Life in the Grave
Your life in the grave can be of Peace, or of Punishment
As-Salamou Alaikoum Brothers, Sisters and Guests! Today Insha-Allah, I will be talking about 'Life In The Grave' and the reason I chose 'The Trials Of The Grave' as a topic today is to remind you, and myself that death is a certainty that no one can escape, and with it, begins a period of peace and pleasures, or of punishment.
Plus, the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) recommended us to talk about Death often.
'Abu Hurayra (RAA) reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Remember frequently the thing that cuts off pleasures,” i.e. death.” [at-Tirmidhi]'
Allah (SWT) says in Surah Al-Ankabut (The Spider) 29:57
Allah (SWT) also says in Surah 15. Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract), verse 99
'Be in the worship of your Rab (Lord) until El-Yaqin (certainty - Death) comes to you - Surah 15:99 - Translation: Yusuf Ali'
One thing I know for sure, whether I like it or I am ready for it or not, the destroyer of pleasures (death) will be knocking at my door (one day or one night - with certainty) to bring out my soul out of my body, and then have my body put in the grave. But what I don't know (and no one does) is when the Angel of death will visit me - Only Allah (SWT) has that knowledge. I see 'not knowing about my death' as a blessing from Allah (SWT) because imagine what would happen if Allah (SWT) shared that knowledge with us. Scary isn't it?
But what Allah (SWT) shared with all of us is the knowledge that everything has a beginning, and every beginning has an end with the exception of the hereafter. What I meant by that is, some (and only Allah - SWT knows who) will spend a short time in the Hellfire (again, only Allah - SWT has that knowledge) then be entered into Jenna (Heaven), and some will have Hellfire their final destination for eternity.
I ask Allah (SWT) to protect us from the punishment of the grave and of the Hellfire, and make us the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS)
Life is Short
Like everyone else, with the exception of Prophet Adam (AS) and Hawa, my life began in the womb of my mother (I ask Allah - SWT to bless our mothers and grant them Jannatou El-Fardaous - Ameen Ya Rab Al-Alameen). Then one day and by the will of Allah (SWT), I was brought to this life to worship my creator and go through a test - The exact lenght of that test is known only to Allah (SWT).
The Angel of Death pays me a visit
Then Malik Al-Maout (Angel of Death) will visit me one day, when I am least expecting it! Then he (Angel of Death) will take my soul, by the will of Allah (SWT).
Then people will carry me (and I pray to Allah - SWT that there will be many) and put me in the grave. Once they leave, my life experience in the grave will commence. I ask Allah (SWT) to make my life, and the life of all my Brothers and Sisters in Islam in the grave a pleasant one - Ameen Ya Rab Al-Alameen.
Just a Reminder - No one can escape the destroyer of pleasures, Death, including the Angels.
Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today!
What I mean by that is, today, right now and as you are reading this article, start preparing for your travel. Get your affairs in order and your passport with the 'La Ilaha Ila-Lah, Muhammaden Rassoul'Lah (There is not Got but Allah and Muhammad Is The Messenger Of Allah)'' stamp, and prepare for your trip to the unseen.
And just in case you are postponing it for tomorrow, let me give you an idea of the experience today might bring. Don't be of the ones that love dunya (wordly life) and hate death because here is what our Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) said to his wife Aisha (RAA) - (I am paraphrasing here):
'Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah shall love to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah shall hate to meet him'
Then Aisha (RAA) said 'Are you talking about hating to die? We all hate death O Prophet'
Then the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) replied 'As for the believer hearing of Allah's pleasure, of Allah's Mercy, he desires to return to Allah and to meet Allah (SWT), and as for the devient, who hears of Allah's Wrath, punishment and anger, he detests to return to Allah, and meet Allah (SWT). - Sahih Al-Bukhari'
Hopefully, after you've finished reading the article and learn about how your life in the grave might be, you will rush in and start getting your affairs in order, get your passport stamped (figuratively speaking here) while you can, and prepare for your tomorrow's departure, today!
Before I talk about the 'Life In The Grave', let us remind ourselves of the verse the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) would recite to remind the Sahaba (RAA) with. This is from the Sunnan of the day of Jumuaa, and the sunnan of when you are going to be marrying two people together (performing the marriage of two people) that you recite Khutbat Al-Haja - Chapter (3) sūrat āl ʿim'rān (The Family of Imrān)
'O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam' Translation: Yusuf Ali
Life in a grave, whether it is going to be a relaxed and blissful one, or one filled with the torments of the grave, is a life no one can escape.
Everything that Allah (SWT) created will one day taste death, including Prophet Isa (Jesus Peace Be Upon Him) - According to our deen (religion), Islam, Jesus (PBUH) was not crucified, but was ascended to God The Almighty. Again, even the Angels, like the Archangel Jebreel (PBUH), Israfeel, Mikail, even the Angel of Death will taste death.
Your death experience before your Life in the Grave
The life in the grave begins the moment you are put in the state of death. Allah (SWT) describes it in Surah Al-Waqi'ah(The Inevitable) 56: 83-85 of the Noble Quran.
'And verily when it reaches the throat, and you are standing beside him looking down upon him, yet verily we are closer to him than you but you cannot see it'
One day and after just having buried one of the Sahaba, the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) began to scratch the ground with a stick, he told Bara Ibn Azib
How the soul will exist the body will depend on whether the person is a believer, or a disbeliever!
Life in the grave of a believing servant of Allah (SWT)
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) continued
'When the believer is turn towards the hereafter, and he is turned away from the worldly life, Angels descend and sit at the further extend of his eyesight. They have brightened faces, carrying with them a coffin and musk from Jennah (Heaven), constantly getting closer to him till they site near his head.'
Then the Angel of Death descends and sees the people surrounding him. The Angel of Death sit next to his head and says 'O blessed and righteous soul, exist into the forgiveness and pleasures of Allah'.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) said it is like water dripping out of a water skin, with a fluid motion.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) continued
'As soon as he (The Angel of Death) takes it (soul) out of the believer's body (or vessel), it is taken by the two Angels from the Angel of Death, and they wrap it in the white cloth they've brought with them from Jenna'
They began to ascend toward the heavens. When the reach the heaven of this worldly life, the residents of the heaven would say 'to whom belongs this blessed soul?'. The Angels would say 'it is the soul of this person, the son of this person and naming him with the blessed name(s) he was known for in his worldly life'
The Angels (the residents of the heavens) shall open the gates of the heavens, until it ascends to the 7th heaven.
Therein, Allah (SWT) would say 'write the name of this worshiping slave of mine in the records of the most high, then return this soul back to earth, where from it we created him, and from it we shall return it, and from it, we shall bring it back for the last time'. Then the soul is sent (descends) back.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) said 'The soul will be fluttering above the body of the deceased and stays there until the deceased is placed in the ground'
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) continued
And when the body is placed in the ground, two Angels will come to him, and sit him up in his grave and they ask him
- 'Who is your lord?''
- 'What is your Religion?''
- 'Who was the man that was sent?'
The believing man would answer
- 'My Lord is Allah'
- 'My Religion is Islam'
- 'And Muhammad (SAAWS) was sent and he is the one I believed in'
Then a call would be made (Allah)'My servant has spoken the truth, Give him a well spread out area in the grave and open to him a gate to Jenna'
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) continues...
At that moment, the believer shall see entering upon him a man dressed in fine clothing and smelling of good fragrance, with a brightened face.
The believer shall say 'Why have you come to me? Your good face can only come with good news?'
The man shall answer 'I am the representation of your righteous deeds'.
Brothers and Sisters! At that moment, we shall say, Insha-Allah, 'Rabi - O my lord, bring about the day of Judgment'. Why? because we'll be in earnest to meet our Creator, Allah (SWT), get his Blessings, his unlimited and endless rewards.
Life in the grave of a disbeliever
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) continues...
'As for the disbeliever, Angels with darkened faces descends. terrifying in complexion and disposition will descend and draw closer and closer to him untill they sit near his head
Then the Angel of Death descends and says 'O wicked soul, come out into the fury and wrath of Allah'.
As the evil soul is leaving the disbeliever's body, it is like bringing out wool through thorns (ripped apart in pieces, bit by bit)
Then the Angels take the evil soul from the Angel of Death and put in a coffin that is foul and full of stench and try to ascend with it to Allah (SWT)
But as they come to the first gate of heaven, the heaven of the worldly life, the resident of the first heaven would say 'To whom belongs this wicked soul'
And the Angel (carrying the soul) would name him with the worst of his names and the worst of his father's names.
And it should be said 'Drop this wicked soul and leave it for it does not rise. and write the name of this wicked person in the lowest of records'
Then the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) recited from Surat Al-Hajj
'Being true in faith to Allah, and never assigning partners to Him: if anyone assigns partners to Allah, is as if he had fallen from heaven and been snatched up by birds, or the wind had swooped (like a bird on its prey) and thrown him into a far-distant place. - Quran - Sura Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) 22:31 - Translation: Yusuf Ali'
Then the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) recited the verse of l-aʿrāf (The Heights)
'To those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle: Such is Our reward for those in sin. - Quran - Sura l-aʿrāf (The Heights) 7:40 - Translation: Yusuf Ali'
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) continued
And when the soul descends to the earth, and when the body is buried, it is asked:
- 'Who is your Lord?'
- 'What is your Religion?'
- 'Who is that man who was sent?'
And the answer of the disbeliever will be 'I have no idea'
And it shall be said (Allah - SWT) 'Open for him a pit to the pits of Hellfire'
And therein (in the grave), he shall be punished for his wickedness and for his sinfulness.
In another Riwaya (Narration)
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked the question of 'How a soul departs the body?' and his answer was:
For the Believer - When the believing person is about to depart from this world, and he is almost about to go to the hereafter, two beautiful Angels will come down from the heavens, with beautiful faces full of light (like the light of the sun but much brighter and pleasing to the sight), and they have with them perfume and shrouding from Jennah (Heaven/Paradise).
The Angel of Death pays you a visit - Are you ready?
While the Angel of Death is there, the two beautiful Angels will rap him/her and place the perfume in him/her. The Angel of Death will say to the soul of the Believer "Come out, Come out to the pleasures of your LORD. Come out, come out to the luxury you are going to receive from your LORD."
The Angel of Death will continue "O Beautiful, Pure Soul, come out to the pleasure of your LORD".
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said "When the soul of the believer comes out, or the Angel of Death takes it out, the soul will leave the body like water is overflowing from a glass, gently and with no difficulties".
Your soul has been taken by the Angel of Death
Once the Angel of Death has the soul of the believer, the two beautiful Angel won't allow him (Angel of Death) to hold it, or keep it for a long time. As soon as they can, they two Angels take the soul off the Angel of Death and place it in this beautiful shrouding and perfume from Jannah and start ascending the heavens.
When the two beautiful Angels pass, while carrying the soul, they are asked (by the Angel of the first heaven) "Whose this beautiful soul is this?", and the two Angels reply "He is so and so, the son of so and so". The amount of Angels are limitless and they are curious as to whose soul being carried by the two Angels.
From A Life in the Grave to being Famous!
When the two Angels arrive at the gates of the first heaven, they are greeted by Angels at the Gates of the first heaven and are asked "Whose this soul" and the two Angels call him/her by the beautiful names.
Then the two Angels ask for the gates to be opened for this beautiful soul and it is open with no question asked.
Every time he/she (the dead believer) passes by a group of Angels and by every sky, all the Angels call him/her with the beautiful names he was called by on earth, and the gates open to let the believer pass.
No one can see you being a real superstar
You were a slave of Allah (SWT) and to some (mother, father, family members and some friends), you were a good person and shared the little you had with others while being patient. And to others, you were poor because you did not have a Ferrari or a big Mansion - They did not know that having the pleasure of Allah (SWT), was IT, it was everything that meant a lot to you, everything a true believer could wish for - The pleasure of Allah (SWT).
But look who's smiling now? Look who's happy of knowing that he will never be sad again! Happy because he will never be poor again, he will never feel pain nor hardship again. You are now the STAR, but those people that thought you were poor, don't know you have became the richest soul that soon, will be another great creation of Allah (SWT). O' if they only knew how happy you are now!
Know that this is just the beginning of something much better! Know that you will get the greatest reward of them All, yes, a reward that is greater than life itself, a reward that is greater than the Jannatou Al-Fardaous. Insha-Allah, your greatest reward will be... Are you ready for this?
You will get to see the FACE OF ALLAH (SWT). Yes, actually see the face of Allah (SWT) with no vail between you and Him.
I know you want to rush in meeting Allah (SWT) but be patient for your greatest reward
Because by the time your soul is ready for burial, Allah (SWT) will say (and this is from a Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad - Peace Be Upon Him): "Take the soul back! - From the soil we created the body, to it (soil) We will return him, and from it, we will resurrect him once again - return the Soul back to the body."
Are you ready for the question in the Grave?
Remember, you are a good believer, the son of so and so, and by Allah (SWT), you will have no difficulties answering those 3 questions in the grave!
Once the believer is put in the grave, two Angels (different than the previous Angels) will come to him! "Munkar and Nakir" - This two creatures are unknown to us and have not been identified.
Munkar and Nakir will wake the believer up and will ask him the following three questions:
- Who is your LORD?
- What is your Religion?
- What can you say about that man who was sent, from among you, as a messenger?
The believer will answer:
- My Lord is Allah (SWT) - I believed in Him and worshiped Him
- My Religion is Islam
- And the Man is My Prophet - I heard about Him, I believed in Him and followed Him
And the Angel will say to him: "Rest! Rest for what is going to come is going to be better - O beautiful soul!"
The believer will see the Hell Fire
The believer is told to look to his/her left and a little door (gateway) is opened, and he/she will see the Hell Fire. A terrible place with a foul smell (burning) and strong heat, whose fire is fueled by stones and people of the Hell Fire.
They will ask him to look at it(Hell Fire) but the believer will move away! The Angels will tell him "This is your place... But because you have believed in Allah (SWT) and obeyed Him (Alah - SWT), you have saved yourself from entering this place - You will never go in it" - And they close the gate!
The Angels will ask the believer to turn to his right and he/she will see another gate! The gate will be opened for him/her and when the gate is opened, he/she will see Paradise, Palaces (unlike earthly palaces - something the eyes have never seen nor the mind have ever imagined), Noor (much brighter than the sun) and beauty that cannot be described. The believer loves what he/she saw!
The Angel will tell the believer "This is what is awaiting for you - You have earned it, and you will forever be in it!"
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: The believer in the grave will make a Du'a "O my LORD! Bring an end to the world so I may go to my family, and to my belongings in paradise! - Please end it, Quickly".
Remember Death, the Destroyer of Pleasures!
Abu Hurairah (RAA) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Remember more often the destroyer of pleasures - death." - [At-Tirmidhi]. - Arabic/English book reference - Book 1, Hadith 579.
Worship your lord untill your Yaqeen (Death) comes to you
Allah (SWT) said in the Quran "And worship your LORD untill the Yaqeen comes to you" (Talking to his Prophet Muhammad - PBUH). The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said in a Sahih Hadeeth "Whoever dies, then his Qiyamah (last hour) has come".
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said "Everyone will taste the Sakarat Al-Maout", and Allah (SWT) told us in the Quran "The intoxications of death have come in Reality".
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said "When he was dying, he used to wipe his forehead" and would say "Glory be to Allah, to death there really are intoxications".
Brothers and Sisters! Life in the grave is a reality and no one can escape it, including Prophet Issa (Jesus - AS). For the believer, life in the grave will be a pleasure one, but life in the grave for a disbeliever will be of severe torments, before experiencing the punishment of the Judgment day, and the Hellfire.
WHICH LIFE IN THE GRAVE YOU'LL WANT TO HAVE
Life in the Grave is one of two destinations. Your life in the grave will be one of two ends. You will either be from the people who shall receive the blessing of Allah (SWT), see Angels with brightened faces, have Allah (SWT) order the door of Janna (heaven)to be opened for you so you may smell its good and sweet fragrance,
Or be of the people that shall receive the wrath of Allah (SWT) and have Angels with dark faces open the door to Jahanem (hellfire) so you may feel the heat and smell the bad stench of burning flesh and stones?
Your life experience in the grave will depend on you, and your deeds.
What did you think of the 'Life in the Grave' article? If you enjoyed reading this article, please let us know by leaving a comment below!
Amor A. (I am a Slave of Allah - SWT, Not a Scholar) - I ask Allah's (SWT) forgiveness for any mistakes I made in this article!
Islamic Center of Reading, PA
18 S. Noble Street, Reading, PA 19611