Hearing of the Dead

Hearing of the Dead

BY Muslm Publications Web site

Concerning the statement of certain "Salafis" made about the Prophet (Allah bless and greet him)whereby "The Prophet (saws) does not hear the greetings of peace from Muslims when they pronounce it upon him": this is the essence of false testimony and innovation. You will not find in Islam anyone saying that except the people of innovation.

May Allah rid us of them.

I recommend the following site for the question of addressing the dead and conveying the reward of one's worship to them: http://sunnah.org/ibadaat/funerals.htm

I also add for the record some corrections to the falsehoods conveyed in this chapter by a person named Abdul Haq from his friend Abu Bilal Mustafah al-Kanadi (may Allah guide them both): They say: "There are two unequivocal texts from the Qur'an which deny the possibility of the dead in their graves possessing the faculty of hearing. Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, states : "Verily you cannot make the dead hear and you can not make the deaf hear the call when they turn their backs and retreat." [Surah an-Naml 27:80]

"The living and the dead are not alike. Allah makes whoever he wishes hear, but you cannot make those in the graves hear." [Surah Fatir 35:22]

We reply: It is enough that those who have hikma k(wisdom) now the crucial difference between Allah's statements "you cannot make the dead/those in the graves hear" and the presumption that "the Qur'an denies the possibility of the deceased possessing the faculty of hearing!" As for those who have no hikma, we cannot make them understand in a million years. Truly it is not the eyes that are blind but the hearts.

Rasulullah (sallaho alayhi wa salaam) has taught us to address the Muslims in the graves with salaam (paeace), and the reports from the Salaf are innumerable to the effect of visiting the dead and greeting them. As Ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir of the above verses: To address those who cannot hear is absurd. The Prophet (Allah bless and greet him) would never enjoin absurd practices upon his Umma (community of believers).

As for their claims concerning these two verses, they are rejected because Tabari, Qurtubi, Ibn Kahir, Suyuti, and the rest of the Imams of Tafsir have spoken clearly and authoritatively on this subject.

They say: "Ibn Mas'ud reported that the Prophet (saws) said: "Allah has angels who travel about the earth; they [do and will] convey to me the peace greeting from my ummah." [Authentically reported by Abu Dawud]

"This hadith clarifies that the Prophet (saws) does not hear the greetings of peace from Muslims when they pronounce it upon him, for if he could hear it directly, there would be no need of angels to convey it to him. Therefore, it follows that the Prophet (saws) cannot hear other forms of conversation directed to him either;[3] and it stands even more to reason that the deceased, being lesser than the Prophet (saws), also cannot hear the salaam (greeting of peace) or any other form of speech.[4] Thus contrary to a popular misconception, because the Messenger (saws) cannot directly hear either one's invocation of blessings [5] or one's salaam addressed to him, such greetings may be conveyed to him from anywhere, regardless of the distance or proximity of the greeter to the Prophet's grave."

We reply: This is a case in skewed logic because they refuse to heed the explanations of the scholars, and they insist on reinterpreting Islam according to their own desire. First of all, the evidence they provide is often partial and/or false: Why do they not report Abu Dawud's sound narration whereby the Prophet said: "No one greets me except Allah has returned my soul to me so that I can return his Salaam"? Or the well-known, authentic narration whereby the Prophet said: "The Prophets are alive in their graves, praying to their Lord"? That is because the innovators hate to admit this as it destroys their argument, since being alive entails hearing.

They say: "The erroneous belief that the Prophet (saws) hears these greetings directly disregards the previous hadith which specifies that the greetings are conveyed to him by the angels, and it is based on a forged tradition whose text follows:

It has been narrated that the Prophet (saws) said: "Whoever asks blessings for me at my grave, I hear him, and whoever asks blessings upon me from afar, it is conveyed to me." [This tradition was mentioned by al-'Uqayli in his book, adh-Dhu'afa and by al-Khateeb, Ibn 'Asakir, et. al., and they all agreed that it is a forged (mawdhu') hadith. See al-Albani's al-Ahadith adh-Dha'eefah, vol.1, hadith no.203]

We say: To give partial or misleading information is betrayal in the trust of the informer tantamount to lying. First, the above never agreed that this narration is forged! Second, Abu al-Shaykh cites it in Kitab al-Salat `ala al-nabi ("Jala' al-afham" p. 22), and Ibn Hajar says in Fath al-Bari (6:379): "Abu al-Shaykh cites it with a good chain (sanad jayyid)."

Following is the documentation available to me about this hadith and its accurate translation and transliteration insha'Allah:

"Whoever invokes blessings upon me at my grave I hear him, and whoever invokes blessings on me from afar, I am informed about it." (Man salla `alayya `inda qabri sami`tuhu wa man salla na'iyan bullightuhu.)

A sound (?) hadith narrated from Abu Hurayra: - By al-Bayhaqi with two chains - with ublightuhu in the end - in Shu`ab al-Iman (2:218 #1583). One chain is very weak because of Muhammad ibn Marwan al-Suddi who is accused of lying, and the other is weak because of al-`Ala' ibn `Amr al-Kufi, but al-Bayhaqi in Hayat al-Anbiya' cites corroborating chains and narrations which strengthen the hadith.

- By Abu al-Shaykh - with a third chain - in al-Salat `ala al-Nabi sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam as stated by Ibn al-Qayyim in Jala' al-Afham (p. 16-22) and by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 6:379=1959 ed. 6:488). Ibn al-Qayyim states: "This narration is extremely strange" while Ibn Hajar states: "Abu al-Shaykh cites it in al-Thawab with a good chain (sanad jayyid)." Al-Sakhawi reiterates the latter verdict in al-Qawl al-Badi` (p. 154). Al-Munawi questions this grading in Fayd al-Qadir and Ibn `Abd al-Hadi in al-Sarim al-Munki (p. 206) avers that Abu al-Shaykh's chain, although strong, is "a gross mistake" because the hadith did not come to us except through al-Suddi, who is discarded. However, Ibn `Arraq in Tanzih al-Shari`a (1:335) confirms Ibn Hajar's verdict and al-Suyuti in al-La'ali' al-Masnu`a (1996 ed. 1:259 = 1:282-283) adduces Abu al-Shaykh's chain - among other narrations - as corroboration for the hadith, citing it in his commentary on al-Nasa'i's Sunan (4:110) and rejecting Ibn al-Jawzi's verdict of forgery in al-Mawdu`at (1:303).

By al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad (3:292) with the chain of Muhammad ibn Marwan al-Suddi with the wording: "Whoever invokes blessings upon me at my grave I hear him, and whoever invokes blessings on me from afar, an angel was put in charge of it who informs me of it. He will have sufficiency of his worldly needs for it as well as his needs in the hereafter, and I shall witness on his behalf - or: I shall be his intercessor." The second sentence of this narration is undoubtedly forged. Cf. al-Ahdab, Zawa'id Tarikh Baghdad (3:69).

They say: "There are a number of authentic narrations relating the Prophet's address to the corpses of the mushrikeen (polytheists) of Quraysh who were slain by the believers in the Battle of Badr and then thrown into a dried well." Then they proceed to quote the address of the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- to the dead disbelievers which ends thus: "By Him in whose hand lies the soul of Muhammad, you did not hear better than them and what I just said." Qatadah [9] added: "Allah brought them back [10] to life (momentarily) in order to make them hear as a means of scorn and belittlement and [so that they would feel] regret and remorse." [Authentically related by al-Bukhari and Muslim]

We say: Observe how they add the gloss "(momentarily)" in order to support their beliefs, although they have no authority for such an interpolation!

Then they quote the following objection from the Mother of the Believers `A'isha: Later on [12], this was mentioned to 'A'ishah [13], whereupon she commented, "What the Prophet (saws) meant was, "Now they know that what I used to tell them is the truth." Then she recited, "Verily you cannot make the dead hear,"[Surah an-Naml 27:80] up to the end of the verse."[Related authentically by al-Bukhari and others].

After quoting the above they comment: "Some often misconstrue the texts of the two aforementioned hadiths as proof for the contention that the dead can hear."

We say: This so-called contrivance is precisely the reason for Qatada's words which you quoted, O ignoramus! Qatada's interpretation of the hadith was specifically meant to refute the viewpoint conveyed in `A'isha's words, as stated by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 7:384): "Through his interpretation, Qatada wanted to refute those who claimed that the dead did not hear, as was reported from `A'isha when she adduced Allah's saying: {You cannot make the dead hear}." Success is from Allah. Sallallahu `alayka wa sallama, Ya Rasulallah. Wa `ala Alika. Wa Ashabika Ajma`in.

May Allah send His blessings and Greetings upon you, O Messenger of Allah, and upon your Family and all your Companions.

May Allah send His blessings and Greetings upon you, O Messenger of Allah, and upon your Family and all your Companions.


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites