Intention to Sadaqah recitation of Surah to Others


I would like to check if it is permissible to have an intention to sadaqah al-Fatihah or other Surahs for a living person or someone who have passed on. The intention is to merely share the rewards of recitation to the ones we loved and remembered.


Yes. See “Etiquette of Funerals” by Shaykh Gibril Haddad.

Some excerpts:



The condemnation by those who call themselves “Salafis” of the donation of the reward of Qur’an recitation to the deceased is another proof of an exaggerated and sectarian approach that deviates from the method and teachings of Ahl al-Sunna…

Donation of all kinds of acts of worship, among them Qur’an-recital, can and do benefit the dead, just as the simple supplication of a Muslim does. The Salaf believed the dead were helped and relieved by the living, as shown by the du`a of Abu Hurayra for the dead: allahumma in kana muhsinan fa zid fi ihsanihi wa in kana musi’an fa tajawaz `an sayyi’atihi — “O Allah, if he did good, then increase his goodness, and if he did evil, then forgive his evil deeds.” Malik narrated it. Moreover it is established that the best supplication is the Fatiha itself.

The Prophet said: iqra’u `ala mawtakum ya seen “Read Ya Seen over those of you who are dying/deceased.” It is narrated by Abu Dawud…, al-Nasa’i, …Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban … and he declared it sound (sahih).

`Abd al-Haqq ibn al-Kharrat al-Ishbili (d. 582) in his book al-`Aqiba (p. 255 #576) said: “The meaning of this hadith may be that the recitation is done over the person at the time the person is dying; or that it be done at his grave.” al-Qurtubi said the same…

`Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah said: I heard Ibn `Umar say: I heard the Prophet 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 Surat al-Baqara, and at his feet its closure when he lies in the grave.” al-Tabarani narrates it in al-Mu`jam al-kabir… [with a weak chain] … the hadith is confirmed by the practice of `Abd Allah ibn `Umar as narrated through sound chains.

Nawawi said in Kitab al-adhkar (Ta’if ed. p. 212 #493): “We also narrated in Bayhaqi’s Sunan (4:56-57) with a fair (hasan) chain that Ibn `Umar liked for the beginning and the end of Surat al-Baqara to be recited over the grave after burial.”

Shawkani in Tuhfat al-dhakirin (p. 229) cited al-Jazari’s instruction in al-Hisn al-hasin: “Let one recite over the grave, after burial, the beginning of Surat al-Baqara and its end.”…

Mujalid said: al-Shu`bi said: “The Ansar, if someone died among them, would go to his grave and recite the Qur’an there.” al-Khallal narrates it in al-Amr bi al-ma`ruf (p. 123 #244)…

Ya`qub ibn al-Sayyid `Ali al-Hanafi said: “[One visiting the graves] should read Surat Ya Seen or whatever is easy for him to recite from Qur’an. Know that Abu Hanifah, May Allah have mercy upon him, considered it blameworthy (makruh) to recite Qur’an at the cemetery, but not Muhammad [Muhammad al-Shaybani, Abu Hanifa’s disciple], May Allah have mercy upon him.” Mafatih al-jinan sharh shir`at al-Islam p. 580.

Qadi Khan al-Hanafi said in his Fatawa: “Whoever recites from the Qur’an over the graves: if he intends thereby that the familiarity of the sound of the Qur’an reach them, then let him recite. If he did not intend that, then Allah hears the Qur’an wherever you recite it.” Suyuti mentions it in Sharh al-sudur (p. 312).

Al-Za`farani said: “I asked al-Shafi`i about reciting Qur’an at the graveside and he said: la ba’sa bihi — There is no harm in it.”…

Nawawi said: “Whoever visits a grave, let him greet its dweller, recite some Qur’an, and make an invocation for the deceased.” al-Nawawi, Minhaj al-Talibin, end of Kitab al-Jana’iz.

He also said in al-Majmu` sharh al-muhadhdhab: “It is desirable (yustahabb) that one who is visiting the graves recite from the Qur’an what is easy for him to recite, after which, that he invoke Allah on their behalf. Shafi`i stipulated it and his companions all agreed with him.” In another place he says: “If they conclude the recitation of the Qur’an over the grave it is better.” Suyuti mentioned both excerpts in his Sharh al-sudur (p. 311).

Nawawi also said in his Sharh Sahih Muslim (al-Mays ed. 3/4:206): “The scholars have declared desirable — mustahabb — the recitation of the Qur’an over the grave.”

Al-Qurtubi said: “As for reciting over the grave, then our companions (Malikis) are categorical that it is lawful, and others say the same.” Suyuti mentioned it in his Sharh al-sudur (p. 311).

Al-Jazayri said: “Someone who visits the grave must engage in du`a and supplication. He must reflect upon those who died and he must recite Qur’an for the dead, for the more correct view is that this benefits the dead.” al-Jazayri, al-Fiqh `ala al-madhahib al-arba`a (2:540).

Imam Suyuti states in Sharh al-sudur bi sharh hal al-mawta wa al-qubur (p. 310):

There is disagreement as to the reward of recitation reaching to the dead. The vast majority of the Salaf as well as the Three Imams consider that it does reach them, while our Imam, al-Shafi`i, differs.

Taher Siddiqui

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