Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
I would like to know if performing khatam specifically every Thursday and blowing the recitations on the food is permissible in Islam. If not, please explain why so I can convey this message to my family.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
I pray you are well. Thank you for your question.
This practice of placing food first, then reciting some form of the Quran, blowing on the food, eating it with family members and guests, and distributing it to neighbors and relatives is a widespread custom, not a sunna.
The purpose of Khatm or Fatiha was and should be to send the reward to the deceased and loved ones. This was done in the past by reciting the entire Quran, some form of specifics Suras, like Surat al-Yasin, a number of times, then feeding the poor, or just feeding the poor. Now it is practiced by families and inviting the well-off, and the poor are often left out, which is disliked and detested.
The reward of giving or feeding food is a highly encouraged form of charity and gifting. However, if food is given to the poor and needy, it is a charity (sadaqa) and a virtuous act, and if it is given to the rich, in the form of gathering family members and loved ones is a form of gift and honoring family members, which is also a virtuous act. [Ibn ’Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Suhayb ibn Sinan (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The best of you are those who feed others.” [Aḥmad]
Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the most beloved food to Allah is that which is received by many hands.” [Bayhaqi, Shu’b al-Iman]
The reward of reciting the Quran, remembrance in its various forms (adhkar or salawat), optional prayers, fasting, circumambulations, etc., can only be sent as a reward after having performed them, not before. Similarly, if one wants to send the reward of feeding others, prepare the food for Allah Most High’s pleasure and gain reward, not for any worldly motive or showing off. Send it to the needy or vulnerable of society, eat it yourself and your family, then finally supplicate to Allah Most High to accept it and send the reward to the deceased.
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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.