THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM) IS ALIVE
Some people do not accept the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) to be alive. They say that he is dead and mixed with the soil. Allah forbid! The Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’at believes that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is “Hayaatun Nabi”, that is, he is alive both physically and spiritually.
Regarding the Martyrs (Shuhada), those who are slain in the path of Allah, Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: “And say not those who have been slain in the path of Allah to be dead for they are alive and you do not know.” (Part 2, Ruku 3) Since it is evident from the Holy Quran that the Martyrs are alive, then it follows that the Ambiya (alaihimus salaam), whose status are much greater than that of the Martyrs, are also alive. (Fathul Baari Sharah Bukhari)
Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Quran: “And say not of those who are slain in the Way of Allah ‘They are dead’. Nay, they are living, though you perceive it not”. (al-Baqarah: 154) “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”. (al-Ale’ Imraan: 169) The above two Ayahs were revealed after the Battle of Badr. The Ashaabs (radi Allahu anhum) used to feel sorry for those who lost their lives in the battle, and used to say: “Alas, so and so has lost his life and has missed the pleasures of this world!” Allah Ta’ala revealed these Ayahs clarifying that the Shuhada (Martyrs) are not “dead” but are transferred from one place to another where they live and are fed by the Bounteous Lord who is not deficient of anything. If the Shuhada are not “dead”, how can we say that the greatest Apostle, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), is no more amongst us?
Referring to the Messengers, Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: “And ask those of our Mesengers, whom we sent before you, ‘Did We appoint any other god except the All-Affectionate, to be worshipped’?” (Part 25, Ruku 10) This verse proves that the Ambiya (alaihimus salaam) are alive because Allah Ta’ala commands us to ask the Messengers about all matters. If they had passed away and mixed with the soil, surely, we would not have been commanded to ask them about anything. (Tafseer Dur Manthur; Tafseer Roohul Muaani)
Another proof supporting that the Ambiya are alive is that on the night of Me’raj, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) passed by Hazrat Moosa (alaihis salaam). He saw him in his grave standing and reading his Salaah.
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Recite Durood upon me in abundance on a Friday since it is a respected day. On that day the Angels are present and whosoever sends Durood upon me on that day, then his Durood is placed before me till the time when they have completed sending Durood and Salaam”. (Hazrat Abu Dardah radi Allahu anhu says), “I asked, ‘Huzoor! Will you even hear (the Salaam) after your demise?'” The Prophet (sallal laahu alaii wasallam) said, “Verily Almighty Allah has made it Haraam upon the earth to devour the bodies of the Ambiya (alaihimus salaam). Thus, all the Nabis of Allah are alive and they are given sustenance.” (Ibn Majah; Jame Sahgeer; Mishkaat Shareef) We learn from this Hadith Shareef that the Ambiya (alaihimus salaam) are alive and they have only been hidden from us. We cannot understand their position, like those of the Angels that they are alive and present but we cannot obtain (see) them. Yes! Those whom Allah has blessed, they can even see them. This has been confirmed that the Ambiya (alaihimus salaam) are alive. (Umdatul Qaari Shara Bukhari)
Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhadith Delhwi (radi Allahu anhu) wrote: “There is no death for the Ambiya (alaihimus salaam). They are alive and existing. For them is that one death that has come only once. After this, their souls are put back into their bodies and the life that they had on earth is given back to them.” (Takmeelul Imaan)
The greatest proof concerning the Ambiya (alaihimus salaam) being alive is that they make Ibaadah in their graves. They perform their Salaah and they are well provided with food and drink. Like the Angels who are alive, but do not eat and drink. (Mirkaat Shar Mishkaat)
Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Quran: “And how would you deny faith while unto you are rehearsed the Signs of Allah and among you lives the Prophet”. (Sura al- ale’Imraan: 101) This is a typical Ayah proving Hayat-un-Nabi – “among you lives the Prophet”. The word “lives” has cleared all doubts. “Among you” has been generalised, meaning with every individual, wherever he or she may be regardless of time. Man’s vision and power of hearing is restricted, but it is not so in the case of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). His powers are far beyond imagination. If somebody says, “Where is the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)? I cannot see him! Why must I stand and read Salaam?” Surely, this statement is absurd because none of us has seen Allah Ta’ala and the Angels. Kiraaman Katibeen are two Angels constantly present with every individual. Can we deny their existence merely because we did not see them?
It was declared in a Hadith, “When a person greets me, Allahu Ta’ala sends my soul to my body and I hear his greeting.” Some people quoting this Hadith say that the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is not alive since his soul returns to his body only when he is greeted.
Imam Jalaal’uddeen as-Suyuti (radi Allahu anhu) said in the book “Anba’ al-adhkiya’ fi hayat il-anbiya” that “radda” means “ala al-dawam”, i.e. permanently, and not temporarily: in other words, Allah does not return the soul and take it back, then return it again and then take it back again, but He has returned it to Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) permanently, and the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is alive permanently, not intermittently as some ignorant people have suggested.
Another explanation of this Hadith is that Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is in the ecstasy of seeing Jamaal-Allah (Allah’s Beauty) and forgetful of his bodily senses. Such situations are not scarce in this world, either. One does not hear what people say to one when one is in a deep thought of worldly or heavenly affairs. Can someone who is in ecstasy of contemplating Jamaal of Allah hear any sound ?
Thus, we have proved from authentic sources that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is alive both physically and spiritually.