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Is it possible for the dead to communicate with the living and can the living hear them? Please furnish a detailed reply. PDF Print E-mail
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Dialogue Between the Living and the Dead

Q: Ilm-47: Is it possible for the dead to communicate with the living and can the living hear them? Please furnish a detailed reply.

Answer: This depends on the will of Allaah. If Allaah wills that the speech of the dead be heard by the living, so it will be, just as it will be if He wills that the dead hear the speech of the living. Such occurrences may happen in dreams as well as during consciousness, and both types of narrations have been reported

1. Hadhrat Nu'maan bin Basheer RADI. narrates that when the Ansaari Sahabi Hadhrat Zaid bin Khaarija RADI. passed away during the Khilaafah of Hadhrat Uthm aan RADI. his body was ready for burial and the people were awaiting the arrival of Ameerul Mu'mineen Hadhrat Uthmaan RADI. Hadhrat Nu'maan RADI. then went aside to perform two Rakaahs salaah while the others sat and spoke. It was then that the deceased was heard saying. "As Salaamu Alaykum Be silent Be silent!" The deceased Hadhrat Zaid RADI. then delivered a long discourse in which he attested to the righteousness of Rasulullaah SAW. and the four Khulafaa and also mentioned some qualities of each of them. He then mentioned a prophesy about the Khilaafah of Hadhrat Uthmaan RADI. which turned cut to be true.

This incident has been reported in more or less the same words in many books detailing tire lives of the Sahabah RADI. Even Imaam Bukhaari RAH. has accepted the authenticity of the narration.

2. Shah Wali'ullaah Muhaddith Dehiawi RAH. reports that his father Shah Abdur Raheem Muhaddith Dehlawi RAH. was once returning from lessons he was receiving from Hadhrat Mirza Muhammad Zaahid Harawi RAH. in Akbaraabaad, when he had to pass through a long and deserted alleyway. At that moment, he was reciting some poems from Hadhrat Saadi RAH. which meant, "Everything apart from the remembrance of Allaah only destroys life and everything learnt apart from the secrets of Allaah's love is useless and a waste. O Saadi! Clean the slate of your heart from engravings of everything apart from Allaah.? He was struggling to remember the next couplet and repeating the above couplets over and over to assist in remembering the next one. It was then that a man dressed as a mystic appeared on his right hand side and completed the couplet saying. "The knowledge that does not guide to the path of Allaah is no knowledge but ignorance." He was overjoyed at the appearance and said.

"Dear man! May Allaah reward you well for alleviating the restlessness from my heart." As the man went ahead. Hadhrat Shah RAH. asked him who he was so that he could pray for him, the man said. "I am the man they call Saadi."

3. The following appears in the Malfoozaat2 of Moulana Ahmad Rizaa Khan:

Q: Ilm-48: It is true that Hadhrat Mahboob Ilaahi RADI. Is standing bareheaded in his grave and cursing all those who sing?

Answer: This incident is about Khwaja Qutbuddeen Bakhtiyaar Kaki RAH. when some Qawaali was taking place at a Samaa gathering at his graveside. People have changed things very much nowadays and have also introduced dancing, whereas during those days there were no musical instruments either. Hadhrat Sayyid Ibraheem Ameerjee RAH. who was from our pious predecessors was once leaving a samaa gathering. Someone passed by him and asked if he would attend the Samaa gathering. He told the man that he would first have to see whether his mentor would allow it. He then meditated awhile by the graveside of his mentor and saw that he was perturbed in his grave and, pointing towards the people engaged in Qawaali, he said that it was those wretches that were upsetting him.

4. Allaama Kamaaluddeen Ibn Humaam RAH. the author of Fat'hul Qadeer once visited the tomb of Sheikh Iskandari RAH. He was reciting Surah Hood there when he reached the verse: "Amongst them are the unfortunate ones and the fortunate ones." A loud voice then came from the grave of the Sheikh saying, "There are no unfortunate ones amongst us." It was because of this that Allaama Kamaaludden RAH. left instructions for him to be buried next to the grave of the Sheikh.

5. Hadhrat Muhammad bin Naafi RAH. reports that he saw the deceased Hadhrat Abu Nawaas RAH. in a dream wearing the garments of Allaah's mercy. When he asked Hadhrat Abu Nawaas RAH. How Allaah had treated him, he replied, "Before I died, I had written a few couplets because of which Allaah had forgiven me. Those couplets are still under my pillow." The next morning, Hadhrat Muhammad bin Naafi RAH. went to the house and related the dream to the family of Hadhrat Abu Nawaas RAH. They then looked beneath the pillow and found a paper with the following words written on it:

(Du?aa on page no.490 in Fataawa Rahimiyyah.)


(1. O my Rabb !Although my sins are so many, I know well that Your forgiveness is even greater

(2. If it is only the good people who can hope in if it is only the good people who can have hope in You, then who will the transgressors call to and have hope in?

(3. I am supplicating to You in humility, just as Youq have commanded, O my Rabb. Now if You reject me, who is there to shower mercy on me?

(4. I have no causeway to You other than my hopes and Your magnificent pardon, for I am after all a Muslim."

6. Imaam Bayhaqi reports from Hadhrat Abu Ibraheem Qaadhi Nayshapuri RAH. that when a man once came to him, someone told Qaadhi Nayshapuri RAH. that the man had a strange tale to tell. When Qaadhi Nayshapuri RAH. asked the man to relate the incident to them, the man said, "I used to steal burial shrouds and once went to the graveyard to steal the burial shrouds of a certain woman who had just passed away. I then performed salaah at her graveside and when I eventually dug the grave and was about to remove her burial shroud, she said. 'subhaanallaah! How can a man of Jannah remove the clothing of a woman of Jannah? Do you not know that Allaah has forgiven all your sins because you had performed salaah at my graveside?"

7. Hadhrat Abu Bakr bin Khayyaat RAH. narrates that he once saw himself in a dream standing in the graveyard. He saw all the deceased people sitting in their graves with the fragrance of Jannah and its flowers before them. He then saw Sheikhul Mashaa'ikh Hadhrat Ma'roof Karkhi RAH. walking about and asked him, "O Sheikh! But you have passed away (how are you now walking about)?" The Sheikh replied, "The death of those with Taqwa leads to a life that has no end. There have been many who have died but are still alive amongst the people."

8. The famous Taabi'ee Hadhrat Abu Qilaabah RAH. relates that he was returning from Shaam and heading for Basrah when he camped at a place for the night. He performed wudhu, performed two Rakaahs salaah there and then fell asleep. Not knowing that there was a grave at the place, he placed his head on the grave as he slept. He then woke up at night to find the person of the grave complaining to him saying, "You have caused me difficulty tonight (by resting on my grave)." He then continued to say, "The living do not realise the value not the deeds they do while the dead know the value but are unable to carry them out. The two Rakaahs salaah you have offered are better than the world and all it contains. May Allaah grant the living the best of rewards to the living. Do convey my Salaams to them because the du'aas they make for us give us mountains of light.

9. Another renowned Taabi'ee by the name of Hadhrat Mutarraf bin Abdullaah RAH. relates, "I was passing by a graveyard one Friday and saw a funeral being carried in. I saw the opportunity as a valuable one and decided to join in the funeral processions. However, before that, I stepped aside from the crowd and performed two Rakaahs'of salaah on one side of the graveyard at the side of a grave. I deliberately shortened the salaah (to make it for the Janaazah salaah). When I completed, I fell into a sort of slumber and saw the person of the grave address me saying, 'You did not perform that salaah well.' When I confirmed what he said, he remarked, 'You living people carry out good deeds but do not realise their value whereas we the dead know the value but are unable to carry them out. If I had the opportunity to perform even the hasty two Rakaahs that you performed just now, I would regard it to be more valuable than the world and all that it contains.'

I then asked him, 'What types of people are buried here?' He relied, 'By the grace of Allaah, there are all Muslims buried here and all have been graced by Allaah. And who is the best of you all here?' I asked. He then pointed to a grave and I made du'aa to Allaah to allow the person out of the grave so that I could speak to him. When the person emerged from his rave, I saw that he was just a young boy. 'Are you the best of all the people here?' I asked. 'That's what the people here say,' he replied. I then enquired further, 'How did you attain such a high rank in your few years? Was it that you had performed Hajj and Umrah many times, waged Jihaad and
carried out good deeds in abundance?' His reply was, 'What happened was that I was afflicted with many difficulties and hardships in my life and Allaah granted me the ability to exercise patience. The special treatment that Allaah is gracing me with here is a result of that."

10. Allaama Ibnul Qayyim RAH. reports that Hadhrat Sa'b bin Juthaamah RADI. and Hadhrat Auf bin Maalik RADI. had struck up a union to be brothers in Islaam. When Hadhrat Sa'b RADI. passed away, Hadhrat Auf RADI. saw him in a dream and (apart from a few other things) Hadhrat Sa'b RADI. told Hadhrat Auf RADI. that he has taken a loan of ten Dinaars from a particular Jew. The money was in a horn in his house and he wished Hadhrat Auf RADI. to give it to the Jew. Realising that the message was a serious one, Hadhrat Auf RADI. went to Hadhrat Sa'b RADI. house the next morning and took found a little bag in the horn. In the bag was the ten Dinaars that was owed to the Jew. Taking the money to the Jew, Hadhrat Auf RADI. first asked him if Hadhrat Sa'b RADI. owed him any money. when the Jew confirmed that Hadhrat Sa'b RADI. owed him ten Dinaars, Hadhrat Auf RADI. handed the money over to him. when he saw the Dinaars before him, the Jew swore that they were the exactly the same coins that he had lent to Hadhrat Sa'b RADI.

11. A more astonishing incident is that of Hadhrat Thaabit bin Qais bin Shammaas RADI. who was martyred during the Battle of Yamaamah (fought against the false claimant to Nubuwwah Musaylama Kadhaab during the Khilaafah of Hadhrat Abu Bakr RADI. and under the command of Hadhrat Khaalid bin Waleed RADI.) When he was martyred, he was wearing a very expensive suit of armour, which someone from the Muslim army removed from his body and kept for himself.

Another Mujaahid from the Muslim army later saw Hadhrat Thaabit RADI. in a dream. Hadhrat Thaabit RADI. addressed him saying. "I have an important instruction to give you. Please do not regard this to be a meaningless dream and then do nothing about it. When I was martyred yesterday, one of the Muslims took my armour for himself. His tent is the last one on the edge of the field and you will recognise it by the horse outside that skips and jumps around very much. He has taken my armour and hidden it beneath a large overturned pot, upon which he has then placed his saddle. Tell Khaalid in Waleed RADI. to send someone to retrieve the arrnour. Thereafter, when you reach Madinah' go to the Ameerul Mu'mineen Hadhrat Abu Bakr RADI. and tell him about the debts that I have (which may be paid by selling the armour) and also tell him that the slaves I have are all free.

The man reported the dream to Hadhrat Khaalid RADI. and the person whom Hadhrat Khaalid RADI. sent found the armour exactly as Hadhrat Thaabit RADI. had described. When the man then returned to Madinah, he related the dream to Hadhrat Abu Bakr RADI. as well and Hadhrat Abu Bakr RADI. fulfilled the bequest as Hadhrat Thaabit RADI. wanted.

12. Hakeemul Ummah Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi RADI. reports that Hadhrat Jubayr RADI. said, "I swear by the Allaah besides Whom there is none worthy of worship that Hameed Taweel was with me when we entered the grave of Thaabit Bunaani RAH. and laid the unbaked bricks over the niche in the grave. When one of the bricks fell out, I saw him performing salaah in his grave. He always used to make du'aa to Allaah saying, 'O Allaah! If you would ever grant any of your creation the fortune of performing salaah in their, grave do grant it to me, Allaah did not reject this du'aa.

13. Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbaas RADI. reports that some Sahabah RADI. once sat on a grave not knowing that it was a grave and suddenly heard someone reciting Surah Mulk until the- end. When they reported this to Rasulullaah SAW. Rasulullaah SAW. remarked, That Surah is a saviour that protects a person from punishment in the grave.

14. While speaking of sheikh Muhammad Turk Naar Noomi RAH. shah Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi RAH. narrated the in of two martyrs in the area. Because one was buried in higher lying ground, he was referred to as the martyr on higher ground and because the other was buried in lower lying ground, he was referred to as the martyr on lower ground. Since both were Haafidh of the Qur'aan, recitation of the Qur'aan could be clearly heard from their graves as they revised the Quraan.

15. Sheikh Abu Taahir RAH. a devotee of Sheikh Rozbaan RAH. relates, "Sheikh Rozbaan RAH. and I would always revise the Qur?aan to each other every morning, so when he passed away, my life became dull and without light. I woke up late one night to perform salaah and started reciting Qur'aan'as I sat by the head-side of the Sheikh's grave. As I started to weep over my loneliness, I heard recitation of the Qur?aan coming form the Sheikh's grave. I continued listening to the recitation until people started to gather, at which moment the recitation stopped. This continued for a long while until I mentioned the incident to a friend of mine. It was then that stopped altogether.

16. It is reported that after the great saint Haafidh Mahmood Balgiraami RAH. passed away, he could be heard reciting the Qur?aan every Friday night from his grave.

17. Hadhrat Moulana Mufti Muhammad Shafee RAH. reports in his Ahkaamul Qur'aan an incident of a pious man who was busy digging a grave when a brick separating it from an adjacent grave fell off. When peeped inside the grave, he saw a Sheikh wearing white clothing that was fluttering. He was busy reciting from a Qur?aan that had words written in gold. The Sheikh raised his head and, seeing the man, asked, "May Allaah have mercy on you! Has Qiyaamah come? when the man replied in the negative, the Sheikh said, ?then please replace the brick. May Allaah keep you in safety. The man then replaced the brick.

18. Ibn Abi Dunya and Bayhaqi both report from Hadhrat Ibn Maynaa RAH. that when he was passing through a deserted place, he performed two hasty Rakaahs of salaah and then leaned on grave to sleep. He was still awake when he heard a voice from the grave saying, "Get up! You have caused me difficulty tonight (by resting on my grave). You living people carry out good deeds but do not realise their value whereas we the dead know the value but are unable to carry them out. If I had the opportunity to perform even the hasty two Rakaahs that you performed just now, I would regard it to be more valuable than the world and all that it contains.

19. Hadhrat Sa'eed bin Musayyib RAH. reports that they entered the graveyard of Madinah with Ameerul Mu'mineen Hadhrat Ali RADI. when he called out, "O people of the graves! As Salaamu Alaykum! Tell us your news, or would you rather hear from us?" A voice was then heard from a grave saying, "Wa Alaykumus Salaam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuht What has happened after us, O Ameerul Mu'mineen! Do tell us."

Hadhrat Ali RADI. then said, "Your widows have since remarried, your wealth has been distributed, your children have been orphaned and your homes that you had built strong have been occupied by your enemies. This is the news from our side. Now tell us your news." The person replied by saying, "Our shrouds are torn, our hair is dishevelled, our skins have ruptured, our eyeballs have fallen to our cheeks and puss flows from our nostrils. We have found here waiting for us the deeds we have sent ahead and have lost out on that which we left behind. We are now being held back by our actions."

20. Hadhrat Abdullaah Ansaari RADI. reports that he was amongst those who buried Hadhrat Thaabit bin Qaid bin Shammaas RADI. after he was martyred in the Battle of Yamaamah. As they lowered him into the grave, they heard him say, "Muhammad SAW. is the Rasool of Allaah, Abu Bakr is the Siddeeq, Umar shall be a martyr and Uthmaan is trustworthy and worthy of mercy." This he said despite the fact that they knew he had passed away.

21. Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah RAH. reports that a man who stole burial shrouds once dug up a grave and found a saint sitting on a high throne. The saint was reciting the Qur'aan as a stream flowed beneath him. This shocked him so greatly that he fell unconscious. He regained consciousness only three days later. After relating the incident to the people, some people desired to know where the grave was. However, the man saw the saint in a dream, telling him that he would suffer terrible misfortune if he ever revealed the location of the grave to anyone, He therefore promised never to inform anyone.

22. Sheikh Abu Ya'qoob Sanusi RAH. says, One of my disciples came to me and said, "I shall die tomorrow afternoon." The following day, the man came to the Masjidul Haraam in Makkah, performed his Zuhr Salaat, made Tawaaf of the Kabah and then went a little farther away from the Kabah, where he passed away. I washed his body and arranged for his burial. When I laid him in. the grave, he opened his eyes. I asked him in surprise, "is there life after death?" He replied, am alive and he who is a true lover of Allaah never dies."

23. Sheikh Ibnul Jalaa RAH. who is a well-known Sufi Sheikh says that when his father died and his body was laid on a wooden board for washing, he (the sheikh's father) began to laugh. The people who had come to wash his body were terrified (to see a dead man laughing) and ran away. After a while, one of his father's friends came and bathed him. The author of Rowdh has reported many incidents about people who were happy and laughing at the time of their deaths and afterwards as well. In his book entitled 'Al-Isti'aab', Hafidh Ibnu Abdil Birr RAH. as related some anecdotes about the pious who were heard talking after their death. He writes about zaid bin Khaarijah RADI. about whom all agree that he talked after his death. He also relates that some other Sahabah RADI. talked after their death.

24. Another very astonishing incident is that which is related by Imaam Jalaaluddeen Suyuti RAH. in his booklet Sharful Makhtam. He narrates the incident through a chain of narrators including Sheikh Kamaaluddeen RAH., Sheikh Shamsuddeen Jazari RAH. Sheikh Zainud Deen Maraaghi RAH., Sheikh Izzud, Deen Ahmad Faruqi RAH., his father sheikh Abu Is'haaq Ibraheem RAH. then from his father Sheikh Izzud Deen Umar RAH., who accompanied Sayyid Ahmad Rifaa'ee RAH. on Hajj during the year 555 A.H.

He says that when they reached the grave of Rasulullaah SAW. in Madinah, Sayyid Ahmad RAH. greeted Rasulullaah SAW. saying, As salaamu Alaykum, O grandfather." All the people in the Masjid then heard Rasulullaah SAW. reply by saying was Alaykas salaam, o my son." Hadhrat sayyid Ahmad RAH. was then overcome with ecstasy and wept for a long while. He then recited some couplets which meant:

"Even when far away from you (O Rasulullaah SAW.) I keep sending my soul to you That acts as my ambassador to kiss the ground on my behalf

Now that the turn has come for my body to present itself before you Do stretch out your right hand to me so that I may kiss it.

It was then in front of the crowd of thousa.ds thait Rasulullaah SAW.'s hard was extended from his tomb. shining and fragrant' sayyid Ahmad RAH. then received the honor of kissing it.

25. Sheikh Muhammad Faadhil Surati RAH. (1217 A.H. 1302 A.H. ) "was a saint from Surat (India). The day he passed away (in Surat) was the day of Arafah and before passing away, he told the people that he would be going for Hajj. When some residents of Surat returned from Hajj that year, they swore that they saw him on the plain of Arafah.

And Allaah knows best what is most correct.

Fatawa Rahimiyyah vol.1