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Reference for the story of the Bedouin who addressed Rasulullah (sallallahu'alayhi wasallam) in his grave

Question

In Ma’ariful Quran, under the Tafsir of Surash Nisa verse 64, Mufti Shafi (rahimullah) mentions a incident of a sahabi who went to the blessed grave of the Prophet (sallah alyhi wassalam) and asked him to pray for his forgiveness. Mufti saheb mentions Bahrul Muheet as the source of this report. Could you please let me know the authenticity of this report and also find the original source. Jazakllah

Answer

Imam Ghazali (rahimahullah) has cited this from Imam Sam’ani (rahimahullah) who recorded it with his chain of narrators.

(Al-Futuhatur Rabbaniyyah, vol.2 pg.549)

I haven’t seen this chain and therefore cannot comment. However, there are several such incidents recorded in history, and have been mentioned in the above source.

Among them is the following:

Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) has mentioned: ‘…and one of the best things that one could do (when visiting the graveside of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam)- is what has been related by Allamah al-Mawardi (rahimahullah), al-Qadi Abut Tib (rahimahullah) and all our ‘Ulama and they have all regarded it as commendable, and that is the incident of al-‘Utabi (rahimahullah) that he said:

‘I was once seated by the graveside of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam), when a Bedouin came and said, ‘Peace be upon you, oh, Messenger of Allah. O Messenger of Allah, I have heard Almighty Allah say in the Qur’an

“And if they, when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad) and begged Allah’s forgiveness and the messenger had begged forgiveness for them, indeed they would have found Allah All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Nisa, verse: 64)

Hence, I have come to you in a state that I seek forgiveness of my sins by seeking your intercession by my Lord’, thereafter he recited a few couplets and departed.

Imam al-‘Utabi (rahimahullah) states, ‘I then fell asleep and I saw Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) instructing me by the words, ‘O ‘Utabi, go to that Bedouin and give him the glad tidings that Almighty Allah has forgiven him.’
(Refer al-Majmu’ vol.8 pg.456 and Manasik al-Imam al-Nawawi pg.498-499 Maktabah Salafiyyah).

This incident has been related by many ‘Ulama in their respective compilations. Some of them are: Hafiz Ibn-Kathir in his Tafsir, Allamah Abu-Muhammad ibn Qudamah in Al-Mughni vol.3 pg.556, Imam Abul-Faraj in Al-Sharhul-Kabeer, vol.3 pg.495, etc.

Note 1: The person in this particular incident was NOT a Sahabi.

Note 2: It is a popular belief among the Ahlus Sunnah that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) is alive in his grave. Imam Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) has authored a booklet on the topic entitled: ‘Hayatul Ambiya’.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar