Q. What does Islaam say about Qur’aan Khanee-when somebody dies, his family usually arranges for a mass Quranic reading?
A. Isal-e-Thawab (dedicating the reward of one’s virtuous deed to a dead or living person like performing optional Salaah, Sawm, Hajj, reciting the Glorious Qur’aan, and so on) is a good thing in the view of Shariah. (Hida’ah 1: 276) But the tradition of Qur’aan Khanee (mass Qur’an reciting arrangement), which is mostly found in Indian Sub-continent, is against the Islamic teachings. (Fatawa-e-Hindiah 5:351) This kind of tradition must be wiped up with wisdom so that the Muslim community would not break into different groups.
The Glorious Qur’aan lays much emphasize on Isala-e- Thawab. It says, “And ask forgiveness for your fault, and for the men and women who believe” (Suratu Muhammad 47:19) But as a tradition, to invite people for the recitation of Qur’aan, decide date for this tradition and consider it necessary is Bid’a (innovation in religion). (Fatawa-e-Hindiah 5: 217)
The right way of Isal-e-Thawab is to give wealth in charity, offer optional Salaah and Sawm, recite from the Glorious Qur’aan as much as one can and then convey the rewards to whom one wants.
The books of Ahadith do not have even a single example of the traditional Qur’aan Khanee for Isal-e-Thawab. But there is a series of Ahadith emphasizing on Isal-e-Thawab.
The Prophet of Islam (SAW) himself sacrificed two lovely sheep and conveyed reward of one to his Ummah (Muslim community). (Binaya 4: 425) Therefore, Ulama say that Isal-e-Thawab is a good and recommended act but inviting people, fixing a specific date for this ritual and considering it necessary is Bid’a.
Though Isal-e-Thawab is a good act in the view of Shariah, there is no sanction for such kind of traditions in Islam. None knows where this tradition comes from. Everybody says that he has seen his ancestors practicing this kind of tradition so does he. Therefore, according to my understanding Muslims of this sub-continent are the innovator of this tradition. It is advisable to spend one’s utmost to remove this concept of mass Qur’aanic arrangement from Muslim community following the way of wisdom.
Allah knows best,