Life after Death: Punishment in the Grave - What Happens After Death in Islam?
Author: Gous Ahmed
What happens in the grave? Is there life after death? Is there a hereafter? What is the truth about death? Is there punishment in the grave? These are some of the questions that all human beings think about some time in their lifetime. In Islam we have the most detailed information about life after death and what happens in the grave than any other religion. This is because the last and final prophet, Mohammed (peace be upon Him) shared his knowledge to his companions which have been passed through time by way of Hadiths (sayings of the prophet).
Even if you are not a Muslim, it will be interesting to find out about what happens after death. Any questions please do not hesitate to comment at the bottom of the article.
'Every Soul Shall Taste Death'
What happens after we die? What happens in the grave?
What do Muslims believe about the hereafter? Will there be punishment in the grave?
Allah has said in the Glorious Quran, 'every soul will taste death', but do we remember death in our daily lives? Is it important to understand and know that one day we will die, but only Allah knows when and how. People die from illnesses, diseases and accidents and even in their sleep.
Are we preparing ourselves for death and the time when we shall be face to face with Allah with our deeds at hand?
The first question on the day of judgment we will be asked is about salah (prayer). Are we preparing ourselves so that we may be able to answer that question? If the question of prayer is successfully answered then the rest of the process will be easy, insha Allah.
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What Is Death?
Death is when the rooh (soul) leaves the body of a human being and that is the point when that person ceases to be alive and is pronounced dead.
From this point onwards the rooh travels from this world to the next and the body gets buried in the grave.
The angel of death, Azrael, extracts the rooh but cannot keep hold of it for the blinking of an eye when another angel snatches it away.
A hadeeth: (Riyaadh-us-Salhiheen)
Once, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam came to the Masjid for salaah, when he noticed some people laughing and giggling. He remarked, "If you remembered death, I would not see you like this. Think of your death often. Not a single day passes when the grave does not call out: ‘I am a wilderness, I am a place of dust, I am a place of worms.’ When a believer is placed in the grave, it says; ‘Welcome, it is good of you to have come to me. Of all the people walking on the Earth, I liked you the best. Now you have come in to me, you will see how I entertain you.’ It then expands as far as the occupant can see. A door from Paradise is opened for him in the grave and through this door he gets fresh and fragrant air of Paradise. However, when an evil man is laid in the grave it says; ‘You are not welcome here. Your coming into me is very bad for you. Of all the people walking on the Earth, I disliked you the most. Now that you have been put into me, you will see how I treat you!’ It then closes upon him so much that his ribs of one side penetrate into the ribs of the other. As many as seventy serpents are then set upon him, to keep biting him until the day of resurrection. These serpents are so venomous that if one of them happened to spurt its venom upon the earth, not a single blade of grass would ever grow."
'Every Soul Will Taste Death'
Allah said that 'every soul will taste death'.
Say: “The death from which you flee will truly overtake you: then you will be sent back to the Knower of things secret and open: and He will tell you (the truth of) the things that you did!” (Surat al- Jumu’ah: 8)
In Islam after everyone dies the torture or punishment in the grave is for certain people and not for others. If before someone dies, they say 'La ilaha illallahu Muhammadur Rasul ullah' (there is no God except Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon Him) is His Messenger), then Allah will forgive all of their sins and they will not have any punishment in the grave or in the hereafter.
If a person does not say that and and they were a believer but not a good person, they will receive punishment for the sins they did in this life. If a person is a believer and does as Allah told that person to do in this life, for example follow the Quran and the way of the Prophet, then Allah may forgive their sins and also the punishment in the grave.
No one knows and no one can guess if they will be punished or not, and also no one knows if they will say the kalima or not before they die, only Allah knows. You can worship Allah all your life, even then it is down to Allah with His mercy to forgive you or not.
A Muslim person will know if they will be punished or not straight after they die because when Azrael comes to take the soul out of the body, if the soul comes out easily then the later stages will be easier. If not then Allah knows there may be punishment in the grave and in the hereafter.
When a person is buried, they will be woken up in their grave by two angels, and if they are wearing scented white clothes that means the gates of heaven (jannah) will be open until judgement day after they are asked three questions and if they answer them correctly. If that person is woken up by two angels who are wearing black stinky clothes then the gates of hell will be open for them until the day of judgement if they cannot answer the three questions.
Those three questions will be:
1. What is your deen? (Religion)
2. Who is your rab (Allah/God)?
3. Who was sent to you with the message of Allah?
These three questions will be answered easily by good practising muslims whose sins have been forgiven by Allah, but people with bad deeds will not be able to answer them. Answering these questions is not a thing of memorising them, our hearts will answer them if we worship and obey Allah in this life. If we do not obey and worship Allah in this life, then answering these three questions will be impossible.
In the end to Us shall you be brought back. (29:57)
Snake in the Grave
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him)
- Islam - The Early Life of The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh...
The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is well known worldwide as the last prophet and messenger of Allah (God) in Islam, who was born in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia in the year 570
Allah The Most Merciful
If a person had many bad deeds, even then if Allah wishes, that person may be forgiven for one small good deed, so then that person may not get punished in the grave or in the hereafter.
It is very simple, everyone should try to live a good life to the extent Allah has provided for them and not disobey Him.
Allah said, 'I did not create mankind and jinn except to worship me'. This means that we were all created by Allah to only worship Him and obey his instructions in the Glorious Quran.
When it comes to the questions of Jihad etc, only people who are misguided and misunderstand the Quran and the way of the Prophet Muahmmad (peace be upon Him) carry out killing and opression unlawfully, which is totally prohibited in the religion of Islam.
Killing another human being is like killing the entire human race, saving another human being is like saving the entire human race.
Punihsment in the Grave Video
Descriptions of Death
(Courtesy of http://www.inter-islam.org/faith/dthgft.htm )
1. Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik radiyallahu anhu has reported that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam had mentioned that the grasp of Malikul Maut is more severe than one thousand hacks (cuts) with a sword. (Sharhus-sudoor)
2. There is a narration regarding Hazrat Moosa alaihis salaam that he was questioned by Allah after death about how he had undergone the experience of dying and he replied that it could be described as the case of a live bird being put in to a hot boiling pot of bubbling oil.
3. In another narration, Hazrat Moosa alaihis salaam is reported to have replied that the experience was like that of a goat being skinned alive by a butcher. (Sharhus-sudoor)
4. It is narrated from Shaddad Ibn Aus radiyallahu anhu that there is not as much pain, torture in being spilt by a saw, shredded by scissorsor scalded by fiercely boiling water than in experiencing death.
5. Hazrat Abu Qatadah radiyallahu anhu reports that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said that all distress, displeasure and agony at the time of death can be likened to that of an ant-bite.
6. Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam asked the angel of death to show him in which form he visits an evil person. Angel of death replied, "You will not be able to tolerate the sight." Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam insisted, the angel of death told him to turn around, while he transformed himself. After which he told Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam to look. Upon seeing him he fell unconsciousness due to the pitiful sight. Thereafter, Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam remarked that the sight was so horrifying that just looking at him was enough punishment for the evildoer.
Hadith on Surah Al-Mulk for Protection from the Punishment of the Grave
Read Surah Al-Mulk for Protection from the Punishment of the Grave
Allah is the Greatest, the most merciful. Allah has given us the opportunity to protect ourselves from the punihsment of the grave by way of the glorious Quran. There is a chapter in the glorious Quran called Surah Al-Mulk which when recited and memorised, will protect us from the punihsment in the grave.
This is one surah which will act as a shield in the grave.
You can read the meaning of some verses from Surah Al-Mulk from the image below.
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