Many muslims do `Khatams` for dead relatives every week. Does this have any basis in Islam or is it a part of culture?
In the name of Allah the most Beneficent and Merciful
Remembering the deceased is not only a pious act but a Sunnah. Imam Nawawi narrates in his Sharah of Sahih Muslim that The Messenger of Allah used to go on a regular basis to the mount of Uhud to remember the Martyrs.
The position of the Hanafis that a Muslim is entitled to donate the reward of any kind of worship he performs to whomever he wishes of the Muslim dead. The evidence is as follows;
Bukhari and Muslim relate that the Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) sacrificed two rams of predominantly white colour, one for himself and the other for his Ummah. The evidence therein is that the Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) offered sacrifice animals and donated the reward to his community, which includes both the living and the dead, both those who existed at his time and those who came after.
Anas relates the he said to the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) “Oh Messenger of Allah, we give in charity, perform the pilgrimage, and supplicate for our dead. Does this reach them?” He replied, “Yes, indeed it reaches them, and they rejoice thereat just as one of you rejoices at the gift of a tray of food”. (Abu Hifzul Kabi Akbari, Fatahul Qadir)
The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said “Whoever dies with an obligatory fast to perform, his responsible family member may fast it in his stead.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said “Recite Ya Sin (Quran 36) over your dead.” (Abu Dawood)
There are many other evidences to support this great act.
So to remember the deacesd by performing Halal acts is a good thing, but one must not regard it as an obligation or look down upon people who don`t.
Of course Allah knows best
[Answer provided by: Muhammad Salim Ghisa]