(1). The reality of Isaal-e-Thawaab is that whatever good deed you do, and it is accepted by Allaah Ta`ala, then you make an intention or a dua that Allaah Ta`ala bestow the reward thereof to some living or dead person. After understanding this definition of Isaal-e-Thawaab, you should know the following three Mas`alahs:
1. The deed which you carry out must be such that you have hope that it can earn you reward. Otherwise, if you cannot get any reward for it then how can you convey the reward to another person? Hence, that action which is contrary to the Shariah or Sunnah, will be deprived of any reward. To expect to convey reward with such an action is having high hopes.
2. Isaal-e-Thawaab can be conveyed to both a living or a dead person. For example, if you perform two Rakaats Nafl Salaats, then you may convey the reward thereof to your parents or Sheikh, whether they are alive or deceased. Generally, Isaal-e-Thawaab is executed for deceased persons, since the living can still do good deeds for themselves whilst the dead cannot. The deceased cannot carry out any rewarding act, and are dependant upon perpetual reward done on their behalf. Also, if one desires to send a gift to the deceased as one would for the living, then Isaal-e-Thawaab is the means to do so. It is reported in one Hadith that the condition of the people in the graves is like that of one who is drowning in the oceans and he is calling out for help. In the same way the deceased awaits duas etc. from his living parents, brothers, sisters, etc. When he receives it then it is more dear and valuable to him than the entire world and whatever it contains. Allaah Ta`ala grants the deceased mountains of mercy in place of the duas of the living. Astaghfaar is the gift of the living to the deceased. [Baihaqi/ Mishkaat, page 206] It is reported in a Hadith that the pious servants of Allaah Ta`ala will have their stages raised in Jannat, whereupon they will ask: “O Allaah! How did I receive this stage?” A reply will be given: “This is the benefit of Astaghfaar for you from your children.” [Ahmad / Mishkaat page 206] Imaam Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullahi alaih) states that the deceased depend more on the duas of the living than do the living depend upon food and drink. [Sharah Sudoor Suyuti, page 127] Nevertheless, we can assist our deceased buzrugs, friends, close ones, etc. by this means of Isaal-e-Thawaab. We can present to them this valuable gift. This is also the need and demand of our attachment to them.
3. Before carrying out the deed wherewith we desire to convey Isaal-e-Thawaab we should make the intention or thereafter we must make dua to Allaah Ta`ala that He accept the action and convey the reward onto whoever we wish.
(2). Isaal-e-Thawaab may only be made with Nafl Ibaadat. It is not correct to convey the reward of Fardh Ibaadat to someone else.
(3). According to the majority of the Ummah, it is correct to convey the reward onto someone else for all Nafl Ibaadat. For example, dua, Astaghfaar, Thikr, Tasbeeh, Durood Shareef, Tilaawat of Qur`aan, Nafl Salaat and roza, Sadaqah and charity, Nafl Hajj and Qurbaani, etc.
(4). Whilst making Isaal-e-Thawaab it is incorrect to harbour this belief that the actual (physical) Sadaqah or charity reaches the deceased. No! The reward which you were supposed to receive for the act, that reward in conveyed to the deceased in the form of Isaal-e-Thawaab.