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GRAVES.

 

1)                 THE FIRST NIGHT IN THE GRAVE

2)                 THREE QUESTIONS IN THE GRAVE

 

3)                 PUNISHMENT IN GRAVE

 

4)                 PUNISHABLE SINS IN GRAVE

 

5)                 TRIALS OF GRAVE

6)                 TORMENT AND BLESSING IN THE GRAVE

7)                 Visiting the graves

8)                 READING QURAN OVER GRAVES

 

9)                 Visit Graves of Saints

10)             PRAYING FOR DEAD AFTER LONG TIME PASSED

11)             BURRYING MUSLIM IN NON MUSLIM GRAVEYARD

 

12)             Women: Visiting graves

13)             GRAVES OF ADAM AND ALI

 

 

 

1.  The First Night In The Grave

Question :         

What happens to dead on first day of getting buried?

Answer :  

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "When the dead person is buried two black-blue angels come to him, one called al-Munkar and the other called an-Nakeer, and they say to him: 'What had you used to say about this man?' So he says what he used to say: 'Allah's slave and His Messenger, I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.' So they say: 'Verily we knew that you (would) say that.' Then his grave is widened for him to the extent of seventy cubits by seventy, then it is made light for him, then it is said: ' Sleep.' So he says: 'I should go to my family and inform them.' So they say: 'Sleep as the newly married sleeps whom no-one awakes except his favourite wife.' Until Allah raises him up from that place of sleep. And if he is a hypocrite (munaafiq), he says: 'I heard the people saying something so I said it too, I don't know.' So they say: 'We knew that you (would) say that.' So it is said to the earth: 'Crush him', so he is crushed until his cross over and he remains in the state of torture until Allah raises him up from that resting place." [Hasan: At-Tirmidhee from Abu Hurairah.]

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their footsteps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: What did you used to say about this man, Muhammad? He will say: I testify that he is Allah's slave and His Apostle. Then it will be said to him, 'Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. Allah has changed for you a place in Paradise instead of it.' The Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) added, "The dead person will see both his places. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels, 'I do not know, but I used to say what the people used to say! It will be said to him, 'neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Qur'aan).' Then he will be hit with an iron hammer between his ears, and he will cry and that cry will be heard by whatever approaches him except human beings and jinns." [Saheeh: Al-Bukhaaree (2/422), Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daud, an-Nasaa.ee: from Anas.]

Al-Baraa b. 'Azib said: We went out with the Prophet of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) accompanying the bier of a man of the Ansar. When he reached his grave, it was not yet dug. So the Prophet of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) sat down and we also sat down around him as if birds were over our heads. He had in his hand a stick by which he was scratching the ground. He then raised his head and said: Seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the grave. He said it twice or thrice. The version of Jarir adds here: He hears the beat of their sandals when they go back, and at that moment he asked: O so and so! Who is your Lord, what is your religion, and who is your Prophet? Hannad's version has: Two angels will come to him, make him sit up, and ask him: Who is your Lord? He will reply: My Lord is Allah. They will ask him: What is your religion? He will reply: My religion is Islaam. They will ask him: What is your opinion about the man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: He is the Apostle of Allah. They will ask: Who made you aware of this? He will reply: I read Allah's Book, believed in it, and considered it true, which is verified by Allah's word: "Allah establishes those who believe with the word that stands firm in this world and the next." The agreed version goes: Then a crier will call from the heaven: My servant has spoken the truth, so spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him in Paradise, and open a door for him into Paradise. So some of its air and perfume will come to him, and a space will be made for him as far as the eye can see. He also mentioned the death of the infidel, saying: His spirit will be restored to his body, two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: Who is your Lord? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. They will ask him: What is your religion? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. They will ask: Who is this man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. Then a crier will call from the heaven: He has lied, so spread a bed for him from Hell, clothe him from Hell and open for him a door into Hell. Then some of its heat and pestilential wind will come to him, and his grave will become restricted, so his ribs will be pressed together. Jarir's version adds: One who is blind and dumb will then be placed in charge of him, having a sledge hammer such that if a mountain were struck with it, it would become dust. He will give him a blow with it which will be heard by everything between the east and the west except by men and jinn, and he will become dust. Then his spirit will be restored to him. [Saheeh: Ahmad, Abu Dawud (3/4735) Ibn Khuzaimah, al-Haakim, al-Baihaqee in 'Shu'ab ul-Imaan', ad-Diyaa: from al-Baraa.]

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "...the righteous man sits in his grave and is not alarmed or afraid, then it is said to him (by angels): 'In (what state) were you?' So he says: 'In the (state of) Islaam.' So it is said to him: 'What is this man?' So he says: 'Muhammad the Messenger of Allah who came to us with clear signs from Allah, so we believed that.' Then it is said to him: 'Have you seen Allah?' So he says: 'It does not behove any man that he sees Allah.' So an opening is made for him in the direction of the Fire, so he sees it, some parts of it smashing into others, and it is said to him: 'Look at what Allah, the Exalted, has saved you from.' Then an opening is made for him in the direction of Paradise, and he looks to its brilliance and what is therein and it is said to him: 'This is your place.' And it is said to him: 'You were upon certain Faith and died upon it and upon it you will be raised up, if Allah wills.' And the wicked man sits in his grave alarmed and terrified and so it is said to him: 'In what state were you?' So he says: 'I do not know.' So it is said to him: 'Who is this man?' So he says: 'I heard the people saying something so I said it!' So an opening is made for him in the direction of Paradise and he sees its brilliance and what is therein, and it is said to him: 'Look at what Allah has refused you.' Then an opening is made for him in the direction of the Fire, so he sees it crashing against itself and it is said: 'This is your place, you lived upon doubt and died upon it and you will be raised up upon it, if it is Allah's will." [Saheeh: Ibn Maajah from Abu Hurairah.]

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "The souls of the Believers are inside green birds in the trees of Paradise until Allah returns them to their bodies on the Day of Resurrection." [Saheeh: At-Tabraanee in 'al kabeer' from Ka'b ibn Maalik & Umm Mubashshir.]

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Seek Allah's protection from the Punishment of the Grave, since punishment of the Grave is a fact/true." [Saheeh: At-Tabraanee in 'al-Kabeer' from Umm Khaalid bint Khaalid ibn Sa'eed ibn al-'Aas.]

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Everyone who dies - then his actions are sealed except for the one guarding the border in the way of Allah - his actions continue to increase for him until the Day of Resurrection and he is saved from the trials of the Grave." [Saheeh: Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhee, al-Haakim: from Fadaalah ibn 'Ubaid & Ahmad from 'Uqbah ibn 'Aamir.]

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Verily the grave is the first stopping place for the Hereafter; so if he is saved therein, then what comes after is easier than it. And if he is not saved therefrom, then that which comes after is harder." [Hasan: At-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, al-Haakim: from 'Uthmaan.]

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2. THREE QUESTIONS IN THE GRAVE

 

Question :  

Can you please tell me what are the trials of the grave that we ask Allah (saw) to save us from.

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: 

When the son of Adam dies and his soul departs and he is placed in his grave, then he is in the first stage of the Hereafter, because the grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter. 

It was narrated that Haani’ the freed slave of ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan said: when ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan stood by a grave he would weep until his beard became wet. It was said to him, “You remember Paradise and Hell and you do not weep, but you weep because of this?” He said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘The grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter; whoever is saved from it, whatever comes afterwards will be easier  for him, but if he is not saved from it, what comes afterwards will be worse for him.’” And the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I have never seen any scene but the grave is more frightening than it.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2308; Ibn Maajah, 4567; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1684). 

Secondly

The two angels who are charged with questioning come to him and ask him what he used to believe in this world. Questions are:

·        Who was his Lord?

·        What was his religion?

·        Who is this man who was sent among you?

If he gives a good answer, that is good, but if he does not answer them they inflict a severe and painful beating on him. 

If he was one of the righteous, angels with white faces come to him, but if he was one of the evildoers, angels with dark faces come to him. This is the fitnah or tribulation that he suffers. 

It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say, ‘Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-kasali wa’l-haram wa’l-maghram wa’l-ma’tham. Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min ‘adhaab al-naar wa fitnat il-naar, wa fitnat il-qabri, wa ‘adhaab il-qabri, wa sharri fitnat il-ghina wa sharri fitnat il-faqair wa min sharri fitnat il-maseeh il-Dajjaal. Allaahumma ighsil khataayaaya bi ma’ al-thalji wa’l-baradi wa naqqi qalbi min al-khataaya kama yunaqqa al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas, wa baa’id bayni wa bayna khataayaaya kama baa’adta bayna al-mashriqi wa’l-maghrib (O Allah! I seek refuge with You from laziness and old age, and from debts and sins; from the torment of the Fire and from the tribulation of the Fire, and from the tribulation of the grave and the torment of the grave, and from the evil of the tribulation of wealth, and from the evil of the tribulation of poverty, and from the evil of the tribulation of the Dajjaal (Antichrist). O Allah! Wash away my sins with the water of snow and hail, and cleanse my heart from sin as a white garment is cleansed from filth, and put a great distance between me and my sins, as great as the distance You have made between the East and the West).”  (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6014). 

Ibn Hajar said: 

The phrase “from the tribulation of the grave” means the questioning of the two angels.

Fath al-Baari, 11/177. 

And al-Mubaarakfoori said: 

“The tribulation of the grave” means confusion when answering the two angels. 

Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 9/328 

Thirdly: 

With regard to the questions that the angels will ask in the grave, this is explained clearly in the following hadeeth: 

It was narrated that al-Bara’ (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We went out with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for the funeral of a man from among the Ansaar. We came to the grave and when (the deceased) was placed in the lahd, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sat down and we sat around him, as if there were birds on our heads (i.e., quiet and still). In his hand he had a stick with which he was scratching the ground. Then he raised his head and said, “Seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave”, two or three times. Then he said, “When the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with white faces like the sun, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. They bring with them shrouds from Paradise and perfumes from Paradise. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O good soul, come forth to forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure.’ Then it comes out easily like a drop of water from the mouth of a water skin. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that shroud with that perfume, and there comes from it a fragrance like the finest musk on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this good soul?’ and 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, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is opened, and (the soul) is welcomed and accompanied to the next heaven by those who are closest to Allah, until they reach the seventh heaven. Then Allah says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon in the seventh heaven, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is returned to his body and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Allah.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘My religion is Islam.’ They say, ‘Who is this man who was sent among you?’ He says, ‘He is the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).’ They say, ‘What did you do?’ He says, ‘I read the Book of Allah and I believed in it.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘My slave has spoken the truth, so prepare for him a bed from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’ Then there comes to him some of its fragrance, and his grave is made wide, as far as he can see. Then there comes to him a man with a handsome face and handsome clothes, and a good fragrance, who says, ‘Receive the glad tidings that will bring you joy this day.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which brings glad tidings.’ He says, ‘I am your righteous deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, hasten the Hour so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’

But when the disbelieving slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with black faces, bringing sackcloth, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O evil soul, come forth to the wrath of Allah and His anger.’ Then his soul disperses inside his body, then comes out cutting the veins and nerves, like a skewer passing through wet wool. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that sackcloth, and there comes from it a stench like the foulest stench of a dead body on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is not opened.” Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…. 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 ….”  (Al-A’raaf 7:40) 

He said: “Then Allah says, ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen in the lowest earth, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is cast down.”  Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…. 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”  (Al-Hajj 22:31) 

He said: “Then his soul is returned to his body, and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.’ Then there comes to him some of its heat and hot winds, and his grave is constricted and compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him a man with an ugly face and ugly clothes, and a foul stench, who says, ‘Receive the bad news, this is the day that you were promised.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which forebodes evil.’ He says, ‘I am your evil deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, do not let the Hour come, do not let the Hour come.’” 

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4753; Ahmad, 18063 – this version was narrated by him. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1676. 

The correct view is that the two angels will only question the deceased in his grave about matters of Tawheed (monotheism) and ‘aqeedah (belief). This is quite clear. 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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3. PUNISHMENT IN GRAVE

Question :

What are the types of azab in the grave for the people?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

The torment in the grave will vary according to the sins committed by the person in this world, whether he was a kaafir or a disobedient Muslim. There are saheeh ahaadeeth which describe this torment for the people who commit these sins. For example:

1 – Being struck with an iron hammer: 

It was narrated from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When a person is placed in his grave and his companions leave him, and he can no longer hear the sound of their sandals (footsteps), two angels come to him and make him sit up, and they ask him, ‘What did you say about this man Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?’

He says, ‘I bear witness that he is the slave of Allah and His Messenger.’ It is said, ‘Look at your place in Hell which Allah has replaced for you with a place in Paradise.’”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “And he sees them both. But as for the kaafir or hypocrite, he says, ‘I do not know, I used to say what the people said.’

It is said, ‘You did not know and you did not follow those who knew.’ Then he is struck a blow with an iron hammer between his ears and he screams a scream which everything around him can hear apart from the two races (of mankind and the jinn).” (Al-Bukhaari, 1222)

2 –7: Furnishings from Hell are prepared out for him; he is clothed with fire; a door to Hell is opened for him; his grave is made narrow for him; he is struck with a great hammer which, if a mountain were to be struck with it, it would turn to dust; and he is given the tidings of torment in the Hereafter. Hence he will wish that the hour will never come.  

Ahmad (17803) and Abu Dawood (4753) narrated that al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib said: We went out with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for the funeral of a man from among the Ansaar. We came to the grave and when (the deceased) was placed in the lahd, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sat down and we sat around him, as if there were birds on our heads (i.e., quiet and still). In his hand he had a stick with which he was scratching the ground. Then he raised his head and said, “Seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave”, two or three times …”

Then he mentioned the soul of the believer and how he is blessed in his grave. Then he said: “But when the disbelieving slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with black faces, bringing sackcloth, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O evil soul, come forth to the wrath of Allah and His anger.’

Then his soul disperses inside his body, then comes out cutting the veins and nerves, like a skewer passing through wet wool. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that sackcloth, and there comes from it a stench like the foulest stench of a dead body on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is not opened.” Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…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....” [Al-A’raaf 7:40] 

He said: “Then Allah says, “Nay! Truly, the Record (writing of the deeds) of the Fujjar (disbelievers, sinners, evil-doers and wicked) is (preserved) in Sijjin.” (7) And what will make you know what Sijjin is? (8) A Register inscribed. (Al-Mutaffafeen 56:7-9)

Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“…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 [Al-Hajj 22:31]

He said: “Then his soul is returned to his body, and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.’

Then there comes to him some of its heat and hot winds, and his grave is constricted and compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him a man with an ugly face and ugly clothes, and a foul stench, who says, ‘Receive the bad news, this is the day that you were promised.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which forebodes evil.’ He says, ‘I am your evil deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, do not let the Hour come, do not let the Hour come.’”

This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz, p. 156

8 – Being swallowed up by the earth.

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whilst a man was dragging his lower garment out of pride, the earth swallowed him up and he will continue sinking into the earth until the Day of Resurrection.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5345; Muslim, 3894).

9- The edge of the mouth being torn to the back of the head

10- The head being smashed with a rock

11- Being burned in an tannoor (oven)

12- Swimming in a river of blood whilst being pelted with stones. 

Al-Bukhaari (1386, 7047) narrated that Samurah ibn Jundub said: 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) often used to ask his companions, “Has any one of you had a dream?” Then those whom Allah willed would tell him (about their dreams). One morning he said,

“Last night, two people came to me (in a dream), and woke me up and said, ‘Let’s go!’ I set out with them, and we came across a man who was lying down, with another man standing over him, holding a big rock. He threw the rock at the man's head, smashing it. The rock rolled away, and the one who had thrown it followed it, and picked it up. By the time he came back to the man, his head had been restored to its former state. Then he (the one who had thrown the rock) did the same as he had done before. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhaan Allah! Who are these two persons?’ They said, ‘Move on!’ So we went on, and came to a man who was lying flat on his back, with another man standing over him, holding an iron hook. He put the hook in the man's mouth and tore off that side of his face to the back (of his neck), and he tore his nose and his eye from front to back in a similar manner. Then he turned to the other side of the man's face and did likewise. No sooner had he finished the second side but the first side was restored to its former state, then he went back and did the same thing again. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhaan Allah! Who are these two persons?’ They said, ‘Move on!’ So we went on, and came to something like a tannoor (a kind of oven, lined with clay, usually used for baking bread).  – I think the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, in that oven there was much noise and voices. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) added:  - We  looked into it and saw naked men and  women. A flame of fire was reaching them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried out loudly. I asked them, ‘Who are these?’ They said to me,  ‘Move on!’ So we went on and came to a river – I think he said, red like blood. – In the river there was a man swimming, and on the bank there was a man who had gathered many stones. Whilst the swimmer was swimming, the man who had gathered the stones approached him. The swimmer opened his mouth and the man on the bank threw a stone into it, then the swimmer carried on swimming. Each time he came back, he opened his mouth again, and the man on the bank threw another stone into his mouth. I said to my two companions, ‘Who are these two persons?’ They said, ‘Move on, move on!’ …

I said to them, I have seen many wonders this night. What do all these things mean that I have seen?’ They said: ‘We will tell you. The first man you came across, whose head was being smashed with the rock, is the man who studies the Qur’aan then he neither recites it nor acts upon it, and he goes to sleep, neglecting the obligatory prayers. The man you came across whose mouth, nose and ears were being torn from front to back, is the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells a lie that is so serious that it spreads all over the world. The naked men and women whom you saw in a structure that resembled an oven are the adulterers and adulteresses. The man you saw swimming in the river with rocks being thrown into his mouth is the one who consumed riba (usury).”

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: 

This indicates that some sinners will be punished in al-barzakh (the interval between death and the Day of Resurrection).

Fath al-Baari, 12/445 

12- Items stolen from the war booty will be set ablaze on the one who stole them.

Al-Bukhaari (4234) and Muslim (115) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: “We went out with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to Khaybar, and Allah granted us victory. We did not take gold or silver as booty, but we seized goods, food and clothes, then we set out for the valley. Along with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) there was a slave called Rifaa’ah ibn Zayd. When we camped in the valley, the slave of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stood up and began to unpack his saddlebag, when he was struck by a (stray) arrow which proved fatal. We said, ‘Congratulations to him, for he is a martyr, O Messenger of Allah.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:  ‘Not so, by the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, for the small garment that he stole from the booty on the day of Khaybar and which was not part of his share is burning like fire on him.’ The people were very distressed by this. Then a man brought one or two shoelaces and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I found (them) on the day of Khaybar.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘A lace of fire’ or ‘Two laces of fire.’” 

13- Along with this physical punishment there will also be a spiritual or mental punishment, which is that in the grave the kaafir will be shown what would have been his place in Paradise if he had obeyed his Lord; this will increase his regret and pain when he realizes the greatness of the blessing that he has missed out on. 

Ahmad (10577) narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said: I attended a funeral with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “O people, this ummah will be tested in their graves. When a man is buried and his friends leave him, an angel with a hammer in his hand comes and sits by him and asks, ‘What do you say about this man?’ If he is a believer, he says, ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.’ He says, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ Then a door to Hell is opened for him and he says, ‘This would have been your place if you had disbelieved in your Lord, but because you believed, this is your place.’ Then a door to Paradise is opened for him and he wants to go there, but the angel says to him, ‘Calm down,’ and his grave is made wide and spacious for him. But if he is a kaafir or a hypocrite, (the angel) says to him, ‘What do you say about this man?’ He says, ‘I do not know, I heard the people saying something.’ The angel says, ‘You did not know and you did not follow those who knew and you were not guided.’ Then a door to Paradise is opened for him and he says, ‘This would have been your position if you had believed in your Lord. But because you disbelieved, Allah has replaced it for you with this.’ Then a gate to Hell is opened for him, and he strikes him a blow with the hammer which is heard by all of Allah’s creation apart from the two races (of mankind and the jinn).” Some of the people said, “O Messenger of Allah, there is no one who would have an angel standing by him holding a hammer but he would dumbfounded.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “...Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm...” [Ibraaheem 14:27]

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in his commentary on Kitaab al-Sunnah by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim, 865 

These are some of the kinds of punishment that will befall some sinners in the grave. We ask Allah to grant us refuge from the torment of the grave.

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4. PUNISHABLE SINS IN GRAVE

Question :

What are the sins for which people will be punished in the grave?

Answer : Praise be to Allah.

Here we list some of sins, along with evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. 

Shirk (associating others with Allah) and kufr (disbelieving in Him) 

Allah says concerning the people of Pharaoh (interpretation of the meaning):

“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!” [Al-Ghaafir 40:46] 

And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“...And if you could but see when the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): ‘Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) with disrespect!’” [Al-An’aam 6:93] 

When death approaches the kaafir, the angels tell him of what is awaiting of him of punishment, chains and fire, and the wrath of Allah; his soul disperses in his body and refuses to leave his body, and the angels beat him until his soul comes out of his body, saying, “....Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation....” [Al-An’aam 6:93]. 

Evidence that shirk is one of the causes of punishment in the grave is to be found in the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Thaabit (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was in a garden belonging to Banu’l-Najjaar on a mule of his and we were with him, it stumbled and nearly threw him. There he saw some graves, six or five or four. He said: “Who knows the occupants of these graves?” A man said: I do.” He said: “When did these people die?” He said: “They died in shirk.” He said: “This ummah will be punished in their graves. Were it not that you would not bury one another, I would pray to Allah to make you hear what I hear of the torment in the grave.” Then he turned to us and said: “Seek refuge with Allah from the punishment of Hellfire…” (Muslim 2867).

The words in this hadeeth, “They died in shirk,” indicate that shirk is a cause of the punishment in the grave.

Hypocrisy is one of the causes of the punishment in the grave 

The hypocrites are those who most deserve to be punished in the grave. How can it be otherwise when they are the ones who will occupy the lowest level of Hell? 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And among the bedouins around you, some are hypocrites, and so are some among the people of Al‑Madinah who persist in hypocrisy; you (O Muhammad) know them not, We know them. We shall punish them twice, and thereafter they shall be brought back to a great (horrible) torment” [Al-Tawbah 9:101] 

Qataadah and al-Rabee’ ibn Anas said concerning the phraseWe shall punish them twice”: once in this world, and the second is the punishment in the grave. 

In the hadeeth about the questioning of the two angels and the torment of the grave, the word hypocrite (munaafiq), or skeptic (murtaab) in many reports, is clearly mentioned, as in the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (1374) from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him): “… as for the kaafir and the hypocrite, it will be said to him…”. And in al-Saheehayn it is narrated from Asma’ (may Allah be pleased with her): “As for the hypocrite or the skeptic…”

Changing the religion of Allah, by forbidding that which Allah has permitted or permitting that which He has forbidden

The evidence that this changing of the religion of Allah is one of the causes of punishment in the grave is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “I saw ‘Amr ibn ‘Aamir al-Khuzaa’i dragging his intestines in Hell. He was the first one to introduce the institution of al-saa’ibah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4623. 

The saa’ibah was a she-camel, cow or sheep which they would leave to graze for the sake of the false gods, and it would not be ridden, eaten or used for carrying burdens. Some of them would make vows to make part of their wealth a saa’ibah. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The Arabs, from among the sons of Ismaa’eel and others, who lived in the environs of the Ancient House that had been built by Ibraaheem and Ismaa’eel, were haneefs (monotheists) who followed the religion of Ibraaheem, until one of the leaders of Khuzaa’ah, namely ‘Amr ibn Luhayy, changed his religion. He was the first one to change the religion of Ibraaheem to shirk and forbid things that Allah had not forbidden. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I saw ‘Amr ibn Luhayy dragging his intestines.”

Not taking care to avoid getting urine on oneself, and spreading malicious gossip among people

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed by two graves and said, “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for something that was difficult to avoid. One of them used to walk about spreading nameemah (malicious gossip) and the other used not to take care to avoid getting urine on himself.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (218) and Muslim (292). 

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Most of the torment of the grave is because of urine, so be careful to avoid it.” Narrated by al-Daaraqutni and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1/152). 

Gheebah (backbiting)

Based on that, al-Bukhaari (may Allah have mercy on him) included a chapter in Kitaab al-Janaa’iz (the Book of Funerals) called: “Punishment of the grave because of backbiting and urine.” Then he narrated therein the hadeeth about the two graves quoted above, except that the version of al-Bukhaari does not mention backbiting, rather it speaks of nameemah (malicious gossip), but as was his wont, he referred to what was narrated in some versions of the hadeeth: “As for the other, he is being punished for backbiting.”  Narrated by Ahmad (5/35); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb (1/66)

Lying 

According to the hadeeth of Samurah ibn Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“… We came to a man who was lying flat on his back, with another man standing over him, holding an iron hook. He put the hook in the man's mouth and tore off that side of his face to the back (of his neck), and he tore his nose and his eye from front to back in a similar manner. Then he turned to the other side of the man's face and did likewise. No sooner had he finished the second side but the first side was restored to its former state, then he went back and did the same thing again. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhaan Allah! Who are these two persons?’

At the end of the hadeeth, he said concerning this one who was being punished: “is the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells a lie that is so serious that it spreads all over the world”. Bukhaari (7074). 

Forsaking the Qur’aan after having learned it, sleeping and missing an obligatory prayer

In the hadeeth of Samurah ibn Jundub he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “… we came across a man who was lying down, with another man standing over him, holding a big rock. He threw the rock at the man's head, smashing it. The rock rolled away, and the one who had thrown it followed it, and picked it up. By the time he came back to the man, his head had been restored to its former state. Then he (the one who had thrown the rock) did the same as he had done before. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhaan Allah! Who are these two persons?’ … ‘The one whom you saw with his head being smashed with the rock, is the man who studies the Qur’aan then he neither recites it nor acts upon it, and he goes to sleep, neglecting the obligatory prayers.’ 

According to another version: “As for the man whom you saw with his head being crushed by a rock, he is a man who learned the Qur’aan then abandoned it and he slept and missed the obligatory prayer.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (7076). 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said that this report is clearer than the first one. The apparent meaning of the first one is that he is being punished for not reading Qur’aan at night, whereas the second report indicates that he is punished for sleeping and missing the obligatory prayer. He said: It may be that the punishment is for both, not reading and not acting upon it. 

Ibn Hajar said: Ibn Hubayrah said: Abandoning the Qur’aan after learning it is a serious crime, because it may imply that he has seen in it something that made him abandon it, and because he has abandoned the noblest of things, namely the Qur’aan, he should be punished in the noblest part of his body, which is the head. Fath al-Baari, 3/251 

Consuming Riba

In the hadeeth of Samurah (may Allah be pleased with him) it says:

“… So we went on and came to a river – I think he said, red like blood. – In the river there was a man swimming, and on the bank there was a man who had gathered many stones. Whilst the swimmer was swimming, the man who had gathered the stones approached him. The swimmer opened his mouth and the man on the bank threw a stone into it, then the swimmer carried on swimming. Each time he came back, he opened his mouth again, and the man on the bank threw another stone into his mouth. … The man you saw swimming in the river with rocks being thrown into his mouth is the one who consumed riba (usury).” 

Zina (adultery, unlawful sexual relationships) 

In the hadeeth of Samurah (may Allah be pleased with him) it says:

“So we went on, and came to something like a tannoor (a kind of oven, lined with clay, usually used for baking bread).  – I think the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, in that oven there was much noise and voices. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) added:  - We  looked into it and saw naked men and  women. A flame of fire was reaching them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried out loudly. I asked them, ‘Who are these?’ … The naked men and women whom you saw in a structure that resembled an oven are the adulterers and adulteresses.” 

Enjoining righteousness upon others and forgetting oneself 

It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “On the night on which I was taken on the Night Journey (Isra’), I saw men whose lips were being cut off with scissors of fire. I said: ‘Who are these, O Jibreel?’ He said: ‘These are the khateebs from among your ummah who used to enjoin righteousness on the people and forget themselves, and they used to recite the Book but they did not understand.’” Narrated by Ahmad, 3/120; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Saheehah (291). 

According to al-Bayhaqi: “On the night on which I was taken on the night Journey, I came to some people whose lips were being cut off with scissors of fire. Every time they were cut off, they were restored. I said: ‘O Jibreel who are these?’ He said: ‘The khateebs of your ummah who said what they did not do, and they recited the Book of Allah but they did not act upon it.’” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Eemaan; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (128). 

Breaking the fast in Ramadaan with no excuse 

It was narrated that Abu Umaamah al-Baahili (may Allah have mercy on him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Whilst I was sleeping, two men came to me and took me by the arms, and they brought me to a mountain and said: ‘Climb up.’ I said: ‘I cannot.’ They said: ‘We will make it easy for you.’ So I climbed up until, when I was at the top of the mountain, I heard loud voices. I said: ‘What are these voices?’ He said: ‘These are the cries of the people of Hell.’ Then they took me on, and I saw some people hanging by their heels, with the sides of their mouths torn, and the sides of their mouths were flowing with blood. I said: ‘Who are these?’ He said: ‘They are the ones who broke the fast before it was permissible for them to do so.’” Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim (1/210, 290); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Saheehah (3951). 

Stealing from the war booty

This is indicated by the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) about the man who stole a garment from the war booty, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the garment that he took from the booty on the day of Khaybar when it had not yet been shared out is burning him with fire.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4234) and Muslim (115). 

Dragging one’s garment out of pride

This is indicated by the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whilst a man was dragging his garment out of pride, he was swallowed up by the earth and he will continue sinking into it until the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3485) and Muslim (2088). 

Stealing from the pilgrims

This is indicated by the hadeeth of Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) about the eclipse prayer, in which it says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Hell was brought and that is when you saw me moving backwards for fear that its flames might touch me. I saw therein the owner of the curved staff, dragging his intestines in the Fire; he used to steal from the pilgrims with his curved staff, and if he was discovered he would say, ‘It got caught on my curved staff,’ but if he was not noticed then he would take it.” Narrated by Muslim (904). 

Detaining animals and tormenting them and not being compassionate towards them 

According to the hadeeth of Jaabir about the eclipse prayer, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “And I saw therein the woman who had a cat which she tied up and did not feed, and she did not let it eat from the vermin of the earth, until it died of starvation.” Narrated by Muslim (904). 

When he offered the eclipse prayer, he saw the one who was dragging his intestines in Hell, and the one who was being punished for stealing, and the women who was being punished for a cat. They had become decayed bones in their graves as far as the people of his time were concerned, but those who were praying with him did not see what he saw. End quote. 

Debt

One of the things that harm the deceased in his grave is debt that he owes. It was narrated that Sa’d ibn al-Atwal said: My brother died and left behind three hundred dinars, and he left behind young children. I wanted to spend on them, but the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to me: “Your brother is being detained by his debt, so go and pay it off.” So I went and paid it off, then I came and said: O Messenger of Allah, I have paid it off for him, and there is nothing left but a woman who is claiming two dinars, but she does not have any proof. He said: “Give it to her, for she is telling the truth.” Narrated by Ahmad (16776) and Ibn Maajah (2/82); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (1550).

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5. TRIALS OF GRAVE

Question:   

Can you please tell me what are the trials of the grave that we ask Allah (saw) to save us from?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

Firstly:

When the son of Adam dies and his soul departs and he is placed in his grave, then he is in the first stage of the Hereafter, because the grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter. 

It was narrated that Haani’ the freed slave of ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan said: when ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan stood by a grave he would weep until his beard became wet. It was said to him, “You remember Paradise and Hell and you do not weep, but you weep because of this?” He said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘The grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter; whoever is saved from it, whatever comes afterwards will be easier  for him, but if he is not saved from it, what comes afterwards will be worse for him.’” And the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I have never seen any scene but the grave is more frightening than it.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2308; Ibn Maajah, 4567; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1684). 

Secondly:

The two angels who are charged with questioning come to him and ask him what he used to believe in this world, who was his Lord, what was his religion and who was his Prophet. If he gives a good answer, that is good, but if he does not answer them they inflict a severe and painful beating on him.

If he was one of the righteous, angels with white faces come to him, but if he was one of the evildoers, angels with dark faces come to him. This is the fitnah or tribulation that he suffers.

It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say, ‘Allahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-kasali wa’l-haram wa’l-maghram wa’l-ma’tham. Allahumma inni a’oodhu bika min ‘adhaab al-naar wa fitnat il-naar, wa fitnat il-qabri, wa ‘adhaab il-qabri, wa sharri fitnat il-ghina wa sharri fitnat il-faqair wa min sharri fitnat il-maseeh il-Dajjaal. Allahumma ighsil khataayaaya bi ma’ al-thalji wa’l-baradi wa naqqi qalbi min al-khataaya kama yunaqqa al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas, wa baa’id bayni wa bayna khataayaaya kama baa’adta bayna al-mashriqi wa’l-maghrib (O Allah! I seek refuge with You from laziness and old age, and from debts and sins; from the torment of the Fire and from the tribulation of the Fire, and from the tribulation of the grave and the torment of the grave, and from the evil of the tribulation of wealth, and from the evil of the tribulation of poverty, and from the evil of the tribulation of the Dajjaal (Antichrist). O Allah! Wash away my sins with the water of snow and hail, and cleanse my heart from sin as a white garment is cleansed from filth, and put a great distance between me and my sins, as great as the distance You have made between the East and the West).” (Al-Bukhaari 6014).

Ibn Hajar said: The phrase “from the tribulation of the grave” means the questioning of the two angels. Fath al-Baari, 11/177. 

Thirdly:

With regard to the questions that the angels will ask in the grave, this is explained clearly in the following hadeeth: 

It was narrated that al-Bara’ (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We went out with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for the funeral of a man from among the Ansaar. We came to the grave and when (the deceased) was placed in the lahd, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sat down and we sat around him, as if there were birds on our heads (i.e., quiet and still). In his hand he had a stick with which he was scratching the ground.

Then he raised his head and said, “Seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave”, two or three times. Then he said, “When the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with white faces like the sun, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. They bring with them shrouds from Paradise and perfumes from Paradise. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O good soul, come forth to forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure.’ Then it comes out easily like a drop of water from the the mouth of a waterskin. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that shroud with that perfume, and there comes from it a fragrance like the finest musk on the face of the earth.

Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this good soul?’ and 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, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is opened, and (the soul) is welcomed and accompanied to the next heaven by those who are closest to Allah, until they reach the seventh heaven. Then Allah says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon in the seventh heaven, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is returned to his body and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him,

‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Allah.’

They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘My religion is Islam.’

They say, ‘Who is this man who was sent among you?’ He says, ‘He is the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).’

They say, ‘What did you do?’ He says, ‘I read the Book of Allah and I believed in it.’

Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘My slave has spoken the truth, so prepare for him a bed from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’ Then there comes to him some of its fragrance, and his grave is made wide, as far as he can see.

Then there comes to him a man with a handsome face and handsome clothes, and a good fragrance, who says, ‘Receive the glad tidings that will bring you joy this day.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which brings glad tidings.’ He says, ‘I am your righteous deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, hasten the Hour so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’

But when the disbelieving slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with black faces, bringing sackcloth, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O evil soul, come forth to the wrath of Allah and His anger.’ Then his soul disperses inside his body, then comes out cutting the veins and nerves, like a skewer passing through wet wool. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that sackcloth, and there comes from it a stench like the foulest stench of a dead body on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is not opened.” Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning):

“...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...” [Al-A’raaf 7:40] 

He said: “Then Allah says, ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen in the lowest earth, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is cast down.”  Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“…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” [Al-Hajj 22:31]

He said: “Then his soul is returned to his body, and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him,

‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’

They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’

Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.’ Then there comes to him some of its heat and hot winds, and his grave is constricted and compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him a man with an ugly face and ugly clothes, and a foul stench, who says, ‘Receive the bad news, this is the day that you were promised.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which forebodes evil.’ He says, ‘I am your evil deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, do not let the Hour come, do not let the Hour come.’”  (Abu Dawood, 4753; Ahmad, 18063)

The correct view is that the two angels will only question the deceased in his grave about matters of Tawheed (monotheism) and ‘aqeedah (belief). This is quite clear.

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6. TORMENT AND BLESSING IN THE GRAVE

The torment and blessing in the grave are true and happen to both the soul and the body

Question:

My aqeedah is that after the body is dead it is of no use and they cannot hear, but according to hadith there is punishment in the grave. Does this mean that the body is still alive? Also in the Quran it is mentioned that martyrs don’t die, and also it is reported in a hadith of Muslim that when prophet (saw) addressed the body of Abu Jahl, umaya and others, Umar (ra) asked him how can the dead hear to which the prophet (saw) replies that they can hear but cannot reply. Kindly answer my question with detail.

Answer:  By Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Praise be to Allah.    

1 – What is mentioned in the question, that the dead do not hear anything that the living say is true and is correct. Allah says (interpretation of the meanings): 

“Neither are the living and the dead alike. Surely Allah makes whom He pleases hear, and you cannot make those hear who are m the graves” (Faatir 35:22) 

“So verily, you (O Muhammad) cannot make the dead to hear…..”   (Ar-Room 30:52)

2 – The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is that there is torment and punishment in the grave and life in al-barzakh (the interval between death and the Day of Resurrection), and there is blessing and pleasure, according to the status of the deceased. The evidence for that is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“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!”   (Ghaafir 40:46) 

Allah states here that the people of Pharaoh are exposed to torment morning and afternoon even though they are dead. From this aayah, the scholars affirmed that the torment of the grave is real. 

Ibn Katheer said: 

This aayah is the main basis of the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah in the torment of al-barzakh, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon ….” (Ghaafir 40:46) 

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/82) 

According to the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray in his salaah (prayer), “Allah umma inni a’oodhu bika min ‘adhaab il-qabr, wa a’oodhu bika min fitnat il-maseeh il-dajjaal, wa a’oodhu bika min fitnat il-mahyaa wa fitnat il-mamaat, Allah umma ini a’oodhu bika min al-ma’tham wa’l-maghram (O Allah , I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave, I seek refuge in You from the tribulation of the Dajjaal, I seek refuge in You from the trials of life and death, O Allah , I seek refuge in You from sin and loss).”  (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 798; Muslim, 589) 

The relevant point in this hadeeth is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave. This is one of the pieces of evidence that confirm the torment of the grave. No one disputed the torment of the grave apart from the Mu’tazilah and some other groups who are not worth paying attention to. 

3 – With regard to the hadeeth which describes the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) addressing the dead bodies of the mushrikeen on the day of the battle of Badr, it is to be understood that this was a unique case, where Allah brought them back to life so that His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) might rebuke them and humiliate them. 

(a) It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stood over the well of Badr (into which the bodies of the mushrikeen had been thrown) and said, ‘Have you found the promise of your Lord to be true?’ Then he said, ‘They can hear what I am saying now.’”  (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3980; Muslim, 932) 

(b) It was narrated that Abu Talhah said: “ ‘Umar said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, why are you speaking to bodies that have no souls?’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, you do not hear what I am saying any better than they do.’” Qutaadah said: Allah brought them back to life so that they could hear what he was saying, so that they might be rebuked and feel regret and shame.

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3976; Muslim, 2875. See Fath al-Baari, 7/304) 

The relevant point here is that Allah caused the people in the well to hear the words of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), so that they might be humiliated. But it is not correct to deduce from this hadeeth that the dead can hear everything, because this applied only to the people in the well. Some scholars made an exception and said that the dead can hear the salaam, but this is a view for which clear sound evidence is lacking. 

4 – According to the most correct scholarly view, the torment of the grave befalls both the soul and the body. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“The view of the salaf (earliest generations) of this ummah and its imams is that the torment or blessing (of the grave) happens to the soul of the deceased and his body. After it departs from the body, the soul continues to be blessed or punished, and it is also connected to the body from time to time, so that the blessing or torment befalls the body as well as the soul.” 

So we must believe in that which Allah has told us. 

(al-Ikhtiyaaraat al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 94) 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: 

Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) was asked about this matter, and we will quote his reply in full: 

“Indeed, the torment and blessing happen to both the soul and the body, according to the consensus of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah. The soul is blessed or tormented separately from the body, and it is blessed or tormented in connection with the body. The body is connected to it, so in this case the blessing or torment happens to them both, and it may happen to the soul separately from the body. 

The view of the salaf and imams of this ummah is that when a person dies, he will be in a state of blessing or torment, and that happens to his soul and his body. After the soul has departed from the body, it remains in a state of blessing or torment, and that is sometimes connected to the body and the blessing or torment happens to them both. Then when the Day of Resurrection comes, the souls will be returned to their bodies and they will rise from their graves to meet the Lord of the Worlds. The physical resurrection is a matter upon which the Muslims, Jews and Christians are agreed.” 

(al-Rooh, p. 51, 52) 

The scholars likened that to dreams when one is asleep, for a person may dream that he is going and traveling, and he may feel happiness or grief and sorrow while he is sleeping, and that is when he is in his place and in this world. So it is more apt that things should be different in the life of al-barzakh which is completely different from the life of this world and the life of the Hereafter. 

Al-Nawawi said: 

“If it is said, we see the deceased and how he is in his grave, so how can he be questioned, made to sit up and beaten with iron rods, when no mark is left on him? The answer is that this is not impossible, and indeed there is a similar case in our regular lives, that of the sleeper who feels joy or pain of which we feel nothing.  A person who is awake may also feel joy or pain because of something he hears or thinks about, and those who are sitting with him feel nothing of that. Similarly, Jibreel used to come to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and tell him of the Wahy (Revelation), and the people present were unaware of it. All of that is clear and evident.” (Sharh Muslim, 17/201) 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 

“When a person sleeps, he may feel joy or pain, and that happens to his soul and his body. He may dream that someone is beating him and wake up with pain in his body, or he may dream that he is being fed some good food, then wake up with the food in his mouth. This is something that really happens. If the body and soul of a sleeping person can experience joy and pain that are not felt by the person next to him, and a sleeper may even cry out because of the intensity of pain or fear of what is happening to him, and those who are awake can hear him, and he may speak, reciting Qur’aan or dhikr, or talking to someone, and those who are awake can hear that, even though he is asleep with his eyes closed, and he does not hear them if they speak to him – then how can we deny that the one who is buried in his grave also feels things, when the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has told us that he “hears the sound of their footsteps” and “You do not hear what I say any better than they do”? 

The heart is akin to the grave, hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, when he missed ‘Asr on the day of al-Khandaq: “May Allah fill their hearts and graves with fire.” And Allah differentiated between them (graves and hearts) in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Knows he not that when the contents of the graves are poured forth (all mankind is resurrected)? (9) And that which is in the hearts (of men) shall be made known?”  (Al-‘Aadiyaat 100:9-10) 

This is just to explain that this could happen.

We cannot say that the blessing or torment that the dead experience is like that which a sleeper experiences when he dreams, rather that blessing or torment is more complete and more far-reaching; it is a real blessing and a real torment. But this example is given to show that this is possible. If someone were to say that the dead person does not move in his grave, and the soil does not change, and so on, this matter may be explained in more detail, but that would take too long to explain here. And Allah knows best. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.  (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/275, 276) 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/

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7. Visiting the graves

Question :         

What is the Islamic view of visiting the graves of relatives to pray Allah to make the soul of the deceased rest in peace? People also visit the tombs of saints, thinking that such visits will make Allah fulfill their requests with promptness. How far should we differentiate between a visit to graves expecting the deceased to be of help to us and a visit without any such expectations?

Answer :

Visiting graves is recommended if it is for the purpose of expressing dutifulness to deceased parents or to remind oneself of the inevitability of death so that one can prepare for the hour when he is no longer able to do anything to improve his situation in the life to come. The Prophet describes death as a silent preacher because when people remember death they remember that they have to do well in this life in order that they ensure a happy future in the hereafter. Visiting the graves of parents is recommended as evidence of dutifulness, at least once a year. [Added: These visits should not be related to a particular date only, e.g. death anniversaries, etc.]

Such visits are rewarded by Allah in the same way as other aspects of dutifulness are. I hope I have made the purpose of visiting graves very clear. We have to remember that the deceased can not benefit the living. Indeed, it is the other way round. The living can pray Allah to have mercy on those who have died and Allah may answer such prayers. In this respect, the living can benefit the dead. The dead, however, cannot benefit the living. This applies to all people no matter how good and devoted they are during their lifetime on earth. The Prophet says that "a human being" is unable to do anything after his death.

The description "human being" applies both to saintly people and those who are weaker in faith. He says: "When a human being dies, all his actions come to an absolute end, except in one of three ways: a continuous act of charity, a useful contribution to knowledge and a dutiful child who prays for him."

Moreover, it is not for us to classify dead people as saints or non-saints. Who are we to judge people, especially those with whom we have had no contact, because they may have died before we were born. Some people may have the appearance of being dedicated to the service of Allah. But how can we judge their intentions? And if we cannot judge those who we know, how can we judge those whom we have not known?

As you realize, a person may do a good action, but he may not be rewarded for it because his intention was not as good as the act itself. An example of this type may be given. When a rich person donates several thousands for a charitable purpose in the hope that it will be said of him that he has given a very generous donation then his reward is that reputation which he will inevitably earn. Someone who is less rich and makes a little donation for a charitable purpose, keeping the whole thing secret will be rewarded much more generously by Allah. The reason is that the second person has made his donation only for the purpose of pleasing Allah and earning reward from Him.

As you have said, people do visit the tombs of persons whom they call saints in the hope that they would have their wishes through such visits. Now who will fulfill these wishes? Is it the deceased person in his grave? If the answer is in the affirmative, then we tell that person that he has done a gross error. He has attributed to a dead person powers which he does not have. Moreover, he has appealed to him instead of appealing to Allah for the accomplishment of his purpose. In effect, he has associated the dead person with Allah as a partner. Some people say that they know that the deceased person does not do anything by himself in his grave, but he can appeal to Allah on our behalf.

This is absolute rubbish. It makes the dead person an intermediary between Allah and His creation. Allah has said so may times in the Qur'an that he accepts no partners. If people associate partners with Him, He abandons those people to those partners to sort their affairs with them the way they like. Eventually they are the losers because the partners they associate with Allah are of no use to them. It is for this reason that we say time and again that such visits to the graves of deceased people in the hope that the visit will be of use in the fulfillment of the visitor's wishes is an act of polytheism. It is needless to say that it is absolutely forbidden.

To sum up, we must not confuse visiting graves in order to remind ourselves of death and the need to be better servants of Allah or to show dutifulness to our deceased parents on the one hand and visiting the so-called saints in the hope that they will be of use to us, helping in the fulfillment of our wishes on the other. The first action is recommended while the second is forbidden, as it is a polytheistic act.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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8. READING QURAN OVER GRAVES

Question :

What is the ruling on reading Quran over graves? Saying du’aa’ for the deceased at the graveside? Saying du’aa’ for oneself at the graveside?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

Reading the Holy Quran at the graveside is bid’ah. It was not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or from his companions. As it is not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or from his companions, then we should not introduce it by ourselves, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, according to a saheeh report: “Every introduced matter is an innovation, and every innovation is a going astray, and every going astray will be in the Fire.”

What the Muslims must do is to follow the example of the earlier generations, the Sahaabah and those who followed them in truth, so that they will be following goodness and true guidance, because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” 

The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked: Is it permissible to read al-Faatihah or anything from the Quran for the deceased when visiting his grave, and does that benefit him? 

They replied: 

It is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to visit graves, and he would recite du’aa’s for the dead that he taught to his companions and they learned them from him. For example: “Al-salaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa inna in sha Allah bikum laahiqoon, nas’al Allaha lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah (Peace be upon you, O people of the dwellings, believers and Muslims. If Allah wills we will join you. We ask Allah to grant us and you safety).” 

But there is no report that he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited a soorah of the Quran or any verses thereof for the dead, even though he visited them often. If that had been prescribed, he would have done it and would have taught it to his companions, seeking the reward and out of mercy towards his ummah, and fulfilling the obligation to convey the message. For he was as Allah described him (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad) is anxious over you; for the believers (he is) full of pity, kind, and merciful” (Al-Tawbah 9:128)

The fact that he did not do that even though there were reasons why he might have done it, indicates that it is not prescribed. His companions (may Allah be pleased with them) knew that and followed in his footsteps, and they limited themselves to learning lessons and making du’aa’ for the dead when they visited them. There is no report that they read Quran for the dead. For them such reading was an innovation (bid’ah), and it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not part of it will have it rejected.” Agreed upon. 

From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 9/38 

As for saying du’aa’ for the deceased at the graveside, there is nothing wrong with that. A person may stand at the graveside and say whatever du’aa’s he can, such as saying, “O Allah, forgive him; O Allah, have mercy on him; O Allah, admit him to Paradise; O Allah, make his grave spacious” and so on. 

With regard to a person saying du’aa’ for himself at the graveside, if he does it deliberately then it is also an innovation (bid’ah), because no place is specified as a place for du’aa’ unless there is a text concerning it. If there is no text concerning it and no Sunnah has been narrated concerning it, then that – i.e., singling out a place for du’aa’, no matter what the place is – is a bid’ah. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (17/228) 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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9. Visit Graves of Saints

Question:

How far it is right to visit DARGAH and MAZARS i.e graves of Al-Awliya’ wa As-Salihin (saints or pious people) and making du`a’ there?

Answer:

A hadith related in Imam Malik's Muwatta is: Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam from Ata ibn Yasar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘O Allah! Do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped. The anger on those who took the graves of their Prophets as places of prostration was terrible.’

To avoid possibility of making grave sites places of worship, Muslims are not allowed to visit the graves of Saints, especially if they want to get blessings from them, or talk to them, or expect anything from them. This would be the equivalent of shirk. It is allowed to go to such places only to draw a lesson from what happened to them and that death will be the visitor's destiny too.

It is well known that when one loves somebody one loves all that is related to him. Such an innate human characteristic is not opposed by religion; rather, it is guided in two ways. The first is choosing those who deserve that love and veneration and the second is not violating the principles of religion in expressing this love or in any of its consequences. Seeking the blessings of pious people or saints is not forbidden under Islam but it might have some features that are against religion such as:

1) Going round the grave is blameworthy because it is an imitation of circumambulating the Ka`bah.

2) Seeking blessings by touching or kissing the grave and the like. Imam Al-Ghazali states that touching and kissing graves is not stated in the Sunnah and it is better to stand at a distance from the grave.

3)  When one performs du`a’ (supplications) at graves, one must direct such du`a’ to Allah alone for He alone is capable of granting help and warding off harm.

It is forbidden to direct the du`a’ to or seek the help of the one in the grave however venerated he may be. Moreover, performing du`a’ at his grave is not better or more likely to be answered than doing it elsewhere. Ibn Taymiyyah was among those who expressed such opinion. He says: ‘Making supplications (du`a’) at graves of the righteous thinking that the supplications are more likely to be answered than in any other place, is a practice that had never been done by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) or any of his Companions, their successors, or the Imams of Islam and has never been mentioned or recommended by any of the righteous scholars.’

It may be better to prevent such a practice in order to dissuade people from invoking or seeking the help of others than Allah or even along with Him.”

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

 

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10. PRAYING FOR DEAD AFTER LONG TIME PASSED

Question :

My grandmother died and I did not offer the funeral prayer for her, although I live in the same city, because they buried her before I could get there. Now it is three years since she died. Do I have to do anything?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

You have an opportunity to make up for what you missed, in sha Allah. You can go and offer the funeral prayer over her grave. Imam al-Shaafa’i and others are of the view that it is permissible to offer the funeral prayer over the grave of the deceased. The evidence for that is: 

The report narrated by al-Bukhaari (458) and Muslim (956) that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) offered the funeral prayer for a woman at her grave. She used to clean the mosque, and the Sahaabah had buried her without informing the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) of her death. 

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed by a grave where the burial had taken place at night and said: “When was this one buried?’ They said: Last night. He said: “Why didn’t you tell me?” They said: We buried him in the dark of night and we did not want to wake you up. He stood up and we stood in rows behind him. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: And I was among them, and he offered the funeral prayer for him. (Bukhaari 1321). 

It was narrated from Yazeed ibn Thaabit (may Allah be pleased with him) that they went out with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) one day and he saw a new grave. He said: “What is this?” They said: It is So and so, the freed slave woman of Banu So and so – and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recognized her name – She died at noon when you were taking a nap, and we did not want to wake you up for her. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stood and the people formed rows behind him, and he said takbeer four times (i.e., offered the funeral prayer). Then he said: “No one should die when I am still among you without you telling me, for my prayer for him will be a mercy.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (2022); classed as hasan by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Tamheed (6/271). Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.

Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated in al-Musannaf (3/239) a number of reports from the Sahaabah and Taabi’een who offered the funeral prayer over graves after the burial, including ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who offered the funeral prayer at the grave of her brother ‘Abd al-Rahmaan; and Ibn ‘Umar who offered the funeral prayer at the grave of his brother ‘Aasim; and Sulaymaan ibn Rabee’ah and Ibn Sireen and others. This was also narrated by Ibn Hazm in al-Muhalla (3/366) from Anas, ‘Ali and Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with them all). 

Some fuqaha’ did not allow offering the funeral prayer over graves at all, and some of them limited it to one month or three days, but there is no evidence for this restriction. 

Ibn Hazm (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Muhalla (3/366):

With regard to restricting the funeral prayer to within one month or three days, it is clearly wrong because it is restricting it with no evidence. End quote. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (5/436):

The correct view is that we may offer the funeral prayer over graves even after one month, but some of the scholars imposed an interesting restriction, and said: That is subject to the condition that the person who is buried died at a time when the one who is praying was able to pray. 

For example: If a man died twenty years ago, and a man who is thirty years old goes out to pray for him, that is valid, because when he died the one who is praying was only ten years old, so he could have offered the prayer for the dead man. 

Another example: If a man died thirty years ago, and a man who is twenty years old goes out to pray for him, that is not valid, because the one who is praying did not exist at the time when the man died, so he could not have prayed for him. 

So it is not prescribed for us to offer the funeral prayer at the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and we do not know of anyone who said that it is prescribed to offer the funeral prayer at the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or at the graves of the Sahaabah, rather we should just stand and say du’aa’. End quote. 

Honouring parents or grandparents does not stop when their life ends, rather it continues after their death, and the greatest way in which a person can honour his parents is by making du’aa’ for them and praying for forgiveness for them. 

It was narrated that Abu Usayd Maalik ibn Rabee’ah al-Saa’idi said: Whilst we were with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), a man from Banu Salamah came to him and said: O Messenger of Allah, is there anything left that I can do to honour my parents after they die? He said: “Yes. Pray for them, ask for forgiveness for them, carry out their last wishes, uphold the ties of kinship that you would not have were it not for them, and honour their friends.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (5142)

Pray for them” means making du’aa’, and it includes the funeral prayer.

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11. BURYING MUSLIM IN NON MUSLIM GRAVEYARD

Question:

The price of graves where we live is very expensive. A child died and we could not afford to buy a grave for him so that he could be buried in the Muslim graveyard, so we took him to the forest and buried him there. What is the ruling on that?

Answer:
Praise be to Allah.

If it is not possible to bury a Muslim in the Muslim graveyard because there is no Muslim graveyard or because it is too expensive, there is nothing wrong with burying him in the desert or forest, and levelling the ground so that it will not be dug up. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked: What is the ruling if a Muslim dies in France and it is not possible to transport him to an Arab land, and there is no graveyard just for the Muslims in the town where he died. Can he be buried in the Christian graveyard or what? Similarly, there is no place there for washing the deceased Muslims except the place that is used for washing deceased Christians. Can the deceased Muslims be washed there, if it is not possible to wash the deceased Muslim in his house? 

They replied: If there is no Muslim graveyard then if a Muslim dies he should not be buried in the Christian graveyard, rather they should look for a place in the desert and bury him there, and level the ground so that it will not be dug up. If it is possible to transport him to a land where there is a Muslim graveyard without great expense then that is better. As for washing the deceased Muslim in the place where deceased kaafirs are washed, there is nothing wrong with that if it is not possible to find an alternative without incurring expense.

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12. Women: Visiting graves

Question :

May I refer to an earlier answer by you when you suggested that women are allowed to visit graves. If the Hadith you have quoted is authentic, then it shall supersede earlier sayings by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), concerning the same subject. Could you please include the full text of the Hadith reported by Lady Aisha and comment further on the subject.

Answer :

The relevant part of the Hadith which you have quoted mentions that Lady Aisha was questioned on her return from visiting the grave of her brother about the Prophet's prohibition on visiting graves. She answered: "Yes, he did prohibit that, but he later encouraged visiting them."

Before mentioning the full text of the Hadith, let me mention two authentic Hadiths on this subject. The first is reported by Buraidah, a companion of the Prophet (PBUH), who quotes him as saying: "I had ordered you not to visit graves, now I say: Visit them; and I did prohibit you to keep sacrificial meat for more than three days, now I say: Keep what you wish; etc." (Muslim).

This Hadith is clear that an early prohibition has been abrogated. Scholars suggest that in the early years of Islam, the Prophet was keen to restrict every action which had even the slightest connotation of associating partners with Allah. Because people used to do various rituals at graveyards, the Prophet wanted them to get used to accepting death as a natural thing, determined by Allah, and which does not justify any wailing or the performance of any rituals. In the case of sacrificial meat, the early prohibition encouraged the distribution of meat at a time when the circumstances of the Muslims were hard and things scarce. When the Muslim state became richer, the Prophet allowed people to keep what they wished of the meat of animals they had sacrificed.

The second Hadith is that which encourages visiting graveyards. Abu-Hurairah reports that the Prophet "visited his mother's grave and wept until everyone around him was in tears. He then said: I sought my Lord's permission to pray Him to forgive her, but this permission was not given me. I also sought His permission to visit her grave, and He has permitted me. Visit graves, because such visits remind you of death." (Related by Muslim).

Some of the scholars do maintain that women are not allowed to visit graves. In support of their view, they cite the Hadith which prevents women from following funerals and the one which quotes the Prophet as saying: "Allah curses the women who visit graves frequently and the ones who pray at them and put lanterns at them" (related by Abu-Dawood and An-Nassaie).

Al-Qurtubi, a renowned scholar, explains that this curse is limited to those who carry the habit of visiting graves too excess. This is clearly indicated by the way the Arabic text of this Hadith is phrased. He suggests that the reasons for such a curse may be that such frequent visits may lead a woman to abandon her duties, or cause her to dress improperly or she may often wail at the grave, etc. If she visits graves and does not do any of these things, then that is appropriate because both men and women need to remember death.

A larger number of scholars, however, are of the view that visiting graves is permitted for women. In support of their view, they cite the Hadith of Lady Aisha, which is related by Al-Hakim on the authority of Abdullah ibn Maulaikah, who saw her coming back from visit to the grave of her brother, Abdurrahman. He asked her : "Had not the Prophet prohibited this?" She said: "Yes, he had prohibited it, but he later encouraged visiting them (graves)."

There is nothing in this Hadith to suggest that this permission applies to men only. Indeed, we have an authentic Hadith which may be quoted in support of this view. Anas ibn Malik, a companion of the Prophet, reports: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by a woman crying at a grave. He said to her: Fear Allah and be patient. She said: Leave me alone, for you have not had a calamity like mine and you have not known him. She was subsequently told that she was talking to the Prophet. She went to him at his place where she found no door-keepers. She said: I did not know you. He said: Real patience is that shown at the first shock" (related by Al-Bukhari)

The evidence in this Hadith is that the Prophet saw a woman visiting a grave and he did not prohibit her from doing so. Nor did he suggest to his companions who were with him that her action was wrong. Indeed, he approved of it. Such approval is sufficient to consider the action of the women, i.e. visiting the grave of a close relative, permissible.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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13. Graves of Adam & Ali

Question :

Where are the graves of the Prophet Adam and Caliph Ali? I heard that Ali's grave which is said to be in Iraq is not the true one. What happened to Ali's body after he was murdered? Is the grave of Mother Eve in Jeddah real or fictitious? Is there any religious significance in keeping a fictitious grave?

Answer :

I do not think any human being could say with even the faintest chance of accuracy where the grave of Prophet Adam is. We should not forget that the Prophet Adam was the first human being on earth. It was unlikely that his immediate children and grandchildren could keep a record of his burial place and that record should remain intact until the present time.

Since Ali was the fourth caliph, it was to be expected that his burial place should be noted. Ali was assassinated in Iraq and, in conformity with Islamic teachings, he must have been buried in the closest graveyard to where he was murdered. That was in the town of Kufa in Iraq. Whether we know the exact spot of his burial or not is probably debatable. But what would it signify if we knew it or not? We know, for example, that Caliph Usman was buried in Al-Bak'ie, but the exact spot of his burial place, and those of many of the Prophet's companions, cannot be identified with any degree of accuracy. Why should we bother about identifying these graves? Those were people who served Islam to the best of their ability. Their reward is with the Lord, and they are sure to have it on the day of judgment. That reward does not include people paying homage to them by visiting their graves.

As for the grave of Mother Eve, what we have said about Adam's grave applies to her grave too. There is certainly no significance whatsoever in keeping a fictitious grave, or a real one for that matter.

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