Salam at the Graveyard

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Q.) Why and who do we address our salaam when we say salaam at graveyard (As-sa-laa-mu 'a-lai-ka, ya ah-lal ku-boor...........!! as per sunnah) although there is nobody around, i.e. dwellers of the graves are dead, their souls live in aalam al-burzakh? It is said that the word ya in Arabic is used as harf al nida, to call or address someone who can hear, i.e. second person in grammar. For example: ya walad, ya rajul, ya Zaid (if they are within audible range) and ya Allaah. We can not even say ya rasool (peace be upon him) as he has departed this world and he could not hear us when we call. Please explain for our education the background, the underlying logic, the intent, etc. of the salaam at the graveyard. [Salim]

A.) The greeting upon entering the graveyard was the practice of our beloved Rasul, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. The word, 'you' in the greeting in Arabic is used for Nidaa-e-Qareeb as well as Nidaa-e-Ba'eed (call upon some one/thing near or far). Therefore, even if the souls are far (in A'lam-e-Barzakh) it will be appropriate in Arabic to address them with 'Yaa' as well. And Allah Taala Knows Best.