They say, if the dead do not hear our calls, requests or pleas, then why have we been ordered to recite the following supplication while visiting the graveyard.
السَّلامُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الدِّيَارِ مِنَ المُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالمُسْلِمِيْنَ، وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ لاحِقُوْنَ، نَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ لَنَا وَلَكُمُ العَافِيَةَ
‘Peace be upon you all, O inhabitants of the graves, amongst the believers and the Muslims. Verily we will, Allah willing, be united with you, we ask Allah for well-being for us and you
As this dua is indicative of the dead hearing.
Shaykh Muhammad Nāsir al-Dīn al-Albānī (d.1420H) answered this and said:
"Giving Salam in this way does not indicate the dead hear, rather this is usage and the nature of the Arabic language. An example of this is when the companions would recite Assalamu alaykum ayyuhan-Nabiyu wa rahmarullahi wa barakatuhu during the life time of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam. This did not mean that whenever the companions recited this salutation in the prayer, the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam would hear them because the companions would pray in different locations.
(Fatāwa al-imarāt, no.85)
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