mudovergraveAllah (Almighty) is so gracious towards His creation, so much so that His Graciousness abounds to the extent that out intellects can’t even imagine. He is also Just in that He gives those who deserve what they deserve...and truly some deserve much much more than others.

From mankind there is a batch that deserves more, a group above the rest. Allah (the Subtle, All-Knowing) chooses them out of His infinite Wisdom and Knowledge. They are chosen in that they are given certain privileges above others, one of which is that many of them are completely saved from all stages of decomposition. In fact, on the contrary, their bodies emit a beautiful scent unlike any scent found in this world. Although doctors and scientists would declare them scientifically and technically dead, at times these people are found smiling - even after the Angel of Death has taken their souls…

{Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allâh as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision.} (Aal-‘Imraan, 169.)

What follows are just some proofs, examples and incidents of how Allah (azza wa jall) can, has and does save the bodies of some of His selected servants from decomposing. I hope that from this we will learn and take example of how Allah (Almighty) helps His chosen worshippers in ways that the mind can’t grasp and the intellect can’t ever truly encompass.

The Prophets

We find proof from the authentic Sunnah that the bodies of the Prophets do not decompose.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Verily, Allah has forbidden the Earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets.” (Sunan Abî Dâwûd (1047), Sunan al-Nasâ’î (1374), and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (1636).)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Prophets are alive in their graves, and pray… On the night of the Isra (Night Journey), I passed by Moosaa (who was) standing in his grave and praying.” (Saheeh Muslim)

The Selected Pious Ones

Az-Zarqânî (rahimahullah) has also mentioned numerous other claims that have been made regarding bodies that do not decompose, including those of the scholars who practice according to their knowledge, those who call the prayer on a voluntary basis, those who memorize the Qur’ân and act upon its teachings, those who die of plague while exhibiting forbearance, and others.

The Martyrs

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The martyr (shaheed) has seven blessings from Allah:

he is forgiven from the moment his blood is first shed;

he will be shown his place in Paradise;

he will be spared the trial of the grave;

and he will be secure on the Day of the Greatest Terror (the Day of Judgment);

there will be placed on his head a crown of dignity, one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it;

he will be married to seventy-two of al-hoor al-‘iyn;

and he will be permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.”

A man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him), “O Messenger of Allah! Why will all the believers except the martyr suffer the Fitnah of the grave?” He said,

“The shining swords above the head of the martyr are Fitnah enough!" (At-Tirmidhi.)

According to Ibn `Abd al-Barr, the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in which he said, “Verily, Allah has forbidden the Earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets” also applies to the martyrs as well. He then relates an account where the Caliph Mu`âwiyah wanted to cause the spring at the base of Mount Uhud to flow. The Caliph, therefore, ordered a public statement to be made that those who had a deceased relative in the vicinity should undertake to exhume his body and relocate it. Jâbir was one of those who went forth to exhume the bodies. He said:

“We went forth and exhumed the bodies, finding them fresh and flexible…When a spade struck the finger of one of the bodies, drops of blood issued forth.”

Az-Zarqânî comments that this event took place forty years after the Battle of Uhud.

Some time ago I came across two amazing tapes (1/2) on the net that mention some recent stories (in the 90’s) regarding some of the martyrs of Bosnia. The following are certain fascinating quotations of selected parts of these two tapes, which indeed back-up and collaborate with the subject matter at hand.


Daawood al Britaani, David Cinclair (1993, age 29)

Born and brought up in the UK, he was working as a computer consultant. One day he walked into work wearing the Islamic dress. On being asked as to why he was wearing this dress, he replied to his work colleagues, “I have become a Muslim.” One week later he was fired from his job; he then went to Bosnia with two brothers. He was travelling with two passports, as soon as he arrived in Bosnia he gave one away to a brother in need. A few months later he gave the other one away too. After four months some brothers were returning to Britain for a few months and they asked him to come with them. He refused saying,

“What is there for me to do in the lands of the disbelievers?”

He was a very quiet and calm brother, funny at the same time, and he loved guarding his brothers from the mountains in the snow and cold weather. A very fast learner of Islaam and the Arabic language, he loved to practice all of the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (peace be upon him). He used to sleep on his right hand side in a crouched position and would pray all night long and fast most of the days. The commander Aboo al-Haarith (rahmatullah ‘alyhi) said about him:

“All of us knew that brother Daawood will be the next Shaheed among us, as he was getting higher and higher and higher in his Eemaan and Taqwaa.”

The night before the operation Daawood had a dream in which he saw himself running in a place that had palaces on either side. He asked, “Who do these houses belong to?” and it was said to him, “These are the houses of the Shuhadaa’.” He asked, “Where is the house of Aboo Ibraaheem?” (A Turkish brother, whose story follows next) A voice said to him, “The house of Aboo Ibraaheem is over there.” And so, in the dream Daawood began to run towards the house of his friend Aboo Ibraaheem and then while doing so he fell down (in the dream), after which he awoke from his sleep.

In the morning there was a large operation against the Croats; during this operation, while he was running in the same manner as he had seen in his dream, he was killed with a single shot to the heart. He fell down and his body rolled down to the Croat bunkers below.

After three months his body was returned to the Mujaahideen as new; it was bleeding and smelling of musk and his body was found crouched on the right hand side.

Aboo al-Muslim at-Turkiyy (1993, age 51)

He was a Turkish brother who lived all his life in Britain but who lived the life of a disbeliever. He was married to an English woman and he did not pray or practice anything from Islaam. Then Allah (the Almighty) guided him to the straight path. He then heard about the situation in Bosnia and said to himself,

“I should go to Bosnia and I must repent to Allah and I must fight against the Serbs as maybe Allah will forgive me for all that I have done in the past.”

In one operation against the Croats, the Ameer did not pick him due to his old age. Aboo Muslim began to cry, not weep, but he began to wail like a baby until in this way he forced the Ameer to let him take part in the operation. He was shot by a dumdum bullet in his arm that broke his bone. Due to this, metal had to be placed in his arm for a period of six months. Aboo Muslim used to exercise his arm a lot and after forty-five days, the doctor said that he could now remove the metal.

Everyone was surprised that how could the metal be removed after only forty-five days. Before one of the large operations of the Croats, he saw a dream in which he saw Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) and so Aboo Muslim began to kiss his feet. Rasoolullah said to him, “Do not kiss my feet.” Then he began to kiss his hands. Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) said to him, “Do not kiss my hands.” Then Rasoolullah asked him, “What do you want, Aboo Muslim?” Aboo Muslim replied,

“O Rasoolullah, please make du’a for me that tomorrow in the operation I am killed Shaheed.”

Before the operation, the Ameer (Commander) Aboo al-Haarith (rahmatullah ‘alyhi) was picking the people to take part in this operation. He refused to let Aboo al-Muslim take part on the grounds that he was still injured and had not yet recovered. A brother that was present at that time said,

“I swear to Allah that Aboo al-Muslim cried and cried like a baby and he said to the Ameer, ‘Fear Allah, and I will hold you responsible on the day of Judgment.’ The brother said to him, ‘Do not shout and cry so loud as the enemy may hear you!” Aboo al-Muslim replied, ‘By Allah! If you do not put me in the operation Aboo al-Haarith, I will cry so loudly that the whole country will hear me.’ He said to the Ameer, ‘Put me in the operation, even if at the back as the last one in this operation.’ The Ameer said to him, ‘Are you sure, I will put you right at the back?’ He said, ‘Put me anywhere in the operation, right at the back. But include me in this operation.’ And so Aboo al-Muslim went and took part in this operation and even though he was right at the very back, the course of the fighting changed so that the back became the front and he was the second one killed in the operation by bullets in his heart.

His body was returned by the Croats after three months along with his brother from England, Daawood. It was smelling of musk and no change had come over his body. All the brothers who were there witnessed that his body had become even more beautiful and white since the last time they saw it.

Imraan at-Turki (1992)

He was a Turkish brother of American nationality and was the Ameer for all the brothers from Turkey in the frontline base camp of Bosnia. He used to go and listen to the Dars in the house of the Arab Mujaahideen and return to his Turkish brothers and give them the same Dars. He was very humble and pious. He used to search the streets looking for Bosnian orphans so that he could give them money and take care of them because at that time the Christian aid organizations were sneaking the Muslim orphans into Europe and selling them there so as to make them into disbelievers. He then heard of a Jihaad operation in a Serbian held town called “Ilyaash”. He went and joined his brothers in this operation and he was shot in the stomach five times while he was shouting:

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest).

Many brothers testified to the smile that was found on his face when his body was found.

Aboo Khaalid al-Qatari (1993)

He was a member of the Qatar National Handball Team and came to Bosnia at the end of 1992. He used to love doing double-guard duty shifts for four hours in the cold weather. He was a very humble and very pious brother. He was of black descent, but the brothers described his face as being like a glowing lamp because of the shine and Noor (light) on his face. He had two large marks of prostration on his forehead due to prolonged prostration as he used to pray all night long. Once he was asked, “When will you return back to your home country?” And he replied,

“I want to be Shaheed here.”

Before one operation against the Croats, as soon as he was picked by the Ameer, he said to the brother next to him,

“Inshaa’Allah, this time Allah will take me as Shaheed.”

As he was travelling in a car with five other brothers, of them Wahyuddeen Misri -the Ameer of the Mujaahideen (rahmatullah alyhi), they took a wrong turning and ventured seven kilometers into enemy territory. The Croats shot at the car with anti-aircraft weapons… All of the five brothers got out and fought until they were killed. After two months, when their bodies were returned to the Mujaahideen, the brothers were able to identify four of them but they could not identify the body of Aboo Khaalid al-Qatari.

When the Bosnian army general said to them, “This is your last man”, they looked at the body and saw that the body was that of a white person with a white face and they replied, “This is not our man.” Upon looking carefully at this body, they pulled down his shirt; from below the neck downwards, it was black. They pulled up his sleeves, and they found that above the elbows, the skin was black and below the elbows, it was white. Then they pulled up his trousers where they found that his feet were white, but the skin above his ankles was black. One of the brothers commented by mentioning, as the Hadeeth of Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) goes, about the signs of the believers on the Day of Resurrection,

“The marks of Wudhoo’ were shining white on the body of Aboo Khaalid al-Qatari.”

*In the above statement, the hadeeth that the brother was referring to is the following:

Aboo Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) went to Baqi` and said, “May you be secured from punishment, O dwellers of the abode of the believers! We, Allah willing, will follow you. I wish we see my brothers.” The Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah! Are not we your brothers?” Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) said, “You are my Companions, but my brothers are those who have not come into the world yet.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! How will you recognize those of your Ummah who are not born yet?” Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) said: “Say, if a man has white-footed horses with white foreheads among horses which are pure black, will he not recognize his own horses?” They said: “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah!” Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) said: “They (my followers) will come with bright faces and white limbs because of Wudhoo’, and I will arrive at the Al-Kauthar ahead of them.” (Saheeh Muslim,)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “On the Day of Resurrection, my followers (Ummah) will be summoned ‘Al-Ghurr Al-Muhajjaloon’ from the traces of Wudhoo’.” (Al-Bukhari) Imaam an-Nawawee explains these terms:

“The word “Ghurr” is the plural of “Agharr” which means shining or white. It is used for animals (like a horse), i.e., a white mark on its face. Here, it refers to that radiance which will issue from the brows of the believers on the Day of Resurrection and which will make them prominent. Muhajjaloon is from Tahjeel which also means whiteness but it is used for that whiteness which is found on all the four or at least on three legs of a horse. Here, it refers to that light which will shine through the hands and feet of the believers because of their habit of performing Wudhoo’. This means that the believers among the Muslims will be distinguished from other communities by virtue of the radiance issuing from their faces, hands and feet on the Day of Resurrection in the same way that a horse with a white forehead is easily distinguished from other horses.”


Because of this, the illustrious companion, Aboo Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) advised,

“Whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Wahyuddeen Misri (1993)

A very experienced fighter and trainer from Afghanistan, he came to Bosnia at the very start of the war with his two brothers, Usamuddeen and Mu’taz from Peshawar. He was the Ameer (Leader, Head) of the Mujaahideen (Islamic Fighters) in Bosnia, a very professional soldier and very military minded. He was also very pious and very humble, although he was the Ameer. After the prisoner exchange in 1993, once a United Nations arbitrator asked to shake his hand, he refused by saying,

“I do not shake hands with the disbelievers.”

He was a very brave brother and after this prisoner exchange he said to his people,

“After this day, any Mujaahid that is captured by the Croats must fight until he is killed and not allow himself to be captured.”

Two weeks later he was in the same car as Aboo Khaalid al-Qatari (rahmatullah ‘alyhi) when they went into enemy territory and were ambushed by the Croats. He got out with his brothers and fought until he was killed. When his body was returned to the Mujaahideen after spending three months under the ground, it was still bleeding.

Aboo Bakr al-Libbi (1995)

kabahshareefThis brother was of impeccable character, loving his brothers and not holding any grudges. He was also sincere in his works.

This brother was on guard duty when, by Allah’s Decree, a rocket landed right next to him. The shuffle went straight into his neck and he died shortly afterwards, within five to twenty minutes.

The brothers then buried him, not knowing which direction the Qiblah was. This is why they accidently buried him in the wrong direction, although the body has to be buried facing the Qiblah. So after a month the Shaykh said that they would have to dig him up and bury him in the right direction. The land in Bosnia is more waterlogged than the land in Britain. After a month, as they dug his grave, they found that his body was still intact and was not smelling rotten at all. Blood was still coming out from the wound in his neck. This is amazing, as dead Serbs at that time, just after one hour, would start to smell so much that one cannot even approach their bodies. After only a day they would become black; a white person would become as black as charcoal. After a week the skull would already become visible – and these bodies are on top of the ground. This brother was buried under the ground and he was completely intact!

Aboo Mujaahid al-Britaani, from Britain (10th Sep 1995, age 25)

An engineering graduate from a London university; he chose not to enter into employment after he graduated, instead he chose to be employed by Allah. It was the second year into the Bosnian war and there was a lot of shouting and screaming still going on in the Muslim community in Britain.

Aboo Mujaahid, however, was one who firmly believed that actions speak louder than words. He made his first journey to Bosnia in 1993 in an aid convoy carrying supplies of food and medicine. Over the next two years, Aboo Mujaahid hurried back and forth between Bosnia and Britain carrying valuable supplies to the brothers there. Between trips he travelled the lands of Britain reaching its smallest parts in his efforts to raise money for the cause and increase awareness amongst the Muslims there. In the summer of 1995 he postponed his marriage arrangements so as to go and fight in Bosnia. For the last two years he had been helping with aid work and now he realized that aid work without fighting was a lost cause. He arrived in Bosnia, August 1995, and joined the training camp of the Mujaahideen soon after that. One brother tells of his time at the training camp:

“Aboo Mujaahid was a brother with long hair and he had a very lively character. He was also a very generous brother and was the type of person that if any brother was in a bad mood or if brothers were feeling down for some reason, he would come and cheer them all up. He had a habit of saying, ‘Jayyid Jiddan’ (Very Good) and so the brothers, as a joke, nicknamed him ‘Aboo Jayyid Jiddan’. But he replied,

‘No, at the moment I am Aboo Jayyid (Father of Good) and when I go to the frontline then Allah Willing, I will be ‘Aboo Jayyid Jiddan’ (Aboo Very Good).’

Once I saw him praying in the Masjid and I noticed with how much concentration he was making his prayer. There was much Noor and much shine in his face. While training in the camp he performed excellently during shooting and throwing grenades.

We would sit down and learn some Du’as (Supplications) in the training camp between Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ and there was one particular Du’a that he liked very much and so he asked me to write it down for him in both Arabic and English and so I did so. This Du’a was one that Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) used to say:


Yaa Muqallib al-Quloob! Thabbit Qalbee ‘Alaa Deenik

“O you who turns (i.e. controls) the hearts! Make my heart firm on your Deen.” (Ibn Maajah)

He liked this Du’a so much that he went away, learnt it and memorized it.

He had an injury so he left the training day for a day or two to have it seen to and then he came back. When he returned his face was shining and he said that this Du’a had done so much for him, that he liked this Du’a, it was an excellent Du’a and it helped him so much. I once asked him, ‘How long are you going to stay here in Bosnia?’ and he replied,

‘I will stay here until either we get victory or I am martyred.’

One thing which was strange about him was that he always used to say, thinking back I remember about three, four, five times a day,

‘Allah Willing, I am going to be martyred, Inshaa’Allah this time in Bosnia I am going to be martyred.’

Now, we didn’t think much of it as it was everyone’s wish to be martyred. But he used to say it all the time and he used to say it assured. Aboo Mujaahid went to the frontline base camp despite a knee injury; over there, he gave away whatever he had left of his possession, like his stereo player and clothes. It seemed like he knew that he was going to be killed. He was miraculously chosen to be in one of the attacking groups, when normally only the most experienced and well-trained brothers are chosen for these groups.

The battle began early in the morning of Sunday 10th of September, 1995. During the initial attack, one brother recalled seeing Aboo Mujaahid sitting down beside a log and shouting,

‘Laa Ilaaha Illa Allah (There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah)’.

The brother then ran off towards the Serb bunkers; Allah bestowed a great victory upon the Mujaahideen and after two days the victorious groups began returning to the frontline base camp. Amidst the celebrations of the victory, Aboo Mujaahid was nowhere to be seen. The brothers assumed that he was still on the mountains with one of the guarding groups. Three days went by, four days, five days, six days and even the guarding groups returned. Then everyone became concerned. On the eighth day after the operation Aboo Hammaam, commander of the frontline base camp, sent a search party of brothers to look for Aboo Mujaahid. One brother who was in that search party describes what happened,

“The commander Aboo Hammaam (rahmatullah ‘alyhi) chose nine of us to go and look for Aboo Mujaahid. After the operation all the groups had come back and it was known who had been killed but the only news that we did not know of was where Aboo Mujaahid was. So, eight days had gone past and everyone in the camp was worried about what could have happened to Aboo Mujaahid. Maybe the Serbs had caught him, or maybe he is just lost in the mountains? Everyone had different thoughts in their minds, but personally I wasn’t sure what to think, ‘Where could Aboo Mujaahid be? Maybe he fell behind in the battle because he had an injury in his leg about three or four days before the operation started?’ So I thought, ‘Maybe he is sitting on the mountain somewhere. Or maybe he’s been captured?’ But we always hoped for the best. So we went to the bottom of the mountain by truck and walked the area where the battle had taken place. All the while, the brothers were thinking, ‘What state will Aboo Mujaahid be in?’ They were saying, ‘When we find Aboo Mujaahid, we are going to make Sujood and ask him, ‘O Aboo Mujaahid! Why didn’t you come to us in our dreams?’

Anyway, we carried on and reached the next bunker. It was then, five steps later that we noticed a body lying face down on the floor and it had a green scarf on, like the one Aboo Mujaahid used to wear. Its right arm was stretched in front of it and the index finger of its right hand was pointing up straight, just like we do in prayer. I was maybe the sixth person to get there. When I got there I saw the brothers standing around him and I had to ask the brothers, ‘Is he dead or alive?’ because I honestly could not tell if he was dead or alive because of the state that he was in. He had peace about him, even though he was lying face down, it didn’t look like he was dead. His right index finger was raised and he was holding his scarf in his other hand. He still had his rucksack on his back and his gun was lying on the floor next to him. He had been shot by a single bullet that went straight through his heart. When we picked up Aboo Mujaahid, his body was light. It wasn’t heavy and his skin was still soft. So we turned him over and put his body on a stretcher before carrying him down to the bottom of the mountain. At that point the thought that went through my mind was that the brother had been there less time than I was there in Bosnia and he intended to stay much longer than me. But only Allah knew what good he had done for him to die in such a beautiful way and these thoughts are still in our minds.”

Another brother who was in the base camp when the body of Aboo Mujaahid was brought back recalls,

“It was ‘Asr time and I was just coming back from making Wudhoo’ and I was thinking all along in my mind that what might have happened to Aboo Mujaahid. That maybe he has been captured by the Serbs? Maybe he has been injured and he is lying somewhere. Just then I saw a van and a crowd of brothers were around the van, looking through the windows. Then I knew that they had found Aboo Mujaahid. Now, as I approached the van, I smelt a very strong smell, a strong smell of perfume and this smell was out of this world. It wasn’t like anything that I had ever smelt before in my life. Commander Aboo Hammaam only allowed the British brothers to go inside the van and to see the body of Aboo Mujaahid. I went inside and I saw his body, I was unsure whether it was him at first but then I saw his watch and his American army boots and I recognized and I knew that it was Aboo Mujaahid. His body was soft, I felt it; his scarf was in one hand and on his right hand his index finger was straight, pointing up. There was dirt all over his long hair, as was expected because he had been on the mountain in rain and shine for approximately eight days.”

Six days before his body was found, Aboo Mujaahid’s sister, who was in London, saw him in a dream lying down with a white sheet covering him. A number of months later, another brother, who was a close friend of Aboo Mujaahid in the training camp, saw him in another vision. The brother describes,

“It was before Fajr time that I saw this dream. I saw myself meeting Aboo Mujaahid, so I walked up to him and I was very happy to see him. I embraced him and then I noticed that his hair was nice, clean, long and shiny. So I put my hand in his hair and began to stroke it. Whilst I was doing that I remembered when I saw his body in real life, and all the dirt and mud that was on his hair. I asked him, “How are you Aboo Mujaahid?” He replied, “I am Shaheed (have been martyred)”. Then I asked him, “What is the martyrdom like? How are you?” and he replied, “The paradise is so much fun and we are enjoying ourselves so much and we are so happy here.” He repeated the word enjoyment about three times. Just then I remembered that if he is Shaheed, then he will also know about Sayyaad (another brother who had been killed). So I asked him, “How is Sayyaad? Do you have any news about Sayyaad?” Then Aboo Mujaahid said to me, “Yes, Sayyaad is Shaheed as well.”

The above incidences, and many like it, should remind us of the fact that the Sahaabah, who had been martyred in the way of Allah (Almighty) and were in al-Barzakh, longed to tell their brothers who had not died regarding the honor which was prepared for the martyrs.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When your brothers were martyred at Uhud, Allah placed their souls inside green birds which drink from the rivers of Paradise, eat of its fruits and seek shelter in lamps of gold which are suspended in the shade of the Throne. When they saw how good their food, drink and abode were, they said:

‘Who will tell our brothers about us, that we are alive in Paradise and being amply provided for, so that they will not turn away from Jihaad or abandon war?’ Allah, may He be Exalted, said,

‘I will tell them about you.’” (Ahmad, Aboo Daawood and al-Hakeem. This Hadeeth has been classed as Saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani.)

The following is a short video proving that people who are killed in the way of Allah are found smiling, even though they are scientifically regarded as dead!

For further information and more incidents like this, you can refer to the following articles:

Miracles of the Martyrs by Muhammad Lujain az-Zain

Indeed! our Lord (Almighty) spoke the truth when He said,

{Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allâh as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision.} (Aal-‘Imraan, 169.)


More articles in Death and the Grave:

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