The Questioning In the Grave



DC Hidayah 2012: Theme Breakdown Series

Imagine your departure from this world drawing near, as you gasp for your final breaths in the silence of midnight.

You try to speak, to wake someone to come to your aid, but not a word leaves your lips. That’s when a dark image begins to appear.

No, you think, this can’t be it. This can’t be the end.

But you are only deceiving yourself, because surely ‘Every soul shall taste death’. (Al-’Ankabut: 57) As the image draws nearer, you recall memories as numerous thoughts about your lifetime race with the beating of your heart. Panicking about leaving this world behind, you forget to utter four words that have the potential to save your fate, La illaha illa Allah. But it’s too late now; the image has already taken its place next to your head. Finally, you realize that this is the Angel of Death, and you come to terms with the terrifying reality. “Oh, evil soul,” it says, “come forth to the wrath of Allah and His anger!” Only then do you remember the prayers that you’ve never prayed, the book of Allah that you completely disregarded, and the religion that you abandoned altogether.

“Woe to me,” you whisper in silent recognition of your negligence, right before your soul is slowly and painfully withdrawn from your body.

Unable to move, you feel the full effects of every torn vein and nerve, every muscle gone numb. Then finally, you look down at your lifeless body, as the Angel of Death carries you away. Together, you ascend to the lowest heaven, but unlike the good souls, the gates do not open for you. “For them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise.” (Al-A’raaf: 40) You are then cast down to your body in your grave for the questioning. This questioning, in which no one can lie or deceive, will determine your final destination. Two angels come to you this time, prepared for a stern questioning. “Who is your Lord?” they ask. Suddenly, you are reaped of your ability to lie. You know what the correct answer is, but you did not live by it. You hesitate to be truthful, but your tongue replies honestly, “My lord is my desire.”

“What is your religion?” You want to say that it is Islam, but you were only Muslim by name.

Once again, your lips mouth the words that you try to resist: “My religion is my wealth.” At this point, you are certain that punishment awaits you in the Hereafter. “Who was your prophet?” Your voice falters, but it is truthful once more. “My prophet was music.” You then hear a voice call out from Heaven, “Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.” A gate to Hell is then opened before you, and a gush of extreme heat blows your way. The walls of your grave gradually enclose you. You scream as your body is crushed by the force within the earth, as your ribs interlock. Now, you are greeted by your evil deeds, a foul character whose face only foretells more evil. “Receive the bad news,” he announces, “this is the day that you were promised.” You are filled with hopelessness and anguish. “Oh Lord,” you plead, “send me back! Oh Allah, do not let the Hour come, do not let the Hour come!”

Let us seek refuge from the situation illustrated above. During every moment that we are alive, we have the opportunity to do good. We have the ability to repent from our previous misdeeds and to fill our accounts with acts of value. Let us not fall into the fate of evil souls, and let us be prepared for our departure from this world. The questioning of the grave is a good illustration as to where our priorities in life should lie.

“Who is your Lord?” - It is important to be aware of Allah and to establish a relationship with Him through salaah and acts of worship. It is also extremely important to develop taqwa to ensure that we stay on the right path.

“What is your religion?” - Islaam should come as a priority in our lives over wealth and culture. Unfortunately, it is easy to get distracted by this world and to forget the realities of this life and the importance of our deen.

“Who was your prophet?” - The sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s) is no doubt an important part of Islaam and our lives as a whole. His perfect character is something that we should strive to imitate.

To go into depth of the reality of death, the life in the grave, and the Hereafter, a whole conference was organized, featuring numerous well-known teachers and scholars of Islam from all over the nation. DC Hidayah’s 2012 conference, entitled “The Last Day: Are You Ready?” is less than two months away! To register or learn more about the conference, visit

*This article uses details excerpted from ahadith reported by Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2, pp.257-258, no.456; Abu Dawood, 4753; and Ahmad, 18063. Also classified as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1676.


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