Rasheed: The Hadith you have quoted regarding Umme Saad describes ‘Isaal-e-Sawaab’ as a kind of alms. “Which sadaqah is best for her” has come and alms are forbidden on ‘Syeds’ and rich. Then how come ‘Fatiha’ food is permissible for all?
Hameed: Before I answer to all your questions let me explain you about ‘Sadaqah’. Commonly ‘Sadaqah’ means giving alms to poor in exchange of life and money and while giving it, it is said that: “this is in turn of money and life of so and so person.” This ‘Sadaqah’ or alms are certainly forbidden for ‘Syeds’ and rich people. But here ‘Sadaqah’ in Umme Saad’s case is not giving alms but reward (Isaal-e-Sawaab) and in Arabic language every good action is called ‘Sadaqah’. In one of the Hadith it is said: “Kullu Maroof Sadaqah” that is every good action is ‘Sadaqah’. That is why ‘Sadaqah’ is the word used for good deed. Muslim and Bukhari have reported from Hazrath Ayesha Siddiqua R.A:
One man came to the Prophet SAW and said: “ my mother met a sudden death and if she would have talked, she would have asked me to give charity. If I give charity on her name, can I be rewarded like her?” Prophet Mohammed SAW replied: “Yes” (you will be rewarded as well).
Imam Nawawi explains this further saying that this Hadith is the prove of giving alms in the name of dead ones and that the reward not only goes to dead ones but also to the person who does it.And the entire muslim community has a concensus on this point.
These days there are several ‘Niyazat’ arranged in our society for Saints, for friends and relatives. The food served by the host is intended for some dead person, so the reward will be accorded to the dead person. Those who think of ‘Fatiha’ food as forbidden are incorrect because there is no reason for it. The ‘Fatiha’ food must be served exactly like the meet of ‘Eid-ul-Adha’ divisible into three parts: first part to be eaten by the self, second part to be gifted to the relatives and neighbours and the third part to be served to the poor.
When the food is prepared with the common view of ‘Sadaqah’ (alms) then the food is forbidden for the ‘Syeds’ and the rich. In short those who are permissible to receive ‘Zakat’ can receive Alms and those who are impermissible to ‘Zakat’ cannot eat food prepared in the name of charity. Secondly, when the host intention of ‘Isaal-e-Sawaab’ is to serve the poor then it is impermissible for the rich.
Rasheed: You have cleared a lot about ‘Isaal-e-Sawaab’ but can you throw some light on those animals which are freed or slaughtered in the name of saints, which is an unislamic deed and comes under “Uhilla Bihi-li- Ghairillah” (An animal slaughtered by calling a name other than Allah) then how the food prepared by it is lawful?
Hameed: The sad thing is people do not want to understand but they unnecessarily criticise which is a vice. First understand then your criticism will be aptly answered. All theologians and interpreters believe that the animal which is not slaughtered in the name of Allah is forbidden and that which is slaughtered saying “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar” is permissible. Then how come those animals slaughtered in the name of Allah come under the vice of “Uhilla Bihi-li- Ghairillah”. Look Prophet Mohammed SAW before slaughtering an animal used to call “Allahumma Haza min Mohammed”. “O Allah this is from Mohammed (SAW)”. All theologians believe that at the time of slaughtering goats infidels used to call “Laath and Uzza” names of idols. That is why slaughtering an animal by calling “Bismilla hi Allahu Akbar” was fixed. Similarly if any animal is slaughtered without calling this then the meat is forbidden. In this regard I quote an example: There are two animals brought in a place. The master of one animal is a Muslim and another’s a non-Muslim. Mulla Sahab did not call out “Bismillahi AllahuAkbar to a Muslim’s animal and called the same for a non-Muslim’s animal. Now tell me whose animal’s meet is permissible a Muslim’s or a non-Muslims?
Secondly, if at all we accept it as right then what critics has to say about the food served in weddings, Walimas, Aqeeqas, parties, and dinners arranged in which birds are roasted and goats are slaughtered. How come the food of ‘Fatiha’ be impermissible when the animals are not slaughtered in the name of Saints, where as the animals of ‘Eid-ul-Adha’ are slaughtered by the name of a certain person born of so and so.
Rasheed: You have not answered regarding the sheep and roosters being left in the name of Saints?
Hameed: Look! There is no question of forbidding. If a person who has brought sacrificial goat a year in advance, can this be regarded as forbidden? Actually regarding slaughtering animals, it is said that the more earlier the animals are brought and the more they are fed the better the reward is. When this is not forbidden then how can the animals freed in the name of a holy Saint be forbidden or impermissible?
One more very important thing to be understand is that it has come in Hadith that:
Narrated Umar bin Al-Khattab(RA)
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and
every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for."
That is if a person works with a particular intention he will be accounted for that. If a person slaughtered a goat with the intention of ‘Isaal-e-Sawaab’ (i.e. conveying reward of their good deed) to Saints or to relatives. It is beyond my understanding how can it be labelled as polytheism or infidelity. My advice is first understand then criticise. Without prior thinking to call some one a polytheist or infidel is an unacceptable approach.
Rasheed: Right! Now tell me about those people who proclaim that they benefited by organising ‘Fatiha’ ceremony of Hazrat Peeran-e-Peer (R.A) and incurred losses when they stopped it. How can Beloved of Allah SWT and Successors of Prophet Mohammed SAW can benefit people if they organise ‘Isaal-e-Sawaab’ and incur loses if they do not do? This thought seems to be wrong.
Hameed: Listen carefully! If a person gifted my kids some sweet or fruit or toys etc, then don’t you think it is my duty to pay him with something? Definitely!! The same is the case with Allah SWT the Lord of the Worlds. When we arrange ‘Isaal-e-Sawaab’ in the name of Allah’s beloveds, it vehement the mercy of Allah SWT and the impending tasks of the host are fulfilled. On the contrary, if one stops organising ‘Isaal-e-Sawaab’ then there will not be a reason for Allah’s mercy to vehement and such kind of blessings to prevail.