Hiring a reciter to recite the Qur.aan after the death of a Muslim
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Question: If someone from amongst us dies, we call the imaam to recite the Qur.aan for a period of five days, and thereafter, we slaughter (a sheep/goat) and divide it amongst the people. This is the custom we have found (our people to be upon) and (have therefore) continued upon. What is the ruling regarding this act O Noble Shaykh, (and) may Allaah grant you blessings (in your affairs)?
This act is a prohibited innovation; The hiring of a reciter for five days to recite (the Qur.aan) after the death of the ill person, there is no basis for this in the religion of Islaam, and neither do the living nor the dead benefit (from this). And our pure and unadulterated religion has explained for us what should be done with the deceased; That he should be prepared by washing (his body) and then shrouded and prayed upon, and then buried, and to supplicate for him and to perform the Hajj and the 'Umrah on his behalf, and to give in charity on his behalf, and to offer a sacrifice on his behalf at the time of the sacrifice (after 'Eed al-Adh.haa); This is what has been legislated for the deceased.
As for hiring someone to recite the Qur.aan for a specified number of days and to slaughter (a sheep/goat) after the completion (of the recitation), (then) all of this is burdensome and from the innovations and deviations. And they do not benefit the living and nor the dead, rather, they are from the harmful and innovative actions, and there is no reward for the recitation of the hired person because the reciter is not reciting seeking the reward for the recitation, rather he is reciting seeking the monetary benefit which will be paid to him, and the acts of worship are not to be done for monetary gain.
Shaykh Saailh ibn Fowzaan
al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan - Volume 2, Page 160, Fatwa No.138