Monday, 26 June 2017

Are the Prophets Alive in their Graves?

بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم
والصلوة والسلام على رسوله الكريم
وعلى آله واهل بيته اجمعين

As I have repeatedly and emphatically stated throughout this blog, one of the critical deviations of the mainstream ‘Ulama’ and their blind-followers is their belief that the Prophets of God are physically and bodily alive in their graves. In fact, the belief that the Prophet Muhammad did not die but is alive in this world is not only a deviation but explicit and undisputed Kufr. Allah (Jalla Jalaluhu) says:
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ
Every soul will taste death (Sura 3:185; 21:35; 29:57]

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا لِبَشَرٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ الْخُلْدَ ۖ أَفَإِن مِّتَّ فَهُمُ الْخَالِدُونَ
And We did not grant to any man before you [O my beloved Prophet] eternity; so if you die - would they be eternal? (Sura 21:34)

When the Prophet died, his right-hand man and first successor, Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) delivered a powerful sermon:
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَاتَ وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ بِالسُّنْحِ ـ قَالَ إِسْمَاعِيلُ يَعْنِي بِالْعَالِيَةِ ـ فَقَامَ عُمَرُ يَقُولُ وَاللَّهِ مَا مَاتَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ قَالَتْ وَقَالَ عُمَرُ وَاللَّهِ مَا كَانَ يَقَعُ فِي نَفْسِي إِلاَّ ذَاكَ وَلَيَبْعَثَنَّهُ اللَّهُ فَلَيَقْطَعَنَّ أَيْدِيَ رِجَالٍ وَأَرْجُلَهُمْ‏.‏ فَجَاءَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ فَكَشَفَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَبَّلَهُ قَالَ بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمِّي طِبْتَ حَيًّا وَمَيِّتًا، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لاَ يُذِيقُكَ اللَّهُ الْمَوْتَتَيْنِ أَبَدًا‏.‏ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ فَقَالَ أَيُّهَا الْحَالِفُ عَلَى رِسْلِكَ‏.‏ فَلَمَّا تَكَلَّمَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ جَلَسَ عُمَرُ‏.‏ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَأَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ وَقَالَ أَلاَ مَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا صلى الله عليه وسلم فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ مَاتَ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ حَىٌّ لاَ يَمُوتُ‏.‏ وَقَالَ ‏{‏إِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَإِنَّهُمْ مَيِّتُونَ‏}‏ وَقَالَ ‏{‏وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِنْ مَاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَنْ يَنْقَلِبْ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ‏}

Narrated 'Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) Allah's Messenger () died while Abu Bakr was at a place called As-Sunah (Al-'Aliya) 'Umar stood up and said, "By Allah! Allah's Messenger () is not dead!" 'Umar (later on) said, "By Allah! Nothing occurred to my mind except that." He said, "Verily! Allah will resurrect him and he will cut the hands and legs of some men." Then Abu Bakr came and uncovered the face of Allah's Messenger (), kissed him and said, "Let my mother and father be sacrificed for you, (O Allah's Messenger ()), you are good in life and in death. By Allah in Whose Hands my life is, Allah will never make you taste death twice." Then he went out and said, "O oath-taker! Don't be hasty." When Abu Bakr spoke, 'Umar sat down. Abu Bakr praised and glorified Allah and said, No doubt! Whoever worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die." Then he recited Allah's Statement.:-- "(O Muhammad) Verily you will die, and they also will die." (39.30) He also recited:--"Muhammad is no more than an Apostle; and indeed many Apostles have passed away, before him, If he dies Or is killed, will you then Turn back on your heels? And he who turns back On his heels, not the least Harm will he do to Allah And Allah will give reward to those Who are grateful." (3.144) (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Not only did Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) emphatically declare
أَلاَ مَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ مُحَمَّدًا صلى الله عليه وسلم فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّدًا قَدْ مَاتَ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ حَىٌّ لاَ يَمُوتُ‏
“Whoever worshiped Muhammad (peace be upon him) then Muhammad has died! But whoever worshiped Allah, then Allah is Living and never dies!”

But he also recited two explicit Verses of the Holy Qur’an establishing the mortality and death of the Prophet

إِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَإِنَّهُم مَّيِّتُونَ
Indeed, you (O my beloved Prophet) are to die, and indeed, they are to die.
(Sura 39:30)

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ۚ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ
Muhammad is not but a messenger. The Messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]?
)Sura 3:144)

Hence, the death of the Prophet is explicitly established from the text of the Holy Qur’an, the sermon of his first successor Abu BakrRA, and the concensus of his companions, who washed his noble corpse, shrouded him, buried him in a grave, and offered his final rites and funeral prayers.

And as we have clarified repeatedly, the meaning of death is permanent separation of the soul and body. The body or corpse remains behind in this world, where it is buried in a grave, while the soul is taken by AllahSWT (Sura 39:42).

Likewise, the soul of the Prophet was taken away by Allah and so he is not alive in his earthen grave, nor is he alive anywhere else in this temporal world:

أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ زَوْجَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ وَهْوَ صَحِيحٌ ‏"‏ إِنَّهُ لَمْ يُقْبَضْ نَبِيٌّ قَطُّ حَتَّى يَرَى مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ ثُمَّ يُخَيَّرُ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَلَمَّا نَزَلَ بِهِ، وَرَأْسُهُ عَلَى فَخِذِي، غُشِيَ عَلَيْهِ سَاعَةً، ثُمَّ أَفَاقَ، فَأَشْخَصَ بَصَرَهُ إِلَى السَّقْفِ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ اللَّهُمَّ الرَّفِيقَ الأَعْلَى ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ إِذًا لاَ يَخْتَارُنَا، وَعَرَفْتُ أَنَّهُ الْحَدِيثُ الَّذِي كَانَ يُحَدِّثُنَا بِهِ ـ قَالَتْ ـ فَكَانَتْ تِلْكَ آخِرَ كَلِمَةٍ تَكَلَّمَ بِهَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَوْلُهُ ‏"‏ اللَّهُمَّ الرَّفِيقَ الأَعْلَى ‏"‏‏.

Narrated `Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) When Allah's Messenger () was in good health, he used to say, "No prophet's soul is ever captured unless he is shown his place in Paradise and given the option (to die or survive)." So when the death of the Prophet () approached and his head was on my thigh, he became unconscious for a while and then he came to his senses and fixed his eyes on the ceiling and said, “O Allah (with) the highest companions”. I said "Hence he is not going to choose us." And I came to know that it was the application of the narration which he (the Prophet) used to narrate to us. And that was the last statement of the Prophet (before his death) i.e., "O Allah! With the highest companions." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

This Hadith proves that the soul of a Prophet is taken into Jannah (Heaven) at death, with  al-Rafeeq al-‘Alaa (highest companions). The soul of a Prophet is not alive in his earthen grave.

The mother of believers, Sayyida A’ishaRA described the day in which the Prophet died as:

آخِرِ يَوْمٍ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَأَوَّلِ يَوْمٍ مِنَ الآخِرَةِ
“Last day in this world, and first day in the Hereafter.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

So Sayyida A’isha’sRA creed is explicitly clear that she considered the Prophet as no longer alive in this Dunya (temporal world).

Likewise, the Prophet’s beloved daughter, Sayyida FatimaAS, said that the Prophet is in Jannat al-Firdaws after his death, not alive in his grave:

يَا أَبَتَاهْ مَنْ جَنَّةُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ مَأْوَاهُ
“O Father, whose dwelling place is in the Garden of Paradise (al-Firdaws)” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

These being some of the essential proofs from the Islamic sources, particularly the Holy Qur’an, and the concensus of the SahabaRA that the Prophet has died and is not alive in this world, including in his earthen grave, let us now examine the strongest argument put forward by the opposing camp. They quote a Hadith:

الأَنْبِيَاءُ أَحْيَاءٌ فِي قُبُورِهِمْ يُصَلُّونَ
“The Prophets are alive in their graves, praying.”

However, this is a weak Hadith, and cannot be used as a proof. Nevermind the fact that according to the opposing side’s camp, it is erroneous to establish a point of creed using Khabr al-Wahid (solitary report) as its source. An eminent modern Muhaddith, Zubair Ali Zai (1957-2013), has clarified that this Hadith is weak based on the narrator al-Hajjaj:


Another argument put forward by the opposing camp is that during the Isra, the Prophet Muhammad saw Prophet MosesAS praying in his grave:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ أَتَيْتُ - وَفِي رِوَايَةِ هَدَّابٍ مَرَرْتُ - عَلَى مُوسَى لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي عِنْدَ الْكَثِيبِ الأَحْمَرِ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي قَبْرِهِ

Anas b. MalikRA reported Allah's Messenger () as saying: I happened to pass by Moses on the occasion of the Night journey near the red mound (and found him) saying his prayer in his grave. (Sahih Muslim)

It is important to understand the context of this Hadith, which is that it is an incident that occurred as part of the Lailat-al-Israa (Night Journey). Elsewhere, I have clarified the reality of the Isra and Mi’raj as a powerful spiritual vision and ascension of the beloved Prophet

In fact, during this blessed incident of Isra and Mi’raj, the beloved Prophet again beheld the Prophet Moses when he ascended into the sixth Heaven. Hence, this Hadith cannot be used as a proof that the Prophet Moses or any other prophet is alive in this world. Rather, it was a vision that the Prophet Muhammad was made to behold. A well known Ahlul Hadith scholar, Aminullah Peshawari, has clarified this point:

یہ ر‌وایت خواب کی ہو اسراء کی رات کے علاوہ یا اسراء کی رات کے کسی حصے میں جیسے ابن عمر رضی اللہ عنہ کی روایت میں ہے آپ نے فرمایا میں سویا ہوا تھا تو میں نے اپنے آپ کو کعبے کا طواف کرتے ہوۓ دیکھا
This narration is concerning a dream outside of the night of Isra, or a part of the night of Isra, as in the narration of Ibn ‘UmarRA that the Prophet said: “I was asleep and saw myself circling the Ka’ba…”

(Fatawa ad-Din al-Khalis; v.1 p.190)


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