What is a Hawl or Mawlid?

The Hawl is called in the Shari’a: charity on behalf of the dead. In Egypt it is called a Mawlid.

– Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari, al-Ilham al-Nafi’, p. 95.

The haul is also known as a hawliyya, a mawlid, and a mi’ad. It consists of (different types of) charities that are presented to the dead; they reach the dead by agreement, at whatever time they are sent. The charity does not have to be in a specific time, but it arrives at all times. Our master Sa’d (may Allah be pleased with him) gave a garden that he owned as charity on behalf of his mother. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) approved of that and also instructed him to give water as charity on her behalf as well. This hadith is in the Muwatta and al-Bukhari and others.

Our shaykh Habibullah al-Shanqiti has given this subject its full treatment in his commentary on Zad al-Muslim (his collection of the hadiths that are in both Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim).

Know that every dead person is aware of the charity that is given on his behalf, and knows the one who did it. It is a great act of goodness (ihsan), and the reward for it from Allah (most Sublime) is great. {Will the reward of doing good be anything other than good?} (55:60).

– Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari, al-Ilham al-Nafi’, pp. 106-7.

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