Tuesday 28th of June 2022
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The Issues of The Grave And The Barrier:

After the soul is taken from the body, the second phase of dying is the tomb. In fact, the grave is the same as the barrier for man. There are some verses which point out to this fact. Each person’s barrier is a reflex of his moral, and ethical and ideological status.

For a believer, the barrier is a place for ease, prosperity and company of clean souls and God’s abundance. For an infidel, the Barrier is a place for hardships and meeting the dirty souls and filthy corpses.

حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءَ أَحَدَهُمْ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِي لَعَلِّي أَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ كَلَّا إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ هُوَ قَائِلُهَا وَمِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ بَرْزَخٌ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ.

“Until when death overtakes one of them, he says: Send me back, My Lord, send me back; Haply I may do good in that which I have left. By no means! it is a mere word that he speaks; and before them is a Barrier until the day they are raised. 23:99-100

Regarding the chastisement of the evil-doers at the Barrier, the Holy Quran states:

النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا غُدُوًّا وَعَشِيًّا وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُوا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ.

“The fire; they shall be brought before it every morning and evening and on the day when the hour shall come to pass; Make Firon’s people enter the severest chastisement. 40:46

Concerning the delights of the well-wishers at the Barrier, the Holy Quran says:

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ.

“And reckon not those who are killed in Allah’s way as dead; nay, they are alive and are provided sustenance from their Lord. 3:169

The interpretation of Nur Al-Thaqalein, which is one the most important Shiite interpretations, reports Imam Baqir (s) having said that this verse was revealed to the Prophet (s) related to the martyrs of the Holy wars of Badr and Ohod.

Ibn Masud reports from the Prophet (s): God addressed the martyrs of Ohod asking them: what do you desire? They replied: O God! What greater desire can we have when we are surrounded with your ever Lasting innumerable blessings and assets, resting under your heavens. The only desire we ask for is to let us go back to the world once again and get martyred for you once more.

But God said: My commandment is infallible and irrevocable and that is that nobody shall return to the world after his or her death. Now that our condition is as it is, send our best wishes to the Prophet and send our good news to those who remained alive and tell them not to worry. Here their status is referred to in the following verses:

يَا لَيْتَ قَوْمِي يَعْلَمُونَ بِمَا غَفَرَ لِي رَبِّي وَجَعَلَنِي مِنْ الْمُكْرَمِينَ.

“O would that my people had known of that On account of which my Lord has forgiven me and made me of the honored ones.36:26-27”

In the story of Habib, the carpenter, which is told in the sacred Surah ya seen, verses 26,27, we have the same issue brought up.

في الكافي، عَنِ الصّادِقِ A قالَ: إنَّ لِلقَبْرِ كَلاماً في كُلِّ يَوْمٍ يَقُولُ: أنَأ بَيْتُ الغُرْبَةِ، أنَا بَيْتُ الوَحْشِةِ، أنَا بَيْتُ الدُّودِ، أنَا القَبْرُ، أنَا رَوْضَةٌ مِنْ رِياضِ الجَنَّةِ، أوْ حُفْرَةٌ مِنْ حُفَرِ النّيرانِ.

It is reported from Imam Sadiq (s) in the honorable book called kafi: Imam is reported to have said: the grave has different speeches each day: among them are the following: I am the house of exile, the house of fright, the resort of worms. I am the grave. I am either a garden of paradise or a hole of the hell holes(Al-Mahajjah al-Baydhaa, P 301).

The account of the Barrier has its roots in the Quran, and divinity. Everybody has to pass it. It is excellent for the believers but hard and nasty for the infidles.

What influences the status of the Barrier is our ideas, morals and deeds. If an individual has right and divine ideas and if he follows the Prophets and the Infallible Ones (s), the Barrier would Just be a paradise for him. On the other hand, if man bears wrong ideas and nasty morals, such as greed, pride, aggression, jealousy, stinginess, hard speech, back-biting, accusation, and blaming, the Barrier would be a hole out of the holes of the hell. He may not escape it, however.

A Statement by the Martyrd Morteza Motahhari

Motahhjari in his valuable book called “the Divine Justice” reports from his teacher Mirza Ali Agha Shiraze, a great jurisprudent and a devoted Lover, who has said: One day in Isphahan, while teaching Nahjolbalaqa, he started crying and said: Last night during a hard deliberation, I found out the status of my Barrier in the following shape: After my death, people and my relatives saw me off to the grave. At the time of burying I noticed a black dog enter my grave. I cried and shouted, but nobody heard me. When the grave was covered and every body had left, fright took control over me. Suddenly, a piercing light illuminated my grave. I became extremely delighted that the dog immediately escaped from my grave. I asked the light who it was. He answered: I am Hossein Ibn Ali. Be at ease till the Doomsday. That dog was some of your viscious characters, which were not dominant, however(The Divine Justice, P 251).

... وَهُوَ يُنادِي يا أهْلِي وَيا ولدي لا تَلْعَبَنَّ بِكُم الدُّنيا كَما لَعِبَتْ بي، فَجَمَعْتُ المالَ مِنْ حِلِّهِ وَغَيْرِحِلِّهِ ثُمَّ خَلَّفْتُهُ لِغَيري، فَالمَهْنَأُلَهُ و التَّبِعَةُ عَلَيَّ، فَاحْذَرُوا مِثْلَ ما حَلَّ بي.

The Great Prophet (s) has said: The spirit of the diseased cries after his death: My relatives and children, be careful not to be carried away by the world in the way that it has deceived me. I collected some wealth through legal and illegal means and left it for my heirs. Now they are enjoying it, but I have to account for it. Avoid the misery in which I am now(The Philosophical Resurrection, Vol 1, P 298.).

An Exemplary Story from Salman

Salman Farsi was appointed as the governor of Mada’en by Imam Ali(s). Asbaq Ibn nobaateh says: I was with Salman in Madaen and I used to pay him visits frequently. One day, I went to meet him while he was sick, the same illness which finally caused his death. I frequented his house. His illness became severe and he was sure his end had come. One day he told me: O Asbaq the Prophet (s) had told me that when I approached death a dead man would talk to me. Now I want to know if I am going to die pretty soon or not.

Asbaq says: I told him: tell me what to do for you. He said: Go and take me a coffin and spread the rug which they spread inside the coffin, then take me to the graveyard with four people.

Asbaq did what he was told to. He rose up to carry out Salman’s orders. They, then, took Salman to the grqveyard and laid down the coffin. He said: draw me towards Mecca. Then he said loudly:

السَّلامُ عَلَيْكُم يا أهْلَ عَرْصَةِ البَلاءِ، السَّلامُ عَلَيْكُم يا مُحْتَجبينَ عَنِ الدُّنيا.

“My greeting to you, the dwellers of the Land of hardships; greetings to you who have left the world.”

But he received no answer. He greeted them once more, saying: Please answer me. I am Salman Farsi, the close friend of the Prophet. He had told me one of you, dead people, would speak to me when my time is over. I want to know if I am dying or not.

Now, one of the dead souls answered him. It told Salman: I hear your voice. Ask me what you want. Salman asked it: Do you belong to the Barrier or to the Paradise. The soul answered it was one of those which had received God’s blessings and belonged to the Paradise. Salman asked the soul about its death. Salman then ordered his followers to lay him on the ground and started talking with God.

You are the one who have control on everything; you are the One to Whom all shall return; you are the One Who protect everyone; nobody may interfere with the chastisement you appoint to people. I believed in you and I have followed your Messenger. I have confirmed your book. Now is the time for the fulfillment of you promise. You are the one Who will not break your promise. Take away my soul and let me join you. Let me rest beside your favors. He then prayed and passed away(Resurrection, Vol 1, P 315 reported from Behar Vol 6, P 762.).

A Strange Story of the Barrier of the Dead:

Several years ago there lived a true believer in one of the cities of Iran. His eldest son, too, was as pious as his father. Both of them lived in dire poverty, living in a dilapidated house. In order to keep their prestige and not to ask people for help, they lived economically. For instance, they used to use the city water for drinking and cooking, but for washing they used the water from the well in their house.

Over the well they had built a small room in order to keep its water clean and for people to stand under it when they draw water out. This father and son did not employ a worker to draw water; rather they did it themselves.

One day these two discussed that the ceiling over the shelter of the well was ruined. They decided to repair it by themselves since they did not have the budget to bring home a builder.

On the appointed day, they covered the well with boards to protect the water from getting dirty. They made some clay adding straw to it. The father performed the job of a builder and the son acted as a worker. When the ceiling of the shelter was repaired, the father noticed that he had lost his ring. He thought he had put it next to the pond when he wanted to wash his hands. But it was not there. He searched for it for two days, with no result. He was really sorry for his ring. Several years later he passed away.

The pious son says: Some times later I dreamed about my father. I saw him in my dream and I knew he had passed away several years back. He told me he had borrowed five hundred tumans from a man and asked me to pay the debt. The son awoke, but did not take the dream seriously. Some time later, the father came to the son’s dream repeating the old story. The son told him: in order for me to be certain that it is you, give me a signal. The father said: Do you remember the story of the ring I lost when we were repairing the shelter over the well? I said: yes, I remember. My father replied after death many issues come to light for the dead person. After death I realized I had put my ring in the clay in the ceiling. Now, in order for you to realize that it is your dad talking to you, remove the clay, you will find it.

Early in the morning, the son acted as he was told without telling anybody about his communication with his father. Finally he found the ring.

The son, then, prepared the money, taking it to the market. He found the man and asked him if his father owed him anything. The man spoke of five hundred tumans. He said the father had asked him for this money and he had given it to him without asking for any receipt and some time later he passed away. The son asked the business man why he had not come to them for his money. The businessman replied he could not have done so since he did not have any receipt. The son gave him the money, telling him the whole story (Philosophical Resurrection, Vol 1, P 323).


source : The land of lovers by Professor Hossein Ansarian
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