SURAH YASȊN, CHAPTER 36:
It has become customary amongst Muslims all over the world for decades to recite Surah Yasȋn, (chapter 36) for seeking blessings for the dead. This idea of seeking blessings for the dead by reciting Surah Yasȋn has been encouraged by the ‘learned scholars’ and the masses have made it a habit to do so. We find in many houses 30 of the Surah Yasȋn booklets, and some houses have 41 and more. I do not understand why there has to be this specific numbers.
However, the numbers is of no real significance in this discussion, because others may insist to have one hundred or even more. What needs to be examined and answered from the Divine Book, Al-Qur’ân is: - does it benefit the dead person or not? Let me take the following example:
WHAT IS THE REASON FOR REVELATION?
To begin let us quote the following verse from the Divine Book Itself:
Chapter 16 verse 64: “And We (i.e. Allâh) sent down the Book (Al-Qur’ân) to thee (Muhammad) for the Express Purpose, that thou (Muhammad) should make Clear to them those things in which they differ[, and that IT (Al-Qur’ân) should be a Guide and a Mercy to those who Believe.”
Let us now pose the question: can reciting Surah Yasȋn be of any help to the dead? I quote the following verses from the very chapter that is under discussion to get an answer:
Chapter 36 verse 69: “[…]: This is no less than a Message and a Qur’ân making things clear:”
Chapter 36 verse 70: “That IT (Al-Qur’ân) may give admonition to any (who are) ALIVE, and that the charge may be proved against those who reject (Truth).”
According to the two verses above it is absolutely clear that the recitation of Surah Yasȋn, as well as the whole Qur’ân is for admonition for those who are ALIVE! There is no benefit at all in reciting for the dead because how can one admonish the dead? That becomes illogical. A person who is dead cannot hear, cannot be admonished, and so cannot benefit as the following verse informs us:
Chapter 35 verse 22: “Nor are alike those that are Living and those that are dead. Allâh can make any that He (i.e. Allâh) wills to hear; but thou canst not make those to hear who are (buried) in graves.” (An absolutely clear verse! Dead cannot hear!)
Although the verses in Surah Yasȋn above are crystal clear, as well as the verse in chapter 16 verse 64, the reason for Revelation, and Chapter 35 verse 22, dead cannot hear and by implication cannot benefit, many will still want to dispute this because they have been taught by the ‘learned scholars’ that it will benefit the dead.
Let us study the meanings of just the first few verse of Surah Yasȋn so that we can understand what the message in the verses is, and if it will benefit the dead:
SURAH YASȊN: VERSES 1 TO 12:
1: “YÂ SȊN.
2: By the Qur’ân, full of Wisdom,-
3: Thou (Muhammad) art indeed one of the messengers,
4: on a straight way.
5: IT (Al-Qur’ân) is a Revelation sent down by (Allâh), the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful.
6. In order that thou (Muhammad) mayest admonish a people, whose fathers had received no admonition, and who therefore remain heedless (of the signs) ayat of Allâh.
7: the word is proved true against the greater part of them: for they do not believe.
8: WE (i.e. Allâh) have put yokes round their necks right up to their chins, so that their heads are forced up (and they cannot see).
9: and WE (i.e. Allâh) have put a bar in front of them and a bar behind them, and further, WE (i.e. Allâh) have covered them up; so that they cannot see.
10: the same is it to them whether thou (Muhammad) admonish them or thou (Muhammad) do not admonish them: they will not believe.
11: Thou (Muhammad) canst but admonish such a one as follows the Message and fears the (Lord) Most Gracious, unseen: give such a one, therefore, good tidings, of forgiveness and a reward most generous.
12: Verily WE (i.e. Allâh) shall give life to the dead, and WE (i.e. Allâh) record that which they send before and that which they leave behind, and of all things have WE (i.e. Allâh) taken account in a Clear Book (of evidence).”