When doing īṣāl e-thawāb (donating reward) to multiple individuals, will the reward be split among them, or will they receive the full reward?
Whether the intended individuals receive the reward in full or it is divided, the scholars have both opinions in this regard. The vast mercy and compassion of Allāh demands that each individual will receive the reward in full, and some prophetic narrations also compliment this. Hence, one should donate reward to everyone.
ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿAbidīn states, “It is correct to donate half, a fourth, etc., of a good action, as Imām Ahmad has clearly stated. This is further corroborated by the fact that when a deed is donated to, for example, four people, then each will receive a fourth of the action. Similarly, it is correct to donate the reward of a fourth of an action and keep the remaining for oneself. ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿAbidīn comments on the above saying, “ʿAllāmah Ibn Hajr Makkī was questioned that if the reward of the recitation of surah fātiḥah is donated to the dwellers of a graveyard, will the reward be divided among them, or will each receive reward in full? ʿAllāmah Ibn Hajr Makkī replied that a large number of scholars have opined that each dweller will receive the reward in full. And this is more befitting the mercy of Allāh.”
In another place, ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿAbidīn writes, “It is stated in Tātarkhāniyah with reference to Muḥit, that a person who gives optional charity, should intend it’s reward for all Muslim men and women. As the reward reaches them and nothing is decreased from the donator.
(Adapted from Ṣadaqa-e-Jāriyah wa Īṣāl e-Thawāb ke Faḍāil wa Aḥkām by Muftī Muhammad Riḍwan.
Published by Kutub Khāna Idāra Gufrān, Rawalpindi.)