The entire structure of humanity rests upon mutual help and collective effort among human beings. Human rights have been best protected by law in Islam. There are rights of relatives, neighbors, parents and even our dead people. It is an Islamic obligation upon the living people to do something for their dead which helps them in their lives in Hereafter.
How can we forget our dead, particularly our parents, teachers and Shuyook who have helped us so much during their life times. What kind of human beings we are if we resort to destroying their graves soon after their deaths in the name of Islam and treat their graves like deities (idols) and associate shirk with them? What kind of Islam the Salafis and their like minded groups preach that treats their dead in a most humiliating and insulting manner?
Reading of Quran, fasting, charity, feeding people, construction of mosques or schools in the name of our dead relatives etc., are a few ways by which we can donate recompense (Thawaab) for them. This helps them in increasing their comforts (if they were good Muslims) and in reducing their torment (if they were sinful Muslims).
Eisaal-e-Thawaab is Sunnah proved by so many Ahadith and Fateha is one of the kinds of Eisaal-e-Thawaab.
It is in Hadith (Bukhari and Muslim), narrated by Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that a person came to the audience of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and submitted that his sister had made a vow (nazr) that she would do Hajj. But She died without doing it. On this the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and submitted that his sister had made a vow ( said, "if she had a loan, would you pay it? He said, yes I would. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, pay the loan due to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) , He deserves to be paid more than anybody else".
It is in Hadith (Muslim), narrated by Hazrat Buraidah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) saying 'when I was sitting with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), a woman came and said, O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), I had given a slave maid to my mother and now my mother is dead. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, your retribution (Jaza) is a certainty and the inheritance has returned that slave maid back to you. Then the woman said, O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) my mother had an obligation to keep one month's fasts. Shall I keep fasts on her behalf? Again she said, O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) she had never done Hajj. Shall I do Hajj on her behalf? The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said , do Hajj on her behalf".
It is in Hadith - that a "sweet water well" was dug for the (dead) mother of Hazrat Sa'ad (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) (in Madina during Prophet Mohammad's - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time and it was announced "Haazihi li Umme Sa'ad" (Meaning - this well is for the mother of Sa'ad - رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). Both rich and poor used to drink water from this well. (Abu Dawood and Nasa'i).
It is in hadith (Bukhari and Muslim), narrated by the mother of believers Aisha Siddiqua (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) that a person came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and said O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) my mother died all of a sudden. In my opinion if she had lived, she would have done some charity. If I do it on her behalf, will she get the recompenses (thawaab)? The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said 'Yes'.
The above Ahadith confirm Eithaal-e-Thawaab to the dead. If we do any charity or good deeds and donate the recompense to them, they get it in Barzaq (Life after death). If we read Quran, feed the poor or do any kind of charity and donate the recompense to our dead relatives, it reaches them in Hereafter and is beneficial for them.
It is in Hadith - Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: " اقرآعلى موتكم يس (Meaning - Read Sura Ya Seen over those of you who are dying/deceased." This Hadith is narrated by Abu Dawud in his Sunan (Jana'iz), al-Nasa'i in his Sunan (`Amal al-yawm wal-layla), Ibn Majah in his Sunan (Jana'iz), and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih.
It is in Hadith - Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said "three things continue to benefit a (believing) person even after death - charity which he had given (which continues to benefit others), beneficial knowledge which he had left behind (i.e. authored or taught), and supplication on his behalf by a righteous child. (Muslim).
It is in Quran - Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder for the mindful (those who accept advice). (Hud - 114)
It is in Quran - Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged. (Al-An-Aam - 160)
It is in Quran - "Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Furqan - 70)
It is in Hadith - (Bukhari wo Muslim). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said that if a person intends to do a good thing, he gets one recompense in his book of good deeds. If the person, after the intention does that good deed, 10 recompense are written in his book of good deeds.
It is in Hadith - (Bukhari wo Muslim). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said that Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) increases the recompense of the good deeds up to 700 times in some cases and beyond that to some people.
The above Quranic verses and Ahadith signify the importance of Eisaal-e-Thawaab to our dead relatives. Who knows, our good deeds done with the intention to benefit them carry unlimited Thawaab to them and help in removal of their bad deeds or converts their bad deeds into good ones. This way they get significant assistance from the living people to increase their Thawaab even after their deaths.
What do we do in Fateha. We cook food and read the verses of Quran and feed the people and send the recompense to our dead relatives. It is important that we repeat Fateha more often so that our dead relatives get more thawaab.
Why do we keep the cooked food in front of us while reading Quran on it during Fateha?
It is for the simple reason that while doing Fateha, we determine our offering for the recompense of our dead relatives. It is in Ahadith that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) asked a small container of food prepared for two or three people, read some Quranic verses on them which resulted in Barakah and the food was sufficient to feed hundreds of people.
It is in Hadith - عن أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : (كُلُّ كَلَامٍ أَوْ أَمْرٍ ذِي بَالٍ لَا يُفْتَحُ ببسم الله فَهُوَ أَبْتَرُ - رواه الإمام أحمد في " المسند " (14/329) طبعة مؤسسة الرسالة ، وآخرون كثيرون من أصحاب السنن والمسانيد [Meaning - Every thing which does not start with the praise of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is vitiated, devoid of virtue] (Musnad Ahmed).
Thus Fateha is a requirement established by Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) commandment and is in practice since the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
In Fateha, generally people read one time Sura Fateha, three times Sura Iqhlas (it is in Hadith that the recompense of reading 3 times Surah Ikhlas is equal to one full Quran), three times Durood Sharif and in the end Dua for our dead relatives. We do not understand what is wrong in it and why it is objected?
Why should we do things in a specific way? Put the food in front, read Quran on it and feed people. Can't we feed the people without doing any such thing?
It is a Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) practice for barakah in the food. In addition, how How can you do things in a haphazard way? When people are invited for Fateha, you should allow them to join you in reciting Quran. When all the people join in a social gathering, in reading Quran and in eating, the beneficiaries of such are many dead relatives of all the people who have gathered for Fateha.
Why should we do Fateha at a specific time in a year.? Like at the time of Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) birth day, at the time of the birth day of Ghousul Azam (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), on 40th day after the death of a person and on certain other occasions?
Because it is Sunnah.
(i) It is in Ahadith that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to keep fast on the 'Day of Arafat', Ashura, 15th Shabaan.
(ii) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) commanded us to perform Child's Aqeeqa on the 7th Day of birth.
(iii) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) went to Ghazwa-e-Tabook on Thursday and he preferred to start journey on Thursdays.
(iv) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to keep fast on Mondays and Thursdays.
(v) He (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to go to Masjid-e-Quba on Saturdays.
There are so many Ahadith which tell us that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) fixed the days, dates and timings of many things. This is the reason Ahle Sunnah wal Jama'a fix the dates for doing good deeds like Eisaal-e-Thawaab.
It is important that when we intend to do a good thing, we should fix the time in advance so that we do not forget to do it or ignore it because of certain preoccupations.
Some people purchase goats, chicken (birds) and other halal animals in advance with the intention to use them as food for Fateha (Eisaal-e-Thawaab).
Is it polytheism to say that "such sacrificial animal(s) is/are for 'conveying recompense (eisaal-e-thawaab) for a dead person"?
Please explain what is forbidden under the Quranic commandment وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ " Wama Uhilla lighairillahi bihi " (Meaning - Whatever is sacrificed in the name of anyone other than Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی is forbidden). (Al-Maa'ida - 3)?
We refer to so many things ( in our day to day conversation) 'as ours'. Like this goat I have purchased for certain Fateha, this house is mine, this is my wife, this is his / her food or this bike or car belongs to so and so. If we take the literal meanings of وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ (Meaning - Whatever is sacrificed in the name of anyone other than Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی - is forbidden), then it will become very difficult to talk.
If someone takes the literal meanings of the above verse and refer his house as 'Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) house, then his house will become an endowment (Waqf property).
The purport of the above verse وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ is with reference to what we intend and say at the time of sacrificing the animal.
The Makkan apostates used to say 'Bismillati wal Uzza' (Meaning - In the name of Laat and Uzza - the deities of Makkans).
Against this, it was established that Muslims say "Bismillahi Allahu Akbar" [Meaning - In the name of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی), and Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is Supreme].
It is in Abu Dawood and other Ahadith books - that at the time of sacrificing the animals Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to say اللهمَّ هذا منكَ ولك - اللهمَّ هذا عن محمدٍ وآلِ - بسم الله اللهُ اكبر [Meaning - O'Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) this is for you and from you. O'Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) this is from Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and 'Aal-e-Nabi (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) '. In the name of Allah who is Supreme]. And - اللهمَّ انّ هذا عَن شَهِدَ نِي بِى البَلاغ [Meaning - O'Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) this is from the ones (your servants) who stood witnessed to my conveying your Message] .
Slaughtering of animals for deities is different from sacrificing them in the name of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) for conveying recompense.
Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab took Quranic verses revealed for the Mushrikeen of Makka and applied them to Muslim Ulema, Awliya Allah, Sufi Shaikhs and others and said those who perform Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawaab are similar to the Mushrikeen of Makka. He branded all Muslim Ulema / Awliya and Shaikhs of 1000 years before him as Mushrikeen by misinterpreting Quranic verses.
Ill mannerism proves ignorance from Islamic fiqh. With Salafis, even if a reference is made to a thing towards a human being it becomes so impure that even the name of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) cannot purify it. Salafis should know that all Muslims in the world sacrifice animals by saying "Bismillahi Allahu Akbar". Where is the shirk in it?
Look at the Salafi Deeds. Salafis and their like minded groups sacrifice animals in the name of their Sky Idol God during Hajj, on Eid al-Adha and other occasions. When they say Bismillahi Allahu Akbar - they imagine a Sky Idol sitting over the skies with a huge human like physical body. They sacrifice animal for this Sky Idol God. Thus, their recording angels treat this sacrifice as Haraam, similar to what Makkan Apostates used to do for their Idol Gods. Read more...
It is in Quran - وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ (Meaning - Whatever is sacrificed in the name of anyone other than Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی - is forbidden). (Al-Maa'ida - 3).
With the above facts in view, ask any Ahle Sunnah Mufti, he will surely say that the meat of the animals sacrificed by Salafis and their like minded Groups is Haraam in Islam and Muslims should avoid this meat as far as possible.