنْهَا، أَيَنْفَعُهَا شَىْءٌ إِنْ تَصَدَّقْتُ بِهِ عَنْهَا قَالَ “ نَعَمْ ”. قَالَ فَإِنِّي أُشْهِدُكَ أَنَّ حَائِطِي الْمِخْرَافَ صَدَقَةٌ عَلَيْهَا. (صحيح البخارى: 2756)
Translation: On one occasion, when the mother of Sa’d bin Ubadah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) passed away in his absence, he said: “O Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). My mother passed away in my absence; will it be of any benefit for her if I give Sadaqah on her behalf?” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Yes,” Sa’d (Radhiyallahu Anhu) said, “I make you a witness that I gave my garden called, Al Makhraf in charity on her behalf.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 2756)
2. Acts of Worship on Behalf of the Deceased
Sending the reward of other virtuous actions such as recitation of the Quran, fasting, Hajj, etc. have also been proven through numerous Ahadith:
عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ شُعَيْبٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ جَدِّهِ، أَنَّ الْعَاصَ بْنَ وَائِلٍ، أَوْصَى أَنْ يُعْتَقَ، عَنْهُ مِائَةُ رَقَبَةٍ فَأَعْتَقَ ابْنُهُ هِشَامٌ خَمْسِينَ رَقَبَةً فَأَرَادَ ابْنُهُ عَمْرٌو أَنْ يَعْتِقَ عَنْهُ الْخَمْسِينَ الْبَاقِيَةَ فَقَالَ حَتَّى أَسْأَلَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ أَبِي أَوْصَى بِعِتْقِ مِائَةِ رَقَبَةٍ وَإِنَّ هِشَامًا أَعْتَقَ عَنْهُ خَمْسِينَ وَبَقِيَتْ عَلَيْهِ خَمْسُونَ رَقَبَةً أَفَأُعْتِقُ عَنْهُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ إِنَّهُ لَوْ كَانَ مُسْلِمًا فَأَعْتَقْتُمْ عَنْهُ أَوْ تَصَدَّقْتُمْ عَنْهُ أَوْ حَجَجْتُمْ عَنْهُ بَلَغَهُ ذَلِكَ ” (سنن ابى داود:2883)
Translation: Narrated ‘Amr bin Suh’aib: On his father’s authority, said that his grandfather told that Al-‘As ibn Wa’il left his will that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf. His son Hisham emancipated fifty slaves and his son Amr intended to emancipate the remaining fifty on his behalf, but he said: I should ask first the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He, therefore, came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and said: Messenger of Allah, my father left in his will that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf and Hisham has emancipated fifty on his behalf and fifty remain. Shall I emancipate them on his behalf? The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: Had he been a Muslim and you had emancipated slaves on his behalf, or given Sadaqah on his behalf, or performed the pilgrimage, that would have reached him. (Sunan Abi Dawood:2883)
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ بَيْنَا أَنَا جَالِسٌ، عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذْ أَتَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ فَقَالَتْ إِنِّي تَصَدَّقْتُ عَلَى أُمِّي بِجَارِيَةٍ وَإِنَّهَا مَاتَتْ – قَالَ – فَقَالَ ” وَجَبَ أَجْرُكِ وَرَدَّهَا عَلَيْكِ الْمِيرَاثُ ” . قَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَلَيْهَا صَوْمُ شَهْرٍ أَفَأَصُومُ عَنْهَا قَالَ ” صُومِي عَنْهَا ” . قَالَتْ إِنَّهَا لَمْ تَحُجَّ قَطُّ أَفَأَحُجُّ عَنْهَا قَالَ ” حُجِّي عَنْهَا ” (صحيح مسلم:1149)
Translation: Abdullah bin Buraida (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reported on the authority of his father: When we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), 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 Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) 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 Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) 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 (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: Perform Hajj on her behalf. (Sahih Muslim:1149)
3. Funding Religious Projects on Behalf of the Deceased
An ongoing source of Sadaqah Jaariyah and reward for the deceased may also be achieved by building and financing such projects that will continuously benefit the Muslim community such as: building Masajid, digging wells etc. This can be understood from the following Ahadith:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ “ إِنَّ مِمَّا يَلْحَقُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ وَحَسَنَاتِهِ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِ عِلْمًا عَلَّمَهُ وَنَشَرَهُ وَوَلَدًا صَالِحًا تَرَكَهُ وَمُصْحَفًا وَرَّثَهُ أَوْ مَسْجِدًا بَنَاهُ أَوْ بَيْتًا لاِبْنِ السَّبِيلِ بَنَاهُ أَوْ نَهْرًا أَجْرَاهُ أَوْ صَدَقَةً أَخْرَجَهَا مِنْ مَالِهِ فِي (سنن ابن ماجه:242) صِحَّتِهِ وَحَيَاتِهِ يَلْحَقُهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَوْتِهِ ”
Translation: It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: ‘The rewards of the good deeds that will reach a believer after his death are: Knowledge which he taught and spread; a righteous son whom he leaves behind; a copy of the Qur’an that he leaves as a legacy; a mosque that he built; a house that he built for wayfarers; a canal that he dug; or charity that he gave during his lifetime when he was in good health. These deeds will reach him after his death.” (Sunan Ibn Majah:242)
عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ عُبَادَةَ، أَنَّهُ قَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ أُمَّ سَعْدٍ مَاتَتْ فَأَىُّ الصَّدَقَةِ أَفْضَلُ قَالَ “ الْمَاءُ ” . قَالَ فَحَفَر بِئْرًا وَقَالَ هَذِهِ لأُمِّ (سنن ابى داود:1681) سَعْدٍ
Translation: Narrated Sa’d ibn Ubadah (Radhiyallahu Anhu): Sa’d asked: Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Umm Sa’d (Radhiyallahu Anha) has died; what form of Sadaqah is best? He replied: Water (is best). He dug a well and said: It is for Umm Sa’d (Radhiyallahu Anhu) (Sunan Abi Dawood:1681)
4. Du’a and Istighfaar on Behalf of the Deceased
Making Du’a and Istighfaar for the deceased is also very beneficial. The Quran itself orders us to seek forgiveness for the believers that came before us:
وَالَّذِينَ جَاءُوا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ (سورة الحشر:10) رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ
Translation: “And those who came after them say: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al-Hashr:10)
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَيَرْفَعُ الدَّرَجَةَ لِلْعَبْدِ الصَّالِحِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ، فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ، أَنَّى لِي هَذِهِ؟ فَيَقُولُ: بِاسْتِغْفَارِ وَلَدِكَ لَكَ” (مسند احمد:10610)
Translation: Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Verily, Allah Ta’ala shall elevate the grade of a righteous servant in Paradise, who will ask, ‘O Lord! How did I earn this?’ Allah Ta’ala will reply, ‘Through your son’s Istighfaar for you.”(Musnad Ahmed:10610)
True love for near and dear ones is to benefit the beloved when he/she needs it the most, after death when in the Qabr. If we make Isaal-e-Thawaab for others and teach our children and family to make Isaal-e-Thawaab, they will make Isaal-e-Thawaab for us when we leave the world.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ إِذَا مَاتَ الإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ ثَلاَثَةٍ إِلاَّ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ ” . (صحيح مسلم:1631)
Translation: Abu Huraira (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) 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:1631)
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Mahmood | darulmahmood.net