Allah granted special hearing to His beloved, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ so that he would hear what others could not.
It is narrated from Abū Dharr that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘I see what you do not see, I hear what you do not hear. Heaven squeaks and it is right to do so. There is not a place in, not even the space of four fingers, except that it contains an Angel prostrating its head on the floor. I swear by Allah, if you knew what I knew, you would laugh less and cry more.’ [Ibn Mājah 4190]
It is narrated with a fair chain from ʿAbd-Allah ibn ʿAbbās: ‘The Prophet ﷺ was with the Archangel Gabriel on Mount Ṣafā. He ﷺ said: ‘O Gabriel, I swear by the One who sent you with the Truth, the family of the Prophet ﷺ does not even have a handful of wheat nor any bread.’ He hadn’t even finished his speech and he heard a screech which startled him. He ﷺ asked: ‘Has Allah commanded the Day of Reckoning to start?’ Gabriel said, ‘No, rather He commanded Israfil to descend with the keys to the Treasures of the Earth, and He commanded me to offer you, whether you would like the mountains of Tihama to be transformed into emeralds and rubies, or gold and silver. If you wish, be a Prophet-King and if you wish, be a Prophet-Servant.’
Gabriel indicated to him that he should choose the humble path. And he ﷺ replied, ‘I would rather be a Prophet-Servant and if I had said Prophet-King, then the mountains would have turned into Gold for me.’ [al-Bayhaqī, al-Zuhd al-Kabīr 447]
Hearing the Torment of the Polytheists
Muslim narrated that Zayd ibn Thābit said: ‘While we were with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in a garden belonging to the Banu Najjār, his mount leapt and almost unseated him. There were five or six graves there, he asked if anyone knew who these graves belonged to. A man said, ‘Yes I do.’ He ﷺ asked when they died and he said they died in a state of polytheism. He ﷺ said: ‘These people are being afflicted in their graves. If it were not for the fact that you would cease to bury your dead, I would have asked Allah to make you hear what I hear from it.’ [Muslim 2867]
He would hear the sounds of the dead being punished and he only stopped the others from hearing it due to fear that they would cease burials altogether.
Hearing the Rock from Hell
Ṭabarānī narrated that Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī said: ‘The Messenger of Allah ﷺ heard a sound which startled him. Gabriel came to him and the Prophet asked him what the sound was and so he replied: ‘This is a rock which fell from the edge of Hell seventy years ago; it is just now that it reached the bottom and Allah wanted you to hear its sound. The Prophet was not seen laughing with his mouth open until Allah took his soul.’’ [al-Ṭabarānī, al-Muʿjam al-Awsaṭ 815]
Hearing the Punishment of Sinners
Ahmad narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: ‘We were walking with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ when we passed two graves. The Prophet ﷺ stopped and stood over them, and I and the other companions stood with him. As we stood there, I noticed the colour of the Prophet’s face change until it was as white as the sleeve of his shirt. We asked him what was wrong, but he replied, ‘You cannot hear what I hear.’ We persisted, and he finally said, ‘These two individuals are being severely punished in their graves for a minor offence.’ We asked him to explain, and he said, ‘One of them was careless in cleaning himself after urinating, and the other caused harm to others through his words, spreading gossip and rumours.’
He then took a branch and broke it in two, and placed it on top of the two graves. The companions asked, ‘O Prophet of Allah ﷺ , why did you do that?’ He replied, ‘So their punishment is lightened. They asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, how long will they be punished?’ He said, ‘This is the unseen which none except Allah knows [and those whom Allah informs]. If it were not for the fact that your hearts would be torn apart and you would scream, you would hear what I hear.’ [Aḥmad, Musnad 22292; Ibn Ḥibbān, Ṣaḥīḥ 831]
al-Ḥusaynī, ʿAbd-Allāh Sirāj al-Dīn; Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūl-Allah p. 51-55
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