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Iqra Islamic Publications
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Sayings of Prophet Muhammad
may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him

Barzakh: The realm from death to Resurrection

The soul of the pious is raised up to the heavens
Hadrat Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that when the soul of a believer would go out (of his body), it would be received by two angels who would take it to the sky. Hammad (one of the narrators in the chain of transmitters of this saying) mentioned the sweetness of its odour (and further said) that the dwellers of the sky say: Here comes the pious soul from the side of the earth. Let there be blessings of Allah upon the body in which it resides. And it is carried (by the angels) to its Lord, the Exalted and Glorious. He would say: Take it to its destined end.

And if he is a non-believer and as it (the soul) leaves the body – Hammad made a mention of its foul smell and of its being cursed – the dwellers of the sky say: There comes a dirty soul from the side of the earth, and it would be said: Take it to its destined end. Hadrat Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) put a thin cloth which was with him on his nose while making a mention (of the foul smell) of the soul of a non-believer. (Muslim)

The questioning in the grave
Narrated Hadrat Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said: When the faithful believer is made to sit in his grave (by the angels), then (the angels) come to him and he testifies that none is to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Prophetic Messenger. And that corresponds to Allah’s statement (in the Qur’an):

Allah keeps firm those who believe in the Word that stands firm. (14:27) (Bukhari)

The grave is Paradise for the pious
Hadrat Abu Sa‘id (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said: The grave is a Garden out of the gardens of Paradise or a ditch out of the ditches of Hell-fire. (Tirmidhi)

Souls of believers are in birds
Hadrat Abd al-Rahman bin Ka‘b (may Allah be pleased with him) reported from his father that Allah’s Messenger (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said: the soul of a believer is in a bird and hangs in a tree in Paradise till Allah will return it to his body on the Day He will raise him up. (Malik, an-Nasai, Bayhaqi)

The Prophets are preserved in their graves
Hadrat Aws bin Aws ath-Thaqafi (may Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said: Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of Prophets. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasai, Ibn Majah)

Hadrat Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said: The Prophets are alive in their graves, praying to their Lord. (al-Bazzar, Abu Ya‘la)

Hadrat AbdAllah ibn Mas‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Holy Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said: Verily, Allah has angels that roam the earth and convey to me the greetings of my community. (an-Nasai, Ibn Hibban)

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