The Belief in Prophets’ Abilities and Departed Souls’ Observations in Religious Gatherings

Oct 14, 2023 | Aqidah (Belief)


Do the Prophets possess the capacity to traverse the world, and is it possible for the souls of the departed to freely observe their descendants during the Thursday and Friday nights? Additionally, could you provide substantiating evidence for this belief? I am inquiring about this due to my experiences in gatherings where phrases such as “Marhaban Ya Nurul Al Ayni” and “Ya Nabi Salam Alayka” are recited, notably in Mawlids, Salawat gatherings, and even at weddings during the entrance of the bride and groom. I am seeking clarification on whether this practice is deemed inappropriate and if it is permissible for me to attend such gatherings.


Ibn al Qayyim in his Kitab al-Ruh (pg. 374 onwards) has a lengthy discussion on what exactly takes place with the souls of various people after death and the multiplicity of views amongst the scholars. What we can say for sure is that after death, the souls enter the Intermediate Realm (Barzakh). Thereafter, Ibn al Qayyim prefers the view that the souls of the prophets (peace be upon them all) are in the Aʿla ʿIlliyyin (in the seventh heaven beneath the Divine Throne). At the same time, it is also established from numerous hadiths that the prophets (peace be upon them all) are alive in their graves. Since the afterlife is unlike the worldly life, there is no objection to both these things being true at one and the same time, although the exact mechanics may be beyond our comprehension.

As for the prophets traversing the world, while it is not beyond the realm of possibility, it is not their default status. Therefore, to claim in any instance that the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace) is present in a certain worldly gathering and to address him with the intention that he can hear us is a claim without evidence and forbidden to do. Similar is the case of the souls of the other departed believers. They are in the intermediate realm, in a position proportionate to their good deeds. To say that they can observe their descendants during Thursday and Friday nights requires evidence, which I myself could not find. Rather, I would suggest that they cannot do so, because in a hadith we are informed that when a new soul enters the Intermediate Realm, the souls already present will ask the new soul about the state of their acquaintances in the world. If these souls could observe their descendants themselves weekly, there would be no need for them to ask the new soul of the state of their worldly companion.

Having understood this, statements such as ‘ya rasullullah’, if they are made with the belief and conviction that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) is present and can hear the individual calling out then it would be impermissible to utter such statements. If however, they are made with the firm belief that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) is not present nor listening and are just made out of happiness or love for the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) then they are permissible to utter. If one is unable to avoid problematic thoughts or beliefs passing through their mind then they should avoid such statements.

As for attending gatherings, if you know or have a predominant thought that the individuals are uttering such statements with problematic beliefs then you must avoid these gatherings, for example in many mawlid gatherings, since your presence there is a validation for such a gathering, even if you may not hold the same belief.

In the case of nashids with such phrases played at the entrance of the bride and groom, it is likely that these are expressions of happiness and not suggestive of an incorrect creed.

Finally, if you wish to read more about the evidences used by those who consider the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) to be present in all places and the responses to those evidences then you can read the following detailed article authored by a different fatwa centre.

Fatawa Darul Ulum Zakariyyah 1:181

سنن النسائي (1833)

أَخْبَرَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُعَاذُ بْنُ هِشَامٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ قَسَامَةَ بْنِ زُهَيْرٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ إِذَا حُضِرَ الْمُؤْمِنُ أَتَتْهُ مَلاَئِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ بِحَرِيرَةٍ بَيْضَاءَ فَيَقُولُونَ اخْرُجِي رَاضِيَةً مَرْضِيًّا عَنْكِ إِلَى رَوْحِ اللَّهِ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ ‏.‏ فَتَخْرُجُ كَأَطْيَبِ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ حَتَّى أَنَّهُ لَيُنَاوِلُهُ بَعْضُهُمْ بَعْضًا حَتَّى يَأْتُونَ بِهِ بَابَ السَّمَاءِ فَيَقُولُونَ مَا أَطْيَبَ هَذِهِ الرِّيحَ الَّتِي جَاءَتْكُمْ مِنَ الأَرْضِ ‏.‏ فَيَأْتُونَ بِهِ أَرْوَاحَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَلَهُمْ أَشَدُّ فَرَحًا بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدِكُمْ بِغَائِبِهِ يَقْدَمُ عَلَيْهِ فَيَسْأَلُونَهُ مَاذَا فَعَلَ فُلاَنٌ مَاذَا فَعَلَ فُلاَنٌ فَيَقُولُونَ دَعُوهُ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ فِي غَمِّ الدُّنْيَا فَإِذَا قَالَ أَمَا أَتَاكُمْ قَالُوا ذُهِبَ بِهِ إِلَى أُمِّهِ الْهَاوِيَةِ وَإِنَّ الْكَافِرَ إِذَا احْتُضِرَ أَتَتْهُ مَلاَئِكَةُ الْعَذَابِ بِمِسْحٍ فَيَقُولُونَ اخْرُجِي سَاخِطَةً مَسْخُوطًا $$عَلَيْكِ إِلَى عَذَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ‏.‏ فَتَخْرُجُ كَأَنْتَنِ رِيحِ جِيفَةٍ حَتَّى يَأْتُونَ بِهِ بَابَ الأَرْضِ فَيَقُولُونَ مَا أَنْتَنَ هَذِهِ الرِّيحَ حَتَّى يَأْتُونَ بِهِ أَرْوَاحَ الْكُفَّارِ‏.‏

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel