Reciting Quran for the Dead and Talqeen

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Question: Assalamu Alaykum, I would like to know the ruling with proof from the Sunnah or the Quran regarding reading the Quran for the dead. Usually the imams read verses of Quran and also remind the dead person on (who is your lord, what is your book what is your faith?) while the dead person is in the grave but before he is covered with soil.Jazzakallahu Khairan Wassalam 

Answer:

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds and may Allah raise the rank of our dear Prophet Muhammad. Wa `Alaykum As-Salam wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakatuhu.

The following shall clear up all the confusion and answer all your questions:

Firstly, regarding the reading of the Qur’an, it is a rewardable deed with the right intention and with the proper articulation of the Arabic letters, even if it were upon the Muslim dead. 

Imam An-Nawawiyy (d. 676 H.) said in his book Al-Adhkar:

“It has been reported to us through Sunan Al-Bayhaqiyy with a chain of narration classified as hasan, that Ibn `Umar regarded the recitation of the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah and its ending upon the grave of a newly buried Muslim as a mustahab (likeable) matter”.

He also said:

“Ash-Shafi`iyy and his companions in his madhhab said that it is a mustahab (likeable) matter to recite some of the Qur’an upon the grave of a Muslim, and they added that if the Qur’an was recited in its entirety then that would also be a rewardable matter.” Imam Ahmad and other scholars also relayed the same ruling. Imam Al-Qadi Abul Fadl `Iyad said something to that effect in his commentary on Sahih Muslim when explaining the hadith of the female slave in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, said about two recently buried Muslims, after he split a moist palm branch into two and fixed the two branches over the graves: “We hope that any punishment will be eased while the branches are still moist.”

Specifically, Al-Qadi `Iyad said: 

“Scholars deduced from this Hadith that it is likeable (mustahab) to read the Qur’an upon the dead, because if punishment could be eased by the tasbih (glorifying Allah) of the branches which are objects, then given the priority of the Qur’an, its recitation upon the dead would be likeable”. This ruling was also conveyed from him and it was agreed upon by Al-Abiyy in his explanation of Sahih Muslim. Another piece of evidence testifying to the benefiting of the dead Muslim from the Qur’anic recitation of another is the Hadith narrated by Ma`qal bin Yasar in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, says: “Recite the verses of Surat Yasin upon your dead” (narrated by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’iyy and Ibn Majah, who classified it as a Sahih Hadith). It has also been confirmed by way of Prophetic traditions which are classified as Sahih Hadiths that charity, fasting the Hajj and the `Umrah done on behalf of a dead Muslim reach him. Reciting the Qur’an is another form of worship and it reaches the dead, because all are forms of worship. This ruling is clearly deduced from the confirmed Prophetic traditions, and there is no Islamic disproof to its legitimacy and validity.

Al-Qurtubiyy said in his book At-Tadhkirah: “The source of the ruling in this matter is the confirmed reward of the charity which reaches the dead. By the same token, the recitation of the Qur’an and the supplications to Allah for forgiveness for the dead reach him”. Another issue which points to the legitimacy of the recitation of the Qur’an upon the dead, is the Janazah (Funeral) prayer. This prayer has been ruled upon us, and it certainly brings a benefit to the dead from what it contains of Qur’anic recitation and supplication to Allah for forgiveness. If the supplications for forgiveness in the prayer reach the dead, then the Qur’anic recitation in the prayer also reach the dead. In addition, these recitations reach the dead whether they have been completed part of the prayer in a combined form, or whether they’re carried out separately as a form of worship outside the prayer. Allah orders us towards guidance, and He is the one that guides his slaves towards the straight path.

The general order in the Qur’anic ayah which means “Do good deeds as such will lead to success” also points to this meaning. The second matter in your question was related to talqin, which happens after the person is placed in the ground. Imam An-Nawawiyy says in Al-Adhkar: “Many of our companions said that it is likeable (mustahab) to make talqin to the dead Muslim after his or her burial. From those companions [An-Nawawiyy’s] is Al-Qadi Husayn in his Ta`liq, his friend Abu Sa`id Al-Mutawalli in his book At-Tatimmah, Ash-Shaykh Imam Abul Fath Nasr bin Ibrahim bin Nasr Al-Maqdisiyy, Imam Abul Qasim Ar-Rafi`iyy and others. Qadi Husayn also conveyed that matter from way of his companions. As to the exact phrase Ash-Shaykh Nasr said the following: “Once one finishes from burying him, they stand at his head and they say “Ya fulan ibn fulan” [calling him]! Remember the covenant by which you exited this world; the testification that there is no God but Allah who has no partners and the testification that Muhammad is the messenger and slave of Allah, also remember that Judgment Day is coming no doubt and that Allah resurrects those in the graves, say: ‘I have accepted that my Lord is Allah, that Islam is my religion, that Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam is a true Prophet, that the Ka`bah is the true direction for prayer, that the Qur’an is my guide and that the Muslims are brethren. Testify that your Lord is Allah, there is no God but Him and that He is the Lord and Creator of the great Throne (`Arsh)”. Those were the words of Shaykh Nasr Al-Maqdisiyy in his book At-Tahdhib, and the expressions of others are similar to that. Also there are those that say: Ya `Abdallah ibn amatillah” – O slave-of-Allah son of the slave-of-Allah [the mother] – while others say “Ya `Abdallah ibn Hawwa’ ” – O slave-of-Allah son of Hawwa’ (Eve) – and some call him by his name followed by “ibn amatillah”.

إِذَا مَاتَ أَحَدٌ مِنْ إِخْوَانِكُمْ، فَسَوَّيْتُمِ التُّرَابَ عَلَى قَبْرِهِ، فَلْيَقُمْ أَحَدُكُمْ عَلَى رَأْسِ قَبْرِهِ، ثُمَّ لِيَقُلْ: يَا فُلانَ بن فُلانَةَ، فَإِنَّهُ يَسْمَعُهُ وَلا يُجِيبُ، ثُمَّ يَقُولُ: يَا فُلانَ بن فُلانَةَ، فَإِنَّهُ يَسْتَوِي قَاعِدًا، ثُمَّ يَقُولُ: يَا فُلانَ بن فُلانَةَ، فَإِنَّهُ يَقُولُ: أَرْشِدْنَا رَحِمَكَ اللَّهُ، وَلَكِنْ لا تَشْعُرُونَ، فَلْيَقُلْ: اذْكُرْ مَا خَرَجْتَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا شَهَادَةَ أَنْ لا إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، وَأَنَّكَ رَضِيتَ بِاللَّهِ رَبًّا، وَبِالإِسْلامِ دِينًا، وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيًّا، وَبِالْقُرْآنِ إِمَامًا، فَإِنَّ مُنْكَرًا وَنَكِيرًا يَأْخُذُ وَاحِدٌ مِنْهُمْا بِيَدِ صَاحِبِهِ، وَيَقُولُ: انْطَلِقْ بنا مَا نَقْعُدُ عِنْدَ مَنْ قَدْ لُقِّنَ حُجَّتَهُ، فَيَكُونُ اللَّهُ حَجِيجَهُ دُونَهُمَا”، فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَعْرِفْ أُمَّهُ؟ قَالَ:”فَيَنْسُبُهُ إِلَى حَوَّاءَ، يَا فُلانَ بن حَوَّاءَ. رواه الطبراني

In a hadith transmitted by Imam at-Tabarani, the Prophet of Allah (s) said:

“If one of you dies, leave the ground in his grave. Let one of you stand at the edge of his grave and say: “O fulan (say the dead man’s name) son of the dead (say the mother of the dead)” because he could hear it but could not answer. Then he added: “O fulan (say the name of the dead) son of the fulanah (say the mother of the dead)” because he will sit up. Then he added: “O fulan (say the name of the dead) the child of (say the mother of the dead)” because he would say: “give us guidance – may Allah have mercy on you,” but you would not sense it. Then he should say: “Remember the covenant by which you exited this world; the testification that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger and slave of Allah, and verily you say Allah is your Lord, Muhammad is your Prophet, and the Quran your guide”, Then Munkar and Nakir will take his companion by his hand and said: “let’s go. We will not sit beside people who have been advised (the answer).” So Allah will give the evidence (to respond) instead of the two of them taking charge of him. Then a Companion asked: “O
Prophet of Allah! What if he does not know the mother of the deceased?” Then the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him) replied: “then let him relate him to Hawwa (Eve) [saying] O fulan son of Hawwa.”

All these expressions imply the same meaning. “Ash-Shaykh Imam Abu `Umar ibn As-Salah, may Allah have mercy upon him, was asked about the talqin to which he replied in his book of fatwa: “At-talqin is what we have accepted, and by which we practice. Some of our friends from Khurasan have mentioned that a Hadith about it was reported to them from the way of Abu Umamah whose direct transmission is not strong, nevertheless the matter has been supported by other narrations, as well as by the practice of the people of Ash-Sham which dates back to the early days” – [from An-Nawawiyy’s book Al-Adhkar]. 

Allah Knows Best.

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