The CHOICE of SADAQAH

The question asked of me is complex. The person has quoted the Qur’anic verse: “My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term, so I could give charity (Sadaqah) and be among the righteous,” (Surah Munafiqun 63:10). The questioner adds that the verse does not say Umrah nor Salat or Saum (fasting). The questioner states that scholars say that the dying person chooses Sadaqah due to the great effect it has after his death.

I am of the view that there is ALWAYS a need to take in the wider picture when discussing Islam and NOT just some aspect or feature of it. It is IMPORTANT to maintain an overall picture of reality as it really exist with Allah. Understanding the MAINFRAME of any issue is IMPORTANT. Answering a direct question produces specific answers without taking in the wider picture. (https://islamqa.info/en/42384)

In Surah Najm 53:39 Allah has revealed: “And that the human being can have nothing but what he has earned (good or bad).” This is the MAINFRAME of this subject. This is Allah’s position on reward. What you have after this are POSSIBILITIES mentioned by the Prophet (s.a.w.). ONE should NOT assume that these possibilities will work out. They are CONDITIONAL. A corrupt person at the time of death may declare that all his wealth should be given out in charity to benefit from an option (Hadith) but there is NO guarantee that it will work! Why? If everyone took a SHORTCUT in Islam, it (Islam) would end up a mockery! That is why the Wahabees clearly state that once a person dies, everything come to an end. The door is closed! Even if you perform Hajj or give out Sadaqah for the deceased (which of course is good), its acceptance lies with Allah. Please remember that even the Shafa’ah of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) in any matter is subject to “bi-iznillah” (by His permission). Everything is SUBJECTED to His Permission! Ask yourself, if you were the Prophet, would you simply intercede for anyone? Would you NOT fear and respect your Lord? The most you would do is to PLEAD, to seek His CONSIDERATION, COMPASSION, MERCY AND FORGIVENESS FOR THE DECEASED but the outcome STILL remains with ALLAH! 

Commenting on this verse, Ibnu Kathir, rahimahullah, said, “Imam ash-Shafi’i concluded from this ayah that reciting the Qur’an does not benefit the dead, because it is not from their doing and earning. For this reason, Allah’s Messenger, upon whom be peace, did not recommend it to his ummah, encourage them to do it, or guide them to it with a text or a hint. Nor was such a thing reported from any of the Sahabah. Had this been any good, they would have preceeded us in doing it. Matters of worship must be limited to the texts, and are not liable to modifications based on analogies and opinions.” [Tafsir Qur’an il-‘Adhim] (http://sunnahonline.com/library/beliefs-and-methodology/83-things-that-benefit-the-dead).

Any good deed that a Muslim starts during his lifetime, and that is of renewed benefit and ongoing use for the Muslims, will continue to benefit him and augment his record of good deeds, even after his departure – as long as its benefits continue to reach others. Allah Almighty has revealed, “We record that (deeds) which they have put forward and their traces (that which they have left behind),” (Surah Ya-Sin 36:12). (http://sunnahonline.com/library/beliefs-and-methodology/83-things-that-benefit-the-dead).

The Prophet (s.a.w) said, “After the death of a person, his actions stop, except three things that he leaves behind: First, continuous charity, Second, a knowledge from which some benefit may be obtained, Third, a virtuous son who make dua (pray, supplicate) on his behalf,” (Sahih Muslim). It is important to note that the context of this message deals with AFTER THE DEATH of a person, ALL ACTION on his/her part (the acquiring of rewards or sins) have STOPED except THREE things. The FIRST deals with CHARITY undertaken by the person when he/she was ALIVE. The SECOND, the  knowledge that a person delivered during his/her lifetime and its benefits (rewards) that continue to pour in after death, (do think about the evil you spread and which is continued by those who took your advice). And the THIRD, to possess VIRTUOUS RIGHTEOUS children, whose supplications can benefit the deceased.

Please remember that whatever the Prophet (s.a.w.) said is VALID. Whether you accept Ahadith (plural for Hadith) or not, that is your choice. However, what is important is VIEWING whatever he said in the RIGHT CONTEXT, taking in the wider picture and NOT any approach (shortcut), which is INCONCLUSIVE.

Your LIFE is like a REPORT CARD at school. It lists many subjects. Some you excel in while other you fail! The FINAL results show that you either have passed or failed. If YOU are a person who is JUST concerned with PASSING, that is NOT good enough. It is not the RIGHT APPROACH or ATTITUDE. One MUST strive for PERFECTION and if one fails, at least you TRIED!

What scholars say are valid because they are based on what has been said. It is VALID in that context BUT when you view it in a WIDER context, the opinions lose their ORIGINAL glamour! The OVERALL situation has to be ADOPTED!

Having said all this, do you think that giving out Sadaqah or holding a Qur’anic recital at home or at the grave of the deceased will benefit him or her? Only Allah knows the answer. However, I can say this much:

  1. We do so with the HOPE that Allah will forgive and reduced the burden of the deceased. There is NO guarantee that it will be accepted.
  2. We do so as AMAL because of good intentions; as a reminder to ourselves.
  3. We do so with the HOPE that others will make supplications (doa) for us when we are gone. Who knows…maybe the supplication of a righteous person MIGHT be heard by Allah. EVERYTHING is possible with Allah but we should NEVER assume that it will take place, because the Qur’an has NOT said so!
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