Hadhrat Abu Yazeed Qurtubi (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: I heard that if a person recited the Declaration of Faith (Kalima) i.e. Laa Ilaaha Illallahu Muhammadur Rasoolullah 125,000 times and gifts its reward to a deceased person then that deceased is delivered from hell. On getting to know of this, I finished 1 set for my wife and a couple of them for myself as provision for the hereafter.
A young man lived near us, about whom it was famous that he had spiritual visions (Kashf) and that he had visions of paradise and hell as well. I had some doubts about this. Once, that young man was having a meal with us. Suddenly, he shrieked and started hyperventilating. He said that his mother was being severely punished and she is burning in the fire of hell. I couldn’t bear the look of the young man. Hadhrat Qurtubi (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: Seeing the young man’s anxiety, I silently gifted the reward of one of my recitations to his mother. Except Allah Most High no one knew of this. However, that young man immediately said: Uncle, my mother has been delivered from the punishment of hell.
Hadhrat Qurtubi (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: I learnt 2 things from this incident. One I learnt of the blessings of this recitation and second, I was convinced of the veracity of that young man.
When you visit a graveyard, first recite: Assalaamualaikum Dara Qaumim Momineena Wa Innaa In Shaa Allahu Bikum Laahiqoon.
Translation: Peace be with you! O householders of the dwellings of the believers. Verily, if Allah wills so, we will be meeting with you.
After that recite Surah Fatiha thrice or 11 times, Surah Ikhlaas 3 or 5 times and Durood and gift the reward to the souls of all the deceased. If you can, recite Surah Yaseen also once. It has great reward.
Similarly, when you visit the graves of the saints, enter from the side of the feet. Turn your back to the direction of the Ka’aba (Qibla), stand at a place which is at a level with the deceased’s face and greet them with Salaam or instead of Salaam say: Salaamun Alaikum Bimaa Sabartum Fani’ma ‘Uqbad Daar.
Translation: Peace be to you for your having been patient. Thus, what a good house is the hereafter for you.
Then say the Fatiha and sit down parallel-legged. Then seek their attention and grace by visualizing that the blessings of Almighty Allah are descending on the heart of the (deceased) saint and from there, those blessings are coming into our heart. Continue this visualization and sit as long as you can. After finishing this, return respectfully using the same path. This method is very good for purification of the heart.
Cast your very heart at the feet of the saints and be very respectful when you visit the graves of the saints, but keep your body under control of the Shariah. Apart from the Fatiha, don’t do anything else. We have seen our spiritual mentor do the same.
As much as visiting graves benefits us, as it reminds us of the hereafter, it also benefits the deceased, as they receive the pleasure of remembrance of Almighty Allah and recitation of the Holy Quran.
There is difference of opinion among the scholars on the matter of recitation of the Holy Quran in a graveyard, but the authoritative opinion is that there is no problem in reciting the Holy Quran in graveyards.
Our near and dear ones, who have departed from us, are lying in their graves waiting for our prayers of forgiveness and our gifts of reward (Isaale Sawaab). The way a drowning man clutches at straws, the condition of the deceased is comparable to this.
In this world, we feel happy on giving gifts to each other. Similarly, the prayers of forgiveness and gifts of reward that you send from here are presented to the deceased in vessels of radiance which are covered by coverlets of radiance. The angels tell the deceased: So and so has sent this gift to you. The deceased is gladdened on this.
A saint saw in a dream that in a graveyard vessels of radiance are placed before all the deceased and there is nothing before one deceased. On inquiring, that deceased said: Their heirs have sent gifts to them. My heir is a kid. He doesn’t think of himself, how can he think of me?
The next morning, that saint related this to a friend. That friend was hurt at this and he prayed for his forgiveness and gifted some reward to him.
The saint again saw a dream that a radiant vessel is placed before this deceased as well. That deceased told him: May Allah reward you for this! You have rendered me a great help.
My friends! Was this friendship and love limited to only the period before death? Don’t you want that your deceased near and dear ones also get virtues, which lead to their forgiveness and ease on the Day of Judgment? For this reason, as much as possible, offer prayers of forgiveness and gift the reward of good deeds.
[Excerpted from Mawaaiz-e-Hasana, Vol. 1]