Question: O Shaikh, is it allowed to send the reward for reciting the Quraan [to a dead person]? Some people use what you said in your commentary on the Explanation of Al-Aqidah al-Tahaawiyyah as a proof in this regard, that you hold it to be permissible …
Al-Albani: I do not say, my brother, that it is permitted unrestrictedly. [Rather] I say that the earnings of the child … as he عليه السلام said, “The best earnings are those which a man receives through his own work. And your children are from your earnings.” And the Most High said, “And We record that which they send before and their traces …” [Yaa Seen 36:12]
And he عليه الصلاة السلام said in an authentic hadith, “When a person dies …” and in another narration, “When the son of Aadam dies, his actions are cut off except for three: recurring charity, or knowledge that others benefit by, or a righteous son who supplicates for him.”
So this righteous son, his righteous actions will benefit his parents, because he is a trace that they have left behind, “And We record that which they send before and their traces …”
And I do not say that this recitation will benefit other than the parents or that any righteous action [which he does] will benefit other than his parents.
And maybe you will recall that some of the past scholars say that charity given by a person on behalf of some of the Muslims will reach them even if they are not his parents. In this situation we specify that it will [only] reach the parents. So the charity a son gives will reach the parents, and every righteous action [he/she does] like freeing a slave and other acts of worship in general will reach the parents due to the generality of the proofs I just mentioned.
As for other than the parents benefitting from this charity and these acts of worship, part of which is recitation of the Quraan, then we do not hold this generality.
For this reason it is fitting that such a statement be looked at again so that something we did not say is not attributed to us.
We only hold this limited restriction to be correct.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 366.