Contents > Chapter 4: Life of the Barzakh > Clarifying Doubts: Allah’s Messenger replies to the greetings of salaam


 

Clarifying Doubts:


Doubt (1): Allah’s Messenger replies to the greetings of salaam

Those who believe that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) lives a life similar to his worldly life in the grave and benefits his nation from the grave, often bring forth the following two narrations:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “No one gives greetings of salaam, except that Allah will restore my soul to me, so that I may reply to him with the greeting of salaam.”[6]

“The Prophets are alive and pray in their graves.”[7]

 

Reply

These narrations mention the conditions of life in the Barzakh and not the worldly life.

 

1. The life of the Barzakh is different from the worldly life. Allah says, “And say not of those who have been killed in the way of Allah, ‘They are dead.’ Nay they are living, but you are unaware of it.”[8] We are unaware of the life in Barzakh because it is different from this life.

 

2. During his lifetime, when Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) returned salaam, it was heard by all those present. This is not the case today at the grave of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). This shows that the restoration of the soul and the reply of salaam mentioned in the narration are from amongst the matters of the Barzakh.

 

3. As for the narration, “The Prophets are alive and pray in their graves.” its authenticity is disputed amongst the scholars of Hadeeth. However, the ‘life’ and ‘prayer’ mentioned in this narration is from the matters of the Barzakh.

 

4. During the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu) never had another Imam in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in the Prophet’s Mosque. Once Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) was asked to lead the prayer in the absence of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). The Prophet joined later and stood in the first row. The other Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu) clapped their hands to inform Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) about the Prophet’s presence. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) indicated to Abu Bakr to stay in his place, but Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) raised his hands, praised Allah, and retreated to the first row so that the Prophet could then lead the prayer. After the prayer, the Prophet said: “O Abu Bakr, what prevented you from remaining in your place when I ordered you?” Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) said: “It is not fitting for the son of Ibn Abee Quhaafah to lead the prayer in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).”[9] But after the death of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu) prayed behind other Imams within the Prophet’s mosque in Medina. If Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is alive in his grave, as he was alive before his burial then, there is no need for another Imam in the presence of a living, aware and praying Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)!!


[6] Sunan Abu Dawood (Eng. Trans.). vol. 2, p.542, no: 2036. This Hadeeth is hasan according to Shaikh al-Albanee (see as-Saheehah no: 2266).

[7] Reported by Aboo Ya’laa and al-Bazzaar from Anas ibn Maalik. Imaam adh-Dhahabee has declared this narration as Munkar in al-Meezan, because its sanad has a reporter named Hajjaj who is a reporter of Munkar narrations. Ibn Hajr says that the Hajjaj mentioned in this narration is Hajjaj bin abee Ziyadh al-Aswad and he is Thika. This Hadeeth has been mentioned by Shaikh al-Albanee in Silsilatul-Ahaadeethis-Saheehah (no.62).

[8] Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 154.

[9] Saheeh al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans.) vol. 1, p.368, no: 652 and Saheeh Muslim (Eng. Trans.) vol.1, p.233, no.845.

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