بسم اللہ الرحمٰن الرحیم
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ، نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ، مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ، وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، أَمَّا بَعْدُ
The sectarian ulema have misled the Ummah that the deceased person lying in his grave is alive, able to listen and even see. To prove their fabrications, the ulema have tried to show that the Prophets including our Prophet (ﷺ) are alive in their own graves. Then the same was extended to the martyrs because it is forbidden to call them dead; they are alive. And when the martyrs are alive, the status of the prophets is much higher. How can they be dead in their graves? Therefore, we seek guidance on this subject from the Qur’an and Hadith.
I – What does Quran states about the shaheeds?
Allah Ta’ala says:
وَ لَا تَقُوْلُوْا لِمَنْ يُّقْتَلُ فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللّٰهِ اَمْوَاتٌ١ؕ بَلْ اَحْيَآءٌ وَّ لٰكِنْ لَّا تَشْعُرُوْنَ
( سورة البقرة :154)
And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah, “They are dead.” Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not.
In this ayat which was revealed after the Battle of Badr, Allah Ta’ala ordered not to call those who are killed in Allah’s cause as dead. On the one hand, Allah Ta’ala Himself is saying, “Those who are killed in the way of Allah,” that is, those who had actually died. But do not say that they are dead, but that they are alive. At the same time, it was stated that human beings cannot perceive that life of the martyrs.
Haritha (رضی اللہ عنہ) was martyred on the occasion of the Battle of Badr. Her mother came to the Prophet (ﷺ). Following hadith narrates the incident:
عَنْ حُمَيْدٍ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ أَنَسًا، يَقُولُ: أُصِيبَ حَارِثَةُ يَوْمَ بَدْرٍ وَهُوَ غُلاَمٌ، فَجَاءَتْ أُمُّهُ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، قَدْ عَرَفْتَ مَنْزِلَةَ حَارِثَةَ مِنِّي، فَإِنْ يَكُ فِي الجَنَّةِ أَصْبِرْ وَأَحْتَسِبْ، وَإِنْ تَكُنِ الأُخْرَى تَرَى مَا أَصْنَعُ؟ فَقَالَ: «وَيْحَكِ، أَوَهَبِلْتِ، أَوَجَنَّةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ هِيَ؟ إِنَّهَا جِنَانٌ كَثِيرَةٌ، وَإِنَّهُ لَفِي جَنَّةِ الفِرْدَوْسِ»
(بخاری، کتاب المغازی، باب فضل من شھداء بدر، عن انس ؓ)
Haritha was martyred on the day (of the battle) of Badr, and he was a young boy then. His mother came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! You know how dear Haritha is to me. If he is in Paradise, I shall remain patient, and hope for reward from Allah, but if it is not so, then you shall see what I do?” He said, “May Allah be merciful to you! Have you lost your senses? Do you think there is only one Paradise? There are many Paradises and your son is in the (most superior) Paradise of Al- Firdaus.”
It is thus learned that the martyrs are alive but in Paradise. Then on the occasion of the Battle of Uhud a large number of companions were martyred. When the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked about this, the following ayaat were revealed:
وَ لَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِيْنَ قُتِلُوْا فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللّٰهِ اَمْوَاتًا١ؕ بَلْ اَحْيَآءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُوْنَۙ۰۰۱۶۹
فَرِحِيْنَ بِمَاۤ اٰتٰىهُمُ اللّٰهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهٖ١ۙ وَ يَسْتَبْشِرُوْنَ۠ بِالَّذِيْنَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُوْا بِهِمْ مِّنْ خَلْفِهِمْ١ۙ اَلَّا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَ لَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُوْنَۘ۰۰۱۷۰
(سورہ آل عمران : آیت 169 تا 171)
And never think of those who have been killed in Allah’s cause as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision. Rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good news about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them – that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. They receive good news of favor from Allah and bounty and [of the fact] that Allah does not allow the reward of believers to be wasted.
In the same Surah, it has been revealed before these ayaat:
اَلَّذِيْنَ قَالُوْا لِاِخْوَانِهِمْ وَ قَعَدُوْا لَوْ اَطَاعُوْنَا مَا قُتِلُوْا١ؕ قُلْ فَادْرَءُوْا عَنْ اَنْفُسِكُمُ الْمَوْتَ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ صٰدِقِيْنَ۰۰۱۶۸
( آل عمران : 168 )
Those who said about their brothers while sitting [at home], “If they had obeyed us, they would not have been killed.” Say, “Then prevent death from yourselves, if you should be truthful.”
That is, their disbelieving and mushrikeen relatives, who thought that if they had obeyed them to stay at home, they would not have been killed today and lost their lives. It was said to them, “If you are truthful, then avert your death.” This way it is proved that these martyrs had actually died, they were considered dead and they were buried on the same basis. Like the Battle of Badr, again Allah’s command came: ‘Do not think that those who were killed in the way of Allah are dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord and they are being provided for’. Moreover, they are rejoicing about the great reward they have received from their Lord for the martyrdom. And they have come to know that Allah Ta’ala does not waste the reward of the believers.
II – What does ahadith state about the shaheeds?
It, thus, became clear from Quranic ayaat that those, who were sad after the death of their loved ones, have been told that those who died after being martyred in this battle are alive with Allah, where they have been rewarded with a great reward. The Prophet (ﷺ) explains where these martyrs are alive:
طَلْحَةَ بْنَ خِرَاشٍ قَال سَمِعْتُ جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ يَقُولُ لَقِيَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّی اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ لِي يَا جَابِرُ مَا لِي أَرَاکَ مُنْکَسِرًا قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ اسْتُشْهِدَ أَبِي قُتِلَ يَوْمَ أُحُدٍ وَتَرَکَ عِيَالًا وَدَيْنًا قَالَ أَفَلَا أُبَشِّرُکَ بِمَا لَقِيَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَبَاکَ قَالَ قُلْتُ بَلَی يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ مَا کَلَّمَ اللَّهُ أَحَدًا قَطُّ إِلَّا مِنْ وَرَائِ حِجَابٍ وَأَحْيَا أَبَاکَ فَکَلَّمَهُ کِفَاحًا فَقَالَ يَا عَبْدِي تَمَنَّ عَلَيَّ أُعْطِکَ قَالَ يَا رَبِّ تُحْيِينِي فَأُقْتَلَ فِيکَ ثَانِيَةً قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِنَّهُ قَدْ سَبَقَ مِنِّي أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهَا لَا يُرْجَعُونَ
( عن جابر ؓ ، ترمذی، ابواب تفسیر القرآن ، باب: ومن سورۃ آل عمران )
Talhah bin Khirash said: ‘I heard Jabir bin Abdullah saying: “Allah’s Messengerﷺ met me and said to me: ‘O Jabir! Why do I see you upset?’ I said: ‘O Allah’s Messengerﷺ! My father was martyred (on the Day of Uhud) leaving my family and debt behind. ” Heﷺ said: ‘Shall I give you news of what your father met Allah with?'” He said: “of course Allah’s Messengerﷺ!” He said: ‘Allah does not speak to anyone except from behind a veil, but He brought your father to speak to Him directly. He said: “[O My slave!] Do you wish that I give you anything?” He said: ‘O Lord! Give me life so that I may fight for You a second time.’ So, the Lord عَزَّ وَجَلَّ said: ‘It has been decreed by Me that they shall not return (21:95).’ He said: “So this Ayat was revealed: Think not of those as dead who are killed in the way of Allah (3:169).”
In another hadith:
عَنْ مَسْرُوقٍ قَالَ سَأَلْنَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ عَنْ هَذِهِ الْآيَةِ وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَائٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ قَالَ أَمَا إِنَّا قَدْ سَأَلْنَا عَنْ ذَلِکَ فَقَالَ أَرْوَاحُهُمْ فِي جَوْفِ طَيْرٍ خُضْرٍ لَهَا قَنَادِيلُ مُعَلَّقَةٌ بِالْعَرْشِ تَسْرَحُ مِنْ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ شَائَتْ ثُمَّ تَأْوِي إِلَی تِلْکَ الْقَنَادِيلِ فَاطَّلَعَ إِلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ اطِّلَاعَةً فَقَالَ هَلْ تَشْتَهُونَ شَيْئًا قَالُوا أَيَّ شَيْئٍ نَشْتَهِي وَنَحْنُ نَسْرَحُ مِنْ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ شِئْنَا فَفَعَلَ ذَلِکَ بِهِمْ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ فَلَمَّا رَأَوْا أَنَّهُمْ لَنْ يُتْرَکُوا مِنْ أَنْ يُسْأَلُوا قَالُوا يَا رَبِّ نُرِيدُ أَنْ تَرُدَّ أَرْوَاحَنَا فِي أَجْسَادِنَا حَتَّی نُقْتَلَ فِي سَبِيلِکَ مَرَّةً أُخْرَی فَلَمَّا رَأَی أَنْ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ حَاجَةٌ تُرِکُوا
( عن عبد اللہ بن مسعود ؓ ، مسلم ، کتاب الامارۃ ، باب بيان أن أرواح الشهداء في الجنة، وأنهم أحياء عند ربهم يرزقون)
On the authority of Masrooq who said, we asked Abdullah about the Quranic ayat:” 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…” (Surah Aali Imran. 169). He said: We asked the meaning of the ayat (from the Prophet) 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 Allah). They eat the fruits of Paradise from wherever they like and then nestle in these chandeliers. Once their Lord cast a glance at them and said: Do ye want anything? They said: What more shall we desire? We eat the fruit of Paradise from wherever we like. Their Lord asked them the same question thrice. When they saw that they will 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 way once again. When He (Allah) saw that they had no need, they were left (to their joy in heaven).
It, thus, became evident that after the death of the martyrs, their souls were not found in their worldly bodies but in the flying green bodies flying in Paradise. Allah converses with them but when they desire that their souls be returned again to the earthy bodies to get martyrdom again, He stops talking further because once someone dies, he is never to return back to the earth.
Further study the hadith that after death everyone is in the same world or in another. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ یَمُوْتُ لَہٗ عِنْدَاﷲِ خَیْرٌ یَّسُرُّہٗ اَنْ یَرْجِعَ اِلَی الدُّنْیَا وَمَا فِیْھَا اِلَّا الشَّھِیْدَ لِمَا یَرٰی مِنْ فَضْلِ الشَّھَادَۃِ فَاِنَّہٗ یَسُرُّہٗ اَنْ یَّرْجِعُ اِلَی الدُّنْیَا فَیُقْتَلُ مَرَّۃً اُخْرٰی
( عن انس بن مالک ، بخاری، کتاب الجھاد و السیر ، بَابُ الحُورِ العِينِ، وَصِفَتِهِنَّ يُحَارُ فِيهَا الطَّرْفُ، شَدِيدَةُ سَوَادِ العَيْنِ، شَدِيدَةُ بَيَاضِ العَيْنِ)
The Prophetﷺ said, “Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it, except the martyr who, on seeing the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah’s Cause).”
It became clear that the one dies does not remain in this world. To believe that the martyrs are alive in their worldly graves is a denial of Quran and Hadith.