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Tuesday 29th of November 2022
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After the soul leaves the body it remains hovering over it

After the soul leaves the body it remains hovering over it. Angels take the soul of the faithful towards the sky and that of the unbeliever is dragged downwards. When the corpse is being taken to the grave, if it is that of a faithful, it cries out, "Carry me to my destination as soon as possible." If it is a disbeliever the soul says, "Do not make haste and do not rush me so speedily to my grave." At the time of bathing body if the body is that of a believer, an angel tells him, "Do you desire to go back to the world?" The body (of the faithful) replies, "I do not want to be entangled in difficulty and sorrow again."

The soul of the dead body remains present at the time of washing (Ghusl) and also during the funeral procession. It sees the washer as well as the carriers. It hears their talks. This is why it has been advised that people should not engage in unnecessary talk near the body and that they should be busy with reciting the Holy Quran and remembrance of God.

After the burial, as some tradition writers have said, "The soul gets reconnected with the body. It becomes gloomy observing that people have gone away leaving it alone in the grave."

The very first good news given to a faithful in grave is: The Most Merciful God has forgiven you and all those who participated in your burial.

Here it may be mentioned that the faithful should take care to see that all religious rituals are performed at the time of death, washing, shrouding and burying etc. All that is desirable (Mustahab) must be performed. The legal heir of the deceased should, after all others leave the graveyard, return to the grave and recite Talqeen sitting near the grave. This has to be the last Talqeen. According to


[1] Ziyarat no. 6 of Amirul Mo-mineen.

 

tradition it has to be recited twice before this: First when the body breathes its last and second after placing the body in the grave.

Questioning of the Grave

Among those things in which one must have faith and which form the essentials of the Shia faith is that the deceased one will have to face questioning by Munkar and Nakeer (angels) in the grave. It is agreed that man must believe that there will be questioning in the grave. We need not go in details like whether this material worldly body will confront the said questioning or another Misaali (similar) one or it will be this dusty grave or any another pit or whether the questions will be addressed to the soul and/or whether the material physical body will also be affected by it or not etc. It is not obligatory for us to know all these details also because there is no source of knowing it except traditions and there is no specific description in traditions and reports. Of course, Allamah Majlisi has, in Biharul Anwar Vol. 3 and also in Haqqul Yaqeen, mentioned that reliable traditions show that this worldly body in which the deceased had lived in the world will experience questioning in the grave and the squeeze. It is understood that the departed soul will be made to return to either the entire body or in some part of it (that is upto the chest or the waist as mentioned in traditions) so that the deceased may be able to understand the questions and give replies.

Questioning about Beliefs and Deeds

We should also know about the things involved in questioning in the grave. It will be about beliefs and actions or deeds. It will be asked, "Who is your God? Who is your Prophet? Which religion were you following?" These questions will be asked to everyone, the believer as well as the unbeliever. Of course lunatics or mentally retarded persons and minor children will be exempted from it. If the dead had faith in true beliefs it will state his or her beliefs and will testify to the Oneness of the Lord of the worlds and the Messengership of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and to the Imamat of the Holy Imams (a.s.). Otherwise the dead will remain dumb and will not be able to speak. Frightened by the said two interrogating angels some will say, "You are my Gods." Sometimes they will say, "People say


Muhammad is the messenger of God and Quran is the Book of God." They will not give clear and correct replies. In short, if the deceased is able to give correct replies a gate is opened near his or her head and the grave is widened as far as one can see. Thus the door of Barzakh (which will continue till Resurrection) is the door of comfort and spaciousness:

Then if he is one of those drawn nigh (to Allah),

Then happiness and bounty and a garden of bliss.

And if he is one of those on the right hand,

Then peace to you from those on the right hand.

And if he is one of the rejecters, the erring ones,

He shall have an entertainment of boiling water, (56:88-93)

Then the body will be told: Have a sweet and restful sleep.[1]

If the deceased is unable to give correct answers, a door of the Hell of Barzakh will be opened for him or her and a breath from the breaths of Hell will fill up his or her grave. (All these sentences have been taken from narrations. Original text has not been mentioned for the sake of brevity).

Why this Questioning?

God already knows that this person is faithful or faithless, righteous or sinful. Then what is the use of this interrogation? Questioning in the grave is, in fact, for the faithful, the beginning of the manifestation of Divine bounties. How much happy and pleased will be the faithful; when he will see the beautiful and pleasing face of the angel and smell the fragrance of the gardens of paradise accompanying the said angels. That is why such angels are called (have been named "Mubasshir and Basheer" (announcers of good tidings).

Moreover, the said questioning will be a cause of happiness for a faithful person. You must have seen students who had carefully and painstakingly studied their lessons in the school. They feel happy at the thought of being examined or questioned so that they may be


[1] Usoole Kafi.

 

42able to show their talents and merits. Likewise a faithful servant of God also entertains a wish that he should be questioned about his Lord so that he may to give satisfactory testimony to the Oneness of the only one God and the Messengership of His Beloved Messenger Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).


source : http://www.maaref-foundation.com
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