Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 month ago

Qur'an 27:80-81 say: "Thou dost not make the dead hear; nor dost thou make the deaf hear the call when they turn their backs; nor canst thou guide the blind away from their error. Thou canst only make hear those who believe in Our signs and are submitters."

Some exegetes take this verse metaphorically, to mean that you cannot make a person who is dead in their heart to understand the call to the truth. Not that it is literally saying that it impossible for people who are physically deceased to hear anything from the living world. 

This seems to better fit with the context of the verses which are about how the Prophet (S) cannot force people to listen to or accept his message; the main idea of the verses is not about physical death and the deceased.

A similar idea in the Qur'an is: "Have they not journeyed upon the earth, that they might have hearts by which to understand or ears by which to hear? Truly it is not the eyes that go blind, but it is hearts within chests that go blind (22:46)." That is, it is not about physical blindness but rather a metaphorical blindness.

God knows best.