Prayer Time

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 All praises and thanks are due and belong to Allah Who created death and made it inevitable reality which all must succumb to, Who dashed through death the hopes of mighty and tyrannical kings. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the final Prophet of Allah and the leader of His Messengers, upon his family and lofty companions.

The ordeal of death is not the complete annihilation of man, but his onward journey to the unseen world known as the hereafter. The hereafter is an embodiment of stages the first being the grave. The grave, as reported in a prophetic tradition, is either a garden of paradise or a pit of hell. Among the unseen phenomena of the grave is what is termed as the fitnatul- qabr(the trial of the grave). This is the interrogation of the dead by some two angels designated for that.

These two angels who are charged with questioning come to the dead and ask him what he used to believe in this world. The Questions are:

·        Who was your Lord?

·        What was your religion?

·        Who is this man who was sent among you? {The Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)}

If he gives a good answer, that is good, but if he does not answer them they inflict a severe and painful beating on him. 

If he was one of the righteous, angels with white faces come to him, but if he was one of the evildoers, angels with dark faces come to him. This is the fitnah or tribulation that he suffers. 

With regard to the questions that the angels will ask in the grave, this is explained clearly in the following tradition:

From Abu Hurayra (may Allah be please with him); the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was reported to have said the following:
"When a dead body is buried, two angels with blue eyes come. One of them is called Munkar and the other Nakir. They ask the dead person, What do you say about this man (the Messenger of Allah)? He says what he used to say when he was alive; "He is the slave and messenger of Allah. I witness that there is no god but Allah and I witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is His slave and messenger. The angels say; "We already knew that you said it. Then his grave is expanded seventy times seventy ziras (1 zira = 75 cm) and illuminated. Then, he is told to lie down. He turns to them and asks; Shall I return and inform my family? They say, sleep like the sleep of a groom that will nobody will wake except the person that he loves most. Thus, he sleeps in the place he is lying down until Almighty Allah revives him.   If he is a munafiq (hypocrite), he will say, "I would hear what people say and would repeat it. I dont know. The angels will say, We already knew you would say that Then they say to the earth, Squeeze him. The earth squeezes him and his ribs become intertwined.  He is tortured in that place until Allah revives him." (Tirmizi, Janaiz, 70)

In another tradition The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said, "When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their footsteps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: 'What did you use to say about this man, Muhammad?' He will say: 'I testify that he is Allah's slave and His Apostle.' Then it will be said to him, 'Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. Allah has changed for you a place in Paradise instead of it.' The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) added, "The dead person will see both his places. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels, 'I do not know, but I used to say what the people used to say!' It will be said to him: 'Neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Quran).' Then he will be hit with an iron hammer between his ears, and he will cry and that cry will be heard by whatever approaches him except human beings and Jinns." (Sahih: Al Bukhari (2/422), Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasaa'ee from Anas.)

In conclusion, the traditions on this subject are very numerous in the authentic books of hadith, showing the importance of this unseen phenomenon which requires believing in it and working towards this interrogation with sound faith and right conduct. May Allah guide all of us. Ameen


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