What happens 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:
ASSALAM ALEIKUM. I would like to know what happens on the day one is about to die
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What happens 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 whoever 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.
The Angel of Death will come at the appointed time and without warning to take the soul of the dying person! Thus the person who is dying will not know, nor will anyone living around him. The exact time of each persons death is known to Allah Subhanah Alone. Thus, in a nutshell, nothing will happen to anyone on the day he is about to die; simply because the chances are he wont even know he is going to die on that day!
But if your question pertains to what happens to the person on the day he is dead and buried, there are several authentic narrations of the Prophet (saws) on this subject, which we will try and quote.
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 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 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 used not to 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)."
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 in Islam,