Gifting the reward of doing the Tawaaf to someone
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Question: A woman asks: When I was in Makkah al-Mukarramah, I received news that a relative of mine had died; So I performed the tawaaf for her - seven times around the Ka'bah - and made the intention for her (to receive the reward). Is this permissible?
Yes, it is permissible for you to perform the tawaaf - seven times - and render the reward for whoever you wish from the Muslims; This is what is common from the madh.hab of Imaam Ahmad (rahima-hullaah); That any act of worship a Muslim performs and gifts its reward for a(nother) Muslim, dead or alive, then that will benefit him whether it be (a) wholly physical (act of worship) such as the salaah and the tawaaf or (a) wholly monetary (act of worship) such as sadaqah (donating), or a combination of the two such as offering a sacrifice.
However, it is befitting to know that which is best for a person is to render noble acts (of worship) for himself and (instead) to restrict himself to supplicating for whoever he wishes from the Muslims; That is because this is the guidance given to us by the Prophet (sal-Allaahu
`alayhe wa sallam) in his statement:
((If someone dies his actions come to a standstill, except for three: Recurring charity (he has made), or knowledge which he has benefited (others) with, or a righteous son who prays for him)), [from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah as transmitted by Muslim, ref.4199]
Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymeen
ad-Durar an-Naadhirah fil-Fataawa al-Mu`aasirah - Page 453
Ibn `Uthaymeen - ad-Da`wah 1587, Dhul-Hijjah 1417AH