The Righteous Soul Responds (21)

By Bintus-Sabeel on . Posted in Death and the Grave

doorheavenThe time-span exacted for the soul to be taken up into the heavens is a matter unknown to us as time holds a completely different dimension in the next life. What we do know, however, is that after the person is buried and as his friends and family walk away, the soul is returned back to the body at this stage. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“When a person is placed in his grave and his companions leave him, he can hear their footsteps."{footnote}Agreed upon{/footnote}

We also learn from the following Prophetic Narrations that the questioning of the angels will immediately begin after the burial. For, whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) buried someone, he would stand by the graveside and tell the people,

“Ask Allah to forgive your brother and give him strength, for he is being questioned right now.”{footnote}Aboo Daawood and at-Tirmidhi.{/footnote}

From Prophetic Narrations we come to learn that the righteous soul will in fact undergo a significantly different ordeal in comparison to the evil one. Let’s first go through the ordeal experienced by the righteous soul as it is interrogated by the angels and Allah Willing, thereby hope that Allah (Almighty) makes us of them, Aameen. After which we will look at how the evil soul will be questioned and punished in the grave, may Allah (Almighty) save us from such an end. Aameen.

*Throughout this section I will be predominantly mentioning certain parts of the authentic Prophetic Narration narrated by al-Baraa’ Ibn ‘Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him) the beginning of which goes as follows:

“We went out with the Prophet (peace be upon him) to attend the funeral of one of the Ansaari men. When we reached the grave, and before the man was buried, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sat down [facing the Qiblah] and we sat down around him. We were as silent and still as if there were birds on our heads, and he had in his hand a stick with which he scratched up the earth. He began to look up towards the sky and down at the ground, and he raised and lowered his head three times. He said,

‘Seek refuge with Allah from the punishment of the grave.’ – two or three times…”{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote}

Let’s pray that Allah (Almighty) saves us from the Fitnah of the grave, Aameen.

What follows is how the two angels will come in the grave and sit the lying deceased person up in his grave after his friends and relatives have buried him and walked away from the grave.

The Righteous IS Questioned

facingqiblahingraveThe Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Then two angels come to him, sit him up…”{footnote}Agreed upon.{/footnote}

The names of these two interrogating angels that will come to a person in the grave are mentioned in the following Hadeeth: “When the deceased is buried, two black-and-blue angels come to him, one called al-Munkar and the other called an-Nakeer.”{footnote}Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami; no 737..{/footnote}

Even the righteous believer will not be saved from the questioning which will take place in the grave. This is collaborated by the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) unequivocally mentioned: “A believer is made to sit in his grave.”{footnote}Recorded by al-Bazzar; verified to be authentic.{/footnote} and by other narrations which will shortly follow.

The difference between the believer and the disbeliever in this regard will be that the believer will be calm and self-composed when the angels sit him up in the grave, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) clearly elucidated: “The righteous man is sat up in his grave, not scared or terrified.”{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote} And: “If he was a righteous man, he will be sat up in his grave, without fear or terror…”{footnote}Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

This is a distinguishing feature which Allah (Almighty) blesses his slaves with. He strengthens their souls at this difficult time and gives them conviction. This is because the one who truly fears Allah will not have to fear anything or anyone else. It is from the Mercy of Allah (the Most Kind) that He will strengthen his slave even at this most critical stage, a stage which will determine what lies ahead of him.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “When the Believer is sat up in his grave, he will bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and that is the meaning of the verse:

{Allah will establish in strength those who believe, with the word that stands firm…} (Ibraaheem [14]:27){footnote}Al-Bukhaari.{/footnote}

Other narrations clearly mention the wording of the questions which the angels will pose and also the manner in which the believer will respond to these questions. I thoroughly searched and went through as many narrations as I could possibly find to ascertain the exact questions mentioned by the Prophet (peace be upon him), himself, regarding the questioning that will take place in the grave by the angels. Interestingly I found that, although commonly people have only heard of three questions that will be posed in the grave, there is also mention of a fourth one: namely regarding the Qur’aan. Yes, the Book of Allah, our guide in the life of this world which explains to us the reality of our existence and where we are heading. But what is worrying is that so many of us have failed in our duty towards it and have underestimated our obligation towards it, so much so that many of us are oblivious of the fact that we will be questioned in the grave about the Qur’aan.

The only way we can gain a thorough understanding of this topic is by going through the various authentic narrations passed down from the Prophet (peace be upon him).

And this is what we are going to venture into right now.

The Various Narrations

question23The following are the different wordings found in the various Prophetic Narrations which mention the questions which will be posed to the believer in the grave and how s/he will reply to them.

*As mentioned earlier, we will first go through how the believer will respond to the questions posed to him. Whereas in the next article we’ll go through how the disbeliever will incorrectly respond to the questions posed to him and the consequences he will have to face as a result of that.

***

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“…Two stern angels will come to him, [rebuke him] and sit him up,

‘Who is your Lord?’/

‘What did you use to worship?’{footnote}Narrated by Aboo Daawood from Anas; see Saheeh al-Jaami’; No 1926.{/footnote}

He will answer,

‘My Lord is Allah.’

In another narration it’s mentioned:

“Allah guides him and he says, ‘I used to worship Allah’.“{footnote}Narrated by Aboo Daawood from Anas; see Saheeh al-Jaami’; No 1926.{/footnote}

They will ask him,

‘What is your religion?’{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim..{/footnote}‘ /

‘In what [religion] were you?’{footnote}Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote} /

‘What did you used to say about Islaam?'{footnote}Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

“He will say,

‘My religion is Islaam.’{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim{/footnote} /

‘I was in Islaam.’{footnote}Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

After this he will be questioned about the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Last and Final Messenger of Allah sent to mankind. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself said:

“…As for the Fitnah of the grave, (the deceased) will be tested concerning me and asked about me…”{footnote}Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

“They will ask:

‘Who is this man who was sent among you?’{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote}/

‘Who was this man who was among you?’{footnote}Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}/

‘Who is this man?’{footnote}Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}/

‘What did you used to say about this man?’{footnote}Agree upon.{/footnote}/

"Who is your Prophet?"{footnote}Recorded by al-Bazzar; verified to be authentic.{/footnote}

“He will say,

muhammad-moon

‘He is the Messenger of Allah.”{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standard.s of Bukhari and Muslim{/footnote}/

‘Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He brought us clear signs from Allah and we believed in him.’ /

‘Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, who brought the clear signs from Allah, so we believed in him.’”{footnote}Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}/

‘He is the slave and Messenger of Allah.’{footnote}Narrated by Aboo Daawood from Anas; see Saheeh al-Jaami’; No 1926.{/footnote}/

‘I bear witness that he is the slave and Messenger of Allah.’{footnote}Agree upon.{/footnote}/

‘He is the slave of Allah and His Messenger, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.’{footnote}Narrated by Aboo Daawood from Anas; see Saheeh al-Jaami’; No 1926.{/footnote}/

"He is Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, who came with clear signs from Allah; and we believed in him."{footnote}Recorded by Ahmad; verified to be authentic.{/footnote}/

"My prophet is Muhammad."{footnote}Recorded by al-Bazzar; verified to be authentic.{/footnote}

The angels will say,

‘We knew that you would say this.’…{footnote}Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami; no 737.{/footnote}/

"We expected you to say this."{footnote}Recorded by at-Tirmidhi; verified to be hasan.{/footnote}

He is asked,

‘Have you seen Allah?’

He says,

‘No-one may see Allah.’{footnote}Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

“They will ask him,

‘What did you do?’

He will say,

quran_bxvm

‘I read (or recited) the Book of Allah. And I believed in it.’

He will rebuke him and ask:

‘Who is your Lord? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet?’

This is the last of the trials to face the Believers…”{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote}

In this way, the believing slave will past the greatest test and gain the everlasting bliss and pleasure of the Almighty. Sorrow will become something of the past; pain will cease to exist; hurt will be uplifted and sadness taken away.

Happiness upon happiness; joy upon joy -increasing as the moments pass by and as the Day of Resurrection draws close.

A Hole Opened Towards Jannah

doorheavenThe grave, that dark murky excavation in the ground that was once dark and unlit, will now have a hole opened in it for the believer. He will be shown that which he has been saved from and that which he has been gifted with. For it is only by knowing that which you have been saved from does one really know what they have truly gained. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“A hole will be opened for him, through which he will see the hellfire, parts of it consuming others.”{footnote}Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}/ “An opening is made (from his grave) to the Fire, so that he sees its various sections crushing each other.He is told,

"Look at that from which Allah (azza wa jall) has saved you."{footnote}Recorded in Ibn Majah, verified to be authentic.{/footnote}

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “He is not questioned about anything else after this. He is taken to a house in the Fire, and is told,

‘This is your house which was in the Hellfire, but Allah has protected you and had mercy on you, and has exchanged it for a house in Paradise for you.’"{footnote}Narrated by Aboo Daawood from Anas; see Saheeh al-Jaami’; No 1926.{/footnote}

“Then a gate of Paradise and a gate of Hell will be opened for him, and it will be said to him:

‘This is your place if you had disobeyed Allah. But Allah has given you this instead of that.’”{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote}

“Then a hole will be opened through which he will see paradise, with all its luxuries.”{footnote}Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}/ “Then he is shown Paradise, and he looks at its beauty and everything in it.”{footnote}Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

He is told:

‘Look at your place in Hellfire, which Allah has exchanged for a place in Paradise.’{footnote}Agreed upon.{/footnote}/ ‘Look at that which Allah, may He be Exalted, has saved you from.’{footnote}Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

“So he will look at them both…”{footnote}Agreed upon.{/footnote}

“A door is then opened from his grave (to Jannah), and he is told,

‘Look at your (future) abode.’”{footnote}Recorded by al-Bazzar; verified to be authentic.{/footnote} “He is told: ‘This is your place{footnote}Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote} in it.’{footnote} Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

In another narration it is stated: "Another opening is then made (from his grave) in the direction of Jannah; and he views its grandeur and the things (bounties) in it. He is then told,

"This will be your position. You lived with certitude (about Allah's promises); upon it you died; and upon it you will be raised when Allah (az) wills."{footnote}Recorded in Ibn Majah, verified to be authentic.{/footnote}

In the lengthy Hadeeth narrated by al-Baraa’ Ibn ‘Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“A voice will call from Heaven:

‘My slave has spoken the truth, so furnish his grave from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’

Some of its breeze and scent will reach him, and his grave will be widened for him as far as the eye can see.”{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote}/“…Then they will expand his grave for him, seventy cubits by seventy, and illuminate it for him.”{footnote}Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani, op.cit, No 737.{/footnote}

He will also be allowed to eat from the trees of Paradise before the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The soul of a believer is a bird eating from the trees of Paradise until Allah restores it to its body on the Day of Resurrection.”{footnote}Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani. Saheeh al-Jaami;2369.{/footnote}

How Merciful our Lord is! Although the people of the world may look towards the grave of this person thinking that his life has halted after his death, that he no longer knows the meaning of joy and happiness, that he is restricted between the four walls of his grave, they know not how Allah (Almighty) can bless his servants in a way that we can’t imagine nor envisage. In a way that we can only hope and wish for. But if the believer had debts, then his soul will be tied to his debts. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“The soul of the believer is tied to his debts until they are paid off.”{footnote}Narrated and classed as Hasan by at-Tirmidhi; classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami 6655.{/footnote}

For Allah is Just and does not overlook the right owed to another. Justice is one of the distinguishing hallmarks and benchmark of Islaam and it is performed, even if that means in the next life.

Good Deeds Come in the Form of a Man

lightcloudAnother blessing of the Almighty is that one’s good deeds will come in the form of a handsome, well-dressed, finely-perfumed man who will bring glad tidings to the believer, as the following narration illustrates:

“There will come to him a handsome, well-dressed and finely-scented man, who will say,

‘I bring good news which will make you glad. I bring good news of the good pleasure of Allah, and Gardens wherein is eternal blessing. This is the day which you were promised.’

He will say:

‘And you, may Allah give you better news. Who are you?’

He will say,

‘I am your good deeds, and by Allah I only ever saw you hastening to obey Allah, and ever-reluctant to disobey Him, so may Allah reward you with good.’{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote}

What About Family?

“When he sees what is in Paradise…”{footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote} "...He’d want to share his achievement with his family, for surely they must be worried about him. So he asks,

‘Let me go and tell my family of this good news’,{footnote}Narrated by Aboo Daawood from Anas; see Saheeh al-Jaami’; No 1926.{/footnote}/

‘I want to go back to my family and tell them.’{footnote}Classed as Hsan by al-Albaani. Saheeh al-Jaami; 737.{/footnote}

An inner urge will make him ask:

“My Lord! Hasten the coming of the Hour, so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’

The reply of which will be:

"Be tranquil."{footnote}Recorded by Abu Dawud; verified to be authentic.{/footnote}/
‘Be patient’ (Literally, ‘Dwell here.’){footnote}This lengthy hadith narrated by al-Baraa ibn Aaazib is reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim.{/footnote}/
‘Remain where you are.’{footnote}Narrated by Aboo Daawood from Anas; see Saheeh al-Jaami’; No 1926.{/footnote}/
‘Sleep like the groom who should not be woken by any except those he loves most.’

“Until Allah will resurrect him from his place of rest.”{footnote}Classed as Hasan by al-Albaani. Saheeh al-Jaami; 737.{/footnote}

And then his grave, “…will be filled with greenery until the Day of Resurrection.”{footnote}Agreed upon.{/footnote}

Sleep Until the Day of Resurrection

After all of this, he will be reassured and given glad tidings:

‘You were certain (‘ala’l-Yaqeen), you died certain, and you will be raised certain, Allah Willing.’{footnote}Ibn Maajah. This Hadeeth is also to be found in al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami; no 1964, and at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}/
‘You had strong faith, you died with strong faith, and you will be resurrected with strong faith, Allah Willing.”{footnote}Narrated by Ahmad, with a Saheeh Isnaad; reported in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.{/footnote}

And: “He will not be asked about anything else.”{footnote}Narrated by Aboo Daawood from Anas; see Saheeh al-Jaami’; No 1926.{/footnote} “…Then he will be told, ‘Sleep’.”"{footnote}Classed as Hsan by al-Albaani. Saheeh al-Jaami; 737.{/footnote}

So the righteous slave will then sleep peacefully, just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) described:

“He is then left in the grave, and (the time passes) as if it is but a nap.”{footnote}Recorded by al-Bazzar; verified to be authentic.{/footnote}

But the questions remain:

What will happen to the evil soul, the disbeliever and the hypocrite?

How will they reply to these questions, and how will they be treated in return?

Click here to continue this journey.


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