Benefitting the deceased

What can you do that will benefit the deceased?

“Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ‘When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah, knowledge which is beneficial or a virtuous descendant who prays for him’” – Muslim.

Whilst the opportunities no longer exist for the person who has left this world, family and friends of the deceased can perform rituals to benefit their loved one and ensuring on going rewards for them in the hereafter.

 These includes:

• Doing dua (supplication) for them

Ask for forgiveness and mercy for the deceased, salvation from the hell fire and that they may be elevated to the highest rank in paradise. Get in to a routine of offering dua for them especially after each salat

Prayers for forgiveness offered by both sons and daughters of the deceased bring great benefits, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “A man’s status will be raised in Paradise and he will ask, How did I get here? He will be told, by your son’s duas for forgiveness for you.” – Ibn Maajah

• Read the Quran on their behalf

• Visit the grave of the deceased

• Perform Umrah and Hajj in their name (once you have performed it for yourself)

• Donate to sadaqah jariyah (a continuous charity) causes in their name

Sa‘d bin ’Ubadah (ra) that he said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Umm (mother of) Sa‘d has died, so which charity is best?’ He [saw] replied, “Water (is best).” He said, ‘So he dug a well and said, “This (well) is for Umm Sa‘d”’.  – Abu Dawud

Examples of sadaqah jariyah include providing water supplies to the poor, sponsoring orphans, building mosques and orphanages, planting olive trees. Each of these will provide the deceased rewards as long as there is benefit for mankind on earth

• Sacrifice an animal on their behalf

• Fulfil vows of the deceased and pay off any debts they may still have

Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a woman came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “My mother made a vow to perform Hajj but she died before she could do it. Can I perform Hajj on her behalf?” He said, “Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf. Don’t you think that if your mother owed a debt you would pay it off?” She said, “Yes.” He said, “Then pay off what is owed to Allah, for Allah is more deserving of having vows fulfilled.”  – al-Bukhaari,

• Visit the deceased relatives (near and distant) and friends and talk good things about them

• Be a righteous Muslim yourself

Our faith is a religion of hope. We believe that death is not the end of our journey and that there is a life in the hereafter. God willing by performing these actions the deceased will benefit and you will receive solace.