Conveying the Rewards of 'Ibadah to the Deceased

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

It is permissible, within Sunni Islam, to convey the rewards of acts of ‘ibadah to the deceased.  An example would be the performance of hajj on behalf of a person who has passed away.  People may be Rewarded and Admitted into Paradise through the intercession of their pious relatives, ancestors and progeny.  Below are the proofs from the Qur’an and ahadits.

سُوۡرَةُ الحَشر
وَٱلَّذِينَ جَآءُو مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَلِإِخۡوَٲنِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِٱلۡإِيمَـٰنِ وَلَا تَجۡعَلۡ فِى قُلُوبِنَا غِلاًّ۬ لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ (١٠)

And those who came after them say, “Our Lord!  Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the faith, and leave not in our hearts, rancour (or sense of injury) against those who have believed, Our Lord!  Thou art, indeed, Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.” (Surah al-Hashr:10)

Here, the swahabah supplicated for the deceased, those amongst them who passed away before Revelation.  Allah (s.w.t.) Approved of this.

سُوۡرَةُ إبراهیم
رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لِى وَلِوَٲلِدَىَّ وَلِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ يَوۡمَ يَقُومُ ٱلۡحِسَابُ (٤١)

“O our Lord!  Cover (us) with Thy Forgiveness ― me, my parents, and (all) believers, on the Day that the Reckoning will be Established!” (Surah Ibrahim:41)

This is the du’a of Ibrahim (a.s.).  Its specialty is that it includes those who came before, and those who will come after, up to the Day of Judgement.  It is an encompassing du’a, and is customarily recited after swalah.

سُوۡرَةُ الطُّور
وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَٱتَّبَعَتۡہُمۡ ذُرِّيَّتُہُم بِإِيمَـٰنٍ أَلۡحَقۡنَا بِہِمۡ ذُرِّيَّتَہُمۡ وَمَآ أَلَتۡنَـٰهُم مِّنۡ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَىۡءٍ۬‌ۚ كُلُّ ٱمۡرِىِٕۭ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِينٌ۬ (٢١)

And those who believe and whose families follow them in faith ― to them shall We Join their families: nor shall We deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their works: (Yet) is each individual in pledge for his deeds. (Surah ath-Thur:21)

This verse tells us that people will be admitted into Paradise because of the righteousness of their parents.  It does not specify that the progeny need be Muslim.

سُوۡرَةُ بنیٓ اسرآئیل / الإسرَاء
وَٱخۡفِضۡ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ ٱلذُّلِّ مِنَ ٱلرَّحۡمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ٱرۡحَمۡهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرً۬ا (٢٤)

And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say, “My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Surah al-Isra’:24)

This verse is a Command for us to pray for Allah’s (s.w.t.) Mercy upon our parents.  It does not specify only Muslim parents.  And if Allah (s.w.t.) Commands a thing, it is not in vain.  This is implicit acknowledgement that our supplication benefits our parents, alive and deceased.

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidina Abu HurayrahAbd ar-Rahman ibn Sakhr ad-Dawsi (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “When a man dies, all his acts come to an end, but three, continuous charity, knowledge which benefits, or a pious son, who prays for him.”  This is proof that good works continue to Reward long after the passing of the one who began it.

As recorded in Sunan ibn Majah, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “What is credited to a believer of his action and good deed after his death is any useful knowledge he might have taught or spread, a pious child he might have left behind, a copy of the Qur’an he might have left to an heir, a mosque he might have built, a house he might have dedicated for use by travellers, a stream or river he might have caused to run, or a donation to charity he might have set aside when he was enjoying good health.  All that catches up with him after his death.”

As recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aasw (r.a.) reported that al-‘Aasw ibn Wa’il left, in his will, that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf.  His son, Sayyidina Hisham (r.a.), emancipated fifty slaves, and his son, Sayyidina ‘Amr (r.a.), intended to emancipate the remaining fifty on his behalf, but he said, “I should first ask Rasulullah (s.a.w.).”  He, therefore, went to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “Ya Rasulullah, 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 Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “Had he been a Muslim, and you had emancipated slaves on his behalf, or given swadaqah on his behalf, or performed the pilgrimage, that would have reached him.”

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would Alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would Make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will Conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter.  Allah is at the Back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother, and he who treads the path in search of knowledge, Allah Makes that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in the house among the houses of Allah, and recite the Book of Allah and they learn and teach the Qur’an; there would descend upon them the tranquility and mercy would cover them and the angels would surround them and Allah Makes a Mention of them in the presence of those near Him, and he who is slow in doing good deeds, his lineage does not benefit him.”

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidatina ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “If a company of Muslims numbering one hundred pray over a dead person, all of them interceding for him, their intercession for him will be Accepted.”

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) reported that his son died in Qudayd or ‘Usfan.  He asked Sayyidina Kurayb (r.a.) to see as to how many people had gathered there for his funeral.  Sayyidina Kurayb (r.a.) said, “So, I went out and I informed him about the people who had gathered there.”

Sayyidina ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) asked, “Do you think they are forty.”

Sayyidina Kurayb (r.a.) replied, “Yes.”

Sayyidina ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) said, “Bring him out,” referring to his deceased son, “for I have heard Rasulullah (s.a.w.) saying, “If any Muslim dies and forty men who associate nothing with Allah stand over his prayer, Allah will Accept them as intercessors for him.”

As recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud, Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.) narrated that whenever the Prophet (s.a.w.) finished burying the dead, he used to stay at the grave and say, “Seek Forgiveness for your brother, and beg steadfastness for him, for he will be Questioned now.”

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Swahih al-Bukhari, and Mishkat al-Maswabih; Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) reported that a youth used to sweep the mosque.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) missed him, and inquired after him.  The people informed him that he had passed away.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) asked why they did not inform him, and it appeared this was because if they had treated him as someone insignificant.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) told them, “Lead me to his grave.”  They led him to that place and he said prayer over him, and then commented, “Verily, these graves are full of darkness for their dwellers.  Verily, the Mighty and Glorious Allah Illuminates them for their occupants by reason of my prayer over them.”

As recorded in Musnad Ahmad, and Mishkat al-Maswabih, Sayyidina Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (r.a.) said, “We went, with the Prophet (s.a.w.), to Sa’d ibn Mu’az, when he expired.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) performed his funeral prayer, and he was buried in his grave and the earth was levelled upon him.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) read tasabih and we also recited tasabih for a long time.  Then he recited takbirat, so we, too, recited takbirat.  It was asked, ‘Ya Rasulullah!  Why have you recited the tasbih and takbir?’

He replied, ‘The grave became too narrow for this pious man until Allah Made it spacious because of it.’”

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidina Sulayman ibn Buraydah (r.a.) narrated, on the authority of his father, that the Prophet (s.a.w.) used to teach them when they went out to the graveyard, to say, “Peace be upon the inhabitants of the city,” referring to the graveyard.

In a similar hadits on the authority of Sayyidina Zuhayr (r.a.), the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Peace be upon you, the inhabitants of the city, among the believers, and Muslims, and insha’Allah, we shall join you.  I ask Allah peace for us and for you.”  These narrations demonstrate that the deceased can hear the living, may respond to them, and benefit from supplications made over them.

As recorded in Sunan al-Kubra’, and Mustadrak al-Hakim, that Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.) 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.”

As recorded in Jami’ at-Tirmidzi, a woman came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “I have given charity on behalf of my dead mother by giving away her female slave.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) answered, “You will have its reward, but return the female slave so that the inheritance can be taken care of.”  This is because the slave was now part of the estate, and it was not the sole decision of the woman to give her away.

The woman then said, “She used to owe fasts; can I fast on her behalf?”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) answered, “You may fast on her behalf.”

The woman then said, “She did not perform hajj; can I perform the hajj on her behalf?”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) answered, “Yes.  You may perform hajj on her behalf.”

As recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari, a woman from the tribe of Juhaynah came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “My mother had vowed to perform haj, but she died before performing it.  May I perform haj on my mother’s behalf?”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “Perform haj on her behalf.  Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it, right?  So, pay Allah’s Debt as He has greater right to be paid.”

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) reported that someone said to the Prophet (s.a.w.), “My father died and left behind property without making any will regarding it.  Would he be relieved of the burden of his sin if I give swadaqah on his behalf?”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “Yes.”

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidatina ‘Aishah (r.a.) reported that a man said to the Prophet (s.a.w.), “My mother died suddenly, and I think if she could, she would have given swadaqah.  Will I be entitled to Reward if I give charity on her behalf?”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “Yes.”

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, and Swahih al-Bukhari; Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) is reported to have said that Sayyidina Abu Thalhah al-Hawlani (r.a.) was the one among the Answar of Madina who possessed the largest property, and, among his property, he valued most his garden known as Bayraha’, which was opposite the mosque.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) often visited it, and he drank of its sweet water.  Then, this verse was Revealed:

سُوۡرَةُ آل عِمرَان
لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ‌ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٌ۬ (٩٢)

By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, Allah Knoweth it well. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:92)

Sayyidina Abu Thalhah (r.a.) went to the Prophet (s.a.w.), said, “Allah Says in His Book, ‘By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love,’ and the dearest of my property is Bayraha’, so I give it as swadaqah to Allah from Whom I hope for Reward for it and the Treasure with Allah; so, spend it, Messenger of Allah, on whatever purpose you deem it proper.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “That is profit earning property.  I have heard what you have said, but I think you should spend it on your nearest relatives.”

So, Sayyidina Abu Thalhah (r.a.) distributed it among the nearest relatives and his cousins on his father’s side.  It is said that Sayyidina Abu Thalhah (r.a.) donated it on behalf of his mother, although this is not specifically mentioned in the ahadits.  This narration also tells us that we should give charity close at home first, beginning with our family.

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, and Swahih al-Bukhari; Sayyidina Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah (r.a.) asked the Prophet (s.a.w.), “Ya Rasulullah, Umm Sa’d has died; what form of swadaqah is best?

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “Water.”

So, Sayyidina Sa’d (r.a.) dug a well and said, “This is for Umm Sa’d.”

As recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) narrated that the mother of Sayyidina Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah (r.a.) died in his absence.  Sayyidina Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah (r.a.) asked the Prophet (s.a.w.), “Ya Rasulullah, my mother died in my absence; will it be of any benefit for her if I give swadaqah on her behalf””

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “Yes.”

Sayyidina Sa’d (r.a.) said, “I ask you to witness that I give my garden, al-Makhraf, in charity, on her behalf.”

As recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari, Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “I am closer to the believers than their own selves, so whoever dies while being in debt and leaves nothing for its repayment, then we are to pay his debts on his behalf and whoever dies leaving some property, then that property is for his heirs.”

As recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari, Sayyidatina Salamah bint al-Akwa (r.a.) narrated, “Once, while we were sitting in the company of Prophet (s.a.w.), a dead man was brought.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) was requested to lead the funeral prayer for the deceased.  He asked, ‘Is he in debt?’  The people replied in the negative.  He asked, ‘Has he left any wealth.’

They said, ‘No.’  So, he led his funeral prayer.

Another dead man was brought, and the people said, ‘Ya Rasulullah!  Lead his funeral prayer.’

The Prophet (s.a.w.) asked, ‘Is he in debt?’

They said, ‘Yes.’

He asked, ‘Has he left any wealth?’

They said, ‘Three dananir.’  So, he led the prayer.

Then, a third dead man was brought, and the people said, ‘Ya Rasulullah!  Lead his funeral prayer.’

He asked, ‘Has he left any wealth?’

They said, ‘No.’

He asked, ‘Is he in debt?’

They said, ‘Yes!  Three dananir.’

He said, ‘Then pray for your companion.’

Sayyidina Abu Qatadah (r.a.) said, ‘Ya Rasulullah!  Lead his funeral prayer, and I will pay his debt.’  So, he led the prayer.”  The Prophet (s.a.w.) wished to impress upon the companions of the debtor their responsibility to take care of his debts, so that he does not have to answer for them on the Day of Judgement.

As recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan an-Nasa’i, Musnad Ahmad, and elsewhere; Sayyidina ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) reported that a woman travelled in a boat and pledged that should Allah (s.w.t.) Save her life, she would fast for a month.  She was Saved but she did not fast before she died.  Her daughter or her sister asked the Prophet (s.a.w.) about that and he ordered her to fast on behalf of the deceased woman.

As recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari, Sayyidatina ‘Aishah (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Whoever died, and he ought to have fasted, then his guardians must fast on his behalf.”  The “guardians” here may be his heirs, or any living relatives and friends who wish to undertake that responsibility.

As recorded in Sunan an-Nasa’i, and Sunan ibn Majah, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Recite YaSin over your dead.”  This hadits is the basis why we read YaSin over the deceased.

As recorded in Mu’jam al-Kabir, Sayyidina ‘Atha’ ibn Abi Rabah (r.a.) narrated that he heard Sayyidina ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) say, “I heard the Prophet (s.a.w.) 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.’”

The opening of Surah al-Baqarah refers to the first five lines:

سُوۡرَةُ البَقَرَة
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
الٓمٓ (١) ذَٲلِكَ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبُ لَا رَيۡبَ‌ۛ فِيهِ‌ۛ هُدً۬ى لِّلۡمُتَّقِينَ (٢) ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنَـٰهُمۡ يُنفِقُونَ (٣) وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ مِن قَبۡلِكَ وَبِٱلۡأَخِرَةِ هُمۡ يُوقِنُونَ (٤) أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ عَلَىٰ هُدً۬ى مِّن رَّبِّهِمۡ‌ۖ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ (٥)

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Alif Lam Mim.  This is the Book; in it, is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who recognise Allah, who believe in the unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have Provided for them.  And who believe in the Revelation Sent to thee, and Sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.  They are on (True Guidance), from their Lord and it is these who will prosper. (Surah al-Baqarah:1-5)

The closing refers specifically to this ayat:

سُوۡرَةُ البَقَرَة
لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا‌ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتۡ وَعَلَيۡہَا مَا ٱكۡتَسَبَتۡ‌ۗ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوۡ أَخۡطَأۡنَا‌ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَيۡنَآ إِصۡرً۬ا كَمَا حَمَلۡتَهُ ۥ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِنَا‌ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلۡنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِۦ‌ۖ وَٱعۡفُ عَنَّا وَٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَٱرۡحَمۡنَآ‌ۚ أَنتَ مَوۡلَٮٰنَا فَٱنصُرۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡڪَـٰفِرِينَ (٢٨٦)

On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear.  It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.  (Pray): “Our Lord!  Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error.  Our Lord!  Lay not on us a burden like that which Thou didst Lay on those before us.  Our Lord!  Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear.  Blot out our sins and Grant us Forgiveness.  Have Mercy on us.  Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.” (Surah al-Baqarah:286)

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidina ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Shamasah Mahri (r.a.) said, “We went to ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aasw when he was on his deathbed.  He said, ‘When I die, let neither female mourner nor fire accompany me.  When you bury me, fill my grave with earth, then stand around it for the time within which a camel is slaughtered and its meat is distributed so that I may enjoy your intimacy and ascertain what answer I can give to the messengers of Allah.’”  The “messengers” here. Refer to the angels that come to question the deceased.

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote, in Riyadh asw-Swalihin, that it is preferable, that after burial, the people sit at graveside for the duration required to slaughter a camel and distribute its meat, and that during that time, the mourners busy themselves with reciting the Qur’an, supplicating for the deceased, speaking well of him and of his deeds, and stories of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.) simply said that it is better to recite the Qur’an, and that all those present should also recite together.

The opinion of the majority of the scholars is that the best suwar to recite at a wake, for a tahlil, or when visiting the graves is, and dedicate their rewards to the deceased, are Surah al-Fatihah, the “Mother of the Qur’an”; Surah YaSin, which is called the “Heart of the Qur’an; Surah al-Ikhlasw, whose merit is equal to reciting a third of Qur’an; and Surah al-Mulk, which intercedes for the reader until Forgiveness is Granted.

It is mentioned in Tafsir Ruh al-Bayan, by Imam Isma’il Haqqi al-Baruwsahli (q.s.), that when the recitation of the Qur’an is completed, 4,000 angels say “Amin,” and they pray for the Forgiveness of the reciters.  Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote, in al-Adzkar, that Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) used to call people to his house to attend the supplication after the khatm of the Qur’an.

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidina ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) happened to pass by two graves and said, “They are being tormented, but they are not tormented for a grievous sin.  One of them carried tales and the other did not keep himself safe from being defiled by urine.”  He then called for a fresh twig and split it into two parts, and planted them on each grave and then said, “Perhaps, their punishment way be mitigated as long as these twigs remain fresh.”

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.), in his Sharh Swahih Muslim, said, “The scholars have declared desirable, the recitation of the Qur’an over the grave due to the above narration, because if relief from punishment is hoped for through the glorification of date-palm stalks, then the recitation of the Qur’an is more deserving yet, and Allah knows best.”

Separately, this hadits is also the jurisprudential basis for the planting of trees at the site of graves.  This is why we have flowers at graves.  Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.) mentioned, in  his Sharh asw-Swudur, that Sayyidina Abu Barzah al-Aslami (r.a.) and Sayyidina Abu Buraydah al-Aslami (r.a.) both asked to be buried together with two fresh stalks.

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Sayyidatina ‘Aishah (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) commanded that a ram with black legs, a black belly and black circles round the eyes should be brought to him, so that he could sacrifice it.  When he slaughtered the ram, he recited, “Bismillah Allahumma taqabbal min Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammadin wa min ummati Muhammadin”, “In the Name of Allah, O Allah, accept this on behalf of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the ummah of Muhammad”. We note here, and elsewhere, that the Prophet (s.a.w.) sacrificed animals and donated its reward to his entire ummah: the living, the dead, and those yet to come until the Day of Judgement.

As recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud, Sayyidina Hanash (r.a.) said, “I saw Ali sacrificing two rams; so, I asked him, ‘What is this about?’

He replied, ‘Rasulullah (s.a.w.) enjoined upon me to sacrifice on his behalf, so that is what I am doing.’”

Based on this, we understand that just as the Prophet (s.a.w.) sacrificed on our behalf and shared the Rewards with us, it is also incumbent upon us to do so on his behalf, and this is one the meritorious practices performed in the commemoration of the Mawlid.

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, Swahih al-Bukhari, Sunan an-Nasa’i, and Jami’ at-Tirmidzi; that Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said that Allah (s.w.t.) has mobile squads of angels, who have no other work but to follow the gatherings of dzikr; and when they find such gatherings, they sit in them and some of them surround the others with their wings until the space between them and the sky is fully covered, and when they disperse, they return to Allah (s.w.t.).

Allah (s.w.t.) then Asks them, although He Knows best, “Where have you come from?”

These angels then say, “We come from Your servants upon the Earth who had been glorifying You, uttering Your Greatness, uttering Your Oneness, praising You, and begging of You.”

He would Ask, “What do they beg of Me?”

They would say, “They beg You for Your Paradise.”

He would Ask, “Have they seen My Paradise?”

They would say, “No, our Lord.”

He would Ask, “What if they were to see My Paradise?”

They would say, “They seek Your Protection.”

He would Ask, “Against what do they seek My Protection?”

They would say, “From your Fire.”

He would Ask, “Have they seen My Fire?”

They would say, “No.”

He would Ask, “What if they were to see My Fire?”

They would say, “They beg Your Forgiveness.”

He would Say, “I Forgive them, and Confer upon them what they ask for and Grant them Protection against which they seek protection.”

They would again say, “Our Lord, there is one amongst them such and such simple servant who happened to pass by, and sat there along with them.”

He would Say, “I Forgive him also, for they are a people, the visitors of whom are in no way unfortunate.”

As recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud, and Sunan ibn Majah, that Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said “When you pray for the departed, make your prayer sincere for him.”


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