The Prophet's death being 'good for Muslims' does not legitimize seeking his help
Fatwa No: 275083

Question

what Ibn Hajar Haytami said in Fatawa Hadeethiya page 342 answer to the question no. 118, and Manawi in Faydh al Qadeer 3/400 no. 3700, and Abu Bakar bin Tahir as quoted by Qadhi Iyaad in Ash-Shifa regarding the meaning of the hadeeth "Your deeds are presented to me. I f they are good, I express my gratitude to Allāh, and if the deeds are not good, then I pray to Allāh for your forgiveness" all the above statements are in arabic in your arabic fatawa no. 142177 It will clear the that this hadeeth does not mean to ask help from Prophet peace be upon him.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

This question is related to a part of a Hadeeth that Al-Bazzaar reported from Ibn Mas‘ood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him with the following wording: "My life is good for you; you will relate about me and it will be related to you. And my death is good for you; your actions will be presented to me, and if I see good, I will praise Allaah, and if I see evil I will ask Him forgiveness for you." Al-Bazzaar himself classified this report as Dha‘eef (weak) and so did Al-Albaani.

Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said about the meaning of this report: "The ambiguity only arises if (the Arabic word) "khayr" (which means good) is interpreted as "better" to indicate preference. However, this is not the case, as the word "khayr" (here) is not in the comparative form; not like its use in the following verses where it means "better" not "good":

- {…So, is he who is cast into the Fire "khayr" (better) or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection?} [Quran 41:40]

- {The companions of Paradise, that Day, are in a "khayr" (better) settlement and better resting place.} [Quran 25:24]

Indeed, both the life and death of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, are good for the Muslims. It cannot be claimed that either of them is better than the other. If the Hadeeth is meant to give preference to one of them over the other, then, linguistically speaking, the opposite of "khayr" would have been used as well, which is "sharr" (which means bad). Also, the preposition "min" ("than") would have been used "khayrun min" (which means better than), but there is no omission here ....."

Al-Munaawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote: "The Hadeeth means that my life in this world causes your protection from Fitnah (tribulations), religious innovations, and divergence. Although the Companions endeavor to pursue the Truth, yet agreement is better for them (than disagreement), and the fallible are liable to error. And my death is good for you because each Prophet dwells in heaven after his death as the Ahaadeeth indicated. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, has a dwelling there, imploring his Lord in favor of his followers each day. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, underlined that his death is good for us indicating that the benefits availed by Muslims do not cease by his death. Rather, it may be argued that death on time is better for the Muslims even in some ways. For instance, his death opened the door of Ijtihaad (personal reasoning to investigate and weigh religious texts to arrive at religious rulings to new cases untackled by the Quran and Sunnah), eliminated dependency, and urged adherence to prudence, and the like." [Faydh Al-Qadeer]

Qaadhi ‘Iyaadh  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Taahir said: 'Allaah, The Exalted, blessed Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with mercy. His mercy and all his qualities and traits are a source of mercy for created beings. Whoever avails himself of his mercy will be saved from any harm in the worldly life and Hereafter and attain whatever he aspires to in both worlds. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.} [Quran 21:107] His life and death are both sources of mercy for mankind; he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: 'My life is good for you and my death is good for you.' He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also said: 'When Allaah intends to show mercy to a people, He takes the life of their Prophet before them and makes him a herald of happiness for them in the Hereafter.'" [Ash-Shifaa']

To sum up, the Hadeeth, even if confirmed to be authentic, has nothing to do with Istighaathah (praying for help from the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Allaah Knows best.

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