FATEHA AND EISAAL-E-THAWAAB
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
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 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 Shuyookh 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 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).
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).
This book provides evidence from Quran and Sunnah that Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawaab is an obligation on all of us to help our dead. This book is an important read for all Muslims of the world.
Eisaal-e-Thawaab is Sunnah proved by so many Ahadith and Fateha is one of the kinds of Eisaal-e-Thawaab.
(i) It is in Hadith - Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) narrated 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'. (Bukhari, Muslim)
(ii) It is in Quran - Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds. That is a reminder for the mindful (those who accept advice). (Hud - 114)
(iii) 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-Anaam - 160)
(iv) It is in Quran - "Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Furqan - 70)
(v) It is in Hadith - Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated 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) 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 (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) , He deserves to be paid more than anybody else". (Bukhari, Muslim)
(vi) It is in Hadith - Buraidah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated that when he 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? The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, 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". (Muslim)
(vii) It is in Hadith - 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 هذهِ لي اُمِّ سَعد [ this well is for the mother of Sa'ad - رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)]. Both rich and poor used to drink water from that well. (Abu Dawood, Nasa'i).
The above Quranic verses and Hadith 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 Life after death. If we recite 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.
Indeed, our good deeds done with the intention to benefit our dead carry unlimited Thawaab to them and help in removal of their bad deeds and/or convert their bad deeds into good ones. This way they get significant assistance from the living people in the living conditions in the Life after death.
What do we do in Fateha. We cook food and read the verses of Quran and feed the people and convey the recompense to our dead relatives. It is important that we repeat Fateha more often so that our dead relatives get more thawaab. Thus Eisaal-e-Thawaab is a requirement established by Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and is in practice since the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
The deviant sects like Salafis, Deobandis mislead Muslims against Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawaab. They say that if you sacrifice an animal for Eisaal-e-thawaab for some Wali Allah or dead Muslim, this is Haraam. With this logic, they claim the food of Fateha is Haraam.
It is in Hadith - 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 [O'Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) this is for you and from you. O'Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) 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 [O'Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), this is from the ones (your servants) who stood witness to my conveying your Message.] (Abu Dawood, Ahmad).
Slaughtering of animals for deities is different from sacrificing them in the name of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) for conveying recompense (thawaab) to the needy.
All Muslims in the world sacrifice animals by saying "Bismillahi Allahu Akbar". Where is shirk in it? Muslims sacrifice animals in the name of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and supplicate Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) to convey its thawaab to the dead Muslims. What is wrong in it? But Wahhabis/Salafis/Deobandis and their like minded go against the established principles of Islam.
Wahhabism/Salafism was invented in Arabian Peninsula in 18th century AD by Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab who took Quranic verses revealed for the Mushrikeen of Makka and applied them on Muslim Ulema, Awliya Allah, Sufi Shuyookh and general Muslims and said those who do Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawaab are similar to the Mushrikeen of Makka. He branded all Muslim Ulema/Awliya and Shuyookh of 1000 years before him as Mushrikeen.
It is in Quran - إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ [ He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced by necessity, neither desiring nor transgressing, there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.]. (Al-Baqara - 173)
It is in Quran - وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ [Whatever is sacrificed in the name of anyone other than Allah is forbidden).] (Al-Maa'ida - 3)?
What is the purport of the command that 'a thing which has been dedicated to other than Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is forbidden'?
It is with reference to what we intend and commit by saying at the time of sacrificing the animal. The Makkan pagans used to say - بسم اللاتِ والعُزَى ['Bismillati wal Uzza' - In the name of Laat and Uzza - the deities of Makkan pagans]. Against this, it was established in Islam that Muslims say - بسم اللهِ اللهُ اكبر [ Bismillahi Allahu Akbar - In the name of Allah and Allah is Supreme].
Islam teaches us to take the name of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) before everything we do.
It is in Hadith - It is narrated by Abu Hurairah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : 'Every thing which does not start with the praise of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is vitiated, devoid of virtue] (Musnad Ahmed).
This is the reason Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawab is so popular among Muslims. We cook food, sacrifice animals in the name of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and dedicate recompense (thawaab) to Awliya Allah and dead Muslims. The people who are dead surely get benefited from Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawaab in life after death.
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 by deviant sects?
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?
Because it is Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Sunnah to keep food in front and read Quran over it. It is a Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) practice for barakah in the food.
It is in Hadith - It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that we were accompanying the Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in a march (towards Tabuk). He (the narrator) said : The provisions with the people were almost depleted. He (the narrator) said : (And the situation became so critical) that they (the men of the army) decided to slaughter some of their camels. He (the narrator) said : Upon this Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said : Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), I wish that you should pool together what has been left out of the provisions with the people and then invoke (the blessings of) Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) upon it. He (the narrator) said : He (the Prophet ﷺ) did it accordingly. He (the narrator) said : The one who had wheat in his possession came there with wheat. He who had dates with him came there with dates. And Mujahid said : He who possessed stones of dates came there with stones. I (the narrator) said : What did they do with the date-stones. They said : They (the people) sucked them and then drank water over them. He (the narrator said) : He (the Prophet ﷺ) invoked the blessings (of Allah) upon them (provisions). He (the narrator) said : (And there was such a miraculous increase in the stocks) that the people used their provisions fully (all through the journey). He (the narrator) said : At that time he (the Prophet ﷺ) said : I bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and I am His Apostle. The servants who would meet Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) without having any doubt about these would enter heaven. (Muslim)
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 death anniversary of Ghousul Azam (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), or on 40th day after the death of a person and on certain other occasions?
Because it is Sunnah to keep specific days for specific works. There are so many Ahadith which describe that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) fixed the days, dates and timings of specufuc things. This is the reason Ahle Sunnah wal Jama'a fix the dates for doing good deeds like Eisaal-e-Thawaab.
(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.
It is important that when we intend to do a good thing, we should fix the time and inform people in advance about it so that they do not forget in view of their preoccupations with other things.
It is important that people learn Islam in the company of Shuyookh of Ihsan so that they are not misled by the evil rhetoric of deviant sects.
It is in Quran - وَمَا عَلَيْنَا إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ [And our duty is only to proclaim the clear message."] (Ya seen - 17)