A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN!
Man has been given this life to prepare for the everlasting life of the Hereafter. Amongst the cornerstones of faith in Islam is the belief in ghaib (the unseen things). For every person, the sequence of reward and punishment begins after death. In Qur'anic terminology, the period from the moment a person dies until the Day of Resurrection is known as Barzakh. After a person dies, whether he or she is buried or cremated, in every condition Allah Ta'ala is fully capable of either rewarding or punishing the soul and body, and every person is treated according to his or her deeds.
Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam who was "a Mercy unto the world" often warned against punishment in the grave and also explained the various types of punishments in the grave. He also outlined clearly the many despicable deeds that lead to severe punishment in the grave. Every Muslim should totally avoid these sinful practices. The following are some of them:
1. Being neglectful of cleanliness and hygiene, especially in the toilet. The person who does not take precaution against being soiled with urine drops, or one who does not clean himself properly with water or earth after urinating or defecating becomes deserving of punishment in the grave.
2. Backbiting, spreading mischief between people and creating strife between them is a sure cause of punishment in the grave. (As in Sahih al-Bukhaari)
3. The speaking of lies. A Mu'min (believer) can never be a liar.
4. After acquiring knowledge of the Qur'an, to abandon its recitation and give up practising upon its teachings. (As in Sahih al-Bukhaari)
5. Immoral men and women and those who commit adultery will be surrounded from all sides by the severest types of punishment. They will be stripped naked to burn and suffer in an oven like pit that will be narrow on top and wide at the bottom. (As in Sahih al-Bukhaari)
6. The consuming of interest is also a cause for punishment in the realm of Barzakh. In the sight of Allah, the consuming of interest and engaging in interest-bearing transactions are such serious crimes that Allah has declared war on those who do so. We should pray that Allah Ta'ala save all Muslim countries from the interest-based banking system so that they may rise out of the present state of decline and disgrace to which they have fallen.
7. Those men and women who beautify and decorate themselves for motives not permitted in Islam will have their skins ripped with shears in the realm of Barzakh. (Sharhus Sudoor p.231)
8. To perform salaah after its time has expired and to forego especially the Isha salaah. The person guilty of this will be punished very severely. His head will be repeatedly crushed with a huge stone. Each time, his brains will be flung out and then his head will resume its original shape, only to be crushed again. (Sharhus Sudoor p.232)
9. The person who abuses the property of the public or the nation for personal motives and the one who embezzles public funds will face severe punishment. A person fraudulently took a kurtah from the Baitul Maal (public treasury) and then hid it away. Rasulullah r said that he would be made to wear a kurtah of fire in his grave. (Musnad Ahmad)
10. The person who commits sodomy or unnatural sexual gratification will suffer the worst type of punishment. The filthy practice of homosexuality by men and lesbianism by women are such despicable acts that the mere mention of these words makes any normal and right-minded person feel disgusted. Yet we find many despicable people fulfil their filthy desires with beardless young boys. These men will be punished in Jahannam by fire entering through their behinds and leaving through their ears and eyes and they will be left dumbfounded. (Sharhus Sudoor p.232)
Every Muslim should avoid all types of sin and seek Allah Ta'ala's protection against the torments in the grave. During salaah, after reciting Attahiyaat before finishing his salaah, the Messenger of Allah used to seek Allah's protection against the hardships in the grave. Therefore, make it a habit to say: ALLAA-HUMMA IN-NEE A'OOZU BIKA MIN AZAABIL QABR (O Allah, I seek Your protection against the punishment of the grave). Recite Surah al-Mulk every night before going to sleep, as this is also a means of safety in the grave.
An intelligent person is one who values every moment in this life to earn as much as possible for the Hereafter. Everyone desires to acquire the material things of this world though we agree that this will be left behind one day. Yet, we are so heedless of the Aakhirah as though we are going to remain on earth forever!
May Allah have mercy on all of us!Aameen