What will happen after we die?

In a well-known and long hadith, the Companion of the Prophet ﷺ al-Bara bin Aazib ؓ narrates that:

“We went out with the Messenger of Allah for the funeral of a man from among the Ansar. We came to the grave and the lahd (a niche on the side of the grave) was not yet dug.  The Messenger of Allah 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.

(In another narration he gazed at the sky and then down to the ground, repeating this three times).

Then he raised his head and said, ‘Seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave’, two or three times.

Then he prayed thrice:

اَللّٰھُمَّ اِنِّیْ اَعُوْذُبِکَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ

‘O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave’

 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 (the Angel of Death) seizes it (i.e. the soul), they (the other angels) 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.

Regarding this Allah says in the Quran:

الْمَوْتُ تَوَفَّتْهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمْ لَا يُفَرِّطُونَ

‘…when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and they do not fail [in their duties].’

(Chapter 6, Surah Al-An’am, Ayah 61)

 (In another narration, he ﷺ said: “….Until his soul comes out, every angel between the heavens and earth will pray for him, as will every angel in heaven.  The gates of heaven will be opened for him, and the people in every level of heaven will pray to Allah to permit his soul to ascend through their domain.”)

Then they (the angels) ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this good soul?’

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 ‘Illiyyun in the seventh heaven,’

Allah mentions this in the Quran:

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا عِلِّيُّونَ
كِتَابٌ مَّرْقُومٌ
يَشْهَدُهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ

‘And what can make you know what is ‘Illiyyun? It is [their destination recorded in] a register inscribed. Which is witnessed by those brought near [to Allah].’

(Chapter 83, Surah Al-Mutaffifin, Ayah 19-21)

 (Then Allah  says) ‘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 (he hears the beat of their sandals when they go back). 

Then there come to him two angels who make him sit up,

And they say to him:  مَنْ رَبُّكَ (‘Who is your Lord?’)

He says: رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ (‘Allah’ )

They say   مَا دِينُك(‘What is your religion?’)

He says:   دِينِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ (‘My religion is Islam’)

They say:   مَا هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بُعِثَ فِيكُمْ (‘Who is this man who was sent among you?’ )

He says:   هُوَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ (‘He is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ’ )

They say:   مَا عِلْمُك (‘Who made you aware of this?’)[In another narration, the question is : “ما عملك”(‘What did you do?’)]

He says: قَرَأْتُ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ فَآمَنْتُ بِهِ وَصَدَّقْتُ  (‘I read the Book of Allah, believed in it, and confirmed it’)

This will be the last trial on earth for the believer, about which is said in the Quran:

يُثَبِّتُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ

‘Allah keeps firm those who believe, with the firm word, in worldly life and in the Hereafter.’

(Chapter 14, Surah Ibrahim, Ayah 27)

So he will answer my Lord is Allah, my religion is Islam and my Prophet is Mohammad .

 Thereafter, a voice will call from Heaven, ‘My slave has spoken the Truth, so furnish his grave from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’  Some of its breeze and scent will reach him, and his grave will be widened for him as far as the eye can see. 

 (Then) there will appear before him a handsome, well dressed, and finely scented man, saying, ‘I bring you good news which shall make you happy.  I bring you good news of the good pleasure of Allah and Gardens of eternal blessing.  This is the day you were promised.’ 

 He will say, ‘And you, may Allah give you better news, who are you?’ 

 He will say, ‘I am your good deeds, and by Allah I only ever saw you hastening to obey Allah, and ever reluctant to disobey Him, so may Allah reward you with good.’

 Then a gate of Paradise and a gate of Hell will open for him.  And it will be said: ‘This is your place if you had disobeyed Allah, but Allah has given you this instead of that.’ 

 When he sees what is in Paradise he will say, ‘O Lord, hasten the Hour so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’  It will be said, ‘Dwell in patience.’

 As for the disbelieving (corrupt) man, when he leaves this world and enters the Hereafter, stern and harsh angels come down to him from heaven, their faces are black and they bring with them sack-cloth from Hell.  They sit around him as far as the eye can see.  Then the Angel of Death comes and sits at his head and says, ‘Come out O evil soul to the anger and wrath of Allah!’

 The soul will be dragged out of his body with as much difficulty as a many-pronged skewer being dragged through wet wool (the veins and nerves will be destroyed by it.)
He will be cursed by every angel between the heaven and the earth, and by every angel in the heaven.  The gates of heaven will be locked and the people of every heaven will pray to Allah to not allow his soul to ascend through their domain.
 

 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 ﷺ recited:

لَا تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَلَا يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّىٰ يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاط

 ‘The gates of Heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter Paradise until a camel enters into the eye of a needle.’

(Chapter 7, Surah Al-A’raf, Ayah 40)

 He ﷺ 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 ﷺ recited the verse:

وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِي بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي مَكَانٍ سَحِيقٍ

‘And he who associates with Allah – it is as though he had fallen from the sky and was snatched by the birds or the wind carried him down into a remote place.’

(Chapter 22, Surah Al-Hajj, Ayah 31)

He ﷺ said: ‘So his soul will be returned to his body (and he will hear the footsteps of his companions when they leave him). Two stern angels will come to him, rebuke him and sit him up.  ‘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.’

They will ask: ‘What do you say about this man who was sent among you?’

He will not even know his name.  But he will be told: ‘Muhammad ’. 

And he will say: ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know. I heard the people saying such and such.’ 

He will be told: ‘May you never know.’

Then a voice will call from heaven and will say, ‘He has lied. Furnish his grave from Hell and open for him a gate from Hell.’  

So some of his heat and hot winds will reach him and his grave will be constricted until his ribs are crushed together.

 There will appear before him a man with an ugly face, badly dressed, and foul smelling.  He will say, ‘I bring you bad news, this is the day you were promised. 

He will say, ‘And you, May Allah give you even worse news!  Who are you? Your face brings bad news!’ 

He will say, ‘I am your evil deeds, by Allah I only ever saw you reluctant to obey Allah and ever eager to disobey Him. May Allah repay you with evil.’

 Then there will be sent to him one who is blind, deaf, and dumb.  Who will carry in his hand an iron rod which if he were to beat a mountain with it, it would turn to dust.  He will beat him with it until he turns to dust.  Then Allah will restore him then he will be beaten again.  He will emit a scream which the whole of creation will hear except men and jinn.

A door of hell will be opened unto him within his grave and will spread out for him sheets of hell fire.

He will say, ‘My Lord, may the hour never come.’

(Musnad Ahmad/Hakim)

 

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1 Comment

  1. October 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    […] When we say R.I.P. do we really understand what we are saying? R.I.P. stands for rest in peace. Let me share with you the hadith where the Prophet described the death of an unbeliever and then THINK…can an unbeliever be in any state of peace? In the first part of the hadith the death of a believer is described and in the second half that of the disbeliever. To read the whole hadith click here. […]


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