What Benefits The Deceased?
What are the things which benefit the deceased by way of the living? And is there a difference between physical and non-physical acts of worship? We hope you will clarify these issues for us, and outline a rule which we could refer to whenever we come across issues such as these; please provide us with a fatwa, and may Allah grant you blessings in your affairs?
The deceased benefits from the actions of the living by way of that which authentic evidence indicates permissibility - from supplication for the deceased, and the seeking of forgiveness for him (the deceased) and giving in charity on his behalf and performing the Hajj and the Umrah on his behalf and paying off his debts and executing his Islamic will; all of these have been legislated for.
And some of the scholars have attached to this all acts of worship which a Muslim does deeming their reward for another Muslim who is alive or dead.
However, that which is correct is to limit oneself to that which authentic evidence indicates permissibility as this will be in accordance with His saying:
"And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad) " [Noble Quran 53:39]
And Allah is the most knowledgeable of all affairs.
Sheikh Salih Ibn Fawzan