What happens at the time of Death and in the grave?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Also you have not answered my question in full. My question is - what happens at time of death and in Kabar. I have heard that at time of death we loose our power of speech and at that time we see our deeds as flash back. The soul remains in house for 3 days. The soul follows the janaza. In kabar the soul again enter the body and is then question for 3 days. How far this is true?
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What happens at the time of Death and in the grave?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Firstly, I would like to apologize for not answering your question in full. I assumed your question was more philosophical in nature, rather than physical. Insha Allah, I will try to answer your question from the guidance of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (saws).
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 21 Surah Anbiya verse 35: Every living being shall taste death, and We are putting all of you to test by passing you through good and bad conditions, and ultimately you shall all return to Us.
Death is a certainty that no living being can deny. We recognize that we have limited time, but are neglectful of the appointment of death and its consequences. Jazak Allah Kheir, brother, for asking the question, so that we may take some time and ponder at the inevitable coming events: our time of death and our time in the grave. Once death has overtaken us, our Book of Conduct will be closed. Thus, the time to do good deeds is now.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anam verse 93-94: And who could be more wicked than the one who invents a falsehood about Allah, or says, A Revelation has come to me, whereas no Revelation has come to him, or says, I will also send down the like of what Allah has sent down!. Would that you could see these wicked people, when they are in the agonies of death and the angels are stretching out their hands and saying, Come, yield up your soul!. Today you shall be awarded a disgraceful torment for the false things you attributed to Allah and for the rebellion you showed against His Revelations (Al Quran). And Allah will say, So, you have come before Us all alone, as We created you at first. Now you have left behind all that We gave to you in the world; and now We do not see with you those shofaaa (intercessors) who, you believed, had a share in moulding your destinies. All the relations between you and them have been cut off, and all those, in whom you trusted, have left you in the lurch!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 8 Surah Anfal verse 50: Would that you could see how it was when the angels were seizing the souls of the slain disbelievers! They were striking them on their faces and hips and saying, Now taste the torment of burning. This is the recompense for what you own hands had prepared beforehand, for Allah is not unjust to His slaves.
Death, and life in the grave are subjects of the unseen. No dead man has come back to report what were their conditions. Brother, you have stated in your question that you have heard such and such will happen at the time of death or in the grave. Since I do not know your sources of information, I am going to hold my comments and only say what Allah and His Messenger (saws) have to say about these issues. Allah alone has the full knowledge of the unseen and nobody else. The Prophet (saws) himself did not have knowledge of the unseen, as said clearly in several aayahs of the Quran. He (saw) only said what was revealed to Him by Revelation of the unseen, and our beloved Prophet (saws) never spoke anything but the absolute truth.
The Prophet (saws) said in an authentic tradition: Anybody else who claims to know the knowledge of the unseen, or what will happen to you tomorrow, is a Liar!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anam verse 50: Say to them, O Prophet (saws): I (saws) do not claim that I possess the treasures of Allah, nor that I know the unseen. Nor do I say that I am an angel. I only follow the Revelations that is sent down to me.
There are several authentic narrations reported from the Prophet (saws) regarding our lives in the graves, of which some are listed below. hese are just to give us an idea of what kind of a life in the grave awaits us. Brothers, I urge you to read these carefully and prepare for the inevitable appointment of death. The time to repent and ask forgiveness from Allah is now tomorrow might be too late. Once death is at our doorstep, the doors of forgiveness are permanently closed, and there will be absolutely no chance to come back and do good deeds. The only way to achieve success in the grave and beyond, is to read, understand and follow the guidance of the Holy Quran, which has been sent to us from the All-Wise, All-Knowing, Allah.
The Prophet (saws) said, "When a Muslim is questioned in his grave, he will testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger, and that is what is meant by Allah's Statement in the Holy Quran
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 14 Surah Ibrahim verse 27: "Allah will keep firm those who believe with a Word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter."
Regarding when the body reaches the grave:
The Prophet (saws) said: "When carried to his grave, a dead person is followed by three things. His relatives and his property go back while his deeds remain with him."
The Prophet (saws) said, "The angels are present with one who dies, and if a believer dies, they say, 'Come out, good soul, which was in the good body; come out praiseworthy and be happy with rest and provision and a Lord Who is not angry.' That continues to be said to it till it comes out. It is then taken up to Heaven and the door is opened for it. The angels are asked who this is and reply that he is so and so, whereupon these words are spoken: 'Welcome, good soul, which was in the good body; enter praiseworthy and be happy with rest and provision and a Lord Who is not angry.' That continues to be said to it till it comes to the Heaven where Allah is. But when it is a disbeliever it is said, 'Come out, wicked soul, which was in the wicked body; come out blameworthy and be grieved by a boiling liquid, one dark and intensely cold, and other kinds of its type.' That continues to be said to it till it comes out. It is then taken up to Heaven, and the door is asked to be opened for it. The question will be asked who this is and the reply given that it is so and so, whereupon these words are spoken: 'There is no welcome for the wicked soul which was in the wicked body; go back blameworthy, for the gates of Heaven will not be opened for you.' It will then be sent away from Heaven and come to the grave."
Regarding the invocation of the Prophet.
The Prophet (saws) said, "O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the affliction of the Fire, and the punishment in the Fire, and affliction of the grave, and the affliction of wealth, and the affliction of poverty, and the affliction of Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal."
Regarding the grave:
The Prophet (saws) said: Verily the grave is the first step in the stages of the Hereafter. If one finds salvation at this stage, the succeeding stages become easy for him. And if he does not find salvation at this stage, what follows this stage is very hard upon him. I have never seen a site more horrible than that of the grave.
The Prophet (saws) said: "The grave is one of the gardens of Paradise, or one of the pits of Hell."
The Prophet (saws) said: A day does not come to the grave without its saying, 'I am the house of exile, I am the house of solitude, I am the house of dust, I am the house of worms.' When a believer dies the grave says to him, Welcome and greeting; you are indeed the dearest to me of those who walk upon me. I have been given charge of you today. You have come to me, and you will see how I shall treat you (with dignity and honor). It will then expand for him as far as the eye can see and a door to Paradise will be opened for him. But when the disbeliever is buried the grave says to him, `No welcome and no greeting to you. You are the most hateful to me of those who walk upon me. I have been given charge of you today. You have come to me, and you will see how I shall treat you.' Seventy dragons will be put in charge of him, of such a nature, that if one of them were to breathe on the earth, it would produce no crops as long as the world lasted, and they will bite and scratch him till he is brought to the Day of Reckoning."
Regarding the punishment of the grave.
The Prophet (saws) said: The people who invoke others with Allah, are passing through the ordeal in the graves. If it were not for the fact that you would stop burying your dead in the graves, I would have certainly made you hear the sound of the torment in the graves, which I hear.
The Prophet (saws) said: When a believer is buried in the grave two angels will come to him (Munkar and Nakir, both have dark faces and blue eyes), make him sit up, and ask: 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 Islam. 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 Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). They will ask: Who made you aware of this? He will reply: I read Allah's Book, believed in it, and considered it true. Then a crier will call from Heaven: My servant has spoken the truth. So spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him from Paradise, and open a door for him into Paradise. Then 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. At the death of the unbeliever his soul will be restored to his body in the grave. Then two angels will come to him. They will 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 was the man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. Then a crier will call from 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 burning hot wind will come to him, and his grave will be compressed, such that his ribs will be crushed together. An angel who is blind and dumb will then be placed in charge of him, having a sledgehammer, 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 soul will be restored to him (again).
The Prophet (saws) passed by two graves and said, "Both of them are being tortured in their graves, and they are not being tortured for a major sin. This one did not save himself from being soiled with his urine, and the other used to slander (among the people to rouse hostilities, e.g., one goes to a person and tells him that so-and-so says about him such-and-such evil things).
Regarding the making the graves a place of worship and invocation:
The Prophet (saws) said: "Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians, for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets
The Prophet (saws) said, "If any righteous pious man dies amongst them (Jews and Christians), they would build a place of worship at his grave and make pictures in it; they are the worst creatures in the sight of Allah."
The Prophet (saws) said, "O Allah! Do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped. The anger of Allah on those who took the graves of their Prophets as places of prostration, was terrible."
The Prophet (saws) said, "The deceased is tortured in his grave for the wailing done over him (by his relatives and friends)."
May Allah save us from the punishment of the grave!! Brothers, I urge you to read and understand and follow the guidance of the Holy Quran, which states clearly what needs to be done to receive the Mercy of Allah. Allah is our Protector in this world, and He Alone is our Helper and Protector in the Hereafter.
May Allah keep you and your families and all of us in His Mercy and Protection
May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,