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The Prophet ﷺ in Barzakh
The Special Life of Our Prophet
by Sayyid Muhammad ibn ʿAlawi al-Maliki

Translation and notes by GF Haddad © Posted with permission

It is established that our Prophet ﷺ possesses an isthmus-life that is greater and more perfect than that of any other, of which he himself told us. It is equally established that he is intimately connected with the Community, fully cognizant of their states, seeing their actions, hearing their speech, replying to their greetings, and the hadiths to that effect are numerous.

Among these hadiths is the narration of the Prophet ﷺ from ʿAbd Allah ibn Masʿud - Allah be well-pleased with him: "Verily, Allah has angels that roam the earth and convey to me the greeting of my Community." (Inna lillāhi malā'ikatan sayyāhīna fi al-ardi yuballighūnī min ummatī al-salām.)1

Al-Mundhiri said: "Al-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih narrated it." Ismaʿil al-Qadi2 and others have narrated it through various paths with chains that leave no doubt as to their soundness. All of these chains are to Sufyan al-Thawri: From ʿAbd Allah ibn al-Sa'ib: From Zadhan: From ʿAbd Allah ibn Masʿud. Al-Thawri explicitly declared having heard it from ʿAbd Allah ibn al-Sa'ib, as reported in al-Qadi Ismaʿil's book. As for ʿAbd Allah ibn al-Sa'ib and Zadhan, Muslim used them as sub-narrators [in his Sahih], and Ibn Maʿin declared them trustworthy (thiqa), so the chain is sound.3

Also among these hadiths is Ibn Masʿud's narration that the Prophet ﷺ said: "My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be exhibited to me, and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if I see evil I will ask forgiveness of Him for you." (Hayātī khayrun lakum tuhaddithūna wa yuhaddathu lakum wa wafātī khayrun lakum tuʿradu aʿmalukum ʿalayya famā ra'aytu min khayrin hamidtu Allāha wa mā ra'aytu min sharrin istaghfartu Allāha lakum.)4

The hadith master al-ʿIraqi said in the book of Jana'iz of his work Tarh al-Tathrib fi Sharh al-Taqrib: "Its chain is good" (isnāduhu jayyid).5 The hadith master al-Haythami said: "Al-Bazzar narrated it and its sub-narrators are the men of the Sahih."6 The hadith master al-Suyuti declared it sound (sahīh) in al-Muʿjizat and al-Khasa'is. So did al-Qastallani the commentator of al-Bukhari. Al-Munawi also declared, in Fayd al-Qadir, that it is sahīh.7 So did al-Zurqani in his commentary on al-Qastallani's al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya. So did Shihab al-Din al-Khafaji in his commentary on [al-Qadi ʿIyad's] al-Shifa'.8 So did al-Mulla ʿAli al-Qari in his, adding: "Al-Harith ibn Usama narrated it in his Musnad with a sound chain."9 Ibn Hajar also mentioned it in al-Matalib al-ʿAlya.10 This hadith also came to us through another, mursal way from [the Tabiʿī] Bakr ibn ʿAbd Allah al-Muzani. The hadith master Ismaʿil al-Qadi narrated it in his monograph on the invocation of blessings on the Prophet ﷺ, and Shaykh al-Albani said about it: "Mursal sahīh."11 The hadith master Ibn ʿAbd al-Hadi declared it sound (sahīh) despite his excessive rigor and harshness in his book al-Sarim al-Munki. After all this evidence, does any meddler have anything left to say? The hadith is undoubtedly sound, and no-one questions its authenticity.

This hadith indicates that the Prophet ﷺ knows about our actions because they are being shown to him, and he asks Allah forgiveness on our behalf for whatever wrong we may do. If this is the case, then it is permissible for us to use him as a means to Allah and ask for his intercession with Him. For he knows our case, and so he can intercede for us and supplicate for us, as he is the intercesor whose intercession is granted - may Allah send blessings and peace upon him and his Family, and increase him in honor and bounty.

Allah has informed us in the Qur'an that the Prophet ﷺ is a witness over his entire Community. This assuredly requires that the actions of his Community be shown to him so that he may witness to whatever he saw and knew:

Ibn al-Mubarak said: One of the Ansār narrated to us from al-Minhal ibn ʿAmr that the latter hears Saʿid ibn al-Musayyib say: "Not one day passes except the Prophet's ﷺ Community is shown to him morning and evening. He knows them by their marks [or names] and their actions, thereby giving witness concerning them. Allah said: {But how (will it be with them) when we bring of every people a witness, and We bring you (O Muhammad) a witness against these?} (4:41). (Laysa min yawmin illā wa yuʿradu fīhi ʿalā al-nabiyyi ﷺ ummatuhu ghuduwwatan wa ʿashiyyan fa yaʿrifuhum bi sīmāhum wa aʿmālihim fa lidhālika yashhadu ʿalayhim. Yaqūlu Allāhu taʿālā...)12

Also among these hadiths is the narration from ʿAmmar ibn Yassir - Allah be well-pleased with him - that the Prophet ﷺ said: "Verily, Allah has put an angel in charge of my grave and given him the names of all creatures. No-one invokes blessings upon me until the Day of Resurrection except he informs me of his name and the name of his father thus: So-and-so son of So-and-so has just invoked blessings upon you." (Inna Allāha wakkala bi qabrī malakan aʿtāhu Allāhu asmā'a al-khalā'iqi falā yusallī ʿalayya ahadun ilā yawmi al-qiyāmati illā ablaghanī bi ismihi wa ismi abīhi hādhā fulānu ibnu fulānin qad sallā ʿalayk.)

It is narrated by al-Bazzar, while Abu al-Shaykh - Ibn Hayyan - narrates it thus:

The Prophet ﷺ said: "Allah Most High has an angel to whom he has given the names of all creatures, and he shall stand at my grave, after I die, so that none shall invoke blessings upon me except he shall say: ʿO Muhammad, So-and-so son of So-and-so has just invoked blessings upon you.' Thereupon the Almighty Lord shall send a blessing upon that person, tenfold for each blessing he invoked upon me." (Inna lillāhi malakan aʿtāhu asmā'a al-khalā'iqi fa huwa qā'imun ʿalā qabrī idhā mittu falaysa ahadun yusallī ʿalayya salātan illā qāla yā Muhammadu sallā ʿalayka fulānu ibnu fulānin. Qāla fa yusallī al-Rabbu ʿalā dhālika al-rajuli bi kulli wāhidatin ʿashrā.)13

Also among these hadiths is the narration of Abu al-Darda': "Make abundant invocations of blessings upon me the day of Jum'a, for that day is witnessed by the angels. Verily, no-one invokes blessings upon me except his invocation is shown to me until he finishes it." Abu al-Darda' said: "Even after death?" The Prophet ﷺ replied: "Even after death! Truly Allah Most High forbade the earth to consume the bodies of Prophets. Therefore the Prophet of Allah is alive and sustained!" (Akthirū al-salāta 'alayya yawma al-jumu'a fa innahu mashhūdun tashhaduhu al-malā'ikatu wa inna ahadan lan yusalliya 'alayya illā 'uridat 'alayya salātuhu hattā yafrughū minhā. Qāla qultu wa ba'da al-mawt? Qāla wa ba'da al-mawti inna Allāha harrama 'alā al-ardi an ta'kula ajsāda al-anbiyā'i fa nabiyyullāhi hayyun yurzaq.)14 Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya said: "This hadith is authentic by the criterion of Muslim."

Also, the hadith of Abu Hurayra: Abu Dawud narrated with a sound (sahīh) chain - as stated by al-Subki - from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "No-one greets me except that Allah has returned my soul to me so that I may greet him back." (Mā min ahadin yusallimu 'alayya illā radd Allāhu 'alayya rūhī hattā arudda 'alayhi al-salām.)15

Also, the hadith of Abu Hurayra from the Prophet ﷺ : "Whoever invokes blessings upon me at my grave I hear him, and whoever invokes blessings on me from afar, I am informed about it." (Man sallā ʿalayya ʿinda qabrī samiʿtuhu wa man sallā nā'iyan bullightuhu.)16 The narrations to that effect are very numerous indeed.

NOTES

1Narrated from Ibn Masʿud with a sound chain by Muslim's criterion as stated by Shaykh Shuʿayb al-Arna'ut in Ibn Hibban (3:195 #914), al-ʿAzim Abadi in ʿAwn al-Maʿbud (6:21), Ibn al-Qayyim who declared its chain sound in Jala' al-Afham (p. 24), and al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak, confirmed by al-Dhahabi (2:241=1990 ed. 2:456). Also narrated by al-Nasa'i with six chains in his Sunan, al-Sunan al-Kubra (3:43), and ʿAmal al-Yawm wa al-Layla (2:167), Ismaʿil al-Qadi in Fadl al-Salat ʿala al-Nabi - Allah bless and greet him - (p. 34), al-Bayhaqi in Shuʿab al-Iman (2:217) and al-Sunan al-Kubra (1:380), Abu Yaʿla in his Musnad (9:137 #5213), Ahmad in his, al-Darimi in his, Ibn Abi Shayba (2:253=2:517, 6:316), ʿAbd al-Razzaq in his (2:215 #3116), al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (#10528-10530), Ibn al-Mubarak in al-Zuhd (p. 364 #1028) and his Musnad (p. 30 #51), and al-Khatib in Talkhis al-Mutashabih (p. 766).

2The Imam and hadith master, Shaykh al-Islam Abu Ishaq Ismaʿil ibn Ishaq ibn Ismaʿil ibn Hammad ibn Zayd al-Azdi al-Jahdami al-Qadi al-Maliki (199-282), author of several works, including a Musnad. See al-Dhahabi, Siyar (Arna'ut ed. 13:341).

3Zadhan in this narration is Abu ʿUmar al-Kindi al-Bazzaz as named explicitly in Abu Saʿid al-Shashi's (d. 335) narration of this hadith in his Musnad (2:252). Muslim narrated from him, from Ibn ʿUmar, two narrations of the Prophet ﷺ in three places: "Whoever strikes his slave in the face or beats him unjustly, his expiation is to manumit him," and the Prophet's ﷺ prohibition of the use of wine fermentation-vessels. See also Abu Bakr al-Asbahani's Rijal Muslim (1:230) and Ibn Hajar's Taqrib. He was declared thiqa by Ibn Maʿin, Ibn Saʿd, al-ʿIjli, Ibn Shahin, al-Khatib, and al-Dhahabi as reported by al-Arna'ut and Maʿruf in al-Tahrir (1:409 #1976). From ʿAbd Allah ibn al-Sa'ib al-Kindi or al-Shaybani al-Kufi, Muslim narrated through two chains the hadith of Thabit ibn al-Dahhak whereby the Prophet ﷺ forbade sharecropping. He is trustworthy (thiqa) as stated in Ibn Hajar's Taqrib (1:304 #3339). The rest of the sub-narrators of this hadith are all the men of al-Bukhari and Muslim.

4Narrated from Ibn Masʿud by al-Bazzar in his Musnad (1:397) with a sound chain as stated by al-Suyuti in Manahil al-Safa (p. 31 #8) and al-Khasa'is al-Kubra (2:281), al-Haythami (9:24 #91), and al-ʿIraqi in Tarh al-Tathrib (3:297) - his last book, as opposed to al-Mughniʿan Haml al-Asfar (4:148) where he questions the trustworthy rank of one of the narrators in al-Bazzar's chain. Shaykh ʿAbd Allah al-Talidi said in his Tahdhib al-Khasa'is al-Kubra (p. 458-459 #694) that this chain is sound according to Muslim's criterion, and Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh in Rafʿal-Minara (p. 156-169) discusses it at length and declares it sound. Their shaykh, al-Sayyid ʿAbd Allah ibn al-Siddiq al-Ghumari (d. 1413/1993) declared it sound in his monograph Nihaya al-Amal fi Sharh wa Tashih Hadith ʿArd al-Aʿmal. Opposing these six judgments al-Albani declares it weak in his notes on al-Qadi Ismaʿil's Fadl al-Salat (p. 37 n. 1). It is also narrated with weak chains from Anas and - with two sound mursal chains missing the Companion-link - from the Successor Bakr ibn ʿAbd Allah al-Muzani by Ismaʿil al-Qadi (d. 282) in his Fadl al-Salat ʿala al-Nabi ﷺ (p. 36-39 #25-26). The latter chain was declared sound by al-Qari in Sharh al-Shifa' (1:102), Shaykh al-Islam al-Taqi al-Subki in Shifa' al-Siqam, his critic Ibn ʿAbd al-Hadi in al-Sarim al-Munki (p. 217), and al-Albani in his Silsila Daʿifa (2:405). A third, weak chain is related from Bakr al-Muzani by al-Harith ibn Abi Usama (d. 282) in his Musnad (2:884) as per Ibn Hajar in al-Matalib al-ʿAliya (4:23). Al-Albani declared the hadith weak on the grounds that some authorities questioned the memorization of the Murji' hadith master ʿAbd al-Majid ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz ibn Abi Rawwad. However, he was retained by Muslim in his Sahih and declared thiqa by Yahya ibn Maʿin, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Shahin, al-Khalili, and al-Daraqutni, while al-Dhahabi listed him in Man Tukullima Fihi Wa Huwa Muwaththaq (p. 124) as stated by Mamduh in Rafʿ al- Minara (p. 163, 167). Al-Arna'ut and Maʿruf declare him thiqa in Tahrir al-Taqrib (2:379 #4160) as well as Dr. Nur al-Din ʿItr in his edition of al-Dhahabi's Mughni (1:571 #3793) and Dr. Khaldun al-Ahdab in Zawa'id Tarikh Baghdad (10:464). Even if al-Albani's grading were hypothetically accepted, then the weak musnad narration in conjunction with the sound mursal one - graded sahīh by al-Albani - would yield a final grading of hasan or sahīh, not daʿīf. In addition to this, Mamduh quoted al-Albani's own words in the latter's attempted refutation of Shaykh Ismaʿil al-Ansari entitled Kitab al-Shaybani (1:134-135) whereby "The sound mursal hadith is a proof in all Four Schools and other than them among the Imams of the principles of hadith and fiqh, therefore it is apparent to every fair-minded person that the position whereby such a hadith does not form a proof only because it is mursal, is untenable." This is one of many examples in which al-Albani not only contradicts, but soundly refutes himself.

Shaykh Hasanayn Muhammad Makhluf wrote in his Fatawa Sharʿiyya (1:91-92): "The hadith means that the Prophet ﷺ is a great good for his Community during his life, because Allah the Exalted has preserved the Community, through the secret of the Prophet's - Allah bless and greet him - presence, from misguidance, confusion, and disagreement, and He has guided the people through the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - to the manifest truth; and that after Allah took back the Prophet ﷺ, our connection to the latter's goodness continues uncut and the extension of his goodness endures, overshadowing us. The deeds of the Community are shown to him every day, and he glorifies Allah for the goodness that he finds, while he asks for His forgiveness for the small sins, and the alleviation of His punishment for the grave ones: and this is a tremendous good for us. There is therefore ʿgoodness for the Community in his life, and in his death, goodness for the Community.' Moreover, as has been established in the hadith, the Prophet ﷺ is alive in his grave with a special ʿisthmus-life' stronger than the lives of the martyrs which the Qur'an spoke of in more than one verse. The nature of these two kinds of life cannot be known except by their Bestower, the Glorious, the Exalted. He is able to do all things. His showing the Community's deeds to the Prophet ﷺ as an honorific gift for him and his Community is entirely possible rationally and documented in the reports. There is no leeway for its denial; and Allah guides to His light whomever He pleases; and Allah knows best."

5Al-ʿIraqi, Tarh al-Tathrib (3:297).

6Al-Haythami, Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (9:24 #91).

7Al-Munawi in Fayd al-Qadir (3:401) only reported al-ʿIraqi's words "Its narrators are the men of the Sahih except for ʿAbd al-Majid ibn Abi Rawwad who, despite being retained by Muslim as a narrator and being declared trustworthy (thiqa) by Ibn Maʿin and al-Nasa'i, was declared weak by some." Al-Munawi then went on to criticize al-Suyuti's unmitigated authentication of the narration in Manahil al-Safa although al-Suyuti is correct.

8Al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa' (1:102).

9Al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa' (1:102), referring to the mursal hadith of Bakr al-Muzani.

10Ibn Hajar, al-Matalib al-ʿAlya (4:22).

11In his edition of Ismaʿil al-Qadi's Fadl al-Salat ʿala al-Nabi - Allah bless and greet him - (p. 37), after which he goes on to say that the hadith is weak, as in his Silsila Daʿifa (#979).

12Narrated by Ibn al-Mubarak in al-Zuhd (p. 42), Ibn Kathir (asmā'ihim instead of sīmāhum) in his Tafsir (1:500), al-Qurtubi in al-Tadhkira (1:335), Ibn Hajar (asmā'ihim instead of sīmāhum) in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 9:99), and al-Mubarakfuri (asmā'ihim instead of sīmāhum) in Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi (8:300).

13Narrated from ʿAmmar ibn Yāsir by Abu al-Shaykh in al-ʿAzama (1988 ed. 2:763) and al-Bazzar in his Musnad (Ibn Hajar, Mukhtasar 2:436 #2164), and from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq by al-Daylami in al-Suyuti's al-La'ali' al-Masnuʿa (1996 ed. 1:260 =1981 ed. 1:284) and al-Haba'ik fi Akhbar al-Mala'ik (p. 99).

Al-Haythami (10:162) said: "Its chains contain Nuʿaym ibn Damdam whom some scholars declared weak and ʿImran ibn al-Himyari [al-Juʿfi], whom al-Bukhari indicated was unconfirmable (lā yutābaʿ) [i.e. very weak], while the author of Mizan al-Iʿtidal [al-Dhahabi] declared him unknown. The rest of its sub-narrators are the men of the Sahih." There are some inaccuracies in this report. Al-Bukhari actually stated in al-Tarikh al-Kabir (6:416 #2831): "He is unconfirmable in his narration of that hadith" as cited by Ibn ʿAdi in al-Kamil (5:93 #1273). Al-Dhahabi in the Mizan (3:236 #6278) did not declare Ibn al-Himyari unknown, but said: "His narration of the hadith ʿAllah has given me an angel' is not known, and al-Bukhari said: he is unconfirmable in narrating it.'" Ibn Hajar names him ʿImran ibn Himyar and similarly states in Lisan al-Mizan (4:345 #996): "His narration of ʿAllah has given me an angel' is not known." However, Ibn Hibban includes him in the Thiqat (5:223 #4608) and Ibn Abi Hatim mentions him without discrediting him in al-Jarh wa al-Taʿdil (6:296 #1644). As for Nuʿaym ibn Damdam, Ibn Hajar in Lisan al-Mizan (6:169 #595) stated: "From him narrated Sufyan ibn ʿUyayna, Abu Ahmad al-Zubayri, Qubaysa ibn ʿUqba, ʿAbd al-Rahman ibn Salih al-Kufi, and others... and I was so far unable to discover who had declared him weak." Accordingly, the chain of the hadith is fair because Nuʿaym's unknown state is eliminated and his credibility is established by the fact that two or more trutworthy authorities narrated from him, according to the rules of hadith science. Lastly, al-Daylami's chain contains neither Nuʿaym nor ʿImran.

Al-ʿUqayli cited the narration in his Duʿafa' (3:248 #1246) and said: "ʿAli ibn al-Qasim al-Kindi from Nuʿaym ibn Damdam is a Shiʿi chain of transmission that needs investigation." Al-Suyuti cited it in La'ali' al-Masnuʿa (1996 ed. 1:259-260 =1981 ed. 1:284) and went on to narrate corroborative proofs for the authenticity of the hadith, among them Ibn Abi Shayba's (2:253, 6:326) two mursal narrations from the weak Tābiʿī Yazid ibn Aban al-Raqashi: "An angel is in charge of all that invoke blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ to inform him of it saying: ʿSo-and-so from your Community has invoked blessings on you.'" Ismaʿil al-Qadi also narrates it from Yazid in Fadl al-Salat (p. 37-38 #27) but with the addition: "on the day of Jumʿa, and with the wording: "So-and-so from your Community is invoking blessings on you."

Al-Suyuti cites ʿAmmar's narration in his commentary on al-Nasa'i's Sunan (4:110). Al-Mundhiri cites the narration in al-Targhib (1994 ed. 2:388) after al-Bazzar, Abu al-Shaykh, and al-Tirmidhi in [al-ʿIlal?] "al-Kabir." The hadith is further confirmed by the sound narrations already mentioned and those that follow, as well as the Tābiʿī Ayyub al-Sikhtyani's sound mursal narration in Ismaʿil al-Qadi's Fadl al-Salat (p. 36): "It has reached me - and Allah knows best - that there is an angel in charge of each person that invokes blessings on the Prophet ﷺ so that he will convey it to him." Al-Tabari in the commentary on the verse {For him are angels ranged before him and behind him who guard him by Allah's command} (13:11) in his Tafsir (13:115) narrates from ʿUthman ibn ʿAffan that the Prophet ﷺ identified the angels that attend every believer as twenty, ten in the day and ten in the night, among them two angels whose unique responsibility is to record one's invocations of blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ. See also al-Albani, Silsila Sahiha (#1530).

14Narrated from Abu al-Darda' by Ibn Majah with a munqati' chain missing a sub-narrator in two places. However, its parts are confirmed verbatim by other sound narrations, among them Aws's narration cited below. Consequently the hadith master al-Busiri declared it sound in his Zawa'id (2:58-59). The first part (concerning the order to invoke more blessings on Jum'a and the disclosure of this invocation to the Prophet) is related by al-Bayhaqi in Shu'ab al-Iman through Abi Umama, Anas, and Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari, and by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak from the latter. Al-Shafi'i in his Musnad relates the first part only ("Invoke blessings upon me abundantly on Friday") mursal from Safwan ibn Salim.

15Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Abu Dawud with a chain declared sound by al-Nawawi in Riyad al-Salihin and al-Adhkar, Ibn al-Qayyim in Jala' al-Afham (1996 ed. p. 48 #23 cf. 'Awn al-Ma'bud 6:22), Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 6:488), al-Wadyashi in Tuhfa al-Muhtaj (2:190), al-'Ajluni in Kashf al-Khafa' (2:253), and al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar. Also narrated from Abu Hurayra by Ahmad with a sound chain according to al-Zayn in the Musnad (9:575 #10759) and al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (5:245 #1040) and Shu'ab al-Iman (2:217, 3:490-491); and al-Tabarani in al-Awsat (3:262) with a weak chain as indicated by al-Haythami (10:162). There is little weight to al-Albani's claim in his notes on al-Alusi's al-Ayat al-Bayyinat (p. 80) and his Silsila Sahiha (#2266) that "this hadith is only fair, not sound."

16A fair hadith narrated from Abu Hurayra, not by Ibn Abi Shayba (as mistakenly stated by al-Qadi ʿIyad in al-Shifa') but:

* By Abu al-Shaykh with a good chain in Thawab al-Salat ʿala al-Nabi ﷺ as stated by Ibn al-Qayyim in Jala' al-Afham (p. 48-49=p. 16-22), Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 6:379=1959 ed. 6:488), al-Suyuti in al-La'ali' (1996 ed. 1:259=1:282-283), and others. Ibn al-Qayyim states: "This narration is extremely singular" while Ibn Hajar states: "Abu al-Shaykh cites it in al-Thawab with a good chain (sanad jayyid)." Al-Sakhawi reiterates the latter verdict in al-Qawl al-Badiʿ (p. 154) as reported by Shaykh ʿAbd Allah Siraj al-Din in al-Salat ʿala al-Nabi ﷺ (p. 214) and Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh in Rafʿ al-Minara (p. 351). Al-Munawi questions this grading in Fayd al-Qadir and Ibn ʿAbd al-Hadi in al-Sarim al-Munki (p. 206) claims without proof that Abu al-Shaykh's chain, although strong, is "a gross mistake" because - in his view - "the hadith did not come to us except through al-Suddi, who is discarded" (cf. below). However, Ibn ʿArraq in Tanzih al-Shariʿa (1:335) confirms Ibn Hajar's verdict and al-Suyuti in al-La'ali' authenticates Abu al-Shaykh's chain - among other narrations, citing it in his commentary on al-Nasa'i's Sunan (4:110) and rejecting Ibn al-Jawzi's verdict of forgery in al-Mawduʿat (1:303). Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari in his al-Mudawi li ʿIlal al-Munawi (6:277) graded Abu al-Shaykh's chain "spotless."

* By al-Bayhaqi with two chains - with ublightuhu in the end - in Shuʿab al-Iman (2:218 #1583), al-ʿUqayli in al-Duʿafa' (4:137) and others, through Muhammad ibn Marwan al-Suddi who is accused of lying and is discarded as a narrator as stated by Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (6:466), or through al-ʿAla' ibn ʿAmr al-Kufi who is weak, but al-Bayhaqi in Hayat al-Anbiya' (p. 15) cites corroborating chains and narrations which strengthen the hadith.

* By al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad (3:292) with the very weak chain of Muhammad ibn Marwan al-Suddi with the wording: "Whoever invokes blessings upon me at my grave I hear him, and whoever invokes blessings on me from afar, an angel was put in charge of it who informs me of it. He will have sufficiency of his worldly needs for it as well as his needs in the hereafter, and I shall witness on his behalf - or: I shall be his intercessor." Al-Ahdab in his Zawa'id Tarikh Baghdad (3:69) considers the second sentence of this narration undoubtedly forged.

As for al-Albani's grading of mawdūʿ for this hadith in his notes on al-Alusi's al-Ayat al-Bayyinat (p. 80) and his Silsila Daʿifa (#203) in imitation of Ibn Taymiyya's identical verdict in the latter's al-Radd ʿala al-Akhna'i in Majmuʿa al-Fatawa (27:241-242), it stems from studied ignorance of Abu al-Shaykh's chain as pointed out by Mamduh in Rafʿ al-Minara (p. 354). Note that Ibn Taymiyya contradicts himself by (1) declaring al-Suddi's chain not forged but "containing some weakness (fīhā līn) and corroborated by firmly established reports" elsewhere in his Fatawa (27:116) and (2) considering the meaning of the hadith correct, all of which al-Albani rejects ("I do not know from where Ibn Taymiyya took his claim (27:384) that he ﷺ hears the salaam from someone near!"). That man goes so far as to state: "I have found no evidence for the Prophet's ﷺ hearing of the salaam of those who greet him at his grave"! This is one of his greater enormities and the essence of innovation and deviation. On the hearing of the Prophet ﷺ in the grave see also al-Nabahani, Shawahid al-Haqq (p. 283-285).

Allah bless and greet the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions. Wal-hamdu lillahi Rabb al-ʿalamin.

Hajj Gibril

GF Haddad ©
[2000-06-11]

 


Questions on "The Prophets in Barzakh"

Wa ʿalaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:

However, I would like to seek clarification on a few points. 1) Volume 1 - pg 38 - hadith 18

Text:

18. Ibn al-Mubarak said: One of the Ansār narrated to us from al-Minhal ibn 'Amr that the latter heard Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib say: "Not one day passes except the Prophet's ﷺ Community is shown to him morning and evening. He knows them by their marks [or names] and their actions, thereby giving witness concerning them. Allah said: { But how (will it be with them) when we bring of every people a witness, and We bring you (O Muhammad) a witness against these?} (4:41).

This is a matquʿ report by a Tabiʿi in commentary of a Qur'anic verse. However, Ibn al-Musayyib is among the most knowledgeable of the Tabiʿis overall, and possessed the most extensive knowledge of the Sunna among them. As for the evidence for the above in the Sunna, it is based on the authentic Prophetic hadith (#17) from Ibn Masʿud cited in the pages previous to the above:

"My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, *your actions will be presented to me*, and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if I see evil I will ask forgiveness of Him for you."

Does this mean that absolutely all of our actions are taken to the Prophet.

Yes, this is what the verse means as elucidated by the hadith and understood by Ibn al-Musayyib.

Maulana Maududi says that only the general state of affairs of the Ummah are taken. Imam Hamza Yusuf agrees with Maududi's opinion on this and says this is the majority position. Is this really the majority view?

The majority view is the opposite and the Awliya all agree that the Prophet ﷺ knows the particulars of the Umma also. Anyway, this is not a matter decided by opinion but by transmission. Insha Allah, increased familiarity with Shaykh Ahmad Rida Khan's al-Dawla al-Makkiyya, Qadi Yusuf al-Nabahani, Imam al-Shaʿrani, and similar documentation will help clarify this for English-speaking Muslims.

I know that Deobandi scholars say that if all actions of the Ummah are viewed by the Prophet then would he view a man and a woman in the privacy of their bedroom (I'm not sure whether it is good adab to even pose a quetion like this)

His ﷺ awareness of all the actions of the Umma, like all the states connected with Barzakh, is a reality (haqiqa) we do not qualify with "how" (bila kayf). It is unbefitting that we should speculate and compare it to peeking in the normal sense or exposure to what is unseemly. It is established that the angels supplicate for a man to be rewarded and blessed for as long as he is engaged in intercourse with his wife, yet we also know that the angels do not remain in a house where there is a junub. This means their knowledge is not at all from sight in the conventional sense. Allah Almighty - without comparison to anything! - sees us at all times and knows our acts in their most intimate details, yet the Prophet ﷺ said: "He does not look at your forms and possessions, but only at your hearts and intentions." So the speculation that "if all actions of the Ummah are viewed by the Prophet ﷺ then he would view a man and a woman in the privacy of their bedroom" is rejected and misconceived. It must be rephrased to state: "then he would be appraised even of a man and a woman in the privacy of their house."

Further does your quote above contradict what Imam Hamza is saying.

It is more appropriate to say that Brother Hamza contradicts what Ibn al-Musayyib says.

Further, how do classical scholars interpret the ayahs of the Prophet being a shahid?

See on this:
http://sunnah.org/aqida/haadir_wa_naadir.htm

2) Volume 1 - pg 43 - hadith 21

Text:

The Prophet ﷺ said: "By the one in Whose hand is Abu al-Qasim's soul, ʿIsa ibn Maryam shall descend as a just and wise ruler. He shall destroy the cross, slay the swine, eradicate discord and grudges, and money shall be offered to him but he will not accept it. Then he shall stand at my grave side and say: 'O Muhammad!' and I will answer him." Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Abu Yaʿla in his Musnad (11:462) with a sound (sahīh) chain according to Shaykh Husayn Asad and al-Haythami in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (8:211).

This hadith mentions Hazrat Isa calling the Prophet at the graveside. It is not clear from Shaykh Alawis words above the hadith whether the Prophet would answer our call if we called him from afar, say England. Please calrify. If we can interpret this hadith to call upon the Prophet from afar, what is the basis for this?

The basis for calling the Prophet ﷺ from afar is the hadith (#2) of Abu Hurayra, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "No-one greets me except that Allah has returned my soul to me so that I may greet him back." I.e. in absolute terms without specifying that it must be at the graveside for this to work. Narrated with sound chains by Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and al-Bayhaqi.

Also, the hadith (#21) of Abu Hurayra from the Prophet ﷺ : "Whoever invokes blessings upon me at my grave I hear him, and whoever invokes blessings on me from afar, I am informed about it." Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 6:379=1959 ed. 6:488) said its chain in Abu al-Shaykh's al-Thawab was good. Al-Munawi contested this grading in Fayd al-Qadir then al-Ghumari in his commentary on Fayd al-Qadir titled al-Mudawi (6:347) confirmed Ibn Hajar's grading.

Finally, I know two prominent deobandi scholars who have criticised Shaykh Alawi. One called him the "leader of the people of bidah" and the other said he just believes what the Barelawis believe. I hope this not namima but I would just like to know how we should behave in such an environment when faced with such problems.

Well, the second charge is true while the first is standard Wahhabi dribble in their Kingdom. I know of no Deobandis among the few contemporary Ulema who are of Shaykh al-ʿAlawi's rank, but anyone, really , is free to say anything. However, I must protest their use of the label "leader of the people of bidʿa" as a usurpation from the late Shaykh ul-Bidʿa, al-Albani. It belongs to him and no-one should even think that they can rival him in this station.

See: sunnah.org also found here at livingislam.org

Was-Salamu ʿala man ittabaʿa al-Huda.

GF Haddad ©
[2001]






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