bis salam

Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jammah believe that Rasul-ullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) is alive in his grave


By Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Q:)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 http://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.”

A:)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 Aayah 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 Salaah 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

Are the Prophets alive in their graves

What Aqidah should we have for the people that are dead? Some people say the Prophets are alive in their graves, is this true? Please give me evidence.

Question # q- 20034677

Date Posted:04/02/2004


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The belief (Aqidah) of the mainstream Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah is that our beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and all the other Prophets are alive in their graves.

This life is physical and worldly (dunyawiyyah), and not just a spiritual one with the sole (barzakhiyyah), as the latter is common for all the people. They are usually involved in performing Salah and worshiping Allah (out of their own choice and not binding on them), and we can normally not see or feel them.

This was the Aqidah held by the Sunni Muslims throughout the ages, and many books in Arabic have been written on this subject. The great Imam Suyuti (Allah have mercy on him) compiled a whole work on this subject titled ‘Inba al-Azkiya bi Hayat al-Anbiya’(Informing the intelligent regarding the living of the Prophets), in which he quoted many evidences in support of this belief. Similarly, other scholars such as: Imam al-Bayhaqi, Imam Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha’rani and Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in his book ‘Al-Ruh(The Soul) have also written and gathered evidences with regards to this.

Evidences on the prophets remaining alive in their graves:


There are many evidences in the Qur’an, Hadith and sayings of the predecessors regarding the prophets remaining alive after death. Some are reproduced here:

1) Allah Most High says:

And question thou (O Muhammad) our Messengers whom we sent before you. Did we appoint any deities other that Allah, Mot gracious, to be worshiped?” (Surah al-Zukhruf, 45).

Many commentators (mufassirun) of the Qur’an have stated in their respective exegeses that the living of the Prophets can be proved from this verse (See: Durr al-Manthur of Suyuti, Ruh al-Ma’ani by al-Alusi and others).


2)Allah Most High says:


And say not of those who are martyred in the way of Allah, “they are dead”, nay, they are living, though you perceive it not” (Surah al-Baqarah, 154).

Regarding this verse, the great Hadith expert (hafidh), Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states in his monumental commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, ‘Fath al-Bari’:

When the living of the martyrs is proven from the text of the Qur’an, then this is also proven from an analogical point of view. And the Prophets are superior then the martyrs” (Fath al-Bari, 6/379).

3)Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates: “On the night of Isra, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) passed by the grave of Sayyiduna Musa (Allah bless him), and found him performing Salah in his grave” (Recorded by Imam Muslim in his Sahih, and others).

4) Anas ibn Maliknarrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “The Prophets are alive in their graves performing Salat” (Recorded by al-Bayhaqi in his ‘Hayat al-Anbiya’ and Abu Ya’la in his Musnad).

The above Hadith has been authenticated by many Hadith scholars, such as: Ibn Hajar, al-Haythami, Ali al-Qari, al-Munawi, al-Shawkani and others.

5) Aws ibn Aws narrates the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) as saying: “Send salutations in abundance on me on Friday, as your sending salutations are presented to me. The Companions inquired: “How is it possible that you receive our salutations when your body will have been decayed? The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Verily Allah has made forbidden on the earth that it eats the bodies of the Prophets” (Recorded by Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Darami and others, and authenticated by many, such as Ibn al-Qayyim).

6)Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “None of you greets me except that Allah returns my soul on me until I return his greeting”(Musnad Ahmad, 2/527 and Sunan Abu Dawud, 1/279).

7) Anas ibn Malik narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “The Prophets are not kept in their graves for more than forty nights, but they remain worshiping Allah until the trumpet will be blown” (Sunan al-Bayhaqi).

Due to the fact that there are many narrations regarding the living of the Prophets (of which only a few have been reproduced as an example), Imam al-Suyuti (Allah have mercy on him) is of the view that these narrations have reached the level of certainty (tawatur).

8) The great Hadith master, Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states: “Death will never come to the blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) in his grave, rather he will remain alive, due to the fact that the Prophets remain alive in their graves”(Fath al-Bari, 17/22).

9)Imam al-Subki (Allah have mercy on him) states:“It is from our beliefs that the Prophets are alive in their graves”.(Tabqat al-Shafi’iyya al-Kubra, 6/266).

10)The great Hanafi jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin(Allah have mercy on him) says: “The Prophets are alive in their graves, as proven from the Hadith” (Rasa’il of Ibn Abidin, 2/203).

11) Imam al-Shawkani (whom the Salafis normally refer to) states: “The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace)) is alive in his grave, as has been established in the Hadith “The Prophets are alive in their graves”.(See: Nayl al-Awtar, 5/101).

12) Also, one of the major incidents that prove this, is the incident of Me’raj (Ascension of the Prophet to the heavens), where he met and conversed with many Prophets. He also led them in prayer in Masjid al-Aqsa.

The above evidences from the Qur’an, Hadith and the sayings of the predecessors (salaf) are sufficient to prove the fact that the Prophets remain alive in their graves after they pass away from this world. There are many other evidences which we have not mentioned here, due to the fear of prolonging our discussion.

This is the reason why this Aqidah has been held by the mainstream Sunni scholars throughout the eras. It is only recently that some people have objected to this view.

For more details on this subject in Arabic, one may refer to Imam Suyuti’s ‘al-Inba’ and Imam al-Bayhaqi’s ‘Hayat al-Anbiya’.


And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK



AHL AS- SUNNAH holds that the life of prophets in their graves is firmly established through authentic and explicit proofs.


.السؤال : هل تثبت حياة الأنبياء في القبر ؟ وما الدليل ؟

الجواب: حياةُ الأنبياء في قبورهم ثابتةٌ بالدلائل الصحيحة الصريحة عند أهل السنة ، وقد جمع فيها الحافظ الكبير الإمام البيهقي كتاباً مستقلاً ، وألف في ذلك أيضاً الإمامُ الحافظ الجلال السيوطي رحمهما الله تعالى . قال الحافظُ ابن حجر في “فتح الباري” :” وقد جمع البيهقيُّ كتاباً لطيفاً في حياة الأنبياء في قبورهم أورد فيه حديثَ أنس :”الأنبياءُ أحياء في قبورهم يصلون “. أخرجه من طريق يحيى بن أبي كثير وهو من رجال الصحيح ، عن المستلم بن سعيد وقد وثقه أحمدُ وابنُ حبان ، عن الحجاج الأسود وهو ابن أبي زياد البصري وقد وثقه أحمد وابن معين ، عن ثابت عنه . وأخرجه أيضاً أبو يعلى في “مسنده” من هذا الوجه ، وأخرجه البزَّار ، لكن وقع عنده عن حجاج الصواف وهو وهمٌ ، والصوابُ الحجاج الأسود كما وقع التصريح به في رواية البيهقي وصححه البيهقي .انتهى كلام الحافظ ابن حجر .فهذا الحديثُ نصٌّ صحيحٌ صريحٌ في إثبات حياة الأنبياء في قبورهم وفي أنهم يصلون فيها ، وقد أيد الإمام البيهقي ما في هذا الحديث بما ثبت في “صحيح مسلم” من رواية حماد بن سلمة عن أنس عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال :” مررتُ بموسى ليلةَ أسري بي عند الكثيب الأحمر وهو قائم يصلي في قبره “.وأخرجه أيضاً من وجه آخر عن أنس . قال البيهقي : فإن قيل : هذا خاصٌّ بموسى . قلنا : قد وجدنا له شاهداً من حديث أبي هريرة أخرجه مسلم أيضاً من طريق عبد الله بن الفضل عن أبي سلمة عن أبي هريرة رفعه :” لقد رأيتني في الحجر وقريش تسألني عن مسراي “. الحديث وفيه :” وقد رأيتني في جماعة من الأنبياء فإذا موسى قائم يصلي “. وفيه :” وإذا عيسى ابن مريم قائم يصلي ، أقرب الناس به شبهاً عروةُ بن مسعود , وإذا إبراهيم قائم يصلي أشبه الناس به صاحبكم , فحانت الصلاة فأممتهم “. قال البيهقي :” وفي حديث سعيد بن المسيب عن أبي هريرة :” أنه لقيهم ببيت المقدس فحضرت الصلاةُ فأمَّهم نبيُّنا صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم اجتمعوا في بيت المقدس “. وفي حديث أبي ذر ومالك بن صعصعة في قصة الإسراء أنه لقيهم بالسماوات “. وطرقُ ذلك صحيحةٌ , فيُحمل على أنه رأى موسى قائماً يصلي في قبره , ثم عرج به هو ومن ذُكر من الأنبياء إلى السماوات فلقيهم النبيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم , ثم اجتمعوا في بيت المقدس فحضرت الصلاةُ فأمَّهم نبيُّنا صلى الله عليه وسلم .قال : وصلاتهم في أوقات مختلفة وفي أماكن مختلفة لا يرده العقل , وقد ثبت به النقل , فدل ذلك على حياتهم “. اهـ وقد نقل الحافظ ابن حجر كلام البيهقي هذا ولم يعترضه بشيء بل زاد عليه فقال : ” قلتُ : وإذا ثبت أنهم أحياء من حيث النقل فإنه يُقَوِّيه من حيث النظرُ كون الشهداء أحياء بنصِّ القرآن , والأنبياء أفضل من الشهداء. ومن شواهد الحديث ما أخرجه أبو داود من حديث أبي هريرة رفعه وقال فيه :وصلوا عليَّ فإنَّ صلاتكم تبلُغني حيث كنتم “.سندُه صحيح ,وأخرجه أبو الشيخ في ” كتاب الثواب ” بسندجيد بلفظ:” من صلى عليَّ عند قبري سمعته , ومن صلى عليَّ نائياً بُلِّغْته “.وعند أبي داودوالنسائي وصححه ابنُ خزيمة وغيره عن أوس بن أوس رفعه في فضل يوم الجمعة:” فأكثروا عليَّ من الصلاة فيه فإن صلاتكم معروضة عليَّ . قالوا : يا رسول الله وكيف تعرض صلاتنا عليك وقد أَرِمْت ؟ قال : إن الله حَرَّمَ على الأرض أن

تأكل أجساد الأنبياء “. “. انتهى كلام الحافظ ابن حجر.

Al-Bayhaqi compiled a brilliant book regarding the life of prophets in their graves in which he mentions the hadith of Anas, “The prophets are alive in their graves praying”,

This hadith is an authentic, explicit text that establishes the life of prophets in their graves and that they pray in them. Imam Bayhaqi supports what is mentioned in this hadith with what has been established in Saheeh Muslim in terms of the narration of Hammad Ibn Salamah, on the authority of Anas, on the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), who said, “I passed by Moses at the red dune on the night in which I was transported

If it is argued that this is specific to Moses, we say that we find supporting evidence in the hadith of Abu Hurayra, also in Saheeh Muslim, from the channel of Abdullah Ibn Al-Fadhl, on the authority of Abu Salamah, on the authority of Abu Hurayra (who promotes

In the hadith of Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musayyib, on the authority of Abu Hurayra, it mentions, “that he met them in Jerusalem and then the time of prayer entered, so our prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) led them and then they gathered in Jerusalem.” In the hadith of Abu Dharr and Malik Ibn Sa’sa’ah regarding the story of the Night Journey, it mentions that he met them in the heavens.

These channels are rigorously authenticated, so they can be correlated as him having seen Moses standing in prayer in his grave, then he and the mentioned prophets ascended to the heavens, where he met them, then they gathered in

Ibn Hajar, M.H., transmits these words of Al-Bayhaqi and doesn’t criticize them. Rather, he adds:

In my opinion, while their life is established through transmission, reason strengthens this, since martyrs are alive according to the text of the Qur’an, and prophets are better than martyrs.

Other supporting evidence for the hadith is found in what Abu Dawud transmits regarding the hadith of Abu Hurayra, which contains, “Pray for me, for surely, your prayers reach me wherever you are.” It’s chain of narrators is rigorously authenticated.Abu Al-Shaykh transmits it in Kitab Al-Thawab with a good chain of narrators with the wording, “Whoever prays for me at my grave, I hear him, and whoever prays for me remotely, it is imparted to me.”Ibn Khuzayma and others have rigorously authenticated what is in AbuDawud and Al-Nasa’i, on the authority Aws Ibn Aws (who promotes it), regarding the virtue of Friday, “’Increase in your prayers for me in it, for truly, your prayers are presented before me.’ They said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, how will our prayers be presented before you when you have decomposed?’ He said, ‘Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of prophets.’”

[Translated by Moustafa Elqabbany]


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