Who are the three people whose books of deeds are not closed after they die?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to what is reported from Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"When a man dies, the rewards (thawabs) of his deeds come to an end, but the rewards of three deeds continue: recurring charity, knowledge from which people benefit, and a pious child who prays for him." [1]

Death is the end of the temporary life in the world and the beginning of the eternal life, whose existence is definite. Life stops with death; so do the good deeds and sins. However, due to divine wisdom, the rewards and sins of some deeds continue after death too.

Three deeds whose rewards continue after death too are mentioned in the hadith. One of them is recurring charity, that is, good deeds whose rewards continue. Mosques, schools, roads, bridges, fountains, water dispensers, inns, public baths and all kinds of foundations are examples of them.

The second good deed whose rewards continue is knowledge from which people benefit all the time. It is one of the greatest good deeds for man to teach what he knows to others. There are various ways and forms of doing it. To bring up students and to teach them what one knows is the most important one. In addition, to write and publish books, to save them in disks, cassettes and films by making use of modern technology, to establish scientific research centers where they are kept, to speak in conferences and seminars, in short to transfer his knowledge to the following generations will cause the book f deeds of a person not to be closed and his rewards to continue.

It is necessary for the knowledge and information to be useful because harmful knowledge is more permanent than harmful people. A person dies but his harmful ideas continue. It is clear that such harmful ideas will cause a person to be held responsible.

The third deed that will make the rewards of a person continuous after his death is a righteous child who will pray for him after his death.

What is meant by a righteous child is a Muslim child. The most important duty of a mother and father is to bring up their children as good Muslims. Such a child will pray for his parents after their death and will do good deeds that will cause others to pray for them too.

WHAT WE LEARN FROM THE HADITH:

1. Death is the end of the world life and the beginning of the eternal life in the hereafter. Death ends the good deeds and rewards of a person in the world.

2. There are some deeds whose rewards continue after death. They are recurring charity, knowledge from which people benefit, and a Muslim child who prays for his parents.

3. It is not enough to learn something; it is also necessary to teach it to others and transfer it to the following generations in the best way. [2]

Footnotes:

[1] Muslim, Wasiyyah 14. See also Abu Dawud, Wasaya 14; Tirmidhi, Ahkam 36; Nasai, Wasaya 8.
[2] Imam Nawawi, Riyadus-Salihin, Peygamberimizden Hayat Ölçüleri, Translated and Explained by : Prof.Dr. M. Yaşar KANDEMİR, Prof.Dr. İsmail Lütfi ÇAKAN, Doç.Dr. Raşit KÜÇÜK, Erkam Yayınları, İstanbul 1997 (Revised edition), Vol. 6, pp. 170-172; for more information, see ibid, Vol. 5, pp. 8-9.

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