Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)’s saying denote clearly that the dead persons are much alive, although their lives are very different from those of ours. Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallaam) said: “Breaking the bones of the dead person is like breaking the bones whilst he was alive.” [Mishkat]
Once Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw Hadhrat Amr bin Hazm (Radiahallahu Anhu) reclining against a grave and retorted : “Do not trouble the man of the grave. ” [Mishkat]
When a person dies , he enters a world called “Barzakh”, even if he might be buried or cremated. His sense and ability of comprehending remains intact. Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated :
“When the dead body is placed on the bier , and the people carry it towards the graveyard,the virtuous one urges them to move faster, but when, the dead is a sinner, he cries “where is my family members taking me”
He further added,”Every creature, except human beings, hears to his wailings ; if a human being should hear it, he is bound to fall unconscious.” [Bukhari]
What happens to a person between his death and the Day of Qiyamaat is called “Barzakh” which literally means screen and fence.
Since dead bodies are generally buried, the term, “Grave” is generally used for all. Hence even those persons who are cremated or drown remain alive in Barzakh. In reality reward and punishment are related and connected to the soul, and Allaah Ta’aala has the definite power of granting reward and punishment by collecting even the burnt particles and molecules.
Bukhari and Muslim report: A certain person committed numerous sins. On the verge of death, he bequeathed his sons that after his death his body should be burnt to ashes; half of the ashes be spread on the land and the other half be thrown into the sea. Having left this will (testament) he remarked:
“If Allaah overpowers me and He restores me life He will render me the worst and severest punishment ever given to anyone.”
When he died, his sons acted as instructed. Then Allaah Ta’aala ordered the sea to collect all the particles of his body, and the sea complied with His Order, and the land did the same when ordered. After having assembled all the particles He revived him. Later on he was asked:
“Why did you leave such a will?”.
“O Rabb I did so due to your fear,” He submitted.
Thereafter Allaah Ta’aala forgave him.
In another hadith we are informed that the Believers visit each other and enquire about others from those who meet them.Hadhrat Jubair (Radiahallahu Anhu) said:
“When a person dies his offsprings often welcome him, as was done in the world.”
Hadhrat Thabit Banani (Rahmatullah Alayh) should say:
“When a person dies his kith and kin who died, surround him in Barzakh and express their joys and delight more than they did when greeting a person from abroad in the world.” [Ibn Abid’duniya]
Hadhrat Qays bin Qabisa (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated :
“Unbelievers are not permitted to talk with each other ”
Someone enquired whether the dead could speak, he answered :
“Yes, and they also visit each other.” [Ibn Hibban]
Hadhrat Ayesha (Radiahallahu Anha) reported that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“One who is not a Believer is not allowed to talk to the dead.”
“Do the dead speak too?” Someone enquired .
“Yes, of course!” said Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and added. “They also visit each other.”
Hadhrat Umm Basher (Radiahallahu Anhum) reported to have enquired from Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam):
“O Rasul of Allaah! Do the dead persons recognise each other?”
He replied: “The virtuous souls are embodied in green birds in Heaven.”
“Now if the birds could recognise each other why not the souls?”
Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated :
“One who begins learning the Noble Qur’aan and dies without completing it, an angel teaches him the Qur’aan in the grave. Thus he will meet Allaah in a state as if he has learnt the entire Qur’aan by heart.” [Shauq-e-Watan]
Hence those who spend their lives in performing righteous acts and believe in life after death do not love worldly life and prefer death to this life but those who waste their worldly life in evil are afraid of death.
Suliman bin Abdul Malik once asked Abu Hazim (Rahmatullah Alayh):
“Why are we afraid of death?”
“You are afraid because you have beautified the world and discarded the Aakhiraat; thus you dislike to proceed to wilderness, departing from the habitated and beautitified world.” he replied.
” Definitely you spoke the truth indeed!” Suliman acknowledged.
Virtuous and righteous personal are not worried at the concept of death because they firmly hope to have a better life in the next world.
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated : “Man loves his life while death is better for him.” [Baihaqi]
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) further added ; “Man regards death as detestable, although death is better than mischiefs. Thus as soon as he dies, he is secure from the mischiefs of the world.” [Ahmad]
In another hadith, Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has denoted death as a gift for the Believer. [Mishkat]
In brief , death is something very desirable provided the person is righteous and has formulated a good relationship with Allaah. Those persons who live doing good acts prefer death to this worldly abode and desire to depart for the permanent life of peace and comfort, away from this world of sorrow and sufferings.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) one day enquired from someone:
“Where are you going?”
“To the market,” he replied.
“If able , buy and bring death for me.”
That is, he destested life in the world and hence was even ready to possess death by purchasing it.
Hadhrat Khalid bin Madah (Radiahallahu Anhu) says: “If anyone says that the one who touches a particular object first will die.I shall be the first person to touch it . However, it is a different matter if someone superseded me in running and reaching the object.” [Sharh-us-Sudur]
Hadhrat Anas (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated : “Death of a man is like the birth of a child from (the dark and narrow) the womb of a mother to the peace and comfort of the world”. (Tirmidhi).
Allahumma habbibil mauta ilayya wa ila man yalamu anna syedena Muhammadan sallallahu Ta’aala alaihi wa sallama abduka wa rasulika
State of Barzakh
(Interval between Death and Resurrection)
Respect of the believer at the time of and after Death.
Hadhrat Bar’s bin Azib (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports:
“One day we accompanied Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to a graveyard with the bier of an Ansari. When we reached the graveyard we found that the grave was not yet ready. Therefore, Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), sat down and we also followed him and sat down in a manner as if birds were sitting on our heads.”(1)
At that time Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had a stick in his blessed hand and he was scratching the earth with it (as a sad person does). In the meantime he raised his head and observed.
“Seek refuge from the punishment of the grave.” He repeated these words twice or thrice, and then added:
Undoubtedly, when a Believer is about to leave the world and move towards the Aakhiraat, angels whose white faces are bright as the sun approach him from the heavens . They bring a scented heavenly shroud with them. These angels are in such a large quantity that they are visible as far as his eyes could see. Thereafter Hadhrat Izra’il (the Angel of Death) arrives and sits down at the head of his bedstead and says:
“O pure and virtuous soul! Proceed to the forgiveness and favour of Allaah Ta’aala.” Thus his soul comes out of his body so easily and smoothly as drops of water come flowing of a water container. Then the Angel of Death takes the soul in his hands and all of them ascend towards the heaven with the scented shroud. Concerning this perfume, Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commented :
“It is like the best musk perfume that could be found on this earth.”
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)further observed:
“When the angels begin ascending towards the heaven, groups of angels coming in the way enquire about the virtuous soul and the angels carrying the soul reply in well-chosen beautiful words revealing that he is the son of so and so. Thus they reach the first level of the heaven and request for the opening of the door. The door is opened and they go with the soul and after crossing one level of heaven after another, reach the seventh one. At this junction Allaah Ta’aala commands that his name be written in the Book of virtuous men and take him back to the earth because He has created man from the earth. I shall take him out from the same earth. Thus, his soul is returned to his body. Thereafter, two angels approach him, make him sit and ask him, “Who is your Rabb?” he replies, “My Rabb is Allaah.” Then they ask him, “Which is your ‘Deen’ (religion)?” He replies, “My ‘Deen’ is Islaam.” Then they ask, “Who is this (man) who was sent to you?” He replies, “This is the Rasul of Allaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).” Thereafter, they ask him, “What is your action ?” He replies, “I recite the Book of Allaah, believe and affirmed that.” At this a proclaimer (of Allaah) proclaims from the heaven, “My servant has spoken the truth”. Thus is spread the Heavenly bed for him, make him wear heavenly garments and fling open the door to heaven for him. Thus the door to heaven is thrown open which brings fragrance of Heaven to him. And his grave is widened so much so that he sees as far as his sight goes.”
Thereafter, a man with a handsome face, fine dress and sweet fragrance comes and informs him the good news that this is the day of which he was promised .”Who are you?” he will ask adding “your face is worthy of seeing and bringing glad tidings .” He will say, “I am your righteous actions .”
After that he says out of utmost joy, “O Rabb! Establish the Day of Qiyamaat-(Resurrection) so that I come in contact with my family and belonging.”
HUMILATION of the UN-BELIEVERS
When the unbelieving person is about to leave the world and proceeds towards the Aakhiraat, black-faced angels come to him from the sky with coarse cloth and sit down in great number. He is able to see as far as his eyesight reaches. It is followed by the arrival of the Angel of Death who sits down at the head of the bedstead and says, “O wicked soul! Come towards the displeasure and wrath of Allah.” Having heard these proclamations of the Angel of Death, his soul starts running and taking refuge here and there in his body. But the Angel pulls it out very roughly and wraps it up in the coarse cloth which is filthy and stinking like the dead and rotten bodies on earth. When the angels ascend to various levels and at each level the bands of the angels comment , “Who is this wicked one.” They reply. “This is the son of so and so.” The door of heaven also remains closed for him as Allah Ta’aala has said:
“The Gates of heaven shall not be opened for those who have denied and scorned Our Revelations; nor shall they enter Jannat- (Paradise) until a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle.”
Thereafter, Allaah Ta’aala instructs the angels to have his name written in the Book of the Wicked Souls which is at the bottom of the earth. Thereafter, Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) recited the following ayah:
“He who associates others with Allaah is like him who falls from heaven and is snatched away by the birds or carried by the wind to some far-off region.” [Q.22:31]
Thereafter, his soul is returned to his body and two angels come to him, seat him up and ask him, “Who is your Rabb?” He replies. “Alas! I do not know.” He is then asked. “Which is your ‘Deen’?” He again replies, “Alas, I do not know.” He is further asked, “Which is this image?” He replies once again, “Alas, I do not know.” After this question – answer session is over, a proclaimer from the sky proclaims, “He has spoken lies .”(2) Spread fire under his body and fling the door of Hell open for him.” (This order is immediately executed ). He feels the heat and force of Hell. His grave is narrowed so much so that his ribs are pressed so firmly and harshly that they change their positions . Then an ugly man wearing very course and stinking cloth comes to him and says: ” I have very terrifying news for you.” He will ask, “Who are you? Your face shows that you are the bearer of bad news.”
He will reply, “I am you bad actions .”Thus out of fear for the punishment he will say, O Rabb, do not establish the Day of Resurrection.”
According to a narration , when the soul of a Believer leaves his body all the angels from the earth to the sky send their blessings on him and the doors of the Heaven are flung open for him.
But the soul of the Unbelievers is removed out along with his veins and all the angels from the earth to the sky curse him and the doors of the sky are sealed for him. [Mishkat]
Anxiety of the believer for performing Salaat (prayer in the Grave)
Hadhrat Jabir (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated :
“When a Believer is placed in the grave, he feels as if the sun is setting. Thus when his soul is returned he seats himself up and says ( to the angels): ‘Leave me to say Salaat (prayer) first.” [Ibn Majah]
Mulla Ali Qari (Rahmatullah Alayh) writes regarding the above Hadith.
“He feels as if he is still in the world and hence calls upon the angels to leave him to perform Salaat before commencing the question-answer session, otherwise he will miss his Salaat.” Therefore, he adds: “Only that person will utter such words who had been performing Salaat constantly and was always anxious for doing so .”
This is a lesson for the persons who fails to perform Salaat in the world.
Believer’s Fearlessness in the Grave and presentation of Heaven to Him
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated : “When a dead body is placed in the grave it is made to sit without causing fear and the following questions are put to it:
“What was your ‘action ‘ (in the world)?” He replies. “I have embraced Islaam.” He is then asked, “Who is he (according to your Faith)?” He replies, “He is Muhammad, the Rasul of Allaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He came to us with open miracles and we affirmed them.” He is asked again, “Have you seen Allaah?” He replies, “Nobody can see Allaah (How could then I see?)”
Thereafter, a window is opened towards Hell and he looks at Hell and finds that burning flames are eating each other. After that he is told how Allah saved him from the punishment of fire. Then a window is opened which brings the Heaven in sight and he looks at Heaven. Thereupon he is told that this Heaven is his abode because he remained alive on Faith and died on the same Faith and Allaah willing, he will be raised from the grave on the day of Resurrection on the same Faith.
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“The unbelieving person, when made to sit, looks embarrassed in his grace. He is then asked, “Which ‘Deen’ did you follow?” He replies, I do not know.” Thereafter he is asked about Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam: “Who is he (according to your faith)?” He replies, “I have to say what others have said, “Following this he is shown Heaven and views at the Blessings and Boons of Allaah Ta’aala. After that he is told , ” You are deprived of all these because of your disobedience to Allaah. Thereafter the ventilator towards Hell is opened and when he sees terrifying flames eating each other he will be told , “This is your abode. Because you lived in doubt, died in doubt and Allaah willing, you will be raised from your grave on the same belief.”
Angels Informing the Believers to Sleep Like a bride and Pressing of the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites by the Earth.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“When the dead is placed in the grave, two angels, dark-complexioned and blue-eyed turn up; one of them is called ‘Munkir’ and the another ‘Nakir’. Both of them will ask him , “What do you say about him (who was sent to you)?” In case he is a Believer he will say. “He is the servant and the Rasul of Allaah; I bear witness that there is none worthly of worship save Allaah.” Having heard this, they say,” We are sure you will reply like this.” Thereafter his grave is widened seventy cubits and lighted from within. He will then want to go and narrate his condition to his family members. The angels then tell him (he cannot go from there) but to sleep like a bride whom nobody can awake except her husband.”
When the dead person is a hypocrite (or an infidel), he will reply to Munkir and Nakir, “I said what I have heard others say; I know nothing more than that.” The angels will then say, “We were sure that you will reply such.” Thereafter the earth is ordered to punish him by squeezing him . The earth carried out the command and he suffers punishment inside the grave till he is raised from the grave on the Day of Resurrection. [Tirmidhi]
The above ahadith proves it clearly that during the period of Barzakh every person will maintain his senses as he had during his life in the world.
Allaah Ta’aala says:
“Allaah strengthens the Faithful with (His) steadfast Word, both in this life and the Aakhiraat.” [Q. 14:27]
Once Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“O Umar! What will transpire with you when people return after placing you in the grave and pouring earth on you? What would happen to you when the examiners of the grave, with thundering voice and lightning eyes, visit you in the grave? Hadhrat Umar (Radiahallahu Anhu) replied: ‘O Rasulullaah ! Shall I have my consciousness with me then?” Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Yes of course! You will retain your senses as if you have today.” Hearing this Hadhrat Umar (Radiahallahu Anhu) submitted,” I shall then deal with the situation.” [Tabarani]
Dwellers of Barzakh Enquiring from Believer about each Other
Hadhrat Abu Hurrairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“When the angels present the soul of a Believer to those who been there before, they express utmost joy. Thereafter they ask the angel about others. When they are informed about anyone who had already left the mortal world but not yet reached there they become sorrowful because they deduce that he was sent to Hell.” [Ahmad, Nasa’i]
Actions of the Living Presented to the People of Barzakh
Tabarani reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Your deeds and actions are definitely presented to your relatives who have proceeded to the Aakhiraat. If your actions are virtuous, they become delightful and pray to Allaah for your welfare and a happy end. If bad actions are presented, they pray to Allaah for infusing virtues in the heart so that he seeks Your Favour.” [Tabarani]
Graves Presses in comfort the Believers Like Mothers Massaging the Heads of Their Children
Hadhrat Saeed bin Museeb (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that once Hadhrat Ai’sha (Radiahallahu Anhum) submitted to Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam):
“O Rasulullaah ! From the day you have mentioned about the (horrible) voice of ‘Munkir’ and ‘Nakir’ and the pressing of the grave,you have become quite restless.”
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“O Ayesha ! The voice of ‘Munkir’ and ‘Nikir’ will be very sweet to the ears of the believers, and pressing of the Believers by the grave is like the affectionate mother massaging the head of her child with the purpose of comforting and relieving pain. But O’ Ayesha ! Those having doubt in Allaah are doomed and they will be squeezed in the grave like eggs being smashed under the stone.” [Tabarani]
The Earth and Sky loves the believer and Weeps Over His Death
Hadhrat Anas (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated :
“Every person has two doors. From one door his actions ascends and from other his provision descends. When a believer dies , both doors are closed.” [Tirmidhi]
Hadhrat Ibn Umar (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports from Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“When a Believer dies , every part of the graveyard prepares itself for him to be buried in it.” [Ibn Asakir]
Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radiahallahu Anhu) stated :
“When a Believer dies, the earth weeps for him for 40 days.” [Hakim]
Hadhrat Ata al-Kurasani (Rahmatullah Alayh) is reported to have said:
“When a Believer prays in prostration on a piece of land, it will weep after his death and bear witness for him on the Day of Resurrection.”
Reward of the ‘Sadqa-e Jaria’
and Seeking forgiveness by the Children
Hadhrat Abu Umama (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated :
” Definitely , what the Believer receives from his virtuous acts after death are the Ilm- (knowledge) he has spread, the virtuous offsprings he has left, the constructions like the Masjid , inn, canal, and the charities given out from his wealth and property.” [Mishkat]
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Allaah Ta’ala will elevate the status of the Heavenly men in Jannat- (Paradise). He will ask in astonishment , “O’ Allaah! How did I receive such a high status?” Allaah Ta’aala will say, “It is because of your children seeking forgiveness that you have received such a high status.”
According to one tradition some persons will have virtues equal to mountains. They will be astonished as to how did they get so much virtue and would ask about it. Allaah Ta’aala will say: ” These are conferred on you because of your children’s seeking forgiveness.”
Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated :
“A dead body is as helpless in his grave as the drowning man. He keeps waiting for(duaas) supplications from his father, mother, brother and friends . When he receives supplication from anyone, he becomes so delighted as if he has something better than everything on this earth. Definitely , Allaah Ta’ala confers reward on the men in the grave equal to the mountains. Seeking forgiveness by the living is the gift for the dead.” [Mishkat]
The Angel of Death Saying ‘Salaam’ to the Believers
Hadhrat Anas bin Malik (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“When the Angel of Death arrives at the chosen Bondsman of Allaah, he says his ‘Salaam’ to him in these words:
“Be you blessed by Allaah; rise up O’ friend of Allaah and come out of this house which has been destroyed by you (by sacrificing your lusts), and accompany me to the abode which you have filled with (your prayers).” [Sharhas’ Sudur]
Believer’s Refusal to Stay in the World and Receiving Glad Tidings
Hadhrat Ibn Jareeh (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to Hadhrat Ayesha (Radiahallahu Anha):
“When a Believer meets the angels (at the time of death) they ask him, ‘Should we return you to the world?’ Whereupon he says. ‘Do you want me to live in the world of grief and suffering? I do not want to live here; take me immediately to Allaah Ta’aala.” [Ibn Jarir]
Hadhrat Zaid bin Aslam (Radiahallahu Anhu) said:
“At the time of death, angels come to the Believer with the glad tiding and say: ‘Do not be afraid of the place you are going to. Thus, his fear disappears. He is also informed not to become sad at the separation from the world and the worldly people and given the glad tiding of Jannat. Hence he dies in a condition that Allah Ta’aala makes his eye cool in this world.” [Ibn Abi Hatim]
Allaah’s Sermon to the Martyrs
Hadhrat Musraq (Successor of the Companion of the Rasul of Allah) reports: “I wanted to know from Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbas (Radiahalahu Anhu) the explanation of this ‘ayah’:
“You must not think that those who were slain in the cause of Allah as being dead. But are alive, and well provided for by their Rabb.”
Thereupon Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Mas’ud (Radiahallahu Anhu) said:
“I have already come to know the meaning of this ‘ayah’. The souls of the martyrs are embodied in green birds. Lamps are hanging below the throne of Allah for them. These birds roam around the heaven, and return to these lamps. Allaah Ta’ala asked them, “What do you want?” They submitted, “What can we desire since we are free to roam about the entire Jannat- (Paradise).” After this question being repeated thrice, they submit , “We want our soul to be restored to our bodies once again and be killed in the cause of Allah.” Thereupon the repetition of question was stopped. But since going back to the world was against the Law, that will not to happen.” [Muslim]
However the souls of the martyrs are not the only ones to be embodied in green birds, soul of other Believers are also embodied in green birds and roam Heaven.
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Indeed the souls of the Believers rest in the green birds which eat from the trees of the Heaven.” [Mishkat]
Mulla Ali Qari (Rahmatullah Alayhi) writes in the commentary of Miskhaat: “One Hadith mentions that the souls of the Believers, in the bodies of the birds, eat fruit of Heaven and drink water thereof and take rest in the golden lamps under the Throne.”
Pain of Martydom is just Like the biting of the Ant
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The martyr feels pain on being killed as you feel on being bitten by an ant.” [Mishkat]
Details About the Punishment of the Grave
The torment of the grave is a fact. But the Believers and righteous persons experience comfort in the grave while unbelievers and corrupt persons have to bear the brunt of the punishment in the grave. This is proven by ahadith. A Jewess came to Hadhrat Ayesha (Radiahallahu Anha) and mentioned about the torment of the grave and said: “May Allaah save you from the torment of the grave?”
When Hadhrat Ayesha (Radiahallahu Anha) mentioned this to Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he said: “Yes, the torment of the grave is true.” Hadhrat Ayesha (Radiahallahu Anha) says: “From that day on whenever Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) offered his Salat, he sought refuge of Allaah from the torment of the Grave”
Whenever Hadhrat Uthman (Radiahallahu Anhu) should stand near the grave, he would weep so bitterly that his holy beard became drenched with tears. When asked, “Why does he weep so bitterly over the grave whilst he does not weep so at the mention of Heaven or Hell?”. Hadhrat Uthman (Radiahallahu Anhu) replied, “Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“The grave is the first destination among the destinations of the Aakhiraat. If one receives salvation in this first destination, other destinations following this become easier; if one does not obtain salvation at this stage, further destinations will prove difficult .” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Dragons Tormenting in the Grave
Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Unbelievers will have 99 dragons in their graves which keep stinging them till the Day of Resurrection. They are so poisonous that if any one of them hisses towards the earth, nothing will ever grow.”
Weeping of the Dead in the Grave and Beating with the Mace of Iron
Hadhrat Bra’a bin Azib (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: When an Unbeliever replies “Alas! I do not know,” a proclaimer calls from the Heaven, “He has spoken a lie; spread fire under him and make him wear a garment of fire, and open the door of Hell. His grave is narrowed so that his ribs are squeezed. Thereafter a blind and deaf tormentor is appointed with an iron mace. It is so heavy that if a mountain is struck with it, it will turn into dust. The person becomes dust at one stroke and is again restored to the original state.”
Bukhari and Muslim report that with every stroke he screams so loudly that all the living beings hear it except men and jinn. They do not hear it because they themselves have to pass through such a stage. Thus if we see and hear what happens with people in the state of ‘Barzakh’, then all will become pious and righteous. But this is not the law and principle with Allaah Ta’aala. Faith in the unseen is acknowledged here and everybody must obey Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and believe in the unseen Allaah. The Noble Qur’aan says:
“But those who fear their Rabb, although they cannot see Him, shall be forgiven and abundantly rewarded.” [Q. 67:12]
Thus, if they see the terrible and horrible punishment with their naked eyes, they will all become Believers. But what is basic and essential here is to believe in the unseen. The Noble Qur’aan says ; “But now professing faith after beholding punishment was of no use to them.” [Q. 40:85]
Futhermore , human beings cannot bear the punishment of the grave if they are shown and will fall unconscious. Hadhrat Abu Saeed khudri (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“When people carry the disobedient dead it cries,” Where are they taking me?”. These cries are heard by all except the human being, because if a man hears it, he will fall down unconscious.” [Bukhari]
Hadhrat Abu Ayub (Rahmatullah Alayh) left (Madinah Munawwara) after the sunset. He heard a voice (which was horrible) say: ” The Jews are going to be tormented in their graves.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports: “Once Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was proceeding towards the garden of Banu Najhar and we accompanied him. All of a sudden his donkey became restless and it looked as if will make him fall down. There were five or six graves nearby. Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) enquired: “Who knows about these men in the graves?” “I Know them”, a person submitted. “When did they die?” he asked. “They had died during the era of polytheism”, the man submitted. Thereupon he remarked:
“Men are punished in the graves. Had I not been afraid of you stopping burying your dead. I would have invoked Allaah to let you hear something of the torment of the grave.” [Muslim]
Back-biting and Carelessness of Urine Cause Punishment in the Grave
Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) passed by two graves and remarked: “They are facing punishment, but not because of any major sin, but due to minor ones they could abstain from. These are the following:
“He did not sit behind the screen whilst urinating and he was habitual in back-biting.”
Thereafter, he sent for a fresh twig, broke it asunder and fixed each in the two graves. When the Companions asked the reason, he explained: “Perhaps their punishment be lightened till the twigs become dry.” [Mishkat]
Specfic Punishment for Specfic Actions
Bukhari records Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who said: “Tonight I had a dream that two men approached me, caught me and led me towards a sacred land. There I saw one person sitting and another standing and have a spincer in his hand. He was pulling his one jaw up to the nape of the neck and repeated it with another one. This procedure continued. When I enquired about it, the person accompaying me requested me to proceed. I passed by a person who was lying and another person standing nearby with a heavy stone in his hand. The man with the stone broke his head (with the stone) with mighty force. When he hits the head, the stone rolled up to a distance. Before he could re-collect the stone his head become normal . This procedure went on. When I enquired about it, the person requested me to proceed . I then approched a cave which was like an oven, narrow from above and wide at the bottom. In it was a blazing fire, nude men and women. With the fire they also raised and were about to come out of it, but soon they went down with the fire setting below.
When I enquired about, they requested me to proceed . Thereafter I reached at a canal of blood. I found a person standing at the centre, and another person standing at the back of the canal with stones lying nearby. Whenever the person in the canal attempted to come out, the man at the bank hit his face with the stone so forcibly that he went back to the starting point. On enquiry, they requested me to proceed . Now I came to a garden. It had a big tree and an old man with some children was sitting under the tree.
Another person was blowing with the bellows into the burning fire nearby. Thereafter these two persons made me alight by climbing on the tree. There was a house at the centre of the tree . They lead me inside the house. I have never seen a better house. It accommodated many men, women and children, old and young ones. Thereafter they made exit out of this house and lead me above into another house which was more beautiful. It had old and young persons.
At last I said to both of them. “You made me roam about the whole night, now tell me what are the mysteries behind all these phenomena? They disclosed to me the following:
“The person who was pulling his jaw was a liar. He spoke lies and his fabrications would circulate far and wide. Thus, he will receive the same punishment until the Day of Qiyamaat . The person whose head was broken, was the one who was taught the Noble Qur’aan but he kept on sleeping, neglecting it during the night and day. He will be dealt with like this till the Day of Resurrection. Those fornicators are the men in the caves of fire , and those in the canals of blood are the takers of interest; the old man under the tree was Hadhrat Ibrahim (A.S.) and the children were the immature children of the people; the person who was found blowing the fire with the bellows was the master of the Hell. The first house you entered was that of the Muslims in general and another one belonged to the martyrs; I am Jibrail and this is Mikail. Thereafter I saw a white piece of cloud over my head. They said that it was my house. I asked them to leave me to enter my house. They said that my life span was yet to be completed hence I would not enter that house otherwise I may have been permitted to do so.” [Mishkat]
Speaking on Earth with the Dead
Hadhrat Abu Saeed (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports once Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) came out and saw some people bursting with laughter so that their teeth became visible.Having seen their state, he remarked:
“You must constantly remember death abundantly which curtails the taste of everything. Had you been doing so I would not have seen you in this state. Not a day passes by that the grave says: “I am the house of strangeness; I am the house of loneliness; and I am the house of insects.” Thereafter he added: “”When a Believer is buried, the grave addresses him, “Welcome home! In fact, you were dear to me. Now when you have been consigned to me, you will see what good treatment you will receive from me. Thereafter the grave is widened and a gate of Heaven is flung open for you.”
“When a transgressor or an Unbeliever is buried, the grave admonishes him,” You are most unwelcome! You have come to a very bad abode , You were the most accursed. Now that you have been buried, you will see how I treat you. Thereafter, the grave squeezes him forcibly so that the ribs are broken.Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) demonstrated this by inserting his fingers into each other.” [Mishkat]
Those Safe From Punishment of the Grave
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “By One in Whose Hands is my life, when the dead body is placed in the grave and people return ,the dead hears the sound of shoes. Hence if he is a Believer, his Salaats (prayer) approach his head, his Saum (fasts) come to his right and Zakat to his left side, while Nafl (voluntary prayers) come behind his legs. If the punishment advances from the head side his Salaat obstruct the way, when it advances from the right side his Saum prevents it; when it comes from the left side Zakaat stands in the way; and when it desires to intrude from the leg side, nafl prayers stand in the way.” [Targheeb]
Reciter of Sura Al-Mulk and Alif Lam Mim Sajda
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that once a Companion of Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) pitched a tent on a grave without having knowledge about it. (While sitting in the tent, he heard a person reciting Sura “Tabarakal ladhi biyadihil-mulk.” till he came to the end. He reported this event to Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), who said: “The Sura prevents one from the punishment of the grave and it was protecting him from the punishment of Allaah.” [Mishkat]
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated : “Indeed the Qur’aan has a Sura consisting of 30 Ayahs It will intercede for a person till he has been forgiven. And this is Sura “Tabarakalladhi biyadihil mulk.” [Mishkat]
Hadhrat Khalid bin Madan Tabi) said about Sura “Tabarakalladhi biyadihil mulk.” and Sura “Alif lam mim”; that these two Suras will strongly intercede for their reciter in the grave and will say. “O Allaah! If we belong to your Blood, accept our intercession in his favour. In case we do not belong to your Book, get us obliterated. These two Suras will spread their wings like the birds and will save him from the torment of the grave.” [Mishkat]
Person Death due to Stomach Disease
Hadhrat Suleman bin Soroor (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated :
“One who dies of stomach disease will not be punished in the grave.” [Ahmad ,Tirmidhi]
Person Dying on the Night of Friday or its Day
Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Amr (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Any person who dies on the night of Friday or on Friday will remain safe from the torment of the grave.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi]
Person Dying During Ramadhan
Hadhrat bin Malik (Radiahallahu Anhu) would say: “Indeed, in the month of Ramadhan, torment of the grave is lifted from the dead.” [Baihaqi]
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“One who dies in a state of sickness dies as a martyr. He will be saved from the punishment of the grave and he will receive sustenance morning and evening.” [Mishkat]
Mujahid (Fighter in the cause of Allaah) and Shaheed ( Martyr).
Hadhrat Maqdam bin Madikarab (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated : Allaah had six rewards for the martyrs:
1. He is forgiven as soon as the first drop of blood falls and his Heavenly abode is shown to him.
2. He is saved from the punishment of the grave.
3. He will remain safe from the embarrassment (when sur, i.e. the horn will be blown on the Day of Resurrection)
4. He will have a crown on his head.
5. He will be given 72 celestial brides.
Hadhrat Abu Ayub (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “One who faces the enemy and remains steadfast till he either gets martyred or subdues the enemy will be saved from the punishment of the grave.” [Nasa’i, Tabrani]
One Rejected by the Grave
Hadhrat Anas (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports: “A person was the calligrapher of Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who joined the polytheists. Thereupon Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cursed him to be rejected by the grave. When he died, Hadhrat Abu Talha(Radiahallahu Anhu) found him lying out of the grave. When he enquired about the issue they told him that he was buried more than once but every time he was pulled out of the grave.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Seeing of Heaven Or Hell Morning and Evening in Barzakh
Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Umar (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When anyone of you dies, he is shown Heaven or Hell morning and evening. If he is going to Heaven , he is shown heaven morning and evening; if he is destained for Hell ,he is presented Hell morning and evening.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Records of Actions of the Ummah Are Presented Before Rasulullaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)
Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Mas’ud (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Both my life and death are beneficial to you. Your Record of actions will be presented to me; if they are good I shall praise it; if they are bad, I shall invoke Allaah Ta’ala for forgiveness.” [Jama-ul-Fawaid]
If Darud(4) is sent near Blessed Mausoleum of Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) he hears it himself; the angels Convey it if sent from a distance
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports the Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“If anyone sends Darud at my mausoleum, I shall personally hear it; and if anyone send Darud on me from a distance, the angels will convey it to me.” [Baihaqi]
Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Mas’ud (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that (Radiahallahu Anhu) said:
“There are many angels of Allaah who roam about the earth and convey Darud of my Ummah to me.” [Hakim, Nasai]
Barzakh life of the Ambiyaa-Prophets (A.S.)
After leaving this world, the Prophets (A.S.) are alive. Although it is said about the martyrs, several ahadith support the view that the Ambiyaa-(prophets) (A.S.) are alive and even after final departure from the world. A famous narrator of Hadith, Allama Baihaqi (mercy of Allaah be on him) has written a treatise on support of this view.
Imam Qutubi writes in his book “Tazkirah”:
“The Deceased Prophets (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), in short, are out of our sight, just like the angels whom we cannot see. Their souls are returned after being taken .”
Hadhrat Anas (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“The prophets (A.S.) are alive and they offer prayers in their graves.” [Abu Yala]
Hadhrat Abu Darda (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Send Darud on me in abundance on Fridays, because on this day angels descend in great number. (Thereafter he added) certainly those of you who send Darud on me, their Darud is conveyed to me.”
“What will happen when you are no more?” The people submitted.
“Darud will continue to be presented to me even after my demise, because the Prophets of Allaah remain alive even in the next world. And this life is not only spiritual but physical. The earth has certainly been prohibited from eating away the bodies of the prophets. Hence they remain alive and sustenance is provided for them.” [Ibn Majah]
Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radiahallahu Anhu) reports: “Once we were travelling with Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) between Makkah and Madinah . He enquired about a valley. “It is the valley of Arzaq,” the people affirmed .
Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “It is as if I am looking towards Musa (A.S.) .” Saying this he added, “I see him passing through this valley with his fingers in his ears, praising his Rabb.” [Muslim]
Bodies of Some Martyrs of Uhud Found Intact
Mutta Imam Malik (Rahmatullah Alayhi) records : “The swift currents of water opened the graves of Amr bin Jamuh and Abdullah bin Amr (Radiahallahu Anhum). These two companions of Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) were martyred in the Battle of Uhud and both of them were buried in the same grave. When their grave was dug out to remove their bodies so that it may be buried at another place, they were found in a condition that no change occurred due to passage of time. It seemed as if they had just died yesterday, while the Battle of Uhud was fought 46 years ago.”
During his Caliphate, Hadhrat Muawiyah (Radiahallahu Anhu) decided to construct a canal in Madinah Munawwara. The Graveyard of Uhud lay in the way. Hadhrat Muawayah (Radiahallahu Anhu) declared that transfer their dead relatives to any other place. When the dead bodies were taken out, they were found intact. This event took place 50 years after the Battle of Uhud.
“Oh Allaah I ask You for a better life and a good death, and ask You to forgive me out of Your Mercy and grant me forgiveness. Indeed, You are my Master and you are my best Doer; let the Blessings of Allaah be on the best of His Creation, i.e. on Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and all his Companions.”
Source: Mufti A. Elias