Category Archives: I – The Dead

Prophets being alive in the grave

It came to my knowledge that scholars such as Imam al-Bayhaqi, ibn Fawrak, as-Subki, Qatallani, and others said that the prophets are alive in the sense of the wordlly life but the belief of Ahle Sunnah is the they are alive in the sense of barzakh.

This is the result of one of their three facets which Ibn al-Jawzi ridicules them with.
As always, the basis for their argument is Aristotle’s categorisation of reality into substance and accidents.
When they were asked to classify the soul, whether it is a substance which exists by itself, or an accident which subsists in a substance and does not exist by itself; they opted for the soul being an accident, just as life is also an accident in a human body. They said that the qualities of a living being depend on the soul, which is an accident. Hence, when this accident, i.e. the soul, disappears, all the qualities of life also disappear.

What this belief necessitated is that the Prophet, after his death, is no longer a prophet, because prophethood is an accident, and an accident cannot endure two instances of time. Meaning, Allah regenerates the accidents that subsist in substances, and thereby the entire creation, every moment of time. Therefore, when the substance, i.e. the Prophet, dies, the accidents subsisting in that substance (life, soul, prophethood, etc.) also vanish.
This belief, regardless of al-Subki’s vigorous denial, lead to Ibn Furak’s death at the hands of the Sunni Seljuki Sultan Mahmud Subuktakin.

Since the belief that the Prophet is no longer a prophet became one of the shameful traits of the Ash’aris, we found the Ash’aris such as al-Qushayri and al-Bayhaqi fleeing to the other extreme and affirming that the Prophets are alive, like any of us are and fell short of denying that the Prophets really died. This is so that they can remain faithful to their Aristotelian’s faith that soul is an accident as well as prophethood, and both of these accidents still exist in the Prophet, because he is alive in his grave like we are.

Ahl al-Sunnah said in reply, that if the Prophet did not die, why did Allah tell him that:“Indeed you will die, and so will they?”
If the Prophet (saw) is alive in his grave like we are, then why the need to keep him buried underground?
If he is alive as we are, then would we not have solved the difference between Ahl al-Sunnah and the Ash’aris?
Is it because he cannot speak or move? If so, then what kind of life is it that they affirm if he cannot even speak or move?

As for Ahl al-Sunnah, we believe he is alive, just as we believe the martyrs are alive, for Allah has stated that clearly in the Quran.
Do we say that martyrs are alive as we are? And if they are alive as we are, then by which Shari’a it becomes lawful to marry their widows, and usurp their wealth by calling it inheritance?
These are just some of the ridiculous aspects of their belief as discussed beautifully by Ibn al-Qayyim in his Nuniyya.

Brought Back to Life to hear the Salam?
Some argue that since salam is continuously sent on the Prophet(saw) then his soul must be connected to the body.
The souls do not exist in the Prophet’s body. Rather, it is returned each time someone sends Salat and Salam upon the Prophet.
This return of the soul to the body is not like the return of the soul to the body in wordly life. Rather, it is in accordance with the nature of Barzakh.
Just like the person who is rewarded or punished in the grave, his soul is returned to his body in accordance with the laws of Barzakh, and not as we know it in this life. Or would the Ash’aris claim that this person is brought back to life to be punished in his grave? If so, then in this case, people are no different to the Prophets for both are brought back to life before the Day of resurrection!
If death never came to the Messenger, why was he buried? How about the statement of Abu Bakr when he said: Whoever used to worship Muhammad, then indeed Muhammad is dead!

Q: What is the ruling on visiting graves, such as the graves of Imam `Aly (may Allah be pleased with him), Al Husayn, Al `Abbas and others? Is visiting their graves equal in reward…

(Part No. 13; Page No. 296)
The so-called Hadith: “Anyone who visits the members of my household after my death will receive the reward of performing Hajj seventy times”
Q: What is the ruling on visiting graves, such as the graves of Imam `Aly (may Allah be pleased with him), Al-Husayn, Al-`Abbas and others? Is visiting their graves equal in reward to performing Hajj seventy times to Allah’s Sacred House? Did the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: “Anyone who visits the members of my household after my death will receive the reward of performing Hajj seventy times”? Please guide us. May Allah reward you with the best.
A: Visiting graves is a Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet), and it teaches lessons and reminds people of death. When visiting the graves of Muslims, a person should invoke Allah (Exalted be He) for them, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to visit the graves and invoke Allah for its inhabitants, and so did the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Visit the graves, for they remind you of the Hereafter. Moreover, he (peace be upon him) taught his Sahabah to say the following upon visiting the graves: Peace be upon you, inhabitants of the abodes among the believers and the Muslims. If Allah wills, we will follow you. We ask Allah for well-being for ourselves and for you.

(Part No. 13; Page No. 297)
In another narration, `Aishah added: May Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us and those who come later on. In another wording of the Hadith narrated by Ibn `Abbas, he added: May Allah forgive us and you. You have preceded us, and we are to follow. All these formulas of supplications and others are commendable. In addition, visiting graves reminds the person of death and teaches a Muslim to prepare himself for it, as it will surely come to him as it came to the inhabitants of the graves. Thus, a Muslim learns to prepare himself for this day, obey Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him), abstain from everything that Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him) have prohibited, and make Tawbah (repentance to Allah) for being negligent. In this way, a Muslim truly benefits from visiting the graves. As for your question about visiting the graves of` `Aly (may Allah be pleased with him), Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn, and others and its being equal in reward to performing Hajj seventy times, this is Batil (null and void). It is a fabricated Hadith and has no origin. In fact, visiting the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) grave is not equal in reward to performing Hajj, although he is the best of all mankind. Visiting graves has its merits, but it is not equal in reward to performing Hajj. This is the case with visiting the Prophet’s grave, let alone visiting other graves. This is a lie and so is the fabricated Hadith you mentioned: “Anyone who visits the members of my household after my death will receive the reward of performing Hajj seventy times.” All these narrations are null and have no origin ,and they were fabricated by liars. Consequently, it is the duty of a Muslim to be aware of these fabricated liess attributed to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

(Part No. 13; Page No. 298)
However, it is permissible to visit the graves, whether of the Prophet’s household or other Muslims, invoke Allah (Exalted be He) for their inhabitants, and ask Allah (Exalted be He) to grant them Mercy before leaving.
On the other hand, a Muslim can visit the graves of non-Muslims to remember death and to learn a lesson, but without supplicating to Allah (Exalted be He) for them. For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited the grave of his mother and Allah (Exalted be He) forbade him from asking forgiveness for her. Similarly, there is no harm in visiting non-Muslims’ graves to learn a lesson but without greeting them or asking Allah for forgiveness for them, as they do not deserve it.

Ibn Baaz

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