A. PROOFS FROM HOLY QUR’AN
And those who came after them say, “O our Lord! Forgive us, and our brothers who accepted faith before us, and do not keep any malice in our hearts towards the believers – O our Lord! Indeed You only are the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.” (Hashr 59:10)
Note that the above verse is a very strong evidence of the practice of the Sahaba, which was so loved by Allah that it is part of the Holy Qur’an. Why would the Sahaba pray for the deceased people if their prayer was of no benefit And to top it all, Allah the Almighty has approved and praised their action!
“O our Lord! And forgive me, and my parents, and all the Muslims on the day when the account will be established.” (Ibrahim 14:41)
The benefit of the above verse is obvious. The prayer of Prophet Syedna Ibrahim (peace be upon him), includes all believers – right from the beginning i.e. those before him, and till the end of this world i.e. even those who are not yet born. Al Hamdo Lillah! And this prayer is often made in the last part (Qaadah) of our Salaat.
And those who believe and whose families follow them in Faith, — to them We shall join their families: nor shall We deprive them of the fruit of anything of their works: yet each individual is in pledge for his deeds.” (Toor 52:21)
This verse says that children will be admitted into Paradise because of the righteousness of the parents.
And lower your wing humbly for them, with mercy, and pray, “My Lord! Have mercy on them both, the way they nursed me when I was young.” (Bani Israel 17:24)
This verse is in fact a command from Allah for all believers to seek mercy for their parents. So what is your opinion Will not the command of Allah hold any benefit for the deceased parent It certainly does.
Also note that there are several other verses from the Holy Qur’an that teach us to pray, and the prayer includes all Muslim brothers & sisters (living, passed away or yet to be borne).
Readers are requested to reflect on the fact that the above verses are part of the Holy Qur’an – they are read perhaps millions of times every day all over the world, as part of regular recitation, and also as Qirat within Salaat, and also as prayer in the last part (Qaadah) of Salaat.
B. PROOFS FROM THE HADEETH
GENERAL PERMISSIONS (HADEETH # 1 – 4)
Abu Huraira (Allah be well pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased). (Muslim)
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “What is credited to a believer of his action and good deed after his death is any useful knowledge he might have taught or spread, a Allah-fearing child he might have left behind, a copy of the Qur’an he might have left to an heir, a mosque he might have built, a house he might have dedicated for use by travelers, a stream or river he might have caused to run, a donation to charity (i.e. sadaqah) he might have set aside when he was enjoying good health. All that catches up with him after his death.” (Ibn Majah)
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘Aas (Allah be well pleased with him): Al-‘As ibn Wa’il left his will that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf. His son Hisham emancipated fifty slaves and his son Amr intended to emancipate the remaining fifty on his behalf, but he said: I should ask first the Apostle of Allah. He, therefore, came to the Holy Prophet and said: Apostle of Allah, my father left in his will that a hundred slaves should be emancipated on his behalf and Hisham has emancipated fifty on his behalf and fifty remain. Shall I emancipate them on his behalf The Apostle of Allah said: Had he been a Muslim and you had emancipated slaves on his behalf, or given sadaqah on his behalf, or performed the pilgrimage, that would have reached him. (Abu Daud)
Abu Huraira (Allah be well pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother, and he who treads the path in search of know- ledge, Allah would make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in the house among the houses of Allah (mosques) and recite the Book of Allah and they learn and teach the Qur’an (among themselves) there would descend upon them the tranquility and mercy would cover them and the angels would surround them and Allah makes a mention of them in the presence of those near Him, and he who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (high) lineage does not make him go ahead. (Muslim)
FUNERALS (HADEETH # 5 – 9)
When a Muslim dies, it is a duty on the community of Muslims to offer a special prayer for him during which they pray Allah to forgive him and admit him into heaven. The funeral prayer is Fard Kifayah for the living Muslim brothers i.e. if just one person offers it, the entire community is absolved of this duty. But see the importance attached to the more and more people joining the prayer. And the benefit reaching the deceased person is obvious.
Syeda ‘A’isha (Allah be well pleased with her) reported Allah’s Apostle (peace and blessings be upon him) saying: If a company of Muslims numbering one hundred pray over a dead person, all of them interceding for him, their intercession for him will be accepted. (Muslim)
‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas (Allah be well pleased with him) reported that his son died in Qudaid or ‘Usfan. He said to Kuraib to see as to how many people had gathered there for his (funeral). He (Kuraib) said: So I went out and I informed him about the people who had gathered there. He (Ibn ‘Abbas) said: Do you think they are forty He (Kuraib) said: Yes. Ibn ‘Abbas then said to them: Bring him (the dead body) out for I have heard Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: If any Muslim dies and forty men who associate nothing with Allah stand over his prayer (they offer prayer over him), Allah will accept them as intercessors for him. (Muslim)
Narrated Syedna Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be well pleased with him): Whenever the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) became free from burying the dead, he used to stay at him (i.e. his grave) and say: “Seek forgiveness for your brother, and beg steadfastness for him, for he will be questioned now”. (Abu Daud)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that a dark-complexioned woman (or a youth) used to sweep the mosque. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) missed her (or him) and inquired about her (or him). The people told him that she (or he) had died. He asked why they did not inform him, and it appears as if they had treated her (or him) or her (or his) affairs as of little account. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Lead me to her (or his) grave. They led him to that place and he said prayer over her (or him) and then remarked:
Reported S. Jaber (Allah be well pleased with him): We came out with the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to Saa’d bin Muaz when he expired. When the Holy Prophet performed his funeral prayer, and he was buried in his grave and the earth was levelled upon him, the Holy Prophet read “Tasbeeh” and we also recited “Tasbeeh” for a long time. Then he recited “Takbeer”, so we too recited “Takbeer”. It was asked “;O the Messenger of Allah! Why have you recited “Tasbeeh” and “Takbeer” He said, “The grave became too narrow for this pious man till Allah made it spacious because of it (the recitation).” (Ahmed, Mishkaat)
For more visit www.islamicnet.com