with regard to question no 3195 & 7729. Dear Mufti Could you give us proof from Quran and Sunnah what you have explain and you cliam that Ahlus sunnah Wal Jamaa beleive prophet Muhammed (saw) is alive in his grave. What really Ahlus sunnah Wal Jamaa believe in this matter is www.islam-qa.com; The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was a human being who suffered from sickness and real death the same as any other human being. Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): ?Verily, you (O Muhammad) will die, and verily, they (too) will die? [al-Zumar 39:30] ?And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad); then if you die, would they live forever?? [al-Anbiyaa? 21:34] The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died and was buried in his grave, hence al-Siddeeq Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: ?Whoever used to worship Muhammad, Muhammad has died, but whoever used to worship Allaah, Allaah is alive and will never die.?
In your question, you have quoted a few Aayats and the incident of Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu). In actual fact, these have nothing to do with Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) being alive in his grave because the Aayat and the incident of Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) have to do with Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) passing away from this Dunyaa. This is an accepted fact. Everyone agrees that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) passed away for this earthly life.
Everyone also agrees that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is alive in his grave but what has to be understood is how is Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) alive in his grave. If this is understood, I am sure that your objection will evaporate.
Firstly, it should be known that after the death of a person the life of Barzakh (interval between death and resurrection) takes place. In this regards, both the Muslim and the Kaafir are equal. This is the view of Ahlus sunnah wal Jamaa. This has been proven through many Ahaadith. To cite a few: When a person is placed in his grave and his companions depart from him, verily, he hears their footsteps, two angels come to him, they make him sit up, then they address him?? (Mishkaat pg.24; Qadeemi)
Once a Jewess came to Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha), she spoke about the punishment of the grave and then said, ?May Allah protect you from the punishment of grave.? Later, Hadhrat Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) questioned Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) concerning the punishment of the grave. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, ?Yes, the punishment of the grave is Haqq?? (Mishkaat pg.25; Qadeemi)
These Ahaadith explicitly prove that after a person passes away, he enters into a different phase of living and this is the life of Barzakh. However, in regards to this life there are various levels. Allah Ta’ala says in regards to the Shuhadaa, ?And do not term those who have been killed in the path of Allah as dead. In fact, they are living but you perceive not.? (Baqarah 153). From here, it is even more evident that a person dying in the world does not affect his status of being alive in the life of Barzakh.
The question that now arises is, what is the meaning of them being alive? Mufti Shafi (RA) commentating on this verse in his Ma?ariful Qur’aan explains, ?It is well known that from the Islamic viewpoint, every dead person has a special type of life in Barzakh through which he experiences either punishment or enjoyment. However, there are different levels in this life. There is the level which is general for all, and there are special levels for the Ambiyaa, the martyrs and the pious. With regards to the reality of those levels, the best explanation is given by Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA) in his Bayaanul Qur’aan.
The difference between the life of a martyr and of a normal person is that the effects of life is stronger in a martyr. Its example is that of the difference of feeling between the fingertips and the heel of the foot. Life flows in both of them, but feeling and perception is much greater in the fingertips. In the same manner is the effect of life greater in the martyr to the extent it even affects the body of the Shaheed in that it stays fresh in the grave and does not decompose, as is substantiated in the Ahaadith and from eye-witness accounts. This effect of life is only in regards to Barzakh, therefore, in Dunya all the laws that apply to a dead person will also apply to the martyr, his inheritance will be divided and his wife will be able to marry another person. A similar type of life is granted to the Anbiyaa but the effect of their life is even stronger to the extent that together with their bodies being preserved, some effects of their lives in Barzak also become apparent in Dunyaa, hence, their inheritance is not divisible and neither can their wives remarry.
This is what we mean when we speak of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) being alive in his grave. Now for some proofs:
1. From Aayat2/253, it is proven that the martyrs are alive in their graves. Which this is established for the martyrs, then it is also established for the Anbiyaa, because;a ) This position has been bestowed on the martyrs as an honour for them. There is no doubt that there is no rank higher than the rank of the Anbiyaa and that the position of the Anbiyaa is higher and more perfect than the position of all the Shuhadaa. Therefore, it is impossible that this honour is given to the Shuhadaa and the Anbiyaa remained deprived of it, b) This position is granted to the Shuhadaa is a recompense for their Jihaad and for spending their lives in the way of Allah. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was the one who instituted this practice, who called them to this practice and guided them towards it. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, ?Whoever institutes a noble practice, for him is its reward and the reward of those who act on it until the day of Qiyaamah.?
2. Anas ibn Maaliki (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ?The Anbiyaa (Alayhis salaam) are living in their graves, they perform Salaat.? (Majmauz-zawaaid vol.8 pg.211)
3. The lives of the Anbiyaa (Alayhis salaam) are also proven through the Ahaadith of Mi?raaj narrated by Bukhari and Muslim where it is mentioned that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) led the Anbiyaa (Alayhis salaam) is Salaat and also his meeting them in Jannah.
4. ibn Mas?ood (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ?Verily, Allah has angels travelling through the earth, they bring to me the salaams of my Ummah.? (Targheeb wat Tarheeb vol.2 pg.498)
5. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ?Whoever recites Salawaat upon me (in my presence, I hear it and whoever sends Salawaat to me and he is not by me, his Salawaat is brought to me.? (Nasaaie)
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai