LIFE IN THE GRAVE
The prophets are alive in their graves with a life that we do not know. Awliyâ (saints, those whom Allah loves) and martyrs are alive in their graves, too. This aliveness is not fictive. They are completely alive. It is declared in the 169th âyat-i karîma of the Imran Sûra, which purports, “Don’t suppose that those people, who are killed for the sake of Allah, are dead! They are alive next to their Rabb and being nourished.”
The above âyat-i karîma shows that the martyrs are alive. The prophets are certainly ahead of and much more superior to the martyrs. According to the scholars of Islam, each prophet had died as a martyr. At his last illness, our Master Rasûlullah said, “I suffer the pain of the poisonous meat I ate at Khaibar.” This hadîth-i sherîf shows that our Master Rasûlullah had died as a martyr.
Therefore, it is understood also from the above hadîth that our Master Rasûlullah is alive in his grave like all other martyrs are. In the hadîth-i sherîf which is stated in “Bukhârî” and “Muslîm,” it was declared that, “During the night of Miraj, I passed the grave of Musa (’alaihis-salâm). He was performing namâz, standing in his grave.”
In another hadîth-i sherîf, it was declared that, “Allahu ta’âlâ forbad the soil to decompose the prophets’ body.” The scholars are unanimously attesting that, this is true. It is written in “Bukhârî” and “Muslîm”, “Allahu ta’âlâ sent all prophets to our Prophet during the night of Miraj. He conducted the namâz by being the imam for them.”
Performing namâz is possible by making rukû’ (bowing) and sajda (prostrating). The above report indicates that they perform the namâz bodily and alive. Mûsâ ’alaihis-salâm’s performing namâz in his grave indicates this too. It was declared in the hadîth-i sherîf, which is at the end of the first section of the Miraj chapter in the book of “Mishqât” and reported by Abû Hurayra taken from the book of Muslîm, “Allahu ta’âlâ showed me. Mûsâ (’alaihis-salâm) was performing namâz while standing. He was thin. His hair was not straggly. He was like a young man from the tribe of Shan’a. Isâ (’alaihis-salâm) resembled Urwa bin Mas’ud Sakafi.”
Shan’a is the name of two tribes in Yemen. The above hadîth-i sherîfs show that the prophets are alive next to Allahu ta’âlâ. Their corpses (bodies) have become ethereal like their souls. They are not dense nor solid. They can be seen in the material and spiritual worlds.
Therefore, prophets can be seen with their soul and body. In the hadîth-i sherîf, it is declared that Mûsâ (’alaihis-salâm) and Isâ (’alaihis-salâm) were performing namâz. Performing namâz means doing certain movements and these movements are done by body not by soul. Our Prophet’s saying, “I saw that he was of middle height, thin and his hair was tidy,” indicates that he saw his body not his soul.
Imâm-i Bayhakî said, “After the prophets are settled in their graves, their souls are given back to their bodies. We cannot see them. They become invisible like angels. Only those chosen people to whom Allahu ta’âlâ grants karâmat [Phenomena which happen beyond the laws of causation through the awliyâ of the ummats of prophets are called karâmat] can see them.” Also Imâm-i Suyûti had also said so.
Many people heard many times that greetings are replied to from the grave of our Master, the Prophet. People also heard many times that their greetings are replied to from other graves.
In a hadîth sherîf, it is said, “When a person greets me, Allahu ta’âlâ gives my soul back to my body. I reply to his greeting.”
Hadrat Imâm-i Suyûti said, “Rasûlullah is engrossed in seeing the Beauty of Allahu ta’âlâ. He forgot the sensations of body. When a Muslim greets him, our Prophet’s blessed soul leaves that state and takes the senses of the body. There are a good number of people in a similar state in this world, as well. A person who is immersed in thought about this world or the Hereafter does not hear whatever is spoken next to him. Is it possible for a person who is engrossed in the Beauty of Allahu ta’âlâ to hear a sound?”
Hadrat Qadi Iyâd reported in his book “Shifâ” taken from Sulayman bin Suhaym, “One night I saw in my dream our Master Fakhr-i kâinat and asked him, ‘O Rasûlullah! Do you become aware of the greetings of those who come and greet you?’ He said, ‘Yes I do. I receive their greetings and reply to them’.”
There are so many hadîth-i sherîfs stating that the prophets (’alaihimu’s-salawâtu wa ’t-taslîmât) are alive in their graves that they affirm one another. One of them is the hadîth-i sherîf, “I will hear the salawat recited at my grave. I will be informed about the salawât recited at a distance.”
Abû Bakr bin Abi Shayba related the above hadîth-i sherîf. This hadîth-i sherîf and many others like this one are available in the books of the six notable hadîth scholars.