Saying salām whether loudly or quietly does not
mean that the dead are listening to this greeting. It is just a prayer from
the living for the dead. We just imagine the dead person before our eyes and
talk to him as if he were before us -- whereas he is actually not. This is our
common practice whenever we deeply recall a dead person even while sitting at
home, isn’t it?
It is evident from the Qur'ān that once a person dies
his spirit goes to a place beyond the barrier of Barzakh to a place whose
details we know very little of:
Before them is a partition (Barzakh) until the Day of
Immediately after death, a soul comes to know whether he
shall be among the dwellers of Heaven or of Hell. If he is to enter Heaven, he
is treated in a grand style and shown his final residing place in Heaven. If
he is to enter Hell, he is treated as criminals are before receiving their
punishments and shown his dwelling place in Hell. This is a kind of a mental
torture for him.
Both these treatments have been referred to in the
Hadīth literature as being given within the grave. Actually, in all such
Ahādīth, the word `grave’ signifies the world beyond the partition of Barzakh.