Ruling on giving the reward for righteous deeds to all the Muslims
Praise be to Allah
Giving the reward of righteous deeds to another Muslim, living or dead, is a matter concerning which there was a difference of opinion among the scholars (may Allah have mercy on them). We have previously discussed this issue on our website, and stated that the view which is most likely to be correct is that which says that no reward for any deed will reach the dead, except those which the religious texts indicate will reach him, such as charity and supplication (du‘aa’), because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives”
It is more appropriate to say that no reward for a righteous deed will reach all the Muslims; in fact Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: This way of giving away a reward was not narrated from any of the early generations.
Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about a man who, every time he completed the Qur’an or recited anything from it, would say: O Allah, give the reward for what I have recited as a gift from me to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), or to all the people of the earth, from east to west.
Is that permissible or recommended? Is it obligatory to object to this and denounce the one who does it? Did any of the Muslim scholars do that?
Among other things, he said:… Giving the reward of reading Qur’an to him (the Prophet – blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or to all the people of earth is like giving the reward of a voluntary fast or a voluntary prayer, and the like; it is like giving the reward of charity, manumitting a slave, or performing Hajj – according to one of the two views – to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and all the Muslims. We have not heard that any of the early generations, the Sahaabah, the Taabi‘een and those who followed them, did such a thing. The earliest report that we have heard of anyone doing any such thing mentions ‘Ali ibn al-Muwaffaq, who was one of the senior shaykhs who were contemporaries of Ahmad and the shaykhs of Junayd.
But giving the reward of good deeds to all the people is something that I have never heard of anyone doing, and I have not heard of anyone giving such reward to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), except for what I heard about ‘Ali ibn al-Muwaffaq and the like. But following the example of the Sahaabah and Taabi‘een, and their followers, is more appropriate. The individual should do what is prescribed of sending blessings and peace upon him. This is what Allah and His Messenger have enjoined, and in as-Sunan it is narrated from him (that he said): “Send a great deal of blessings upon me on Friday and the night before Friday, for your blessings will be presented to me.” Concerning the virtue of sending blessings upon him – may my father and mother be sacrificed for him – there are many reports, and we do not have the space to quote them all here. The same may be said about offering supplication (du‘aa’) for the believing men and women, and praying for forgiveness for them; this is what is mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women”
Deeds that are prescribed in the religious texts are the deeds that the believer should be keen to do. And Allah knows best.
End quote from Jaami‘ al-Masaa’il by Ibn Taymiyyah (4/209-213).
Based on that, it is not prescribed to give the reward for ‘umrah to all the Muslims. However, for the person who did that, we ask Allah, may He be exalted, to reward him with good for his good intention, but he should not do that again, and he shared stick to what the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) has prescribed for us, as Shaykh al-Islam said: Deeds that are prescribed in the religious texts are the deeds that the believer should be keen to do.
And Allah knows best.