What Happens in the Grave After One's Death? - Sayed Mohammed Baqer Al-Qazwini

In the grave, there are three types of people, as the Hadith states, there are those people who died believers, mu'mineen, their aqida [belief] was complete. The grave will turn into a temporary paradise for them. "Al qabr rawdatun min riyadh al-Jannah," for the believer. So when you're put in your grave Allah opens a window into the barzakh, you will get a temporary heaven, paradise, garden till the Day of Judgment. You're receiving your sustenance from Allah.

And at the same time, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, He takes your soul. Where is that garden you were asking, right? It starts a window from the grave, but it ends at Wadi Salam. Allah gathers Arwah al mu'mineen, the souls of the believer in wadi salam. They gather there in circles. They have discussions. They talk with one another.

One time Imam Ali, alayhi assalam, passed by Wadi as-Salam on one of his trips in Iraq, the Imam passed by Wadi as-Salam and he started looking at the desert, just looking. One of the companions told him, Imam, what are you looking at? It's empty here. There's nobody. The imam says, you don't see what I see. I see the souls of believers right now here in Wadi as-Salam in circles discussing and talking and enjoying themselves, and I'm looking at them. So Allah takes arwah al mu'mineen to Wadi as-Salam, and over there will be a temporary garden where they will enjoy the blessings from Allah.

And you know, very interestingly, the Hadith states when a new dead person joins, someone dies, Allah takes their soul after the musa'ala [questioning] in the qabr, after questioning you in your grave and you pass that, Allah takes your soul to Wadi as-Salam. The minute the person arrives, everyone, in Wadi as-salam comes to him. They ask him about people whom they knew in life. They tell him, did so-and-so, for example, Zayd, Ibn Amr. When before you died, was he alive or he had died? If he tells them that Zayd died many years ago and they don't see him in Wadi as-Salam, they automatically know he went to hell. He didn't make it here, so they ask the newcomer quickly about people and some friends what happened to them. If they tell him no, he's still alive, then they say, OK, maybe he will join us when he dies. But if they're told he's dead and he's not to be found there, they know he's in trouble.

So Allah gathers the souls of mu'mineen in Wadi as-Salam and one of the blessings in Wadi as-Salam is that occasionally the soul of the Imam's of the Ahlul Bayt, they come to Wadi as-salaam and the mumineen form circles around them. And they discuss beautiful things with the Imams of Ahlul Bayt. This is Wadi as-Salam for the mu'min [believer+. So based on the deeds that you have made, Allah, Subhanah wa Ta'ala, will give you a good status in Barzakh until the Day of Judgment.

There's a beautiful hadith that states, when you give charity, sadaqa, on behalf of a dead person, if you have a loved one, a family member who died, give sadaqa on his behalf. Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, sends Jibraeel, the great angel, he sends Jibraeel with seventy thousand angels. They take your sadaqa in the form of Barzakh gifts. He descends, the angels descend on the soul of the deceased and they give your hadiya, the sadaqa you gave on behalf of the dead, they give it to the dead person. Jibrael with seventy thousand angels delivers your hadiya.

Imagine what that does to the dead person, how happy they become, the reward that they get. So don't ever forget the dead. My dear brothers and sisters, the most powerful thing is sadaqa, to give charity on behalf of the dead. Number two, salaat. The Prophet, sallaAllahu alaihi wa alyhi, says "la rakatayn min ma tahtaqiroon" two rakas which you belittle, two rakas, what's the value of it? We don't really know the value of it, we don't appreciate it. The Prophet says "khairun lahum" the dead people "min ma talat alaihi al-shams." The prophet says two rakas that you give to the dead is better for them than the universe. Then what, then what the sun shines upon.

So that's the believers in the grave, and we have many, many things that will make the qabr and the grave for you a very smooth process. One of them is "birr al walidayn" being good to your parents. One of them is the Ziyara of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be upon them, visiting the Imams of Ahlul Bayt, come back in your grave and they visit you. That's a promise from the Imams, if you visited the Imam 10 times, the Imam pays back because the imam is generous. You know, in many cultures, if you visit someone, they come and they visit you back. Well, if you visited the Imams, you visited the Prophet, sallaAllahu alayhi wa aalih, they will come in your grave and they'll visit you back. So this is one group of people. The mu'mineen.

The second group of people are those kuffar who are full of evil, they deliberately and knowingly rejected the signs of God. They spread evil on earth. The Prophet, sallaAllahu alayhi wa aalih, states: "the grave will turn into a temporary fire for them". Yes, "rawdatun min riyadh al-jannah aw hufratun min hufar al-niraan," a window into hell will open for them and they will be burnt in that hell until the Day of Judgment. Yes. For what they did, those who were really evil. I'm not talking about someone who may have done some evil acts. No, The one who led a life of evil, someone like Saddam. What do you expect? You think they had any good deeds in their life? Millions of people died because of them.

So this is the second, and Nakheer and Munkar, they come to them. And if I describe to you how Nakeer and Munkar will look to those unbelievers, you probably won't sleep at night. And the mu'min by the way, the mu'min, you know, which angels interrogate the mumin? Their name is not Nakeer and Munkar. Nakheer and Munkar, they interrogate the unbeliever. The Angels who will question the mu'min in the grave, their name is Bashir and Mubasher, not Munkar and Nakeer because Munkar in Arabic has a negative meaning. It's something repulsive you reject, right? Repugnant. That's the name of Munkar and Nakeer, don't you say "hadha amr ul-munkar, nakraa" right? Well, not for the believer. For the mu'min its Bashir and Mubasher. Bashir and Mubasher means giving you bishara, gives you good news.

So that's for the unbelievers. What about the person who's not a believer, but he's not an evil kafir? People who don't know. Right. Like millions of people, they don't know what's going on. They didn't reject the signs of God. They didn't see the signs of God. But they didn't die with Iman, full iman, what happens to them, the Hadeeth states they'll be put to sleep until the Day of Judgment.

They won't feel anything. And then on the Day of Judgment, when Israfeel blows into the trumpet and they wake up, they'll be asked, how long have you been sleeping? This is in the Qur'an. They will say like a day, half a day. So those people who are in the middle, they're not believers to receive the reward, they're not really bad, kafir, evil people to receive punishment, they'll be put to sleep. That's their Barzakh. They'll be put to sleep till the Day of Judgment. They don't feel anything.

Now, what about the one who is not in a grave? The imam was asked, the one who dies in the ocean, he's not in a grave, so if that person had sins, what happens to "dhaghtat al-qabr and adhab al-qabr?" What happens to the squeeze of the grave, or the punishment of the grave? The Imam Ali, alayhi assalam, says "inna Rabb al-ardh, Rabbu al-hawaa." The same lord of the earth of the grave is also the lord of the winds and air. Allah will command the air to compress him. And then the Imam says, the air compressing you is more severe than the ground. Look at tornadoes and hurricanes, what can they do. Have you seen what the wind can do? The wind can crush you into pieces.

So the the very evil kafir, who is, let's say, cremated, dies in an ocean, gets exploded in the air, whatever happens to him, if they deserve punishment, Allah will command the air to punish his soul. So, yes, if they deserve punishment, Allah is "Arham al-rahimeen" Allah will forgive, but let's say someone deserves punishment; just because they, you know, exploded or died in the ocean doesn't mean they don't have "adhab al-qabr," they still go through that process.