Chapter One: Historical background and importance of this topic
The fatwas of the early Salafi scholars
Almost all the great Heroes of our modern day Salafies like Ibn Abi-Dunya, Ibn’Abdul-Barr, al-Qurtubi, Ibn al-Qayyim and ash-Shanqeeti were of opinion that the Dead can hear us. Even the Shiekh ul Islam of the Salafies was of that opinion. When Ibne Taymiyyah was asked if the dead are aware of living that visit them. He replied that:
“There is no doubt that they are aware of the living that visit them.”
And Ibne Taymiyyah quoted the following Hadith in his support:
“The proof of dead awareness comes from two Sahih Books of Bukhari and Muslim in which Rasool Allah s.w. said that when people have buried a dead person and leave for home, the dead can hear the thumps of sandaled feet of those who leave.”
Majmuaat-al-Fatawa by Ibne Taymiyyah, vol. 24, page 362
What compelled later day Salafies to distance themselves from Ibne Taymiyyah’s Fatwa?
There came a contradiction in the fatwas of Ibne Taymiyyah. On one side he was of opinion that the dead can hear and on the other side he gave a fatwa that it is shirk to ask Rasool Allah [saww] to supplicate Allah in our favour (i.e. Shafaat, intercession) after his death. According to Ibne Taymiyyah, he[saww] was able to supplicate and intercede us only in his life, but after his[saww] death, he[saww] is no longer able to supplicate/intercede for us. But Ibne Taymiyyah was unable to solve this question that if Rasool Allah [saww] can hear us, then what prevents him [saww] to supplicate for us after his death, and how it becomes Shirk to do it.
Now, the later day Salafies also believe that all the Muslims, who now ask Rasool Allah [saww] for intercession, or want to visit him in order to greet him become Mushriks. But like Ibne Taymiyyah, they were also unable to solve this mystery that if Rasool Allah [saww] can hear us, then what prevents him from supplicating for us and how it becomes Shirk. Due to this contradiction in their earlier doctrine, they were compelled to distance themselves from the fatwa of IbneTaymiyyah and deny the hearing of dead. Later Muhammed ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab gave a fatwa that:
If a person talks to the dead, when praying (for his forgiveness) near a grave becomes a mushrik.
Fat’h al-majid, p208
In fact, the denial of hearing of dead is at moment, one of the Very Basic and Most Important Belief of Salafi brothers, while almost whole of their building of doctrine, due to which they label other Muslims as Mushriks, rests upon it.
So, let’s begin with Allah’s help…
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