Ruling on hiring people to recite Qur'an for the dead

Question:

What is the ruling on taking money in return for reciting the Qur’an? Is there a special event that falls due on the fortieth day or one year following the death of a person as people in Egypt believe? Was this common in the era of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or was it introduced by the later generations?

Answer:

Reciting the Qur’an for the souls of the dead or reciting it in the graves or hiring someone to recite it is an act of Bid`ah (innovation in religion) and is not permissible. Neither the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) did so.

It was authentically narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to extend Salam and ask forgiveness for the dead, and Muslims are commanded to imitate him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Do not make your houses graves. Verily, Satan flees from the house in which Surah Al-Baqarah is recited.1 this Hadith signifies that Qur’an should not be recited in the graves.

Similarly, people’s gathering to visit the graves following forty days or one year after someone’s death is also an act of Bidah that has no origin in the Shariah (Islamic law). In fact, this habit took place at the time when the Ummah (Muslim nation) was ignorant and weak.


  1. Musnad Ahmad, vol. 2, pp. 284, 373, and 388; Muslim, vol. 1, p. 539, no. 780; Al-Tirmidhy, vol. 5, p. 175, no. 2877; Al-Nasa’y, Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, vol. 7, p. 257, vol. 9, p. 754, nos. 7961 and 10735; Ibn Hibban, vol. 3, p. 62, no. 783. 

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions

  • Source(s): Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah, Fatwa no. 14409, Question 2
  • Mufti(s): Sh. Ibn Baz , Sh. Abdur-Razzaq Al-Afifi , Sh. Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan