Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
The Prophets (Allah bless him and give him peace) have died and are in their graves.
Where are they right now, in Jannah, just in their graves, or is there another concept?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah is our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and all the other prophets (peace be upon them all) are in their graves, preserved, remain intact, responsive to those who say salam to them, alive and worshiping Allah (Most High) in some form, out of their own choice, and not as an obligation.
Allamah Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (Allah have mercy on him) has a treatise on this with the title Inba’ al-Adhkiya’ fi Hayat al-Anbiya’ in which he collected the hadiths related to this issue.
From the hadiths which prove the life of the Prophet(s) after their death is the hadith of Aws ibn Aws [Allah be pleased with him] about the virtue of Friday, in which it is mentioned, “So increase in your blessings on me, for indeed your blessings are shown to me.” Aws said: “They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! (Allah bless him and give him peace) How will our blessings be shown to you when you have decomposed?’ He said: ‘Indeed Allah (Great and Glorious is He) has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of Prophets.’” [Al-Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, ibn Majah, al-Darimi, and al-Hakim transmitted it]; [al-Hakim] authenticated it, and al-Dhahabi agreed with him in Talkhis al-Mustadrak (1:278).
In mentioning the infinity of his body (Allah bless him and give him peace) after his death in the context of blessings being put forward to him, there is an indication that his blessed soul has a connection to his body. When blessings are shown, it is to both his body and soul, for otherwise, there would be no meaning to mentioning the physical body in the answer.
The Prophets (Allah bless them and give them peace) along with the martyrs and believing Muslims can roam, as some were seen during the Ascension by the Prophet at different levels of Paradise, and martyrs as green birds, and believing men and women, too.
Physical World (Dunya)
The physical world is the one we live in and reside with our body and soul.
Intermediary Realm (barzakh)
This world is where the souls are. The Prophets (Allah bless them and give them peace) are alive with their bodies in their graves and their soul roaming as and where with the permission of Allah. Same with martyrs and believing men and women.
In the Akhira, the Prophets and all human beings and jinn will be resurrected with a unique body and soul. [Bayhaqi, Hayat al-Anbiya ba’da Wafatihim; Taqi Usmani, Takmila Fath al-Mulhim]
Below are further linked answers to understand the issue.
Is This Proof That the Prophet Is Alive in His Grave? – SeekersGuidance
Do the Prophets’ Souls Roam Around? – SeekersGuidance
How Could the Prophet Meet with Prophet Musa in Different Places? (seekersguidance.org)
Do the Bodies of the Prophets Decompose After Burial? – SeekersGuidance
Are People in Paradise Now? – SeekersGuidance
I pray this helps with your questions.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey.
He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete hifz of Quran in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan.
He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.
He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.