WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSON DIES
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على
سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
A detailed account of what happens after death, in Hereafter, is provided in the book in the light of Quran and Ahadith. It is an important book for all Muslims.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSON DIESThe Quranic verses and Ahadith related to what happens when a person dies are given below.
(i) It is in Quran - إِذَا جَاءَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ تَوَفَّتْهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمْ لَا يُفَرِّطُونَ [ When death comes to one of you, our messengers (angels of death) take him into their custody and they do not neglect in doing so (they perform their job promptly).] (Al-An-Aam - 61).
(ii) It is in Hadith - Upon the authority of al-Bara' ibn Aazib who said: We went out with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to the burial of a man from the Ansaar until we arrived at the grave and he still had not been placed in the slot of the grave.
The Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) sat down and we sat around him. You would have thought from our silence that birds were upon our heads. There was a (small) stick in the hand of the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) with which he was poking the ground. Then he looked at the sky and at the ground three times. Then he told to us: "Ask Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) for refuge from the torment of the grave", he repeated this command two or three times. Then he said O' Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) I seek refuge in you from the torment of the grave (three times). Then he said: "Verily, the believing servant, when leaving this life and journeying to the Hereafter, angels will descend upon him, their faces will be white as if they were suns, they will have with them a shroud (kafan from the shroud of Paradise), and an embalmment (Hanout) from the embalmment of Paradise. Then, they will sit within eye-shot of him.
Then the angel of death will come and sit at his head and will say "O you virtuous Nafs; come out to forgiveness and happiness from your Lord". So it will come out as a drop comes out of the mouth of a jug (with ease), then he (the angel) will take it, not leaving it in his hand for longer than a blink of an eye, until they (he and the other angels) have placed it in that shroud and that embalmment (Hanout). And there will emanate from it a smell like that of the most sweet smelling musk on the face of the earth. Then they shall ascend with it and they shall not pass with it by any group of angels but they will say: What is this good and sweet-smelling Nafs? They shall say to them (he is) "such" the son of "such" choosing the best of the names he used to be called in his life, until they reach the lowest sky. They shall ask permission to enter, and they shall be granted entry, until they end at the seventh sky, then Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), shall say : كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْأَبْرَارِ لَفِي عِلِّيِّينَ [ Indeed! The righteous' record is in 'Illiyyeen'. ] (Al-Mutaffifeen - 18) and his book will be written in `Illiyeen, and he shall be said : مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ [ We created you from the earth and into it We will cause you to return and from it We will bring you out another time. ] (Ta Haa - 55). So (he is returned to earth and) his Nafs is returned to his body and he will hear the footsteps of his friends who buried him when they leave him).
Then two angels shall come and sit next to him and shall ask him - من ربُّكَ [ Who is your Lord?] . He shall reply - ربي الله [My Lord is Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ)]'. Then they shall ask him - ما دينُكَ [What is your religion?] He shall answer them - ديني الإسلام [My religion is Islam]. Then they shall ask him (by showing Prophet -صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم picture) ما كنت تقول في هذا الرجل [What was your Aqeedah about this person? ]. He will reply - نبيي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم [He is the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)]. Then a caller will call from the sky: "My slave has spoken the truth, so spread out for him from the Paradise, and clothe him from the Paradise, and open a door for him from the Paradise (within his grave)", so it's goodness and its smell will come unto him, then his grave will be expanded for him as far as he can see.
Then a man will come to him. His face will be bright, and his clothes will be beautiful, and his smell will be sweet. Then he shall say unto him: I bring you glad tidings of that which will make you happy - أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ نَتَقَبَّلُ عَنْهُمْ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَنَتَجَاوَزُ عَنْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ فِي أَصْحَابِ الْجَنَّةِ ۖ وَعْدَ الصِّدْقِ الَّذِي كَانُوا يُوعَدُونَ [ They are those from whom We shall accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evil deeds. They will be among the residents of Paradise. True is the promise that has been made to them in this life.] (Al-Ahqaf - 16) Then he will ask (and may Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ give you glad tiding) "who are you, for your face is the face of someone who comes with good news". He shall reply: "I am your good deeds, (by Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ, I did not know of you but that you were quick to the obedience of Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ and slow to His disobedience, so may Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ reward you good). Then he shall say: "My Lord bring the hour (soon) so that I might return to my family and my wealth". (It will be said to him "be tranquil.").
He (Prophet ﷺ) said: (And the disbelieving - transgressor / wicked servant), if he is leaving this life and journeying to the Hereafter, the angels will descend upon him, their faces will be black, they have with them a coarse woolen fabric (sackcloth made of fire). Then they will sit within eye-shot of him. Then the angel of death will come and sit at his head and will say "O you wicked Nafs; come out to the anger from your Lord and fury". So it will be distributed (spread out) throughout his body, then it will be ripped away as a skewer/spit is ripped out of damp cotton (and in its way out it will tear and cut the nerves and blood vessels and then he will be cursed by all the angels between the earth and the sky and by all the angels in the sky, and the gates of heaven are closed (for him). There is no gate in the heaven but its people supplicate that the wicked Nafs shall not be ascended to their side), then he will take him, not leaving it in his hand for longer than a blink of an eye until they have placed it in that sackcloth. And there will emanate from it a stench like that of the most evil smelling corpse on the face of the earth. Then they shall ascend with it, and they shall not pass with it by a group of angels but they will say: What is this wicked soul?. Then they shall say to them (he is) "such" the son of "such" choosing the most hated of the names he used to be called in this life, until they reach the lowest sky. They shall ask permission to enter, and they shall not be granted entry. Then the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) recited - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُوا عَنْهَا لَا تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَلَا يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّىٰ يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُجْرِمِينَ [Verily for those who deny Our signs and turn away in haughtiness from them, the gates of heaven shall not be opened, nor will they enter Paradise, not till the camel passes through the tailor's needle´s eye. That is how the criminals get their retribution.] (Al-Araf - 40).
Then Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), shall say - كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْفُجَّارِ لَفِي سِجِّينٍ [ Indeed the record of the wicked is kept in Sijjeen (the lowest earth).] (Al-Mutaffifeen - 7) And it will be said - مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ [ We created you from the earth and into it We will cause you to return and from it We will bring you out another time. ] (Ta Haa - 55)". Then his Nafs shall be taken away (from the sky) with a mighty hurl (until it is cast into his body). Then he (the Prophet- صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) recited - حُنَفَاءَ لِلَّهِ غَيْرَ مُشْرِكِينَ بِهِ ۚ وَمَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِي بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي مَكَانٍ سَحِيقٍ [ Dedicate yourselves to Allah and do not commit shirk with Him, for anyone who commits shirk, it is as though he had fallen from the sky; then his body is either snatched away by birds or carried away by the wind to some far-off place] (Al-Hajj - 31 ). Then his Nafs will be returned into his body. He (the prophet ﷺ) said : verily he will hear the footsteps of his friends who buried him when they leave him. Then two harsh severe and fearsome angels shall come and (terrify him and) sit him up and shall ask him - من ربُّكَ [Who is your Lord?] He shall reply - هاه، هاه لا أدري [I don't know]. Then they shall ask him - ما دينُكَ [ What is your religion?] He shall answer them - هاه، هاه لا أدري [ I don't know]. Then they shall ask him (showing the picture of the Prophet ﷺ) ما تقول في هذا الرجل الذي بعث فيكم؟ [Who is this person who was sent among you? ]. He will reply - هاه، هاه لا أدري، سمعت الناس يقولون ذاك [I don't know (I heard people saying that)]". He (the Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) said "And then it will be said to him don't ever know and don't ever recite!].
Then a caller will call from the sky: "My slave has spoken falsely, so spread out for him from the Hell fire, and open a door for him from the Hell fire (within his grave)", so its heat and hot wind will come unto him, then his grave will be contracted upon him until his limbs are caught up among one another. Then a man will come to him. His face will be ugly, and his clothes will be ugly, and his smell will be vile. Then he shall say unto him: I bring you tidings of that which will harm you. ذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي كَانُوا يُوعَدُونَ [This is the day that you were promised.] (Al-Ma’arij -44). Then he will say (and you, may Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ give you bad tiding) "who are you, for your face is the face of someone who comes with bad news". He shall reply: "I am your evil deeds (by Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ, I did not know of you but that you were quick to the disobedience of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and slow to His obedience, so may Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) retribute you bad, and then will be assigned to him a blind, deaf and mute person who holds in his hand a hammer, if a mountain is hit with it, it would disintegrate, and he will beat him with it until he becomes dust, and then Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) will render him to his previous form, and he will beat him again, and he (the wicked) will cry of sorrow and pain, a cry that will be heard by all creatures except humans and jinn, and a door of Hell will be opened unto him in his grave and will spread out for him sheets of Hell fire]". Then he shall say: "My Lord do not bring the hour". (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim)
(iii) It is in Hadith - It is narrated on the authority of Anas bin Malik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : When the person is put in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their footsteps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask, 'What you used to say about this person (Prophet Mohammad ﷺ) by showing his picture. The faithful believer will say, 'I testify that he is Allah's servant and Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Then they will say to him, 'look at your place in the Hell Fire; Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has given you a place in paradise instead. So he will see both these places 'Qatada said, we were informed that his grave would be made spacious. Then Qatada went back to the narration of Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) who said, whereas a hypocrite or a non-believer will be asked, 'What did you use to say about this person (Prophet Mohammad ﷺ)? He will reply, I do not know; but I used to say what people used to say. So they will say to him, neither did you know nor did you take the guidance. Then he will be hit with a iron hammer once, that he will send such a cry as everything near him will hear, except Jinns and human beings. (Bukhari).
SOME DETAILS ABOUT THE LIFE AFTER DEATH
It is important to know that the 'Life after Death' is not related with our Dead physical bodies. The moment we die, a new body as per the requirement of the Life after Death is provided. For general people, the physical bodies that were provided to live in this world get decomposed gradually and become part of Mud. The torment or recompense is related to the new bodies provided after death. To understand this issue, read the following details.
The seven basic attributes of human beings, viz., (1) Life, (2) Knowledge, (3) Seeing, (4) Hearing, (5) Speech, (6) power, and (7) intention, are a gift of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) to us. These faculties remain active with us in this world as well as in the Life after Death.
It is important for us to know who we are, how were we created, what is the purpose of our lives? It is also important to know the factual information about human self, soul and body. I have written details about it in my book titled 'Understanding Human Self, Soul and Body'. It is an important read as it will help in understanding this book as well.
THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN BEINGS
We all existed in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knowledge as His awareness. In other words, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knew about all his creations before their birth. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knew horse as horse and tiger as tiger. Among humans, he knew who was believer, who was non-believer and who was apostate.
It is in Quran وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ [And Allah knows about everything.] (An-Noor - 64).How did we exist in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knowledge?
We existed in Allah's knowledge as 'Probate Architype' (Ain-e-Thabita - عینِ ثابتہ).
What is Probate Archetype (عینِ ثابتہ)?
A 'probate archetype' (عینِ ثابتہ) is a unit of information about every single creation of Allah. Meaning, it is an 'individual fact' or 'innate' (ذات)' of every creature which existed in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knowledge.
When Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) wanted to bring us into external existence (in this world), He first created our material body as per the requirement of this world, then associated a specific soul with it. When these two joined with our innate/person (ذات), we came into existence.Thus, there are three things involved in our creation, viz., (i) the 'human self' or 'person' (ذات), the human body (جسم), and human soul (روح).Wherever we live, our body should be able to survive in that environment. Our physical world is made up of matter, therefore, our bodies are also made up of matter. When we die and get transferred to the Life after death, this body becomes useless for that world as a specific body is required to survive in that world. Therefore, our physical bodies are buried in earth and for general people, these bodies get decomposed and become part of Earth. Our lives in the Life after death is associate to other bodies that are provided to us in that world. However, one thing remains common. Our appearance remains more or less the same in both the worlds, meaning, we look in the other world same as we looked in this world.
Whether we are associated with the physical body of this world or the body of the 'Life after death', its attributes attributes viz., (1) Life, (2) Knowledge, (3) Seeing, (4) Hearing, (5) Speech, (6) power, and (7) intention, remain with it.
It is important to note that all the above faculties are associated with our "Self" (نفس) which is non-corporeal. They look like associated with our physical bodies, because we are required to live in these bodies in this world. Once we are dead and transferred to the Life after death, all traces of life of our physical body disappear and it should be buried hurriedly into the earth before it gets decomposed.
Whether the dead person is good or bad, Muslim or non-Muslim, after death, he gets transferred to the World after Death (WAD) for all practical purposes. Whether he is subjected to torment or recompense, everything related to him is done in WAD only.
The torment (Azab) or recompense (Thawab) in the World after Death is associated with the new body given to the people when they die. Even in Hell also, when the given body is burnt, a new body gets associated with the person and the torment continues unabated.
The torment of grave mentioned in Ahadith is also not associated with the mud grave where our physical dead bodies are buried. Mud grave is used only for decomposition of our physical bodies that were provided to us in this world. However, the place of burial becomes the place of connection for the dead people with our physical World.
DIVISION OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAD
The people who are dead can broadly be divided into the following five categories, (i) Non Muslims and Muslim Sects who fail the test of grave; (ii) Sinful Muslims; (iii) General Muslims who pass the test; (iv) Saliheen and Good Muslims who pass the test; and (v) Awliya Allah and Shuyookh of Ihsan.(i) Non Muslims and Deviant Sects who fail the test
People who do not have Sahih Iman are treated as Non-Muslims or Hypocrites. The followers of deviant sects should not be under any illusions in this context. It is important for them to realize the facts and come back to the right path before their deaths.
After the test, Non-Muslims, hypocrites and the people who follow outrageous beliefs in the name of Islam are put to unending torment which continues till the resurrection and beyond and there is no hope of salvation for these people.It is in Quran - إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا [Indeed hypocrites (will be) in the lowest depth of the Hell Fire and you ( O'Prophet ﷺ) will not find any helper for them (An-Nisa - 145).
Some Non-Muslims’ bodies are burnt by their relatives after their death. Some people die in oceans where their bodies are eaten by fishes and sea mammals. Since physical bodies have no role in the World after Death, the punishment or otherwise of these dead people is given to the new bodies provided to them at the time of their death.
(ii) Sinful Muslims
If the angels decide, after the question/answer session, that the sinful Muslim has to be subjected to torment for his crimes, he is punished in a special lock up room in the world after death. This room has a connection from our world at the place where he was buried. This is the reason that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) placed green leafs of date palm tree on two graves and said that as long as these are green, (these will be doing Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) Zikr and with this Zikr) the torment of the Dead persons is expected to reduced.
It is in Hadith - Narrated Ibn 'Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) once passed by two Graves and said, "These two persons are being punished not for a major sin. One of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine, while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmity between friends)." The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) then took a green leaf of a date-palm tree, split it into (pieces) and fixed one on each Grave. They said, "O Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)! Why have you done so?" He replied, "I hope that their punishment might be lessened till these (the pieces of the leaf) become dry."
This above Hadith establishes the fact that seeing of punishment of grave is Sunnah and many Awliya Allah are provided with spiritual vision with which they see it, and as per the Sunnah, place green leaves or fresh flowers on the graves to alleviate the torment. Thus, placing of fresh green leaves and fresh flowers on the graves by Muslims is Sunnah.
Whoever goes to the grave of the dead and reads Quran there and prays Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) to extend benefit of the recompense of the reading of Quran to the dead person, it helps the dead tremendously. It is expected that his punishment will be reduced from our repeated visits to the grave and reading of Quran there.
Even if the dead man has passed the test and is in good condition in the world after death, our reading of Quran for recompense (Eisal-e-thawab) helps him to get additional rewards.There are many categories of sinful people. The torment in the World after Death is given to them as per their sins in this world. After certain period, these torments are stopped and these people are allowed to sleep peacefully till the day of resurrection.
We can read Quran in our homes as well and pray Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) to have mercy on our dead relatives. We can feed the poor and do so many other things of charity for the sake of our dead relatives. The Fateha and feeding of poor we do on many occasions during the year, like on Milad-un-Nabi (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Death Anniversaries and Fateha of Awliya Allah, help our needy dead relatives and other Muslims tremendously in the World after Death.
(iii) Muslims who qualify in the test of grave
An average Muslim who passes the test, is provided with a special room in 'world after death' which has a window of Paaradise opened for him/her from where he/she gets cool breeze. The Window looks like a powerful air conditioner blowing cool, mildly perfumed, refreshing breeze. He is allowed to sleep on a special comfortable bed till resurrection. He will get up from his sleep on the day of resurrection. The sleeping Muslims do have a connection with our world at the place of their burial. When we go to the graves of the dead who are sleeping, they hardly notice us, however they get to know that someone has visited them from the world. Our visits to their graves are like knock at their doors. They listen to the knock, but hardly talk to us.
(iv) Good Muslims and Saliheen
A good Muslim who passes the test is not required to sleep. He is provided with good housing and food in the 'World after Death'. They are free men and women. When we visit the graves of such people they listen to our Salams, reply to the salutation. They listen to whatever is told to them. It is just like visiting some of our relatives in this world.It is in Hadith - lbn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated that Allah’s Apostle ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) passed by some graves of Madinah and turned his face towards them, and said : Peace be on you, O people of the graves! (السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أَهْلَ الْقُبُورِ) May Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) forgive us and you. You have gone before us and we are to follow. (Tirmidhi, Chapter 59, Hadith # 1055).If one salutes a dead person he knows (says As-Salamu Alaikum) while passing by his grave, the dead person responds to his salutation and recognizes him. If one salutes a dead person he does not know while passing by his grave, the dead person responds to his salutation.The problem is we cannot see them. They do see us and listen to whatever is told to them. Whether you tell them by mouth or think in your heart, they listen to it and understand it. The rules of listening, talking in the World after Death are completely different from our world. They are free people. Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) mercy is on them in abundance. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) had promised them (during their life times) of a good and comfortable life after death.(v) Awliya Allah and Shuyookh of Ihsan
Awliya Allah and Shuyookh of Ihsan, after their question/answer session, receive exceptional welcome ovation and princely treatment in the 'World after Death'. They enjoy the life of comforts after their deaths. They pray 5 times Salah, keep fasts as we do, during Ramadhan. As a special gesture, the physical bodies provided to them in this world are protected till the day of resurrection.It is in Hadith - Allah’s Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has declared it forbidden for the earth to eat the bodies of the prophets. So the prophets are living and they regularly receive their sustenance. (Ibn Maja, Abu Dawood, Nasai, Ahmad, Darimi, Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Abi Shaibah, Hakim, Baihaqi, etc.)It is in Hadith - Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said "The Prophets are alive and they pray in their graves". (al-Mundhiri and Baihaqi classified it as Sahih)In the World after death, people celebrate Eids as we do. Milad-un-Nabi (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is also Celebrated in a very grand scale. Birth days of some other Prophets are also celebrated by the people there.
It is in Hadith - It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : I found myself in Hijr and the Quraish were asking me about my might journey. I was asked about things pertaining to Bait-ul-Maqdis which I could not preserve (in my mind). I was very much vexed, so vexed as I had never been before. Then Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) raised it (Bait-ul-Maqdis) before my eyes. I looked towards it, and I gave them the information about whatever they questioned me I also saw myself among the group of apostles. I saw Musa (عليه السلام) saying prayer and found him to be a well-built man as if he was a man of the tribe of Shanu'a. I saw Isa Ibn Maryam (عليه السلام) offering prayer, of all of men he had the closest resemblance with 'Urwa bin Masu'd al-Thaqafi (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). I saw Ibrahim (عليه السلام) offering prayer; he had the closest resemblance with your companion (the Prophet ﷺ himself) among people. When the time of prayer came I led them (in prayer). When I completed the prayer, someone said : Here is Malik, the keeper of the Hell; pay him salutations. I turned to him, but he preceded me in salutation. (Sahih Muslim, Bk 1, Hadith #337)It is a known fact that people in World after Death live in communities, just like us.
It is in Quran - قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا [ Say (O'Prophet ﷺ) for Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) mercy and beneficence (O'believers) you celebrate the happiness. (Younus -58)
It is in Hadith - Jabir b. 'Abdullah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrates: Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ' When any one of you shrouds his brother, he should shroud him well (part of Hadith). (Sahih Muslim - Book #004, Hadith #2058) .
It is in Hadith - Abu Qatada (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrates that Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "When you are a custodian of any dead, give them a fine shroud because they (the dead believers) visit one another place and meet one another (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi).When you live in a community, you will definitely celebrate happiness together on the occasions of Eids, Milad-un-Nabi (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and other happy occasions.It is a big world out there which is hidden from the physical eyes of people. Awliya Allah, Shuyooks of Ihsan, Saliheen are joined by their spouses, kids, Murideen, followers around them in the world after death.It is in Quran - وَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَاتَّبَعَتۡهُمۡ ذُرِّيَّتُهُمۡ بِاِيۡمَانٍ اَلۡحَـقۡنَا بِهِمۡ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمۡ وَمَاۤ اَلَـتۡنٰهُمۡ مِّنۡ عَمَلِهِمۡ مِّنۡ شَىۡءٍؕ - [ We shall unite the believers with those descendants of theirs who followed them in their faith, and shall not deny them any part of the reward for their good deeds.] (At-Tur - 21)The world after death is a prelude (preface) to Paradise or Hell. The pious gets rewards and the guilty gets the punishment.It is in Quran - كُلُّ امۡرِیءٍۢ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِيۡنٌ [ Every person is pledged to what he did.] (At-Tur - 21)Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the Head of World after Death, as he was the Apostle of this world during his life time. As a matter of fact, he is the Head of all the worlds in this cosmos, including our world and the World after Death.It is in Quran – وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ [ (O’Prophet ﷺ) We have not sent you except for the Mercy upon all the worlds]. (Al-Anbiya – 107).It is in Quran – يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا - وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا [ (O’Prophet ﷺ) Truly, We have sent you as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad Tidings and Warner (for the entire Cosmos); and as one who invites to Allah's (Grace) by His consent, and as a lamp spreading light (into the whole cosmos).] (Al - Ahzab 45-46).Everything in World after Death, is done under the direct supervision of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). There is a detailed set up of spiritual administration of this Cosmos, including our world and the world after death.The details about our Physical World, the World after Death and beyond are available in black and white in Quran and Ahadith. It is important that people read Quran and Ahadith in the company of a true Shaikh of Ihsan. If your spiritual vision is opened, you can also see many of these details.It is in Quran - وَمَن كَانَ فِى هَـٰذِهِۦۤ أَعۡمَىٰ فَهُوَ فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ أَعۡمَىٰ [The one who is blind (in spiritual vision) in this world, will be blind in Hereafter] (Isra - 72).The physical bodies of Awliya Allah are generally protected. They do not get decomposed in graves. Their bodies remain fresh till the day of Resurrection.(i) It is in Hadith - Narrated Jabir (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : When the time of the Battle of Uhud approached, my father called me at night and said, "I think that I will be the first among the companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to be martyred. I do not leave anyone after me dearer to me than you, except Allah's Apostle's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and I owe some debt and you should repay it and treat your sisters favorably." So in the morning he was the first to be martyred and was buried along with another (martyr). I did not like to leave him with the other (martyr) so I took him out of the Grave after six months of his burial and he was in the same condition as he was on the day of burial, except a slight change near his ear. (Bukhari Book #23, Hadith #434).
(ii) It is in Hadith - Narrated 'Urwa (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ): When the wall fell on them (on Graves) during the Caliphate of Al-Walid bin Abdul Malik, the people started repairing it, and a foot appeared to them. The people got scared and thought that it was the foot of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). No one could be found who could tell them about it till I ('Urwaؓ ) said to them, "By Allah, this is not the foot of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) but it is the foot of Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)." (Bukhari Book #23, Hadith #474).
(iii) It is in Hadith - Yahya (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) related to me from Malik from Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Sasaca that he had heard that Amr Ibn al-Jamuh al-Ansari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) and Abdullah Ibn Umar al-Ansari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), both of the tribe of Banu Salami, had their Grave uncovered by a flood. Their Grave was part of what was left after the flood. They were in the same Grave, and they were among those martyred at Uhud. They were dug up so that they might be moved. They were found unchanged. It was as if they had died only the day before. One of them had been wounded, and he had put his hand over his wound and had been buried like that. His hand was pulled away from his wound and released, and it returned to where it had been. It was forty-six years between Uhud and the day they were dug up. Malik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said, "There is no harm in burying two or three men in the same Grave due to necessity. The oldest one is put next to the Qibla." (Muwatta - Book #21).(iv) An event in the History of Islam is also recorded which is related to two prominent Sahaba (i) Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) (died 78 AH), and (ii) Hudhaifa al-Yamani (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) (died 36 AH); whose fresh and intact bodies were recovered from their old damaged graves, after 1300 years of their deaths (on 20th Zulhijjah, 1351 A.H - 1932 AD) and re-buried near the grave of Salman Farsi (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), in Salman Park, 35 kilometers from Baghdad.(v) A very recent event occurred on July 9, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya when Salafis bombed 'Sahaba Mosque' in Derna, Benghazi, Libya at 7 am local time, and destroyed the tomb of Sahabi-e-Rasool Zuhayr Ibn Qais Al-Balawi (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), the commander of Arab Army who helped bring Islam to Libya during 63-69 H (683-89 AD).Bombing also destroyed the upper portion of his grave. People were surprised to see the pious body of Hadhrat Zuhayr (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) remained intact, spotless after 1375 years. The news and pictures were published in Libya Herald Newspaper on Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Salafis/Wahhabis have destroyed over 60,000 graves of Sahabah in Arabian Peninsula (present Saudi Arabia). What they did with the pious bodies of over 60,000 Sahabah is not known to people. These inhuman beastly actions will definitely carry the unending Azaab (torment) on these Salafis in Hereafter. They cannot escape Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) Azab.SOME IMPORTANT POINTS
(i) When we visit the graves of Awliya Allah, they listen to whatever is requested of them. They do take note of our problems and pray for our absolution. Awliya Allah do pray for all Muslims of the world in general, particularly for those who frequently visit their graves (Dargahs).
Ibn-e-Taymiyya wrote : Ibn Musayab’s listening of the Adhan from the Prophet’s ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) grave or the returning of Salaam from the graves of the Awliya Allah, is Haqq and we believe in it. (Iqtida as Sirat al-Mustaqim, page 373.).
(ii) It is a wrong notion that Muslims worship the graves of Awliya Allah. This kind of talk is nonsensical and misleading.
Some Salafis say that there is enough circumstantial evidence that people worship graves; meaning, their actions of kissing the threshold of the Dargah, kissing the Grave of Wali Allah, sitting there in certain postures, standing in reverence, taking rounds of the grave, etc., are evidences of Shirk. This is nonsensical talk.It is in Hadith - Muhammad bin Qais (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said (to the people) : Should I not narrate to you (a Hadith of the Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad bin Qais - رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) then reported that it was Ummul Momineen A'isha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)? We said: Yes. She said : When it was my turn for Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (Prophet- صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) entered the (house), and said : Why is it, O 'A'isha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا), that you are out of breath? I said : There is nothing. He said : Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware (Allah - عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) would inform me. I said : Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said : Was it the darkness (of your shadow in the moonlight) that I saw in front of me? I said : Yes. He then said : Did you think that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) would deal unjustly with you? She said : Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) will know it. He said : Jibreel (عليه السلام) came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Jibreel - عليه السلام) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi' and beg pardon for them. I said : how should I pray for them? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, In Sha Allah, join you. (Muslim - Book # 004, Hadith #2127)
It is evident from the above Hadith that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) visited Baqi at the commandment of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). Whatever he did there was all commanded to him by Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). Therefore, following rules are established from the above Hadith.
(i) Visiting the Graves of Muslims and staying close by the graves for a long time is the commandment of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and tradition of Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
(ii) Praying for the Dead, facing the grave by raising both the hands is the commandment of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and tradition of Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
(iii) It is important to note that Baqi (Muslim Graveyard) has been referred as "City" and people living there are referred as 'inhabitants' in the Hadith.
(iv) It is commanded by Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) to say 'As Salamu Alaikum' to the inhabitants of Baqi. Salutations and greetings are done to the living people who can see, hear and communicate with you.
(v) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) prayed for the people of Baqi, and for those who will join them later. Meaning, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) did not differentiate between the living and the dead Muslims as they both were treated as 'living' only.
(vi) In the above Hadith, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is addressing the dead as, ( يَا أَهْلَ الْقُبُورِ ) which has been commanded to him by Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). This confirms the fact that calling "Ya Rasulullah" ( يا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is as per the commandments of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).(vii) Women are allowed to visit Muslim Graveyards and Mazaars of Awliya Allah. There are many Ahadith in Bukhari, Muslim and other Ahadith books that confirm the fact that women should visit Muslim graveyards.A person's actions in a Dargah will be judged according to his intention (Niyyah).It is in Hadith - Narrated Umar bin Al-Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : I heard Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. (Bukhari - Book #1, Hadith #1).If we see a Muslim, Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama'a (whose Aqeedah about Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ is correct), prostrating in front of a Mazar of a Wali Allah, we will question him about his intention of prostration. If he says that he was not prostrating, rather he was kissing the Grave of Wali Allah, or kissing the entrance or threshold of the Dargah or placing his forehead or rubbing his face on the Mazar out of reverence, it will be concluded that he was acting upon the widespread practice of Sahabah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم اجمعين).If the person says that he was prostrating in view of his excessive love of Wali Allah, then he will be counseled that though 'prostration of reverence' (Sajda-e-Tahiyya) is not shirk, however it is forbidden in Islam. What he was doing is not appropriate, and is sin; therefore he should stop it because Awliya Allah get annoyed if someone prostrate in front of them. Kissing of their graves and placing the forehead or face on the grave is allowed because it has been the practice of Sahabah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم اجمعين).Whatever be the case, circumstantial evidence will not be taken into account in establishing Shirk. We need to find out the intention of the person. And we all know that no Muslim in the world would ever say that he associates divinity (Uloohiyah) with Awliya Allah or any other thing in this world, except Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).Calling innocent, pious, and honest Muslims as Mushrikeen/grave worshipers is an outrageous practice of Salafis/Deobandis and their like minded groups and surely they will definitely pay for it in Hereafter.
Salafis and their like minded groups worship a who has two hands, two eyes, a face, a mouth and tongue in the mouth, two shins, legs, fingers in hands and feet, and a huge human like physical body; who is sitting on a big chair on the skies in a certain direction. They say that this huge Sky Idol has limitations on his movements as he cannot come near human beings, therefore, knows about them, only by his knowledge. They call this human-like-Deity as Allah.It is important to understand the perception of God by Salafis, Christians and Hindus who worship Idol Gods in different formats. Salafis call their Sky God as Allah because God is translated in Arabic as Allah. Similarly, Christians in Arabic, Persian and Urdu translations of Bible, refer to their God as Allah. Islamic perception of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is completely different from the idolized perception of Hindus, Salafis, Christians and other people.Needless to say that Salafism is not Islam. It is a separate religion of Idol worshipers, based on the beliefs of Makkan Pagans.
(iii) Salafis scare people from the word ‘Dua’ and its reference to graves. Several words in every language, including Arabic, carry more than one meaning depending upon the time and circumstances of their usage. Like the Arabic word ‘Ghulam’ has several meanings. It can be used for a ‘son’, or ‘servant’ or ‘student’, etc.
Similarly, the word ‘Dua’ is used in two meanings. When we are supplicating to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی), the word 'Dua' is used in the meaning of prayer - الدعاء مخ العبادة [ Dua is a primary form of Prayer].
With reference to human beings, its meaning are ‘request’ or to call some one.
It is in Quran - وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسْمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً ۚ صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ [And the example of those who disbelieve, is as that of him who shouts to the (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but 'calls' (Dua) and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand. ](Al-Baqara - 171)
Similarly, there is an English word 'Lord'. It is used in so many meanings like, God, Judge, Member of Parliament, owner of a plot of land or property, etc. Salafis confuse people in religious issues by playing with Arabic terminology.(iv) Some people say that you should stand several feet away from the grave of Awliya Allah and do not go near it.
If you stand a little bit away as a mark of respect, it is fine. But if you stand away thinking that if I go near the grave, or touch, it will be Shirk; this is not a correct understanding.
It is in Hadith - Narrated by al-Hakim that Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) placed his forehead on the grave of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Marwan Ibn al-Hakam, the Governor of Madina, saw him and held his neck. Abu Ayyub (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said I did not come to the Stone (Idol). I came to the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). I heard the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) say : Do not weep for Islam if the qualified people were in-charge, but weep for it, if it was under the charge of unqualified. (Al-Hakim related this Hadith in Mustadrak and said it is Sahih. ad-Dhahabi (who is held in great respect by Salafis) agreed to his authentication.In the above Hadith, there is clear distinction between Idols worshiped by Idol worshipers and the Graves of Prophets, Sahabah and Awliya Allah. Paying respects, placing forehead on the Mazar or kissing the Mazars of Islamic dignitaries is the tradition of Sahabah.