Distributing food as Isal al-thawab for the deceased


What do the scholars and experts of shariah say regarding the distribution of food after the death of a relative or friend. Usually this is performed fifteen days following the death. They say that through this pious act the deceased will gain mercy and reward. What is the ruling in this matter?


All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.

If the family or friends of the deceased person wish to distribute food for the Isal al-thawab (conveyance of reward) for the deceased, then this is considered a permissible act of kindness. For example, they say “O Allah! Bestow upon so and so the reward of this good deed.” There should be no dispute in this matter because there are many ahadiths which demonstrate its permissibility.

Sayyida Aisha reported: A man came to the Prophet ﷺ, and said, “My mother has suddenly passed away. Had she been able to speak, she would have given in charity. Will it benefit her if I give charity on her behalf?” The Prophet said, “Yes.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

A person can send Isal al-thawab to a deceased at any time. Likewise it is permissible to specify a time and gather people to collectively send reward to the deceased.

And Allah ﷻ knows best.

This fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari

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