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Refuting the Falsehood of Prophets' Dead Bodies Never Decomposed

Refuting the Falsehood of Prophets' Dead Bodies Never Decomposed

Published in Arabic in September 24, 2016

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy


 Firstly: controversies and falsehoods around the subject in hadiths:

1- Three major narrators of the so-called hadiths (i.e., sayings ascribed falsely to Prophet Muhammad decades after his death and accumulated and increased with the passage of centuries), Al-Nisaa'i, Abou Dawood, and Ibn Maja, had written in their hadiths-books that the earth/ground is not allowed to decompose dead bodies of prophets after their burial; the three narrators claimed that Prophet Muhammad had said that ("… Friday is the best day every week, for it was a Friday when Adam was created, a Friday when he died, a Friday when the Day of Resurrection will occur … Glorify my name a lot on Fridays, as your good deeds and glorification of me will be watched by me always on Fridays after my death …". They said: O Prophet of God! How come you will watch over our good deeds and our glorification of you when your body will have been decomposed after burial? … Muhammad replied to them: God has ordered the earth never to allow decomposition of prophets' dead bodies, peace be upon them all …). Of course, such a falsehood is against science and reason and it is contradicted by the Quran; yet, it led to controversies and debates revolving another topic: Does the dead bodies of holy sanctified men, or saints, decompose or not?!

2- Of course, other historians/narrators had refuted and rejected such nonsensical notion by authoring other stories or fabricated hadiths such as the following one: (… Al-Abbas, the paternal uncle of Prophet Muhammad, entered Muhammad's room three after his death, before his burial, as his body remained there for three days as the people were too busy to bury him, as all of them were engaged in debates of Al-Thaqeefa Council of choosing a ruler/caliph of Yathreb to succeed him. Once Al-Abbas entered the room, he put his hands at once at his nose, and said to the gathered men outside: "Bury your friend Muhammad fast, for his body began decomposition just like the rest of human beings" …) 


Secondly: the decisive, final view on the subject from the Quran:

1- Prophets of God are mortal human beings like the rest of us; God says in the Quran that prophets were not immortal beings, but they had bodies that entailed eating food: "We did not send before you except men, whom We inspired. Ask the people of knowledge, if you do not know. We did not make them mere bodies that ate no food, nor were they immortal." (21:7-8).

2- The 100% human nature of all prophets was the pretext used by the arrogant sinful affluent ones to reject the Truth that was conveyed by mortals like them who ate, urinated, and defecated. Such pretext was used by all disbelievers in all eras and locations, and prophets in all eras and locations responded by asserting their being human beings like their peoples to whom God had sent. Let us contemplate these Quranic verses: "…They said, "You are only humans like us; you want to turn us away from what our ancestors worshiped; so bring us a clear proof." Their messengers said to them, "We are only humans like you…" (14:10-11).

3- This is repeated in the Quranic story of Noah: "But the notables of his people, who disbelieved, said, "This is nothing but a human like you…" (23:24). This is repeated in the Quranic story of Hud: "But the dignitaries of his people, those who disbelieved and denied the meeting of the Hereafter, and We had indulged them in the present life, said, "This is nothing but a human like you; he eats what you eat, and he drinks what you drink." (23:33). This verse is about Arab disbelievers and their rejection of the Quranic message conveyed by Muhammad, the Seal of Prophets: "…Is this anything but a mortal like you? Will you take to sorcery, with open-eyes?" (21:3).

4- Therefore, each prophet asserted his being a mortal human creature; God has commanded Muhammad in the Quran to say this to his people: "Say, "I am only a human being like you…" (41:6). "Say, "I am only a human being like you…" (18:110).

5- Consequently, all prophets from Adam until Jesus and Muhammad died just like all other dead people and all human beings who will die later on; all of them were mortals. God says the following about Muhammad: "Muhammad is no more than a messenger. Messengers have passed on before him. If he dies or gets killed, will you turn on your heels?..." (3:144). God says the following in the Quran to Muhammad: "You will die, and they will die." (39:30). This means that both Muhammad and his contemporaries and foes were equal in death like the rest of the souls of human beings in the past, present, and future: "Every soul will have a taste of death, and you will receive your recompense on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is swayed from the Fire, and admitted to Paradise, has won. The life of this world is merely enjoyment of delusion." (3:185). "Every soul will taste death. We burden you with adversity and prosperity-a test. And to Us you will be returned." (21:35). "Every soul will taste death. Then to Us you will be returned." (29:57).

6- God says the following in the Quran about the fate of the Earth and those living on it: "Everyone upon it is perishing. But will remain the Presence of your Lord, Full of Majesty and Splendor." (55:26-27). Thus, all prophets, non-prophets, good people, bad people, sinners, pious ones, arrogant ones, weak ones, strong ones, etc. are mortals who end up into dust, and the Earth itself will be destroyed in the Last Day along with the universe, and the Only Immortal is Almighty God. God says to Muhammad: "And put your trust in the Living, the One who never dies; and celebrate His praise. He suffices as the All-Informed Knower of the faults of His creatures." (25:58).    


Thirdly: the meaning of death of all human beings, including prophets:

1- Death means that souls return to Barsakh and bodies decompose into cadaver/corpse that eventually will turn into dust and hollow bones. Therefore, Muhammad was a body and a soul that used to eat food and walk into the markets. Upon his death, his soul returned to Barsakh and his body decomposed after being buried, just like all mortals. This natural process applies to all bodies indiscriminately, and it makes no difference if the body was a prophet's or a sinner's.   

2- God in the Quran says the following about the Earth: "From it We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will bring you out another time." (20:55). The human body is created from natural substances found inside earth soil, and by death, such natural substances return back again to earth soil, and all humanity will be resurrected from earth in the Day of Judgment. Planet Earth will be destroyed in the Last Day and the dead will be resurrected from it together at once, while an immortal Earth will be created to receive light of its Lord and Creator: "And when the earth is leveled out and casts out what is in it and becomes empty and hearkens to its Lord as it must" (84:3-5). 

3- Human bodies are created from dust and water: i.e., mud. Men and women eat animals and plants and breathe oxygen. Digested food turns into energy and proteins that renew human body cells and that form semen and ovum, and when both semen and ovum meet, an embryo is formed. This embryo is feed to grow inside the womb and by childbirth, the baby gets out of the womb to eat and drink as a human being whose body grows up until it dies. Within any human being's lifetime, he or she would have consumed a certain amount of water, food, and oxygen. and the human body receives water, food, and oxygen within eating, drinking, and breathing and pass out air and waste via defecation, urination, sweating, and breathing. All human beings die eventually, and their soul return to Barsakh, while bodies decompose into the natural substances like dust, water, gases, etc. Records of God register all elements consumed by a given human being and what its body fives back to Earth while decomposition; God says that in the Quran to refute views of those who reject and deny resurrection from body dust: "When we have died and become dust? This is a farfetched return." We know what the earth consumes of them, and with Us is a comprehensive book." (50:3-4).       


Fourthly: a quoted excerpt about decomposition of all human bodies of prophets and non-prophets:

1-Coldness of death: this sign occurs directly after one's death, as body temperature decrease quickly within the rate of 1 or 2 Celsius degrees per hour until the body temperature will be equal to the room temperature. Such lowered body temperature is one of the proofs of death.  

2- Body color turning blue: one of the body parts turns blue, a process resulting from deposition of blood in the dangling part of the body, within 3 to 6 hours after death. Forensic medical doctors, who are investigating crimes, rely on that sign to determine the timing of death of a person and to know if the body has been moved or not from its original place. This sign occurs because the heart muscles stopped working and blood stopped circulating through the body.    

3- Hardening of the body: this sign is resulting from lack of circulating blood into body muscles, and thus they harden and do not move. The dead body reaches the highest level of hardening 12 hours after death.

4- Accumulation of insects: this sign indicates an advanced stage of decomposition as its pace quickens to include the whole corpse, when aerobic microorganisms begin to consume oxygen of the corpse quickly and make the corpse an environment ready for the spread and reproduction of anaerobic microorganisms. Within this stage of quick decomposition, certain insects lay their eggs in body orifices like genitals, ears, nose, mouth, etc., and soon enough, eggs hatch to produce millions of larvae that feed on the corpse and are attracted to the corpse by the odors it reeks. Within forensic entomology, the number and types of insects help to know the timing of death.     

5- Body swelling: this sign occurs in the abdomen and intestines area of the body and the body swells as different microorganisms and insects reproduce inside it in great numbers, and the body is filled with gases like methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide.  

6- Self-decomposition: a process resulting from the self-destruction of cells in the corpse. Signs of self-composition: greenish marks appear within the abdomen area after the passage of one full day after death, blood vessels grow bigger in the chest and abdomen areas, and eyes change as cornea turns opaque. A2-5 days after death, swelling grows bigger in the abdomen area and scrotum area, froth gets out of the nose and the mouth mixed with blood. Greenish dots spread over the abdomen and chest areas, and gases accumulate underneath the skin, causing the swelling of the whole body and face. The eyes protrude and the tongue gets out, while facial features disappear, and gases inside the corpse produce nauseating odors.     

7- decomposed body parts within 5-10 days after death: skin, body hair, nails, and then all cells of the corpse as countless microbes, microorganisms, insects, and worms feed on it. this process is called active decay that decompose all body parts beyond recognition.

8- After total decomposition of the corpse, bones take longer time to decompose within months or even years as factors like per burial places, temperature, depth of burial place, pressure on corpse, etc. for instance, in cold areas skeletons do not decompose, while they decompose fast within one month in tropical areas.   

9- The process of decomposition of dead creatures is vital to make life continue on Earth; it makes soil fertile by elements necessary for growing plants, and it prevents corpses from covering the surface of the planet since the first dead creature until now. Hence, the process of decomposition helps food chains in nature and lowers the rates of pollution and illnesses resulting from accumulation of unburied corpses. Hence, elements return to nature in water, air and soil to be used again.   



1- This decomposition process occurred to the corpse of Prophet Muhammad more than 1400 years ago and to all corpses of prophets before him as well thousands years ago. This decomposition process occurred to all historical figures deified and sanctified by people: pre-Umayyad caliphs, Prophet Muhammad's family, progeny, and grandchildren, all imams, scholars, clergymen, theologians, the so-called saints, patriarchs, popes, monks, nuns, pharaohs, tyrants, the arrogant ones, the weak ones, princes, poor and rich people, etc. all human bodies decompose, decay, and turn into dust and a heap of bones. In burial tombs in Egyptian villages, all relatives of the same extended family are buried together and old bones are moved away into a corner of the tomb to allow room for more dead bodies, as bones linger for longer times while the rest of the bodies turn to dust. Sadly, the recurrence of death of others does not influence but few people to take heed to prepare for their coming death, and what is beyond it, by piety and good deeds as well as acceptable faith. If all human beings learn such lessons and prepare for death by leading a pious life and remember always that they are mortals, sins and evils might have vanished from our planet.      

2- From the falsehoods and fabrications of Al-Azhar: in 1985, we were being tried in the inquisition-like interrogation in the Cairo-based Al-Azhar University, because of our book titled "Prophets in the Quran: An Analytical Study", as we has written in it that all dead bodies of prophet decomposed and decayed like other dead bodies of all human beings, refuting the myth of their bodies being intact. Azharite scholars (including Sheikh M. Sayed Tantawi, the grand Mufti at the time and later on head of Al-Azhar) who interrogated us considered this view to be apostasy and a heretic notion! 

3- From the falsehoods and fabrications of Al-Azhar: within books of jurisprudence (i.e., Fiqh) studied by us when we were an Azharite secondary school student, we have read that ancient scholars prohibited the burial of a woman in a tomb containing strange dead men; i.e., men that are not the woman's husband, sons, brothers, father, make relatives, etc. As if in their sick minds they feared that those strange dead men might be brought back to life and have sex with the resuscitated corpse of the dead woman!

4- Such Azharite people who has been teaching such funny myths and falsehoods are indeed like a herd of cattle!

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