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Conveying rewards to the deceased

Date published: 8 October 2021
Topic: Aqeeda



Allah Ta'ala has given the religion of Islam to the Muslims. In this religion, there are lessons of righteousness and piety. Islam teaches one to perform righteous acts so others can also benefit from it.

According to Islamic legalism (shariyat), Esaal e Sawaab is totally permissible and meritorious (mustahaab). By engaging in righteous acts like reciting The Holy Quran, dhikrullah, Hajj, by feeding people, and giving charity, a Muslim gets reward (sawaab) for it. This reward can also be conveyed to other Muslims. Islam teaches us brotherhood and Muslims are duty-bound to perform righteous acts to benefit other Muslims. However, this is not restricted only to the living. The rewards gained from such righteous acts can also be and should be conveyed to the ones who have passed away. The dua and sawaab indeed reaches and benefits the deceased.


In a hadith, Prophet said that if a Muslim can do righteous deeds and benefit the dead and the alive from the rewards gained, they should do so.

Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'And those who believe and whose children follow them with faith, We shall join them with their children, and shall not diminish anything from their deeds. All men are pledges in their deeds'

(Surah At-Toor. verse 21)


This means that if the children of the Mu'min are Mu'min, then they will be kept with their parents in Paradise. The limit of faith is placed to show that if the children are not Mu'min, then they will not be with their' parents in Paradise. We learn that the righteous and good deeds of the pious parents is being conveyed to their children. As a result, they will be joined with their parents in Paradise. Furthermore, we learn that the rewards earned by the parents are being conveyed to the children, but still there will be no reduction in the rewards of the parents.


''.And help each other in righteous and piety, and help not one another in sin and transgression, and remain fearing Allah, Surely, the punishment of Allah is severe'

(Surah Al-Ma'ida. verse 02)


We learn that we must help each other in righteous and piety, but should stay away from helping in sin and wrongdoings. This verse of The Holy Quran is a lesson for the misguided ones. The verse teaches us that it is permissible to seek help from those other than Allah Ta'ala. Collective aid is a good thing, whether it is financial, physical or spiritual, provided it is for a lawful purpose.

Whether you aid others physically or with wealth, you will be rewarded for it.

The rewards earned from righteous and piety, and conveyed to the deceased reach them, whether they are relatives or unrelated. However, conveying rewards to the family and relatives is act of good behaviour to keep good relations.

It might be asked, 'why do we convey rewards to the deceased who are in the hereafter?' The answer is that if one part of the body suffers pain, then the whole body suffers the pain. Similarly, a Mu'min acts as a shield for other Mu'min.

People do benefit from the righteous acts and from supplication and dua of the pious.

Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'And those who came after them submitted: 'O our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith.' Do not leave a grudge to remain in our hearts towards those who believe. Our Lord, Surely, you are kind and merciful'

(Surah Al-Hashr. verse 10)


'Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith'. From this we learn that do not pray for yourself only, but include the illustrious predecessors (Mu'min) in your prayers. The death anniversary of the saints (Urs), khatam shareef, offerings (niyaz) and requiem (fateha) of the Mu'min family and Mu'min non-family members; of the pious souls; and especially for the noble companions(Radi Allaahu Anhum); and the family of Prophet Muhammad are noble acts because in these there is a prayer for them.

Hence, conveying reward (Esaal e Sawaab) is permissible and a meritorious (mustahaab) act.


The Holy Quran and hadith have taught us to supplicate, i.e. to make dua for each other. Dua in itself is worship. When we make dua for the sickly, Allah Ta'ala cures them (gives them shifa). When we make dua for the forgiveness of sins of the deceased, Allah Ta'ala forgives them and grants them Paradise. And when we make dua for the pious and forgiven souls, Allah Ta'ala elevates their status in Paradise.

The Mu'min supplicates in every Namaaz:


'Rabbana ighfir lee waliwalidayya walilmumineena yawma yaqoomu alhisab'


'O our Lord, forgive me, and my parents, and all Mu'min on the day when reckoning shall take place'

(Surah Ibrahim. verse 41)


The deviants propagandize that conveying rewards to the deceased is a bida'h, and the sawaab does not reach the deceased in the hereafter. We ask them.

If the dua does not benefit the parents and the Mu'min, then why it was commanded to be recited in the Namaaz? Why was it revealed in The Holy Quran?

This dua does not limit to the parents, and the Mu'min of today and the past, but is for all the Mu'min till the Day of Judgement (day when reckoning takes place); for all who are yet to be born, for all who are still in the Alam e Arwah.

Isn't this same as conveying rewards (Esaal e Sawaab)?

The lesson learnt is that dua benefits others. Perform Namaaz, and when Allah Ta'ala is pleased, then supplicate for yourself, for your parents and for the wellbeing of all the Mu'min. Supplicate for good and for hereafter and do not limit your dua for the good of worldly only. Supplicate for the forgiveness of the sins and for granting of Paradise for all who have passed away before us, and for all who will be passing away till the Day of Judgement. Supplicate for the elevation of the status of the already pardoned pious in Paradise. Convey the rewards to the deceased and that 'shall not diminish anything from their deeds'.

Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'They said, O our father , beg forgiveness of our sins, no doubt, we are sinful'

(Surah Yusuf. verse 97)


Hazrat Yakub(alaihis salaam) had twelve sons. They requested their father, Hazrat Yakub(alaihis salaam) to make dua to Allah Ta'ala for the forgiveness of their sins. Hazrat Yakub(alaihis salaam) supplicated in the court of Allah Ta'ala and Allah Ta'ala forgave the sins of the sons.


This verse proves the permissibility of making dua for the forgiveness of sins of oneself and for others. Rewards of righteous deeds and dua can be conveyed to the dead and the alive, and is accepted by Allah Ta'ala.


The poor deserve from the wealth one earns in this world.

Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'And in their wealth there was the right of the beggar and the deprived'

(Surah Az-Zaariar. verse 19)


In the worldly wealth of the believers, the needy and the poor deserve a share. Then the Mu'min who have passed away are also deserving of the rewards one earns from righteous and piety in this world. This reward also has to be conveyed to those who have passed away.

Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:


'Allah destroys interest and increases charities. And Allah loves not any ungrateful big sinner'

(Surah Al-Baqra. verse 276)


There are no blessings from earnings of interest. But from charities (sadqa), a believer flourishes. The word 'increases' means Allah Ta'ala will be increasing his reward in this world and the hereafter. So, one should give charity from ones wealth and convey the reward also to the ones passed away.



In a hadith, Hazrat Abu Sa'ed Khudri(Radi Allaahu Anhu) narrates that Prophet said, 'on the Day of Resurrection, a person will be presented with rewards of mountain height. He will ask where had it come from. He will be told that it is from the rewards your son conveyed to you (Esaal e Sawaab)'.

Those who have passed away are dependent upon the rewards (sawaab), which we convey to them. They rejoice upon receiving the reward.


Hazrat Abdullah Ibne Abbas(Radi Allaahu Anhu) narrates that Prophet said, 'a person in the grave is like a beggar waiting for rewards (sawaab) to be conveyed by his family'. The sawaab a person gets in the grave is more beloved than any of the worldly possessions. The greatest gift for a person in the grave is the conveyance of reward from the righteousness acts of his family, i.e. (Esaal e Sawaab).


Hazrat Abu Hurairah(Radi Allaahu Anhu) narrates that Prophet said, 'when a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three: ongoing charity (sadqa jaariya), beneficial knowedge by which people benefit, and a righteous or a pious son who will pray for him'.


Hazrat Anas(Radi Allaahu Anhu) narrates that Prophet said, 'every single person has two angels (Kirman and Katibeen) who write down his deeds, both good and bad, minor and major. When the person dies, the two angels make dua in the court of Allah Ta'ala to go back to the heaven. But Allah Ta'ala tells them to stand on each side of the grave and recite ALLAAHU AKBAR, LAA ILLAAHA ILLAL LAAH, and SUBHAN ALLAH and note that in his good deeds till the Day of Judgement. For the infidels, Allah Ta'ala instructs them to stand on each side of the grave and curse the dead'.


Hazrat Abdullah Ibne Abbas(Radi Allaahu Anhu) narrates that Prophet passed by two graves and said that the two were tormented in their graves. One was tormented for not protecting his clothes and himself from urine, and the second one was tormented for backbiting. Prophet put a branch of tree on each grave and said, 'their punishment will be lessened till the branches become dry'. This is because the trees and plants recite tasbeeh.


Namaaz Janaza is a deed for the dead, but the dead don't do this deed themselves. Those alive do it for the dead. This is dua e magfirat. If the dead don't benefit from the reward of good deeds conveyed to them by the alive, then what is the purpose of the Janaza Namaaz?


Hazrat Abu Ibrahim(Radi Allaahu Anhu) narrates that whenever Prophet recited Janaza Namaaz, he supplicated, 'O Allah! Pardon the alive, the dead, omnipresent and omniscient, the child, men and women'.



This article is an abridged English translation of an Urdu sermon delivered by his eminence, Peer Syed Imroz Dean Saifi, Hanfi, Maturidi of Masjid Anwaar e Madina, Surrey BC Canada

If there is an inaccurate translation, please pardon it and not let it be a means to negatively reflect on the honoured presenter.