Dead can hear or not: Opinions from Sahabas to Scholars

There is difference of opinion among the scholars whether the dead can hear or not. This is the issue of fiqh and not aqeedah still some of the lay people create problems and declare others as deviants just because of this issue. I will quote some of the opinions from Sahaba to scholars to clear this issue.

1. The opinion of Aisha ra

Narrated Ibn `Umar:
قَالَ وَقَفَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى قَلِيبِ بَدْرٍ فَقَالَ {هَلْ وَجَدْتُمْ مَا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا ثُمَّ قَالَ إِنَّهُمُ الآنَ يَسْمَعُونَ مَا أَقُولُ} فَذُكِرَ لِعَائِشَةَ فَقَالَتْ إِنَّمَا قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” إِنَّهُمُ الآنَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ الَّذِي كُنْتُ أَقُولُ لَهُمْ هُوَ الْحَقُّ “. ثُمَّ قَرَأَتْ {إِنَّكَ لاَ تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَى} حَتَّى قَرَأَتِ الآيَةَ.
The Prophet (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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… …till the end of Verse).” (30.52) [Sahih al-Bukhari 3980, 3981 In-book reference : Book 64, Hadith 32 USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 5, Book 59, Hadith 317]

Narrated Hisham’s father: It was mentioned before ‘Aisha that Ibn ‘Umar attributed the following statement to the Prophet “The dead person is punished in the grave because of the crying and lamentation Of his family.” On that, ‘Aisha said, “But Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The dead person is punished for his crimes and sins while his family cry over him then.” She added, “And this is similar to the statement of Allah’s Apostle when he stood by the (edge of the) well which contained the corpses of the pagans killed at Badr, ‘They hear what I say.’ She added, “But he said now they know very well what I used to tell them was the truth.” ‘Aisha then recited: ‘You cannot make the dead hear.’ (30.52) and ‘You cannot make those who are in their Graves, hear you.’ (35.22) that is, when they had taken their places in the (Hell) Fire.

 

2. The opinion of Qatada (Tabiyee)
Qatada said “Allah brought them to life (again) 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 Book #59, Hadith #314)

3. The opinion of Ibn Abdul Barr

Ibn Abdul Bar said

عن عطاء بن يسار ، عن عائشة أنها قالت : كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يخرج من الليل إلى المقبرة فيقول : السلام عليكم دار قوم مؤمنين ، أتانا وإياكم ما توعدون ، وإنا إن شاء الله بكم لاحقون ، اللهم اغفر لأهل بقيع الغرقد ، وقد احتج به من ذهب إلى أن أرواح الموتى على أفنية القبور ، والله أعلم بما أراد رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم بسلامه عليهم ، وقد نادى أهل القليب ببدر ، وقال : ما أنتم بأسمع منهم . إلا أنهم لا يستطيعون أن يجيبوا قيل : إن هذا خصوص ، وقيل : إنهم لم يكونوا مقبورين لقوله تعالى ( وما أنت بمسمع من في القبور ) وما أدري ما هذا .

وقد روى قتادة ، عن أنس في الميت حين يقبر أنه يسمع خفق نعالهم إذا ولوا عنه مدبرين ، وهذه أمور لا يستطاع على تكييفها ، وإنما فيها الاتباع والتسليم .
It is narrated from Ata bin Yasar that ‘Aishah said: The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him would go out at night to Al-Baqi’ and say: “Peace be upon you, O abode of believing people. You and we used to remind one another about the Day of Resurrection and we are relying on one another (with regard to intercession and bearing witness). Soon we will join you, if Allah willing. O Allah, forgive the people of Baqi’ Al-Gharqad.”

The evidence is taken from this hadith that the graves are houses of souls of the dead, Allah knows best. The Prophet peace be upon him wanted to send salam on them. And He (peace be upon him) addressed to people of the well of Badar. He (peace be upon him also said when asked regarding his addressing to the dead) that: “‘You do not hear what I say any better than they do, but they lack the power to answer.'” It is said that It was a special case (as said by Qatada), It is said: They were not buried in the graves (that is why they heard) as Allah tala says “you cannot make hear those in the graves.” [35:22] but I don’t know about this.

And it is narrated by Qatada from Anas regarding the dead that when he is buried he listens to the sound of the shoes when they turn back. We have no power to comprehend the Kayfiyah of these matters (hearing of the dead), this should be followed and accepted. [At-Tamheed 20/240]

Comment: Only Allah knows how the dead hears, people should not do qiyas by saying we should ask help from them and they can even visit this world etc. We should accept what has been taught in Quran and sunnah and kaffiyah is only known to Allah.

4. The opinion of Abul Abbas Qurtubi
Other scholars say that the dead do not hear Normally but in special cases mentioned in ahadeeth they do hear for example

Abul-Abbas Qurtubi said
لو سلمنا أن الموتى في الآية على حقيقتهم ؛ فلا تعارض بينها وبين أن بعض الموتى يسمعون في وقتٍ ما ، أو في حالٍ ما ، فإن تخصيص العموم ممكن وصحيح إذا وجد المخصص ، وقد وجد هنا بدليل هذا الحديث
Suppose if we accept the dead in this ayah in its reality this does not contradict the fact that some dead hear sometimes , and in some moments, Thus specifying it in genarlity is possible and correct when its found to be specific as we have found here as the proof in this hadith[Al-Mufhim (2/586) see also : (1/333) ، (7/151)]

5. The opinion of Ibn Jareer Tabree
Allah says 6:36. It is only those who listen, that will respond, but as for the dead, Allah will raise them up, then to Him they will be returned

Ibn Jareer Tabree commented
والموتى يبعثهم الله ” يقول : والكفار يبعثهم الله مع الموتى ، فجعلهم – تعالى ذكره – في عداد الموتى الذين لا يسمعون صوتا ، ولا يعقلون دعاء ، ولا يفقهون قولا إذ كانوا لا يتدبرون حجج الله ، ولا يعتبرون آياته ، ولا يتذكرون فينزجرون عما هم عليه من تكذيب رسل الله وخلافهم .
..Allah (declared) kuffar like the dead who do not hear the voice, They do not understand the invocation, neither they can understand the words..[Tafseer Tabree 5/184]

6. The opinion of Qadhi Shawkani
Same is said by Shawkani in his Tafsir fath ul qadeer
شبههم بالأموات بجامع أنهم جميعاً لا يفهمون الصواب، ولا يعقلون الحق، أي أن هؤلاء لا يلجئهم الله إلى الإيمان وإن كان قادراً على ذلك، كما يقدر على بعثة الموتى للحساب [Tafseer of the verse 6:36]

Qadhi shawkani said in (شرح الصدور بتحريم رفع القبور)Page no: 10
، صار تحت أطباق الثرى، لا يقدر على أن يجلب لنفسه نفعا ولا يدفع عنها ضرا، كما قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما أمره الله أن يقول: (لا أملك لنفسي نفعا ولا ضرا). فانظر كيف قال سيد البشر وصفوةالله من خلقه بأمر ربه أنه لا يملك لنفسه ضرا ولا نفعا ، وكذلك قال فيما صح عنه ” يا فاطمة بنت محمد لا أغني عنك من الله شيئا. ”
They are under mud, They have no authority of good and Bad

for their own self, nor they have power to prevent the pain of any other, like ALLAH told Prophet Peace be upon him to tell the people (al araf 188). Say : “I possess no power over benefit or harm to myself.

Same like He said to his beloved Daughter “O Faatimah bint Muhammad, I cannot help you before Allah in any way”?.(end)

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7. The opinion of Ibn Kathir
والصحيح عند العلماء رواية عبد الله بن عمر؛ لما لها من الشواهد على صحتها من وجوه كثيرة، من أشهر ذلك ما رواه ابن عبد البر مصححاً له عن ابن عباس مرفوعاً: ” ما من أحد يمر بقبر أخيه المسلم كان يعرفه في الدنيا، فيسلم عليه، إلا رد الله عليه روحه حتى يرد عليه السلام “. وثبت عنه صلى الله عليه وسلم لأمته إذا سلموا على أهل القبور أن يسلموا عليهم سلام من يخاطبونه، فيقول المسلم: السلام عليكم دار قوم مؤمنين، وهذا خطاب لمن يسمع ويعقل، ولولا هذا الخطاب، لكانوا بمنزلة خطاب المعدوم والجماد، والسلف مجمعون على هذا، وقد تواترت الآثار عنهم بأن الميت يعرف بزيارة الحي له،
“The correct view according to the ‘ulama is the view of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, due to corroborations to its correctness from many paths. From the most well-known of these is what ibn ‘Abd al-Barr narrated, authenticating it, from ibn ‘Abbas in marfu’ form that ‘none passes by the grave of his Muslim brother that he knew in the world and greets him except Allah restores his soul to him and he returns the greeting to him.’ It is established from him that he instructed his ummah, when they greet the inhabitants of the graves to greet them with the greeting of one addressed [directly], thus the one greeting says ‘peace be on to you, abode of the group of believers’ and such an address is [only] for one who hears and thinks. Were it not so, this address would be like addressing an absent [person] and an inanimate object. The predecessors (salaf) are agreed on that for the narrations from them are mass transmitted (tawatur) that the dead know of the visit of the living to him and rejoices.”[Tafsir Ibn Kathir 6/325 of Saami bin Muhammad bin Salama]

Some points should be ponder upon:

1. These words from Tafsir Ibn Katheer are not mentioned in many of the Manuscripts as it is evident from the tafseer Ibn Katheer whih is published in 15 volumes, and its research is done by five muhaqqiqeen.

2. The Muhaqqiq Saami bin Muhammad bin Salama said in the foot notes:
زيادة من ت, أ
See Tafsir Ibn Kathir 6/327

 

These words are only mentioned in Nuskha Muhammadiya which is in Turkey and its writer is not known. These words are also in Nuskha Wali ullah bin Jar Allah and its writer is Ali bin Yaqoob who is famous with the name of Ibn al Mukhlis who is also not known. So both of these Manuscripts are not trustworthy.

 

The Muhaqqiq Sami bin Muhammad bin Salama have seen fifteen manuscripts of tafsir ibn Katheer but he did not find these statements in any of the manuscripts with the exception of these two unknown writers.

Dr. Ismaeel Abdul Aal said regarding the Manuscripts of Tafseer Ibn Kathir:
Whoever wants to do deep research on Tafsir Ibn Kathir. Especially comparing different manuscripts. According to me it is obligation on him that he should not put his trust on only one manuscript. He should gather all the published and makhtoot manuscripts and then compare ziadah and nuqs and tehreef and tasheef. [Ibn Kathir wa Manhaja fe tafsir page 128]

Above note is taken from Risalah al Sunnah no:46 pages 32-33 artilce of Hafidh Abu Yahya Noorpoori

NOTE 2: Some great scholars say the dead can hear based on the hadith “Any Muslim who passes by the grave of his brother whom he knew in the worldly life and says Salam to him then Allah grants Ruh to him and he even returns the greeting”. And they say Hafiz Ibn Abdul Barr authenticated it. For Example

Above hadith is authenticated by Ibn Abdul barr according to Ibn al Qaayim and Ibn Uthaymeen followed him. Following is the chain of narrators mentioned by Hafiz Ibn Abdul Barr
أبو عبد الله عبيد بن محمد – قراءة مني عليه سنة تسعين وثلاث مئة في ربيع الأول – قال : أملت علينا فاطمة بنت الريان المخزومي المستملي – في دارها بمصر في شوال سنة اثنتين وأربعين وثلاث مئة – قالت : أخبرنا الربيع بن سليمان المؤذن – صاحب الشافعي – : أخبرنا بشر بن بكر ، عن الأوزاعي ، عن عطاء ، عن عبيد بن عمير ، عن ابن عباس قال : قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم

Shaykh alBani said These two narrators (Fatima bint riyaan and Abu Abdulah Obaid bin Muhammad) are unknown, Hafiz Ibn Rajab Hanbalee refuted those (like Abdul Haq) who said the chain is authentic, HE SAID “يشير إلى أن رواته كلهم ثقات ، وهو كذلك ؛ إلا أنه غريب ، بل منكر” .
… except that this is strange rather it is MUNKAR[ahwaal al-Qaboor 2/83 chapter معرفة الموتى بمن يزورهم ويسلم عليهم ]

Alousi alHanafi said
وقيل في حديث إبن عبدالبر : إن عبدالحق وإن قال إسناده صحيح إلا أن الحافظ إبن رجب تعقبه وقال : إنه ضعيف بل منكر
And it is said concerning the hadeeth of Ibn Abd ul Barr: even though Abd-al-Haq declared that its isnaad is Saheeh, except that al-Haafidh ibn Rajab refuted him and said: This is weak rather Munkar[See Volume 6, Rooh al-Maýanee of Aaloosi]

Alousi Hanafi did not objected on the criticism of Imam Ibn Rajab. Prophet peace be upon him said:

“There is no Muslim who invokes blessings upon me (salutes me), but Allah returns to me my soul till I respond to him in return.” (Abu Dawood, Sunan, b. of manasik (rituals of hajj), (2: 218 # 2041); Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad, 2:527.)

It is mentioned in Adwa al-Byan
ومجمعون ان ذالك يحصل لمن سلم عليه صلى الله عليه وسلم من قريب
All are agreed that (Prophet peace be upon him reply back) to the one. who send salam from near(the grave) (Adwa al Byan 8/838]

See the following article on Sharah of Ibn Hajr al asqalani on this hadith “Asqalani on: Allah Returns My Soul & I respond to Greeting”

InshaAllah Read more: http://www.systemoflife.com/articles/aqeedah/2000065-ibn-hajar-asqalani-on-allah-returns-my-soul-to-me-and-i-respond-to-the-greeting#ixzz3yrLjzEfX

8. Ibn Hajar asqalani said
واستدل جماعة منهم عبد الحق على حصول الاستماع من الميت بمشروعية السلام على الموتى فقالوا لو لم يسمعوا السلام لكان خطابهم به عبثا وهو بحث ضعيف لأنه يحتمل خلاف ذلك
فقد ثبت في التشهد مخاطبة النبي فهو لا يسمع جميع ذلك قطعا فخطاب الموتى بالسلام في قول الذي يدخل المقبرة السلام عليكم أهل القبور من المؤمنين لا يستلزم أنهم يسمعون ذلك بل هو بمعنى الدعاء فالتقدير اللهم اجعل السلام عليكم كما تقدر في قولنا الصلاة والسلام عليك يا رسول الله فإن المعنى اللهم اجعل الصلاة والسلام على رسول الله فقد ثبت في الحديث الصحيح في أن العبد إذا قال السلام علينا وعلى عباد الله الصالحين أصاب كل عبد صالح // صحيح // فهو خبر بمعنى الطلب فالتقدير اللهم سلم عليهم والله أعلم
a Jamah in which Abdul haqq ashbeeli is also included deduced that dead can hear because we send salam to them and they say that if the dead do not hear than there is no point of sending salam to them but this opnion is weak As it is established addressing the Prophet (SAW) in Tashahudd (during salaah)however for sure he does not hear them(the salaam) of everyone.Simlary addressing the dead with Salaam as in the saying when one enters the graveyard by saying Peace be pon the dwellers of these places of believers does not necessitate that they hear that , as its intention is Dua . If then we assume its meaning will be O Allah , may peace be upon them as we imagine in our saying O Messenger of Allah may the Salaath and Salam be upon you , for its intention is Oh Allah , may the Salaam and Salaaath be upon the Prophet (sallaalahu alahi wassalam) as its establihsed in authentic narration whenever a man says :”Peace be upon us and on the righteous slaves of Allah , the dua reaches to every righteous slave of Allah ,therefore the khabar in the request (Dua) in this sense if we assume its then Oh Allah , may the Salam be upn them , Allah knows the best..[الامتاع الأربعين المتباينة السماع لابن حجر page 86]

9. The opinion of Ibn al-Hammam alHanafi

عند أكثر مشايخنا هو أن الميت لا يسمع عندهم على ما صرحوا به في كتاب الأيمان في باب اليمين بالضرب . لو حلف لا يكلمه فكلمه ميتا لا يحنث ; لأنها تنعقد على ما يفهم ، والميت ليس كذلك لعدم السماع . وأورد قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم في أهل القليب أقول منهم وأجابوا تارة بأنه مردود من عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت : كيف يقول صلى الله عليه وسلم ذلك والله تعالى يقول { وما أنت بمسمع من في القبور } {إنك لا تسمع الموتى } وتارة بأن تلك خصوصية له صلى الله عليه وسلم معجزة وزيادة حسرة على الكافرين ، وتارة بأنه من ضرب المثل كما قال علي رضي الله عنه .
ويشكل عليهم ما في مسلم { إن الميت ليسمع قرع نعالهم إذا انصرفوا } اللهم إلا أن يخصوا ذلك بأول الوضع في القبر مقدمة للسؤال جمعا بينه وبين الآيتين فإنهما يفيدان تحقيق عدم سماعهم ، فإنه تعالى شبه الكفار بالموتى لإفادة تعذر سماعهم وهو فرع عدم سماع الموتى

According to most of our teachers the dead can not hear as it is explained in “Kitab al Eeman Chapter Al Yameen bil Darab” that if one swears he will not speak to someone and he speaks to someone when [he is] dead, he has not broken his oath Because the meaning of speaking is to make other person understand, because the aim of speech is to make understand , and dead can not understand, because the dead can not hear. Some (people) objected that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said regarding the dead of the ditch of Badr “what I am saying to them, even you cannot hear more distinctly than they” They (our teachers) replied that Aisha ra rejected this and said How can Prophet peace be upon him say this? When Allah says, but you cannot make hear those who are in graves.”[Fatir:22]. Second answer is that it was a miracle so that it can reprimand kafirs and third answer is that this was only a lesson for the living… [Fath ul Qadeer Book of Prayers Chapter of Funereal]

10. The opinion of Zamakhsharee (538 h)

Allah says
27:80. Indeed, you will not make the dead hear, nor will you make the deaf hear the call when they have turned their backs retreating.
27:81.And you cannot guide the blind away from their error. You will only make hear those who believe in Our verses so they are Muslims [submitting to Allah ].

Zamakhsharee commented
وشبهوا بالموتى وهم أحياء صحاح الحواس، لأنهم إذا سمعوا ما يتلى عليهم من آيات الله – فكانوا أقماع القول لا تعيه آذانهم وكان سماعهم كلا سماع -: كانت حالهم – لانتفاء جدوى السماع – كحال الموتى الذين فقدوا مصحح السماع؛ وكذلك تشبيههم بالصمّ الذين ينعق بهم فلا يسمعون. وشبهوا بالعمى حيث يضلون الطريق ولا يقدر أحد أن ينزع ذلك عنهم، وأن يجعلهم هداة بصراء إلا الله عز وجل.
Kuffar are alive and have their senses but they are compared with the dead because when the verses of Allah recited towards them their ears do not pay indepth attention. And their hearing (of the verses) is like not hearing (the verses). So, their hearing is useless that is why they are like dead who do not hear. They are like the deaf who do not hear (even) crying….[Tafsir Kashhaaf under 27:80 and 81] .
11. The opinion of Ibn al-Teen (611h)

he said
لا معارضة بين حديث ابن عمر والآية ، لأن الموتى لا يسمعون بلا شك ، لكن إذا أراد الله إسماع ما ليس من شأنه السماع لم يمتنع ، كقوله تعالى : إنا عرضنا الأمانة الآية ، وقوله : فقال لها وللأرض ائتيا طوعا أو كرها الآية .
There is no contradiction between the hadith of Ibn Umar and the verse of Quran because the dead do not hear for sure, but it is possible for Allah to make those things hear who can not hear, like the verse “We did offer al-amaanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth” and the verse “Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, “Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion.” They said, “We have come willingly.” [In his commentary of Bukhari under the hadith of Ibn umar, also quoted by Ibn Alousi in الآيات البينات في عدم سماع الأموات عند الحنفية السادات] .
12. The opinion of Ibn Taymiya

He said in his Majmoo Fatawa

Those who say that the dead benefit from hearing the Qur’an and are rewarded on it are wrong. The Prophet (pbuh) has said, “When someone dies, his deeds come to an end except three of them: charity, a contribution to knowledge which continues to benefit, and a righteous son who prays for him.”4153 Hence, the dead is not rewarded for hearing the Qur’an or for anything else, even though he does hear the shuffling of the shoes when people leave him after burial, or the greetings of peace (salam) which the visitors offer. He also hears other things, but none of them are counted as his deeds except the ones mentioned in the hadlth above.
[Fatawa 24:314-17]

Ibn Taymiya also says after quoting the evidences that the dead can hear
أن الميت يسمع في الجملة كلام الحي ولايجب أن يكون السمع له دائما بل قد يسمع في حال دون حال
The dead hear the voice of the living generally and It is not must that they hear all the times, rather they hear sometimes and sometimes not. [Fatawa al Kubra 3/60]

13. The opinion if Izz bin Abdus Salam (660 h)
Allah says
[35:22] Nor are alike those that are living and those that are dead. Allah can make any that He wills to hear; but thou canst not make those to hear who are (buried) in graves.

He commented
{ يُسْمِعُ } يهدي { مَّن فِى الْقُبُورِ } كما لا تسمع الموتى كذلك لا تسمع الكافر أو لا تسمع الكافر الذي أماته الكفر حتى أقبره في كفره.
{hear} guide {who are in graves}. Like dead do not hear same as the kaafirs do not hear ..[In his tafsir of Quran under Surah alFaatir verse 22]

That is why al-Izz bin Abdus Salam said when he was asked regarding Talqeen after the death he replied

لم يصح في التلقين شيء ، وهو بدعة ، وقوله عليه السلام (( لقنوا موتاكم لا إله إلا الله )) محمول على من دنا موته ويئس من حياته .
Nothing is proven regarding Talqeen. This is Bidah (Innovation) and the saying of Prophet peace be upon him (Exhort to recite” there is no god but Allah) is for the person who is dying and given up the hope for life[Fatawa al Izz bin Abdus salam page 96].

dead_hear_01

Imam Al-Izz bin Abdus salam also said
وَلَيْسَ الْعَمَلُ عِنْدَ مَالِكٍ عَلَى التَّلْقِينِ بَعْدَ الدَّفْنِ
This was not the practice of (Imam) Malik to make talqeen after the burial [الفواكه الدواني على رسالة ابن أبي زيد القيرواني 1/284]

.
14. The opinion of Abu Hiyan Undalusi (754 h)

Allah says in Surah an-Naml verse 80
Indeed, you will not make the dead hear, nor will you make the deaf hear the call when they have turned their backs retreating.

He commented

ولما كان القرآن وما قص الله فيه لا يكاد يجدي عندهم ، أخبر – تعالى – عنهم أنهم موتى القلوب ، أو شبهوا بالموتى ، وإن كانوا أحياء صحاح الأبصار ؛ لأنهم إذا تلي عليهم لا تعيه آذانهم ، فكانت حالهم لانتفاء جدوى السماع كحال الموتى . وقرأ الجمهور : ” ولا تسمع الصم ” هنا – وفي الروم بضم التاء وكسر الميم – الصم بالرفع ، ولما كان الميت لا يمكن أن يسمع ، لم يذكر له متعلق ، بل نفى الإسماع ، أي لا يقع منك إسماع لهم ألبتة لعدم القابلية . وأما الأصم فقد يكون في وقت يمكن إسماعه وسماعه ، فأتى بمتعلق الفعل وهو الدعاء . و ” إذا ” معمولة لـ ” تسمع ” ، وقيد نفي الإسماع أو السماع بهذا الطرف وما بعده على سبيل التأكيد لحال الأصم ؛ لأنه إذا تباعد عن الداعي بأن يولي مدبرا ، كان أبعد عن إدراك صوته .
شبههم أولا بالموتى ، ثم بالصم في حالة ، ثم بالعمى

15. The opinion of Ibn al-Qayyim

He also believed that the dead can hear as it can be seen in Kitab ar-Ruh but it is claimed that he changed his opinion later on in his latest books Zaad al-Maad and Ailaam al-Moqieen. Imam San`ani mentioned that Ibn al-Qayyim in Kitab-ar-Ruh only mentioned talqeen that was practised by people as a proof that dead hear the living and in Zaad-al-Maad, Ibn al-Qayyim refuted those who perform talqeen [Subul-us-Salaam [3/157]

1) This is what Ibn al-Qayyim said in al-Ruh
فصل ويدل على هذا أيضا ما جرى عليه عمل الناس قديما وإلى الآن من تلقين الميت في قبره
Another proof of this [the dead hearing the living] is also the practice of people (‘amal al-nas) formerly and to the present time of instructing the dead in his grave (talqin al mayyit fi qabrihi). [Kitab al-Ruh] .
2) From Zaad al-Maad
وكان من هديه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – تعزية أهل الميت ، ولم يكن من هديه أن يجتمع للعزاء ، ويقرأ له القرآن ، لا عند قبره ولا غيره ، وكل هذا بدعة حادثة مكروهة .
“One of the things that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught was to offer condolences to the family of the bereaved, but it is not part of his teachings to gather together to mourn and read Qur’aan for him (the deceased), whether that is at the grave or elsewhere. All of that is bid’ah and a reprehensible innovation.” (Zaad al-Maad, 1/509)

He also said

وكان إذا فرغ من دفن الميت قام على قبره هو وأصحابه ، وسأل له التثبيت ، وأمرهم أن يسألوا له التثبيت .
ولم يكن يجلس يقرأ عند القبر ، ولا يلقن الميت كما يفعله الناس اليوم ،
“When the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) would finish burying a person, he and his companions would stand by the grave and would supplicate for the deceased to be steadfast and he would also command the companions with this. He would not recite (the Qur’aan) whilst sitting next to the grave nor would he instruct the deceased to do so, as the people do nowadays.”[Zad al`Mad 1/504]

He also said refuting those that the dead can hear the Qur`aan
وقد رام بعضهم الانفصال عن هذا بأنه قد يكون قصد الواقف حصول الأجر له باستماعه للقرآن في قبره ، وهذا غلط ; فإن ثواب الاستماع مشروط بالحياة فإنه عمل اختياري وقد انقطع بموته ،
“And some of them have concocted a grave fissiparous reasoning that one of the objectives of reciting the Qur’aan at the grave is that the dead inside his grave shall be able to hear the recital of the Qur’aan and this is utterly wrong. Because hearing the Qur’aan and benefitting is restricted to one’s life as it is a voluntary, facultative deed and with the death this choice of performing actions and deeds is cut off”[I’laam Volume 4 page 500-501 translated by Abu Abdul Rahman abd al Adheem]

16: Ibn Atiyyah said
قال ابن عطية: فيشبه أن قصة بدر خرق عادة لمحمد صلى الله عليه وسلم في أن رّد الله إليهم إدراكاً سمعوا به مقاله ولولا إخبار رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بسماعهم لحملنا نداءه إياهم على معنى التوبيخ لمن بقي من الكفرة، وعلى معنى شفاء صدور المؤمنين.
Ibn ‘Atiyyah (the famous scholar of hadeeth & fiqh the 6th century from Andalusia who also wrote well known book of tafsir) said:
“It appears that the incident of Badr constitutes a miracle for Muhammad (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), whereupon Allaah gave them back the perception to be able to hear him. Had Allaah’s Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) not told us of this, we would have interpreted his addressing them to carry the meaning of reproach for the living disbelievers, as well as a reassurance for the hearts of the believers.” [al-muharrar al-wajiz fi tafsir al-kitab al-aziz of Ibn Attiyah and Tafsir Qurtubi tafsir of verse 80 Surah Naml]

17. Abu Abdullah AlQurtubi said
قلت: روى البخاري رضي الله عنه؛ حدّثني عبد الله بن محمد سمع رَوْح بن عُبادة قال: حدّثنا سعيد بن أبي عَرُوبة عن قتادة قال: ذَكَر لَنا أنس بن مالك ” عن أبي طلحة أن نبيّ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أمر يوم بدر بأربعة وعشرين رجلاً من صناديد قريش فقُذِفوا في طَوِيٍّ من أطواء بدر خَبيثٍ مُخْبِث، وكان إذا ظهر على قوم أقام بالعَرصة ثلاث ليال، فلما كان ببدر اليومَ الثالث أمر براحلته فشدّ عليها رحلُها ثم مشى وتبعه أصحابُه، قالوا: ما نُرَى ينطلق إلا لبعض حاجته، حتى قام على شفير الرَّكِيِّ، فجعل يناديهم بأسمائهم وأسماء آبائهم يا فلان بن فلان ويا فلان بن فلان أيسركم أنكم أطعتم الله ورسوله؛ فإنا قد وجدنا ما وَعَدنا ربّنا حقًّا فهل وجدتم ما وَعَد رَبُّكم حقًّا؛ قال فقال عمر: يا رسول اللهٰ ما تُكلِّم من أجساد لا أرواح لها؛ فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: «والذي نفس محمد بيده ما أنتم بأسمع لما أقول منهم» ”
قال قتادة: أحياهم الله حتى أسمعهم قوله توبيخاً وتصغيراً ونِقمةً وحسرةً وندماً. خرجه مسلم أيضاً. قال البخاري: حدّثنا عثمان قال حدّثنا عَبْدة عن هشام عن أبيه عن ابن عمر قال: وقف النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على قلِيب بدر فقال: «هل وجدتم ما وَعَد رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا» ثم قال: «إنهم الآن ليعلمون أن الذي كنت أقول لهم هو الحق» ثم قرأتْ { إِنَّكَ لاَ تُسْمِعُ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ } حتى قرأت الآية. وقد عورضت هذه الآية بقصة بدر وبالسلام على القبور، وبما روي في ذلك من أن الأرواح تكون على شفير القبور في أوقات، وبأن الميت يسمع قرع النعال إذا انصرفوا عنه، إلى غير ذلك؛ فلو لم يسمع الميت لم يُسلَّم عليه. وهذا واضح وقد بيّناه في كتاب «التذكرة».

I (Qurtubi) say: It is narrated by Bukhari from Abu Talha: 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. (It was a habit of the Prophet that whenever he conquered some people, he used to stay at the battle-field for three nights. So, on the third day of the battle of badr, he ordered that his she-camel be saddled, then he set out, and his companions followed him saying among themselves.” “Definitely he (i.e. the Prophet) is proceeding for some great purpose.” When he halted at the edge of the well, he addressed the corpses of the Quraish infidels by their names and their fathers’ 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 (again) to let them hear him, to reprimand them and slight them and take revenge over them and caused them to feel remorseful and regretful.” This is also mentioned by Muslim, Bukhari said Narrated Ibn ‘umar: The Prophet looked at the people of the well and said, “Have you found true what your Lord promised you?” and said “Now they know that what they were told is truth” and recited “You can not make the dead hear” with this verse The narration of Badr and saying salam to the graves, and it is also narrated (Qurtubi mentioned this with seegha tamreedh) that the ruh is around the edge of the grave sometimes, and that the dead hears the footsteps of people. If the dead do not hear the salam than there is no point of sending salam to them and this is clear and I have mentioned it in my book alTadhkirah[Tafsir Qurtubi tafsir of verse 80 Surah Naml]

He also said:
وما يستوي الأحياء ولا الأموات قال ابن قتيبة : الأحياء العقلاء ، والأموات الجهال . قال قتادة : هذه كلها أمثال ; أي كما لا تستوي هذه الأشياء كذلك لا يستوي الكافر والمؤمن . إن الله يسمع من يشاء أي يسمع أولياءه الذين خلقهم لجنته . وما أنت بمسمع من في القبور أي الكفار الذين أمات الكفر قلوبهم ; أي كما لا تسمع من مات ، كذلك لا تسمع من مات قلبه
. وقرأ الحسن وعيسى الثقفي وعمرو بن ميمون : ( بمسمع من في القبور ) بحذف التنوين تخفيفا ; أي هم بمنزلة أهل القبور في أنهم لا ينتفعون بما يسمعونه ولا يقبلونه .
(And not equal are the living and the dead.) Ibn Qutabiya said: The living are those who have aqal, and the dead are those who are ignorant. Qatadah said: All these are amthaal (Qurtubi said) Meaning: these things are not equal, likewise a Kafir and a Momin can not be equal, (Indeed, Allah causes to hear whom He wills) meaning Allah made his friends to hear, who are made for jannah. (but you cannot make hear those in the graves) Meaning those kuffar whose heart are dead because of their kufr, i.e. YOU CAN NOT MAKE THE DEAD HEAR, LIKEWISE YOU CAN NOT MAKE THOSE HEAR [YOUR CALL] WHOSE HEART IS DEAD.
al Hasan, Eesa Thaqafi and Amr bin Maimoon did qir`at by skipping tanveen, and doing takhfeef, meaning as if they are like the people of the graves, who hear but can not take benefit neither can they accept. [Tafsir Surah Fatir verse 22].

So, according to al Qurtubi the dead can not hear the invocations, neither can they help and understand, but they can hear in some places, like the salam etc.

18. Allama Saad al Din Taftazani said
وأما قوله تعالى { وما أنت بمسمع من في القبور } فتمثيل لحال الكفرة بحال الموتى ولا نزاع في أن الميت لا يسمع
The saying of Allah Tala “You can not make the dead hear” There example is like the dead and There is no disagreement that the dead can not hear.[Sharah a Maqasid 2/221]

19. Fakhr al Din al Razi said:
“وَمَآ أَنتَ بِمُسْمِعٍ مَّن فِي ٱلْقُبُورِ” هو ان الغرض من سياق الآية تشبيه الكفرة بالموتى ونحن نعترف بأن الذين فى القبور لا يسمعون حين ما يكون موتى.
“But you cannot make those who are in the graves to hear”[35:22] .The context of this verse shows that Kuffar are likened to the dead And we know that the dead in the graves can not hear.
[Nihaya tul Uqool lil Razi 4/165]

dead_hear_02 dead_hear_03

20. Ibn Uthaymeen

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen was asked

السؤال
ابن القيم رحمه الله في كتابه الروح ذكر: أن الميت يعلم بزيارة الزائر في يوم الجمعة، وخص ذلك بيوم الجمعة، وما أدري ما دليله؟ وهل الآثار التي أوردها صحيحة، أم فيها ضعف؟
الجواب
أما الآثار التي أوردها لا أدري عنها، وأما تخصيص ذلك بيوم الجمعة فلا وجه له، فإن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: (زوروا القبور فإنها تذكر الموت) ، وثبت عنه أنه زار البقيع ليلاً كما في حديث عائشة الطويل المشهور، وعلى هذا فتخصيص معرفته للزائر بيوم الجمعة لا وجه له، كذلك روى أصحاب السنن بسندٍ صححه ابن عبد البر وأقره ابن القيم في كتاب الروح، أنه (ما من رجل يسلم على مسلم يعرفه في الدنيا إلا رد الله عليه روحه فرد عليه السلام في أي وقت) .

Question:

Ibn al Qayyim Rahimaullah mentioned in Kitab al Ruh that the dead knows the one who visit him on Friday, Is there any evidence that they recognize specifically on friday? The athaar regarding this issue are authentic or weak?

Answer:

I don’t know about the athaar mentioned regarding this. It is baseless to specify friday, as the Prophet peace be upon him said: “visit the graves, for that makes you mindful of death.” And it is proven from him that he visited al Baqi at night as mentioned in the famous long hadith of Aisha. There is no point in specifying that on friday the dead may recognize the visitor, as it is mentioned by the People of Sunan with the chain, Authenticated by Ibn Abdul Barr which is accepted by Ibn Al-Qayyim may Allaah have mercy upon him in Kitab al Ruh that (the Prophet peace be upon him said:) “whenever a Muslim passes by the grave of another Muslim whom he used to know and greets him, Allaah The Almighty restores his soul so he can return the greeting.” in it (there is evidence of recognizing) any time.
“لقاء الباب المفتوح” (لقاء رقم/9، سؤال رقم/37)

He also said:
وأما قوله تعالى (فَإِنَّكَ لا تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَى وَلا تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ الدُّعَاءَ إِذَا وَلَّوْا مُدْبِرِينَ) فالمراد أنك لا تسمع الموتى إسماع إدراك ينفعهم فإن الميت لا يسمع إذا دعي وإذا نودي بحيث يجيب من دعاه وهذا هو المقصود من قوله (إِنَّكَ لا تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَى)
As for the saying of Allah tala that {So indeed, you will not make the dead hear, nor will you make the deaf hear the call when they turn their backs, retreating.} [30:52] …The deceased cannot hear if he is called upon or invoked in such a way as to respond to the one who calls upon him. This is what is meant by the verse: “Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear” [an-Naml 27:80] [Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb 9/2]

Conclusion
So, some scholars say dead do not hear whereas, others say they do hear. But the best opinion is with those scholars who say that dead do not hear for sure but they do hear in special cases mentioned in the ahadith of Prophet peace be upon him. All the scholars did ijtihaad based on the research they have done. Those who say dead can hear and those who say they don’t, the matter of fact is that all are agreed that we can not ask help from the dead.