Chapter Three: A preview at the Salafi proofs
Now, let us move forward and see what the Salafies have to say in their defence.
Quranic verses saying that the dead cannot hear
Following question and answer has been taken from one of authentic Salafi site on Internet, i.e. www.islam-qa.com:
My father passed away about two weeks ago. I wanted to know when me or my family members go to his grave, is he able to hear us and what we are saying to him? … and if not is their any way we can have him hear what we say?..Please respond promptly because I really want to now because I think maybe it will help me with the pain i’m dealing with.
Praise be to Allaah.
The principle is that the dead do not hear the words of the living, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “� but you cannot hear those who are in graves.” [Faatir35:22] and “Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear�” [al-Naml 27:80]
My humble opinion is this that unfortunately the Salafies are not honest and they are simply deceiving the normal people. Firstly they deceive by quoting only small parts of above verses (i.e. not the complete verse). And secondly, they misinterpret it in order to prove their point.
Let us see the complete verses of Fatir and Namal, and their preceding and proceeding verses in order to understand them better. After that, insha-allah, we would be able to completely understand the Salafis deception.
Interpretation of the meaning of Fatir 35:22
[Yusufali 35:22] Nor are alike those that are living and those that are dead. (Only)Allah can make any that He wills to hear (i.e. guide to his message); but thou canst not make those to hear (i.e. guide to his message) who are (buried) in graves.
The word “Hear” in the above verse is figurative (Majaaz) and has been used by Allah in sense of making people to Accept the message of Allah/ making people Hear the message of Allah/ making people to Listen to the message of Allah/ making people paying Heed to message of Allah/ Guiding people to the message of Allah.
If you read the preceding and proceeding verses then you can conclude that Allah is saying to Rasool Allah [saww] that his duty is only to convey the message of Allah to the Kuffar [ 35:23. You are naught but a warner.] But it is not his duty to compel the people to Accept/ Hear/ Listen to it.
BECAUSE IT IS ONLY ALLAH WHO MAKE IT TO ACCEPT (HEAR) IT (to whom he pleases with).
Just look at first part of Ayah in which Allah says:
…(only)Allah can make any that He wills to hear; …
This part of verse means that Allah make those people to accept/ hear/ guide to his message whom he pleases with.
Just imagine, you can go to every Kaffir and start speaking with him and let him Hear your voice. But then what is the meaning of these words of Allah that
…(only)Allah can make any that He wills to hear;
If the claim of the Salafies is true that Hear has been used here in literal/real meanings , then there comes a contradiction. On one side Allah is saying that only those can Hear that he wills, but here you are letting all those Kuffar Hear your voice whom you will.
The meaning of verse is crystal clear. Allah says that only the Living persons have a choice of either Accepting or Rejecting the message of Allah. The people of grave (i.e. the dead) have already lost their chance of accepting the message of Allah. It is too late for them and Allah is not going to give them any more chance of making a selection (i.e. either Accepting it or Rejecting it). Allah says to Muhammad [saww] that the same is the case with the Kuffar (i.e. like the dead). They are so strong in their Kufr, that Allah has put a seal at their hearts and they have also been deprived of right of accepting the Message of Allah like the dead in their graves. So Allah says to Muhammad [saww] that he should not loose his heart when such Kuffar do not Hear/ Listen/ get guidance to the message of Allah. It is because they have lost the right of choice as the dead have lost it. But it is Only Allah who Shows those, the right path whom He Pleases with. Allah says in Quran:
[Yusufali 28:56] It is true thou wilt not be able to guide every one, whom thou lovest; but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance.
This fact has also been established by these verses of the Holy Quran in which Allah Says:
[Pickthal 30:53] Nor canst thou guide the blind out of their error. Thou canst make none to hear save those who believe in Our revelations so that they surrender (unto Him).
This verse is very important. Please look at these words of Allah: “Nor canst thou guide the blind out of their error”. If we follow the literal way of Salafies, then we have to declare that all the blind people can never be guided towards Haq. And the next part of this verse makes it beyond any doubt what Allah (swt) wants to say from Hearing in Spiritual sense: “Thou canst make none to hear save those who believe in Our revelations so that they surrender (unto Him).”
If someone still denies use of these allegorical and figurative expressions in Quran, then most surely he has erred. And this figurative use of “Hear” becomes also clear from the following verse where He Says:
[Yusufali 30:23] And among His Signs is the sleep that ye take by night and by day, and the quest that ye (make for livelihood) out of His Bounty: verily in that are signs for those who hearken.
Do the Salafies still think that Hear has been used by Allah here in it’s Literal/ Real meaning and there is no Majaz (figurative expression) in Quran?
According to my low knowledge, almost in all the languages there is a figurative use of word “Hear”. e.g. when my younger brother sometimes do not obey the orders of my mother, then my mother complains to my father in the following words:
- In English: Please you (my father) tell him (my younger brother) to do so and so. He does not Hear/listen to me.
- In German: Bitte sag du es mal zu ihm um das und das zu tun. Er H�RT auf mich nicht.
- In Pashtu: Tasu aghey ta owaey che zama khabara de wouri
- In Urdu: Aap hi uss ko bolain keh wo yeh aur yeh kar lay. Meri baat to wo SUNTA nahi hai.
- In Russian: … on “Slushet”mene neith…and in many more languages.
Fatwa of Imam Suyuti on the above Two Verses, which the Salafies quote about Dead
Imam Suyuti says in his Al-hawi lil Fatawa, vol. 2 p. 169-175:
“It is an Allegorical statement (an-Nafi Ja’a ala m’ana al -Majaz). The Real meaning of this is that “They cannot listen to Guidance (Ma’naha Sama’ Huda) i.e. they are dead and cannot be guided anymore.”
But unfortunately, the Salafies still believe that there is no Majaaz in the Quran and it is whole Literal.
The Prophet said, “They now realize that what I used to tell them was the truth. “And Allah said, ‘Verily! You cannot make the dead to hear (i.e. benefit them, and similarly the disbelievers).(27.80)
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 453
Please note that above words in the parenthesis (i.e. benefit them, and similarly the disbelievers) are not mine, but of Translator of Sahih Bukhari, Mr. Muhsin Khan, who is himself a salafi from University of Riyyadh. He wants to make clear from these explanatory words that the dead cannot be benefited/ guided as they have lost the right to choose. Same is the case with disbelievers i.e. Allah has put a seal at their hearts and we cannot benefit them anymore by guiding them to the message of Islam.
Do we really need to comment anymore on the Salafies Scholarship? Indeed they know the truth very well themselves, but still they have to deny it in order to defend their other doctrines.
Interpretation of the meaning of An-Namal 27:80
The Salafies also quote/ misquote the verse 27:80 in order to prove their point (i.e. dead cannot hear). They quote only the part of this verse as under:
[Yusufali 27:80] Truly thou canst not cause the dead to listen, nor canst thou cause the deaf to hear the call…
Again the Salafies are quoting only a part of complete verse and secondly, taking the literal meanings.
I strongly suggest my respectable Readers to read the whole verse with some preceding and proceeding verses in order to get the better understanding of what Allah is saying.
Let me give this full verse with proceeding verse and explanatory comments in the parenthesis.
[Yusufali 27:80] Truly thou canst not cause the dead to listen ( i.e. guide them to the message of Allah) , nor canst thou cause the deaf ( i.e. Kuffar) to hear the call (i.e. to get guidance), when they turn back in retreat (i.e. when these kuffar are even not ready to pay attention to the signs of Allah. But if these Kuffar ( Deaf ) pay attention in Signs of Allah then Allah will cause them to Hear (i.e. guide them to) his message).
[Yusufali 27:81] Nor canst thou be a guide to the blind ( i.e. Kuffar), from straying: only those wilt thou get to listen who believe in Our Signs, and they will bow in Islam.
It is indeed sad that the Salafies deceive the normal people by playing and misquoting the words of Allah.
Tehrif in Hadith of Rasool Allah [saww] by Salafies ( Tehrif in Hadith of Well)
Very Sad. In order to deceive the normal people, the Salafies even don’t hesitate to change the words of Rasool Allah [saww] They changed the Hadith of Well in order to suit it to their belief (i.e. dead cannot hear).
The Dead who were killed in the battle of Badr were burried in a well. Prophet Muhammad [saww] addressed them. Upon that, Sahaba asked him if he was addressing the bodies devoid of spirit. He [saww] replied, ” They hear better than you” i.e. Allah caused the Dead to hear his [saww] words as an exceptional case.
Sahih Bukhari, Number 1307
Tafseer (in urdu) of Verse 27:80 in Quran printed by Shah Fahad Printing Complex and distributed by the Saudi Government.
Please note that the underlined words (i.e. Allah caused the Dead to hear his [saww] words as and exceptional case) in the above are not the words of Rasool Allah [saww] But these are the words of Salafi Alim and he added them with the words of Rasool Allah [saww] in order to prove his doctrine and deceive the normal people. Actual Hadith is like this:
Abu Talha reported that Rasool Allah [saww] called to them:
“O Abu Jahl Ibn Hisham! O Umayya Ibn Khalaf! O`Utba ibn Rabi`a! Have you not found out that what your Lord promised you is true? for I have found that what he has promised me is true.” `Umar said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, how do you address bodies devoid of spirit?” The Prophet replied: “By Him Who holds my life in His Hands! You do not hear what I am saying to them better than they do.
Sahih Muslim, Book 040, Number 6869
I strongly protest at it. And I request the Salafies to change their behaviour about the Words of Rasool Allah [saww] I want to remember them another Hadith of Rasool Allah [saww].
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?And these Jews and Christians were those who altered the devine Texts according to their own Wishes.
Sahih Muslim, Book 034, Number 6448
And it were Jews and Christians who changed the Divine Texts according to their Wishes. Brothers, fear Allah and do not follow the path of Jews and Christians.
Committing shirk by attributing the Characteristics Of Allah to Rasool Allah [saww]
[Please note that this Salafi Proof is not from Quran and Sunnah, but the Salafies are only using their Logic (better to say that they are using Qiyyas (Conjecture)] The Salafies claim that if it to be believed that:
- Rasool Allah [saww] can hear us after his death,
- And Rasool Allah [saww] can hear us even from a remote distance
Then it is committing shirk by attributing the Characteristics of Allah to other than him. It is only Allah who is ever living and only He has the power of Hearing from near/ far distances. In order to believe that Rasool Allah [saww] can also hear us, it should be believed that he [saww] is also Sam’i beside Allah (and it is Shirk).
The same problem of Figurative/ Allegorical and Literal expressions. We believe that Sami’i is the attribute of Allah, but Allah has also the power to give a part of his Characteristics to his creatures (Makhlooq). And it doesn’t mean that by doing so, Allah makes that creature his Partner in those characteristics. The attributes of Allah are Absolute while of creature are only Given and cannot be compared with his attributes.
Let us seek more guidance and proofs from the Quran in this regard:
Karim (Honour) is an attribute of Allah, yet quran testifies that Rasool Allah [saww] is also Karim(Honoured).
Allah uses the attribute of Karim for himself.
[Yusufali 27:40]…… truly my Lord is Free of all Needs, Supreme in Honour !”
Yet Allah in this same Quran also says about his Rasool [saww]:
[Yusufali 69:40] That this is verily the word of an honoured messenger;
Indeed Karim (honoured), when attributed to Allah then it is in it’s literal meaning, and when attributed to Rasool Allah [saww] then it is in it’s figurative/ allegorical meaning. Or do you believe that Allah is himself committing shirk by attributing his characteristic to others than him?
Qawi is an attribute of Allah, yet quran testifies that Rasool Allah [saww] is also Qawi.
Allah says about himself in Quran:
[Yusufali 22:74] ………. for Allah is He Who is strong and able to Carry out His Will.
And at the same time Quran says about Rasool Allah [saww]:
[Yusufali 81:20] Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne,
Is Allah committing here shirk by attributing his Characteristic to Rasool Allah [saww]?
In fact, there are several times that Allah is be-stowing a mark of honour on his Prophets [as] by attributing some of his Characteristics for them in Quran. For example:
- Alim (Knowing): An attribute of Allah, yet Ismail [as] is also remembered as Alim.
- Halim (Forbearing): An attribute of Allah, yet Ibrahim and Ismail [as] are remembered as Halim
- Shakur (Thankful): An attribute of Allah, yet Nuh [as] is also remembered as Shakur.
- Sabur (Patient): An attribute of Allah, yet Ayyub [as] is also remembered as Sabur.
- Barr (Devoted):An attribute of Allah, yet Isa and Yahya [as] are remembered as Barrand many more…
The same Attributes of Allah have been used By Allah for His servants too. But it doesn’t mean that these servants of Allah have become Shareholders of these Attributes with Allah. They are not the owner, but only given a part of it by Allah out of his bounty and mercy.
The Salafies cannot simply deny these established proofs from Quran and Sunnah by using their Conjecture (Qiyyas) only.
When we say Allah is Karim, then it is in Absolute/Real sense. And when we say that Rasool Allah [saww] is Karim then it is not in Absolute and Real sense, but we have to do Taweel (Elucidation) that this expression has been used here in figurative/ allegorical sense.
And if the Salafies are still not ready to accept that there is Majaaz in Quran which needs Taweel, then they surely make all the Muslims Mushrik, along with Allah and his beloved Rasool [saww].
A review at the Conjecture (Qiyyas) of Qatada
The Salafies quote Qatada ( a Taba’i) that he thought that Allah returned the souls of Kuffar and made them alive as Rasool Allah [saww] addressed their dead bodies at the well of Badr. Let us see exactly what Qatada’s opinion/ conjecture was:
… Qatada (a taba’i) heard from Anas ( a companion), who heard from Abu Talha ( another companion), who narrated from Rasool Allah [saww]:
On the day of Badr, the Prophet ordered that the corpses of twenty four leaders of Quraish should be thrown into one of the dirty dry wells of Badr. …….. When he halted at the edge of the well, he addressed the corpses of the Quraish infidels by their names and their father’s names, “O so-and-so, son of so-and-so and O so-and-so, son of so-and-so! Would it have pleased you if you had obeyed Allah and His Apostle? We have found true what our Lord promised us. Have you too found true what your Lord promised you? “‘Umar said, “O Allah’s Apostle! You are speaking to bodies that have no souls!” Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, you do not hear, what I say better than they do.” Qatada said, “Allah brought them to life to let them hear him, to reprimand them and slight them and take revenge over them and caused them to feel remorseful and regretful.”
Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 314: Translated by Muhsin Khan
Qatada is only one of the sub narrator of the above Hadith. He heard it from Anas (a companion), who heard it from Abu Talha (another companion), who narrated it from Rasool Allah [saww]. So firstly, there rises the very basic and important question that how Qatada came to know that Allah returned the souls and brought those Kuffar in the well, to life again?
Rasool Allah [saww] never mentioned that Allah returned the souls and brought Kuffar to life . Umar and other companions, who were present at the Badr, never mentioned that Allah brought Kuffar to life again.
The above Hadith of Well has been narrated on the authorities of companions like Ibne Umar, Abu Talha and Aisha ( the Aisha’s opinion of Hadith of well is coming later) and others. But none of these companions ever mentioned anything of bringing those kuffar to life again.
So, how did Qatada come to know that Allah brought Kuffar to life? Did he receive a Wahi from Allah that He swt brought those kuffar to life? If not, then it is only a conjecture of Qatada which has no value in Sharia of Islam.
Qatada’s Conjecture is Contrary to the Words of Umar and Rasool Allah [saww]
Umar was confused/doubtful when Rasool Allah [saww] addressed the Dead Kuffar. Please pay attention to the words of Umar.
“‘Umar said, “O Allah’s Apostle! You are speaking to bodies that have no souls!”
And Qatada claims that the souls were returned to their bodies. Which one is between these two right?
And look at the answer of Rasool Allah which he gave to Umar upon his suspicious question:
Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, you do not hear, what I say better than they do.”
In fact, had it be a case of returning of souls, then it would have become obligatory on Rasool Allah [saww] to tell Umar about it. The Status of Nabuwwat demands Rasool Allah [saww] to end the doubts of Umar in the matter of Deen. But the answer of Rasool Allah [saww] shows clearly that Qatada was wrong in his Qiyyas.
The Salafies using Conjecture Card again and again and again
The Salafies have built their whole building of their doctrine in this matter (i.e. if dead can hear) only on the bases of Qatada’s conjecture. They concluded from the Qatada’s opinion that it was only an Exceptional Case that Allah returned the souls of Kuffar in order to make them hear the words of Rasool Allah, and otherwise Dead cannot hear.
Very unfortunately, the use of conjecture doesn’t stop at the above hadith of well only. In order to prove their point, they play the card of Conjecture again and again on all the verses of the Quran and words of Rasool Allah [saww] which go against their point of view.
For example, they say that Hadith of Dead hearing of the thumps of Sandaled feet (Bukhari and Muslim) is Sahih (sound). But they further use their Conjecture Card and claim that it is an Exceptional Case (although Rasool Allah [saww] never told that it is an exceptional case).
Same is true with the verses of the Quran in which Allah says that Shuaib and Salih addressed their nations who had already been perished by Allah. The Salafies playing card of Conjecture and claiming that these were Exceptional Cases (although neither Allah mentioned that these were exceptional cases nor Rasool Allah [saww] ever mentioned it to be an exceptional case)…. and so on.
Aisha Changing the Words of Rasool Allah [saww] in order to defend her Ijtehaad on “Hearing of Dead”
The Salafies also use the opinion of Aisha’s on the matter of “Hearing of Dead” as a shield for their doctrine. But my humble opinion is this that it cannot help them while Aisha herself made several severe mistakes in this matter. She made her own Ijtehaad and wrongly interpreted the Quran. But this interpretation/ Ijtehaad was directly against the Sunnah of Rasool Allah [saww].
But Aisha, in order to defend her Ijtehaad, changed the words of Rasool Allah [saww]. Let’s see what her Ijtehaad was and how she changed the words of Rasool Allah [saww] in order to defend her Ijtehaad.
Leaving Sunnah of Rasool Allah [saww] aside, and Interpreting Quran at one’s own personal opinion
Rasool Allah [saww] already told about this fitna that only Book of Allah (i.e. Quran) alone is not enough. In order to understand Quran, one has also to take into consideration the sunnah of Rasool Allah [saww]
Rasool Allah [saww] said, “He who speaks about the Quran on the basis of his own personal opinion (by any accord) he commits an error, even if he is right.”
Same thing happened with A’isha when she used her personal opinion in speaking about the following verse of Quran.
Verily! You cannot make the dead to hear (i.e. benefit them, and similarly the disbelievers) nor can you make the deaf hear…(27:80)
From this verse, Aisha concluded that dead cannot hear (We have already discussed at the meaning of this verse. Please see above).And now the Salafies use this Ijtehaad of A’isha as shield to defend their doctrine in this matter. Sheikh Jamal Effendi al-`Iraqi al-Zahawi notes it in his book “The Doctrine of Ahl as-Sunna Versus the “Salafi” Movement”:
“It is narrated concerning `A’isha, may Allah be pleased with her, when she heard the hadith about the dead hearing, she denied it and said: “How does the Prophet say something like that when Allah has said: “You cannot make those to hear who are in the graves”
Here A’isha made the first mistake by neglecting the Sunnah of Rasool Allah [saww] and interpreting Quran at her own. And since, she thought the Hadith of Well to be against her Ijtehaad, showed her surprise on the action of Rasool Allah [saww] (i.e. addressing the dead).
A’isha changing the words of Hadith of well
When A’isha noticed that the Hadith of Well is against her Ijtehaad, then she changed the words of this Hadith in order to defend her Ijtehaad. A’isha contradicted Ibne Umar and others (who narrated Hadith of Well on their authorities) and claimed that neither the Dead in the well heard anything nor Rasool Allah [saww] addressed them, but he [saww] only said that those kuffar now realize that all that is true what he [saww] used to tell them.
….( A’isha said ) The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) stood by the well in which were lying the dead bodies of those polytheists who had been killed on the Day of Badr, and he said to them what he had to say, i.e.: They hear what I say. But he (Ibn ‘Umar) misunderstood. The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) had only said: They understand that what I used to say to them was truth . She then recited:”Certainly,thou canst not make the dead hear the call….”
Sahih Muslim Book 004, Number 2027, Translated by Siddiqi
And narrated ‘Aisha:
The Prophet said, “They now realize that what I used to tell them was the truth. “And Allah said, ‘Verily! You cannot make the dead to hear ….”
Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 23, Number 453: Translation by Mohsin Khan
And narrated Ibn Umar:
The Prophet stood at the well of Badr (which contained the corpses of the pagans) and said, “Have you found true what your lord promised you?” Then he further said, “They now hear what I say.” This was mentioned before ‘Aisha and she said, “But the Prophet said, ‘Now they know very well that what I used to tell them was the truth.’ Then she recited (the Holy Verse):– “You cannot make the dead hear… …”
Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 317: Translated by Mohsin Khan
Did Rasool Allah [saww] address the Dead at Badr or not, and did those Dead hear the Words of Rasool Allah [saww] or not?
A’isha, at the time when Rasool Allah [saww] addressed the Dead at Badr, was not present there. But Umar was there and Umar was too suspicious/ confused/ doubtful to what Rasool Allah [saww] did (i.e. addressing the Dead with their names. “O Abu Jahl Ibn Hisham! O Umayya Ibn Khalaf! O`Utba ibn Rabi`a).
Umar asked Rasool Allah [saww], “O Allah’s Apostle! You are speaking to the bodies that have no souls!” And Rasool Allah [saww] answering him, “By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, you do not hear, what I say better than they do.”
The words of Rasool Allah [saww] and Umar make it clear beyond any doubts that contrary to A’isha’s claim, indeed the Kuffar in the well heard his [saww] Words and indeed Rasool Allah [saww] addressed them.
Inconsistency in the Behaviour of A’isha
And it is ‘Aisha herself who started wearing Hijab (veil), when Umar was buried in her house.
It is narrated by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal that before Umar was buried in Aisha’s room, she would go their without Hijab, as Rasool Allah [saww] was her husband and Abu Bakr was her father. However, when Umar got buried there, she would only go in the room with Hijab.
al-Mishkat: Bab ziyarat al-Qubur
Strange, did she believe that dead cannot Hear us, but they can See us? In fact, A’isha made mistake on both the issues of hearing and seeing. If Dead can see through walls of their grave, then what can stop them to see through the Hijab?
And Allah knows the best.
Contradiction in the Opinions of Qatada and A’isha on Hadith of Well
A’isha was of opinion that neither Rasool Allah [saww] addressed the Dead at all nor did they hear any thing, but he was only saying that they now realize the truth what he [saww] used to tell them.
Contrary to A’isha, Qatada was of opinion that indeed Rasool Allah [saww] addressed the dead and they heard him. And all that became possible while Allah returned the souls to them back and brought them to life again.
Interesting, the Salafies are using both of these contradictory statement at the same time in order to defend their doctrine.. How illogical is this behaviour. They must first decide who is correct between these two.
Do we need to comment any more on their scholarship?
Conclusion of all the Salafi proofs:
There is not even a Single Proof from Quran or Sunnah of Rasool Allah [saww] that Dead cannot “Hear”. The Salafies have built whole building of their doctrine on the bases of two opinions of Qatada and A’isha (which are also contrary to each other) and their Conjecture Card.
How can these two contrary opinions and conjecture be given preference over all the established verses of Quran and Hadiths of Rasool Allah [saww], which are explicitly affirming the hearing of Dead?
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