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Do the prophets (peace be upon them) hear and see after their death? Is there any proof to support this claim?

Q. It is said that the prophets (peace be upon them) can hear and see after their death. Is there any proof to support this claim?

A. In general, the dead including the prophets (peace be upon them) cannot hear those who call upon them. They cannot respond to the caller or implement commands or prohibitions. This is confirmed by Allah in His statement:
So verily, you (O Muhammad ‘لى الله عليه و“لم) cannot make the dead to hear (i.e. the disbelievers)
(Surah Al­Rum, 30: 52)

  • As for what has been related in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim about when the dead are placed in their graves, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: He hears the sounds of their shoes when they depart from him,
  • and what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the polytheists who were killed on the Battle of Badr when they were dragged and thrown in the graves of Badr, he said to them: Have you found what your Lord promised true? and: They now hear what I say.
  • Also, the dead hearing the voices of the two angels when asked about his faith and his Prophet...etc.

In all these cases, the dead hear in a special way; which only Allah knows of. It is not continuous hearing, but they hear in special conditions. Hearing in the grave is unlike hearing in the world; it is special for the conditions of the Barzakh (period between death and the Resurrection). None can know how it occurs but Allah and the living will not be affected by the dead; whether benefit or harm because none is able to do this except Allah.

As for what is mentioned that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whenever someone greets me, Allah returns the soul to my body (in the grave) and I return his greeting,
it is a special gift for the Prophet (peace be upon him), and this does not mean that the Prophet (peace be upon him) can benefit or harm the living except by the reward which a person gets from Allah when they send their peace and blessings upon him. People should not call on the Prophet (peace be upon him) after his death as he was spoken to in his life, such as fulfilling the needs and resolving problems.

The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) did not ask anything from him because they knew that it was impossible.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'

Member     Member     Chairman
Bakr Abu Zayd     Salih Al-Fawzan     `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah Al Al-Shaykh

Permanent Committee Fatwas>Group 2>Volume 2: `Aqidah>The call of the messengers>The claim that prophets hear and see after their death>The second question of Fatwa no. 20845