Have you ever wondered what will happen after death? What will be that world that those who pass away have seen but can no longer come back to tell us? Authentic hadith confirm what is to meet us right after our death.
Narrated Al-Bara’ ibn Azib (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ):
We went out with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) accompanying the bier of a man of the Ansar. When we reached his grave, it was not yet dug. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sat down and we also sat down around him as if birds were over our heads. He had in his hand a stick with which he was scratching the ground. He then raised his head and said: “Seek refuge with Allah from the punishment in the grave. He said it twice or thrice.”
The version of Jabir adds here: He hears the beat of their sandals when they go back, and at that moment he is asked: O so and so! Who is your Lord, what is your religion, and who is your Prophet?
Hannad’s version says: Two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: Who is your Lord?
He will reply: My Lord is Allah. They will ask him: What is your religion? He will reply: My religion is Islam. They will ask him: What is your opinion about the man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: He is the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). They will ask: Who made you aware of this? He will reply: I read Allah’s Book, believed in it, and considered it true; which is verified by Allah’s words: “Allah’s Book, believed in it, and considered it true, which is verified by Allah’s words: “Allah establishes those who believe with the word that stands firm in this world and the next.”
The agreed version reads: Then a crier will call from Heaven: My servant has spoken the truth, so spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him from Paradise, and open a door for him into Paradise. So some of its air and perfume will come to him, and a space will be made for him as far as the eye can see.
He also mentioned the death of the infidel, saying: His spirit will be restored to his body, two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: Who is your Lord?
He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. They will ask him: What is your religion? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. They will ask: Who was the man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. Then a crier will call from Heaven: He has lied, so spread a bed for him from Hell, clothe him from Hell, and open for him a door into Hell. Then some of its heat and pestilential wind will come to him, and his grave will be compressed, so that his ribs will be crushed together. (Give Reference)
The First Question: Explaining Tawheed
When we say that Allāh is our Lord, that means that we single out Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) in His Rububiyyah, Uluhiyyah and Asma-was-Siffat. Rububiyyah is singling out Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) in His Actions. How often have things happened which were decreed by Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) yet we become upset?? How many people depend on the creation for sustenance? How many are even ready to accept things that are not permissible in Islam; the haram ways of earning money? Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ
“Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength.”
[Surah Ad-Dhariyat: 58]
What is Uluhiyyah? Uluhiyyah is to single out Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) with the actions of His slaves. How many people prostrate to the graves? I remember the statement of my ‘Aqīdah Teacher (Allāh bless him) who once said, “How many people do the Umrah and Hajj of Hollywood?” He meant to point to those who are uploading pictures of themselves doing Hajj or Umrah while being in the worship? Do we present our good deeds to the people for show off or do we hide our good deeds? We should know that riya (showing off) is minor shirk, as the Prophet ﷺ has told us. How many people believe in superstitions?
Then comes the last category of Tawheed which is to single out Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) in His Names and Attributes. And deal with the Asha’irah (those who affirm the Names of Allāh and only 7 of the Attributes), the Jahmiyyah (those who deny the Attributes of Allāh, and the extreme among them even deny the Names of Allāh), the Mu’tazilah (those who deny the Attributes of Allāh, but affirm the Names) etc. Those people who distort the meaning of the Āyāt of the Qur’ān. When Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) said that He has Hands, Face, Eyes, Shin, Feet then what gives you and me the permission to come and say that by Hand Allāh means Power, by Eyes Allāh means Vision and not the Eye in the real sense, by Face Allāh means reward or bounty, and so on? Did the Prophet ﷺ explain that or the Sahabas explain it in this manner? Is your Maulana the one who is going to dictate what the religion is?
Look at the Mujasima (those who liken Allāh to His creation) or those who believe in the concept of Wahdatul Wujood (Pantheism) meaning, that Allāh is in His creation – and we seek refuge in Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) from all of that. And when we believe that Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) is above His Throne and He is not everywhere as proven in the Qur’an and Sunnah, and we affirm what Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) affirmed for Himself and deny what Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) denied for Himself, and we affirm what the Prophet ﷺ affirmed for Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) and deny what the Prophet ﷺ denied for Allāh. Similarly, we believe that the Attributes of Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) are not like that of His creation, as Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) said,
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِۦ شَىْءٌۭ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ
“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is All-Hearing All-Seeing.”
[Surah Ash-Shura: 11]
The Second Question – Our Religion
Then the second question in the grave of what is our religion? The answer might seem very simple and it is simple, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to answer it. How much do we know Islām and follow it or is it just culture? Look at those who innovate in religion of Islām. You will be afraid to do even a single Bid’ah because you know the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ, who said:
“Every innovation is going astray, and every going astray will be in the Fire.”
(Narrated by Muslim (867) and an-Nasaa’i (1578)
If you have some understanding of the Deen, you will be worried if what I am doing is not from the Sunnah?
The Third Question – Our Prophet ﷺ
The third question is about the Prophet ﷺ. Loving him means following him, obeying him, sticking to the regulations and not coming up with our own stuff. Then those who take the Prophet ﷺ to the level of Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) (and we refuge in Allāh from that). How many of us have taken the Prophet ﷺ as our role model? How many of us can say that my role model is the Prophet ﷺ without being ashamed of it? How many people think that such and such Sunnah is not practical, it’s hard, and they feel discomfort in it. How many of us can describe the Prophet’s physical appearance? Allaahul Musta’aan (Allāh’s aid is sought).
Are we really ready for this exam in the grave? Remember that it can’t be retaken or postponed.
Dear Readers, know the ‘Aqīdah (creed/belief) of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah (the People of Sunnah and Jama’ah) and learning the religion of Islām according to the Qur’ān and Sunnah with the understanding of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors- 3 best generations: the Saḥabas, those who met them (Tabi’een) and those who met the Tabi’een (Atba’ ut Tabi’een), is the key to success! And don’t think Islām is what your Shaykh thinks, your Imam said or what your grandparents practiced. Rather, Islām is what is in the Qur’ān and Sunnah and how the Salaf understood it.
Additionally, there is the obligation on each one of us to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. We need to implement the implement the hadith: “None of you truly believes until he lives for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Bukhari & Muslim). If I love Jannah for myself, that is what I love for my Brothers and Sisters as well. Start Brothers and Sisters! May Allāh grant us all the ability to learn His religion and to follow it. May Allāh make us all sincere. I ask Allāh, Al-Hayy, Al-Qayoom to show us all the straight path and to grant us the ability to follow it till our last breath. May Allāh (عَزَّوَجَلَّ) grant us all a good ending, and grant us all the highest level of Jannah tul Firdous with the companionship of the Prophet ﷺ. (Aameen)