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Reasons for Punishment in The Grave

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

category: Reward & Punishment

source: Islam-QA.com

reads: 12002

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Praise be to Allaah.

There are many reasons for which people may be punished in their graves. Here we will list some of these sins, along with evidence from the Qur'aan and Sunnah.

 

Shirk (associating others with Allaah) and kufr (disbelieving in Him)

 

Allaah says concerning the people of Pharaoh (interpretation of the meaning):

"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'awn's (Pharaoh) people to enter the severest torment!'" [Ghaafir 40:46]

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And if you could but see when the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): 'Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allaah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) with disrespect!'" [al-An'aam 6:93]

When death approaches the kaafir, the angels tell him of what is awaiting of him of punishment, chains and fire, and the wrath of Allaah; his soul disperses in his body and refuses to leave his body, and the angels beat him until his soul comes out of his body, saying, "Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation." [al-An'aam 6:93]

Evidence that shirk is one of the causes of punishment in the grave is to be found in the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Thaabit (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was in a garden belonging to Banu'l-Najjaar on a mule of his and we were with him, it stumbled and nearly threw him. There he saw some graves, six or five or four. He said: "Who knows the occupants of these graves?" A man said: "I do." He said: "When did these people die?" He said: "They died in shirk." He said: "This ummah will be punished in their graves. Were it not that you would not bury one another, I would pray to Allaah to make you hear what I hear of the torment in the grave." Then he turned to us and said: "Seek refuge with Allaah from the punishment of Hellfire..." [Narrated by Muslim 2867]

The words in this hadeeth, "They died in shirk," indicate that shirk is a cause of the punishment in the grave.

 

Hypocrisy is one of the causes of the punishment in the grave

 

The hypocrites are those who most deserve to be punished in the grave. How can it be otherwise when they are the ones who will occupy the lowest level of Hell?

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And among the bedouins around you, some are hypocrites, and so are some among the people of Al?Madinah who persist in hypocrisy; you (O Muhammad) know them not, We know them. We shall punish them twice, and thereafter they shall be brought back to a great (horrible) torment." [al-Tawbah 9:101]

Qataadah and al-Rabee' ibn Anas said concerning the phrase "We shall punish them twice": once in this world, and the second is the punishment in the grave.

In the hadeeth about the questioning of the two angels and the torment of the grave, the word hypocrite (munaafiq), or skeptic (murtaab) in many reports, is clearly mentioned, as in the report narrated by al-Bukhaari from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him): "… as for the kaafir and the hypocrite, it will be said to him…". And in al-Saheehayn it is narrated from Asma' (may Allaah be pleased with her): "As for the hypocrite or the skeptic…"

 

Changing the religion of Allaah, by forbidding that which Allaah has permitted or permitting that which He has forbidden

 

The evidence that this changing of the religion of Allaah is one of the causes of punishment in the grave is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "I saw 'Amr ibn 'Aamir al-Khuzaa'i dragging his intestines in Hell. He was the first one to introduce the institution of al-saa'ibah." [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4623]

The saa'ibah was a she-camel, cow or sheep which they would leave to graze for the sake of the false gods, and it would not be ridden, eaten or used for carrying burdens. Some of them would make vows to make part of their wealth a saa'ibah.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The Arabs, from among the sons of Ismaa'eel and others, who lived in the environs of the Ancient House that had been built by Ibraaheem and Ismaa'eel, were haneefs (monotheists) who followed the religion of Ibraaheem, until one of the leaders of Khuzaa'ah, namely 'Amr ibn Luhayy, changed his religion. He was the first one to change the religion of Ibraaheem to shirk and forbid things that Allaah had not forbidden. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I saw 'Amr ibn Luhayy dragging his intestines." [Daqaa'iq al-Tafseer, 2/71]

 

Not taking care to avoid getting urine on oneself, and spreading malicious gossip among people

 

It was narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by two graves and said, "They are being punished, but they are not being punished for something that was difficult to avoid. One of them used to walk about spreading nameemah (malicious gossip) and the other used not to take care to avoid getting urine on himself." [Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

It was narrated from Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Most of the torment of the grave is because of urine, so be careful to avoid it." [Narrated by al-Daaraqutni and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb]

 

Gheebah (backbiting)

 

Based on that, al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) included a chapter in Kitaab al-Janaa'iz (the Book of Funerals) called: "Punishment of the grave because of backbiting and urine." Then he narrated therein the hadeeth about the two graves quoted above, except that the version of al-Bukhaari does not mention backbiting, rather it speaks of nameemah (malicious gossip), but as was his wont, he referred to what was narrated in some versions of the hadeeth: "As for the other, he is being punished for backbiting." [Narrated by Ahmad; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa'l-Tarheeb]

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