Assalaamu alaykum. Please do not cite any other fatwa. I would be thankful to you. I want to know whether people go to Paradise after they die or if they have to wait until the Day of Judgment? Did all the Prophets already enter Paradise or are they also waiting till Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, gets to Al-Maqaam Al-Mahmood (the praiseworthy station)?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
After death, the Muslim passes through another stage of life known as the Barzakh (the period between death and resurrection) in the grave. If he is (righteous and) destined to Paradise, he gets a glimpse of the pleasures of Paradise in the grave as a gate towards Paradise is opened for him in the grave and he relishes the fragrances of Paradise that come to him from it until the Day of Judgment. This is established by authentic ahaadeeth, like the long hadeeth that was narrated on the authority of Al-Baraa' ibn ‘Aazib and cited by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad. Entering Paradise will be done on the Day of Judgment, after the events of that day, such as resurrection from the graves, assembly in the land of Al-Hashr (gathering), passing over the Siraat (bridge over Hell), and other such events.
The Prophets of Allah shall enter Paradise after these events and after witnessing the passing over the Siraat. It has been narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his Ummah (Muslim nation) will be the first to pass over the Siraat and that the other Prophets of Allah will be present as people pass over it and they shall supplicate Allah for safety. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "...and a bridge would be set over Hell; and I and my Ummah would be the first to pass over it; and none but the Messengers would speak on that day, and the prayer of the Messengers on that day would be, 'O Allah! Grant us safety; grant us safety'..." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Al-Maqaam Al-Mahmood, which Allah promised the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is the privilege of the Great Intercession with Allah for all mankind on the Day of Judgment, for which he, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, will be praised by all people of the early and the late generations. He, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, shall intercede with Allah to start the Reckoning and relieve people from the horrors of the Day of Judgment after they are resurrected from their graves and assembled in the Land of Gathering. This has been stated in the long hadeeth that was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, and is cited in Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim.
Allah knows best.
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