The Deobandi View: The Righteous Do Not Die
Source: Book: The Jama’aatut-Tableegh And The Deobandis pgs 72-78
1. Moulana Zakariyah mentions in Fazaail-e-Aamaal, “Shaikh Abu Ya’kub Sanusi says: ‘One of my disciples came to me and said: ‘I shall die tomorrow in the afternoon.’ The following day, the man came to the Holy Masjid at Makkah, observed his Zuhr Salaat, made ‘Tawaaf’ of the Holy Ka’bah, then went a little farther away from the Ka’bah and gave up his soul. I washed his body and arranged his burial. When I laid him in the grave, he opened his eyes. I asked him in surprise, ‘Is there life after death?’ He replied: ‘I am alive and he who is a
true lover of Allah never dies.” 1
2. “Abu Ali Radbari says: ‘A poor and ragged old man once came to me on Eid day and said: ‘Is there any neat clean place around where a poor man could meet his death.’ I thought he was not talking sense and said with unconcern, ‘Come in and lie where you like, and give up your soul.’ The man came in, performed wudhu (ablution) and observed a few Rakaat of Salaat. He then laid on the ground and his soul departed from his body. I washed his body, shrouded him and arranged his burial. When I was going to put him in his grave…I uncovered his face, he opened his eyes. I asked him in surprise, ‘Is there life after death?’ He replied: ‘I am alive and he who is a true lover of Allah never dies. Insha’Allah, I shall intercede for you on the Day of Resurrection, by virtue of the distinction granted to me by Allah.” 2
3. “Abu Saeed Khazzaaz says that he was once staying in Makkah. One day, on coming out of the Bab-e-Bani Shaibah (a gate), he saw a very handsome man lying dead on the ground. He was looking at his face in surprise, when the dead man opened his eyes, smiled at him and said: ‘Abu Saeed, don’t you know that the friends of Allah (those who love Him truly) do not die; they are just transferred from this world to the next.’” 3
4. “One Buzurg says that I gave Ghusl to a Mureed, he took grasped of my toe. I said: ‘Leave my toe, I know that you are not dead. This is only a transfer from one place to another.” He released my toe.” 4
5. “Ibn ul-Jalaa, who is a well-known Sufi Shaikh, says that when his father died and his body was laid on wooden board for washing, he (the father) began to laugh. The people who had come to wash his body were terrified (to see a dead man laughing) and ran away. After a while, one of his father’s friends came and bathed him.” 5
Death Overtakes Everyone, Even The Messengers
Death is no strange concept even for the Messengers. All the Messengers have died with the exception of Eesa. Allah said concerning Prophet Muhammad:
“And We did not grant to any human immortality before you (O Muhammad ) then if you die, would they live for ever.” 6
Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad, passed away in the house of Aa’ishah.
Abu Bakr uncovered the blessed face of Allah’s Messenger, tended down, kissed him and cried. He then said: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for your sake! Verily, Allah will not cause you to die twice. You have just experienced the death that Allah had ordained.” Then he went out and said:
“Now, he who worshiped Muhammad, Muhammad is dead now! But he who worships Allah, He is Ever-Living and He never dies. As Allah says:
“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger and Indeed, (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful.” 7
Ibn Abbas said: “By Allah, it sounded as if people had never heard such a Qur’aanic verse till Abu Bakr recited it as a reminder. So, people started reciting it till there was no man who did not recite it.” Umar said: “By Allah!
As soon as I heard Abu Bakr say it, I fell down to the ground. I felt as if my legs had been unable to carry me, so I collapsed when I heard him say it. Only then did I realize that Muhammad had really died.” 8
Therefore, the Messengers die and so do the righteous. Allah says in the Qur’aan: “Everyone shall taste death.” Believing that the Sufi saints do not die is giving them a position higher than that of the Messengers. Besides, burying somebody alive is a major sin. Allah says in the Qur’aan:
“And when the female (infant) is buried alive shall be questioned. For what sin was she killed?” 9
Doubt (1): Allah’s Messenger Replies To The Greetings Of Salaam
Those who believe that the Messenger of Allah lives a life similar to his worldly life in the grave and benefits his nation from the grave, often bring forth the following two narrations:
The Messenger of Allah said: “No one gives greetings of salaam, except that Allah will restore my soul to me, so that I may reply to him with the greeting of salaam.” 10
“The Prophets are alive and pray in their graves.” 11
These narrations mention the conditions of life in the Barzakh and not the worldly life.
1. The life of the Barzakh is different from the worldly life. Allah says, “And say not of those who have been killed in the way of Allah, ‘They are dead.’ Nay they are living, but you are unaware of it.” 12 We are unaware of the life in Barzakh because it is different from this life.
2. During his lifetime, when Allah’s Messenger returned salaam, it was heard by all those present. This is not the case today at the grave of Allah’s Messenger. This shows that the restoration of the soul and the reply of salaam mentioned in the narration are from amongst the matters of the Barzakh.
3. As for the narration, “The Prophets are alive and pray in their graves.” its authenticity is disputed amongst the scholars of Hadeeth. However, the ‘life’ and ‘prayer’ mentioned in this narration is from the matters of the Barzakh.
4. During the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger, the Sahabah never had another Imam in the presence of Allah’s Messenger in the Prophet’s Mosque. Once Abu Bakr was asked to lead the prayer in the absence of the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet joined later and stood in the first row. The other Sahabah clapped their hands to inform Abu Bakr about the Prophet’s presence. Allah’s Messenger indicated to Abu Bakr to stay in his place, but Abu Bakr raised his hands, praised Allah, and retreated to the first row so that the Prophet could then lead the prayer. After the prayer, the Prophet said: “O Abu Bakr, what prevented you from remaining in your place
when I ordered you?” Abu Bakr said: “It is not fitting for the son of Ibn Abee Quhaafah to lead the prayer in the presence of Allah’s Messenger.” 13
But after the death of Allah’s Messenger, the Sahabah prayed behind other Imams within the Prophet’s mosque in Medina. If Allah’s Messenger is alive in his grave, as he was alive before his burial then, there is no need for another Imam in the presence of a living, aware and praying Messenger!!
Doubt (2): The Qur’aan Refers To The Martyrs As Living
Allah says in Soorah al-Baqarah,
“And say not of those who havebeen killed in the Way of Allah, ‘they are dead.’ Nay, they are living, but you are unaware of it.” 14
The Sufis claim that their Shaikhs too die in the path of Allah, and are therefore Martyrs. Based upon this verse, they claim that death does not overcome the Shaikh, and they continue to benefit others in death just as they used to benefit in their lifetime. It is mentioned in Imdadus Sulook,
“Once, a person of Kashf went to the mazaar (tomb) of Hazrat Haji Sahib (Dhaamin) to recite al-Fatihah there. After reciting al-Fatihah he said, “Brother! Who is this esteemed man? He seems to be a very jolly person. When I began to recite al-Fatihah, he said to me, “Go and read al-Fatihah for a dead man. You have come here to recite al-Fatihah on the living. What is this matter?” Thereafter, I was informed by people that the person in the grave was a shaheed (martyr).” 15
In this verse of Soorah al-Baqarah, Allah refers to the martyrs, who die whilst defending the religion, as living. The Messenger of Allah explained the life of martyrs after death. Narrated Abdullah: “It has been narrated on the authority of Masruq, who said: “We asked Abdullah about the Qur’aanic verse: “Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they are alive, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord….” 16 He said: “We asked the meaning of the verse (from Allah’s Messenger ), who said:
“The souls of the martyrs live in the bodies of green birds who have their nests in chandeliers hung from the Throne of the Almighty. They eat the fruits of Paradise, wherever they like, and then nestle in these chandeliers. Once, their Lord cast a glance at them and said: “Do you want anything?” They said: “What more can we desire? We eat the fruit of Paradise wherever we like.” Their Lord asked them the same question thrice. When they saw that they would continue to be asked and not left (without answering the question), they said: “O Lord, we wish that You may return our souls to our bodies, so that we may be slain in Your cause once again. When He (Allah) saw that they had no need, they were left (to their joy in heaven).” 17
In light of this Hadeeth, we clearly understand that the conditions under which the Martyrs live after death is different from their worldly life. Their life after death is the life of Barzakh, which severs all connections with the worldly life. Therefore, the Sharee’ah has prescribed that…
2. The wives of the martyr should mourn their husbands for the period of four months and ten days. 18
3. After the Iddah period, the wives of the martyr are free to marry again. 19
Hence, the martyrs are alive with respect to the Hereafter but with respect to this world they are dead, and all actions that are carried out for the dead are carried out for the Martyrs (with a few exceptions). Accordingly, this verse of Soorah al-Baqarah is a proof of the great position of martyrdom, but in no way supports the Sufi view that the pious live a worldly life even after death.