Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What is the Muslim View of The Afterlife?

I just thought of one [a question]. What is your view of death and after death? Is there a type of judgement, heaven, hell, etc. concepts and what are they?


Death and the Hereafter:

This topic is very important. It was narrated by ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “What do I have to do with this world? My relationship with this world is like that of a traveller on a hot summer’s day, who seeks shade under a tree for an hour, then moves on.” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Haakim. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5545)

The Messenger of Allah was also reported to have said: “If you but knew what I know, you would laugh little and cry a lot.” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim).

Thus was the Messenger’s relationship with this world, and this is how our relationship with it should be as well.

There is Al-Qiyama al-Soghra and Al-Qiyama al-Kobra (The Minor and Major Day of Judgement).

Al-Qiyama al-Soghra starts with death.

There is the good ending and the bad ending and the righteous get a good ending.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah wills good for His slave, He sweetens him.” He was asked, “What is this sweetening?” He said, “Allah guides him to do righteous deeds before he dies, then He takes (his soul) whilst he is in that state.” Narrated by Ahmad, 17330

Allah gives the believers glad tidings at the time of death:

“Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is Allah (Alone),’ and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): ‘Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!’” [Fussilat 41:30]

This is also indicated by the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6507; Muslim, 2683 from the Mother of the Believers ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him.” I said, “O Prophet of Allah, do you mean hating death, for all of us hate death?” He said, “It is not like that; but when the believer is given the glad tidings of the mercy and pleasure of Allah, and His Paradise, he loves to meet Allah, And when the kaafir is given the tidings of the wrath and punishment of Allah, he hates to meet Allah and Allah hates to meet him.”

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What this hadeeth means is that the love and hate that are referred to here are those that happen when one enters the stage in which repentance is not accepted, where the dying person is told of his situation and he is shown his destiny.

Signs of a good end:

1 – Uttering the shaahadah (testimony of faith) when dying, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “A person whose last words are Laa ilaaha ill-Allah [there is no go but Allah] will enter Paradise.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3116.

2 – Dying with sweat on the forehead, because al-Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, “The believer dies with sweat on his forehead.” Narrated by Ahmad, 22513; al-Tirmidhi, 980; al-Nasaa’i, 1828.

3 – Dying on the night or day of Friday, because the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “there is no Muslim who dies on the day of Friday or the night of Friday, but Allah will protect him from the trial (fitnah) of the grave.” Narrated by Ahmad, 6546; al-Tirmidhi, 1074.

4 – Dying as a fighter for the sake of Allah, because Allah says:

“Think not of those as dead who are killed in the way of Allah. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty and rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:169]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever is killed for the sake of Allah is a martyr, and whoever dies for the sake of Allah is a martyr.” Narrated by Muslim, 1915.

5 – Dying of the plague, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The plague is martyrdom for every Muslim.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2830; Muslim, 1916.

It was narrated that ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about the plague, and he told me that it is a punishment that Allah sends upon whomsoever He will, and that Allah has made it a mercy for the believers, for there is no one who stays in his land at the time of a plague, bearing that with patience and seeking Allah’s reward, knowing that nothing will befall him but that which Allah has decreed for him, but he will be given a reward like that of a martyr.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3474.

6 – Dying of a stomach disease. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “… and whoever dies of a stomach disease is a martyr.” Narrated by Muslim, 1915.

7 – Dying because of being crushed by a falling wall or by drowning, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The martyrs are five: the one who dies of plague, the one who dies of a stomach disease, the one who drowns, the one who is crushed by a falling wall, and the one who is martyred for the sake of Allah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2829; Muslim, 1915.

8 – If a woman dies as a result of childbirth, or when she is pregnant. The evidence for that includes the hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawood (3111), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “A woman who dies with child is a martyr.” al-Khattaabi said: What this means is if she dies with a child in her womb. ‘Awn al-Ma’bood.

And Imam Ahmad narrated (17341) that ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us about the martyrs and mentioned among them, “A woman who is killed by the child in her womb attains martyrdom, and her child will drag her by his umbilical cord to Paradise.”

9 – Death caused by burning, pleurisy (a disease) and tuberculosis. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Being killed for the sake of Allah is martyrdom; the plague is martyrdom; drowning is martyrdom; dying of a stomach disease is martyrdom; and the woman who dies in childbirth, her child will drag her by his umbilical cord to Paradise.” (Abu’l-Awaam, the custodian of Bayt al-Maqdis added: and burning and tuberculosis).

10 – Dying to defend one’s religion, one’s wealth or one’s life, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever is killed defending his wealth is a martyr; whoever is killed defending his religion is a martyr; whoever is killed in self-defence is a martyr.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1421.

Al-Bukhaari (2480) and Muslim (141) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever is killed defending his wealth is a martyr.”

11 – Dying guarding the borders of Islam for the sake of Allah. Muslim (1913) narrated that Salman al-Farisi (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Guarding the borders of Islam for one day and one night is better than fasting and praying at night for a whole month, and if he dies (whist performing this duty), he will go on receiving the reward for this great deed and his provision (continually), and he will be spared the questioning in the grave. ”

12 – One of the signs of a good end is dying whilst doing a righteous deed, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whoever says La ilaha ill-Allah, seeking the Countenance of Allah thereby, and that is the last of his deeds, will enter Paradise. Whoever gives charity and that is the last of his deeds will enter Paradise.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 22813.

These are the good signs which point to a good end, but despite that we cannot be certain that a specific person is one of the people of Paradise unless the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) testified that he will go to Paradise, such as the four khalefahs (the four rightly guided caliphs).

Life in the grave:

With regard to the questioning in the grave and the state of the deceased, this questioning is real. The deceased person’s soul will be restored to him; saheeh reports to that effect have been narrated from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The life of the deceased in the grave is different from his life in this world; it is a special kind of life in al-barzakh (the interval between his death and the Day of Resurrection) which is not like his life in this world, where he needs food and drink etc. It is a special kind of life wherein he can understand the questions and answers, so the two angels will ask him, Who is your Lord? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet?

The believer will say, My Lord is Allah, Islam is my religion and Muhammad is my Prophet. This will be the answer of believing men and women. Then he will be asked, What do you know about this man (Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him))? He will say, He is the Messenger of Allah. He brought us guidance and we believed in him and followed him. It will be said: we knew that you were a believer. Then a gate to Paradise will be opened for him, and he will feel its rest and provision and blessings. It will be said, This is your place until Allah resurrects you to it. And he will be shown his place in Hell, and it will be said to him, This would have been your place if you had disbelieved in Allah, but now Allah has granted you refuge from it and you have ended up in Paradise.

As for the kafir (disbeliever), he will be asked about his Lord and his religion and his Prophet, and he will say, Oh, oh, I don’t know, I heard the people saying something so I said the same. Then he will be beaten with an iron rod and will utter a scream that will be heard by all things apart from al-thaqalayn, i.e. jinn and men; the animals will hear it. Then a gate to Hell will be opened for him, and his grave will constrict until his ribs intermingle, and his grave will be like one of the pits of Hell. A gate to Hell will be opened for him and he will feel its heat and torment. It will be said, This is your place until Allah resurrects you to it. Then a door to Paradise will be opened for him and he will be shown his place in Paradise, and it will be said to him, This would have been your place if Allah had guided you.

From this we know that the grave will be either one of the gardens of Paradise or one of the pits of Hell. The torment or blessing will happen to the body as well as the soul in the grave, and also in the Hereafter, in either Paradise or Hell.

Signs of the Day of Judgement:

There are minor signs and major signs

The signs and portents of the Day of Resurrection are the things that will happen before the Resurrection takes place and will indicate that it is close at hand. They have been divided into lesser and greater signs. The lesser signs, for the most part, will occur a long time before the Resurrection begins. Some of them have happened and ended – although they may be repeated – and some of them have appeared and are ongoing, and some have not yet happened, but they will happen as the truthful one (the Prophet) (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has told us.

The major signs are serious matters, the appearance of which will indicate that the Day of Resurrection is at hand and that there is only a short time until that great Day comes.

Minor Signs of the Day of Judgement:

The lesser signs of the Hour are many, and are mentioned in many saheeh ahadith. We will list them together without quoting the ahadith, because there is not enough room to do so here. We will provide references to trustworthy books on the topic for those who wish to know more about this matter and the evidence for these signs. These include al-Qiyamah al-Sughra by Shaykh ‘Umar Sulaymaan al-Ashqar [this book is available in English translation under the title The Minor Resurrection, published by International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia] and Ashraat al-Saa’ah by Shaykh Yoosuf al-Waabil.

The lesser signs of the Hour include the following:

1. The sending of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

2. The death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

3. The conquest of Jerusalem.

4. The plague of Amwaas (Emmaus), which is a city in Palestine.

5. Widespread wealth and lack of need for charity.

6. The appearance of fitan (tribulations). Among the tribulations that occurred in the early years of Islam were: the killing of ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him), the battle of the camel and the battle of Siffeen, the emergence of the Khawarij, the battle of al-Harrah, and the opinion that the Qur’an is a creation.

7. The emergence of claimants to Prophethood, such as the liar Musaylimah and al-Aswad al-‘Anasi.

8. The appearance of fire in the Hijaz, which appeared in the middle of the 7th century AH, in 654 AH. This was a great fire, which the scholars who were alive at the time of its appearance and those who came after them described in great detail. Al-Nawawi said: There appeared in our time a fire in Madeenah, in the year six hundred and fifty-four. It was a very great fire on the eastern side of Madeenah, beyond the Harrah, and knowledge of it was widespread throughout Syria and all lands. Those of the people of Madeenah who were present told me about it.

9. Loss of trust. One of the manifestations of loss of trust is people’s affairs being entrusted to those who are not qualified or able for that.

10. The taking away of knowledge and the prevalence of ignorance; the taking away of knowledge will occur with the disappearance of the scholars.

11. The spread of zina (adultery, fornication)

12. The spread of riba (usury, interest)

13. The prevalence of musical instruments.

14. Widespread drinking of alcohol.

15. Shepherds competing in the construction of tall buildings.

16. A slave woman giving birth to her mistress, as is stated in al-Saheehayn. There are several views among the scholars as to what this means. The view favoured by Ibn Hajar is that there will be widespread disobedience among children, so that a child will treat his mother as a master treats his slave woman, with negligence and insults.

17. Widespread killing.

18. Widespread earthquakes.

19. Appearance of landslides, transformations and stones from heaven.

20. Appearance of women who are clothed yet naked.

21. Believer’s dreams coming true.

22. Widespread giving of false testimony and concealment of true testimony.

23. Large numbers of women.

24. The land of the Arabs becoming once again meadows and rivers.

25. The Euphrates will uncover a mountain of gold.

26. Wild animals and inanimate objects will speak to people.

27. The “Romans” will increase in number and fight the Muslims.

28. The conquest of Constantinople.

Major Signs of the Day of Judgement:

Muslim narrated that Hudhayfah ibn Aseed al-Ghifaari (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came out to us when we were discussing. He said: “What are you discussing?” They said: “We are talking about the Hour.” He said: “It will never begin until you see ten signs before it.” He mentioned the smoke, the Dajjal (the anti-Christ), the Beast, the rising of the sun from its place of setting, the descent of ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj (the Biblical Gog and Magog), and three landslides, one in the east, one in the west and one in the Arabian Peninsula, and the last of that is a fire which will emerge from Yemen and drive the people to their place of gathering.

There is no saheeh text which states the order in which these signs will occur, rather the order of some of them is to be understood from the context of the texts.

However, the order of some of the major portents is known, and in the case of others the order is not known. Among those whose order is known are the descent of ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary), the emergence of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj (the biblical Gog and Magog), and the Dajjal (anti-Christ), for the Dajjal (anti-Christ) will be sent, then ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary), will come down and kill him, then Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj (the biblical Gog and Magog), will emerge.

Paradise and Hell:

The believers will go to paradise and the disbelievers to hell.

However, some people are exempt from being brought to judgement:

The mentally ill and the child:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The pen is lifted from three (i.e., their deeds are not recorded): the sleeper until he awakes, the child until he grows up, and the insane until he regains his sanity or regains consciousness.” This was narrated by the authors of Sunan and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’, no. 297.

Others will be tested on the Day of Judgement to determine their fate:

The prophet (PBUH) said: “Four types of people will be tested on the day of judgement: a deaf man who cannot hear anything, a mad man, an old aged man and a man who died during fatrah (a period of time when no messenger was sent to people). The deaf man will say: “Oh Allah, Islam came while I cannot hear anything!”. The mad man will say: “Oh Allah, Islam came while the boys throw animals’ excrement on me!”. The old aged man will say: “Oh Allah, Islam came while I can understand nothing”. And the man who died during a fatrah (a time between prophets; they did not hear the message) will say: “Oh Allah, I witnessed no messenger from You”. Then Allah takes a promise from them to obey Him. Then He will command them to enter hell, and who enters it will find it peace and cool, and who disobeys will be dragged to hell”

Paradise:

With regard to Paradise, it is the abode of reward on the Day of Resurrection for those who believed and did righteous deeds. In it there are whatever delights people could desire. In it there is what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has it ever entered the mind of man. Those who enter it will enjoy real pleasures in both a physical and a spiritual sense, and they will live there forever. It will never cease to exist and they will never leave, and their joy will never come to an end, and they will have nothing to disturb their joy. This is according to the definitive texts and the consensus of the scholars and believers. Allah says:

“The description of the Paradise which the Muttaqun (the pious) have been promised: Underneath it rivers flow, its provision is eternal and so is its shade; this is the end (final destination) of the Muttaqun (the pious), and the end (final destination) of the disbelievers is Fire. [al-Ra’d 13:35]

“Truly, the Muttaqun (the pious) will be amidst Gardens and water-springs (Paradise). (It will be said to them): ‘Enter therein (Paradise), in peace and security.’ And We shall remove from their breasts any deep feeling of bitterness (that they may have). (So they will be like) brothers facing each other on thrones. No sense of fatigue shall touch them, nor shall they (ever) be asked to leave it” [al-Hijr 15:45-47]

“This is a Reminder. And verily, for the Muttaqun (the pious) is a good final return (Paradise), —‘Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), whose doors will be opened for them. Therein they will recline; therein they will call for fruits in abundance and drinks; And beside them will be Qasiraat-at-Tarf [chaste females (wives) restraining their glances (desiring none except their husbands)], (and) of equal ages. This it is what you (Al-Muttaqun — the pious) are promised for the Day of Reckoning! (It will be said to them)! Verily, this is Our provision which will never finish” [Saad 38:49-54]

“Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except Al-Muttaqun (the pious). (It will be said to the true believers of Islamic Monotheism): My worshippers! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve, (You) who believed in Our Ayat (proofs, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and were Muslims (i.e. who submit totally to Allah’s Will, and believe in the Oneness of Allah — Islamic Monotheism). Enter Paradise, you and your wives, in happiness. Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them; (there will be) therein all that inner-selves could desire, and all that eyes could delight in and you will abide therein forever. This is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds which you used to do (in the life of the world). Therein for you will be fruits in plenty, of which you will eat (as you desire)” [al-Zukhruf 43:67-73]

Hell:

“Truly, Hell is a place of ambush — A dwelling place for the Taaghoon (those who transgress the boundary limits set by Allah, like polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, hypocrites, sinners, criminals), They will abide therein for ages. Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink. Except boiling water, and dirty wound discharges — An exact recompense (according to their evil crimes). For verily, they used not to look for a reckoning. But they belied Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, and that which Our Prophet brought) completely. And all things We have recorded in a Book. So taste you (the results of your evil actions). No increase shall We give you, except in torment” [al-Naba’ 78:21-30]

“Surely, those who disbelieved in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment” [al-Nisa’ 4:56]

“This, because you took the Revelations of Allah (this Qur’aan) in mockery, and the life of the world deceived you. So this Day, they shall not be taken out from there (Hell), nor shall they be returned to the worldly life (so that they repent to Allah, and beg His Pardon for their sins)” [al-Jaathiyah 45:35]

4 comments:

  1. "20. Appearance of women who are clothed yet naked."

    Amen. :D What is the precise meaning of "martyr" here? Is that the best interpretation of what that word means in Arabic? What is it about martyrs that makes them automatically worthy of salvation? What if the woman who dies while pregnant got so by committing sin, and also likes to kick puppies?

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  2. Ultimately, whether or not one is a martyr, depends on their heart, and that is something only God knows.

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  3. abdallah (servant of allah)June 15, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    subhan allahi wabihamdihi, suban allah hil adheem...
    (glory be to him, all praise are his, he is free of imperfection...)
    this saying is loved by allah...

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  4. alhumdulilah i love this page, it has nearly everything one needs to know, jazak allah khairun brother/sister
    salam alykum everyone :)

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