Article: Al-Qiyaamah as-Sughra (the Minor Resurrection, i.e., Death)

Discussion in 'The Day of Judgement and Life After Death' started by ditta, Apr 13, 2009.

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    (4) Weakness of Faith

    If there is some weakness in a person's faith, that weakens his love for Allah. The love of this world becomes stronger in his heart and takes over until there is no room left for the love of Allah, except for the smallest trace, which has no apparent effect in counteracting the nafs or in restraining it from committing sin or urging it to do acts of obedience. So the person indulges his desires and commits sin, and the darkness of sin piles up in his heart and keeps on covering up what light of faith is present, although it is weak.

    When the stupor of death comes, the love of Allah grows weaker in his heart because he sees that he is departing this world which is do dear to him; his love for this world is so great that he does not want to leave it and it hurts him to depart from it. Allah sees that in him. There is the fear that hatred may displace the love of Allah in his heart, and that weak love may turn to hatred. If his soul departs at this moment of great danger, his end will be a bad one and he will doomed for eternity.

    The reason for this bad end is love of this world, being content with it and rejoicing in it, whilst also being weak in faith which means that one's love for Allah is weak. This is a chronic problem which may affect most people. If a person's heart is overwhelmed with some wordly matter at the point of death, this is what will fill his heart and mind, leaving no room for anything else. If his soul departs at that point, his heart will be filled with that wordly matter and his face will be turned towards it, and that will form a barrier between him and his Lord.

    It is narrated when Sulaymaan ibn 'Abd al-Malik entered Madeenah as a pilgrim, he said,


    "Is there any man here who met a number of the Sahaabah?"


    They said,

    "Yes, Abu Haazim."


    So he sent for him, and when he come, he said to him:

    "O Abu Haazim, why do we dislike death?"


    He said,


    "All your effort has been for the sake of this world and you have neglected the Hereafter, and you hate to leave that for which you have striven to go to that for which you have made no preparations."

    He said,

    "You have spoken the truth."

    Then he said,


    "I wonder what is stored for us with Allah?"

    He said,


    "Check what you have done in accordance with the Book of Allah (i.e. refer your deeds to the Book of Allah and see how far did you follow the Book)."

    He said,


    "Where will I find it?"

    He said,

    "In the aayah,

    'Verily, the Abraar (the pious believers of Islamic Monotheism) will be in Delight (Paradise); And verily, the Fujjaar (the wicked, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners and evildoers) will be in the blazing Fire (Hell)'.


    (Qur'aan 82: 13-14)

    He said,

    "And where is the mercy of Allah?"

    He said,

    "The mercy of Allah is close to those who do good."

    He said,

    "I wonder, how will I appear before Allah?"

    He said,


    "The one who does good is like the one who has been absent when he comes back to his family, but the evildoer is like the runaway slave when he comes back to his master."


    Then Sulaymaan wept loudly, and said,

    "Advise me!"

    He said,


    "Beware lest Allah sees you where He has forbidden you to be and does not find you where He was commanded you to be."

    (Yaqzah Ooli al-I'tibaar, p. 216)

    Siddeeq Hasan Khan quotes from al-Ghazaali in al-Ihyaa that a bad end may be one of two levels, one of which is more serious that the other. The more serious level, which dooms a person to Hell, is when the heart is overwhelmed with either doubt or denial at the time of teh stupor and terror of death, and the soul is taken when it is in that state. This forms an eternal barrier between the person and Allah, and condemns him to eternal banishment and everlasting torment.

    The second level is when a person's heart, at the moment of death, is overwhelmed with love for some wordly matter or desire, which appears in his heart and overwhelms it, leaving no room for anything else at that moment. If the soul is taken at the moment when it is overwhelmed with love for this world, the matter is serious, because a person dies as he lived. At that point the feeling of sorrow and regret will be great indeed, unless faith and love for Allah were firmly implanted in his heart for a long time and were supported by righteous deeds which will cancel out this danger that was posed to the heart at the time of death. If his faith was equivalent to an atom's weight (or a small ant), he will be brought forth from Hell sooner. If it was smaller than that, he will remain in Hell for a longer time, but so long as there was even the tiniest speck of faith, he will eventually be brought forth from the Fire, even if it is after thousands of years. Everyone who believes in Allah and in His Attributes and deeds, but he has the slightest misconception, whether that is because of imitating others or because of his own personal opinion, is exposed to danger.

    Asceticism and piety are not enough to ward off this danger, nothing can save a person from this except belief in the truth according to the Qur'aan and Sunnah.


    (Yaqzah Ooli al-I'tibaar, p. 216)
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    7 - The Prophets Were Given the Choice at the Time of Death

    When the time of death came for the Prophets, Allah showed them the great reward that was stored for them with Him, then He gave them the choice of staying in this world or moving to that great position. Undoubtedly every Messenger preferred the eternal blessing.

    This happend to our Messenger :saw: too - he was given the choice and he made his choice. Bukhari it is narrated that 'Aa'ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) said:

    "The Messenger of Allah :saw: used to say, and it is true:


    'No Prophet ever died until he had been shown his place in Paradise, then given the choice.' When it was revealed to him, and his head was on my thigh, he fell unconscious for a while, then he woke up. He stared at the ceiling, then he said, 'O' Allah, with the highest companions.'


    I said,


    'He is not choosing us,'

    - and I knew that this was what he had told us about."

    She said:

    "Those were the last words that the Prophet :saw: spoke, when he said, 'O' Allah, with the highest companions.'"

    (Bukhari: Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab Man ahabba liqaa' Allah, Fath al-Baari, 11/357, also narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh and by Maalik in al-Mu'watta', and by Tirmidhi in as-Sunan. Ibn al-Atheer mentioned other versions of the hadeeth narrated from 'Aa'ishah in Jaami' al-Usool, 11/67)


    According to another report (This is in all the reports):

    "During his final illness, I heard the Prophet :saw: saying in a hoarse voice:


    ...then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!'

    (Qur'aan 4: 69)


    She said:

    "And I thought that he had made his choice that day."
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    The Soul's Departure and Journey to Heaven

    It is narrated by Muslim that Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllahu anh) said:

    "When the soul of the believer departs it is met by two angels who take it up."

    Hammaad (One of the narrators of this hadith from Abu Hurayrah as recorded by Muslim) said:

    "And he mentioned its good fragrance of musk."

    He said:

    "And the inhabitants of heaven say, 'A good soul that has come from the earth; may Allah bless you and the body in which you used to dwell.'

    Then he is taken up to his Lord, then He says,

    'Take it to its destined end.'"


    He further said:
    "But when the soul of the kaafir departs..."

    Hammaad said:

    "And he mentioned its stench, and curses..." "... the inhabitants of heaven says, 'An evil soul that has come from the earth....'

    And it is said,

    'Take it to its destined end.'"

    (Muslim, Kitaab al-Janaah, Baab 'Arad Maq'ad al-Mayit, 4/2202, hadith no. 2872)

    According to the hadith Al-Baraa', the Messenger :saw: mentioned the way in which the soul of the righteous person will be honoured after it is brought forth from his body:

    - the angels send blessings upon that good soul, the gates of heaven are opened for it, it is placed in a shroud from Paradise with embalming perfumes from Paradise and it emits a beautifiul fragrance which is superior to the scent of musk. Then the angels take it on a sublime journey of honour, and the gates of heaven are opened for it. As for the evil soul, the angels of heaven curse it when it is brought forth. The gates of heaven are locked, and every group of angels of the Most Merciful who are at the gates plead for it not be allowed to ascend through the place where they are. That evil soul is placed in a shroud from Hell with embalming perfumes from Hell. There emanate from it foul stenches which offend the angels of the Most Merciful. It is taken up to heaven but the gates of heaven are not opened for it. Then his soul is thrown down from that height.

    According to the hadith of Al-Baraa' ibn 'Aazib, in which the Messenger :saw: described a person's journey after death to Al-Barzakh he said:

    "...until when his soul comes forth, every angel between heaven and earth, and every angel in heaven, sends blessings on it. The gates of heaven are opened for him and there is no one among the gatekeepers who does not pray to Allah to let him ascend through where they are. When he (i.e. the Angel of Death) takes it (that soul), the (the angels) do not leave it in his hand even for a twinkle of an eye, before they take it and put it in that shroud and that embalming perfume."

    That is what Allah (subhanaahu wa ta'aala) says:

    ...Our messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.

    (Qur'aan 6: 61)

    There comes forth from it (a fragrance) like the finest musk to be found on the face of the earth. They take it up, and they do not pass any group of angels but they say,

    'Who is this good soul?'


    They say,

    'It is So and so the son of So and so' - calling him by the best names by which he was known in this world. Then when they reach the first heaven, they ask for it to be opened for them. (In each of the heavens), the angels who are closest to Allah walk with him (to bid him farewell) as he moves to the next heaven, until he reaches the seventh heaven. Then Allah (subhanaahu wa ta'aala) says,

    'Place the book of My slave in 'Illiyyeen (the Register of righteous deeds).'


    'And What will make you know what Illiyyoon is? A Register inscribed, To which bear witness those nearest (to Allah, i.e. the angels).

    (Qur'aan 83: 19-21)

    So they place his book in 'Illiyyeen then it is said,

    'Take him back to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them, and from it I shall bring them forth again."

    And the Messenger of Allah :saw: spoke of the evil soul which is dragged forth from the kaafir or evildoer. He said that after it is dragged forth,


    "(Then every angel between heaven and earth, and every angel in heaven, curses it, and the gates of heaven are shut. There is no one among the gatekeepers who does not pray to Allah not to let him ascend through where they are).

    When he (i.e. the Angel of Death) takes it (that soul), they (the angels) do not leave it in his hand even for the twinkle of an eye, before they take it and put it in that sackcloth. There emanates from it (a stench) like the foulest stench of dead flesh to be found on the face of the earth. They take it up, and they do not pass any group of angels but they say,

    'Who is this evil soul?'


    They say,


    'It is So and so and the son of So and so' - calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world. Then when they reach the first heaven, they ask for it to be opened for them, and it is not opened for them."

    Then the Messenger of Allah :saw: recited the aayah:

    ...for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle...

    (Qur'aan 7: 40)

    "Then Allah (subhaanahu wa'taala) says:

    'Record his book in Sijjeen (the Register of evil deeds), in the lowest earth. Then He says, Return My slave to the earth, for I have promised them that from it I created to it I will return them, and from it I shall bring them forth again.' So they thrown it down from heaven, (until it returns to his body)."

    Then he recited the aayah:

    ...and whoever assigns partners to Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place.

    (Qur'aan 22: 31)

    Then his soul is returned to his body.

    (A saheeh hadith)

    Ibn Maajah narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllahu anh) that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    "The deceased is attended by the angels. If he was a righteous man, they say,

    'Come forth, O' good soul which was in a good body. Come forth praiseworthy, and receive the glad tidings of rest and provision, and a Lord Who is not angry.'

    They continue to say this until it comes out, then they take it up to heaven. They ask for it to be opened, and it is asked,

    'Who is this?'


    They say,

    'So and so.'

    Then it is said,

    'Welcome to the good which was in a good body. Enter praiseworthy and receive the glad tidings of rest and provision, and a Lord Who is not angry. They continue to say this until they take him up to the heaven in which is Allah, may He be blessed and exalted.



    But if it was an evil man, they say,

    'Come forth, O' evil soul which was in an evil body. Come forth blameworthy and received the tidings of a boiling fluid and dirty wound discharges, and other torments of similar kind, all together!

    (cf. 38:57-58)'

    They continue to say this until it comes forth, then they take it up to heaven. They ask for the heaven to be opened for it, and it is asked,


    'Who is this?'

    They say,

    'So and so.'

    It is said,
    'There is no welcome for the evil soul which was in an evil body. Go back blameworthy.' So the gates are not opened for it, and it is sent down from heaven and goes back to the grave...'"

    (Ibn Maajah, Shaykh Naasir classed it as saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 2/169)
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    The Grave

    Haani', the freed slave of 'Uthmaan ibn 'Affaan, narrated that whenever 'Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) stood over a grave he would weep until his beard would be wet. It was said to him,

    "You remember Paradise and Hell and you do not weep, but when you remember the grave you weep?"

    He said,


    "I heard the Messenger of Allah :saw: say,

    'The grave is the first stage of the Hereafter. Whoever passes through it safely, whatever comes after that will be easier for him, but if he does not pass though it safely, whatever comes after that will be harder for him.'"

    He said,

    "And I heard the Messenger :saw: say,

    'I have never seen any (disturbing) scene, more terrifying than the grave.'"

    This is narrated by Tirmidhi.

    (Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah, Tirmidhi asid, this is a ghareeb hadith. See Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1/48; Jaami' al-Usool, 11/164. Shaykh Naasir said in his commentary on Al-Mishkaat, its isnad is hasan. See Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer 2/85)

    Because what comes after the grave will be easier for the one who passes through it safely, when the believer is shown in his grave the delights that Allah has prepared for him, he will say,

    “O’ Lord, hasten the coming of the Hour, so that I may go back to the my family and my wealth.”

    (From the hadeeth of Al-Baraa’.)

    But when the disbeliever or evildoer sees the intense torment that Allah has prepared for him, he will say, despite the torment that he is suffering,

    “O’ Lord, do not let the Hour come.”

    (From the hadeeth of Al-Baraa’.)

    - because what is yet to come is even worse and more terrifying.
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    The darkness of the grave

    At the time of the Messenger :saw:, a woman died who used to clean the mosque. The Messenger :saw: noticed that she was not there. They told him that she died during the night and buried her. They did not like to wake him up. He asked his Companions to show him her grave, then he went to her grave and prayed for her. Then he said,

    "These graves are full of darkness, but Allah illuminates them for their occupants by virtue of my praying for them."


    This is narrated by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, Al-Bayhaqi and Ahmad.

    (Ahkaam al-Janaa'iz, p. 87)
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    The Squeezing of the Grave

    When the deceased is placed in his grave, he is squeezed in a manner from which no one, great or small, righteous or immoral, can escape. It is narrated in the ahaadeth that Sa'd ibn Mu'aadh was squeezed, and he was the one at whose death the Throne shook and for whom the gates of heaven were opened, and whose funeral was attended by seventy thousand angels. In Sunan an-Nasaa'i it is narrated that Ibn 'Umar (radhiyAllahu anh) related:

    "The Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    'This one at whose death the Throne shook, for whom the gates of heaven were opened, and whose funeral was attended by seventy thousand angels, has been squeezed once, then relieved him.'"

    (Nasaa'i: Kitaab al-Janaa'iz, Baab Dummat al-Qabr wa Daghtatuhu, 4/100. Shaykh Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaanee said in Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh (1/49): its isnad is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim.)

    In Musnad al-Imaam Ahmad it is also reported from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    "There is squeezing in the grave; if anyone were to have been saved from it, it would have been Sa'd ibn Mu'aadh."

    (Shaykh Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaanee said in Saheeh al-Jaami (2/236), its isnad is saheeh)


    In Musnad at-Tabaraani al-Kabeer and Musnad at-Tabaraani al-Awsat it is narrated from Ibn 'Abbaas (radhiyAllahu anh) that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    "If anyone were to have been saved from the squeezing of the grave, it would have been Sa'd ibn Mu'aadh. He was squeezed once, then released."


    (Saheeh al-Jaami (5/71), its isnad is saheeh)

    All these texts indicate that the squeezing of the grave is inevitable for every person, even children are not spared of this. In Musnad at-Tabaraani al-Kabeer it is narrated from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari with a saheeh isnad, and in Musnad at-Tabaraani al-Awsat and Al-Kaamil from Ibn 'Adiy from Anas, that the Messenger :saw: said:

    "If anyone were to have been saved from the squeezing of the grave, it would have been this child."

    (Ibid)
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    3 - The Trial (Fitnah) of the Grave

    (1) How will this trial be?

    When a person is placed in his grave, two angels come to him in a frightening form. In Sunan at-Tirmidhi it says:

    “When the deceased – or when one of you – is buried, two black and blue angels come to him, one of whom is called Al-Munkar and the other An-Nakeer.

    They say,

    ‘What did you say about his man?

    - and he tells them what he used to say,

    ‘He is the slave of Allah and His Messenger. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger...’

    But if he was a hypocrite, he says,

    ‘I heard the people saying something and I said likewise; I don’t know...’’’

    (Tirmidhi, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab Maa jaa’a fi ‘adhaab al-qabr, 3/383. Tirmidhi said, (it is) a ghareeb hasan hadeeth. The editor, Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir, said: It is not narrated by any of the authors of the six books, apart from Tirmidhi. Shaykh Naasir-ud-deen al-Albaanee indicated that it is hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer, 1/259, and he narrated it in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah, hadeeth no. 1391)

    According to the hadeeth narrated by al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib, the Messenger :saw: said:

    “Two (very harsh) angels come to him (and treat him roughly) and make him sit up. They say to him, ‘Who is you Lord? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet?’

    This is the last trial to which the believer is subjected. This is what Allah refers to in the aayah:

    Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world...

    (Qur’aan 14: 27)

    So he says,

    ‘My Lord is Allah, my religion is Islaam and my Prophet is Muhammad :saw:.’

    Then a voice cries out from heaven,

    ‘My slave has spoken the truth.’”

    And he said concerning the kaafir or evildoer:

    “Two (very harsh) angels come to him (and treat him roughly) and make him sit.

    They say to him,

    ‘Who is your Lord?’

    He says,

    ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’

    They say to him,

    ‘What is your religion?’

    He says,

    ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’

    They say,

    ‘What do you say about this man who was sent among you?’

    He cannot remember his name, so they tell him,

    ‘Muhammad.’

    He says,

    ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know. (I heard people saying such and such.’

    They say to him,

    ‘May you never know and may you never say what the people said!’)

    Then a voice calls out,

    ‘My slave is lying.’

    (A saheeh hadeeth).

    It is narrated from Anas (radhiyAllahu anh) that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    “When a person is placed in his grave, and his companions leave him, he can hear their footsteps. When they have left, two angels come to him, get him sit and say,

    ‘What did you say about this man, Muhammad?’

    The believer says,

    ‘I bear witness that he is the slave of Allah and His Messenger...’

    But the kaafir or hypocrite (in one report: the kaafir and the hypocrite) says,

    ‘I don’t know. I used to say what the people were saying about him.’

    It is said to him,

    ‘May you never know and may you never say what the people said!’”

    This is narrated by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Nasaa’i.

    (Jaami’ al-Usool, 11/173)

    At first, the Messenger :saw: did not know that this ummah would be tried in the grave. Then Allah revealed this knowledge to him.

    ‘Urwah ibn az-Zubayr narrated that his maternal aunt ‘Aa’ishah said:

    “The Messenger :saw: came to me, and there was a Jewish woman with me.

    She was saying,

    ‘Do you think that you will be tested in the grave?’

    The Messenger of Allah :saw: was alarmed, and said,

    ‘The Jews will be tested.’”

    ‘Aa’ishah said,

    “Several nights passed, then the Messenger of Allah :saw: said,

    ‘Do you know that it has been revealed to me that you will be tested in the grave?’

    ‘Aa’ishah said:

    “I heard the Messenger of Allah :saw: after that seeking refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave.’”

    (Muslim, Kitaab al-Masaajid wa Mawaadi’ as-Salaah, Baab Istihbaab al-Ta’awwudh min ‘Adhaab al-Qabr, hadeeth nos. 584, 1/410)
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    Will the kaafir be tested in his grave?

    The ahaadeeth that we have quoted indicate that the kuffaar will be tested in their graves. But al-Hakeem at-Tirmidhi, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr and Suyooti held a different view.

    (Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah, 2/10)

    Al-Hakeem at-Tirmidhi quoted as evidence, that they will not be questioned, the fact that when previous nations refused to respond to their Messengers, the punishment was hastened upon them, unlike this ummah from whom the punishment is withheld.

    (See Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah by as-Safaareeni, 2/10)

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr quoted as evidence the saheeh hadeeth in which the Prophet :saw: said:

    “This ummah will be tested in their graves”

    ;some versions say, “will be questioned.”

    (Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah by as-Safaareeni, 2/10; Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, 147)

    The saheeh ahaadeeth refute this understand and indicate that this is not limited to the believers of or to this ummah.

    ‘Abd al-Haqq al-Ishbeeli, Ibn al-Qayyim, Qurtubi, As-Safaareeni and others were of the view that the questioning (in the grave) includes all people.

    (Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah by as-Safaareeni, 2/10; Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, 147)
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    Will anybody other than those who are accountable be tested?

    The trial of the grave is something which will happen to all of those who are accountable, apart from the Prophets (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/257) – there is some scholarly dispute as to whether they are subject to it – and the shuhadaa’ (martyrs), muraabitoon (those who guard the borders of Islaam) and others who, it is stated in the texts, will be spared of this trial, as we shall see in more detail below.

    There is also some dispute concerning young children and the insane. Some of the scholars, including al-Qaadi Abu Ya’laa and Ibn ‘Aqeel, said that they will not be tested, on the grounds that the test is for those who are accountable; those from whom the pen has been lifted (i.e. their deeds are not being recorded because they are not accountable) are not included in this test, because there is no point in questioning them about something for which they are not accountable.

    Others said that they will be tested. This is the view of Abul-Hakeem al-Hamadaani and Abul-Hasan ibn ‘Abdoos, who narrated it from the companions of Ash-Shaafa’i. Maalik and others narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllahu anh) that Messenger of Allah :saw: offered the funeral prayer for a child, then he said,

    “O Allah, protect him from the torment of the grave and the trial of the grave.”

    This view is in accordance with the views of those who say that the will be tested in the Hereafter and they will be accountable on the Day of Resurrection. This is the view of most of the scholars and of Ahl as-Sunnah among the scholars of hadeeth and kalaam. This is what is mentioned by Abul-Hasan al-Asha’ri from Ahl as-Sunnah, and he favoured this view; this is also what is implied by the statements of Imaam Ahmad.

    (See Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, by Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, 4/257, 277)
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    4 - The Torment and Blessing of the Grave

    (1) The ahaadeeth about the torment and blessing of the grave are mutawaatir

    The commentator on At-Tahaawiyyah said:

    “The reports from the Messenger of Allah :saw: which confirm the torment and blessing of the grave, as a person deserves, and the questioning by the two angels, reach the level of mutawaatir - report from a number chain of narrators.

    So it is obligatory to accept these facts and believe in them, but we do not discuss how these things occur, because the (human) mind is not able to comprehend how they happen, for it is something which is not known in this world. Islaam does not teach anything contradicts common sense, although it may tell of things that are beyond the human imagination.

    When the soul returns to the body (in the grave), this does not happen in the same manner in which it happens in this world; it happens in a way that is different from what is known in this world.”

    (Sharh al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, p450)

    Elsewhere he said:

    “Know that the torment of the grave is the torment of Al-Barzakh. Everyone who dies and deserves punishment will receive his share of it, whether he is buried in a grave or not, whether is eaten by wild animals or burned until he becomes ashes which are blown away by the wind, whether he is crucified, or drowned at sea.

    His soul and his body will experience the same torment as those who are buried in graves, and he will be made to sit up (to be questioned) and his ribs will interlock (when he is squeezed by the earth), and so on, as was narrated. It is essential to understand what the Messenger :saw: meant, without adding or taking away anything.”

    (Sharh al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, p451)

    The heretics and those Muslim scholars who adopted the philosophers’ way of thinking denied the torment of the grave, and said that it is not real. They cited as evidence the fact that graves had been opened and none of the things described in the reports had been seen.

    (Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, 125)

    It was also denied by the Khawaarij and by some of the Mu’tazilah, such as Diraar ibn ‘Amr and Bishr al-Mareesi. They were opposed by all of the Ahl as-Sunnah, and by most of the Mu’tazilah.

    (Fath al-Baari, 3/233)

    They disbelieved in something without examining the matter thoroughly. They thought their eyes could see everything and that their ears could hear everything. Nowadays we understand mysteries which our ears and eyes are unable to hear and see. Whoever believes in Allah and believes in what He tells us.

    There are verses in the Qur’aan which point towards the torment of the grave. Bukhari discussed the torment of the grave in Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, in which he includes a chapter entitled Baab ma jaa’a fi ‘Adhaab al-Qabr, in which he quotes the aayaat:

    ...And if you could but see when the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching for their hands (saying): ‘Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation’...

    (Qur’aan 6: 93)

    ...We shall punish them twice, and thereafter they shall be brought back to a great (horrible) torment.

    (Qur’aan 9: 101)

    ...While an evil torment encompassed Fir’awn’s (Pharaoh) people. The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon. And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): ‘Cause Fir’awn’s (Pharaoh) people to enter the severest torment!’

    (Qur’aan 40: 45-46)

    The first aayah which Bukhari quoted is speaking of how the angels punish the kuffaar at the moment of death, as we have discussed above. The second aayah indicates that there are two torments which will befall the munaafiqeen before the torment of the Day of Resurrection; the first in that which which Allah sends upon them in the world, either as a punishment from Him or at the hands of the believers, and the second punishment is the torment of the grave.

    Al-Hasan al-Basri said:

    “(This means) We shall punish them twice, the punishment in this world and the torment of the grave.”

    (Fath al-Baari, 3/233)

    At-Tabari said:

    “It is most likely that one these two times is the torment of the grave, and the other may be any of the things that we have mentioned previously, such as hunger, being taken prisoner, being killed, being humiliated, etc.”

    (Ibid)

    The third aayah offers clear evidence in support of Ahl as-Sunnah who believe in torment of the grave, for Allah states clearly that the people of Pharaoh are exposed to the Fire morning and afternoon, and this happens before the Day of Resurrection, because Allah then says,

    ...And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): Cause Fir’awn’s (Pharaoh) people to enter the severest torment!’

    (Qur’aan 40: 46)

    Al-Qurtubi said:

    “The majority believe that this exposure (to the Fire) takes place in Al-Barzakh. This is the evidence which confirms the torment of the
    grave.”


    (Ibid, 11/233)

    Further Qur’anic evidence which clearly points to the torment of the grave is to be found in the aayah,

    Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter...

    (Qur’aan 14: 27)

    According to the hadeeth narrated by Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib, the Prophet :saw: said:

    “When the believer is made to sit in his grave, he testifies that there is no god expect Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, that is (what is meant by) the aayah,

    ‘...Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firms.’

    (Qur’aan 14: 27).”

    Another report adds: “(The aayah),

    ‘Allah will keep firm those who believe’...

    (Qur’aan 14: 27)

    - was revealed concerning the torment of the grave.”

    (Bukhari; Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab ma jaa’a fi ‘Adhaab al-Qabr, Fath al-Baari, 3/231)

    ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) narrated that a Jewish woman came to her and mentioned the torment of the grave, and said to her,

    “May Allah grant you refuge from the torment of the grave.’

    ‘Aa’ishah asked the Messenger about the torment of the grave, and he said,

    “Yes, the torment of the grave.”

    ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) said,

    “After that I never saw the Messenger of Allah :saw: pray, but he sought refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave.”

    Ghandar added,

    “The torment of the grave is real.”

    This is narrated by Bukhari.

    (Ibid)

    In Muslim it is narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) said,

    “Two of the old Jewish women of Madeenah came to me and said,
    ‘The occupants of the graves are being tormented in their graves.”

    I did not believe them, and I did not want to believe them. Then they left, and the Messenger of Allah :saw: came in. I said to him,

    ‘O Messenger of Allah, two of the old Jewish women of Madeenah came to me, and they claimed that the occupants of the graves are being tormented in their graves.’

    He said,

    ‘They spoke the truth, for they are tormented with a torment which the animals can hear.

    She said,

    “After that I never saw him pray, but he sought refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave.”

    (Muslim, Kitaab al-Masaajid, Baab Istihbaab at-Ta’awwudh min ‘Adhaab al-Qabr, 1/411)

    Because of the seriousness of the matter, the Messenger :saw: used to teach his companions about it, and he also delivered a sermon on it. In Bukhari it is narrated that Asmaa’ bint Abi Bark (radhiyAllahu anha) said:

    “The Messenger of Allah :saw: stood up to deliver khutbah. He mentioned the trial of the grave with which each person will be tested. When he mentioned that, a nervous hubbub arose among the Muslims.”

    This is narrated by Bukhaari and Nasaa’i.

    (Bukhari; Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab ma jaa’a fi ‘Adhaab al-Qabr, Fath al-Baari, 3/232)

    Nasaa’i added:

    “I was unable to understand what the Messenger of Allah :saw: was saying. When the hubbub died down, I asked a man who was near me, ‘May Allah bless you, what did the Messenger :saw: say at the end?’

    He said: ‘The Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

    “It has been revealed to me that you will be tested in your graves (with a trial) that is similar to the trial of the Dajjaal.’”

    (Nasaa’i, see Jaami’ al-Usool, 11/170)
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    The Messenger of Allah heard the voices of those who were being tormented

    Allah gave His Messenger the ability to hear those who were being tormented in their graves. According to the hadeeth narrated by Muslim from Zayd ibn Thaabit (radhiyAllahu anh), he said:

    “Whilst the Prophet :saw: was in the garden of Banu-Najjaar, on his mule, and we were with him, his mule took a different route and nearly threw him. There were graves there, six or five or four.

    He said,

    ‘Who knows whose graves these are?’

    A man said,

    ‘I do.’

    He said,

    ‘When did these people die?’

    He said,

    ‘They died at the time of shirk.’

    He said,

    ‘This ummah will be tested in their graves. Were it not that you might become afraid to bury one another, I would pray to Allah to make you hear what I can hear of the torment of the grave.’”

    (Muslim in his Saheeh, Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab ‘Ard Maq’ad al-Mayit min al-Jannah aw an-Naar ‘alayhi, 4/2199)

    Bukhari, Muslim and Sunan an-Nasaa’i, narrated that Abu Ayyob al-Ansaari (radhiyAllahu anh) said:

    “The Messenger of Allah :saw: went out after the sun had set, and heard a sound.

    He said,

    ‘Jews are being tormented in their graves.’”

    (Jaami’ al-Usool, 11/172)

    Further evidence that the Messenger :saw: heard those who were tormented in their graves is to be found in the hadeeth narrated by Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn ‘Abbaas, in which it says that the Messenger :saw: passed by two graves and said,

    “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for any major sin...”

    This hadeeth will be quoted in full below, Insha’Allah.
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    People other than the Messenger :saw: heard the voices...

    Some people still speak of having heard or seen those who are being tormented in their graves; among them are trustworthy people who are known to be sound in their religious commitment and honesty. Ibn Taymiyyah says concerning this:

    “This has happened to many people of our own times both whilst awake and in their dreams. They know that and believe it. We know of many stories of that nature.”

    (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 24/376)

    Elsewhere, in the context of refuting those who deny the torment of the grave, he says:

    “It is known that when a person is asleep, his soul may sit, stand and walk; it goes and speaks and does things whilst it is still connected to his body, so his body and soul may feel delight or torment, even though his body is lying down, his eyes are shut, his mouth is closed and his limbs are still, but they may move because of the strength of the dream, and he may stand up, walk, speak or scream because of the intensity of what is happening inside him.

    This is similar to what happens to the deceased in his grave, for his soul sits up, is questioned, is blessed or punished, and screams. This is connected to his body, although it is lying in its grave. It may be so intense that it affects his body and he might be seen coming out of his grave with the marks of punishment on him. The angels of torment are appointed over him, so his body moves and walks and emerges from its grave.

    More than one person has heard the voices of those who are being tormented in their graves, and some of those who have emerged from their graves whilst being tormented have been seen, as have some of those who sit up when the torment becomes intense. But this does not necessarily happen in the case of every person who is tormented, just as not every sleeping person necessarily sits up because of the things he is seeing (in his dreams). It depends on how intense the matter is.”

    (Ibid)
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    (2) Description of the blessings and torment of the grave

    According to the hadeeth of Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib, the Messenger :saw: said that the angels question the believer in his grave and when he answers well, “a voice cries out from heaven.

    ‘My slave has spoken the truth; supply him with furnishings from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’

    So there comes to him some of its fragrant scent, and his grave is expanded for him as far as the eye can see. There comes to him (according to one report, there appears to him) a man with a handsome face, fine clothes and a pleasant scent.

    He says,

    ‘Receive the glad tidings of that which will delight you. (Receive the glad tidings of the pleasure of Allah, and Gardens in which is everlasting joy). This is your day which you were promised.’

    (The deceased) says,

    ‘(May Allah bless you), who are you? Your face is a face which portends good.’

    He says,


    ‘I am your righteous deeds. (By Allah, all I ever knew of you was that you were quick to obey Allah and slow to disobey Him; may Allah reward you with good).’


    Then a door to Paradise is opened for him, and a door to Hell, and it is said,


    ‘This would have been your place had you disobeyed Allah, but Allah has replaced it with this for you.’


    And when he sees what is in Paradise, he says,


    ‘O Lord, hasten on the Hour, so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’


    (And it is said to him, ‘Be calm and feel at ease.’)”


    And the Prophet :saw: said that after the kaafir or evildoer has given a bad reply (to the angels’ questions),


    “a voice cries out from heaven, saying ‘He has lied. Supply him with furnishings from Hell, and open a door to Hell for him.’

    So there comes to him some of its heat and hot wind. His grave compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him (according to one report, there appears to him) a man with an ugly face, horrible clothes and a foul stench. He says,


    ‘Receive the tidings of that which will distress you. This is your day which you were promised.’


    (The deceased) says,


    ‘(May Allah curse you), who are you? Your face portends evil.’


    He says,


    ‘I am your evil deeds. (By Allah, all I ever knew of you was that you were slow to obey Allah and quick to disobey Him (may Allah requite you with evil.)’


    Then Allah appoints over him one who is blind, deaf and dumb, in whose hand is an iron rod which, if he were to strike a mountain with it, it would turn to dust. He strikes him with it until he turns to dust, then he is restored to his former state, and he is struck again. He utters a scream which everything can hear except for mankind and the jinn. Then a door to Hell is opened for him, and his grave is furnished from Hell.)


    And he says,


    ‘O’ Lord, do not let the Hour come.’”


    (A saheeh hadeeth)


    According to the hadeeth of Anas, when the believing slave answers the questions in his grave truthfully,


    “It is said to him,


    ‘Look at your place in Hell, which Allah has replaced with a place in Paradise.’”


    The Prophet :saw: said:


    “He is shown them both.”


    Qataadah said:


    “He mentioned that his grave would be expanded for him.”


    In the hadeeth of Anas it says that after the kaafir or hypocrite answers those questions in the grave wrongly, it is said to him “May you never know and may you never say what the people said!”


    Then he is struck between the ears with an iron hammer, and he utters a scream which everything can hera except for mankind and the jinn. This is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim; the version referred to here is narrated by Bukhari.


    Muslim says:


    “When a person is placed in his grave...”


    Then he mentioned something similar to the above, then he said:


    “We were told that (his grave) is expanded for him by seventy cubits, and it is filled with green until Day when they will be resurrected.”


    According to a report narrated by Abu Dawood, after the believing slave has been questioned and has answered,


    “He is taken to a house in Hell which was for him, and it is said to him,


    ‘This was for you, but Allah has saved you and has replaced it with a house in Paradise.’

    Then it is shown to him, and he says,


    ‘Let me go and tell my family.’


    It is said to him,


    ‘Settle down.’”


    (See these reports in Jaami’ al-Usool, 11/173)


    What these ahaadeeth indicate is that every one (deceased) will be shown his final abode in his grave as long as he will remain in the grave. This was stated clearly by the Messenger :saw:. According to the hadeeth narrated by ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyAllahu anhumaa).


    “The Prophet :saw: said,


    ‘When anyone of you dies, he is shown his abobe morning and evening. If he is one of the people of Paradise, then he is one of the people of Paradise, and if he is one of the people of Hell, then he is one of the people of Hell. And it is said to him, ‘This is your until Allah resurrects you on the Day of Resurrection.’”


    (Bukhari, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab al-Mayit yu’rad ‘alayhi Maq’adahu fil-Ghadaat wal-‘Ashaa, Fath al-Baari, 3/243. Muslim, Kitaab al-Jannah, Baad ‘Ard Maq’ad al-Mayyit min al-Jannah aw an-Naar, 4/2199, hadeeth no. 2866)


    In Sunan at-Tirmidhi it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllahu anh) that the Messenger :saw: said that the two angels say to the believing slave, after he has answered their questions correctly:


    “We knew that you would say that.”


    Then his grave is expanded for him, seventy cubits by seventy, and it is illuminated for him. Then is it said to him,


    ‘Sleep.”


    He says,


    “Let me go back to my family and tell them.”


    They say,


    “Sleep like the bridegroom who will not be woken by anyone except the dearest of his family to him, until Allah resurrects you from your place of rest.”


    But they say to the hypocrite,


    “We knew that you would say this.”


    Then it is said to the earth,


    “Squeeze him.”


    So it squeezes him until his ribs interlock, and he will be tormented until Allah resurrects him from his grave.


    (A hasan hadeeth by Tirmidhi, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab ma jaa’a fi ‘Adhaab al-Qabr, 3/383, hadeeth no. 1071)
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    (3) Are the Muslims punished in their graves?

    Al-Qurtubi said:

    “Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq said: know that the punishment of the grave is not confined only to the kaafireen or the munaafiqeen; some of the believers will also have a share of that, each according to his deeds and what he has earned by his mistakes and errors.”

    (Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, 146)

    The evidence that the believer may be punished in his grave because of the large number of sins he has committed will be quoted in detail in the following section.
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    (4) Reason for the punishment of the grave

    “The reasons for which people may be punished in their graves fall into two categories, general and specific. In the general category, people may be punished for their ignorance of Allah, for disobeying His commands and for committing sin.”

    (Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah, 2/17)

    In the specific category, the texts mention many examples; below we shall quote those which we have come across in the ahaadeeth.
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    (i) and (ii)

    (i) and (ii) Not taking precautions to prevent oneself from being soiled with urine, and spreading slander


    Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyAllahu anh) that
    :


    “The Prophet :saw: passed by two graves and said,

    ‘They are being punished but they are not being punished because of any major sin.’

    Then he said,


    ‘Yes, one of them used to go around spreading slander, and the other used not to take precautions to prevent himself from being soiled with urine.’


    Then he took a fresh branch, broke it in two, and planted each part on a grave, then he said,


    ‘Perhaps it may be reduced for them, so long as this does not dry out.’”


    (Bukhari, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab ‘Adhaab al-Qabr min al-Gheebah wal-Bawl, Fath al-Baari, 3/242; this version is also narrated by him. Also Muslim, Kitaab al-Eemaan, Baab ad-Daleel ‘ala Najaasat al-Bawl, 1/240, hadeeth no, 292; and by Nasaa’i, 4/106)


    Nasaa’i narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) said:


    “A Jewish woman visited me and said,


    ‘The torment of the grave is because of urine.’


    I said,


    ‘You are lying.’

    She said,


    ‘Indeed (it is true). We clean our skin and clothes of it.’

    The Messenger of Allah :saw: was going out to pray, and our voices were loud.


    He said,


    ‘What is happening?’


    I told him what she had said, and he said,


    ‘She spoke the truth.’”


    (‘Aa’ishah) said:


    “After that, he never prayed but at the end of the prayer he would say,


    ‘Rabba Jibraa’eel wa Mikaa’eel wa Israafeel, a’idhni min harr an-naar wa ‘adhaab al-qabr’


    (Lord of Jibraa’eel, Mikaa’eel and Israafeel, protect me from the heat of Hellfire and the torment of the grave).’”


    (Nasaa’i; see Jaami’ al-Usool, 11/167)


    This hadeeth refers to that the Children of Israel used to cleanse their skin and clothes of urine it was part of the religious teachings which Allah prescribed for them. Thus, anyone who does not pay heed to it will be punished in his grave. According to the hadeeth of ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Hasanah, the Messenger of Allah :saw: said,


    “Do you not know what happened to a man from among the Children of Israel? If any urine fell onto their clothes, they would cut out the part of the garment that it had fallen onto. He told them not to do that, and he was punished in his grave for that.”


    (Attributed in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (1/416) to Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim)


    The Messenger of Allah :saw: told us that most of the punishment in the grave is because of urine.


    Anas (radhiyAllahu anh) narrated that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:


    “Protect yourselves from urine, for most of the torment of the grave is because of it.”


    It is also narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyAllahu anh) with the wording,


    “Most of the punishment of the grave is because of urine, so protect yourselves from it.”


    And it is narrated by Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllahu anh) with the wording,


    “Most of the punishment of the grave is because of urine.”


    (This is narrated by Shaykh Naasir in Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel. He said, (it is) saheeh. He attributed the report of Anas to ad-Daaraqutni, the report of Ibn ‘Abbaas to ad-Daaraqutni, Al-Haakim, Al-Bazzar and At-Tabaraani, and the report of Abu Hurayrah to Ibn Abi Shaybah, Ibn Maajah, Al-Aajuri, Al-Haakim and Ahmad. See Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel, 1/311, hadeeth no., 280)
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    (iii) Ghalool (taking from the war booty by stealth before it is distributed)

    Another of the sins for which a person will be punished in the grave is ghalool. More than one saheeh hadeeth has been narrated concerning this. It is narrated that Abu Hurayrah said:

    “A man gave as a gift to the Messenger of Allah :saw: a slave who was called Mid’am. Whilst Mid’am was bringing down a saddle for the Messenger of Allah :saw:, an arrow came out of nowhere and killed him.

    The people said,

    “How fortunate he is! Paradise is his,”

    - but the Messenger of Allah :saw: said,


    “No, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, the cloak which he took from the war-booty on the day of Khaybar before the booty had been shared out will burn him with fire.”


    When the people heard that, a man came and brought one or two shoelaces to the Prophet :saw: and said,


    “A shoelace of fire” or “Two shoelaces of fire.”


    (Bukhari and Muslim)


    (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/401)


    It is narrated that ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr said,


    “A man called Karkarah was appointed in charge of the luggage of the Prophet :saw:.


    He died and the Messenger of Allah :saw: said,


    ‘He is in Hell.’

    They went and found a cloak which he had taken by stealth from the war-booty.”


    Bukhari.


    (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/402)
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    (iv) to (vii) Lying, neglecting the Qur’aan, zinaa and ribaa

    Allah showed His Messenger :saw: different kinds of things for which some sinners will be punished. Bukhari narrated that Samurah ibn Jundub said:

    “When the Prophet :saw: had prayed, he would turn to face us and ask,


    ‘Who among you has been a dream this night?’


    If anyone had seen a dream, he would describe it, and say whatever Allah willed he should say.


    One day he asked us,


    ‘Has any one of you seen a dream?’


    - and we said,


    ‘No.’


    He said,


    ‘But last night I saw (in a dream) that two men came to me, took me by the hand and accompanied me to the Holy Land. There was a man sitting and another man standing with an iron hook in his hand. Some of our companions said, narrating from Moosa (Moses), an iron hook in his hand, which he inserted into one corner of his mouth then tore (his face) to the back of his head, then he did the same on the other side. Then his face was restored, and the same thing happened again.


    I (the Messenger) asked,


    “What is this?”


    They said,


    “Keep going.”


    So we kept going until we came to a man who was lying on his back, with
    another man standing at this head, holding a rock or a stone with which he smashed his head. After he struck him, the rock rolled away and he ran after it. By the time he brought it back, the other man’s head had been resotored, and he struck it again.


    I asked,


    “What is this?”


    They said,


    “Keep going.”


    So we kept going until we came to a hole like a tannoor (a kind of oven) which was narrow at the top and wide at the bottom, under which a fire was lit. When it came near they rose up until they almost came out of it, and when it died they went back down into it. In it were naked men and women.


    I querried,


    “What is this?”


    They said,


    “Keep going.”


    So we kept going until we came to a river of blood, in which a man was
    standing, and on the river bank was another man before whom were some stones. Yazeed and Wahb ibn Jareer said, narrating from Jareer ibn Haazim: on the river bank was a man, towards whom the man who was in the river started walking. When he wanted to come out, he threw a stone into his mouth and he went back to where he was before. And every time he wanted to come out, he threw a stone into his mouth and he went back to where he was before.


    I questioned,


    “What is this?”


    They said,


    “Keep going.”


    So we kept going until we came to a green garden, in which there was a great tree, at the foot of which was an old man and children. In front of the tree there was a stoking a fire. They took me up the tree, and took me into a house, and I never saw any finer house than that. In it there were old men, young men, women and children. Then they took me out of the house and up the tree, and into a house which was even better, in which there were old men and young men.


    I said,


    “Tonight you have taken me around; tell me about the things that I have seen.”


    They said,


    “Yes, (we will do that). The one whom you saw with his cheeks been torn open was a liar who used to tell lies which would spread far and wide. What you saw will be done to him until the Day of Resurrection.

    The one whom you saw with his head being smashed was a man to whom Allah taught the Qur’aan, but he slept (and ignored it) at night and he did not act upon it by day. That will be done to him until the Day of Resurrection.

    The ones whom you saw in the hole are the adulterers (those who commit zinaa), and the one whom you saw in the river was one who consumed ribaa.

    The old man at the foot of the tree was ibraaheem (Abraham (aalayhis-salaam) and the children around him were the children of mankind (who died in childhood).

    The one who was stoking the fire was Maalik, the Keeper of Hell.

    The first house which you entered is the home of the believers in general, and this house is the home of the shuhadaa’ (martyrs). I am Jibreel (Gabriel), and this is Mikaa’eel.

    Now raise your head.”

    So I raised my head, and I saw above me something like a cloud.

    They said,

    “This is your house.”


    I said,


    “Let me enter my house.”


    They said,


    “You have not yet completed your life on earth. When you complete it, you will come to your house.’””


    (Bukhari in Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Fath al-Baari, 3/251)
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    The debtor is detained in his grave by his debt

    One of the things that adversely affect the deceased in his grave is his debt. It is narrated from Sa’d ibn al-Atwal (radhiyAllahu anh) that his brother died and left behind three hundred dirhams, and he left children.

    He said,


    “I wanted to spend it on his children, but the Prophet of Allah :saw: said to me,


    ‘Your brother is being detained by his debt, (so go and) pay off his debts.’


    (So I went and paid off his debts, then I came back).


    I said,


    ‘O’ Messenger of Allah, I have paid them off, except for two dinars which a woman claimed, but she had no proof.’


    He said,


    ‘Give them to her, for she is right.’


    (According to another report, ‘ for she is telling the truth’).”




    The Messenger :saw: said that this Sahaabi was being detained because of his debt. This detention may be explained by another hadeeth in which the Messenger :saw: said:


    “He is being kept from Paradise because of his debt.”


    According to the hadeeth narrated by Samurah ibn Jundub,


    “The Prophet :saw: performed the funeral prayer (according to another report, he prayer Fajr), and when he finished, he said,


    ‘Is there anybody here from the family of So and so?


    (The people kept quiet, for if he asked them something they would keep quiet (out of respect). He said that a few times (three times, and no one answered). (Then a man said, ‘Here he is.’) A man stood up at the back of the people, dragging his lower garment.


    The Prophet :saw: said,


    ‘What kept you from answering me the first two times? I did not hint at your name except for a good reason. So and so – and he mentioned a man from among them – is being kept away because of his debt (from Paradise. If you wish, you can ransom him, or if you wish you can leave him to the punishment of Allah).’


    If only you could have seen his family and those who had anything to do with him getting up and paying off his debts (until there was no one left to make any demands of him).”


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    The torment of the dead because of the weeping of the living

    When ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radhiyAllahu anh) was stabbed, Suhayb called upon him weeping and saying,

    “O’ my brother, O’ my friend!”

    Umar (radhiyAllahu anh) said,

    “O’ Suhayb, are you weeping for me when the Messenger of Allah :saw: said,

    ‘The deceased is tormented because of some of the weeping of his family for him?’”

    (This hadeeth is narrated by Bukhari, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab Qawl an-Nabi Yu’adhdhab al-Mayit bi ba’d Bikaa’i ahlihi ‘alayhi’, Fath al-Baari, 3/151. It is also narrated by Muslim. See Saheeh al-Jaami’, 11/92)

    ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) denied that the Messenger :saw: said this hadeeth. In Bukhari it is narrated that after ‘Umar died, ‘Ibn Abbaas mentioned to ‘Aa’ishah what ‘Umar had said. She said,

    “May Allah have mercy on ‘Umar. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah did not say that Allah would punish the believer for his family’s weeping over him. But the Messenger of Allah :saw: said,

    ‘Allah will increase the torment of the kaafir because of his family’s weeping over him.’


    The Qur’aan is sufficient for you:

    And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden.

    (Qur’aan 35: 18)

    (Bukhari, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz; see Fath al-Baari, 3/151)


    ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) interpreted this hadeeth in more than one way; this is narrated from her in the books of Saheeh and Sunan.

    (If you wish to know more about these interpretations, see Fath al-Baari, 3/152)


    There are two issues here: the first is, did the Messenger :saw: say this hadeeth?

    Qurtubi said,

    “Aa’ishah denied that, and she said that the narrator made a mistake or was forgetful, or that he heard part of it and not the other part, because the narrators among the Sahaabah who transmitted this meaning were many and they were certain, so there is no reason to deny the hadeeth when it is possible to interpret it in an acceptable manner.”

    (Fath al-Baari, 3/154)

    The second is: how can he be tormented because of his family’s weeping for him when that is not his action and Allah, the Exalted, says: And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden. (Qur’aan 35: 18)

    The scholars answered this question in several ways, the best of which is what Bukhari said in his commentary on the chapter in which he included this hadeeth. He (may Allah have mercy on him) said under the “Chapter: the words of the Prophet :saw:.

    ‘The deceased is tormented because of some of the wailing over, if that wailing was the custom of that dead person,’
    - because Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) says,


    ...Ward off yourselves and your families against Fire...


    (Qur’aan 66: 6)

    And the Prophet :saw: said,

    ‘Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.’


    But if that (wailing) was not his custom, then it is as ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) said, (quoting the Qur’aan). And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden (Qur’aan 35: 18)


    (Ibid, 150)


    Among those who held this view was Tirmidhi (may Allah have mercy on him). He narrated the hadeeth of ‘Umar (radhiyAllahu anh) with the wording “The deceased is tormented because of his family’s weeping for him.” Then he said: Abu ‘Eesa (Tirmidhi) said: the hadeeth of ‘Umar is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. Some of the scholars regarded it as makrooh to weep for the dead; they said that the deceased is tormented because of the weeping of his family for him, and they referred to this hadeeth. Ibn al-Mubaarak said: I hope that if he used to forbid it (wailing) during his lifetime, that he will not be held to blame for it.


    (Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 3/326)


    This understanding of the hadeeth was the view of Qurtubi, who said:


    Some or most of the scholars said that the dead are tormented because of the weeping of the living if such weeping was the custom and preference of the deceased... The same is true if he left instructions that this should be done.”

    (Tadhkirat al-Qurtubi, 102)


    Wailing, slapping one’s cheeks and rending one’s garments were all habits of the people of the Jaahiliyyah. “They used to request their families to weep and wail over them, and to announce the news of their passing to the different tribe. This was a well-known custom among them, and is commonly referred to in their poems. The deceased deserves to be punished for that because of what he told them during his lifetime.” This is the view of Ibn al-Atheer.


    (Jaami’ al-Usool, by Ibn al-Atheer, 102)


    We must take note here of the version narrated by Bukhari, in which it says:


    “The deceased is tormented because of some of the weeping of his family over him” – he will not be tormented because of all of the weeping. The weeping which means that tears flow from the eyes, which does not involve rending the garments or slapping the cheeks, is not something for which a person will be blamed. This is stated in many reports.


    The great scholar Ibn Taymiyyah also discussed this matter. He regarded as weak (da’eef) the view of Bukhari, Qurtubi, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr and those who followed their lead in interpreting the ahaadeeth which say that the deceased is tormented because of the weeping of the living. After mentioning the texts which have been narrated concerning that, he (may Allah have mercy on him) said:


    “This has been denied by many among the earlier and later generations; they regarded that as punishing a man for the sins of another, which is contrary to the aayah: And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden...

    (Qur’aan 35: 18)


    They had different ways of dealing with those saheeh ahaadeeth.


    Some of them suggested that the narrators, such as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab and others, were mistaken. This is the view of ‘Aa’ishah, Al-Shaafa’i and others. Some interpretated it as being the case if the deceased had requested that (wailing), and so he is to be punished for his request. This is the view of a group which included Al-Mazani and others.

    Some of them interpreted it as being the case if that was the people’s custom, and the deceased would be punished for not forbidding this evil. This is the view of a group which included my (Ibn Taymiyyah’s) grandfather Abul-Barakaat. All of these views are very weak (da’eef
    jiddan).”


    (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa. 24/370)


    He refuted the view of those rejected these ahaadeeth because of the way in which they understood them, and said:


    “The clear saheeh ahaadeeth which were narrated by people such as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, his son ‘Abdullaah, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari and others, cannot be rejected on this basis. ‘Aa’ishah Umm al-Mu’mineen did this with other ahaadeeth, when she rejected them because of the way that she understood them and thought that the meaning she understood was incorrect. But this is not the case.

    Whoever thinks about this matter will find that this clear, saheeh hadeeth, transmitted by trustworthy narrators cannot be rejected on this basis, except by mistake.”


    (Opt. cit, 24/370)


    Then he (may Allah have mercy on him) explained that ‘Aa’ishah made the same mistake that she was trying to avoid. He said:


    ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyAllahu anha) narrated two versions from the Prophet :saw: - and she is a trustworthy narrator. She narrated that the Prophet said:


    “Allah will increase the torment of the kaafir because of his family’s weeping over him.”


    This is in agreement with the hadeeth of ‘Umar because if it is possible for the kaafir’s torment to be increased because of his family’s weeping over him, it is possible for others to be tormented because of their family’s weeping as well. Hence in Mukhtalif al-Hadeeth, Imam Shaafa’i rejected this hadeeth because of the meaning, and said that the other version is more likely to be saheeh: “They are weeping for him, and he is being tormented in his grave.”


    (Ibid, 24/371)


    He narrated the view of those who thought that this hadeeth mans that a person may be punished for the sins of others and said:


    “Of those who accepted this hadeeth and interpreted it in this way, some of them thought that this was a case of punishing a man for the sins of another, and that Allah does whatever He wills and decrees whatever He wants. They believed that a man could be punished for the sins of another, so they believed that it was possible that the children of the kuffaar would enter Hell because of the sins of their fathers.”

    (Ibid)


    After discussing this issue – whether the children of the kuffaar will enter hell because of the sins of their fathers – at length, he said that this is not correct. The truth is that Allah does not punish anyone except those who disobey Him, and that those who are not tested (in this life) will be tested on the Day of Resurrection. He said,


    “As for the torment of the deceased, it does not say that the deceased is punished for the weeping of his family over him; what is says is ‘tormented (yu’adhdhab)’. Torment (‘adhaab) is more general than punishment (‘iqaab). Torment means pain, but not everyone who suffers pain for some reason is being punished because of that reason.
    The Prophet :saw: said,


    ‘Travel is a kind of torment; it keeps a person from his food and drink.’

    He called travel a torment, but it is not a punishment.


    A person may be tormented by unpleasant things that he encounters, such as loud voices, evil people or horrible images. He may be tormented by what he hears, smells or sees, but this is not because of something that he did for which he is being punished. So how can we deny that the deceased is tormented by (his family’s) wailing, even though this is not something that he did for which he would deserve to be punished?


    The person in the grave suffers because of what some people say and because of what he hears or sees. Hence Qaadi Abu Ya’la stated in a fatwa that when sins are committed near (graves), the deceased suffer because of that, as is stated in some reports. Their suffering because of sins committed near their graves is akin to their suffering because of the wailing of those who wail over them, so the wailing is the cause of the torment.”


    (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, Kitaab al-Maghaazi, Baab Ghazwat Mu’tah)


    The conclusion which the Shaykh (Ibn Taymiyyah) reached to is also indicated in some ahaadeeth. It is narrated that An-Nu’maan ibn Basheer said:


    “Abdullaah ibn Rawaahah (radhiyAllahu anh) fell unconscious, and his sister ‘Amirah started weeping and crying,

    ‘O’ my rock (my support)!’


    - and so on and so forth, making a list of eulogies. When he woke up, he said,


    ‘You did not say anything but it was said to me, “Are you really like that?!’”

    When he died, she did not weep for him.”


    (Bukhari, Kitaab al-Maghaazi, Baab Ghazwat Mu’tah)


    This meaning was in fact clearly stated in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari, who said that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:


    “There is no person who dies, and someone starts to weep for him and say, ‘O’ my rock! O’ my master!’ and so on, but two angels are appointed over him and they strike him on the chest and say, ‘Are you really like that?’”


    This is narrated by Tirmidhi, who said, this is a ghareeb hasan hadeeth.


    (Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, Baab ma jaa’ fi Kiraahiyat al-Bikaa’ ‘ala al-Mayit, 3/326, hadeeth no. 1003)


    Al-Haafiz said in at-Talkhees, after quoting this hadeeth,


    “It is narrated and classed as saheeh by Al-Haakim, and there is a corroborating report in As-Saheeh from An-Nu’maan ibn Basheer.”


    (Talkhees al-Habeer by Ibn Hajar, 2/140, hadeeth no. 806)


    It is essential to point out here that not every dead person for whom others wail will be tormented because of that wailing. The cause of torment may be warded off by other means – as ibn Taymiyyah says – as is the case with those people who have the strength not to be affected by those loud voices, evil people and horrible scenes.

    Then he said that the ahaadeeth which issue warnings mention the reasons for punishment, and that the things which make a punishment inevitable, may vary according to the things that counteract it, be it acceptable repentance, good deed which cancel out bad deeds, calamities which expiate for sin, the intercession of one whose word is accepted, or by the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Allah.

    In conclusion, he explained that the torment suffered by the deceased believer in his grave because of others’ wailing over him will be the means by which Allah causes the expiation of his bad deeds.


    (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/375)

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