Reciting the Qur'an for the deceased beside their graves
Q: I am a student at the Islamic University. I visit my homeland,
every year to spend the summer vacation there and to practice Da`wah (calling to Islam) as much as possible. It is known that the path of Da`wah is thorny; (Part No. 9; Page No. 56) however, what cannot be completely achieved should not be entirely abandoned. Earlier this year, I was confronted with some questions about reciting Qur'an and giving Sadaqah (voluntary charity) beside the graves. I denounced this as a Bid`ah (innovation in religion), as it was neither done by the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor by any of his Sahabah (Companions).People began to be convinced by this, but a person opposed me and said that it is permissible to do. We had an extended argument, until we asked for a Fatwa. One of the scholars of
Yemen Arab Republic
gave us the following Fatwa: "Reciting the Qur'an and giving Sadaqah beside the grave is neither Wajib (obligatory), a Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet), nor Makruh (disliked), but it is a fine Bid`ah. What the Muslims consider as acceptable will be acceptable to Allah, unless the Sadaqah is given from the money of a minor orphan. It is unacceptable only in this case." Please, Your Honor, I would like to have an answer to the following questions:First,is this Fatwa definitely correct?Second,is the rule of preference general and applicable to any form of `Ibadah (worship) in Islam, or is Islam the controller of everything?Third,is it permissible to agree with the people who commit Bida` on this, or should we denounce this as much as possible?
reciting the Qur'an beside the graves of the dead is impermissible; it is in fact a Bid`ah, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated,
Offer some of your Salah (Prayer) at home and do not make them like graves, for verily Satan flees from the house in which Surah Al-Baqarah is recited.
This Sahih (authentic) Hadith proves that people do not offer Salah or recite Qur'an beside the graves. As for giving Sadaqah on behalf of the dead, it is permissible and benefits them, (Part No. 9; Page No. 57) as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated,
When a person dies, their deeds come to an end, except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ongoing charity), knowledge by which people benefit, or a pious child who prays for them (for the deceased).
Muslim in his Sahih Book of Hadith.
A man once asked the Prophet (peace be upon him),
O, Messenger of Allah! My mother died and left no will. Will she be rewarded if I give Sadaqah on her behalf? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Yes.
Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
However, it is impermissible to do it beside the grave in particular, as there is no evidence for this. `Ibadah should be Tawqifiyyah (bound by a religious text and not amenable to personal opinion). It should be proven by Sahih Hadiths and approved by Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream).
not everything which is approved by the Muslims is correct, but it should be referred to the Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Whatever coincides with any or both of them is accepted; otherwise it is rejected, unless all the Muslims unanimously agree upon a matter. In this case, it is accepted, as the Islamic Ummah (nation) cannot unanimously agree to something incorrect, and Ijma` (consensus of scholars) is the third principle of jurisprudence according to Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah.
a Muslim should resist evil as much as possible if they know that it is evil according to Islamic law, either physically (if they are able to do, such as a ruler among his people, a patron in his family, and anyone who has authority) or by means of the tongue. If they cannot, they should resent it in their hearts. This is the least degree of Iman (Faith) (Part No. 9; Page No. 58) as proven by the Sahih Hadith, in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated,
Whoever among you sees something abominable should rectify it with the hand. If they have not strength enough to do it, they should do it with the tongue; and if they have not strength enough to do it, they should abhor it from the heart; and that is the least degree of Iman.
Muslim in his Sahih Book of Hadith.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.