Writing the name of the deceased for Sadaqa Jaariyah

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Question:

Assalamualaykum.

If I build a masjid, madrasa or dig a borehole on behalf of our marhoomeen. Should I write their name on the building or have a board put next to the borehole with their name?

Jzk

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-Salāmu ‘Alaykum Wa-Rahmatullāhi Wa-Barakātuh.

We commend your desire to do good. May Allah Ta’ala accept and increase you in your efforts.

It is mentioned in a Hadith recorded in Sunan Abi Dawood:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِذَا مَاتَ الإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ ثَلاَثَةِ أَشْيَاءَ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ ‏”‏

Hadhrat Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه narrates:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: When a man dies, his action discontinues from him except three things, namely, perpetual sadaqah (charity), or the knowledge by which benefit is acquired, or a pious child who prays for him.[1]

It is also recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari:

أَنْبَأَنَا ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ سَعْدَ بْنَ عُبَادَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ أَخَا بَنِي سَاعِدَةَ تُوُفِّيَتْ أُمُّهُ وَهُوَ غَائِبٌ عَنْهَا، فَأَتَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ أُمِّي تُوُفِّيَتْ وَأَنَا غَائِبٌ عَنْهَا، فَهَلْ يَنْفَعُهَا شَيْءٌ إِنْ تَصَدَّقْتُ بِهِ عَنْهَا؟ قَالَ: «نَعَمْ»، قَالَ: فَإِنِّي أُشْهِدُكَ أَنَّ حَائِطِيَ المِخْرَافَ صَدَقَةٌ عَلَيْهَا

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas states that Hadhrat Sa‘d bin Ubadah was from among the Banu Sa‘idah and when his mother passed away, he was not present at the time. He went to the Holy Prophet ﷺ and said, “O Messenger ﷺ of Allah! My mother has passed away and at the time I was not present at the time of her demise. If I offer some Sadaqah on her behalf will this grant her any benefit?” The Holy Prophet ﷺ  replied, “Yes.” Hadhrat Sa‘d then stated, “O Messenger ﷺ of Allah! I make you my witness that I donate my orchard, Mikhraf, on her behalf.”[2]

It is clear from the above narrations that it is commendable to offer acts of virtue on behalf of the deceased and that if a person does so, the benefit of such actions will be granted to the deceased for whom it was intended, irrespective of whether there is a physical board or tag indicating the deceased person’s name.

If a person sees benefit in putting the deceased’s name next to his charity, such as people who use the item will remember and make dua for them, then there will be no harm in doing so.

It should be in borne in mind that the best of charity is that which is given secretly with only the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala as the goal.

It is recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ إِلاَّ ظِلُّهُ….. وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَأَخْفَاهَا حَتَّى لاَ تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُهُ

Hadhrat Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه narrates:

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Seven people will be shaded by Allah Ta’ala under His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His…..a person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.[3]

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best.

Mohammad Peer

Student Darul Iftaa
Harrismith, South Africa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Muhammad Zakariyya Desai.

Writing the name of the deceased for Sadaqa Jaariyah