Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
2- However, some scholars allowed reading Quran and intending its reward to one’s deceased parents and relatives.
Answering your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and an Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
The Practice of the Prophet
The Sunnah of the Prophet and his companions is to offer supplications and pray for the deceased.
The Quran reminds us that we should pray for all the believers who have passed on before us.
Beside offering supplications, there is no record in the sources that the Prophet (peace be on him) and his Companions were in the habit of reading Quran and intending the rewards to their loved ones who had passed away.
However, the Prophet had been asked on a number of occasions by individuals whether they were allowed to perform hajj and give charities on behalf of their deceased parents.
His answer to such questions always was in the affirmative.
In other words, he did not stop people from making hajj or giving charities on behalf of their deceased parents or relatives.
Scholars who reflected on the above traditions of the Prophet (peace be on him) posed the following question.
Does this apply only to hajj and charities? Or does it extend beyond these to include all acts of devotion and worship such as reading Quran and performing nafl prayers, etc.
One group of scholars said it was only limited to hajj and charities, and could not be extended to acts of worship such as prayers and reading of the Quran.
A number of scholars from various accepted schools of jurisprudence supported this view.
However, another group of scholars, belonging to all of the major schools, said:
“There is no reason to exclude reading Quran and prayers from the above permission granted by the Prophet.”
Accordingly, they are of the opinion that it is permissible to read the Quran and pray to Allah to send the rewards to their deceased parents and relatives.
However, this group explicitly prohibits the practice of hiring people to read the Quran. This group also prohibits making a ritual of gathering to read the Quran on a set date after death.
Such a practice would amount to introducing a bid’ah.
Scholars like Ibn Taymiyyah supported the view that allows reading Quran and intending the rewards to one’s deceased parents and relatives.
However, Ibn Taymiyyah reminds us that the Sunnah of the Prophet and his companions was to offer duaa for the deceased ones.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.