Can the dead hear us?
Assalamu Alaikum Dear Honourable Scholar
Quran says dead cannot hear in the Chapter of Fatir verse 22 and also in the Chapter of al- Rum verse 52, so how a dead will hear in the grave when you call him with his name and remind him to say “There is no god but Allah”, as one of the fatwa "Prompting the dead " on this website makes it permissible to call the dead person in grave and prompt him. Can you please explain how as this seems to be a direct contradiction of Quran?
There is no contradiction between the Qur'anic verses and the fatwa.
In his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari (vol.3, p361-362, Maktabit al-Rushd ed.), Ibn Battal commented, "At-Tabari said: The correct opinion on this issue is that both of the Prophet's traditions are authentic based on their narration by trustworthy chains of transmitters. Thus, it is obligatory to believe in the two traditions and acknowledge that Allah enables whoever He wishes from among His dead servants to hear whatever He wishes from among the speech of the living; He enables whoever He wishes from among His dead servants to understand what He wishes and He bestows His blessings upon whoever He loves from among them. Allah also tortures the disbelievers in their graves as well as those who deserve punishment in whatever manner He wishes. This has been transmitted through authentic traditions reported from the Prophet (pbuh).
The words of Allah in Surah Fatir, verse 22 "Indeed, Allah causes to hear whom He wills, but you cannot make hear those in the graves" do not disproof the authentic Prophetic traditions such as that in which the Prophet (pbuh) told his Companions about the dead who he ordered to be buried in the bit of Qulaib after the battle of Badr. Addressing his Companions, he said, "You do not hear what I say more distinctly than they [the dead] do". Likewise, the Qur`anic verse cannot be used to refute the established words of the Prophet who said that the dead can hear "the shuffling of feet as they [visitors of graves] walk away".
It is possible to interpret the words of Allah in Surah Fatir, verse 22 "Indeed, Allah causes to hear whom He wills, but you cannot make hear those in the graves" and His words in Surah An-Naml, verse 80, "Indeed, you will not make the dead hear" differently from the interpretation maintained by those who claim that the dead cannot hear the living. Based on this, the verses mean that Allah informs his Prophet that he cannot make the dead hear through his own power and ability; rather it is Him, the Creator of hearing, Who enables them to hear. This is similar to His words in Sura an-Naml, verse 81, "And you cannot guide the blind away from their error" This means that success and guidance are in the hands of none other but Allah. Allah makes it clear that His Prophet is unable to make the dead hear except through His will; he cannot guide people to truth except by the will of Allah. The Prophet is only a Warner that Allah sent to convey His message."