Blessings and favours of the Barzakh
Chapter No.: 12
- Sayyidina Sa‘iid bin Al-Musayyib Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Ummul Mu-miniin Sayyiditina ‘Aa-i-shah Radiyallahu ‘Anhaa said: “Yaa Rasulullah, since you have told me about the voice of Munkar and Nakeer, and the grave pressing its inmate, nothing is helping (consoling) me.” He said: “Yaa ‘Aa-i-shah, the voice of Munkar and Nakeer in the ears of the Mu-miniin (believers) will be like ithmid (surmah) in the eyes (which delights the eyes), and the pressing in the grave for a Mu-min will be (comfortable) like that of a compassionate mother to whom her child complains of a headache and she softly presses his head. But, Yaa ‘Aa-i-shah, woe to those who doubt the existence of Allah, and complain about his commands, they will be pressed in their graves like a stone put on an egg and pressed.” – Bayhaqii, Ibn Mandah.
- Sayyidina Abii Sa‘iid Al-Khudarii Radiyallahu ‘Anhu narrates that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When a Muslim bondsman is buried, the grave says to him, marhaban and ahlan (welcome), you were the most beloved to me from among those who walked on the surface of me. Today when I have been made your servant, and you have come to me, you will observe my dealing with you. Hence it expands for him as far as his eyes can see, and it opens for him a door to Jannah (paradise). Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said this too. The qabr (grave) is either a garden from among the gardens of Jannah (for the pious), or a pit from among the pits of Jahannam (hell) (for the sinful).” – Tirmithi.
- Sayyidina Abii Hurairah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When a dead person is buried, two black angels with blue eyes come to him. One is called Munkar and the other Nakeer. They both ask him: ‘What did you use to say regarding this person (Muhammad Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam)?’. He will say: ‘He is the bondsman and messenger of Allah Ta‘aala. Ash-hadu an-la ilaaha illallaahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa-rasuluh’. They both will say: ‘(After seeing signs) We knew that you are going to say this’. Then his grave is widened seventy dhiraa (cubits) by seventy dhiraa and then illuminated. The person then says: ‘Allow me to go to my family, so that I may inform them’. They say to him: ‘Sleep like a groom, who is awakened only by that person who is most beloved to him from his family, until Allah Ta‘aala will resurrect you from that sleep (on the day of qiyaamah)’” – Tirmithi, Baihaqi.
A Mu-min bondsman will not fear these angels being black and having blue eyes. In a hadith in Ibn Majah the words “Ghayra faza-in wa-laa mash-ghufin” are stated, meaning the bondsman will not be distressed, bewildered or confounded.
- Sayyidina Abii Hurairah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “I swear an oath in the Name of that Being in whose hands my life is, when a mayyit (deceased) is put in his grave, he hears the footsteps of the people when they leave him. If he is a Mu-min, his salah comes and stand at his head side; his zakaah at his right; his saum (roza, fast) at his left; his good deeds, piety, and ihsaan to the people at his feet. If ‘adhaab (punishment) comes to him from his head side, his salaah will say there is no entrance from my side. Then, it comes from the right side, his zakaah will say there is no entrance from my side. It then comes from the left side; his saum will say there is no entrance from my side. Then, it will come from the side of the feet, his good deeds, piety, ihsaan to the people, will say there is no entrance from our side. At the end of this hadith it is stated then his body is returned to its original state of dust (This is the case with the majority, some bodies remain in the same state in the grave). His ruh (soul) remains (lying) in a gentle breeze, or in the ‘arwaah tayyibah’, i.e. in the form of a green bird in the trees of Jannah. – Ibn Abii Shaybah, Tabrani in the ‘Awsat’, Ibn Hibbaan in his ‘Sahiih, Haakim, Bayhaqii.
From some ahadith of Sharhus Sudur it is stated that the ruh (soul) enters the grave with its body, and from this hadith we find that the ruh goes into Jannah in the form of a green bird. The explanation of both is that the ruh goes with the body in the grave, then subsequently it is taken into Jannah as is apparent from those ahadith mentioned in Sharhus Sudur. Or, the ruh entering the grave with the body may mean, it has a strong connection with the body (as it is said, I am sitting here but my heart and thoughts are somewhere else). After some time when the body decomposes this connection decreases.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “A Muslim male or female who dies on a Friday night or the day of Friday, is safe from the punishment and trials of the grave. He will meet Allah Ta‘aala without giving account of his deeds. On the day of qiyaamah (judgement) he will come in such a state that he will either have witnesses who will give testimony for him, or he will have some sealed testimony.” – Tirmithi, Baihaqi.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu say, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When a man passes away in a place other than his birthplace (or place of residence or domicile), his grave is widened from the place of his demise till the place of his domicile.” – Ahmed, Nasa-ee, Ibn Maajah.
From this the virtue of passing away in a foreign land is proven, which lovers of the material world fear.
- Sayyidina Ibn Mas‘ud Radiyallahu ‘Anhu narrates, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “Among all situations, Allah Ta‘aala is most merciful with His bondsman when he is put in his grave.” – Ibn Mandah.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbaas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When an ‘aalim dies, Allah Ta‘aala gives his knowledge a form. That form becomes his friend and companion till the day of qiyaamah, and removes the vermin and pests from him.” – Daylamii.
If the vermin and insects etc. of the world are intended then this may apply to some special ‘aalims. If the vermin and insects etc. of the barzakh are intended which we cannot see, then every ‘aalim may be included.
- Imaam Ahmed reports from the kitaab ‘Az-zuhd’: “Allah Ta‘aala sent wahii (revelation) to Musa ‘Alayhis Salaam, learn khayr (i.e. knowledge of diin) and teach it to the people, because I keep the graves of a mu‘allim (teacher) and a student illuminated, so that they do not feel dreary, lonely and unhappy in that place.”
- Sayyidina Abii Ayyub Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The one that confronts an enemy, and perseveres till he is killed or overcome. He will not be examined (questioned) in his grave.”
- Sayyidina Abii Umaamah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The one that guards the border in jihaad, Allah Ta‘aala will save him from the examination (questioning) in the grave.” – Tabrani, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Salmaan bin Sard and Sayyidina Khaalid bin ‘Arfatah Radiyallahu ‘Anhuma say, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The one who is killed by his (disease of) stomach, will not be punished in his grave.” – Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah, Baihaqi, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Ibn Mas‘ud Radiyallahu ‘Anhu said: “The one who recites ‘Tabarakal ladhii bi-ya-dihil mulk’ (Suratul Mulk) every night, Allah Ta‘aala will through its blessings save him from the punishment of the grave. In the Nabawi period (time of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) we named this surah ‘maani‘ah’ (the one that protects from punishment).” – Nasa-ee, Sharhus Sudur.
- It is reported from Sayyidina Anas bin Maalik Radiyallahu ‘Anhuma with a weak chain of narrators that, verily in the month of Ramadaan punishment is lifted from the dead, or that punishment is lifted from those passing away in the month of Ramadaan. – Sharhus Sudur.
In the translation of the hadith where it is said, in the month Ramadaan from the dead, or, those passing away in the month of Ramadaan, both could be probable. The first will mean that when Ramadaan comes, punishment is lifted from all (Muslim) dead people. The second will mean, punishment is lifted from those passing away in Ramadaan. There is no harm if the chain of narrators are weak in such instances. Yes, it is harmful in matters regarding ahkaam (legal Islamic decrees).
- Sayyidina Jubayr Radiyallahu ‘Anhu said: “I swear by Allah, Who is One and has no partner, that I put Thaabit Al-bunaanii in his grave. Hamiid At-tawiil was also with me. After having placed the mud bricks, one mud brick fell. (What did I observe?). I observed him perform salaah in his grave. He used to repeat in du‘aa: ‘O Allah, if You had granted anybody from among Your creation the performing of salaah in his grave, then grant it to me too.’ Allah Ta‘aala did not reject his du‘aa.” – Abu Nu‘aym in the ‘Hul-yah’.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbaas Radiyallahu ‘Anhuma said: “Some of the as-haab (companions) of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam sat on a grave, not knowing that it is a grave (as there was no sign of a grave). They heard a person reciting Suratul Mulk till he completed it. They came to Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and informed him. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “It (this surah) is ‘maa-ni-‘ah’ (protects from the punishment of the grave), it is ‘mun-jiyah’ (saves), it saves a person from the punishment of the grave.” – Tirmithi.
- Sayyidina ‘Ik-ramah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu said: “A Mu-min will be given a Mus-haf (Qur’aan) (in the grave), from which he will recite.” – Ibn Mandah.
- Suhaylii has stated in the ‘Dalaa-ilun Nubuwwah’, that, it is reported from some of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu ‘Anhum), on an occasion a grave was dug. (Incidentally there was another grave next to it). (While digging) A portion of the next grave opened. They saw a person on a bed, with a Mus-haf (Qur’aan) in his hand, from which he was reciting. Before him was a green garden. This took place at Uhud. It became known that he was from among the shu-ha-daa (martyrs) as he had a wound on his face.” – Ibn Hibbaan in his tafsir.
- Sayyidina Abii Sa‘iid Al-Khudarii Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The one who recites the Qur’aan and passes away before he could memorise it, an angel comes to him in his grave to teach him. He will meet Allah in a state where he had already memorised the Qur’aan.” – Abul Hasan ibn Shubraan in his ‘Fawaa-id’ from ‘Atiyyah Al-‘Awfii.
These deeds of reciting the Qur’aan and performing salaah is not a fard (compulsory) deed or trouble, but a deed of pleasure and enjoyment and a means of gaining a higher position (in the hereafter).
- Sayyidina Qays bin Qubay-sah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The person who dies without making wasiyyah (Will and Testament), will not be allowed to talk to those who had already died. It was asked, Yaa Rasulullah, do the deceased converse among themselves. He replied: ‘Yes, they visit one another too.’” – Shaykh Ibn Hibbaan in his ‘Kitaabul Wasaayaa’.
- Sayyiditina ‘Aa-i-shah Radiyallahu ‘Anhaa says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The one that visits his (Muslim) brothers grave and sits by him. He becomes attached to him and replies to the salaam till the visitor gets up and leaves.” – Ibn Abid Dunyaa in ‘Kitaabul Maftun’.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbaas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “Any person passing the grave of his Mu-min brother whom he knew in the world and says salaam to him. The deceased person recognises him and replies to his salaam.” – Ibn ‘Abdulbarr.
- Sayyidina Ibn Mas‘ud Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The arwaah (souls) of the shu-hadaa (martyrs) are in the form of green birds, and go around in Jannah wherever they wish. They go and settle on the chandeliers under the ‘Arsh (Throne of Allah).” – Muslim.
- Sayyidina Ka’b bin Maalik Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The ruh (soul) of a Mu-min stays in the trees of jannah in the form of a bird until Allah Ta‘aala returns it to its body on the day of qiyaamah (judgement).” – Maalik, Ahmed, Nasa-ee.
- Sayyiditina Umm Bishr bint Al-Baraa Radiyallahu ‘Anhaa said to Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam: “Yaa Rasulullah, do dead people recognise one another.” He said: “May your hands be in dust (this is an expression of kindness), the nafs mut-ma-innah (tranquil soul) is in the form of a green bird in Jannah. If birds in the branches of trees recognise one another (it is apparent that they recognise one another), then souls surely know one another.” – Ibn Sa‘d.
- Tabrani has extracted in the ‘Maraasiil’ of Damrah bin Habiib, that a Sahaabi asked Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam regarding the arwaah (souls) of the Mu-miniin (believers). He said: “They live in the form of green birds in Jannah, and eat, drink and go wherever they wish.”
- Sayyidina Abii Hurairah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “The arwaah of the Mu-miniin are in the seventh sky. (From where) They see their abodes in Jannah (paradise).” – Abu Nu‘aym.
There are many ahadith concerning the barzakh, but in this eleventh chapter only twenty seven ahadith have been copied as an example. In these twenty-seven ahadith and in some of the previous chapters, the pleasure, enjoyment, comfort, respect, and honour in the barzakh have been fully stated, because the blessings, favours and happiness of the body and soul are:
- To be safe from trials and tribulations.
- To have a spacious home.
- To be accepted and beloved of a ruler.
- To be in the protection of a protector.
- The ruler be kind and merciful.
- To be with a companion who consoles and gives comfort.
- Illumination in darkness.
- Recite the Qur’aan.
- Perform salaah (namaaz).
- Visit and meet relatives and friends.
- Attachment and friendship of visitors.
- Abundance of food and drink, especially the delights and joys of Jannah.
- High quality furnishing and decor.
- High quality clothing and apparel.
- Have an airy and well-ventilated home, especially when the breeze is from Jannah.
- Having gardens for recreation.
- Listening to good news and recognising one another. Having luxurious homes. Seeing one’s abode in Jannah with one’s own eyes.
In these ahadith all those aspects are enumerated which are needed to live a contented and luxurious life. This clearly proves that the dead do not just helplessly lie in their graves as is the belief of the common people, but they will enjoy better and superior luxuries in the barzakh than those found in the world. Yes, some enjoyments that are found in the dunya will not be available there, like nikah (marriage) etc. The reason being that in the ‘aalam-e barzakh the roohani (spiritual) nature will be overwhelming. Bodily conditions and lust will be non-existent; therefore, there will be no necessity of nikah, etc. For this reason on qiyaamah, when one will enter Jannah, one will again attain a body like the world. Hence those feelings and desires will come about again. One will be granted hurs. The desire for food in the barzakh may remain, because a weak body also craves food in the same way as children; the weak; and those recuperating from an illness. It has been narrated that the arwaah (souls) of the Mu-miniin will be in the form of green birds flying around and eating in Jannah.
All that has been mentioned in this chapter are those things that take place with the dying person, of which some are ikh-tiyaarii (in one’s choice and power) like accepting imaan; carrying out pious deeds according to the sharii‘ah. Some are ghair ikhtiari (where one does not possess a choice or power) like dying in a foreign land, or passing away on a Friday, or passing on due to stomach disease etc. (It is Allah Most High’s great blessing that one is rewarded for ghair ikhtiari happenings too). All these aspects end with the deceased. When these conditions end, then the rewards and blessings ordained for it also ends. But, there remains another mercy of Allah Ta‘aala wherein He has planned two such ways from which the gaining of blessings and reward do not end and will remain for ever and keep on multiplying and increasing. One such way is, that some deeds have been planned and proposed, from which a deceased continuous to receive reward even after death. The second is, that the dead person did not carry out that deed during his lifetime, but by others doing it reward is being continuously attained. The first type of deed is termed in the Shari’at as “baaqiyaatus saalihaat” (Those deeds with everlasting reward) and the second “iisaale thawaab” (transmitting or passing on reward). It was deemed appropriate to write regarding these two methods at the end of the chapter. Besides these two we come to know of another type from which a deceased person receives reward, although neither the deceased person nor a living being has any part in it. This has also been mentioned at the end of the chapter.
- Sayyidina Abii Hurayrah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When a human passes away, his deeds come to an end, except from three things: sadaqah jaariyah (like a waqf etc.); or such ‘ilm from which benefit continues to be derived (like teaching, writing books etc.); or a pious son who makes du‘aa for him.” – Bukhaari, Muslim, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Abii Umaamah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports from Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam that four people are such that their rewards continue after death. a. The one that guards the borders at the time of jihaad. b. The one that imparts (Dîni) knowledge. c. The person who has given charity, and until that remains, reward will continue to be attained. d. The one who leaves a pious son who makes du‘aa for him. – Ahmed, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Jariir bin ‘Abdullah narrates a saying of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam: “The one who revives a pious sunnah, will receive its reward, and the reward of those who adopt this sunnah thereafter, without any lessening or decrease in the rewards of any of them.” – Muslim, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Abii Sa‘iid Al-Khudarii Radiyallahu ‘Anhu narrates a saying of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam: “The one that teaches one aayah from the Book of Allah (Qur’aan) or a portion from (Dîni) knowledge (even if it be one mas’alah). Allah Ta‘aala will continue to increase the persons rewards till the day of qiyaamah.” – Ibn Asaakir, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Abii Hurairah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “From among the rewards that a Mu-min continue to receive after death is: knowledge (of diin) that he had propagated; or left behind a pious son; or left in his estate a Qur’aan; or built a masjid; or a musaafirkhaanah (lodging for travellers); or had a water canal dug.” -Ibn Maajah.
In a narration from Sayyidina Anas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu: “The planting of a tree.” is also added. – Abu Nu‘aym, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Abii Hurairah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “Allah Ta‘aala raises the status of some of the pious in Jannah. The person will say, O Lord, from where (due to what act) have I been granted this’? It will be said, due to your children making du‘aa of maghfirah for you.” – Tabrani, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Abii Sa‘iid Al-Khudarii Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “On the day of qiyaamah some people will possess rewards equivalent to mountains. He will ask, from where is this? It will be said, by your son making du‘aa of maghfirah for you.” – Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbaas Radiyallahu ‘Anhumaa says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “A dead person in the grave is like a drowning person expecting (help in the form of) du‘aa from his father, or mother, or son, or friend. When it (du‘aa) reaches him it will be more beloved to him than the world and what it contains. Allah Ta‘aala transmits the du‘aas of the people of the world (in the form of rewards) the equivalent of mountains. The gift of the living to the dead is to seek maghfirah (forgiveness) for them.” – Bayhaqii in Shi‘abul Imaan.
- Sayyidina Sa’d bin ‘Ubaadah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu narrates that he said: “O Rasulullah, my mother passed away. What is the best charity (for her)’?” He replied: “Water.” He dug a well and said: “This (rewards of the well) is for Umm Sa’d.” – Ahmed, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “When anyone among you gives voluntary charity, then give on behalf of your parents (too). They will receive its reward without any decrease of reward for the one giving the charity.” – Tabrani, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Hajjaaj bin Diinaar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “After serving (parents during their lifetime) another (method of) serving (after their demise) is, when performing salaah, to perform (send rewards of) salaah on their behalf. When fasting, to fast on their behalf too. When giving charity, to give on their behalf too. (i.e. To confer on them the rewards of any nafl devotion).” – Ibn Abii Shaybah, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sha’bii narrates that it was the practice of the Ansaar, that when a person passed on, they used to go to his grave and recite the Qur’aan for him. I said, if they did not believe that the reward reached the dead person they should not have recited the Qur’aan (at the grave). Their belief is not without proof. (Their proof can only be due to the sayings of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) The reward of the recital of the Qur’aan reaching the deceased has thus been proven (according to the sayings of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam). – Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbaas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu narrates that it was said, O Rasulullah, does a pious neighbour benefit in the hereafter? He asked: “Does he benefit in the world?” He replied: “Yes.” He (Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) said: “In the same manner they will be benefit in the hereafter.” – Maalinii.
- Sayyidina ‘Abdullah bin Naafi’ Al-Muzanii Radiyallahu ‘Anhu narrates that a person in Madinah passed away and was buried. A person saw him (in a dream) that he was from among the inmates of the fire (hell). He became saddened. He then saw the dead person again after seven or eight days and he was in Jannah. He asked the dead person (the reason). He replied: “A person from among the pious was buried with us. He interceded for forty people among his neighbours (those buried around him). I was among them.” – Ibn Abid Dunyaa, Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbaas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam passed two graves. He said: “They are being punished.” In the same hadith it is stated, he took a green palm branch and split it in two and implanted one in each grave. They (people) said: “O Rasulullah, why have you done so’?” He said: “It is hoped that till these (branches) do not dry out their punishment will be lightened.” – Mishkaat.
- Sayyidina Qataadah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu narrates that Abaa Barzah used to advise us that when I die put with me in my grave two palm branches. – Ibn Asaakir.
It is mentioned in the Sharhus Sudur that this hadith is the origin from where the planting of a tree at a grave has been taken.
- Wahb bin Munabbih narrates that (the prophet) Sayyidina Armi-yaa ‘Alayhis Salaam passed some graves, whose inmates were being punished. After a year he passed the graves again and found that the punishment had subsided. He said: “O my Lord, I passed these graves and its inmates were being punished. This year I passed it again and the punishment had subsided.” A call came from the sky: “O Armi-yaa, O Armi-yaa, their kafan have become tarn and hair decomposed and their graves levelled (having no sign). I saw them (in such a state) and felt merciful on them. I do the same with the inmates of those whose graves have no sign left, and whose kafan tears apart and hair decomposes.” – Ibnun Najjaar, Sharhus Sudur.
An answer to a doubt: These ahadith can only create a longing for death if there are no other narrations wherein it is mentioned that for some people death and the period after death is a great tribulation. The answer to this doubt is: Firstly, the causes of these tribulations, that is sin, is a thing of choice, where one has the option of safeguarding one’s self. The one who has been afflicted, is the result of one’s own choice and actions. One has the choice of making a deliberate intention to sin or avoid sin. Then why should one fall into such troubles and tribulations?
Our aim in writing these ahadith is for us to ponder on death and what takes place after death. The fear that people normally have regarding death will be removed by reading or listening to these ahadith. It is clear and explicit, that what are the ways required to attain those virtues, blessings and favours. It is incumbent to act upon them. We do not mean that these have been promised without any conditions. Secondly, when pondering on these ahadith, it becomes evident that the tribulations that a sinner confronts is not only skin deep, but some ease is granted occasionally. These too are not without a cause. Some such ahadith are collected here:
- In the ‘Firdaus’ a saying of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is narrated from Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbaas Radiyallahu ‘Anhuma that, when Allah Ta‘aala commands Malakul maut to take the souls of those sinners from among my Ummah on whom the fire has become incumbent, He says: “Give them the glad tidings of Jannah after avenging such and such (deeds), the amount they have sinned by confining them in the fire. For verily Allah Ta‘aala is the Most Merciful of the mercifuls.”
- Sayyidina ‘Ataa bin Yasaar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said to Sayyidina ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab Radiyallahu ‘Anhu: “O ‘Umar, what will be your condition at the time of death. They will measure out for you a grave three and half cubits long and one and half cubit wide. They will come back and give you ghusl and put on a kafan and fragrance for you. They will carry you till they reach the grave and put you therein. They will then put earth on you. When they go away from you, two examiners, the Munkar and Nakeer will come to you. Their voices will be like intense thunder and eyes like a heavy streak of lightning. They will jostle and hustle you and speak harshly to you and make you terror-stricken. At that time what will your situation be O ‘Umar?”
He asked: “O Rasulullah, at that time will I possess my full senses?”
Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “Yes.”
He replied: “I will find a way out.”
In one narration it is stated that Sayyidina ‘Umar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu said: “Will our senses and intelligence be returned to us?”
Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam replied: “Yes, in the same state that you have it today.” … – Ahmed, Tabrani, Sharhus Sudur.
- Hakiim Tirmithi narrates the saying of Sayyidina Hudhayfah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu that: “One reckoning will be in the grave, and one in the hereafter. The one who has accounted for deeds in the grave has been saved. The one who has to give account on the day of qiyaamah has been punished.” Hakiim Tirmithi says: “A Mu-min gives account in the grave so that it may become easy tomorrow on the day of qiyaamah. Therefore in the barzakh he is purified (punished for sins committed), so that he may emerge cleansed on the day of qiyaamah.” (A non-Muslims accounting will be left for the day of qiyaamah, and the punishment in the barzakh does not lighten the burden of accountability). – Sharhus Sudur.
From the first narration it is proven that sinners are also given glad-tidings at the time of death. In the second narration it has been proven that the Mu-miniin are given a general glad-tiding that they will be able to answer correctly to the questions posed by the Munkar and Nakeer in the grave. In the question put forward by Sayyidina ‘Umar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu the word “our intelligence” and Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam replying in the positive clearly indicates that this is not particular to Sayyidina ‘Umar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu, but all Mu’mins are included. It also proves that at the time of questioning the faculties of every Mu-min will be sound. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has also informed us that with a sound intellect a correct answer is given. This strongly strengthens those hopes. From the third narration it is proven that hardship in the grave is not without purpose or a benefit. One is saved from the hardships and tribulations of the hereafter. From the three ahadith these three aspects have been clearly ascertained. This strengthens our claim that the hardship a sinner goes through is not void of mercy and hopes.