Would we see the Prophet s.a.w. in our grave? Ans: NO
A person is asked 3 questions in the grave, one of which is:
“…مَا كُنْتَ تَقُولُ في هذا الرَّجُلِ”
“What do you say about this man…” [Sahih Bukhari 1347]
Some people hold the view that the word “this” is used for pointing at things which are near and hence from this they deduce that the Prophet (s.a.w) is present in the grave of every deceased (at the time of questioning if not physically then atleast an impression is seen). Deducing such a conclusion from this hadith is not only a distortion in the religion but also a statement of ignorance
Let us begin with a simple English statement. When me and a friend of my converse about another friend who is 5000 miles away from us, i end up saying : ” This guy is one heck of a Play station player” . Would this now mean that my mere usage of the word ” this” hereby claims that my friend who was 5000 miles away from me is now in front of me? Or that i have an impression of him physically in front of me? The most obvious and sensible answer to this would be a plain “No”. So how is it then some Juhaal (barelvis especially) use such a grammatical arabic usage to twist and turn the meanings so as to innovate something new in the Deen?
Nevertheless, moving on, with the help of the article of Shaykh Abu Yahya Noorpuri and with a few additions here and there we will try to refute this baseless concept In sha allah. Please be informed that this is not a word to word translation from the Shaykh’s work, rather we have framed sentences so as to achieve the best understanding for the readers.
Ibn Abbas (r.a) narrates that when Abu Dharr Ghafari (r.a) came to know about the Prophethood of the Prophet (s.a.w) ; he told his brother:
اركب إلى هذا الوادي، فاعلم لي علم هذا الرجل الذي يزعم أنه نبي
“Go towards that valley and tell me about that man who claims to be a Prophet of Allah.”
[Sahih Bukhari 1/533, h: 3861, Sahih Muslim 2/297, h: 2474]
In this hadeeth Abu Dharr Ghafari (r.a) interprets or converses such that he implies Makkah to be this valley and the Prophet (s.a.w) as that man. It was known that the tribe of Ghafar was too far from Makkah and no sensible man can say that Makkah was (literally or physically or as an actual impression) present in-front of Abu Dharr Ghafari when he said “ this valley” . So now would we deduce from such usage of words by Abu Dharr that he implied as if the Prophet (s.a.w) was present in-front of him? If yes then why did he send his brother to quest for the prophet (s.a.w)?
2) Amro bin Salmah (r.a.) narrates:
كنا بماء ممر الناس، وكان يمر بنا الركبان، فنسألهم، ما للناس ما للناس؟ ما هذا الرجل؟ فيقولون: يزعم أن الله أرسله أوحى إليه، أو أوحى الله بكذا
“We were settled near the thoroughfare and spring, Caravans of people use to pass by us and we use to ask them the condition of people and what is this man? They use to answer that he claims that Allah has sent him with so and so revelation.”
[Sahih Bukhari 1/615, h: 4302]
Amro bin Salmah and others use to ask regarding the Prophet (s.a.w) by using the term “this man” at a time when the prophet (s.a.w) who wasn’t present there at all .
3) When Hercules enquired about Prophet (s.a.w) from the pagans of Quraish and Abu Sufyan (r.a):
…إِنِّي سَائِلٌ هَذَا عَنْ هَذَا الرَّجُلِ …أَيُّكُمْ أَقْرَبُ نَسَبًا بِهَذَا الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ
“ Who among you is more close to this man by origin, who claims to be a Prophet…. I will enquire about this man.”
[Saheeh Bukhaaree 1/4 h: 7, Saheeh Muslim 2/97, h: 1773. Note in the Sharh of this hadeeth scholars never said that the word “this man” could also be taken as him being physically seen or present there. And why would they? They were well versed with Arabic to make such a silly deduction ]
And there are many other such examples that could be quoted but these shall suffice. .
Prophet (s.a.w) is not present in the grave while questioning because:
It is asked from the deceased:
مَا كُنْتَ تَقُولُ في هذا الرَّجُلِ مُحَمَّدٍ فإنْ كَانَ مؤمنًا يقول: أشهَدُ أنه عبدُ اللهِ ورسولُهُ
“What do you say about this man, Muhammad (s.a.w), a believer will say that I testify that he is a slave and messenger of Allah.”
In this hadith هذا الرجل is further explained by mentioning Muhammad (s.a.w), if he (s.a.w) was physically present there then what was the point of clarification?
2) `Aisha (r.a) narrates:
فَيُقَالُ: مَا هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي كَانَ فِيكُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُ: مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، جَاءَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، فَصَدَّقْنَاهُ
“It would be asked (in the grave at the time of questioning) who was this man who was sent towards you, the believer will say he was Muhammad (s.a.w) who brought to us clear signs from Allah (s.w.t) and we testified it…”
[Musnad Ahmed 6/140 and its sanad is Saheeh]
3) Asma bint Abu Bakr (r.a) narrates:
مَاذَا تَقُولُ فِي هَذَا الرَّجُلِ، يَعْنِي النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ،؟ قَالَ: مَنْ؟
“What do you say about this man i.e Prophet(s.a.w), the disbeliever will say who?”
[Musnad Ahmed 6/352 and its sanad is Sahih]
The same narration also states:
مَاذَا تَقُولُ فِي هَذَا الرَّجُلِ؟ قَالَ: أَيُّ رَجُلٍ؟ قَالَ: مُحَمَّدٌ
“ What do you say about this man? He says: which man? The angels then say Muhammad (s.a.w).”
[Musnad Ahmad 6/353 , Mu`jam Al-Kabeer 24/125 and its sanad is Saheeh]
It is crystal clear from this hadith that Prophet (s.a.w) is not present in the grave otherwise what is the meaning of “who” and “which man”.
4) It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that Prophet (s.a.w) said: It is said to the deceased:
مَا تَقُولُ فِي هَذَا الرَّجُلِ كَانَ فِيكُمْ؟ وَمَا تَشَهَدُ بِهِ؟ فَلَا يَهْتَدِي لِاسْمِهِ، فَيُقَالُ: مُحَمَّدٌ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
“What do you say about this man who was sent to you and what do you testify about him. He will say which man? It would be said to him again, that man who was sent to you; he won’t be able to tell the name, hence he will be told, he was Muhammad..”
[Ref: Ibn hibban 3113, Mustadrak Haakim 1/380-381 authenticated it on the condition of Muslim and Imam Dhahabi also agreed with him. Hafidh Haytami said its chain is hassan in Majma’ Zawaid 3/51-52]
Allamah Ahmed Qastalani (r.h) states while explaining the word الرجل هذا :
عَبَّرَ بِذَلِكَ امْتِحَانًا لِئَلَّا يَتَلَقَّنَ تَعْظِيمَهُ عَنْ عِبَارَةِ الْقَائِلِ قِيلَ يُكْشَفُ لِلْمَيِّتِ حَتَّى يَرَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَهِيَ بُشْرَى عَظِيمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ صَحَّ ذَلِكَ ولَا نَعْلَمُ حَدِيثًا صَحِيحًا مَرْوِيًّا فِي ذَلِكَ وَالْقَائِلُ بِهِ إِنَّمَا اسْتَنَدَ لِمُجَرَّدِ أَنَّ الْإِشَارَةَ لَا تَكُونُ إِلَّا لِلْحَاضِرِلَكِنْ يَحْتَمِلُ أَنْ تكون الإشارة لما في الذهن فيكون مجاز انتهى كلام
The Prophet (s.a.w) is regarded as this man to test the deceased so that when the angel ask regarding him (s.a.w) , his (s.a.w) greatness isn’t disclosed. Some people hold the view that the veil is removed from the deceased and so he sees the Prophet (s.a.w), if this view is correct then it is the biggest glad tiding for a believer but we don’t find any authentic hadeeth on this matter. The people who hold this view have reached it only on the basis that we can only point at that which is present there but this is also possible that we point out something which is present in our mind.
[Tuhfatil Ahwadhi 4/155]
Hafiz Suyooti (r.h) states:
وَسُئِلَ هَل يكْشف لَهُ حَتَّى يرى النَّبِي صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم فَأجَاب أَنه لم يرد حَدِيث وَإِنَّمَا إدعاه بعض من لَا يحْتَج بِهِ بِغَيْر مُسْتَند سوى قَوْله فِي
هَذَا الرجل وَلَا حجَّة فِيهِ لِأَن الْإِشَارَة إِلَى الْحَاضِر فِي الذِّهْن
“It was asked from Hafidh Ibn Hajar (r.h) that, is the veil removed from the deceased so that it sees the Prophet (s.a.w)? He (r.h) answered that there is no hadeeth present in this regard rather it is a unproven view of those people who use the words هذا الرجل as a proof but there is no proof in these words because here it is pointing out something which is present in the mind.”
[Sharh Al-Sadur lil Suyooti, pg: 60]
Despite this proven fact, Zakariya Tablighi Deobandi writes:
“The first thing in the grave after death will be meeting the prophet (s.a.w).”
[Darhi ka wajoob by Zakariya Tableghi, pg: 9]
And Muhammad Yaqoob Nanutwi Deobandi writes:
“Instead of coming to our funeral, the Prophet (s.a.w) will come in our grave.”
[Qasas Al-Akbaar by Ashraf Ali Thanvi, pg: 188]
Their statements are refuted by Anwar Shah Kashmiri Deobandi who says:
يكفي العهد فقط ولا دليل على المشاهدة
“Here it is sufficient to take the meaning as mental presence, and there is no proof of physical witnessing.”
[Al-‘Araf Al-Shadhi 2/450]
So it is proven from the statement of Anwar Shah that the statements of Zakariya Tableghi and Yaqoob Nanutawi are baseless and not proved.
Also, Allamah Sindhi Hanfi writes regarding الرجلهذا :
أي الرجل المشهور بين أظهركم. ولا يلزم منه الحضور. وترك ما يشعر بالتعظيم لئلا يصير تلقينا. وهو لا يناسب موضع الاختبار
“It means that man who was famous among you, it doesn’t mean he (s.a.w) has to be present in the grave. Not mentioning the name of Prophet (s.a.w) is so that his greatness isn’t disclosed and it is not urged and this is most appropriate regarding the test.”
[Hashiyah Al-Sindi Ala Ibn Maajah, under the hadith 4258, Hashiyah Al-Sindi Ala Nisaee 3/97 h: 2052]
أَنَّ أَسْوَدَ رَجُلًا – أَوِ امْرَأَةً – كَانَ يَكُونُ فِي المَسْجِدِ يَقُمُّ المَسْجِدَ، فَمَاتَ وَلَمْ يَعْلَمُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِمَوْتِهِ، فَذَكَرَهُ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ فَقَالَ: «مَا فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ الإِنْسَانُ؟» قَالُوا: مَاتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، قَالَ : «أَفَلاَ آذَنْتُمُونِي؟» فَقَالُوا: إِنَّهُ كَانَ كَذَا وَكَذَا – قِصَّتُهُ – قَالَ: فَحَقَرُوا شَأْنَهُ، قَالَ: «فَدُلُّونِي عَلَى قَبْرِهِ» فَأَتَى قَبْرَهُ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ
Narrated Abu Huraira: A black man or a black woman used to sweep the mosque and he or she died. The Prophet asked about her (or him). He was told that she (or he) had died. He said, “Why did you not inform me? Show me his grave (or her grave).” So he went to her (his) grave and offered her (his) funeral prayer.”
[Sahih Bukhari, Book #8, Hadith #448, Sahih Muslim 956]
If Prophet (s.a.w) is present at questioning in the grave, so why didn’t he (s.a.w) know about the death of that woman?