Tag Archives: Grave

Allah’s Will and His Sunnah

Assalamu ‘alaikum

Through this short blog post, we want to highlight a crucial concept in Islam: the distinction between Allah’s Will and His Sunnah.

When we challenge the wrong beliefs of sects, or if you read their fatwas on their websites, one particular argument they frequently bring in favour of their views is that ‘Allah can do as He Wills.’

The Qur’an tells us in many places: inna Allaha AAala kulli shayin qadeerun – Certainly, Allah has power over all things. The ‘alim propagating false beliefs then makes the case that although the Qur’an says that the dead cannot hear, Allah can make the dead to hear if He Wills; Allah can allow the Prophet (SAW) to appear in our dreams; Allah can allow the intercession of the dead saint; Allah can stop the earth from consuming the bodies of martyrs and prophets; Allah can share divine attributes with men If He wills.

In order to answer this argument, it is important to learn to differentiate between Allah’s Will and His Sunnah, i.e. what He can do (which is everything) and what He says He will do (His Sunnah or Law). Once the difference is clear, we will then be able to ask a simple question: Allah can do what He wishes, but does He? He can make a camel walk through the eye of a needle and He can order the Sun and the Moon to switch orbits. But does He?

It is indeed a part of our Emaan to believe that Allah is competent over all things. He says kun fayakunbe, and it is. But Allah has also told us about His Sunnah and His Sunnah does not change. This is borne out by the Qur’an and by the historical journey of Islam from the first man, Adam (AS), to the last Prophet (SAW) who brought the message of Tauheed. Allah’s Sunnah, or His way of doing things has been clarified to us. He told us eons ago that murder is sin and condemned Adam’s son for it; murder remains a sin. Allah told us that Riba is forbidden; Eesa (AS) overturned the money lenders’ tables and Muhammad (SAW) forbade it categorically. Allah tells us that all invocations must be made to him and that intercession of the dead is Shirk. That is His Sunnah. Thus, such matters are not about whether Allah can make the dead to hear or not; they are about whether He chooses to allow the dead to hear….and Allah has told us that He doesn’t.

So no, Allah is not noor; there is nothing of His likeness. He has told us that Barzakh is a barrier between the living and dead, an absolute disconnect. He has told us that intercession of the dead is polytheism. He has told us that the dead cannot hear us. He has told us that the dead are not like the living. He has told us that He will forgive all sins except Shirk. He has told us that He is closer to us than the jugular vein so we must only supplicate to Him. He has told us that only He can help us at moments of distress. He has told us that He dislikes injustice, cruelty and oppression. He has told us that He will only allow intercession or shifa’at on the Day of Judgement. He has told us that He has made the Qur’an easy to understand.

That is His Sunnah and it has been made clear to us. There is no point in saying that Allah can make the dead alive in their graves because He will not, not until He resurrects them from their bones and ‘put[s] together in perfect order the tips of his fingers.’ [1] That too is His Sunnah. There is no point in messing with it. He does things as He wishes. We simply submit, both to His Will and to His Sunnah.

(They took to flight because of their) arrogance in the land and their plotting of evil. But the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it. Then, can they expect anything (else) but the Sunnah (way of dealing) of the peoples of old? So no change will you find in Allah’s Sunnah (way of dealing), and no turning off will you find in Allah’s Sunnah (way of dealing). [Fatir, Chapter #35, Verse #43]

Endnote:

[1] Al-Qiyama, Chapter #75, Verse #4

8 Comments

Filed under Belief (Aqeeda)

Allah’s deen and interpretations

اس مضمون کا اُردو ترجمہ: اللہ کا دین اور تشریحات

Assalam o alaikum

There are two accusations that are often thrown our way. The first one is that we declare a monopoly on religious knowledge and its interpretation. The second is that we are adding to the fitna (evil) by creating another sect and fragmenting the Deen further. We are told that we are ‘Takfeeri’ and that we should look for commonalities to bring all sects together in harmonious brotherhood. Written below is our response to these accusations.

The Muslim world is composed of countless sects; of these, some identify with the Shi’a or the Sunni and some don’t. The famous hadith report about 73 sects does not mean that Muslims should twiddle their thumbs while sectarian splits take place. Instead, the report is a dire warning against the destruction that has now befallen the Ummah, despite the clear commandment of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to not divide into sects, a commandment in complete conformity with the message of the Qur’an which forbids us from fragmenting the Deen.

There are some who say that the majority of the Ummah cannot develop a consensus on something wrong; in other words, whatever the majority agrees on has to be correct. This argument is flawed. We know from the benefit of hindsight that the first 3 generations of Muslims represented the best followers of Islam and they certainly would not develop a consensus on what was wrong or incorrect. But to make this argument about Muslims of today is nothing but wishful thinking and a denial of the humiliation and misery of Muslims in the 21st century.

Now there is something rather amusing to note in discussions on sectarianism: Muslims who differentiate from the Shi’a – and consider themselves superior to them – are able to clearly pinpoint wrong Shi’a beliefs and will reject them openly. But when wrong Sunni beliefs are highlighted, they start looking for justifications. Some then go on to heap allegations on people like us who highlight all wrong teachings, whether of Sunni hue or Shi’a.

The first allegation is that, in differentiating ourselves from Sunnis and Shi’as, we are creating a new sect with a monopoly on religious knowledge. Dear brother and sisters, the Glorious Word of Allah and the example of the As-Sadiq and Al-Ameen Prophet (SAW) have been preserved and are freely and widely available. Anyone who reads them with an open mind and heart, with the intention of finding the Truth, will find Allah’s support in his endeavours. No one has ownership of the Truthful Deen. But you see, there is only one truthful Deen, not 73 deens to match 73 sects.

But what is it that complicates the situation? The answer is that we do. We are taught certain beliefs and ideas in our childhood with which we build an emotional bond. When someone challenges these long held beliefs, we go into self-preservation mode, trying to protect ideas and emotions that have always given us much comfort. The extreme culmination of this tendency has been the belief held by the majority of Muslims that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) can visit them in dreams. Our alims have written tomes to justify this belief and we have blindly accepted it all because we wanted a guarantee here and now that we have been saved from Hellfire after having seen the Prophet.

We then turned the simple invitation of Islam – in which there is no crookedness, says the Qur’an – into a complex riddle [1]. And we chose not to reject the teachings of those individuals who were ridiculing the Da’wah of Islam. Instead, we chose to do blind taqlid. The ulema and us, we went on creating ‘interpretations’ to the extent that the interpretations rebelled against the message of Islam and stood in complete contrast to the Qur’an and Hadith. Allah and His angels send prayers of blessing on Muhammad [yusalloona] [2], but we turned the prayers into ‘duroods’ just so we could justify the falsehood that the Prophet is alive in his grave in Madina and the angels take the durood to him like a gift-wrapped item. We then alleged that this was just what the Qur’an told us; after all, Allah also sends the durood package to the Prophet (SAW). When developing this interpretation, we forgot that the same Book tells us that all matters return to Allah [3] including the durood we send because the durood is a request to Allah ‘Allah huma’ to bless Muhammad (just as the Qur’an witnesses!)

The interpretations that abound in the Ummah are in shocking opposition to the message of Islam. The dead are alive (doesn’t matter that Allah says that the dead are lifeless and have no spark of life in them). The dead can hear (it is of no importance that Allah says that we cannot cause those to hear who are in the graves) [4]. Another interpretation tells us that Allah is Noor, He is Light and Muhammad is a part of this Light (doesn’t make an ounce of difference that Allah says there is none like Him, or that Muhammad and all the other messengers were human beings who would die. Doesn’t matter that the Sahaba (RA) had consensus on the fact the Muhammad had died. Doesn’t matter that Umar (RA), in his grief and utter shock, pulled out his sword, only for him and other companions to be reminded by Abu Bakr (RA) that the Prophet’s death was but the manifestation of Allah’s promise in the Qur’an. [5] Doesn’t matter that not a single Sahabi went running for an interpretation, doesn’t matter that no one ‘called on’ Muhammad after his death, doesn’t matter that no one yelled, ‘he is alive and present’).

When Newton tells us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, we accept his wisdom. When Einstein theorises relativity and tells us about time dilation, we accept it. But when Allah, As-Samee’ ul al-‘Aleem, Al-Hayyu al-Qayyum, tells us that the dead cannot hear, we go running to Ibn-e-Taymiyyah and Ibn-e-Qayyim. We look up their interpretation and say, ‘Look, such great learned man are saying the dead can hear in their graves, they must be correct. I agree with them.’ When Allah tells us that Muhammad (SAW) will die, we find Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi’s interpretation, who not only made the Prophet alive in his grave, he even presented his noble wives to him (naudhubillah). Instead of throwing shoes at a man with such a perverted mind, we turned him into an alim, then created a sect after him and entered the sect in swarms.

Allah tells us that seeking the intercession of dead saints and prophets is shirk. We find an interpretation and say, ‘The dead person is alive, he never died, so where is the shirk in this? And we don’t create colourful statues, no. We only put colourful sheets on graves.’

Would the readers now tell us how and why a Muslim who upholds Tauheed will befriend such people and find common points with them? Isn’t the acceptance of such interpretations tantamount to allowing someone to mock Allah’s Deen? Should a Muslim quietly digest such falsehoods and give a hug to those who invent them? Is this the Sunnah of Muhammad and his Sahaba?

When someone refutes these Taghoots [falsehoods] and politely points out what Allah has said, such a person is told he is ‘creating another sect’. And when someone highlights correct beliefs and asks others to give up wrong beliefs, he is told he is a ‘Takfeeri’ who is spreading hatred and fitna.  But what about Muhammad and his sahaba who rejected the shirk of intercession and starved and bled to uphold Tauheed, were they Takfeeris (naudhubillah), considering that the people of Makkah claimed to be the followers of Deen-e-Ibrahimi?

Dear readers, we forget that it is sects that are fragmented and spread hatred; they have blown to pieces the Wahid message of Islam. It is sects and their ‘great leaders’ who have monopoly over religious knowledge, who welcome us to consult them in return for money, who position themselves between us and Allah so their lucrative careers can thrive forever.

Allah’s Deen is free from copyright. Allah’s Deen is not a riddle. The real question we must ask ourselves is this: what is it in our inner beings that prevents us from accepting Allah’s Word, even though we are all agreed that it is the Truth? What is that hesitation that stops us from holding fast to the rope of Allah? Is it our parents, our teacher, society? Is it the fear that our parents have been wrong or that we will have to change ourselves and ask Allah to forgive our sins and mistakes, many of which we made inadvertently? When such hesitation strikes, we must remind ourselves that our Creater is Al-Rahman and Al-Raheem; He is ready to forgive us; He promises to turn our sins into rewards.

But we hesitate.

Today, the Muslim Ummah is divided into fragments, all arguing with each other, humiliated and defeated, unable to grapple with modern reality. All that is needed is for the Ummah to overcome the humiliation is to grab hold of the simple message of Islam. It has to consign these complex and contradictory interpretations to a large rubbish bin. It needs to make the message of Islam accessible to the masses to break the hold of sects. It needs to accept Allah’s invitation to Islam with an open mind.

Assalam ‘alaikum

Endnotes:

[1] Praise be to Allah Who hath revealed the Scripture unto His slave, and hath not placed therein any crookedness. Al-Kahf 18:1.

[2] Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels (ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salat on (Ask Allah to bless) him (Muhammad) and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islamic way of greeting (salutation i.e. As-Salamu ‘Alaikum). Al-Ahzab 33:56.

[3] The Qur’an tells us that ‘to Allah return all matters’ in at least seven places! We only refer you to Al-Anfal 8:44 and Luqman 31:22.

[4] Nor are (alike) the living (i.e. the believers) and the dead (i.e. the disbelievers). Verily, Allah makes whom He wills to hear, but you cannot make hear those who are in graves. Fatir 35:22.

[5] Narrated ‘Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Apostle died while Abu Bakr was at a place called As-Sunah (Al-‘Aliya) ‘Umar stood up and said, “By Allah! Allah’s Apostle 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 Apostle, kissed him and said, “Let my mother and father be sacrificed for you, (O Allah’s Apostle), 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) The people wept loudly, and the Ansar were assembled with Sad bin ‘Ubada in the shed of Bani Saida. They said (to the emigrants). “There should be one ‘Amir from us and one from you.” Then Abu Bakr, Umar bin Al-Khattab and Abu ‘baida bin Al-Jarrah went to them. ‘Umar wanted to speak but Abu Bakr stopped him. ‘Umar later on used to say, “By Allah, I intended only to say something that appealed to me and I was afraid that Abu Bakr would not speak so well. Then Abu Bakr spoke and his speech was very eloquent. He said in his statement, “We are the rulers and you (Ansars) are the ministers (i.e. advisers),” Hubab bin Al-Mundhir said, “No, by Allah we won’t accept this. But there must be a ruler from us and a ruler from you.” Abu Bakr said, “No, we will be the rulers and you will be the ministers, for they (i.e. Quarish) are the best family amongst the ‘Arabs and of best origin. So you should elect either ‘Umar or Abu ‘Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah as your ruler.” ‘Umar said (to Abu Bakr), “No but we elect you, for you are our chief and the best amongst us and the most beloved of all of us to Allah’s Apostle.” So ‘Umar took Abu Bakr’s hand and gave the pledge of allegiance and the people too gave the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr. Someone said, “You have killed Sad bin Ubada.” ‘Umar said, “Allah has killed him.” ‘Aisha said (in another narration), (“When the Prophet was on his death-bed) he looked up and said thrice, (Amongst) the Highest Companion (See Qur’an 4.69)’ Aisha said, Allah benefited the people by their two speeches. ‘Umar frightened the people some of whom were hypocrites whom Allah caused to abandon Islam because of ‘Umar’s speech. Then Abu Bakr led the people to True Guidance and acquainted them with the right path they were to follow so that they went out reciting:– “Muhammad is no more than an Apostle and indeed many Apostles have passed away before him.” (3.144)  (Sahih Bukhari, Book #57, Hadith #19)

12 Comments

Filed under Belief (Aqeeda)

Azab-e-Barzakh Part II

Click here to read the first article on this topic.

One of our readers posted a few comments on the matter of Azab-e-Barzakh or torment in the grave. Since he has raised some important points, we feel it is appropriate to address these as a blog post (a rather long article so grab a cup of tea). You can read the reader’s full comments here.

Unfortunately, a lot of Muslims tend to associate ‘living’ phenomena with graves even though graves are nothing more than hygienic means of disposal of dead bodies. As you will be aware, this topic is one of the most controversial and also difficult to understand because Allah has given very little knowledge of Barzakh or life after death and before the Day of Judgement. The correct approach in understanding matters of Aqeedah is to always keep the Qur’an supreme and to interpret all available evidence in the light of the Qur’an. We have used this approach in our answers, which are as follows:

Argument 1

“The Prophets are alive and they pray in their graves.” (Narrated by al-Mundhiri and al-Bayhaqi who classed it as saheeh because of corroborating reports in al-Saheehayn)

This is a ‘munkir’ hadith. One of its narrators is “Hasan Bin Qatiba Khuzayi” about whom:

  • Imam Dhabi said, “He is a man who deserves to be killed”.
  • Imam Daruqtni said, “He is a denier of hadith.”
  • Abu Hatim said, “He is weak (zaeef).”
  • Azdi said, “He is Waahi ul Hadith”.
  • Oqaili said, “He was Kaseer ul Weham”. (In other words he was a very superstitious person and narrated wrong hadith under the influence of his superstitions.)

(Meezan ul Aitidaal Vol. 1, pp. 241, Lisaan ul Meezan Vol. 2, pp. 346)

Argument 2

Your second argument stems from the incident of Mairaj when Moses (AS) is said to be praying in his grave. You also seem to think that we deny torment in the grave. This conclusion is wrong. The Qur’an mentions Barzakh and hadith provides ample evidence so who are we to deny it? Unlike sects, we do not claim to know where Barzakh is. We also say clearly that there is nothing happening in the earthly graves.

Where is Barzakh? We do not know. But where it is not, Allah tells us in a few places. From the Qur’an and Sahih Hadith, it is proven that Barzakh is not the ditches (graves) on this earth. The Qur’an tells us that the martyrs and prophets are living Barzakhi lives right now, in the presence of their Lord [Q 3:169]. Sahih ahadith tell us that their Barzakhi lives are in Jannah as mentioned in [Sahih Muslim – Book 020, Hadith 4651] and [Sahih Bukhari – Volume 4, Book 52, Hadith 64] for martyrs and [Sahih Bukhari – Volume 2, Book 23, Hadith 468]  for prophets.

While the ahadith cited above are of the highest authenticity, those usually quoted as proof of life in these earthly graves are weak ahadith and are no match with the authentic ahadith of Bukhari and Muslim. This makes the weaker ahadith ‘munkir’ or ‘in negation’ (i.e. ahadith that oppose the verdict of ahadith stronger than them). The Moses (AS) hadith is about the incident of Mairaaj which was a miracle and we cannot use a miracle to derive general ruling.

Argument 3

Salam presented to Prophet (SAW)?

You have then brought the hadith from Abu Dawood about salaat-o-salaam (durood) being presented to Muhammad (SAW) and his soul being restored in his body. Abu Dawood hadith  2041 narrated by Abu Huraira (RA) which says that salaam has been presented to Prophet (SAW) is not sound at all. This hadith has jirah (criticism) on its chain of narrators. One narrator of this report is “Muhammad Bin Auf”. Imam Dhahbi has discussed only one “Muhammad Bin Auf” in his “Meezan ul Aitidaal” and declared him unknown (Majhool). (Meezan ul Aitidaal Vol. 3 Pg. 286).

Another narrator of this narration is Humaid Bin Ziyad whose kunyat (lineage) is Abu Sukhr Al Madni Al Kharaat. Dhahbi wrote about him in Meezan ul Aitidaal that, “Imam Ahmed said that there is no harm in it. Yahya Bin Moeen said that he is weak. And at another place Yahya said that there is no harm in it. Ibn-e-Adi said that his ahadith are good. (Note that Muhaditheen used the word of “La Baas Bihi” i.e. no harm in it for those narrators whose ahadith alone are not hujjat at all and they belong to the fourth degree of narrators.) Ibn-e-Adi in his own book Al Kamil declared this Humaid Bin Ziyad as weak (Zaeef).

Even if we ignore the disputed personality of Humaid Bin Ziyad, this hadith is still not hujjat (proof) at all due to its very first narrator Muhammad bin Auf who is Majhool and the narration of a Majhool narrator is highly unreliable.

Footsteps?

You have then mentioned the hearing of footsteps of departing people (after funeral prayer) by the deceased. There are various explanations of this hadith and we must only follow that explanation which conforms with the Qur’an and other Sahih ahadith. We learn from the Qur’an that the souls of the dead go to a parallel world and have no contact whatsoever with this world (the word Barzakh literally means a barrier; in Al-Furqan 25:53, Barzakh is said to be a barrier that cannot be crossed, a complete partition, a forbidding ban). Therefore, at the moment of death, this barrier is put in place which forbids all interaction with the living. So whatever the dead listen to or talk to is not related to this world but it is related to the other world or the Barzakh. This is the meaning conveyed by the Qur’an and our interpretation has to sit within it because only the Qur’an is the Truth.

The words of the footsteps hadith are “When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their footsteps two angels come to him”. These words are often misconstrued by people but the problem is that if we interpret this hadith by saying that dead can listen to the living then various Qur’anic verses are denied in which Allah clearly declares that the dead cannot listen to the living. In fact, Ayesha (RA) says the same in the Well of Badr hadith that the dead cannot hear (copied in the latter part of this article. She quotes Qur’an 30:52 and 35:22). Allah also refers to the dead as “lifeless things” in the Qur’an and says, ‘nor are the living equal with the dead’ [35:22]. So the interpretation of this hadith has to conform to the Qur’an as well as other Sahih Ahadith on this subject.

“(O’ Prophet! ) You cannot make the dead to hear.” (27:80)

“Allah causes to hear to anybody whom He will but (O’ Prophet!) you cannot cause to hear those who are buried in graves.”(35:22, latter half)

In the above verse, Allah is telling us that He can cause anyone to hear but the Prophet (SAW) cannot cause those to hear who are in the graves. In the light of the above verses, to say that the dead can hear the footfall of their departing relatives is a gross injustice towards Allah’s words.

The second interpretation of the footsteps hadith is given by Az-Zain bin al-Munayyar, the commentator of Sahih Bukhari. Commenting upon the tradition in question, Ibn e Hajar Asqalani interprets this hadith in his commentary on Sahih Bukhari ‘Fatah-ul-Bari’ by saying:

“When a man is interred in his grave and his burial gets completed and his fellows go off till he hears footfalls two angels come to him”

This means that he is interpreting the hadith to mean the footfall of those two angels (in Barzakh) who will come to him for questioning. In the light of other Qur’anic verses and Sahih ahadith, it is not correct to conclude that “the dead person hears the footsteps of his departing relatives”. Rather, it is better to conclude that the dead hears the footfalls of the two angels.

Well of Badr

You have mentioned the incident of Kuffar of Badr Well. The correct interpretation of the hadith, which is Hujjat (binding proof) for us has been brought by Imam Bukhari, who narrates the hadith of Ayesha (RA), the Umm ul Momineen.

Narrated Hisham’s father:

It was mentioned before ‘Aisha that Ibn ‘Umar attributed the following statement to the Prophet “The dead person is punished in the grave because of the crying and lamentation of his family.” On that, ‘Aisha said, “But Allah’s Apostle said, ‘the dead person is punished for his crimes and sins while his family cry over him then.” She added, “And this is similar to the statement of Allah’s Apostle when he stood by the (edge of the) well which contained the corpses of the pagans killed at Badr, ‘They hear what I say.’ She added, “But he said now they know very well what I used to tell them was the truth.” ‘Aisha then recited: ‘You cannot make the dead hear.’ (30.52) and ‘You cannot make those who are in their Graves, hear you.’ (35.22) that is, when they had taken their places in the (Hell) Fire.  [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 316].

So the above interpretation provided by Ayesha (RA) clearly proves that this hadith does not mean that the dead can hear. It simply means that “they now know what Allah’s Prophet (SAW) had promised to them”. From this incident, no one among the Sahaba (RA) extracted the general rule of hearing of the dead. The only difference of opinion was that Ayesha said “They know now” and Abdullah Bin Umar (RA) considered it a miracle. However, in Islamic rules a miracle cannot be used for deriving generalised rulings because a miracle is an exception.

Argument 4

Again, if you interpret the Banu An-Najjar hadith in accordance with the Qur’an and other Sahih ahadith, your conclusion will be different.  Let’s see another hadith about this Banu An Najjar graveyard from Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Anas:

When the Prophet arrived in Medina he dismounted at ‘Awali-i-Medina amongst a tribe called Banu ‘Amr bin ‘Auf. He stayed there for fourteen nights. Then he sent for Bani An-Najjar and they came armed with their swords. As if I am looking (just now) as the Prophet was sitting over his Rahila (Mount) with Abu Bakr riding behind him and all Banu An-Najjar around him till he dismounted at the courtyard of Abu Aiyub’s house. The Prophet loved to pray wherever the time for the prayer was due even at sheep-folds. Later on he ordered that a mosque should be built and sent for some people of Banu An-Najjar and said, “O Banu An-Najjar! Suggest to me the price of this (walled) piece of land of yours.” They replied, “No! By Allah! We do not demand its price except from Allah.” Anas added: There were graves of pagans in it and some of it was unlevelled and there were some date-palm trees in it. The Prophet ordered that the graves of the pagans be dug out and the unlevelled land be levelled and the date-palm trees be cut down. (So all that was done). They aligned these cut date-palm trees towards the Qibla of the mosque (as a wall) and they also built two stone side-walls (of the mosque). His companions brought the stones while reciting some poetic verses. The Prophet was with them and he kept on saying, “There is no goodness except that of the Hereafter, O Allah! So please forgive the Ansars and the emigrants.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 420].

About these earthly graves you concluded that Prophet (SAW) and animals with him heard the torment in these graves. If this was the case, then why did Prophet (SAW) asked to dig out the graves? If there was Azab (torment) happening in the graves, then what was the purpose behind digging them out or levelling them? Does your conclusion not mean that the Prophet (SAW) favoured the pagans and ended the very root of their Azab by digging out the graves? Rather, the digging out of graves actually means that the matter of Azab and listening to voices is not related to the earthly graves but is a matter related to Barzakh; otherwise Prophet (SAW) would not have asked to dig out those graves.

Last but not least, there are two ahadith in Mauta Imam Malik that clearly prove that after death there is no connection between the dead body and the soul. The dead bodies are “lifeless things” i.e. amwatun ghayru ahyain as per the Qur’an (Surah Nahl:20-21) and destroyed with the passage of time whereas the soul resides in Barzakh.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu’z Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The earth eats all of the son of Adam except the coccyx. He was created from it, and on it he is built.”  [Mauta Imam Malik Book 16, Number 16.16.49]

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that Abd ar-Rahman ibn Kab ibn Malik al-Ansari told him that his father, Kab ibn Malik, used to relate that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The ruh of the mu’min is a bird that sits in the trees of the Garden until Allah returns it to his body on the day He raises him .” [Mauta Imam Malik Book 16, Number 16.16.50]

I hope that we have now covered this complex topic in adequate detail and answered all of your questions.

Assalam o alaikum

[All emphases are mine].

19 Comments

Filed under Belief (Aqeeda)

We hear and we obey

Allah says in the Qur’an:

The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His Words, the Qur’an) and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the successful (who will live forever in Paradise). And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), fears Allah, and keeps his duty (to Him), such are the successful. [Surah An-Noor 24:51-52]

In these verses, Allah provides a very powerful insight into the attitude of a believer. When a Muslim is called to guidance, he simply obeys. This is different from the behaviour of the hypocrites or those who do not have emaan in their hearts – mentioned in verses 47-50 of the surah – who claim that they obey but they turn away when ‘Allah and His messenger judge between them.’ In other words, they demand something other than the truth because they do not wish to submit to Allah. [1]

No ifs and no buts: those that hear and obey, such are the successful. Let us now have a look at some important aqaid (beliefs) in Islam and, with painful honesty, ask ourselves if we hear and if we obey.

Light (noor) is a creation of Allah. Allah is not Noor. There is none like him.

All praises and thanks be to Allah, Who (Alone) created the heavens and the earth, and originated the darkness and the light; yet those who disbelieve hold others as equal with their Lord. (Al-Anaam 6:1)

And there is none comparable unto Him. [Al-Ikhlas 112:4]

Muhammad (SAW) was a man as were all other messengers. Muhammad (SAW) died after completing his mission. Only Allah is the Ever Living, the Al-Hayee, the Al-Qayyum.

Their Messengers said to them: “We are no more than human beings like you, but Allah bestows His Grace to whom He wills of His slaves. It is not ours to bring you an authority (proof) except by the Permission of Allah. And in Allah (Alone) let the believers put their trust. [Surah Ibrahim 14:11)

Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (Al-Kahf 18:110)

And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): then if you die, would they live forever? (Al-Anbiya 21:34)

Verily you (O muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will die, and verily they (too) will die. (Az-Zumar 39:30)

The dead cannot hear. Seeking intercession of the dead is shirk. Allah listens to all duas directly.

And they worship besides Allah things that harm them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say: “Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted is He above all that which they associate as partners (with Him)! (Surah Yunus 10:18)

Nor are (alike) the living and the dead. Verily, Allah makes whom He wills to hear, but you cannot make hear those who are in graves. (Surah Fatir 35:22)

Obedience to Muhammad (SAW) and following his Sunnah is obligatory.

Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Obey Allah and the messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم).” But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers. (Aal-e-Imran 3:32)

The dead have no contact with the living. The living cannot transfer reward to the dead. All dead are in Barzakh receiving reward or torment, not in their earthly graves. Allah assigns a grave even to those who do not get a burial.

“So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!” No! It is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected. (Al-Mumenoon 23:100)

And be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly. (Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #281)

(They are) dead, not living. And they know not when they will be raised. (An-Nahl 16:21)

Then He causes him to die and puts him in his grave. (Surah Abasa 80:21)

There is no life in the graves on this earth. There are only two lives: the first in this world and the second after resurrection on the Day of Judgement.

They will say: “Our Lord! You have made us to die twice (i.e. we were dead in the loins of our fathers and dead after our life in this world), and You have given us life twice (i.e. life when we were born and life when we are Resurrected)! Now we confess our sins, then is there any way to get out (of the Fire)?” (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi,) (Surah Ghafir 40:11)

Muhammad (SAW) was the last of the prophets.

Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything. (Al-Ahzab 33:40)

Those that argue against these beliefs, or beings arguments from famous scholars, need to stop and think again about what they believe in and why.  This is also an appropriate moment to ask ourselves: do we hear and do we obey?

Assalam o alaikum

[1] This is the behaviour of those who claim to be Muslims but refuse to believe in the tenets of faith that collectively make up the Islamic belief system. For example, a majority of Muslims believes that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is alive in his grave in Medina. Do they hear and obey?

Download this article – PDF (A4 – full page print): 

11 Comments

Filed under Belief (Aqeeda)