Dust Under Your Feet

Title Text.

Q: Can you explain the verse in the Holy Quran which says, “Shahids (Martyrs) are not dead, they are alive.” Is it permissible to seek help (spiritual blessings) from the passed away “Prophets, Siddiqiin, Shuhada (Martyrs) and Solihiin?”  

A: I have more than once proved from the Quran and Hadith that the Shahids (Martyrs) are not dead, they are alive. Allah s.w.t gives the following order of priority (superiority) in the Holy Quran: (1) the Prophets, (2) the Siddiqin (Auliya Allah), (3) the Shahids (Martyrs) and (4) the Salihin (pious people). The Prophets and Siddiqin (Auliya Allah) rank above Shahids (Martyrs). When Allah s.w.t forbids us from calling Shahids as dead, the first two categories, that is, the Prophets and Siddiqin ( Auliya Allah) are much more alive than the Shahids.

     There are many authentic Ahadith (plural of hadith) in which the Muslims have been urged to visit the graves of their forefathers to say salam to them and pray for them. It is also said in these Ahadith that when you salam to the people in the graves, they say salam to you. When you pray for them, they pray for you. If your condition is good, they feel happy. If it is bad, they feel sorry. These Ahadith have been quoted by no less reliable an authority than Imam Ibn Qayyim Jauzia who is the disciple of Imam Ibn Tamiya, the Imam of the hard-liner Ahli-i-Hadith who are terribly opposed to Sufism. But they cannot refute the above Ahadith quoted by their own Imam in his book called ‘kitab-ur-Rooh” which I have brought from Makka.

     This shows when the ordinary people can hear our salams and can reply to us, the greater and higher Souls like the Prophets and the Siddiqin (Auliya Allah) whose grades are higher than the Shahids, are in a better position to hear. In another hadith, it is said that when the Prophet (pbuh) addressed the dead bodies of Abu Jahl and others after the battle of Badar, Hazrat Umar asked the Prophet (pbuh) whether the dead can hear. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Yes, they hear better than you.” Now when a Kafir who was a deadly enemy of the Prophet could hear , why can’t the Muslims, Shahids, Auliya Allah and the Prophets hear?

     But it is a thousand pity that all these authentic Ahadith are ignored by the exoteric Ahl-i-Hadith people by giving a wrong interpretation to the following Ayah of the Quran. It is addressed to the Prophet (pbuh) and it says: “You cannot make the dead to hear, for when you do so, they turn their backs and go away.” They, Ahl-i-Hadith people say, “look here, Allah says in the Quran that you cannot make the dead hear you.”  But they ignore the second and more vital part of the Ayah which says, “When you speak to them they turn their backs and go away.”

     Now we ask the Ahl-i-Hadith people, “did the Prophet preach Islam to the dead in the graveyard, and did the dead turn their backs and went away?” What non-sense! And how ridiculous!

     The fact is that it is the Kafirs who have been called “dead” in the Quran , in the same way as in another Ayah of the Quran the Kafirs have been called “deaf, dumb and blind” whereas their eyes, ears and tongues were alright. It is a pity that by misinterpreting the above Ayah, the Ahl-i-Hadith people try to falsify all the authentic Ahadith mentioned above.

     So far as the question of seeking help from the passed away Prophets and Saints (Auliya Allah) are concerned, the Ayah of the Quran forbids us from calling upon anybody other than Allah for help, refer to the Statues, Idols, Jins and evil spirits whose help was sought by the Kafirs because they belong to the opposite camp. They are Shaitans party (Hisbusshaitan). The Quran lays no ban on asking the Prophets and Siddiqin (Auliya Allah) because they do not belong to the opposite camp. They are Allah’s party (Hisballah). The Companions did approach the Prophet (pbuh) for help and he very often did remove their difficulties by his miraculous powers. We all seek help from the rich and influential people in the world. This has not been forbidden in the Quran. In fact charity has been commended in the Quran. If it was ‘shirik’ to seek help from other than God, the beggars and all those who seek help from the rich would have been Mushiriks. But it is not. On the contrary, the rich have been ordered by God to help the poor. Are the rich not other than God? The Ahli Hadith reply to this question saying that it is not shirik to seek help from those who can give. They say it is shirik to seek help from those who cannot give. But this queer statement is nowhere in the Quran or Hadith. As a matter of fact it should be more shirik to seek help from those who can give, because if you ask a tree or a goat to give you $100 dollars, you will be guilty of foolishness. But if you ask a rich man (who can give) to help you it should be shirik because he is other than God. He does not cease to be other than God by virtue of his being rich.

     Another thing is that when the Ahli-i-Hadith say that it is shirik to seek help from the dead, because they cannot give, we tell them that the Prophets, Auliya Allah (Siddiqin) and Shahids are not dead. They have been declared as “alive” by God in the Holy Quran. When they (Ahli-Hadith) say they (dead) cannot give, we ask them, “how do you know that they cannot give. We know that they ( passed away Prophets, Siddiqin,) can give simply because it is said in a Hadith-al-Qudsi, given in Sahih Bukhari that, “Those who try to come close to Me by Nawafil (extra worship), I love them and get so close to them that I become their ears, eyes, hands, feet and they hear by Me, see by Me, work by Me and walk by Me and I give them what they wish.” According to this most authentic Hadith the lovers of Allah see by Allah’s sight, hear by His hearing, and do everything by His powers. And it is at this stage of absolute Nearness that miracles (karamat) start to happen at the hands of the Auliya Allah, and death does not divest or dispossess them of these God-given attributes (powers). In fact once they live by God in this world they become eternal and ever-living. That is why Allah s.w.t has forbidden us to call the Shahids dead because they are alive. When the Shahids of the third category are alive, the people of the 1st and 2nd categories (the Prophets and Siddiqin, Auliya Allah) are more alive. And in fact they are more alive than the Shahids because they, in this worldly life get attributed by Divine Attributes or imbibe Divine Attributes in this worldly life and become ever-alive! This is Allah’s decree in the Quran, not my opinion.

      Performing of miracles by Prophets and Auliya Allah (siddiqin) has been mentioned and authenticated in the Quran and Hadith extensively. But it is not said in the Quran and Hadith anywhere that when the Prophets,Siddqin and Shahids die, they are disposed of their powers of miracles. On the contrary, it is said in the Quran that these special people should not be called as “dead and gone” because they are alive (very much alive), more alive than we are!