Reality of Punishment and Reward of Grave


By Allama Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer


Now a days many people think that a person will get rewards and punishments of his good and bad deeds only on the day of judgement and after his death he will not be accountable for his deeds .It is a misconception which has nothing to do with the message of Quran and authentic hadiths.
Allah swt has said in Holy Quran in surah At-Takathur:


The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you, Until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die). (At-Takathur 102:1-2)

These verses are indicating that a man will see result of his deeds when he will die and enter the grave.If some one thinks that death will finish his activities and these verses are not indicating any thing about rewards and punishment of grave than he should read this verse of Holy Quran:

The Fire; they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon, and on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Fir'aun's (Pharaoh) people to enter the severest torment!" (Ghafir 40:46)

This verse is a clear indicator of the fact that Pharaoh and his supporters are bearing fire of hell before the day of judgement for their transgression .
Similarly there are many hadiths which indicate the punishment and reward of grave
Usman radi Allahu anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) said:


"Indeed the grave is the first stopping place for the Hereafter; so if he is saved therein, then what comes after is easier than it. And if he is not saved there from, then that which comes after is harder." At-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah,al-Haakim: Hasan)

This hadith mentions that the person will start his journey comfortably in grave if he is pious and will bear torment of grave if he is a sinner.
Similarly in another hadith Imam Abu Dawood ,Imam Tirmidhi and Imam Al Hakim narrates from Fadalah bin Ubaid radi Allahu anhu and Imam Ahmad narrates from Uqbah ibn Amir radi Allahu anhu that the Messenger of Allaah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) said:

"Everyone who dies then his actions are sealed except for the one guarding the border in the way of Allah his actions continue to increase for him until the Day of Judgement and he is saved from the trials of the Grave." (Saheeh.)


This hadith clearly tells us that the person who struggled in the way of ALLAH he will get continuous benefits and rewards even before day of judgement.

In another hadith Kab ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) said:

"The souls of the believers (martyrs) are inside green birds in the trees of Paradise until Allah returns them to their bodies on the Day of Judgement." (At-Tabraanee in 'al kabeer)


This hadith clearly tells the reward of martyrs before the day of judgement.
In another hadith Umm Khalid bint Khalid ibn Saeed ibn al Aas radi Allaha anha narrates that the Messenger of Allaah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) said:
"Seek Allaah's protection from the Punishment of the Grave, since punishment of the Grave is a fact/true." ( At-Tabraanee in al-Kabeer :Saheeh)


This hadith once again tells that punishment of grave is a reality.
In another hadith Anas radi Allahu anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) said:

"When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their footsteps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: What did you used to say about this man, Muhammad? He will say: I testify that he is Allah's slave and His Apostle. Then it will be said to him, 'Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. Allaah has changed for you a place in Paradise instead of it.' The Prophet (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) added, "The dead person will see both his places. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels, 'I do not know, but I used to say what the people used to say! It will be said to him, 'neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (from Quran and Sunnah).Then he will be hit with an iron hammer between his ears, and he will cry and that cry will be heard by whatever approaches him except human beings and jinns." (Saheeh: Al-Bukhaaree (2/422), Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daud, an-Nisaa.ee)


It means that punishment of grave is physical reality because their cries is listened by all the creations except human beings and Jinns.
In another hadith Abu hurairah radi Allahu anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) said:
"When the dead person is buried two black-blue angels come to him, one called al-Munkar and the other called an-Nakeer, and they say to him: 'What had you used to say about this man?' So he says what he used to say: 'Allah's slave and His Messenger, I bear witness that no one has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.' So they say: 'Indeed we knew that you (would) say that.' Then his grave is widened for him to the extent of seventy cubits by seventy, then it is made light for him, then it is said: ' Sleep.' So he says: 'I should go to my family and inform them.' So they say: 'Sleep as the newly married sleeps whom no-one awakes except his favourite wife.' Until Allah raises him up from that place of sleep. And if he is a hypocrite he says: 'I heard the people saying something so I said it too, I don't know.' So they say: 'We knew that you (would) say that.' So it is said to the earth: 'Crush him', so he is crushed until his cross over and he remains in the state of torture until Allah raises him up from that resting place." (At-Tirmidhee :Hasan)

This hadith indicates that pious person will sleep in a peaceful manner where as the hypocrite and non believer will be tortured continuously before the day of judgement.

In another hadith Al-Baraa bin Azib radi Allahu anhu narrates:


We went out with the Prophet of Allah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) accompanying the bier of a man of the Ansar. When he reached his grave, it was not yet dug. So the Prophet of Allah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) sat down and we also sat down around him as if birds were over our heads. He had in his hand a stick by which he was scratching the ground. He then raised his head and said:
Seek refuge in Allaah from the punishment of the grave. He said it twice or thrice. The version of Jarir adds here: He hears the beat of their sandals when they go back, and at that moment he asked: O so and so! Who is your Lord, what is your religion, and who is your Prophet? Hannad's version has: Two angels will come to him, make him sit up, and ask him: 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 Islaam. 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 Apostle of Allah. They will ask: Who made you aware of this? He will reply: I read Allah's Book, believed in it, and considered it true, which is verified by Allah's word: "Allah establishes those who believe with the word that stands firm in this world and the next." The agreed version goes: Then a crier will call from the heaven: My servant has spoken the truth, so spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him in Paradise, and open a door for him into Paradise. So 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. He also mentioned the death of the infidel, saying: His spirit will be restored to his body, two angels will come to him, 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 is this man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. Then a crier will call from the 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 pestilential wind will come to him, and his grave will become restricted, so his ribs will be pressed together. Jarir's version adds: One 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 spirit will be restored to him. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud (3/4735) ,Ibn Khuzaimah, al-Haakim, al-Baihaqee 'Shu'ab ul-Imaan', ad-Diyaa :Saheeh)


The details mentioned in this hadith is indicating the punishment and reward of transgressors before the day of Judgement
In another hadith Abu Hurairah radi Allahu anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Salal laho aliehi wasalam) said:

"The righteous man sits in his grave and is not alarmed or afraid, then it is said to him (by angels): 'In (what state) were you?' So he says: 'In the (state of) Islam.' So it is said to him: 'What is this man?' So he says: 'Muhammad the Messenger of Allah who came to us with clear signs from Allah, so we believed that.' Then it is said to him: 'Have you seen Allah?' So he says: 'It does not behove any man that he sees Allaah.' So an opening is made for him in the direction of the Fire, so he sees it, some parts of it smashing into others, and it is said to him: 'Look at what Allah, the Exalted, has saved you from.' Then an opening is made for him in the direction of Paradise, and he looks to its brilliance and what is therein and it is said to him: 'This is your place.' And it is said to him: 'You were upon certain Faith and died upon it and upon it you will be raised up, if Allah wills.' And the wicked man sits in his grave alarmed and terrified and so it is said to him: 'In what state were you?' So he says: 'I do not know.' So it is said to him: 'Who is this man?' So he says: 'I heard the people saying something so I said it!' So an opening is made for him in the direction of Paradise and he sees its brilliance and what is therein, and it is said to him: 'Look at what Allah has refused you.' Then an opening is made for him in the direction of the Fire, so he sees it crashing against itself and it is said: 'This is your place, you lived upon doubt and died upon it and you will be raised up upon it, if it is Allah's will." ( Ibn Maajah ,Saheeh)


This hadith indicates that a pious man before going to paradise will see his destination in the grave and the sinner will see hell fire before the day of Judgement.
Conclusion:
It is proved both from Quran and authentic hadiths that punishment and reward of grave is a reality and the people who deny this reality actually deny the clear verses of Quran and authentic sayings of Rasool sala laho aliehi waslaam may Allah guide us all to right path and make us believe in all the realities mentioned in Quran and authentic hadiths.