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What Happens When A Person Dies

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It is mentioned in the Quran -‘When death comes to one of you, our messengers (angels of death) take him (his soul) into their custody and they do not neglect is doing so (they perform their job promptly)’.  (Al-An-Aam – 61).

 

It is mentioned in the Hadith – Upon the authority of al-Bara’ ibn `Aazib who said: We went out with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to a burial of a man from the Ansaar (original inhabitants of Madina) until we arrived at the grave and he still had not been placed in the slot of the grave.

 

Then the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) sat down and we sat around him. You would have thought that birds were upon our heads from our silence and in the hand of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was a stick which he was poking the ground with. Then he started looking at the sky and looking at the earth and looking up down three times. Then he said to us: “Ask Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) for refuge from the torment of the grave”, he repeated this command two or three times. Then he said O Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) I seek refuge in you from the torment of the grave (three times).  Then he said: “Verily, the believing servant, when leaving this life and journeying to the hereafter, angels will descend upon him, their faces will be white as if they were suns, they will have with them a shroud (kafan) from the shroud of Paradise), and an embalmment (Hanout) from the embalmment of heaven. Then, they will sit for as far as his eye can see.

 

Then the angel of death (peace be upon him) will come and sit at his head and will say “O you virtuous soul; come out to forgiveness and pleasure from your Lord “. So it will come out as a drop comes out of the mouth of a jug (with ease), then he will take it, not leaving it in his hand for longer that a blink of an eye until they (he and the other angels) have placed it in that shroud and that embalmment (Hanout) . And there will emanate from it a smell like that of the most  sweet smelling musk on the face of the earth. Then they shall ascend with it and they shall not pass with it by any group of angels but they will say: What is this good and sweet-smelling soul? Then they shall say to them (he is) “such” the son of “such” choosing the best of the names he used to be called in this life. Until they reach the lowest sky, then they shall ask permission to enter, and they shall be granted entry, until they end at the seventh heaven sky, then Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی), exalted and high, shall say: “write the book of my servant in `Illiyeen (And what will explain to you what `Illiyeen is. A register fully inscribed to which bear witness those nearest to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) (Al-Mutaffifeen – 18), and his book will be written in `Illiyeen, and he shall be said “return him to the earth, for (I promised them) I have created them from it, and into it I shall return them, and from it I shall extract (resurrect) them a second time (Al-Anbiya – 55)“. So (he is returned to earth and) his soul is returned to his body (he said and he will hear the footsteps of his friends who buried him when they leave him).

 

Then two angels shall come and  sit him up next to them and shall ask him: “Who is your Lord ( Man Rabbuka) ? “. He shall reply “My Lord is Allah(سبحانہ و تعا لی)”. Then they shall ask him: “What is your religion (Ma Deenuka)?”. He shall answer them: “My religion is Islam”. Then they shall ask him (by showing the Prophet’s  -صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم – form) “What was your belief about this person?”. He will reply “He is the Messenger of Allah- صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم”. Then a caller will call from the sky: “My slave has spoken the truth, so spread out for him from the heaven, and clothe him from the heaven, and open a door for him from the heaven (within his grave)”, so it’s goodness and its smell will come unto him, then his grave will be expanded for him as far as he can see.

 

Then a man will come to him. His face will be handsome, and his clothes will be handsome, and his smell will be sweet. Then he shall say unto him: I bring you glad tidings of that which will make you happy [Rejoice with the pleasure of Allah(سبحانہ و تعا لی) and delights that endure]. This is the day that you were promised (Al-Ahqaf – 16). Then he will say [and may Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) give you glad tiding] “who are you?, for your face is the face of someone who comes with good news”. He shall reply: “I am your good deeds, [by Allah(سبحانہ و تعا لی), I did not know of you but that you were quick to the obedience of Allah(سبحانہ و تعا لی) and slow to His disobedience, so may Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) reward you good]”. Then he shall say: “My Lord bring the Hour [Qiyaamah] so that I might return to my family and my wealth” [it will be said to him “be at rest”].

 

He (Prophet Mohammed – صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: { And the disbelieving [transgressor / wicked servant}, if he is leaving this life and journeying to the hereafter then angels will descend upon him, their faces will be black, they have with them a coarse woolen fabric (sackcloth made of fire). Then they will sit for as far as his eye can see. Then the angel of death will come and sit at his head and will say “O you wicked soul; come out to the anger from your Lord and his fury”. So the sould will spread out throughout his body [as though trying to flee], then it will be ripped away as a skewer is ripped out of damp wool [and in its way out it will tear and cut the nerves and blood vessels] [and then he will be cursed by all the angels between the earth and the sky and by all the angels in the sky, and the gates of heaven are closed. There is no gate in the heaven but its people supplicate that the wicked soul shall not be ascended to their side], then he will take it (the soul), not leaving it in his hand for longer than a blink of an eye until they have placed it in that sackcloth. And there will emanate from it a stench like that of the most evil smelling corpse on the face of the earth. Then they shall ascend with it, and they shall not pass with it by a group of angels but they will say: What is this wicked soul?. Then they shall say to them (he is) “such” the son of “such” choosing the most hated of the names he used to be called in this life. Until they reach the lowest heaven (sky), then they shall ask permission to enter, and they shall not be granted entry. Then the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) recited “The doors of the sky are not opened to them, nor shall they enter heaven until the camel passes through the eye of the needle” (Al-Araf – 40).

 

Then Allah, exalted and high, shall say: “write the book of my servant in Sijjeen (Al-Mutaffifeen – 7) in the lowest earth”. [Then will be said “return my slave to the earth, for I promised them I have created them from it, and into it I shall return them, and from it I shall extract (resurrect) them a second time(Taha:55)“]. Then his soul shall be taken away [from the sky] with a mighty hurl [until it is cast into his body]. Then he (the Prophet-  صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) read: “and those who associate partners with Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and slow to His obedience, they are as one who fall from the sky then is snatched by the birds or is cast by the wind into a very low place (Al-Hajj – 31 )“. Then his soul will be returned into his body, [he (the prophet –  صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) said : verily he will hear the footsteps of his friends who buried him when they leave him]. Then two harsh severe and fearsome angels shall come and [terrify him and] sit him up and shall ask him: “Who is your Lord?”. He shall reply “Haah, Haah! (an exclamation of woe and regret), I don’t know”. Then they shall ask him: “What is your religion?”. He shall answer them: “Haah, Haah! I don’t know”. Then they shall ask him (showing the form of Prophet Mohammad – صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) “Who is this  person who was sent among you?”. He will reply “Haah, Haah!, I don’t know”.

 

Then a caller will call from the sky: “My slave has spoken falsely, so spread out for him from the hell fire, and open a door for him from the hell fire (within his grave)”, so its heat and hot wind will come unto him, then his grave will be contracted upon him until his ribs are meshed with each other. Then a man will come to him. His face will be ugly, and his clothes will be awful, and his smell will be vile. Then he shall say unto him: I bring you tidings of the suffering to befall you. This is the day that you were promised (Al-Ma’arij -44). Then he will say [and you, may Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)  give you bad tiding] “who are you?, for your face is the face of someone who comes with evil”. He shall reply: “I am your evil deeds [by Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)  , I did not know of you but that you were quick to the disobedience of Allah(سبحانہ و تعا لی)  and slow to His obedience, so may Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)   reward you bad, and there will be assigned to him a blind, deaf and mute person who holds in his hand a hammer, if a mountain is hit with it, it would disintegrate, and he will beat him with it until he becomes dust, and then Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)  will render him to his initial form, and he will beat him again, and he (the wicked) will cry of sorrow and pain a cry that will be heard by all creatures except humans and jinn, and a door of hell will be opened unto him within his grave and will spread out for him sheets of hell fire]”. Then he shall say: “My Lord do not bring the Hour [Qiyaamah]“.

 

Above Hadith is narrated by Ahmad Ibn Hambal, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tayalisi, and al-Hakim who said it is according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim. This text is the text of Ahmad, text between brackets is from the other narrators and other narrations of Ahmad. 

 

And Allah Ta’ala knows best

 

Mufti Moosa Salie

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) – Fatwa Department

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