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Proof of the Torment of the Grave Print E-mail

﴿وَحَاقَ بِـَالِ فِرْعَوْنَ سُوءُ الْعَذَابِ﴾

(while an evil torment encompassed Fir`awn's people.) this refers to drowning in the sea, then being transferred from there to Hell, for their souls are exposed to the Fire morning and evening until the Hour begins. When the Day of Resurrection comes, their souls and bodies will be reunited in Hell. Allah says:

﴿وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُواْ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ﴾

(And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Admit Fir`awn's people to the severest torment!'') meaning, more intense pain and greater agony. This Ayah contains one of the major proofs used by the Ahlus-Sunnah to prove that there will be torment in the grave during the period of Al-Barzakh; it is the phrase:

﴿النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا غُدُوّاً وَعَشِيّاً﴾

(The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon). But the question arises: this Ayah was undoubtedly revealed in Makkah, but they use it as evidence to prove that there will be torment in the grave during the period of Al-Barzakh. Imam Ahmad recorded from `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that a Jewish woman used to serve her, and whenever `A'ishah did her a favor, the Jewish woman would say, "May Allah save you from the torment of the grave. '' `A'ishah said, "Then the Messenger of Allah came in, and I said, `O Messenger of Allah, will there be any torment in the grave before the Day of Resurrection' He said,

«لَا، مَنْ زَعَمَ ذَلِكَ؟»

(No, who said that) I said, `This Jewish woman, whenever I do her a favor, she says: May Allah save you from the torment of the grave.''' The Messenger of Allah said,

«كَذَبَتْ يَهُودُ وَهُمْ عَلَى اللهِ أَكْذَبُ، لَا عَذَابَ دُونَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَة»

(The Jews are lying, and they tell more lies about Allah. There is no torment except on the Day of Resurrection.) Then as much time passed as Allah willed should pass, then one day he came out at midday, wrapped in his robe with his eyes reddening, calling at the top of his voice:

«الْقَبْرُ كَقِطَع اللَّيْلِ الْمُظْلِمِ، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ مَا أَعْلَمُ لَبَكَيْتُمْ كَثِيرًا وَضَحِكْتُمْ قَلِيلًا، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، اسْتَعِـــــــــيذُوا بِاللهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ، فَإِنَّ عَذَابَ الْقَبْرِ حَق»

(The grave is like patches of dark night! O people, if you knew what I know, you would weep much and laugh little. O people, seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave, for the torment of the grave is real.)'' This chain of narration is Sahih according to the conditions of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, although they did not record it. It was said, `how can this report be reconciled with the fact that the Ayah was revealed in Makkah and the Ayah indicates that there will be torment during the period of Al-Barzakh' The answer is that the Ayah refers to the souls (of Fir`awn and his people) being exposed to the Fire morning and evening; it does not say that the pain will affect their bodies in the grave. So it may be that this has to do specifically with their souls. With regard to there being any effect on their bodies in Al-Barzakh, and their feeling pain as a result, this is indicated in the Sunnah, in some Hadiths which we will mention below. It was said that this Ayah refers to the punishment of the disbelievers in Al-Barzakh, and that it does not by itself imply that the believer will be punished in the grave for his sins. This is indicated by the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad from `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, according to which the Messenger of Allah entered upon `A'ishah when a Jewish woman was with her, and she (the Jewish woman) was saying, "I was told that you will be tried in the grave.'' The Messenger of Allah was worried and said:

«إِنَّمَا يُفْتَنُ يَهُود»

(Only the Jews will be tested.) `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "Several nights passed, then the Messenger of Allah said:

«أَلَا إِنَّكُمْ تُفْتَنُونَ فِي الْقُبُور»

(Verily you will be tested in the graves.)'' `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "After that, the Messenger of Allah used to seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave.'' This was also recorded by Muslim. It could be said that this Ayah indicates that the souls will be punished in Al-Barzakh, but this does not necessarily imply that the bodies in their graves will be affected by that. When Allah revealed something about the torment of the grave to His Prophet , he sought refuge with Allah from that. And Allah knows best. The Hadiths which speak of the torment of the grave are very many. Qatadah said, concerning the Ayah,

﴿غُدُوّاً وَعَشِيّاً﴾

(morning and afternoon.): "(This means) every morning and every evening, for as long as this world remains, it will be said to them by way of rebuke and humiliation, O people of Fir`awn, this is your position.'' Ibn Zayd said, "They are there today, being exposed to it morning and evening, until the Hour begins.

﴿وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُواْ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ﴾

(And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Fir`awn's people to enter the severest torment!'') The people of Fir`awn are like foolish camels, stumbling into rocks and trees without thinking.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah said:

«إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذَا مَاتَ عُرِضَ عَلَيْهِ مَقْعَدُهُ بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ، إِنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَمِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، فَيُقَالُ: هذَا مَقْعَدُكَ حَتْى يَبْعَثَكَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَيْهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة»

(When one of you dies, he is shown his place ﴿in Paradise or Hell﴾ morning and evening; if he is one of the people of Paradise, then he is one of the people of Paradise, and if he is one of the people of Hell, then he is one of the people of Hell. It will be said to him, this is your place until Allah resurrects you to go to it on the Day of Resurrection.)'' It was also reported in the Two Sahihs.

﴿وَإِذْ يَتَحَآجُّونَ فِى النَّـارِ فَيَقُولُ الضُّعَفَاءُ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْـبَرُواْ إِنَّا كُنَّا لَكُمْ تَبَعاً فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّغْنُونَ عَنَّا نَصِيباً مِّنَ النَّارِ - قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ إِنَّا كُلٌّ فِيهَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ حَكَمَ بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ - وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ فِى النَّارِ لِخَزَنَةِ جَهَنَّمَ ادْعُواْ رَبَّكُمْ يُخَفِّفْ عَنَّا يَوْماً مِّنَ الْعَذَابِ - قَالُواْ أَوَلَمْ تَكُ تَأْتِيكُمْ رُسُلُكُم بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ قَالُواْ بَلَى قَالُواْ فَادْعُواْ وَمَا دُعَاءُ الْكَـفِرِينَ إِلاَّ فِى ضَلَـلٍ ﴾

(47. And, when they will dispute in the Fire, the weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Verily, we followed you, can you then take from us some portion of the Fire'') (48. Those who were arrogant will say: "We are all (together) in this (Fire)! Verily, Allah has judged between (His) servants!'') (49. And those in the Fire will say to the keepers (angels) of Hell: "Call upon your Lord to lighten for us the torment for a day!'') (50. They will say: "Did there not come to you, your Messengers with (clear) evidences'' They will say: "Yes.'' They will reply: "Then call (as you like)! And the invocation of the disbelievers is nothing but in vain!'')

 

 
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