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The Questioning in the Grave (Continuation)

Jan 22, 2021, 2:28 PM

Samura ibn Jundub reported, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, after the prayers would turn toward us and ask us, ‘Did any one of you have a dream?’ If someone had, he would relate it. Upon hearing it the Prophet, peace be upon him, would say, ‘Whatsoever Allah wills (is done).’

One day he questioned us saying, ‘Did anyone of you have a dream?’

They answered, ‘No.’ Then the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘But I saw tonight two men. They came to me. They held my hand and took me to the holy land. We came across a man lying down, and behold, another man was standing over his head, holding a big rock. Behold, he was throwing the rock at the man’s head, crushing it. The rock rolled away and the thrower followed it and brought it back. By the time he reached the man, his head was restored to its normal state. The thrower then did the same as he had done before. I asked my two companions, “Who are these two people?” They said, “Proceed!” So we proceeded and came to a man lying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook. Behold, he would put the hook in one side of the man’s mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back of the neck and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eye from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man’s face and did just as he had done with the other side. As soon as he tore one side, the other side returned to its normal state. Then he returned to it to repeat what he had done before. I said to my two companions, “Who are these two people?” They said to me, “Proceed!” So we proceeded and saw a hole like an oven, narrow at the top and wide at the bottom, and fire burning in it. In that oven there were naked men and women, and behold, flames of fire were reaching them from underneath, and when it reached them, they would be raised high until they were close to the mouth of the oven. Then the fire subsided and they went back inside it again. I asked, “Who are these?” They said to me, “Proceed!” And so we proceeded and came to a river of blood. And behold, in the middle of the river was a man standing, and on the bank there was one who had many stones. The man who was in the river would try to leave but the other man would throw rocks into his mouth so that he would return to where he was. Every time the former tried to leave, the other would throw rocks into his mouth. Then he would return to where he was. I asked, “Who are these people?” They replied, “Proceed! Proceed!” We proceeded until we came to a man with a repulsive appearance, the most repulsive appearance you ever saw in a man! Beside him there was a fire and he was kindling it and running around it. I asked my companions, “Who is this (man)?” They said to me, “Proceed! Proceed!” So we proceeded until we reached a garden of deep green dense vegetation, bedecked with all sorts of spring colors. In the middle of the garden there was a very tall man. I could hardly see his head because of his great height. And around him there were more children than I had ever seen before. I said to my companions, “Who is this?” They replied, “Proceed! Proceed!” So we proceeded until we came to a huge majestic garden, greater and better than I have ever seen! My two companions said to me, “Go up,” and I went up.’

 “The Prophet, peace be upon him, added, ‘So we ascended until we reached a city built of gold and silver bricks. We went to its gate and asked the gatekeeper to open the gate. It was opened and we entered the city. There we found men with one side of their bodies as handsome as the most handsome person you have ever seen, and the other side as ugly as the ugliest person you have ever seen. My two companions ordered those men to throw themselves into the river. Behold, there was a river flowing through the city, and its water was as white as milk. Those men went and threw themselves in it and then returned to us after the ugliness of their bodies had disappeared and they turned in the best shape.’ I said to them, “I have seen many wonders tonight. What is the meaning of all that I have seen?” They replied, “We will inform you. As for the first man you came upon whose head was being crushed with the rock, he is the symbol of the one who studies the Qur’an and then neither recites it nor acts on it, and sleeps, neglects the enjoined prayers. As for the man you came upon whose mouth, nostrils, and eyes were torn off from front to back, he is the symbol of the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world. And those naked men and women whom you saw in the oven, they are the adulterers and the adulteresses, and the man whom you saw in the river of blood is the usurer. As for the man by the base of the tree, he was Abraham. As for the children around him, they are the children of the people. (The narrator added, “Some Muslims asked the Prophet. Peace be upon him, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What about the children of pagans?’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied, ‘and also the children of pagans’.”) And the man whom you saw near the fire kindling it and going round it, is Malik, the gatekeeper of Hell.”’

“The Prophet, peace be upon him, added, ‘My two companions explained, “The men you saw half handsome and half ugly were those persons who had mixed an act that was good with another that was bad, but Allah forgave them.” The first house is the common believer’s house. As for this house, it is the house of martyrs. I am Gabriel and this is Michael. Now, raise your head.” When I raised my head, I saw a palace that looked like a cloud. They said, “This is your home.” I said, “Let me enter my house.” They said, “You still have some life to complete on earth. Upon completing it, you may come to your home’’.’ (Al-Bukhari) Ibn al-Qayyim explained, “This is a text that pertains to the punishment of Barzakh, for a vision by the Prophets is like revelation demonstrating the reality.”

 Al-Tahawi reported from Ibn Mas’ud that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “A person was ordered to be lashed a hundred times in his grave. He continuously asked Allah to decrease his punishment until only one lash remained. His grave was totally filled by fire. When the fire was removed, he regained consciousness and asked, ‘Why was I lashed?’ He was told, ‘You offered a prayer once without proper purification, and you passed by an oppressed person but you did not help him’.”

Anas reported, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, once heard a voice from a grave. He asked, ‘When did this one die?’ They said, ‘He died during the pre-Islamic era.’ He was pleased to hear that and remarked, ‘Had I not feared that you would stop burying your dead, I would have asked Allah to let you hear the punishment of the grave’.” (Reported by Nasa’i and Muslim) ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Umar reported, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘this is (Sa’d ibn Mu’azh), for whom the Throne (of Allah) moved. The doors of Heaven were opened for him and seventy thousand angels participated (in his funeral prayer). (His grave) was compressed and later on was expanded for him’.’’ (Nasa’i)


To be continued

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