OpenGraveRecall the sensation of choking. You may have first experienced it as a child when your mother forced a tight jumper over your head. Try to remember as clearly as possible how nauseous and suffocated you felt. A human being feels this way at such a time because we need to breathe. We require good ventilation and light to feel comfortable - unlike a corpse.

The raging dark winds which hover around the darkness of the night, the quiet of the living world, the stars which illuminate the way for those who carry you on their shoulders are anything but comforting to you. In fact they are implicitely telling you another story. That you are without hearing, without feeling, without thought, without need, without…life.

The grave has already been dug for you and awaits you to fill its empty, silent and gloomy chamber. This gaping hole in the ground is different from the houses you yearned for in life. It is anything but grand, luxorious and spacious. It is is simple, unmarked and isn’t lifted above the ground. In fact its depth can be measured by the eye. No windows or any kind of ventilation exist  and no doors that can be percieved by the people of this world. It is damp but don’t worry - your corpse will most probably already be emitting a slight odour that can not be concealed by any shower, deodrant or perfume of this world. But with the state that your corpse is now in, it doesn’t matter as you have no one to impress. You won’t feel thirst or hunger, so there’s no need for a fridge full of cold, refreshing drinks and delightful foods that you partook in when you were alive. You won’t need a toilet, as those who performed your ghusl tried to clean your abdomen of excrements by gently massaging your lower back awhile ago… no friend, loved one or even an enemy will want to visit or spend time with you now.

But - O Yes! You will have visitors but they will be special, rare visitors - unlike the ones who visited you when you were living.


Your grave is simple in compliance to the words of our dear Messenger (peace be upon him),

“Graves should not be marked or built.” (Saheeh Muslim)

We find in a hadeeth narrated by Ali (may Allah be pleased with him),

“Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed him to destroy all statues, and not to leave a grave raised high without leveling it with the ground.” (Muslim).

The believers intend to place a mark or stone on your grave later on, just so that it can be recognized and distinguished from the graves surrounding it, some of which are in fact centuries old. How quickly your neighbours have changed. How quickly your life has just stopped. If only you could go back in time, but of what use is regret now? Socialization is no longer a need for you.

They have dug your grave so that you are facing towards the Qiblah.


Today is the day when you have been placed before the Qiblah involuntarily. But how many times was the Call for Prayer (Adhaan) announced, only to find you heedless, reluctant and unwilling. You ran away from facing Allah’s home (Baytullah), but now you are in a home from which you can not run. Today you have no choice but to face the Qiblah and Allah’s accountability.

With tears flowing down their cheeks, they slowly place you in your new home on your right side, close to the grave’s wall, so as to give you support from falling back. You are now facing the Qiblah as they read:

Bismilllah wa ala millati rasoolilllah
"In the name of Allah and in the faith of the Messenger of Allah".

Now they undo the knots and ties on your head and feet. The time now comes…to cover you with mud.

Covered and Alone


As the mud is thrown over you the reality of your existence and the existence of everything besides Allah (the Mighty and Glorious) becomes apparent. Where is your haughtiness, your self-deluding pride, your worship of your own desires and wants today? All has gone. You are now alone, no friend to support you, no mother or father to comfort you, no siblings to depend on and above all, no time to change your ways. For those who walk on the earth deluded from the purpose of worshipping Allah! Know that the time will draw near when you will be underground, a corpse, unattended, uncared for and after a few generations…maybe altogether forgotten and unknown. Turn back to Allah, repent! Allah, the Mighty, above the heavens hears the cry of his slave that turns back to him with penitence, fear, hope and remorse. Let’s now begin to be the best Slaves of Allah that we can possibly be. Let’s fight our egos, our very desires and passions that go against the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Best of Mankind (peace be upon him). Let’s be women who do not fear the blame of the ridiculers. Let’s be women of calibre, conviction and patience. Let’s aim to change the world, by first changing ourselves:

{… Verily! Allâh will not change the good condition of a people until they do not change their state of themselves…} (Ar-Ra’d [13], verse 11)

All of this can be done now, but not when the mud becomes our clothes, clinging to us, filling our mouths and noses.

They Begin to Walk Away

As they stare down at and towards your newly covered grave, your corpse is no longer visible due to the dark, murky mud which now covers and engulfs your lifeless body.

As they stare down at your newly covered grave, your corpse is no longer visible due to the dark, murky mud that now covers and engulfs your lifeless body.

It is a fact that during the hard times in life, you’ll notice that sometimes the dearest of friends fails to stick by your side. This may not be done intentionally but may be due to some human weaknesses and tendencies, such as their own preoccupations, limited time or health.

The same will happen when they throw mud over us and will have completed their duty towards us in terms of our burial, something that, Allah Willing, they will be rewarded for. But, it makes sense that they will not be able to stand there forever; they’ll tire, remember an errand, or simply want to go home and let their heart heal from the impact of your separation…but the reality and fact of the matter is that they will eventually leave you alone to face your fate and in the few years to come they will only be able to recall snippets of light memories of you.

As they begin to slowly walk away from your grave, you can’t call out, “STOP! I need you! Don’t leave me. Don’t you care for and love me anymore? Have you forgotten me? Won’t you remember me anymore…?” Even if you could call out, it makes no difference… as they are unable to hear you.

mudovergraveNow, although you can’t request them for it, you are in need of their supplications (duas) as you lie underground all alone, without any light or any means of communication. This is because your sins may now turn against you. Therefore, you are in need of sincere supplications from within the hearts of the believers, expressed sincerely towards the Lord above. Yesterday you could have worked to increase your own good deeds, but now you are left to the graciousness of those who may remember to supplicate for you or undertake a good action that may benefit you - IF it is sanctioned by the chronicles of Islamic Law.

Before we proceed, let’s remember to say, “May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad” as it is due to his guidance that the believers will, by the Will of Allah, implement this practice. In one Prophetic Narration the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“Make dua’ of Istighfaar (Supplicate for Forgiveness) for your brother and request steadfastness for him because he is now being questioned." (Abu Dawood).

This is why, at this time, which is one of the most critical times for you, their supplications will stand to be more significant for you than the fleeting enjoyments of the world, which the people of the world so readily and hastily run after.

Indeed, their supplications may have a significant impact on what is awaiting you in the grave.

Continuous Rewards

moneyIn such a lonely place, at such a desperate time, how would it feel if you were told that some of your good deeds in life will continuously benefit and support you after your death? Even in this life, if I told you that your bank account will be continuously deposited with extra, free money - growing and adding to your balance every day, without any additional work from you - how would you feel? But remember, this world’s bank balances won’t last forever, but, Allah Willing, the Hereafter’s will.

There are only a few of your own good deeds that will continuously flow forth reward for you, even after your death. Although these good deeds maybe few in number, their rewards may turn out to be great, far more than you ever anticipated or expected.

Bring to mind the happiness you feel in your heart when you do something small and are repaid many times over for such a small exertion. Indeed, Allah is the Most Merciful, the Gracious and the Bestower. He can do much, much, much more for you - the question is: do you really want it? If so it’s not too late. Now is the chance to sow that which will be reaped by the Most Merciful in the Most Gracious of ways, Allah Willing.

Therefore, even though the life span of a Muslim is short and his/her deeds will stop after death, a Muslim may have carried out certain actions in life that will continue to benefit him/her in their grave. These actions include:

  • perpetual charity;
  • useful knowledge;
  • a good child that prays for him/her;
  • a Mosque that s/he built;
  • teaching Quran to another person;
  • a house s/he built for public use;
  • a water fountain or a river that s/he rented and made it free for people;
  • a charity that s/he gave during his/her life while s/he was in good health.

All of the above are continuously rewardable good actions even after death.

In this respect the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "After the death of a person his actions stop, except three things that he leaves behind: First, continuous charity; Second, knowledge from which some benefit may be obtained; Third, a virtuous son who makes Dua’ (prays, supplicates) on his behalf." (Muslim).

Therefore, charity will benefit the deceased, as the following Prophetic narrations also clearly illustrates:

"A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked him, "My father died leaving wealth but no will, would he be pardoned if a charity is given on his behalf?", the Prophet (peace be upon him) answered: "Yes." (Muslim)

Another Hadith: "A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked him, "My mother has died without making up for missed days of fasting in the month of Ramadan, can I fast for her?”, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him, “Would you pay her debt if she owed someone?". The man said: "Yes", then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Then Allah is more deserving of payment in settlement of his debt." (Bukhari & Muslim).

Ibn Abbas reported that: A woman came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "My mother had vowed to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage), but she died before she could fulfill her vow, should I do it on her behalf?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him, "Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf. Would you not pay the debt of your mother if she had owed someone? Fulfill it. Allah is more deserving of receiving payment for what is due to Allah." (Bukhari & Muslim)

Now, think about the magnanimity of the following verse:

“Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the fire and admitted to the Paradise, indeed this person attained success, and this life is only enjoyment and deception.” (Aal-‘Imraan: 175)


Today you’re really alone.

You can’t speak, cry or moan.

You can’t articulate your feelings or change your tone,

Forget your worldly abode, which was just a transient home.

And yes, it’s too late to payback any loan.


You just aimed to have a good education, enjoy your life,

And to eventually be a wife.

Then you became a mother, a granny and then reality hit you about this life,

When you fell ill on your death bed,

And then your funeral player was led.


Indeed, your grave is an empty shell,

Either filled with the delights of Paradise or the flames of hell.

Did you lose out in this world, when indeed you did sell,

Yourself to satan, who hates you and works to achieve and do well.

Or did you follow the way of the pious and become the one to warn and tell,

The others of Allah’s wrath and Jahannam’s hell?


Wake up and realize before the mud fills your mouth and ears,

Then you will be alone and you won’t be able to shed any tears.

The reckoning will begin,

And those living in sin,

Surely won’t win.

For Allah created man and Jinn,

To worship him alone.

So atone,

Before it’s too late to even pick up the phone,

When, yes, you’ll truly be alone.


Now’s the time: ask forgiveness from others,

For in Islaam we are all sisters and brothers.

But first and foremost, ask the Creator’s forgiveness,

And adamantly ask Him to widen and graciously bless your grave.

And from now on intend to be his devoted slave,

And to behave

Like a Muslim, so that you’ll be saved,

And your grave widened, for in it…very soon…you will be laid.

And don’t forget, always remember the words of the Noble Messenger,

When he said he was only in this life a traveller

Therefore, you too, also be in it like a mere passenger.


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