The World Federation One Stop Fiqh
Search
Menu

Ask an Alim

Can the dead people in their graves hear the person who visits their grave & can they also recognise you.

Q:

I have read & heard ulema saying that it is a disputed matter that the dead can/ can not hear the visitor who visits their grave. Where is the evidence & what is the correct view. When did this dispute start. Jazakalah

A:

Bismillah

Salaamun Alaykum

Thank you for your question. There is no dispute that the dead can hear the living and there is evidence in the Holy Qur’an and the ahadith of the Ahlul Bayt (as) to support this.

The Holy Qur’an says: ” And say, ‘Go on working: Allah will see your conduct, and His Apostle and the faithful [as well]…” (9:105). Here the Holy Qur’an clearly says the Holy Prophet (saw) and the momineen (likely referring to the Imams) witness people’s actions. Although the Holy Prophet (saw) and all but the 12th Imam (atf) have left this dunya, they still have the ability to see people’s actions and hear them. We also have in the etiquettes of visiting Imam al Ridha (as) a short salutation to be recited to seek permission to enter the holy precinct where we say to him: اَشْهَدُ اَنَّكَ تَشْهَدُ مَقاميَ وَ تَسْمَعُ كَلامِي وَ تَرُّدُ سَلامي – I bear witness that you (Imam Ridha) see my position, hear my speech and respond to my salutation”. The fact that we even go to their graves and say salaam to them is enough to know that they can hear us, otherwise it would make no sense to say salaam.
What about ordinary people though? Can they also see us and hear us? This depends on the status of the dead person and the level he occupies in barzakh. The stronger the soul and the higher the station, the more frequently it visits. It is reported that Ishaq bin Ammar said: I asked Imam al Kadhim (as): “Does the dead person visit his relatives?”. He replied: “Yes”. I asked: “How often?” He said: “Every Friday, or every month, or every year, depending on his status.” (al Kafi 3:230). The dead are also, very often, aware of those who visit their graves – Imam al Sadiq is reported to have said: “I swear by God that they are aware of your presence and are gladdened by it and your visit increases their love for you. (Wasail al Shia 2:878).

Fi Amanillah
SM