Which action is the most virtuous and beneficial for īṣāl e-thawāb (donating reward) to the deceased?
Ultimately, one should spend in avenues which are in dire necessity. There is no doubt that giving money in cash is most beneficial for the poor and needy as it can be utilised by them in any way.
Any action performed with sincerity and within the parameters of Islamic Law, whether it be a physical or monetary form of worship, is allowed to be donated to another person. However, an action which yields continuous reward (sadaqah e-jāriyah), and is most needed, then donating the reward of that action will be regarded the most virtuous. For example, wherever a masjid is needed, it’s construction will reap the most reward. Similarly, wherever water is most needed, supplying water will reap the most reward. Likewise is the case with all .
Those who do not have the financial capacity to spend in charity should make duʿā’ and istighfār (seeking repentance) on behalf of others as this is very virtuous.
(Adapted from Ṣadaqa-e-Jāriyah wa Īṣāl e-Thawāb ke Faḍāil wa Aḥkām by Muftī Muhammad Riḍwan.
Published by Kutub Khāna Idāra Gufrān, Rawalpindi.)