One of my friends holds that the Holy Prophet (sws) is dead. He is no more in this world. We should not pray to Allah with his reference. For example we cannot say: O God, please forgive me because of your beloved Prophet (sws). He says we should plead to Allah directly. Mohammad (sws) is dead and the dead have no value. This is unacceptable and heartrending to me. Please explain how he can be rebutted.
There is no doubt in that the Prophet (sws) has passed away. It is also clear that there is no such belief in Islam as to seek God's favours through a saint, peer or a Prophet. We can ask God ourselves directly. God says He is nearer to the believer that the jugular vein. It is only total submission to God and complete reliance on Him that makes a prayer worthy in the eyes of God.
It is not befitting for a believer to say that the Prophet (sws) is dead and the dead have no value. We should say that the Prophet (sws) has passed away but we still enjoy the blessings God granted us through him especially in the form of the religion of truth, Islam which we follow and hope to enter God's blessings in the next world.