#388: Recite Surah al-Mulk for One’s Deceased Father

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling for a son to recite surah al-Mulk and then set his intention to give the rewards for his parents who have passed away? Will the deceased receive the advantages of reciting surah al-Mulk? Hope for an explanation.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

Before we proceed to a specific discussion related to the recitation of surah al-Mulk, we’d like to first discuss whether a deceased will be able to receive the rewards intended for them by others who are still alive.

This matter is discussed by Imam al-Nawawi in his book, where it is agreed by scholars that supplication for the deceased is beneficial for them and the rewards reach them according to Allah SWT’s statement:


وَالَّذِينَ جَاءُوا مِن بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith.” [1]

It is also narrated from a famous hadith that Rasullullah PBUH once supplicated: “O Allah, forgive the people of Baqi’ al-Gharqad.” This is a sahih hadith narrated by Muslim. In another supplication of Rasullullah PBUH: “O Allah, forgive those who are alive and those who have passed away from amongst us.” Hadith narrated by Abu Daud and others.

Regarding the recitation of al-Qur’an, there are differences of opinion. The famous opinion from madhhab Syafie is that the rewards of the recitation don’t reach the deceased. However, there is a group from the ashab of Imam al-Syaife who shares the same opinion as Imam Ahmad and a group of other scholars who said that the recitation is beneficial and its rewards reach the deceased. And it is best for those who recite the Quran that as soon as they finish the recitation to supplicate: “O Allah, give the rewards of my recitation to so and so,” and it is also sunnah to praise and state its goodness. [2]

Considering the opinion of Imam al-Nawawi, a deceased will receive the rewards of those who are alive and do good deeds for him.

The recitation of surah al-Mulk for a deceased

Coming back to the above question, surah al-Mulk has its advantages for those who recite them every night. This is based on a hadith from Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:


إِنَّ سُورَةً فِي الْقُرْآنِ ثَلاَثُونَ آيَةً شَفَعَتْ لِصَاحِبِهَا حَتَّى غُفِرَ لَهُ : تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ

“A sūra in the Qur’ān containing thirty verses interceded for a man till his sins were forgiven. It was ‘Blessed is He in whose hand is the kingdom.’” (Qur’ān, 67) [3]

From Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma, he said, several companions of the Prophet PBUH dug a certain area not knowing that it is a grave. They found there was a man reciting surah al-Mulk from start to finish. they then went to see the Prophet PBUH and said:


يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ إِنِّي ضَرَبْتُ خِبَائِي عَلَى قَبْرٍ وَأَنَا لاَ أَحْسِبُ أَنَّهُ قَبْرٌ ، فَإِذَا فِيهِ إِنْسَانٌ يَقْرَأُ سُورَةَ تَبَارَكَ الْمُلْكِ حَتَّى خَتَمَهَا. فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : هِيَ الْمَانِعَةُ ، هِيَ الْمُنْجِيَةُ ، تُنْجِيهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ القَبْرِ.

“O Messenger of Allah, I pitched my tent on a grave without realizing that is was a grave. Then suddenly I heard a person from the grave reciting Surah al-Mulk till he completed it.’ The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘It is the defender, it is the deliverer – it delivers from the punishment of the grave.'” [4]

Syeikh al-Mubarakfuri said: The meaning of al-mani’ah (المانعة) is prevent and save from the punishment of the grave or any transgression that obligates the punishment of the grave. While saving can be to strengthen the mani’ah (المانعة) or it could also be the interpretation. Due to this, after the word, Rasullullah PBUH said it is the savior from the punishment of the grave. [5]

According to the above discussion, the advantage of being safe from the punishment of the grave is specific for the reciter. However, regarding your question, about the advantages of reciting the Quran and in general when it is intended for a deceased, we are inclined towards the opinion that the rewards reach the deceased.

We also suggest accompanying it with supplication for the deceased where it is for certain will be received by the deceased. In a hadith narrated from Abu Hurairah RA, Rasullullah PBUH said:


إِذَا مَاتَ الإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ ثَلاَثَةٍ : إِلاَّ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ ، أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ ، أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ

“When a son of Adam (i.e. any human being) dies his deeds are discontinued, with three exceptions: Sadaqah, whose benefit is continuous; or knowledge from which benefit continues to be reaped, or a righteous child who supplicates for him.” [6]

Syeikh al-Mubarakfuri said: Recitation of Yasin from a child and others according to a hadith, “Recite Yasin for people who die from amongst you,” he said and with the supplication from a child and others like the above hadith (or a righteous child who supplicate for him) and the hadith “you should recite istighfar for your brother (Abi Salamah) and ask for his forgiveness and others from the hadith and anything that is done by the child for his parents from righteous deeds for the hadith states ‘from the son of Adam is his efforts’. There are some who said that it can be analogically deduced with every place which shows the origin of the evidences, hence when related to the deceased everything that is done by another person. This is the summary of what is presented by al-Imam al-Syaukani in Nail al-Autar.” [7]

Jumhur of the madhhab scholars is of the opinion that supplication is beneficial for a deceased. Imam al-Nawawi said the ijma’ of the scholars are of the opinion that supplication is beneficial for a deceased and reaches him. [8]

Allah SWT states:


وَالَّذِينَ جَاءُوا مِن بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.” [9]

May our parents or deceased parents receive the rewards of our good deeds and worships due to them teaching us and include it as a continuous deed from a righteous child.

We end supplicating for our parents and those who have preceded us:


اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهم، وارْحمْهم ، وعافهم ، واعْفُ عنْهم ، وَأَكرِمْ نزُلَهم ، وَوسِّعْ مُدْخَلَهم واغْسِلْهم بِالماءِ والثَّلْجِ والْبرَدِ ، ونَقِّهم منَ الخَـطَايَا، كما نَقَّيْتَ الثَّوب الأبْيَضَ منَ الدَّنَس ، وَأَبْدِلْهم دارا خيراً مِنْ دَارِهم ، وَأَهْلاً خَيراً منْ أهْلِهم، وأدْخِلْهم الجنَّةَ.

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] Surah al-Hasyr: 10

[2] See al-Azkar min Kalam Sayyid al-Abrar, pg. 164

[3] Narrated by Ibn Majah (3786)

[4] Narrated by al-Tirmizi (2890)

[5] See Tuhfah al-Ahwazi, 8/200

[6] Narrated by Muslim (4310), Abu Daud (2882), al-Nasa’ie (6445) and al-Baihaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (12635)

[7] See Tuhfah al-Ahwazi bi Syarh Jami’ al-Tirmizi, 3/276

[8] See al-Azkar, pg. 150

[9] Surah al-Hasyr: 10

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