THE PUNISHMENT OF THE GRAVE
ATHAABUL QABR or the Punishment of the Grave is a reality established by the Qur’aan and Hadith. Ijma’ (Consensus) of the Ummah exists on this belief since the age of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum). Heretics and deviates such as the Mu’tazilah and some Rawaafidh, etc. have denied this belief and irrefutable Shar’i reality.
Modernist and deviate groups in this belated age in close proximity to Qiyaamah have taken up this heretical belief of kufr and are deceiving innocent and ignorant Muslims into believing that Athaab-e-Qabr is not a teaching of Islam when in fact it is an integral part of Imaan. Denial of this belief is kufr --KUFR which eliminates Imaan, which expels the deviate from the fold of Islam.
Since deviant groups have severed their relationship with the Sahaabah and the Salf-e-Saaliheen, they have become sufficiently audacious and vulgar to reject the Qur’aanic and Hadith interpretations of these noble and illustrious authorities of Islam in favour of their own brands of ta’weel-e-baatil (baseless and kufr kinds of interpretation) which is the product of their nafsaani and whimsical fancies and corrupt opinion.
THE QUR’AAN AND THE SUNNAH
The Qur’aan and the Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explicitly and categorically declare the reality of Athaab-e-Qabr. The Ijma’ of the Ummah from the earliest era of Islam down the corridor of Islam’s fourteen century history has upheld and propagated the incumbent belief of Punishment and Reward in the Grave. Inspite of this mass of authentic Shar`i evidence, the deviates playing on the ignorance of the masses have discovered fertile ground to operate and peddle their views of kufr.
Many of the Aayaat of the Qur’aan Majeed refer to Athaab-e-Qabr. However, since in its unique and eloquent style, the Qur’aan Shareef speaks in a general tenor, the heretics and
mudhilleen (those who mislead others) have discerned some scope for injecting their own baatil ideas by interpreting Qur’aanic verses to eke out support for their opinions of kufr. But, they have failed to understand that the Qur’aan is not here to be dominated and mutilated by the personal opinions and interpretations of all and sundry. The right of interpretation belonged exclusively to the Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his noble Sahaabah who were invested with the office of presenting the Shariah to posterity.
In this day of spiritual and moral gloom we observe that even those who lack adequate knowledge in the masaa-il of Istinja, general Tahaarat and Salaat, considering themselves competent authorities to interpret Qur’aanic aayaat and Ahaadith. Some who possess some expertise in the Arabic language and who may have perhaps ‘researched’ some books deem themselves to have sufficient knowledge and qualification to set aside the teachings of Islam as they were transmitted from the Sahaabah, Taabieen and Tabe Taabieen. What intenser blindness and compounded ignorance can we find than this disease of nafsaaniyat and self-deception?
The colossal jahaalat (ignorance) of the modernists and heretics have constrained them to brazenly aver that neither the Qur’aan nor the authentic Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) substantiate the belief of the reality of Punishment and Reward in the Grave. In order to bamboozle ignorant laymen they endeavour to sound academic and technical by claiming that the Hadith narrations on which the belief of Athaab-e-Qabr is based, are of the Khabr-e-Aahaad category. While they may temporarily succeed to hoodwink the unwary and the ignorant, men of knowledge will smile at their stupidity and will pull from their faces the mask of deception.
Let it be known to all Muslims who value their Imaan and who understand that there is the Return to Allah Ta’ala and the Reckoning in the Aakhirah, that the Qur’aan is the Wahi (Revelation) from Allah Ta’ala to His Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Allah Ta’ala did not deliver an ambiguous Message to Rasulullah nor did Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) leave a Qur’aan with ambiguity for every Tom, Dick and Harry to handle and mishandle so that it could find accommodation within the narrow confines of their nafsaani opinions. The Qur aan is the Primary Source of the Shariah. All the Masaa-il (rules and laws) of the Shariah stem directly from the Principles enshrined in the eternal Word of Allah Ta’ala. Those principles were explained by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and transmitted by his noble Sahaabah to the Ummah via their students, the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen, the Mufassireen and the Muhadditheen of the eras designated as Khairul Quroon (The Noblest Ages) by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Qur’aan was not left unexplained and in ambiguity for the hordes and masses of juhala to interpret and explain as their nufoos desire
Any explanation or interpretation which conflicts with the interpretation of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or with the interpretation of his Sahaabah stands condemned and rejected. It will be an accursed baatil ta’weel which expels the interpreter from the fold of Islam.
Regardless of how logical and soothing to the nafs an interpretation may appear or sound, the criterion of its acceptance is the Shariah as was taught and transmitted by the Salf-e-Saaliheen. Any interpretation which does not pass this standard is a shaitaani deception designed to mislead and lead into Jahannum. Muslims should therefore beware and be on their guard when deviates attempt to ruin their Imaan by their fanciful shaitaaniyat presented as ‘Ilm’ when in reality it is pure shaitaani jahaalat.
The deviates will say that the relevant Qur’aanic verses revealed to establish Athaab-e-Qabr are of a general meaning and do not refer specifically to Athaab-e-Qabr nor are there terms pertaining to such punishment mentioned in the Qur’aan. In response to such devious reasoning they should be told that their personal interpretation has absolutely no standing, no worth and no substance in opposition to the interpretation and meaning of the aayaat given by the illustrious Sahaabah. Thus, if a modernist deviate says, for example, that Aayat 27 of Surah Ibraaheem does not specifically mention Athaab-e-Qabr, then our retort is that this stupid argument has no validity because ALL the Sahaabah who heard this aayat being recited from the blessed lips of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and ALL these noble Sahaabah who heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explaining (giving tafseer) the aayat, say thatTHIS AAYAT WAS REVEALED IN REFERENCE TO ATHAAB-E-QABR. Now the Imaan of every true Mu’min will dictate which view and whose interpretation we have to accept.
Let us for a moment assume that Athaab-e-Qabr is not mentioned in the Qur’aan. Then too this Qur’aanic silence in no way can be construed as negatory of the belief of Athaab-e-Qabr. The Qur’aan is silent on the number of the daily Fardh Salaat. Nowhere does the Qur’aan say that five Salaat are Fardh every day; the Qur’aan does not refer to the number of Fardh and Sunnat raka’ts of even a single Salaat; the Qur’aan does not mention the detailed masaa-il pertaining to Salaat, Tahaarat, Zakaat, etc., etc. In short thousands of masaa-il and beliefs and teachings of Islam are not to be found in the Qur’aan in explicit terms. It is only total ignorance which leads a man to conclude that while some teachings of Islam have to be accepted inspite of Qur’aanic silence, other teachings are to be rejected in view of Qur’aanic silence.
The Mu’min has to see and accept whatever the Rasool taught and delivered to the Ummah. Hence the Qur’aan Majeed says:
“Whatever the Rasool brings to you, adhere firmly to it (accept it and practise accordingly), and whatever he forbids you of, abstain therefrom.”
The Qur’aan is replete with commands to follow Allah and His Rasool. Any person with the least intelligence or uncorrupted or uncontaminated intelligence will understand the axiomatic truth that the Qur’aan does not expound every mas’alah and every teaching. The Word of the Rasool suffices to substantiate an Aqeedah or a teaching regardless of the technicalities introduced centuries later in view of certain circumstances. The only requirement for the validity of a teaching of the Deen is its authenticity, i.e. it must be proven that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah had propagated the belief, teaching or practice. Once this assurance has been acquired, then everything else will be set aside. No academic and technical arguments will then be entertained , especially if such shaitaani argument is presented in a bid to scuttle any teaching or belief of Islam.
It should now be clear that any interpretation of the Qur’aan which conflicts with the interpretation of the Rasool and his Sahaabah should necessarily and compulsorily be rejected and dismissed as a ploy of shaitaan.
This is an authentic category of Hadith, albeit not as strong as Ahadith Mutawaatarah (which is the highest category). Since the deviates are fully aware of the existence of numerous Saheeh (authentic) Ahadith on the question of Athaab-e-Qabr, they are in a great dilemma in this regard because the Ahadith speak very explicitly of the punishment of the grave. So clear and categoric is the Hadith explanation on the punishment of the grave that no scope for interpretation and maneuvering is left for the heretics. To overcome this insurmountable obstacle, the best they could do was to submissively and covertly resort to Taqleed of the Muhadditheen. While these heretics are the enemies of Taqleed, they shamelessly grab hold of it and present the technical meanings and rulings given to various Ahadith narrations by the Muhadditheen. If someone asks them: Did the classification of Khabr-e-Aahaad, Mutawaatarah, etc., etc. exist during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)?, they will or can only stare with open mouths. They usually ask: Did the Math-habs exist during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? Yet, when they are in a dilemma, they have no qualms in shamelessly seeking refuge in the principles of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and the Muhadditheen who were all followers of the Sunnah, either Mujtahid or Muqallid. But, never heretic or deviate.
In response to their ‘Khabr-e-Aahaad argument, we categorically refute this stupid argument. Regardless of the classification which Muhadditheen had ascribed to certain authentic Ahaadith centuries after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), it must be understood that the beliefs and practices of Islam did not initiate with the era of the Muhadditheen. Islam was not completed and perfected by the Muhadditheen a couple of centuries after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Islam was completed and perfected during the very lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Qur aan very explicitly and emphatically declares this Truth. Thus, a belief which was taught and upheld by the Sahaabah can never be scuttled, watered down or refuted on the basis of a technical term or Hadith classification presented by the Muhadditheen hundreds of years later.
Since the beliefs of Islam originated in the era of Nubuwwat, these will not be set aside if technical classifications of narrations cannot be reconciled with these Aqaaid or teachings. On the contrary a suitable interpretation for the narrations or their classification will be presented to remove the apparent conflict. But never will the beliefs taught by the Sahaabah be refuted or set aside.
The Sahaabah did not depend on the Hadith classification of centuries later for their beliefs and practices. Their Islam was gained directly from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The beliefs and teachings which the Students of the Sahaabah (the Taabieen) and their Students (Tabe Taabieen) gained from the Sahaabah did not require the principles and Hadith classifications which the Muhadditheen had developed almost 200 years after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Thus, beliefs which have been transmitted to the Ummah from the time of the Sahaabah cannot be refuted or negated or misinterpreted on the basis of Hadith classification formulated long thereafter.
The Ahadith which substantiate the belief of Athaab-e-Qabr are so numerous that they constitute irrefutable and absolute proof. They collectively have been assigned to the Mutawaatir category. Denial of such Ahaadith is kufr. Denial of the beliefs raised on the basis of such Ahadith is kufr. Athaab-e-Qabr is based on the soundest Shar’i evidences among which are irrefutable Ahadith.
A BASELESS CLAIM
Some of the deviates who deny Athaab-e-Qabr claim by means of deception that all the Imaams, Usooliyeen and other Shar’i authorities’ are in agreement that Athaab-e-Qabr does not form part of the Aqaa-id (Beliefs) of Islam. This claim is palpably false and most deceptive. In fact, the contrary is true. All the Imaams of the four Math-habs and the authorities of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah are unanimous in the belief of Athaab-e-Qabr. References which will appear later in this article will show that only deviates deny Athaab-e-Qabr. Regardless of what classification some of the relevant Ahadith have be given by the ‘Usooliyeen’, the fact remains that they all -- all Shar’i authorities of the Ahlus Sunnah -- are unanimous in the belief of the existence of Punishment and Reward in the grave.
The audacious rejectors of Taqleed should not try to save their concocted beliefs by resorting to principles of Hadith, etc. formulated by Muqallideen. It is laughable when these deniers of Taqleed and self-professed followers of the Sunnah, steer away from the Sunnah Beliefs and teachings, and then cling to baseless opinions for which they seek evidence and grounds in the rules and principles of those who subscribe to Taqleed. It should be well-understood that all Mujtahideen of the Ahlus Sunnah propagate the belief and practice of incumbent Taqleed. While a Mujtahid is not a Muqallid, he does not deny Taqleed. On the contrary he declares the incumbency of Taqleed for non-Mujtahideen. The refuters of Taqleed should now not seek cover for their fallacious opinions and kufr beliefs in the principles of the Mujtahid authorities.
Again, their claim that the Qur’aan Majeed is ‘totally silent’ on the question of Athaab-e-Qabr is a blatant lie. They are completely ignorant of Qur’aan Tafseer, hence they can be so brazen as to deny daylight during the daytime. When the Sahaabah and the other authorities of the Shariah say that certain Qur’aanic verses pertain to Athaab-e-Qabr, then no one has the right to deny this. No one has the right to offer a meaning which conflicts with the meaning of the verses given by the Sahaabah.
Barzakh is that phase of life which follows Maut (Death) and ends with the advent of Qiyaamah. When it is said ‘Grave’, the meaning is Barzakh or the Realm after death and before Qiyaamah. It is in this realm that Athaab-e-Qabr as well as Thawaab occur. The reward or the punishment in this realm is to both body and soul. Sometimes it could be only to the soul. Whether the punishment is to only the soul or to both body and soul is of no substance in so far as the Aqeeda (Belief) of Athaab and Thawaab in the Qabr is concerned. The irrefutable fact substantiated by the Shariah is that such reward or punishment does occur. Difference of opinion and description of the realm of Barzakh cannot be advanced as evidence for denial of the belief of Athaab-e-Qabr.
These deviates refute Athaab-e-Qabr also on the fallacious grounds of there being ‘too many controversial meanings and interpretations on the verses of the Qur’aan related to this issue’. Let the deviates and those who have been misled by them understand that even if there are ‘too many controversial meanings’, such controversy cannot be cited as evidence for the refutation of a belief which has come down in the Ummah from the time of the Sahaabah. No one has the authority to deny the Beliefs and practices of Islam simply because he happens to be too stupid to reconcile the ‘controversial’ meanings. Then, despite the existence of a variety of interpretations, real or imagined, the authorities of the Shariah all along down the fourteen centuries of Islam’s history, propagated the belief of Athaab-e-Qabr.
The deviates should now state precisely when was this belief of Athaab-e-Qabr introduced and when was it refuted? Who introduced it and who first rejected it? The slaves of whimsical opinion are the enemies of Islam, hence Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“Verily, the companions of opinion are the enemies of the Sunnah.”
There are numerous interpretations of verses pertaining to Salaat, Zakaat, Jannat, Jahannam, etc., etc. But the existence of difference and controversy on these issues of Islamic Faith and Practice does not offer a licence to reject these acts of Faith and Practice of Islam. There may be difference of opinion on the method and types, etc. of punishment in the grave. But there is no difference in the belief of the truth of Athaab-e-Qabr.
DENIAL OF THIS BELIEF
Denial of Athaab-e-Qabr is kufr. It is denial of an Aqeedah which has been inherited from the Sahaabah and which has been transmitted reliably and authoritatively down the passage of Islam’s history.
Those who deny Athaab-e-Qabr cease to be Muslims.
Salaat performed behind such persons is not valid. Marriage to such people is not valid.
About such ignoramus deviates, the Qur’aan Majeed declares:
“And among mankind are such men who dispute in (the aayaat of)Allah without having knowledge. (They do so because) they follow every rebellious shaitaan.”
AHADITH ON ATHAAB OF THE QABR
(1) The Statement of Allah Ta’ala (i.e. Qur’aanic aayat):
“If only you could see the transgressors in the throes of death and the Malaaikah stretching their hands (towards them) and saying): ‘Expel your souls’. Today you will be rewarded the disgraceful punishment.
And Allah’s statement:
“Soon shall We punish them twice then they will be turned to a great punishment.”
And Allah’s statement:
“.... The Fire - they will be presented to it morning and evening and on the Day when the Hour will occur....”
Baraa Bin Aathib narrates that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘When the Mu’min is seated up in his grave then he will testify that there is no deity but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger... .This is the meaning of Allah’s statement:
“Allah will fortify the Believers with a firm statement....” (Aayat 27, Surah Ibraaheem)
Shu’bah (also) narrated this and said: “This aayat was revealed in reference to the punishment of the grave.”
Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) narrated. that a Jewish woman visited her and mentioned the punishment of the grave. She then said to her (Aishah):
“May Allah protect you from the Athaab of the Qabr”
“I then asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) about the punishment of the grave. He said: ‘Yes, the Athaab of the Qabr is the Haqq (Truth).’ Thereafter, I always observed Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) seeking refuge with Allah from the punishment of the grave after every Salaat.”
Asmaa Binti Abi Bakr (radhiyallahu anhuma) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) delivered a khutbah. He then (during the khutbah) mentioned the trials (punishment) which a person will undergo in the grave. When he mentioned this, the people screamed (out of fear).
Anas Ibn Maalik (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily when the person is placed in his grave then two Angels come to him......Then they hit him (the kaafir) with hammers of steel. He lets out such screams which all besides man and jinn hear.”
SEEKING REFUGE (WITH ALLAH) FROM THE PUNISHMENT OF THE GRAVE
Binti Khaalid Ibnu Saeed Ibnul A’s (radhiyallahu anha) narrates that she heard Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) seeking refuge from the punishment of the grave.
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would make dua: “0 Allah! I seek