Observe the Hadeeth mentioned under number 2 and 28 – it specifically mentions the deceased leaving behind a copy of the Holy Quran. It is very clear that when the heir will read from it, the reward will be passed on to the deceased.!!!
We have also cited the practice of the Sahaba (may Allah be well pleased with them) who used to gather at the house of Syedna Anas, and that should suffice as proof.
As regards having 30 or so persons reading the Holy Quran separately, it would not have been possible at the time of the Holy Prophet () or the Sahaba (may Allah be well pleased with them) immediately after him since the Holy Quran was not compiled, nor was it printed. The first compilation was hand written, and then only a few manuscripts were copied for preservation. The number of companions who had memorized the entire Quran were just a few. Also most of the early companions knew the Quran only in small parts, and that too not in the order we have it printed today. It would have thus been very difficult for them to coordinate reciting the entire Holy Quran in one sitting. The practice followed now is a matter of convenience and in no way can be termed against Sunnah.
It is also a very convenient way for the poor Muslims (who cannot afford charity, Hajj or sacrifice etc) to convey reward to their near ones, by reciting alone, or by arranging such recitation in mosques, homes etc.
We do not find any proof within Islamic Sources that forbid the holding of the Quran Khuwanee on the 3rd, 10th or 40th day. Nor is it compulsory to do it on these very days. After all, this is a Mustahab Act, not a compulsory act (which usually has a time limit). From the prayers for the dead mentioned in the Quran and Hadeeth, there is no time limit. The Holy Prophet (), and the Sahaba (may Allah be well pleased with them) prayed for all Muslims, no matter when they had died. The Holy Quran also commands us likewise for our parents. However, these are scheduled for the following reasons:
- It is easier to remember. If not planned or programmed, it will never be held. Look, the Holy Quran commands us to offer prayer, but does not command us to put up notices within our mosques declaring the congregation timings, or to announce the Azaan on loud speakers – but we do that although Muslims are aware of the 5 daily prayers.
- The Holy Prophet () used to regularly visit the graves of the martyrs of Uhud regularly once every week. He also exhorted others to visit Uhud, and greet the martyrs. (See Hadeeth above). It is also mentioned that he offered charity on their behalf. The actions of the Holy Prophet () (i.e. visiting every week) are a very good example for us.
- The 3rd day probably signifies the end of the permitted mourning period (except for widows). It is also the last day for people to pay condolences. So the last thing to do before the mourning ends would be, of course, to pray for the departed soul.
- The 10th day means that a week has passed by after the mourning period. It is therefore chosen as a grim reminder.
- The number 40 occurs in the Quran and Hadeeth in many places. It is an important number to indicate change from one state to another. According to some Hadeeth, the fetus in the womb of a mother changes from one state to another every forty days. Holy Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was asked by Allah to spend forty nights at mount Sinai (al-Baqarah 2:51). Bani Israil were kept wandering in the wilderness of Sinai for forty years (al-Ma’idah 5:26). Holy Prophet Mohammed () was bestowed with revelation from the Holy Quran at the age of forty. If 40 Muslims attend a funeral and pray for the deceased’s salvation, their intercession will be accepted by Allah. And there are many other important events in history associated with the number 40. The 40th day also means that a month has passed by since the last grim reminder.
- The annual day speaks for itself. Another year has passed – even for the person who is alive.
Please note a person may be saddened by the loss of someone near for his entire life – there is nothing forbidden in it – but he may not “mourn” the loss after 3 days (except in case of widows).
We must also remember that:
- These are occasions of solemnity, and not ostentation or show.
- The purpose should be seeking Allah’s pleasure, of conveying reward to the departed soul, and praying for their salvation.
- These occasions should serve as reminders of our own deaths and the after life.
- Giving charity to the needy & deserving, alongwith such recitations, on behalf of the deceased is commendable.
- The conveyance of reward not only benefits the deceased but also has immense reward for the doers of the good, and they remind them of the hereafter. The person performing the good deed gets the reward multiplied by the number of people to whom the reward was conveyed !!
May Allah keep us on the Straight Path – A’ameen. Peace and abundant blessings be upon the Holy Prophet, his family, his companions and his entire Ummah. A’ameen.