Prophets and martyrs in the grave
Fatwa No: 84862

Question

What about the life of Shuhada and Prophets? They hear in the graves?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

It is proved that martyrs are alive and lead a life of comfort and ease in Paradise.
Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allâh as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision.} [3: 169].
It is also proved in Sahih Muslim that Masrooq said: 'We asked Abdullah Ibn Masoud about the meaning of the verse, who said: 'We asked about that. Ibn Masoud added: The souls of martyrs live in inside of green birds, who have their nests in chandeliers, hung from the throne of The Almighty. They go out freely in the Paradise, then return to those chandeliers. Once their Lord (Allah) looked down at them and said: 'Do you wish something?' They answered: 'Which thing do we wish since we go out freely in the Paradise'. He (The Exalted) did that thrice. Then, when they believed that Allah will not leave them unless they ask for something. They said: 'O Lord! We desire that our souls be returned to our bodies so that we can be killed again. Then, when Allah saw (and He Knew that before) that they had no need, so they were left' . al-Qurtubi said: 'Only to martyrs food and comfort are hastened' . According to Ibn al-'Arabi , 'there is consensus among the Muslim Ummah on this point' .
Prophets are also alive and their lives are more perfect than lives of martyrs. There is agreement among scholars concerning this point.
As for the dead, in general, only their future position in Paradise is exposed to them if they are (By Allah's Favor) among its inhabitants. Then, it is kept till the Day of Resurrection. It is recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Umar (Radiya Allahu Anhu) who said: "When one among you dies, he is shown his position. If he is one of people of Paradise, he is shown his place in Paradise; and if he is one of the people of the Hell-fire, he is shown his place in the Hell-fire. Then, it is said: "This is your position until Allah raises you from the dead on the Day of Resurrection" .
As for Prophets and martyrs hearing in graves, this is proved for all human beings, Muslims and non-Muslims, but this hearing is restricted only to the sound of footsteps of living people when they leave the graves, i.e. after burying someone.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "When a dead servant is put into his grave (buried) and his fellows (relatives and those who take part in burial) leave him, he hears the sound of their footsteps" [Reported by Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim ].
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) addressed some killed people of the polytheists after the Ghazwa (military expedition led by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) of Badr saying: "You do not hear better what I am saying than they do" .
Qatadah said: 'Allah, The Exalted, has breathed life into them till they can hear. The Prophet's (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) saying is a form of rebuke, depreciation and wrath and to make them regret' .
Allah knows best.

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