Words of Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz (rahimahullah)
The Life of Barzakh*9 is different from the Worldly Life
The state of death is a special condition, which cannot be matched with the
condition of man before death or after Resurrection because the dead becomes
dependant upon only what he has earned (in his lifetime) except those acts which
have been singled out by the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Seeking
Shifa’ah from the dead is not among those actions which the Prophet (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) mentioned and therefore, it is not allowed to include it.
Without doubt, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), after his
death, leads a life of Barzakh, which is better (akmal) than the life of the
Shuhadah (martyrs) , but it is neither the kind of his life before his death,
nor is it like his life on the Day of Judgment. It is a life, the reality and
condition of which, is not known to anyone except Allah. Therefore, it is
mentioned in the hadeeth of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam),
‘…Allah will restore my soul to me.’ [(hasan) Abu Dawood]
Thus, (the above) clearly explains that he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is dead
and that his soul has departed his body, but it returns back during salaam.
Proof of his (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) death from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah
are very well-known and it is an agreed upon matter among the people of
knowledge. However, it (his death) does not reject his (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) life in the Barzakh, just like the death of the Shuhadah (martyrs)
does not deny their lives of the Barzakh, which has been mentioned in the saying
of Allah, ‘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.’ [Soorah al-Baqarah
We have extensively explained the subject of supplicating to the Prophet (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) because of the many doubts*10 in this matter that call to
Shirk and worship of the dead besides Allah.
We ask Allah to safeguard us and all the Muslims from that which contradicts the
Shareeah. And Allah is the All-Knower.
*9: The Meaning of al-Barzakh
Linguistically, 'al-barzakh' means, 'a veil, barrier or partition between
two things'. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) defined Barzakh as a Hijab (veil).
Adh-Dhahhak (taba'iee scholar of Tafseer) says, 'Barzakh is the stage between
this world and the Hereafter.' [See al-Qurtubee's Tafseer (vol.12, p.150)]
Al-Qurtubee, in his exposition on these various interpretations states, 'The
Barzakh is a barrier between two things. It is the stage between this world and
the other world - from the time of death until the time of Resurrection. Thus,
whoever dies enters the Barzakh.' [See al-Qurtubee's Tafseer (vol.12, p.150)]
The life of Barzakh is a matter of Ghayb (unseen), which is known to Allah
Alone. He does not reveal the Ghayb to anyone except to His Messengers from
amongst humans and angels. He, the Exalted, says in the Qur'aan, ‘He is the
Knower of the Unseen, and He does not reveal His secrets to anyone. Except to
him whom He chooses, namely, a Messenger of His.’ [Soorah al-Jinn (72):26-27]
Allah revealed some matters of the Ghayb to His Messenger, Muhammad (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam), who informed us of them. Apart from the information, we have
received from Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), we know nothing
about the Ghayb, for he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) alone was our source of
information about the Ghayb. We, therefore, have to suffice with what has
reached us from him (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Along these lines, our
knowledge about Barzakh is also limited to what we have been informed about by
the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Any speculation, claims,
or analogy made concerning the life and conditions of Barzakh, which have no
basis from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, is unreliable and futile.
*10: The doubts and misconceptions that lead to Shirk are many and some of
the most common are…
(a) the Messengers and the pious are more alive and able in their graves,
than during their worldly lives. This false belief has lead some to call upon
the Messenger or the pious for intercession.
(b) the Messengers and the pious have been entrusted with distributing certain
provisions like livelihood, offspring, tranquility, etc. This false belief also
causes some to directly address the Messengers and the pious for their needs.
This is again major shirk.