It is established in the creed that the punishment and bliss of the grave is a fact. Al-Bukhari has reported through ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings be upon him] said: “Punishment of the grave
is true.” This fact is well-grounded in Islam through multiple evidences.
Evidence from the Qur`an
- Allah Almighty says about Pharaoh’s people:
"A terrible punishment engulfed Pharaoh’s people; they will be brought before the Fire morning and evening. On the Day the Hour comes, it will be said, ‘Throw Pharaoh’s people into the worst torment’ ". [40:45-46]
The verse denotes that Pharaoh’s people are afflicted with the terrible punishment of being exposed to Hellfire morning and evening until Resurrection day while in their graves. When that Day strikes, the Angels of torture will be told:
"Throw Pharaoh’s people into the worst torment" [40:46], i.e.
the terrible torment of the Hellfire.
- Allah Most High says:
"Whoever turns away from it will have a life of great hardship [Ar. dunk]." [20:124]
Abu Sa‘id al-Khuddri and ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud said that 'great hardship'[Ar. dunk] means punishment of the grave.
Evidence from the Sunnah
- The Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings be upon him] said:
"The grave is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise or a pit from the pits of
Hell" [Reported by al-Tirmdhi].
Thus, the Prophet's words, 'or a pit from the pits of Hell' proves that punishment in the grave is true and established.
- Zir Ibn Hubaysh also narrated through ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that he
"We were uncertain about torment in the grave till this chapter was revealed: "Striving for more distracts you until you go into your graves. No indeed! You will come to know" [98:1-3], meaning inside the graves.
- Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Shaybah reported through ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who narrated that the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] said:
“Verily, they are greatly tortured in their graves and the animals hear it” [Musnad
- Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Shaybah also reported through Ibn ‘Abbas who said:
"The Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings be upon him] happened to pass by two graves, then said: “These two people are being tortured and not for a major sin.
One of them did not make sure that he was free of traces of urine, while the other engaged in tale-bearing.” Then, he took a fresh stalk of a palm-tree, split it into two and planted one on each grave.
They asked: “O Messenger of Allah, why did you do that?”
He said: "So that their punishment might be reduced as long as these stalks remain fresh."
- Abu Hurairah said:
"The grave constricts on the disbeliever to the point that his ribs spilt apart, and this is the life of great hardship [Ar. dunk]."
- Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings be upon
"Do you know what is a life of great hardship [Ar. dunk]?"
They replied: “Allah and His Messenger know best.”
He said: “It is the disbeliever’s torment in the grave. By Him in whose hands is my life, he (the disbeliever) will be inflicted with ninety-nine dragons. Do you know what the dragons are? They are ninety-nine serpents, each with nine heads, assigned to inject their venom into his body and to bite and scratch him till Resurrection Day whereupon he will be brought blind from his grave to stand before Allah.”
- Ahmed, al-Hakim and al-Tirmdhi included in Nawadir al-Usul and al-Bayhaqi in
‘Adhab al-Qabr (punishment of the grave) through Hudhaifah who said:
"We were attending a funeral with the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] and when we reached the grave, the Prophet sat at its brink and kept looking into it then said: "The grave is pressed on the believer to the extent that the veins of his testicles are removed, and fire is poured on the disbeliever. Then he said: "Shall I inform you of the most evil servants of Allah: the arrogant harsh person; shall I inform you of the best servants of Allah: the weak and wretched poor person who has only two pieces of shabby clothes to cover himself, and were he to swear upon Allah, He will fulfill it".
- Ahmed, al-Hakim, al-Tirmdhi, al-Tabarani and al-Bayhaqi reported through Jabir
Ibn Abdullah al-Ansari who said:
"One day, we went out with the Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings be upon him] to attend Sa‘d Ibn Mu‘adh’s funereal. After the Messenger of Allah prayed the funeral prayer for [Sa‘d] and he was laid in his grave and earth was leveled over him, the Messenger of Allah glorified then magnified Allah [saying ‘subhan Allah’] many times and we did the same.
It was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, why did you glorify then magnify Allah?”
He said: “The grave had constricted and tightened on this righteous slave. [We did
this until] Allah Almighty made it spacious for him.”