Listening of the dead
Rasheed: Visiting graveyard is permitted but to go near them thinking that they can listen and asking them for their help…how can you verify this? Whatever I had said earlier was because of what I have seen near the graves-grave-worship. They think the dead man in grave has power to do something. On the contrary, what is left in a grave? The body must have rotten and bones degraded and still you think that these dead ones can listen like living beings?
Hameed: Yes. Off course yes, Why not? Why you have a doubt? Quran and Ahadith clearly prove it. Holy Quran says:
(Section 19 Surah Baqrah)
Translation: And say not those who are killed in the path of Allah as dead; but they are alive. Yes, you are unaware.
(Section 8 of Surah Imran)
Translation: And those who have been slain in the way of Allah, never think of them as dead; but they are alive with their lord, get their sustenance.
Rasheed: These verses are for those who fought for Allah’s cause (Jihad) and had lost their lives. These people have not even seen Jihad, to go and fight is a different thing altogether. In this context, your use of above verses makes me surprised.
Hameed: Once Rasool Allah SAW was returning from Jihad and said:
(Baihaqi) (Chapter Al Zuhad reported by Jaber (R.A) in Ahya-ul-uloom Vol 3 page 8)
Translation: “Certainly, we have returned to a bigger Jihad from a smaller one”.
This Hadith is also quoted in ‘Mathnawi Shareef’ by Moulana Rumi:
Now, the question arises what is Jihad-e-Akbar?(bigger war) ; about which our holy Prophet (PBUH) directed.
Actually Jihad-e-Akbar is a war with conscience (Nafs) or innate urges. Our war against our innate urges helps us to restrain our passions and desires. To give away one’s life in a couple of minutes in a war is far simpler than to fight a lifetime with one’s soul. To fight with the Nafs is very difficult indeed. His Nafs inhibits him from bathing at night, but god fearing man goes against his Nafs and baths at 2’O clock in the morning and preoccupies his mind in the thought of Allah SWT.
In this way there are many thoughts that forebode his mind about his wealth, health etc, but a God-loving (fearing) man do not give them a second thought.
As an example I will relate an incident of an ailing child on his death bed awaiting his last breath and not allowing his parents to leave him alone to offer the Salath. Meanwhile the time of Salath is about to finish and the parents ignore the child for the love of Allah SWT and perform their Salaat. While the parents were offering Salath the child passes away.
Now, tell me, is this not like sacrificing your own life? Allah is the Greatest!. From experiences you will know which Jihad is greater?
In one of the Prophet’s (PBUH) sayings, Prophet (PBUH) said:
“That young virtuous man who keeps himself away from adultery in his youth will be with siddiqueen on the day of resurrection. The noteworthy point here is whether the position of Truthful (Siddiqueen) is superior or Martyrs (Shohada).
Now imagine with the fear of Allah SWT and following the Decrees of Allah SWT and dictates of the prophet can reward the position of Siddiqueen then to attend the position of Shuhada is not far either. The different positions and kinds of Martyrs are listed in page 250 of “Tai-ul Farasikh ila Manazilal Baraziqh”. Imam Muslim (R.A) in his ‘Sahi’, Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (R.A) in his ‘Musnad’, Imam Tirmidhi (R.A) in his ‘Jame’ have quoted that Hazrath Abu Huraira (R.A) reports that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: “ who do you think are the Martyrs? Sahaba (companions of Holy Prophet) replied: “O ! Messenger of Allah (PBUH) those who give away their life in the path of Allah SWT”.
Prophet (PBUH) said: “There are more people from my Ummah who stand alike Martyrs”. Sahaba asked: “Who are they, O Prophet of Allah (PBUH)? Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) replied: “Those:
1) who give away their life in the way of Allah. (Muslim, Tirmidhi)
2) who die of plague (Muslim, Tirmidhi)
3) who die of gastro-intestinal diseases (Muslim, Tirmidhi)
4) who are drowned in water (reported by Abu Noaem) are all martyrs,
5) who die of fire burns (reported by Ibn-e-Aseer in Jame-Al-Usool)
6) women who die in post natal period (reported by Abu Nasai)
7) who die in a house collapse (reported in Muwatta and Tirmidhi)
8) those who die of Zaat-ulJanab (disease called pleurisy ) (reported in Jama-e-Usool, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Imam Nasai, Ibne Majah and Ibne Hiban)
9) who die of T.B (Tabrani, Imam Ahmad)
10) innocent who are imprisoned for no crime and die in the prison (reported by Syedna Ali R.A)
11) who die in protecting their families
12) who die in protecting their religion
13) who die in protecting their wealth
14) who die in protecting their blood (the above four sayings are reported by Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi and Nasai)
15) who die of camels and horse stampede
16) who die of snake bite and scorpion’s sting
17) who die of wild animals attack
18) who die of slipping from the tree
19) who die of saliva congestion in the throat
20) A true lover who does'nt involve in physical relationship dies for his beloved (above six sayings are reported by Tabrani)
21) who die of brutal murder (reported by Nasai, Radhiya from Swaid Ibne Makharan and Imam Ahmed from Ibne Abbas)
There are forty seven types of Martyrs but due to shortage of space only twenty one are reported here. Interested people can refer in the original book “Tai ul Farasikh ila Manaazil al Barazikh”.
Rasheed: Well! Whatever you have said is all regarding martyrs. But as I have asked you before, regarding the strange actions performed by visitors near the graves. Even the Sajjada-nasheen’s (chief or responsible people of the shrines)do not object to such actions against ‘Shariah,’ and permit them to do such actions. Please answer me.
Hameeed: Allah SWT says in Holy Quran:
(Section 2 Surah: Hujrat)
Translation: O Believers! Avoid most suspicions, verily some suspicion is a sin.
I agree that things were different in the past and things are different today but we must value a few Saints that we see around today. We must learn how other communities show respect for their religious leaders. Abuse of religious leaders is one of the many reasons for the downfall of Muslims.
Rasheed: Brother I am not abusing the religious leaders but in the recent times they have lost their good impression.
Hameed: By God! Do not regard five fingers alike. All religious leaders are not alike, where there is a rose there is a thorn too. There are many personalities who have sublimed themselves in the memory of Allah SWT. Those who visit their graves see the very splendour of Allah SWT.
Rasheed: Your thoughts are biased.
Hameed: I am sorry but you are unaware of the truth.. Haven’t you heard the myth that a sand fly who keeps an insect in its home and turn it like itself in a few days. One more popular example - anything which is dropped in the salt turns salty. Have you considered God’s name to be less powerful than a sand fly and salt? I seek forgiveness. Your God could be like that. The
power of the name of my God is the highest and the greatest.
As an example I would like to tell you one more thing. A candle is lighted and an attracted moth comes and burns in it. The attracted burnt moth could be seen clearly in the fire of the candle. And all the senses of the candle are now in the moth - radiating light, absorbing oil and burning all those who come across it. Great saints burn and perish themselves in the memory of Allah SWT.
Now the splendours of Allah SWT are evident in them. But as the candle is a candle and as the burnt moth is a moth. In the same manner God is God and the slaves are slaves. The qualities of the candle are found in the moth in the same way the splendours of Allah SWT are found in great saints of Allah,who got perished in the memory of Allah SWT. All those who are interested can visit the tomb of the great saint Hazrat Syed Shaikh Abdul Qadir Al Gilani (R.A) in Baghdad. Thousands of Muslims visit the holy Saint and are aware of his parables and miracles.
Similarly miracles and parables are evident at the tomb of Khaja Syed Moinuddin Chisti (R.A) in Ajmer as well. Sceptical persons can clear their beliefs by interviewing visitors, who visit from different corners of the globe.
Rasheed: This is about great saints of Allah SWT but ordinary Muslims who are dead do not see or listen so, visiting their graves is useless.
Hameed: Brother you are very ignorant. Don’t you know what Allah’s messenger used to say when he passes by a graveyard?
Hameed: Listen! It’s a Hadith: When you pass across a graveyard send peace and greetings to them.
Translation: O Muslims and Momins (of this locality) buried here, Peace be with you. May Allah’s mercy fall upon our predecessors and successors. If Allah wills, we will meet you soon.
If the inmates of the grave have no listening power then this address is meant for whom and why? Lo! Their listening power is far greater than ours. I will relate an incident here. When Prophet SAW returned victorious from war of Badr, the dead bodies of enemies were placed in coffins.Our Prophet stood near the common grave of infidels in which the body of abu jahel was also lying and called out the names of the corpses along with there father's names and said: “Allah SWT has fulfilled the promise that he made with you. And He has fulfilled the promise made with me.”
Syedna Omar R.A asked humbly: “Do you speak with corpses without soul?”
Prophet SAW replied: “ They listen much better than you.” (Bukhari, Mulsim, Mishkat).
Hazrath Ayesha R.A reports that Prophet SAW has said: “Whoever visits a muslims grave and sits near him, the inmate of the grave develops affection and familiarity with him and answers to his greetings.”
This Hadith confirms the listening power of the dead, visiting graveyard, power recognition of the dead, developing affection, replying /answering by the dead. This hadith is quoted in Ibne Abi Adduniya’s book ‘Al Qubur’ and Imam Jalaaluddin Suyuti’s Rh book “Sharah Al Sudoor”.
Ayesha R.A used to visit holy Prophet’s grave after his transmigration. Hazrath Ayesha R.A said: “I visited prophet’s grave without wearing an outer cover even when Aba Bakar Siddiq R.A was buried there. But when Omar R.A was buried I swear upon Allah SWT that I had never gone without wearing a Hijab.”
This proves the power of seeing and listening of the dead. Also women’s visit to graves and to visit a non-mahram’s grave in veil is proved. This was quoted in Imam Ahmad’s Masnad and compiled in mishkat in the chapter of “Janaaiz fi Ziyarat.”
One more hadith from Tabrani, reported by Hazrath Omar R.A. When the Holy Prophet SAWS was returning from the battle of Uhad, he passed through the grave of Musab bin Umair, stood for sometime and said: ”I bear witness that you are alive near Allah SWT.”and addressed to the sahaba: ”You all should visit their graves and convey salam to them. I swear upon Allah, the inmates of the graves will go on replying your salam till the Day of Judgement”.
One more Hadith reported by Ibne Abi Duniya in “Kitabul Qubur” is that Hazrat Omar R.A passed through the grave yard of Madina-e-Munawwara (Jannatul Baqi) and said: “Oh! Inmates of the grave! Peace be upon you. The news here is your wives remarried other men, your houses are occupied by others and your wealth is distributed among others.” One of the inmates of the grave replied: “The news here is that we are paid for whatever we did during our life. We gained profits for what we spent in Allah’s way and confronted with loss for what we had left for the world.”
Other Hadiths and traditions of the Prophet also proves his visit to the graves of the Martyrs from the battle of Uhad. Proves are also available for the visits of Caliphs, Hazrath Fatima R.A and Hazrath Ayesha R.A to the grave yards.
Ibne Asakar quotes an incident of a young devotee of Allah SWT during the period of Hazrath Omar R.A. The young devotee was a worker in a mosque and was beloved of Hazrath Omar R.A. After the Isha prayer the young devotee used to attend to his old father. On his way back home there was a house of a woman, who was crazy for him. The woman was always looking out for a chance to seduce him. One night as the young devotee was returning from the mosque to attend his old father the woman deceived him and managed to take him to her house. The young devotee was at her house door that the fear of Allah SWT over took him and he read out the following quranic verses:
Sec 24 Surah Aaraf
Translation: Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, Bring Allah to remembrance, when lo! They see (aright).
After reciting this verse the young devotee fell down and became unconscious. The woman took him to his house and the old father called all other people for help. Late at night, when the young devotee regained his consciousness, he told his father of what had happened and why. When his father asked him to repeat that particular verse, which protected him from doing evil the young devotee repeated the verse and lost his consciousness again and ultimately died. When Hazrat Omar R.A got the news he went and console the poor father. Later, he went to the young devotee’s grave called out his name and read the verse below:
“Section 3 Surah Rahman”
Translation: But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the judgement seat of ) their Lord, their will be two Gardens.
The buried replied: “Certainly, I was rewarded with two Gardens from my Lord.”
(Tai-ul-Farasiq Ila Manazil Al Baraziq p396)
Rasheed: Brother! Holy Quran also says:
Sec 5 Surah Rum.
Translation: "Therefore you make not the dead to hear, nor you make the def to hear the call when they turn away showing there backs."
Section 3 Surah Fatir:
Translation : And equal are not the living and the dead and undoubtedly, Allah causes him to hear whom He pleases, and you are not to make those who are lying in there graves to hear.You are but a warner.O beloved! undoubtedly, we have sent you with truth as a bearer of glad tidings and as a warner. And whoever was a group of people in each of them a warner has already passed away and if they belie you, then those before you have already belied, there came to them there massengers with clear proofs and with the scriptures and the shining book.
The verses clearly show that there is no listening capacity found in the dead. What would you say in this regard?
Hameed: Brother! Look deeper into the meaning of these verses, you will come to know that these verses correspond to infidels as dead. Therefore in the first verse “Wallau Mudbireen” is being said; which means ‘they show their backs and turned away’. Dead cannot show their backs so this corresponds to living beings with dead soul. This is being verified by various books and Ahadith. As you insist, to take dead bodies into account, loss of listening capacity in dead ones cannot be proved because Allah SWT says: ‘O beloved! You cannot make dead to listen’. Allah SWT did never said: ‘Dead ones cannot listen’.
From this it is clear if Allah does not wills no body can listen and if He wills, then Rasool Allah SAW can make people listen and even his followers can make the dead listen.
One of the example is:
Translation : "Indeed you cannot show the right path to whom you like but Allah can show the right path to whom he likes"
In ‘Tafseer-e-Kabeer’ this verse is interpreted as follows: A man does not oppose another man if he has some expectations from him, but if the expectations are over, a man openly opposes him. That is why Allah SWT has addressed His Prophet: “Infidels are like dead ones.” It is predestined by Allah that they will die infidels; and to expect them to turn to Islam is waste. These verses in no way, prove that the dead ones cannot listen and both the verses are revealed about infidels’ rejection to accept Islam. That is why they are called dead. In another way holy Quran says:
Holy Quran says in another verse:
Section 1 surah Baqrah.
Translation: Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the chastisement (they incur).
Even the above verses states infidels as dead.
Ubaid bin Marzooq reported that there was a woman, who used to sweep Masjed-e-Nabawi (mosque of the Prophet SAW). Her name was Umm-e-Mahjeen. She died and she was buried in the same night itself without informing the Prophet SAW.Next day when Prophet SAW passed the grave he inquired: “whose grave is this?” people replied: “Umm-e-Mahjeen”. Prophet SAW questioned: “The woman who used to sweep Masjid-e-Nabawi?” People replied: “Yes Rasool Allah SAW”. Prophet SAW performed the Salat-ul-Janaza in congregation and then addressed to Umm-e-Mahjeen, “which of your works has found a place near Allah?” The voice from the grave replied: “Sweeping Masjid-e-Nabawi”. Sahaba were amazed and asked in astonishment: “O Allah’s Messenger! “Can she listen?” Prophet SAW replied: “you dont hear better than her.”
This hadith clearly proves that dead ones can listen.
In another Hadith: reported by Muslim
“When people move back after burying the dead, the dead can listen, even the sound of their foot steps”.
Now to understand that after laying the dead body underneath, several quintals of soil is laid then how could they hear so clearly. While living being like us cannot hear, once the glasses of our car are raised. We came to know that hearing/listening of this life is different from the life hereafter. And to believe in listening of this world and rejecting after life is foolishness. We will discuss the same topic later but only a wink is enough for intelligent people.
Rasheed: The incident you reported about Umm-e-Mahjeen and Hazrat Omar’s R.A visit to graveyards can be interpreted as parables and miracles. But cannot be attributed to common man’s listening and answering.
Hameed: I would like to quote some more Ahadith for your satisfaction, which will prove not only the listening of the dead but also their working, reciting of the Quran and meeting the holy people.
Imam Baihqi Rh in his book ‘Kitab-ul-Dalail’ wrote that Abu Noem has reported this and has said that this saying is true and there is no room for any suspicion. It is as follows- Rayi Ibne Harash (R.A) says: “My brother Rabi (R.A) died, when I got the news I reach there, sat near him and recited “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon.” A veil was covered on his face. Suddenly removing his veil he said: “As Salam u Alaikum” I replied “Wa Alaikum Salaam.” He said: “After my death I went in the service of my Allah and I smelt the smell of the paradise and found Allah SWT has accepted me and ordained me with a golden dress and I was made at ease so much so that you cannot imagine. Later I heard Allah’s Decree: “Never trust (or be overconfident) with your deeds and never stop from performing good deeds.” I asked Allah’s SWT permission to make you aware of my condition there. Take my dead body to Rasool Allah SAW, as the Prophet SAW is waiting for my Salatul Janaza. Quick! make it fast.” By saying this he cooled down again. When Hazrath Ayesha R.A heard this, she agreed and said that even Allah’s messenger SAW has said that some people in his umma will speak after their death. Mohaddis Imam Abu Noem Rh has further confirmed that this is a very popular saying and Imam Baihqi Rh regarded this as very true (Imran-ul-Quloob). One more thing to be noticed is that Rabi (R.A) brother of Rayi Ibne Harash (R.A) was not a Martyr,as he wasn't killed in the battle.
Aban Ibne Abi Ayash reported- we had gone to see the dead body of Hazrat Moraq Ajli as we got the news. His body was covered with a sheet of cloth.We all were sitting and chatting, suddenly we noticed a celestial light illuminating on his head, which started moving towards the roof. Similarly, celestial lights were also noticeable on his feet and chest. We stood there in utter astonishment. Later Hazrat Moraq removed the veil from his face and said: “Did you see anything?”, we replied yes. He said: “the celestial light which you have witnessed is due to Surah Sajdah, which I used to read every night. These lights moving up were nothing but the verses, of Surah Sajdah which were moving towards Allah SWT for my intercession.”After telling this he went back to his previous condition. (Imran-ul-Quloob).
Imam Baihqi Rh quotes from his teacher Hashim bin Mohammed Omari Rh said: “My father took me to the graveyards of martyrs in Madina-e-Munawwra. When we reached there he called out in a loud voice: “As Salaam u Alaikum bima sabartum fana'na Uq bu ddar.” The reply came: “Wa Alaikum Salaam, Ya Aba Abd Allah.”
My father asked me Did you reply my Salam if I was replying I said: “No”. He held my hand and made me stand on his right side and greeted the second time. He heard the reply second time as he had heard for the first time. Similarly he greeted again and got the reply again. Then my father prostrated (in thankfulness) (Imran-ul-Quloob).
Tirmidhi reports from Hazrat Abbas R.A, that once there was a companion of Prophet SAW, who had raised a tent upon a place which was unknowingly a grave. He heard a voice of somebody reciting Surat-ul-Mulk,from under the tent. When the Companion reported this to Prophet SAW, Prophet SAW replied: “This is the Surah, which will liberate the reciters from the punishments in the grave.” Abu AlQasim says this hadith proves that the Prophet SAW confirms the Quranic recitation of the dead in their graves (Imran-ul-Quloob).
Abu Noem reports that Ibne Saad said: “A Martyr from Syria used to come in his father’s dream every Thursday night. But one Thursday night, he did not appear in his father’s dream. The next Thursday night when he appeared in his fathers dream,his father asked the reason, his son replied: “All Martyrs were ordered by Allah SWT to attend the funeral of Hazrat Umar bin Aabdul Aziz (R.A). Therefore I had been there to meet him and attend his Salatul Janaza” (Imran-ul-Quloob).
Imam Jalaaluddin Suyuti Rh writes in his book ‘Sharah-AlSudoor’ quoting Imam Arif Billah Abu Alqasim Al Qushairi Rh 'Al-Risalah' that Abu Sayeed Qazas said: “I was in holy Mecca, found a young man dead at the door of Bani Shaiba, when I looked at him, I saw him smiling at me and said: “O Abu Sayeed, don’t you know Allah’s dear ones are alive even after their death and they are transferred from one house into another”. This saying verifies the eternal life of Saints. And to consider them as dead is a big mistake.