Conveying the rewards of the good deeds of the living to the deceased
Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki

Sayyid Muhammad ibn 'Alawi al-Maliki (1947-2004) was, during his lifetime, one of the most prominent intellectual opponents of the official Saudi religious orthodoxy, known as Salafism.

Born into a scholarly Hijazi family, he authored close to a hundred books on Islamic belief, law, spirituality, Quran, Hadith, history and biography. His views brought him into frequent conflict with the religious authorities and he was forced to relinquish his university post and ancestral chair of teaching within the precincts of the Masjid ul Haram in the 1980's. But because of his considerable stature he continued to enjoy a significant degree of royal support and was appointed head adjudicator of the official national Qira'ah competition. He passed away in Ramadan 2004 after complications arising from diabetes.

By Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki
Published on 08/20/2010
The Tahqiq ul Amal fi ma yanfa ul mayyit min a 'amal [The realization of aspirations regarding that which benefits the deceased from among good deeds] is a polemical engagement on matters around the issue of isal thawab 'ala al mayyit, that is, the living gifting the rewards of their good deeds to the deceased. The typical Salafi position allows this under stipulations delimited by certain ahadith. The conferral of deeds not covered by these stipulations are regarded as bid'ah- a blameworthy innovation. The traditional recital of the Quran (particularly Surah Ya Sin) in order to confer its reward to the latter, its group recitation or recitation at the grave for the same purpose, the recital of the tahlil and so forth would all, at various levels of severity, be regarded as problematic.