The delight and torment of the grave is a fact
Fatwa No: 2112

Question

In a television program, some people claimed that there is no such thing as punishment in the grave. This contradicts the verse in which Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {The Fire, they are exposed to it morning and evening.}[Quran 40:45] How can we refute this?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

The torment and bliss of the grave and the questions asked by the two angels in it are an established fact by consensus of Ahl-As-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah (the Sunni mainstream), based on evidence from  the Quran and Sunnah.

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

·        {And the people of Pharaoh were enveloped by the worst of punishment - The Fire, they are exposed to it morning and evening. And the Day the Hour appears [it will be said], "Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment."} [Quran 40:45,46] These verses clearly prove that there can be punishment in the grave before the Day of Judgment.

·        {And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands, [saying], "Discharge your souls! Today you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation for what you used to say against Allaah other than the truth.} [Quran 6:93]. This proves what would be said to them at the time of their death and that they would be  punished and humiliated. If the verse refers to the  punishment after resurrection, Allaah The Almighty would not have said “today”. Thus, this verse proves that the torture of the grave is a reality.

·        {And indeed, for those who have wronged is a punishment before that, but most of them do not know.} [Quran 52:47] This also proves that the first punishment would be in the grave. It cannot refer to punishment in the worldly life because many tyrants die without being punished.

·        {We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment.} [Quran 9:101] The first punishment is that of the worldly life, the second is that of the grave, while the third one is the punishment after the resurrection. The scholars maintain that this verse explicitly proves that the punishment of the grave  is true.

The proof from the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallaallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam , is even more explicit:

1.       It was narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, once passed by two graves and told the people that their dwellers were being punished and that the reason was  that one of them did not purify himself after urinating, while the other was a talebearer. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

2.       It was also narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that this nation would be tested in the grave. He told us that he could have prayed to Allaah The Almighty so that He would let Muslims hear the torture in the graves, but he was afraid that people would therefore refrain  from burying their dead (in terror). [Muslim]

It was also narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered us to seek refuge with Allaah The Almighty from four things: the torment of Hell and the grave, worldly temptations, distraction from belief at the time of death, and from the trial of the Antichrist. [Muslim]. There are many other authentic Hadeeths on this matter.

There are many Hadeeths proving that torture in the grave is a reality and anyone who denies this would be in a critical situation. Shaykh Al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said that many Hadeeths prove the delight and torment of the grave and the test of the two angels, may Allaah exalt their mention. Hence, Muslims should believe in them without asking how, because our minds cannot perceive this in the worldly life.

Moreover, our religion does not contain illogical concepts, but they may challenge our limited minds.

Allaah Knows best.

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