What is the ruling on reciting al-Faatihah and giving the reward for it to the deceased?
Praise be to Allaah.
There is no evidence (daleel) for reciting al-Faatihah or any other part of the Qur’aan and giving (the reward for) it to the deceased. We must not do that, because it was not narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did any such thing. It is prescribed to make du’aa’ for the dead Muslims and to give charity on their behalf by giving to the poor and needy. In this way a person may draw closer to Allaah and ask Him to give the reward for that to his father, mother or other people, deceased or alive. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a man dies, all his deeds come to a halt apart from three: ongoing charity (sadaqah jaariyah), beneficial knowledge or a righteous child who will pray for him.”
And it was reported that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has died and she did not make a will. I think that if she had spoken she would have given in charity. Will she be rewarded if I give in charity on her behalf?” He said, “Yes.” (Saheeh – agreed upon)
The same applies to Hajj and ‘umrah on behalf of the deceased and paying off his debts. All of these actions will benefit him, as was narrated in the shar’i daleel (evidence). But if the questioner is referring to treating the family of the deceased person kindly by giving them money or meat (i.e., food), there is nothing wrong with that if they are poor.