Torment of the Grave
Fatwa No: 81829

Question

Torment of the grave

Answer

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  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa'ah have agreed on the reality of the torment and the questioning of the angels in the grave since it is proved from the Quran and Ahadeeth.

1 - Allah 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]

This verse clearly proves the torment in the grave before the Day of Resurrection.

2 - Allah Says (what means): {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 Allah other than the truth and [that] you were, toward His verses, being arrogant."} [Quran 6:93]

This is the address to the mentioned people in the above verse at the time of death, they are informed that they are going to taste the torment of degradation on that day.

If this torment is to be delayed till the Day of Resurrection, then it would not be correct to address them {Today you will be awarded the punishment.}.

3 - Allah Says (what means): {And indeed, for those who have wronged is a punishment before that, but most of them do not know.} [Quran 52:47]

This verse clearly shows that the first torment is that of the grave and not the torment during this life, because we observe many unjust people who are not being punished in this life.

4 - Allah Says (what means): {We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment.} [Quran 9:101]

The first torment mentioned in this verse is the torment during the lifetime, and the second one is the torment in the grave. After that Allah Says (what means): {…then they will be returned to a great punishment.}; this statement implies the Day of Resurrection.

Scholars recognize that this verse is very clear for proving the torment of the grave.

Moreover, the Sunnah addresses this subject extensively.

1- Imams Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) once passed by two graves and remarked and said: “Those two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid). 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)."

2- In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "These people are passing through the ordeal in the graves; if it were not the reason that you would stop burying (your dead) in the graves on listening to the torment in the grave which I am listening to, I would have certainly made you hear that."

3- In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "When any one of you utters the Tashahhud (in prayer), he must seek refuge with Allah from four (trials) and should thus say: "O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hellfire, from the torment of the grave, from the trial of life and death, and from the evil of the trial of Al-Maseeh Ad-Dajjaal (the anti- Christ).

There are many other authentic Ahadeeth which confirm this matter. One should know that these are authentic Ahadeeth. So, whoever denies the torment or bliss of the grave endangers himself.

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Beyond doubt, it is proved from the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) that the torment and bliss of the grave exist to everyone who deserves and everybody is questioned by two angels. We should believe in it and we should not talk about its nature since the human mind cannot realize it. Because there is nothing similar to it in this world. There is nothing in the Sharee'ah that is to be considered impossible, but some minds cannot fully understand what is meant by some revelations."

For more benefit on the punishment or bliss in the grave, please refer to Fataawa 4314, 16778, 18488 and 81829.

Allah knows best.

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