Abu Umama said,"When I die, do with me as the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam) ordered us, saying, 'When one of your brothers dies and you have smoothed over the earth upon his grave, let one of you stand at the head of the grave and say, "O So and so Son of So and so" for he will hear, though he cannot reply - and then say, "O So and So, son of So and so," and he will say, "Direct me, Allah have mercy upon you mercy on you," though you will not hear it, but should say, "Remember the creed upon which you departed from this world, the testification that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His slave and messenger, and that you accepted Allah as your Lord, Islam as your religion, Muhammad as your prophet, and the Koran as your exemplar." For then the two angels Munkar and Nakir will take each other's hand and say, "Let us go, what is there to keep us beside someone who has been instructed how to make his plea?"A Man said, "O Messenger of Alllah, what if one does not know the name of his mother?" and he answered, 'Then one should mention his descent from his mother Eve, saying, "O so and so son of Eve"Tabarani related this hadith in his al-Mu'jam al kabir and Ibn Hajar al Asqalani has said that "its transmission is sound"
[Talkhis al-habir fi takhrij ahadith al-Rafi'i al-kabir]
Arabic for the above hadith from Imam Ibn Hajars Talkhis, Vol 2, # 796:عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الطبراني عن أبي أمامة إذا أنا مت فاصنعوا بي كما أمرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن نصنع بموتانا أمرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إذا مات أحد من إخوانكم فسويتم التراب على قبره فليقم أحدكم على رأس قبره ثم ليقل يا فلان بن فلانة فإنه يسمعه ولا يجيب ثم يقول يا فلان بن فلانة فإنه يستوي قاعدا ثم يقول يا فلان بن فلانة فإنه يقول أرشدنا يرحمك الله ولكن لا تشعرون فليقل اذكر ما خرجت عليه من الدنيا شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا عبده ورسوله وأنك رضيت بالله ربا وبالإسلام دينا وبمحمد نبيا وبالقرآن إماما فإن منكرا ونكيرا يأخذ كل واحد منهما بيد صاحبه ويقول انطلق بنا ما يقعدنا عند من لقن حجته قال فقال رجل يا رسول الله فإن لم يعرف أمه قال ينسبه إلى أمه حواء يا فلان بن حواءوإسناده صالح
Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 0220:
Narrated Amr ibn al-'As:Ibn Shamasah said: We went to Amr ibn al-'As and he was about to die. He wept for a long time and turned his face towards the wall. His son said: Did the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) not give you tidings of this? Did the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) not give you tidings of this? He (the narrator) said: He turned his face (towards the audience) and said: The best thing which we can count upon is the testimony that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah. Verily I have passed through three phases.
It is mentioned in Ibn Hajars Talkhis (in the same section as the previous hadith):وفي صحيح مسلم عن
عمرو بن العاص أنه قال لهم في حديث عند موته إذا دفنتموني أقيموا حول قبري قدر ما ينحر جزور ويقسم لحمها حتى أستأنس بكم وأعلم ماذا أراجع رسل ربي وقد تقدم حديث واسألوا له التثبت فإنه الآن يسألIn Sahih Muslim itself:حدثنا محمد بن المثنى العنزي وأبو معن الرقاشي وإسحق بن منصور كلهم عن أبي عاصم واللفظ لابن المثنى حدثنا الضحاك يعني أبا عاصم قال أخبرنا حيوة بن شريح قال حدثني يزيد بن أبي حبيب عن ابن شماسة المهري قال حضرنا عمرو بن العاص وهو في سياقة الموت فبكى طويلا وحول وجهه إلى الجدار فجعل ابنه يقول يا أبتاه أما بشرك رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بكذا أما بشرك رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بكذا قال فأقبل بوجهه فقال إن أفضل ما نعد شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله إني كنت على أطباق ثلاث لقد رأيتني وما أحد أشد بغضا لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مني ولا أحب إلي أن أكون قد استمكنت منه فقتلته فلو مت على تلك الحال لكنت من أهل النار فلما جعل الله الإسلام في قلبي أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلت ابسط يمينك فلأبايعك فبسط يمينه قال فقبضت يدي قال ما لك يا عمرو قال قلت أردت أن أشترط قال تشترط بماذا قلت أن يغفر لي قال أما علمت أن الإسلام يهدم ما كان قبله وأن الهجرة تهدم ما كان قبلها وأن الحج يهدم ما كان قبله وما كان أحد أحب إلي من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا أجل في عيني منه وما كنت أطيق أن أملأ عيني منه إجلالا له ولو سئلت أن أصفه ما أطقت لأني لم أكن أملأ عيني منه ولو مت على تلك الحال لرجوت أن أكون من أهل الجنة ثم ولينا أشياء ما أدري ما حالي فيها فإذا أنا مت فلا تصحبني نائحة ولا نار فإذا دفنتموني فشنوا علي التراب شنا ثم أقيموا حول قبري قدر ما تنحر جزور ويقسم لحمها حتى أستأنس بكم وأنظر ماذا أراجع به رسل ربي See: كون الإسلام يهدم ما قبله وكذا الهجرة والحج الإيمان صحيح مسلم
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُسْمِعُ مَن يَشَآءُ]
(Verily, Allah makes whom He wills to hear,) means. He guides them to listen to the proof and accept it and adhere it.
[وَمَآ أَنتَ بِمُسْمِعٍ مَّن فِى الْقُبُورِ]
(but you cannot make hear those who are in graves.) means, `just as the dead cannot benefit from guidance and the call to truth after they have died as disbelievers and ended up in the graves, so too you cannot help these idolators who are decreed to be doomed, and you cannot guide them
[فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ]
(So, put your trust in Allah in all your affairs, and convey the Message of your Lord
.[إِنَّكَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ الْمُبِينِ]
(surely, you are on manifest truth.) meaning, you are following manifest truth, even though you are opposed by those who oppose you because they are doomed. The Word of your Lord has been justified against them, so that they will not believe even if all the signs are brought to them.
Allah says:[إِنَّكَ لاَ تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَى]
(Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear) meaning, you cannot cause them to hear anything that will benefit them. The same applies to those over whose hearts is a veil and in whose ears is deafness of disbelief. Allah says:
[وَلاَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ الدُّعَآءَ إِذَا وَلَّوْاْ مُدْبِرِينَ]وَمَآ أَنتَ بِهَادِى الْعُمْىِ عَن ضَلَـلَتِهِمْ إِن تُسْمِعُ إِلاَّ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِـئَايَـتِنَا فَهُم مُّسْلِمُونَ-]
(nor can you make the deaf to hear the call, when they flee, turning their backs. Nor can you lead the blind out of their error. You can only make to hear those who believe in Our Ayat, so they submit (became Muslims).) meaning, those who have hearing and insight will respond to you, those whose hearing and sight are of benefit to their hearts and who are humble towards Allah and to the Message that comes to them through the mouths of the Messengers, may peace be upon them.
Touching on the issue of whether dead people hear or not, our view is as follows. It is well known that hearing in living people is actually a property of spirit (al-Ruh). The ear is only an organ or rather instrument of hearing, nothing more. Since the spirit of the dead person does not become extinct with the extinction of his body, the belief that the spirit hears is not farfetched. One cannot claim that it does not hear due to loss of the organ of hearing by reason of the body's perishing. For we say that it sometimes hears even without that organ just as in visions. Thus, the spirit talks and hears in its sleep just as it sees in dreams without mediation of an instrument, that is, an organ of sensation. Then, is it too much for the rational person, after experiencing sound and sight in one's sleep by the sole means of the spirit and without the slightest participation of the organs of sound and sight, to believe that after the spirit separates from the body it hears and sees even without the organs of sound and sight?Yet and still, the Wahhabis do not extend their denial that the dead can hear to martyrs because Allah says: "Do not consider those who are slain for Allah's sake dead, but they are alive receiving sustenance with their Lord" (3:169). There is no doubt that the rank of prophets is not beneath the rank of martyrs: they, like them, are alive with their Lord, receiving sustenance. It has been narrated that the Prophet said: "I passed by Musa on the night of my Journey while he was praying in his grave." And on the authority of Anas the Prophet said: "Prophets are alive in their graves [praying]." Abu Ya`la al-Mawsili and al-Bazzar relate this. On the authority of Ibn `Umar the Prophet said: "I saw Jesus, Moses, and Abraham, on them be peace." This is related by Bukhari, Muslim and Imam Malik in his Muwatta'. Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn Husayn al-Bayhaqi recorded in Shu`ab al-Iman on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet said: "Whoever sends blessings on me at my grave, I will hear him, and whoever sends blessings on me from afar, I am informed about it." Therefore, if the premise prophets are alive is affirmed, then, one must also affirm the premise prophets can hear; for hearing is a concomitant property of life.It is incorrect to invoke the fact that since the life of prophets and martyrs in the barzakh or "isthmus life" is different from the life of this world they cannot hear. Even if we grant that the two lives are each of a different kind, nevertheless affirming "They are alive" with any kind of life is sufficient to establish that they hear and that their tawassul and supplication for help follows as a matter of course.Finally, the organ of hearing itself, in prophets, is not voided by death: for their bodies do not suffer the corruption of the grave as we know from the noble hadith: "Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of Prophets." If we were to slacken the reins and say it is true that the bodies of prophets undergo corruption in their graves as the Wahhabis claim, having already affirmed that they are alive and receiving sustenance (3:169), then, this would simply count as affirmation that they hear even though they lack an organ for this purpose according to the view we expounded above.We have abundant evidence in hadith which provide evidence that other than prophets and martyrs among the dead can hear. Cited by Bukhari and Muslim and the narrators of the Sunan is the hadith transmitted on the authority of Ibn `Umar who said: "The Messenger of Allah spoke to the People (buried) in the Well saying: "Have you found out that what your Lord had promised you is true?" then someone exclaimed: "Are you calling out to the dead!" The Prophet replied: "You do not hear better than they do, except they do not respond."" And in Bukhari and Muslim we find the hadith of Anas on the authority of Abu Talha that the Prophet called to them: "O Abu Jahl Ibn Hisham! O Umayya Ibn Khalaf! O `Utba ibn Rabi`a! Have you not found out that what your Lord promised you is true? for I have found that what he has promised me is true." `Umar said to him: "O Messenger of Allah, how do you address bodies devoid of spirit?" The Prophet replied: "By Him Who holds my life in His Hands! You do not hear what I am saying to them better than they do." Similarly, it has been affirmed in Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Anas that the Prophet said: "Surely, when the servant of Allah is placed in his grave and his companions in this life turn away from it, he hears the thumps of their sandaled feet."Abu Nu`aym Al-Isbahani has mentioned with his chain of transmission from `Ubayd Ibn Marzuq who said: "A woman of Madina, named Umm Mihjan, used to sweep the mosque, then she died. The Prophet was not told of this event. Thereafter, he passed over her grave and queried: "What is this?" Those present replied: "Umm Mihjan." He said: "The one who swept the mosque?" They answered: "Yes." Thereupon the people lined up and prayed for her. Then he addressed her: "Which work of yours did you find more favored?" They exclaimed: "O Messenger of Allah, can she hear you?" He replied: "You cannot hear better than she does." Then it is mentioned that she answered him: "Sweeping the mosque." The chain of transmission in this hadith is interrupted. There are others more like it.It is narrated concerning `A'isha, may Allah be pleased with her, when she heard the hadith about the dead hearing, she denied it and said: "How does the Prophet say something like that when Allah has said: "You cannot make those to hear who are in the graves" (35:22). While her opinion does not affirm the hearing of the dead as Ibn Taymiyya notes in his Legal Opinions (Fatawa) and in other places, we have no excuse for following it. For the question necessarily concerns a well-known matter of faith which no one has permission to deny. In fact `A'isha has also narrated that the Prophet said, as Ibn Rajab has noted in Ahwal al-Qubur: "Surely they know now that what I said to them is true." This narration of hers supports those which say that the dead hear, for if it is possible for a dead man to know, surely it is possible for him also to hear. Therefore, to affirm that they do know is necessarily also to affirm that they hear.As for the Qur'anic verses: "You cannot make those who are in the graves hear" (35:22) and: "You cannot make the dead hear..." (27:80) there is no evidence in them for the denial of hearing in the case of the dead in the absolute sense, it is only evidence for denying hearing for those who benefit thereof. That is because what is meant by the phrase: "Those in the graves" in the first verse and by "the dead" in the second verse are the unbelievers, who are compared to the dead lying in their graves. Just as the dead do not hear with a beneficial kind of hearing -- that is, with a hearing made complete by the mutual exchange of address between the hearer and the speaker -- in the same way the unbelievers do not hear the warning signs that the Prophet addresses to them in a way that benefits them by guiding them to faith in Allah.What otherwise confirms the above is that unqualified hearing is also an established attribute of the unbelievers: they hear what the Prophet said to them; but they derived no benefit from it. This is confirmed by Allah's saying: "If Allah had recognized in them any good, He would, indeed, have made them hear: if He made them hear (as it stands), they would turn away" (8:23). Hence, what is meant by "hear" when He says "He would indeed have made them hear" is a hearing which brings benefit to the hearer and when He says: "If He made them hear (as it stands)" He means hearing which carries no benefit. If this were otherwise, the sense of the passage would be corrupt inasmuch as the verse would, then, be a syllogism where the middle term (He makes them hear) is reiterated; the end result would be: "If Allah had recognized any good in them, they would have turned away." This conclusion is absurd and contradictory, as you can see, since it would entail that the turning back take place -- which is evil -- despite the fact that Allah recognized good in them. Allah's recognition would be, in that case, a misrecognition with respect to the true state of the unbelievers -- Exalted is Allah high above such a possibility.The above cited two verses point to a further meaning: that what is meant by the hearing negated in both cases is the hearing connected with the faculty of guidance just as the context of the two verses indicate. The meaning then is that you do not guide the unbelievers by yourself, O Muhammad! because they are like dead men and that you cannot cause the dead to hear by yourself. The only agent causing them to hear is Allah as the Qur'an says: "You do not guide whom you like but Allah guides whom he wishes" (28:56).One does not say: "Just as the one making the dead to hear in reality is Allah, likewise, the one making the living to hear is in reality none other than He." For Allah is the Creator of all actions whatsoever, just as the true doctrine on the matter teaches. What, then, is the motivation for illustrating Allah's agency with the hearing of the dead? What we say is this:1- The fact that Allah alone is the one making the dead to hear is a matter admitting of no ambiguity even for a blind man. As for His being the one causing the living to hear in reality, it is not said like that. This is because one might falsely suppose that the Agent causing hearing in the one spoken to is the actual speaker, on the grounds that the hearing of the one spoken to directly follows the external voice issuing from the mouth of the person who addresses him. Hence to exemplify Allah's agency with the hearing of the living is improper. To give an example requires that its content be unambiguously clear; this is not the case in the category of living persons as we have explained.2- Since the unbelievers were alive, to illustrate the fact that the Prophet cannot make them hear by comparing them to the living whom the Prophet cannot cause to hear comes close to fashioning a comparison between a thing and itself, as we find in that given by the poet who said:Surrounded as we are with water,We sit like people encircled by water.The Wahhabis respond, with regard to the hadith of the People of the Well, that the hearing experienced by the dead on the occasion when the Prophet questioned them was a miracle proper only to him. It does not count as evidence, they claim, that these dead were also capable of hearing the speech of someone else. The answer to this is that the miracle is not a miracle unless its manifestation is a phenomenon experienced by other persons like the speaking of pebbles. The Companions were hearing the voice of the pebbles glorifying Allah while they were being held in the palm of the Prophet's hand. But it is impossible that the dead's hearing of the Prophet speaking to them be a miracle since it was not manifest to anyone but himself. Furthermore, the hadith reporting that the dead hear the thumping of sandaled feet (Bukhari and Muslim) contravenes such a phenomenon being a miracle in the case of the People of the Well. For it indicates that dead people also hear the talk of other people besides the Prophet.The Wahhabis further respond that the object intended when the Prophet spoke to the dead was admonition of the living and not to cause an act of understanding on the part of the dead. The answer to this is that if the intended object of his speech was admonition of the living, why did `Umar ask: "How do you speak to bodies devoid of spirit?" out of astonishment at his speaking to them? I do not believe that fatuousness has pushed the Wahhabis to the point of thinking that after almost three-quarters of a millennium they understand what the Prophet meant better than his Companion, `Umar. Besides, the answer the Prophet gave by itself constitutes denial that what he aimed at was admonition because he replied: "You do not hear better than they." This answer is obviously not suitable as an admonition. On the contrary, it is a clear rejection of `Umar's sense of farfetchedness in the Prophet's behavior and astonishment because of it.The Wahhabis, finally, answer that the Prophet only spoke to the dead out of personal conviction that they hear. Thereafter, they claim, the two verses of the Qur'an were revealed to correct his belief. The response to this is that it is unallowable that the Prophet believed anything like that of his own accord. On the contrary, it came about necessarily in virtue of revelation and inspiration from his Lord. Allah said of him: "He does not speak of his own desire" (53:3). This is especially the case since he did not arrive at his knowledge of the matter by merely exercising his faculty of reason. Rather, it came about by way of revelation and inspiration as we have said.One piece of evidence that indicates that Allah quickens the dead in their graves so that they hear is His statement retelling the avowal of those who said: "Our Lord, twice hast Thou put us to death and twice hast Thou quickened us" (40:11). For what is meant by the first putting to death is the putting to death before resting in the grave. What is meant in the case of the other is the putting to death after resting in the grave. If Allah did not give life in the graves a second time, it would be impossible to put to death a second time. The Wahhabis answer this by saying that the first putting to death is the state of nonexistence prior to creation and the second putting to death is after creation. In truth, this is amusing even for children because putting to death can take place only after the occurrence of life and there is no life prior to Allah's creation of life. As for their response that the first putting to death is the putting to death of people after their life in the world of atoms, it is weaker than the first answer. People in the world of atoms were no different than spirits which Allah created and asked: "Am I not your Lord? and they answered, saying: Yes!" (7:172). Moreover, the reader knows that death is defined as a separation of the soul from the body. Hence, there is no death prior to embodiment, although it is possible for Allah to annihilate spirits after creating them. But that has nothing to do with death as we have just defined it.Finally, the Wahhabiyya usher forth evidence for the incapacity of dead people to hear on the basis of a legal ruling of the Shari`a that ulama apply in the case where a man performs certain acts using such words as: "If I address X, my wife is divorced" -- or: "my slave-girl is free." Now, if that man speaks to X after his death, then the divorce is invalid and the act of manumission null. They conclude that the basis of nullity and voidness is the fact that dead person lacks the faculty of hearing.We refuse to grant that the basis of the ruling for the ulama is the absence of hearing on the part of the dead. On the contrary, they base themselves on what they know of custom, namely that it routinely makes the stipulating of oaths like the above, conditional on life. The whole benefit of speaking is the mutual exchange of communication, which does not place when one party of the communication is dead. Conversing with a dead person, therefore, does not qualify as speech only inasmuch as his death renders him powerless to respond -- not because he is powerless to hear.
A sound (sahih) tradition related on the authority of Anas and others by Muslim, Nasa'i, Bayhaqi in the Dala'il al-nubuwwa and the Hayat al-anbiya, and Suyuti in Anba' al-adhkya' and Sharh al-sudur. Nawawi said in his commentary on this hadith: "The work of the next world is all dhikr and du`a" (Sharh Sahih Muslim 1/73/267).
A sound (sahih) tradition related on the authority of Anas ibn Malik (r) by al-Bazzar in his Musnad, Abu Ya`la in his Musnad, Ibn `Adi in al-Kamil fi al-du`afa', Tammam al-Razi in al-Fawa'id, al-Bayhaqi in Hayat al-anbiya' fi quburihim, Abu Nu`aym in Akhbar Asbahan, Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq, al-Haythami in Majma` al-zawa'id (8:211), al-Suyuti in Anba' al-adhkiya' bi-hayat al-anbiya' (#5), and al-Albani, in Silsilat al-ahadith al-sahihah (#621). Suyuti adds: "The life of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, in his grave, and [also] that of the rest of the prophets is known to us as definitive knowledge (`ilman qat`iyyan)." Sakhawi, Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani's student, said: "As for us (Muslims) we believe and we confirm that he (s) is alive and provided for in his grave" (al-Qawl al-badi` p. 161). Ibn al-Qayyim said in Kitab al-Ruh p. 58: "It is obligatory knowledge to know that his body (s) is in the earth tender and humid (i.e. as in life), and when the Companions asked him: 'How is our greeting presented to you after you have turned to dust' he replied: 'Allah has defended the earth from consuming the flesh of Prophets,' and if his body were not in his grave he would not have given this answer."
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)." Bayhaqi mentions it in Hayat al-anbiya and Shu`ab al-iman (2:218 #1583).
A sound (sahih) tradition related on the authority of Aws ibn Aws al-Thaqafi by: Ahmad in his Musnad, Ibn Abi Shaybah in the Musannaf, Abu Dawud in the Sunan, Nisa'i in his Sunan, Ibn Majah in his Sunan, Darimi in his Musnad, Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahih, Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, Hakim in the Mustadrak, Tabarani in his Kabir, Bayhaqi in Hayat al-anbiya', Suyuti in Anba' al-adkhiya, Dhahabi who confirmed al-Hakim's grading, and Nawawi in the Adhkar. Another version in Ibn Majah has this addition: "And the Prophet of Allah is alive and provided for (fa nabiyyullahi hayyun yurzaq)." Bayhaqi mentions it also in the Sunan al-kubra.
See also the "Chapter on the Proofs Used to Establish the Knowledge that the Dead Hear in the Graves" in Ibn al-Qayyim's al-Ruh and similar chapters in Suyuti's Sharh al-sudur, Ibn al-Kharrat's al-`Aqiba, Ibn Rajab's Ahwal al-qubur, Subki's Shifa' al-siqam and others.
Ibn Hajar says in al-Isaba (8:187): "Mihjana, also named Umm Mihjan: a black woman who used to sweep the mosque [in Madina]. She is mentioned in the books of sound (sahih) hadith but without being named."
See Ibn Qayyim's section "That the Hearing of the Dead is Real" in Al-Ruh (Madani ed. 1984) p. 59: "The actual meaning of these verses (35:22 and 27:80) is: You cannot make those hear whom Allah does not wish to hear, for you are only a Warner. That is: Allah has only given you the ability to warn, for which he has made you responsible; not that of making those to hear whom Allah does not wish to hear."
I.e. it is inappropriate to use such terms.
Zahawi's point is that Allah highlighted the power to make the dead hear in the Qur'an as an example of His agency, because in the case of the dead, His agency is more evident to the mind than in the case of the living, although He equally effects the hearing of both the living and the dead.Hadith of Abu Dharr related by Haythami in "Majma` al-zawa'id" with a sound (sahih) chain, chapter entitled `Alamat al-nubuwwa (Signs of Prophethood): "The Prophet took pebbles and they glorified Allah in his hand; he put them down and they became silent..."