Is the Prophet (pbuh) alive and listening?
Why do ‘Barelvis’ think that the Prophet (sws) is still with us, and listens to ‘salaam’, despite the Quranic claim that every being has to taste death?
I think they bring arguments that are at best indirect in nature. Those arguments, to me, are twisted. For instance, to claim that if the Shuhada are alive according to the Quran, then how could the same not hold true for the Anbia? This argument is incorrect because even in case of Shuhada, the Quran is not telling us that they are alive in the worldly sense. All that the book is saying is that they have not perished but are living a life of high quality close to God. Likewise, they argue from the fact that when people go to Madinah, they say Assalatu Wassalamu Alaika Ya Rasulallah. From this they argue that if we are addressing the prophet directly, then he must be alive there, listening to our greetings. The fact is that the prayer in Masjide Nabvi is like the prayer we have been taught by the prophet when we go to the graveyards. We are taught to greet the dead ones with expressions like this: “Peace be on you o people of the grave, you have preceded us and we are following you.” It doesn’t necessarily imply that we are believing – while doing so – that the dead are actually alive and listening to our prayers. It only means that we wish our greetings be communicated to them by the Almighty, and we are expressing our sentiments, keeping them in our minds.