Reciting Fatiha for the Dead. Does it make sense?
Surah Al Fatiha is a request which also includes a research review of two groups of past people. It reflects a practical approach for the interested person. I would like to know what is the link of this Surah with the dead, and what’s the significance of reciting it upon their graves? Please advise.
Your question is based on the assumption that the practice of some of the Muslims, especially those belonging to the Indo-Pak subcontinent – wherein they recite Surah Al Fatiha followed by Surah Al Ikhlas three times (called, “doing Fatiha for the departed soul”) is correct, when indeed, this has no basis whatsoever in the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (sws). People died during his times, he arranged for their funeral prayer, he recited a prayer after the burial, and that’s about it! There weren’t any other practices that were conducted by the Prophet, and so was true for his companions. Whatever that is suggested to the Muslims in religious matters, which has no basis in the practice of the Prophet (sws), is an innovation (bid’ah), and if anything, it needs to be condemned.
By its very content, Surah Al-Fatiha has nothing to do with the soul of the departed. It is a prayer offered by each individual for his/her own benefit. No question, thus, about it benefiting anybody else! Any intent and action diverging from the intent of the Surah and the practice of the Prophet (sws), needs to be curbed and so must we resist from it.