What do the scholars of Sharia say: My mother in law passed away in KSA 2 days ago. What does the Quran and Hadith recommend for mourners in terms of what we should read from the Quran/what special duas we can supplicate during these days after the death – and going forward (40th day etc).
Dr Naseem Ansari
May Allah bless her, make her journey in the barzakh easy, a place of rest. Ameen. Your wife must be distraught, may Allah give her patience to bear this heartbreak.
You asked what should the family do?
The mourning period according to the sunnah is only three days; time to grieve and side-step routine works, because your beloved has passed away. To feel and express sadness, by crying and sobbing but not wailing. Wailing is forbidden, it is crying with pain, moaning, groaning with high pitched crying or beating the breast. It’s expressing anger with the Lord, that’s why its wrong to wail particularly if its accompanied by phrases that show ingratitude to the lord.
The best thing to do during the three day of mourning is to encourage family and friends to recite the Quran and do zikr. So, when people come to pay condolences its best have Surat Yasin, portions of the Quran or Tasbeehs accessible. The best way of benefitting the deceased is to do sadaqa for them, give money from their inheritance for charitable purposes.
Iṣāl al-thawāb and Khatam Sharif
Journey to the Afterlife also refers to a theological concept that explains the traditional Islamic practices of reciting the Qurʾān and then blessing the soul of the deceased person. It is also known as Khatam Sharīf, referring to the complete reading of the Qurʾān followed by blessing of the deceased. As mentioned, these practices have been questioned by some Muslims, but they remain accepted and important within the mainstream of traditional Islam. Journey to the Afterlife comments on the assumption underlying these practices—that it is possible for us to bring spiritual help to the deceased.
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 the best
For more read my book Journey to the afterlife by Dr Musharraf Hussain:
I pray for you and your wife May Allah grant you patience and reward. Ameen
This fatwa is written by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari