Life in the Grave is True

01 - LIFE IN THE GRAVE CANNOT BE DENIED (INTRODUCTION)

It is so hard to understand some people of this century, especially those who regard themselves as scholars. For, Muslims have believed in life in the grave for 14 centuries and have taken refuge in Allah from penalty in the grave by saying, "O Allah! Protect us from penalty in the grave!", but today some people who regard themselves as scholars deny life in the grave and produce evidence from the Quran about it. They mean, the Prophet Muhammad, the Companions, the mujtahids, and all of the scholars who lived in the last 14 centuries could not understand the Quran and believed in the existence of a life that did not exist; then, they came to the world and found the truth.

In addition, no one has seen, read, or understood the verses of the Quran that they show as evidence for 14 centuries; however, they attained all sorts of hidden meanings at once. They are such clever people that they outdid Imam Maturidi, Ash’ari, Imam Ghazali, Imam Rabbani and the other great scholars that are too many to list here.

They think they understand the Quran even better than the Companions. Who is Ibn Abbas, Ibn Masud, Abdullah Ibn Umar and the other Companions? Can the Companions outdo their intelligence? All mujtahids and scholars including the four madhhab imams are behind them; and those deniers are much more intelligent than them. In fact, even if you add the intelligence of all the scholars together, it cannot catch up with their intelligence.

We do not know what to do about them. Shall we laugh at them or shall we cry for them? Let us do as follows: Let us prove life in the grave with the certainty of two plus two equaling four and let us state the true meanings of the verses that they put forward as evidence. Let us protect the ummah of Muhammad from evil scholars by doing so. Thus, let us try to attain the consent of our Lord.

In order to understand the issue better, we will be the guests of two imaginary friends and listen to their conversation. Anyone who watches this work by relying on his mind and conscience as a referee will believe that grave in life is true. Help and success come from Allah. Now we start to listen those two friends:

A- I do not believe life in the grave. And mine is not just a baseless denial. I will show you many verses about the nonexistence of life in the grave and I will convince you. You will be saved from believing in a life that does not exist thanks to me.

B- First of all, you need to know this: Denial comes from ignorance; accepting comes from proof and knowledge. You deny life in the grave, we accept it. Your denial is from your ignorance about life in the grave; our accepting is from our knowledge and proof.

A- How is it? Why does my denial come from my ignorance? My denial comes from knowledge and proof too.

B- Your denial cannot come from knowledge and proof. Now I will explain this issue to you. With this explanation, you will understand why your denial cannot come from knowledge and proof. There is a fixed rule: "A denial that is not related to a particular place cannot be proved." Now let us try to understand this rule:

Denial is divided into two. The first one is related to a particular place. Such denial can be proved. For example, if I say, "There is no ball in the house," I can prove this denial because the house is a particular place and small. I can take you all around the house and prove the absence of a ball by showing you that there is no ball in the house. So, the denial related to a particular place can be proved.

A- All right. I understand that denial related to a particular place can be proved.

B- The second part of the denial is the one that is not related to a particular place, but a general place. For example, if I say, "There is no ball in the world", that is, if generalize my denial related to the whole world, not to a room, I cannot prove my denial in this case. For, I have to take you all over the world, even to the bottom of the sea and to the summits of the mountains to prove my denial. If I show you all over the world, but if I cannot go out to the summit of a mountain, I cannot prove my denial. Maybe the ball is on the summit of that mountain. Who can know it?

If I say, "There is no ball in the universe", that is if I generalize my denial related to the whole universe, instead of the world, I can never prove this denial. For, I have to take you around the whole universe to prove this statement, and it is not possible to do it.

Due to this secret, it is of no value when unbelievers deny the truths of belief. For example, if they say, "There are no angels", they can never prove this claim. They have to take us around the whole universe and show it to us in order to prove this claim. Since they cannot do this, their denial is not based on knowledge and proof, but thought and delusion. There is no place for thought and delusion in science. The same thing is valid for the denial of Paradise, Hell, and the denial of other truths of belief. Those denials cannot be proved. Those denials, therefore, are not based on knowledge, but thought and delusion.

Your denial about life in the grave is like that. You can never prove your denial. For, your denial is not related to this world, but life in the grave, which is one of the realms of the hereafter. You cannot take us to that world and show us the truth of that realm; therefore, you cannot prove your denial.

A- Then I will ask you a question: If I say, "There is no such thing as a mermaid." Can I not prove this denial? Do we have to believe in the existence of the mermaid since I cannot show you every corner of the sea?

B- The existence of our life in the grave is not like the existence of a mermaid. The difference is as follows: There is no word or view about the existence of the mermaid. That is, nobody has talked about its existence and put forward any evidence regarding the issue. The existence of the mermaid is essentially impossible. Therefore, there is no need to travel all seas for the proof of the absence of the mermaid.

However, if all mariners agreed and said, "We have seen it" and a few sailors said, "There is no such thing as a mermaid", we would believe in the existence of the mermaid and did not believe in the words of those who denied it. For, accepting comes from knowledge and proof and denial comes from not knowing and ignorance. Moreover, as I have said before, the denials that are not related to something particular, but general cannot be proved unless they are not essentially impossible.

A- Why is the claim of the denier not accepted but the claim of the one who says "it exists" is accepted?

B- I have just explained the reason: The denials that are not related to particular places cannot be proved. I will give you one more example so that you will understand it better: Ramadan starts with the sight of the crescent. If two just people say, "We have seen the crescent", it is decided that Ramadan has started. Even if all the other people in the city say, "We have not seen it" against the statement of the two just people, their statement is not accepted.

The reason for this is as follows: Those who say, "We have seen it" do not look at their souls, but they look outside and give each other strength. They stand on the same ground. Those who say, "We have not seen it" cannot look outside and the truth. For, there are many curtains that prevent them from seeing. For example, some may have fallen asleep and have not seen it. Others may not have seen it because of the clouds. Yet, others may have been visually impaired. Some of them do not know what a crescent is. And there are many other reasons like these. Those who say they have not seen judge according to their souls and their thought. They cannot look outside, see the whole sky and judge by the truth. The reason for not seeing varies from person to person. For this reason, the claims of the deniers cannot give strength to one another. The claim of the people of the whole city who say they have not seen cannot refute the claim of two people who say, "We have seen". In conclusion, it is decided that Ramadan has started.

Your claim "There is life in the grave" is something like that. You cannot judge by looking at the graves because you do not have eyes that see the hereafter. You judge by your thought and soul. It is not possible to look at the truth itself. There are curtains that prevent you from seeing life in the grave. For this reason, you can never prove your denial. We can easily prove our claim with the indication of verses and hadiths.

A – We will see it.

B- I can prove the existence of life in the grave by showing one indication of a verse, but you must do the following in order to deny life in the grave:

1- You have to refute all of the verses that I will bring as proof for the existence of life in the grave.

A- All right, I think I can do that.

B- We will see if you can do it or not later. It is not enough to refute the verses. Secondly, you have to refute all of the hadiths that I will bring as evidence, too.

A- It is easy, I will do it easily.

B- However, while doing so, it is not enough to say, "They are fabricated" based on your own mind. You have to show the manifestations of weakness of each hadith by using the methods of jarh (criticizing) and tadil (praising/approving). You have to refute the Companions who narrated those hadiths, demonstrate the weaknesses in the chain of the narrators of the hadiths, and apply other methods in hadith analysis. Otherwise, it is of no value if you just say, "they are fabricated." It is enough for me even if you refute all of the hadiths about life in the grave except one hadith. I can prove the existence of life in the grave with a single hadith. See how hard your job is.

A- All right, I understand it. I have to refute the verses about life in the grave first and the hadiths after that. Then, what?

B- It is not enough for you to refute only the verses and the hadiths one by one. Thirdly, there is consensus and unanimous agreement of scholars about the existence of life in the grave. You have to refute this agreement and show a greater agreement about the absence of life in the grave. You cannot do that because all the scholars of this ummah and the whole ummah of Muhammad of believe in life in the grave except for a few people like you.

A- All right. I understand that too. I have to refute the consensus regarding the issue and show the existence of a stronger consensus.

B- It is not enough to refute this consensus and agreement. Fourthly, you have to refute the news given by the saints called "the observers of graves", who are friends of Allah and who can observe the states of the graves with the eyes of their hearts. You have to refute both the saints themselves and the news they give so that you will eliminate the news given by them.

A- As far as I understand, first I have to refute the verses, then the hadiths regarding the issue and then the consensus of the ummah and finally the words of the saints that can observe the graves.

B- You have understood it very well. However, even if you can do them - which you cannot do – it will not be enough. Fifthly, you have to put me in all graves one by one, give me an eye that can see the realms of the hereafter and make me watch all of the graves one by one so that I will look at each one of them and see that there is no life there. Even if you give me such an eye and take me to all of the graves but not make me enter only one grave, you still cannot prove your denial. Maybe there is life in that single grave. The existence of life in a single grave proves the existence of life in the grave.

See how long you have to work to prove your denial. So, if we go back to the example of the ball, I can easily prove my statement "There are balls in the world" by showing only one ball. However, you have to travel all over the world to prove the statement, "There is no ball in the world" and show everywhere in the world to me in order to prove your denial. Otherwise, your denial will be based on thought and delusion.  

A- What you say is very interesting. I have never looked at the issue from this point of view. Yes, I admit that a denial that is not related to something particular cannot be proved unless its existence is not impossible. Life in the grave is not related to somewhere particular but the hereafter; and its denial cannot be proved. However, do not think I am going to believe in life in the grave with only that. Let us say that I cannot prove my case; then, you prove your case.

B- I will prove my case to you both with verses and with hadiths, and in addition with the common view of scholars. Furthermore, I will answer all of your statements that you put forward as proof. You say, "Life in the graveyard is not mentioned in the Quran." I am astonished by your statement and say, "Do people like you not read the Quran at all?" Now, I will prove the existence of the life in the grave by the Quranic verses with the certainty of two plus two equaling four. The first verse I will present as evidence is verse 13 of the chapter of al-Mumtahina.

02 – VERSE 1 ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

THE CHAPTER OF AL-MUMTAHINA: VERSE 13

B- The following is stated in verse 13 of the chapter of al-Mumtahina:

“O ye who believe! Turn not (for friendship) to people on whom is the Wrath of Allah, of the Hereafter they are already in despair, just as the Unbelievers (buried) in graves are in despair.”

A- Just a minute! I know this verse. The verse is not like that. You say, “They are in despair of the hereafter just like the unbelievers buried in graves are in despair.” However, the meaning is as follows: “…just like the unbelievers are in despair of those buried in graves.”

B- Yes, you are right; this verse is translated in two ways. Some tafsir scholars interpret it as ‘just like the unbelievers are in despair of those buried in graves’. According to this meaning, their despair of the hereafter is like the unbelievers’ despair of those buried in graves. That is, unbelievers are in despair of those who died since they do not believe in the hereafter; they do not expect that they will be resurrected; similarly, unbelievers are in despair of the hereafter.

In the second interpretation about the verse, those who are in despair are people in the grave. That is, those who die as unbelievers are in despair of Paradise in the grave; similarly, they are in despair of the hereafter. I translated the verse based on this second view. Besides, this view is also the view of great tafsir scholars like Hz. Ibn Abbas, Imam Mujahid, Hz. Ikrima, Ibn Zayd, Imam Muqatil, Imam Mansur and Ibn Jarir Tabari. That is, the way I translated the verse is the meaning put forward by those tafsir scholars. I did not make it up. Thus, the one who criticizes me is regarded to have criticized them. To sum up, this verse is interpreted in two different ways. According to the first meaning, those who are in despair are the unbelievers that are alive; what they are in despair of is the resurrection of those who are in the grave. According to the second meaning, those who are in despair are the unbelievers that are in the grave; what they are in despair of is Paradise and being treated well in the hereafter. We will present our evidence based on this second meaning.  

A- All right but which of these meanings is true?

B- The verses of the Quran are like the sea. They include various meanings. When a verse can have two or more meanings, we cannot say which one is true.

A- What can we say?

B- We can say Allah meant these two views. For, to deny a possibility means to accuse the Companions and tafsir scholars who interpreted the verse in that way of not knowing Arabic and not understanding the Quran. In other words, to say a verse has only one meaning originates from not knowing Arabic and being away from the science of tafsir.

A- I understand.

B- Now, let us analyze this verse together according to the explanations of these scholars: Allah Almighty forbade us to be in friendly terms with those on whom is the wrath of Allah. Is that right?

A- Yes, that is right.

B- Secondly, He stated that those on whom is the wrath of Allah are in despair of the hereafter. Is that right?

A- Yes, that is right. It is clearly mentioned in the verse.

B- Thirdly, the despair of these people, on whom is the wrath of Allah, of the hereafter is likened to the despair of the unbelievers in the grave of the hereafter. That is, those on whom is the wrath of Allah are in despair of the hereafter just like the unbelievers in the grave are in despair of the hereafter. Is my explanation right?

A- Yes, that is right. It is clearly stated in the verse: "of the hereafter they are already in despair, just as the unbelievers (buried) in graves are in despair." That is, all of your explanations so far are right.

B- So, now I am asking you the most important question: The verse clearly states that that the unbelievers lying in the graves are in despair of the hereafter. Do they not have to be alive and have life in order to be in despair of the hereafter? Can a person who has no life and who is dead be in despair?

A- Just a minute! I think you are playing a trick on me. You said, "Is that right, is that right" and I said, "yes"; then, you have reached a completely different place.

B- I have not reached a different place. I have reached the place that the verse indicates. I will repeat it again: It is stated in the verse that the unbelievers in the grave are in despair of the hereafter. Being in despair is a feeling. It is necessary for a person to be alive in order to be able to have feelings. For example, we cannot talk about a stone, mountain, the sea and the other non-living beings being in despair. To nurture hope or to be in despair is valid for living beings. If it were as you said, that is, if there were no life in the graves, the verse would not speak of those lying there as being in despair. Since it is mentioned, those who lie in the graves have a life peculiar to them. For, they can be in despair. That is what I said.

A- Yes. Actually, it makes sense. If the unbelievers in the grave are in despair of the hereafter, they must have life. If they had no life, they would not be in despair. For, this feeling belongs to those who have life. This proves that there is a life in the graves… O my God! What am I saying? I will not surrender so easily. I will not believe in life in the grave right away just because you have shown me a verse. There is certainly an answer to it.

B- Then, let the right to answer be reserved for you. You can tell me the answer if you find the answer in the future. Besides, I will not ask you to believe in life in the grave life by showing you only this verse. There are many more verses to show. Do not worry; I hope that you will eventually give up your obstinacy and find guidance if it is in your share. Let us end our analysis of this verse here and move on to the second one. The second verse is verse 101 of the chapter of at-Tawba.

03 – VERSE 2 ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

THE CHAPTER OF AT-TAWBA: VERSE 101

B- The following is stated in verse 101 of the chapter of at-Tawba:

“Certain of the desert Arabs round about you are hypocrites, as well as (desert Arabs) among the Medina folk: they are obstinate in hypocrisy: thou knowest them not: We know them: twice shall We punish them: and in addition shall they be sent to a grievous penalty.”

Three penalties are mentioned in the verse with the following statement: “twice shall We punish them: and in addition shall they be sent to a grievous penalty.” Of the three penalties mentioned in the verse, the first one is the penalty in the world and the second one is the penalty in the grave. There is a bigger penalty after the penalty in the grave, which is the penalty in Hell, the third penalty.

A- Just a minute. Penalty in the grave is not mentioned in the verse. What do you base your claim on? Who says what is meant by this penalty is penalty in the grave?

B- Many Companions and scholars agree on it. Imam Tabari, the great tafsir scholar, states the following about the verse: “What is meant by the “grievous penalty” at the end of the verse is penalty in Hell. Scholars unanimously agree on it. Since the “grievous penalty” at the end of the verse is penalty in Hell, one of the penalties mentioned before cannot be penalty in Hell. In that case, one of those penalties must be penalty in the grave. Then, penalties are divided into three as penalty in the world, penalty in the grave and penalty in Hell.   

Ibn Abbas, Abu Hanifa, Qadi Baydawi, Abu Malik, Ibn Jurayj, Imam Suddi, Imam Mujahid, Imam Qatada, Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Zayd, Imam Farra, Muhammad bin Ishaq, Imam Rabi, Imam Dahhak, Sufyan ath-Thawri, each of whom is like a sea, and other tafsir scholars agree that one of the two penalties mentioned in the verse is penalty in the world and the other is penalty in the grave. Is it possible that penalty in the grave does not exist and great scholars will think that penalty in the grave exists and hence interpret the second penalty in the verse as penalty in the grave? Can it be possible at all?  

A- Good, but perhaps another penalty, not penalty in the grave, is meant by the second penalty. Is it not possible? There is no clear evidence that it is penalty in the grave.

B- It is possible for some other penalties to be meant by the second penalty. However, one meaning does not prevent another meaning and does not annul it. In that case, it can be said that this verse includes all those meanings. 

And now I will ask you something: Ibn Abbas is one of the six people who understood the Quran in the best way among more than a hundred thousand Companions. Just think of it. Among those a hundred thousand Companions, there are masters of the Arabic language, geniuses of eloquence, masters of poetry and literature, but these people ask Ibn Abbas about the issues that they cannot understand from the Quran. Ibn Abbas received the following prayer from the Prophet: "O Allah! Make him a fiqh scholar and teach him the interpretation of the Quran." And with the blessing of this prayer, he said, "If I lose the of halter of my camel, I will find it in the Quran." Books will not be enough to describe him. Such a person says, "What is meant by the second penalty in the verse is penalty in the grave."

Besides, he is not alone in this view. Tens of scholars whose names we have just mentioned and not mentioned confirm Ibn Abbas and report the same view.

Is it ever possible that a person like Ibn Abbas, who took the Quran lesson from our Prophet himself and who is the greatest tafsir scholar of the Companions will be mistaken and believe in the existence of a life that does not exist and will go even further by interpreting a verse with that life that does not exist and that the other tafsir scholars of the Companions and the scholars who come later will make the same explanation and that all these explanations will be wrong? Then, you and people like you notice this mistake.

Do you really think it is possible?  Those people, who memorized hundreds of thousands of hadiths, will agree on the interpretation of a verse of the Quran, and this agreement will be wrong. Even Satan cannot make us accept this possibility.

A- What you say is logical but I do not see anything mentioned as “penalty in the grave” clearly in the verse. I will not believe it until you show it to me clearly.

B- Do not worry, there are many more verses to show you. However, you should also know that your denying something is not evidence for its absence. We rely on the statement that so many scholars agree on and we accept the second penalty mentioned in the verse as penalty in the grave. You rely on your delusions and mind, and interpret verses according to your thoughts. Now let us move on to another verse that tells about life in the grave. The following is stated in verses 45 and 46 of the chapter of al-Mumin:

04 – VERSE 3 ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

THE CHAPTER OF AL-MUMIN: VERSES 45 AND 46

B- The following is stated in verses 45 and 46 of the chapter of al-Belief:

“Then Allah saved him from (every) ill that they plotted (against him), but the burnt of the Penalty encompassed on all sides the People of Pharaoh. In front of the Fire will they be brought, morning and evening: And (the sentence will be) on the Day that Judgment will be established: ‘Cast ye the People of Pharaoh into the severest Penalty!’”

Let us analyze this verse together: It is mentioned in the verse that the Pharaoh and his men were surrounded by a severe penalty. This penalty is their drowning in the sea. It is stated after that in the verse that the Pharaoh and his men are brought in front of the fire in the morning and evening. Now I ask you: If there is no grave penalty, what fire is the fire that Pharaoh and his men are put into in the morning and evening?

A- This fire is the Fire of Hell, into which they will enter after the Day of Judgment and Reckoning.

B- It cannot be as you say. For, the verse continues as follows: And (the sentence will be) on the Day that Judgment will be established: ‘Cast ye the People of Pharaoh into the severest Penalty!’ It is understood from this statement that the penalty inflicted upon the Pharaoh and his people in the morning and evening is a penalty different from the one in Hell. For, the penalty in Hell is already mentioned at the end of the verse specifically, as you see it. So, two different penalties are mentioned in this verse. The first is the penalty they are given in the morning and evening. The second is the penalty they will be given after the Day of Judgment. It is clearly understood from the expression of the verse that the penalty inflicted upon them in the morning and evening is applied before the Day of Judgment. Now I ask you again: If this penalty is not penalty in the grave, what penalty is it?

A- Well... I do not know what to say. Yes, it is clearly seen that the penalty inflicted upon them in the morning and evening is not the penalty in Hell. For, the penalty in Hell is already mentioned at the end of the verse. If this penalty is not penalty in Hell, what penalty can it be? Well… I confess that I do not know this.

B- You can know it. It is the penalty in the grave and barzakh. . The first thing mentioned in the verse as "the penalty encompassed them on all sides" is being drowned in the sea. The penalty that they will be given on the Day of Resurrection is the penalty in Hell. The penalty between their drowning and the penalty in Hell is the penalty given to them in the morning and evening in the grave.

Because of this clear statement of the verse, Imam Mujahid, Hz. Ikrima and Muhammad bin Ka'b say, "This verse is evidence for penalty in the grave." And this is the opinion of the majority of the Islamic scholars who are called Ahl as-Sunnah and who are the advocates of the right madhhabs.  

Now, will you be stubborn again, or will you submit to the clear statement of this verse and believe in penalty in the grave?

A- Actually, I am a little convinced, but not fully. Keep telling me. Let us see what other verses you will show as evidence. If the other verses are as convincing as this verse, I will believe in life in the grave.

B- Then, let us move on to another verse. The following is stated in verse 28 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

05 – VERSE 4 ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

THE CHAPTER OF AL-BAQARA: VERSE 28

B- The following is stated in verse 28 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

“How can ye reject the faith in Allah?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.”

Let us analyze this verse together: The word أَمْوَات (amwatan) mentioned at the beginning of the verse means “dead”. What is meant by it is the sperms that have no life and that are in the backbone/loins of the fathers. It means this expression attracts attention to the first state of man and their state in the backbones/loins of their fathers. In this state, man is dead and has not been created yet.  

What is meant by the phrase فَأَحْيَاكُمْ (fa ahyakum), that is, “he revived you” after the word amwatan is blowing spirit into the nutfahs in the uterus and sending them to the world alive. It means this part of the verse indicates the world life.

What is indicated by the consequent phrase ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ (thumma yumitukum), that is, “he will kill you again” is killing people when their life ends. The world life ends with this killing and man enters the grave.

The consequent phrase ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ (thumma yuhyikum) that is, “he will revive you again” is evidence for life in the grave. For, this revival is after death and before the Day of Judgment with the indication of the verse. This can happen only through life in the grave.

What is meant by the phrase ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ (thumma ilayhi turjaun), that is “you will be returned to Him” at the end of the verse is coming out of graves in order to go to the Gathering Place after the Trumpet (Sur) is blown by Israfil. 

A- I do not agree with your explanation. I think the meaning is as follows: The phrase "and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return" at the end of the verse indicates coming out of graves and returning to Allah after the Day of Judgment. You explain the part "and will again bring you to life" in this part of the verse as the resurrection in the grave before the Day of Judgment. In my opinion, it is not resurrection in the grave before the Day of Judgment. It is the resurrection in graves after Doomsday and going to the Gathering Place.

B- In other words, according to you, the part "and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return" at the end of the verse is an incident that will take place after Doomsday at the same time. That is, people will revive in their grave, come out and enter into the presence of Allah. Is that right?

A- Yes, exactly. The phrase "and will again bring you to life" in the last part of the verse does not indicate life in the grave. See how I refuted your evidence!

B- If you knew a little Arabic, you would laugh at yourself and understand how wrongly you translated the verse. I will explain it to you now. In the Arabic, the preposition "fa" indicates closeness and shows that something has happened immediately after another thing. However, the preposition “thumma” indicates distance. It shows that something happened quite a long time after another thing.  

After this explanation, let us have a look at the original verse in Arabic: The phrase ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ (thumma ilayhi turjaun) is used at the end of the verse, indicating that returning to Allah is a long time after the deed of reviving. If rising from the graves were meant by the phrase “and will again bring you to life” as you say, the last part of the verse would not be ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ (thumma ilayhi turjaun), but فَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ (fa ilayhi turjaun). That is the preposition “thumma”, which indicates distance would be replaced by “fa”, the preposition that indicates closeness. However, it is not used like that. That is, there is a distance of time between the phrase “and will again bring you to life” and the phrase “you will be returned to Him”. People need to be resurrected in their graves before the Day of Judgment for this distance to occur. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, the great scholar of this age, states the following about this “thumma”: ”ثُمَّ  (thumma) indicates the existence of the long realm of barzakh between killing and the second creation.” If you knew a little Arabic, you would know this meaning and believe in life in the grave.

A- If “thumma” is a preposition of distance and if “fa” is a preposition of closeness, why is the phrase about revival in the grave is not “fa yuhyikum” but “thumma yuhyikum”? Does a person not revive in the grave as soon as he dies? Why is the preposition thumma, which indicates distance, is used here?

B- You have mentioned a nice point. It is true, but when a person dies, he is not put in the grave at once; sometimes, he is put in the grave one day and sometimes a few days later. Therefore, the preposition "thumma", which expresses distance, not the preposition "fa", which expresses closeness is used in the verse.  

A- They are subtle issues. I want to see clearer things.

B- Do not forget that weak ropes become strong when they come together. They can be broken when they are alone but they become unbreakable when they support each other. Similarly, evidences that seem to be weak get strong when they are supported by other evidences. Therefore, you should consider each evidence together with the other evidences, not separately.  I do not show you only this verse as evidence for life in the grave; therefore, you should not deny it by regarding it weak. There are many more verses that I will show and have already shown you. This evidence, which you regard as weak, becomes strong by being supported by other evidences. It becomes an unbreakable rope. Anyway, let us finish the analysis of this verse here and move on to another verse: The following is stated in verse 169 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran:

06 – VERSE 5 ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

THE CHAPTER OF AAL-I IMRAN: VERSE 169

B- The following is stated in verse 169 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran:

“Think not of those who are slain in Allah´s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.”

Now, let us analyze this verse together: In this verse, we are informed that those killed in the way of Allah are not dead and that they are given sustenance in the presence of Allah. In fact, Imam Shafi used this verse as evidence to decree that a martyr would not be washed and that his janazah prayer would not be performed: "Janazah prayer for the martyr is not performed because janazah prayer is performed for a dead person. However, a martyr is not dead as the expression of the verse states it; he is being given sustenance in the presence of his Lord."

So, martyrs are not dead. Allah prohibits us from thinking that they are dead and saying “dead” for them. Moreover, a martyr is sustained in the presence of Allah. That martyrs are not dead and that they are sustained proves that life in the grave and the realm of Barzakh is true. We can explain the fact that martyrs are not dead and that they are sustained only through Barzakh life.

Do not forget that if the existence of even a single angel is proved, the existence of the species of angels will be proved. A person who accepts the existence of one of them will have to accept all of them. Similarly, when it is accepted that a martyr is not dead and is sustained it the presence of Allah, the realm of Barzakh and grave will also have to be accepted. For, Doomsday has not struck yet, and Paradise and Hell have not admitted their inhabitants yet. Since martyrs are not in Paradise, where are they and where are they sustained? Is there anywhere else that you know other than the realm of the grave and Barzakh?

A- Suppose we accept what you say. Suppose that martyrs now live in the world of Barzakh and grave and that they are being sustained there. However, the verse says that this life is only for martyrs but you say that all believers who died with righteous deeds are alive and are being sustained. If there is no difference between martyrs and them, why does this verse mention only martyrs?

B- There is a difference between those who die as martyrs and other believers. In fact, the verse mentions martyrs specifically due to this difference. Badiuzzaman explains this difference in his work titled Mektubat as follows:

According to the Quran, the martyrs are at a level of life higher than that of the other dead in their graves. Since they sacrificed their worldly lives in the way of truth, in His perfect munificence Almighty Allah bestows on them in the Intermediate Realm a life resembling earthly life, but without its sorrows and hardships. They do not know themselves to be dead and suppose only that they have gone to a better world. Enjoying themselves in perfect happiness, they do not suffer the pains of separation that accompany death. For sure the spirits of the dead are immortal, but they know they are dead. The happiness and pleasure they experience in the Intermediate World are not equal to the martyrs’ happiness. Let us explain this fact with an example:

Two men in their dreams enter a beautiful palace resembling Paradise: One knows that he is dreaming and the pleasure and enjoyment he receives are deficient. He thinks: “If I wake up, all this enjoyment will disappear.” While the other man is unaware that he is dreaming, and he experiences true pleasure and delight.

Thus, the martyrs partake of life in the Intermediate Realm differently to the other dead. Martyrs take full pleasure because they do not know that they are dead. They do not feel the pain of leaving the world. The other believers know that they are dead; therefore, they feel the pain of leaving the world and they miss their friends.  Their pleasure cannot be the same as that of martyrs.

Now let us go back to our evidence again. Answer this question:

It is certain by the clear statement of the verse that martyrs are not dead and that they are being sustained in the presence of Allah. How do you explain the fact that a martyr is not dead and that he is being sustained in the presence of Allah?

A- I never thought about this issue in depth. Now I am also curious. If Barzakh and grave do not exist, and since Paradise is not open yet, where do martyrs live and where are they being sustained?

B- So, you cannot say yet, “I believe in life in the grave.” Is that right?

A- Actually, I have approached belief but I want to continue now in order to hear the other evidence. Let us see what else I will learn.

B- All right. Let us end the analysis of this verse here and move on to another one. The following is stated in verse 25 of the chapter of Nuh:

07 – VERSE 6 ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

THE CHAPTER OF NUH: VERSE 25

B- The following is stated in verse 25 of the chapter of Nuh:

“Because of their sins, they (the nation of Nuh) were drowned (in the flood), and were made to enter the Fire (of Punishment).”

Now let us analyze this verse together. However, before we start the analysis, I would like to repeat the Arabic rule mentioned in the fifth chapter. In Arabic, the letters of attribution have different duties and meanings. These prepositions, which resemble each other for those who do not speak Arabic, express very deep meanings for the speakers of Arabic. Two of these prepositions are the prepositions of "fa" and "thumma". "Fa" is referred to as "fa that follows". "Fa" is a preposition that indicates closeness and shows that something happens immediately after another thing. "Thumma" is a preposition that indicates distance. This preposition indicates that something happens a long time after another thing. Let us see this difference through two simple sentences:

خَرَجَ عَلِيٌّ فَسَعِيدٌ  (Kharaja Aliyyun fa Saidun) “Ali and Said went out.” We understand from the preposition “fa” that Said went out immediately after Ali. Their going out is very close to each other. It is almost as if they went out together. That is, one of them left and the other left a second later. What suggests the meaning of closeness is the preposition “fa”.

If we utter this sentence as خَرَجَ عَلِيٌّ ثُمَّ سَعِيدٌ (Kharaja Aliyyun thumma Saidun), it means “Ali went out; after that, Said went out.” In that case, we understand that Said left after a while. There is a distance of time between their going out. For instance, Ali went out yesterday and Said went out today. Thus, the preposition “thumma” attracts attention to this distance of time. 

After this explanation, let us look at the original Arabic verse that we will analyze:

مِمَّا خَطِيئَاتِهِمْ أُغْرِقُوا (Mimma khatiyatihim ughriqu) “Because of their sins, they were drowned (in the flood)” فَأُدْخِلُوانَارً (faudkhilu naran) “and were made to enter the Fire (of Punishment)”. It is stated in the verse that the nation of Hz. Nuh was put into fire. The preposition “fa” in the verse shows that the deed of being put into fire took place immediately after being drowned in the flood. It means the people of Hz. Nuh were put into fire immediately after they were drowned. This can only be the penalty in the realm of Barzakh, which we call life in the grave. For, Hell is present now but it is empty. Hell will be filled after Doomsday strikes and Reckoning is completed. In that case, the fire that the nation of Hz. Nuh will enter cannot be the fire of Hell.

What is the fire/penalty other than the penalty in the grave torment that the nation of Hz. Nuh entered after they were drowned in the sea? If life in the grave is denied, how can the fire that the nation of Hz. Nuh entered immediately after they were drowned in the sea be explained? You cannot say it is Hell because the entrance to Hell will be right after the Reckoning on the Day of Judgment.

Besides, Hz. Nuh and his nation lived about 5,000 years ago. If there were no penalty in the grave and if they were not exposed to the penalty immediately, the preposition "thumma", which expresses distance, would be used instead of “fa”, which expresses closeness.

A- You have deduced so many meanings from the preposition “fa”. I think you are exaggerating a bit.  

B- I am not exaggerating but you confuse the word of Allah with the word of humans. Man cannot encompass his word and cannot think of such wisdoms in his word. However, Allah knows and encompasses every meaning with His infinite knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, each letter in the Quran sometimes has many meanings and tafsir scholars have not been able to explain them fully.

Or, do you think that the words and letters mentioned in the Quran occur by chance? Know that the Quran was sent down with rhetoric and eloquence. It fascinated literature geniuses and masters of eloquence with the arrangement of its words and letters. If we start this issue here, it will take too long. Therefore, I will not start it but only say this: The use of no word or letter in the Quran is by chance or coincidence. There are hundreds of wisdoms and meanings in each of them. However, it is necessary to be an expert to find these meanings or apply to an expert.

A- So, you say that the part mentioning that the nation of Hz. Nuh was drowned and then entered fire is expressed with the preposition "fa", which expresses closeness. This states that the incident happened immediately and was not interrupted. This event happened 5,000 years ago and it is not known when Doomsday will strike; if there were no penalty in the grave and their penalty were left to the Hereafter, the preposition “thumma”, which expresses distance, would be preferred instead of "fa", which expresses closeness. No word or letter in the Quran is used randomly. Each one has wisdom and meanings. The preposition "fa" expressing closeness here was used to state that the penalty began immediately. Consequently, this proves penalty in the grave and hence life in the grave and Barzakh.

B- You have understood it very well. That is exactly what I said. Well, did you get your share from what I told you? Do you believe in life in the grave now?

A- I did not believe in life in the grave before I started to debate with you. Now, I still deny it but I have doubts. At first, I said, "It does not exist at all"; now I say, "I wonder if it exists." So, you have convinced me quite a lot. However, there is a lot more to do. If I am to believe, I want my belief to be based investigation and evidences. That is why, I say, "Go on."

B- Let us continue then. For, I have so much to tell you and so many evidences to show you. Now let us move to another verse. The following is stated in verse 93 of the chapter of al-An'am:

08 – VERSE 7 ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

THE CHAPTER OF AL-AN’AM: VERSE 93

B- The following is stated in verse 93 of the chapter of al-An'am:

“If thou couldst but see how the wicked (do fare) in the flood of confusion at death! - the angels stretch forth their hands, (saying),"Yield up your souls: this day shall ye receive your reward,- a penalty of shame, for that ye used to tell lies against Allah, and scornfully to reject of His signs.”

Now let us analyze this verse together: The time of the death of the wicked people is narrated in the verse. The part we will deal with is the following statement of the angels: “This day shall ye receive your reward,- a penalty of shame.”

You say that there is no life after the soul of the dead person is removed. The reward or punishment will occur after Doomsday strikes. However, the verse we are interpreting says you are wrong. Look at the statement of the angels again; and they say: "This day shall ye receive your reward,- a penalty of shame."

That is, the penalty is not after Doomsday; it is today. If we deny penalty in the grave, how will we explain the angels’ word "this day". Do angels not stay clearly that the penalty will begin immediately by saying, "You will be punished this day"?

A- Is it not possible that another time period is meant by the expression "this day"?

B- Does any other time come to your mind? What else can be understood by the word "today/this day"? Thousands of years passed after the creation of man. Angels say to a person who lived and died thousands of years ago "Today you will be punished" when they remove his soul. However, you say, "Penalty is not on that day but after Doomsday strikes.”

Shall we believe in your statement or the statement of the angels and the Quran?

A- Of course, we will believe in the statement of the Qur'an. What I mean is this: I wonder if it is possible that another time period is meant by the word "this day"?

B- Even Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, who forced limits of Islam regarding many issues of Ahl as-Sunnah creed and who sometimes deviated from the middle way, accepted penalty in the grave in the face of this verse and said: "This statement was said to the wicked people at the time of death and the angels told them that they would be exposed to a penalty of shame when they died. This penalty is penalty in the grave. If the penalty were delayed to Doomsday, the angels would not say to them: "You will be punished today."

A- I see.

B- As you see, even Ibn Qayyim, who separated from Ahl as-Sunnah, cannot deny penalty in the grave and has to accept it in the face of the statement of the verses.

Furthermore, Zamakhshari, who differed from Ahl as-Sunnah regarding some issues, accepts that this verse informs about Barzakh and life in the grave.

The reason why I give Ibn Qayyim and, Zamakhshari as example is as follows: There is no dispute among the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah about the existence of life in the grave. This issue is accepted even by scholars like Ibn Qayyim and Zamakhshari, who differ from Ahl as-Sunnah regarding many issues. They refuse many issues but they have to accept life in the grave and mention the verse we are interpreting as evidence for life in the grave. I have given this as an example so that you will understand how certain is an issue that even they cannot refuse.

A- Well... So, not only Ahl as-Sunnah scholars but also the scholars who oppose most ideas of Ahl as-Sunnah accept life in the grave and believe in Barzakh life.  

B- Yes, all of the scholars except for a few unfortunate scholars that you listen to do not accept life in the grave. Let us complete talking about this verse here and move on to another verse. We have a lot more to do. The following is stated in verse 100 of the chapter of al-Mu’minun:

09 – VERSE 8 ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

THE CHAPTER OF AL-MU’MINUN: VERSES 99 AND 100

B- The following is stated in verses 99 and 100 of the chapter of al-Mu’minun:

“(In Falsehood will they be) Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: ‘O my Lord! Send me back (to life), -In order that I may work righteousness in the things I neglected.’ – ‘By no means! It is but a word he says.’- Before them is a Partition till the Day they are raised up.”

Now let us analyze this verse together. The part we will deal with is the following part of the verse: "Before them is a Barzakh (Partition) till the Day they are raised up." The word "Barzakh" in this part of the verse indicates the life of Barzakh.

A- What does "Barzakh" mean? Will you give me more information about it?

B- Barzakh actually means an obstacle between two things. They use the word "barzakh" for something and between two places and things. For example, a piece of land between two seas is also called "barzakh". The name of the border that is located between fresh water and salty water and that prevents them from mixing is also called barzakh. What is meant by Barzakh mentioned in the verse is the realm between the world and the hereafter. At present, the realm of Barzakh exists; those who died are in the realm of Barzakh.

Abu Sahr states the following about the word "Barzakh" mentioned in the verse that we are interpreting: "Barzakh is the graves. They are neither in this world nor in the hereafter. They will stay there until the day they are revived." There is a threat of penalty in Barzakh against these people, who died as oppressors, in the verse “Before them is a Barzakh (Partition) till the Day they are raised up.”

Hz. Aisha states the following in the interpretation of this verse: "Shame on those in the grave who are sinners. Black snakes enter their graves. One snake is next to the head and the other is next to the feet. They gnaw him until they meet in the middle. That is the penalty in Barzakh that Allah states in the following verse: "Before them is a Barzakh (Partition) till the Day they are raised up." (Ibn Kathir, Hadislerle Kur’ân-ı Kerim Tefsiri, Vol. 11, p. 5671)

According to what Muhammad Ibn Abu Hatim reports from Abu Hurayra, the Prophet said, "When an unbeliever is placed in the grave, he will see his place in Hell and say, 'O Lord! Send me back so that I will repent and do righteous deeds.' He will be addressed as follows: 'You were given life as long as lived.' The grave is squeezed on him. He looks like a person bitten by a snake or a scorpion. He sleeps and fears. The pests in the earth, snakes and scorpions head toward him."

There are many words that were said about this issue. It is not possible to quote all of them here. If you wonder about other explanations and the nature of the realm of Barzakh, you can apply to tafsir books.

I want to explain this evidence again briefly: It is clearly mentioned in the verse we are interpreting that there is Barzakh in front of them until the day of resurrection. The Barzakh mentioned in the verse is the realm of Barzakh as all tafsir scholars agree. The dead spirits remain there until Doomsday. They are punished and rewarded there.

A- All right! Can we not explain the word Barzakh as something else? For example, can we not say that it is a curtain that prevents from returning to the world?

B- How can we interpret the Quran based on our own thought and view? How do we dare to do it in the face of the following hadith of the Prophet: "Let a person who interprets the Quran without knowledge prepare himself for his place in Hell." What we can do is to benefit from the views of the tafsir scholars who interpret the Quran in the light of hadiths and other verses and to accept the view of the majority of the scholars. Besides, this is the real problem: To explain the verses according to our own desire and to interpret verses with the meaning that comes to mind. There are even some people who say, "I interpreted the Quran without using any resources." It means to fabricate for a person to say that he has not used any resources.

A- So, the word Barzakh mentioned in the verse is the realm of Barzakh and the spirits will wait there until Doomsday.

B- Yes, exactly. This refutes your statement "There is no penalty and reward until the Day of Judgment. The spirits are dead." And it proves life in the grave. Let us end the analysis of this verse here and move on to the next part. In the next part, I will show you many verses about life in the grave.  

10 – OTHER VERSES ABOUT LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN THE QURAN

B- I have shown you 8 verses about life in the grave so far in this conversation. We have analyzed those 8 verses together. There are more verses I can show you from the Quran but to analyze them one by one will be too long for this work. Therefore, I will mention some of the remaining verses briefly and refer the details to tafsir books. For, it is time to move on to hadiths now.

A- All right. Mention them briefly and I will learn the detailed explanations from tafsir books later. At least, I will have the other evidences regarding the issue ready.

B- I will mention them for this purpose. Besides, I want to show you that there are many more verses related to life in the grave. Let us start those verses now:

The following is stated in verse 75 of the chapter of Maryam:

“Say: ‘If any men go astray, (Allah) Most Gracious extends (the rope) to them, until, when they see the warning of Allah (being fulfilled) - either in punishment or in (the approach of) the Hour,- they will at length realize who is worst in position, and (who) weakest in forces!’”

The phrase “either in punishment” mentioned in the verse indicates the existence of a penalty before Doomsday clearly. For, the phrase “or in (the approach of) the Hour” after it indicates the penalty on the Day of Judgment. In that case, the first penalty that is mentioned cannot be the penalty on the Day of Judgment. Then, penalty in the grave is meant by the first penalty.  Fakhrurrazi states the following regarding the issue: The phrase “either in punishment or in (the approach of) the Hour” in the verse indicates a penalty before the Day of Judgment. This penalty before the Day of Judgment can be penalty in the grave.”

A- Yes, it is possible.

B- Let us move on to another verse. The following is stated in verse 98 of the chapter of al-Anam:

“It is He Who hath produced you from a single person: here is a place of sojourn and a place of departure.”

The word mustaqarr (sojourn) mentioned in the verse means a place of settlement. Mustavda (departure) means a place where entrusted things are put. Ibn Masud states the following about where mustaqarr and mustawda are: The uterus is mustaqarr and the grave is mustawda. The reason why the grave is a place of mustawda is that the grave is not a place of settlement for man but a place where he stays for a certain time on the way to the hereafter.

According to Imam Hasan, the world is mustaqarr and the grave is mustawda. For, human beings settle in the world and construct buildings. Therefore, the world must be mustaqarr, that is, the place of settlement. None of them is present under the ground. Therefore, the grave is mustawda, that is, a place where the human body is placed for a certain time.  

Other scholars made similar explanations regarding the issue and interpreted the word mustawda as life in the grave. It means attention is attracted to life in the grave with the word “mustawda” in verse 98 of the chapter of al-Anam.    

A- Yes, it is very interesting. This is the first time I have heard those verses.

B- Let us move on to another verse. The following is stated in verse 124 of the chapter of Taha:

“But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment.”

The phrase  مَعِيشَةً ضَنْكًا  (maishatan dankan) translated as “a life narrowed down” in the verse was interpreted as penalty in the grave by Abu Said al-Khudri and Abdullah Ibn Masud.

The following is stated in verse 11 of the chapter of al-Mumin:

“They will say: ‘Our Lord! Twice hast Thou made us without life, and twice hast Thou given us Life! Now have we recognized our sins: Is there any way out (of this)?’”

Imam Suddi states the following about the statement “Our Lord! Twice hast Thou made us without life, and twice hast Thou given us Life!”: Unbelievers will be killed in this world and they will be revived for questioning in the grave. That is, there will be a life of barzakh in the grave. Afterwards, they will be killed again immediately before the Day of Judgment and they will be resurrected again after the Day of Judgment. Thus, this verse indicates life in the grave directly.

According to Ibn Masud, Ibn Abbas, Imam Dahhak, Imam Qatada and Abu Malik this verse is like the following verse:

“How can ye reject the faith in Allah?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.” (al-Baqara 28)

We explained this verse before when we explained verse 5.

A- Yes, I remember.

B- The essence of the issue is as follows: The first killing is being dead in the backbones of the father. The first creation is the blowing of the spirit in the womb, coming to the world and living in the world for a while. The second dying is dying in this world and the second creation is the creation in the grave. After that, he is taken out of the grave and returned to Allah. It means verse 11 of the chapter of al-Mumin indicates life in the grave. 

The following is stated in verses 45 and 46 of the chapter of at-Tur:

“So leave them alone until they encounter that Day of theirs, wherein they shall (perforce) swoon (with terror),- The Day when their plotting will avail them nothing and no help shall be given them.”

These verses give information about the great penalty they will encounter in the hereafter.

The following is stated in verse 47 that comes immediately after these verses:

“And verily, for those who do wrong, there is another punishment besides this: But most of them understand not.”

It is stated in the verse that those who oppress will be exposed to another penalty other the great penalty in the hereafter. According to Ibn Abbas, Imam Qatada and Bara bin Azib, what is meant by the other penalty is penalty in the grave. Imam Qurtubi reports that Hz. Ali also holds this view.

A- I said “Grave in the penalty does not exist in the Quran” but you showed so many verses. First, we analyzed eight verses. They all mentioned life in the grave. Now, you have listed many verses one after another now.

B- In addition to them, you can also look at the tafsir of the chapter of at-Takathur. Imam Qurtubi states the following about the chapter of at-Takathur: “This chapter shows the existence of grave in the penalty. It is fard to believe in and to approve penalty in the grave. Allah will revive His slave who is responsible in the grave and will give him a mind like the one he had when he was alive. Thus, a slave will understand the questions that he is asked, will know what answers he will give, will understand what comes from his Lord and will understand the favors or despising states. This is the view accepted by Ahl as-Sunnah and adopted by the majority of the members of this religion.”

Hz. Ali states the following about the chapter of at-Takathur: “When the chapter of at-Takathur was sent down, our view about penalty in the grave became definite.”

There are some other verses. However, it is enough for now. I will also mention hadiths and show the unanimous agreement regarding the issue. Then, I will answer your questions. That is, we have a lot more to do. Therefore, let us end the aspect of the issue related to the Quran here without mentioning the other hadiths.

A- I think that is enough too. I also wonder about the hadiths regarding the issue. It is time to see them now.

B- Since you are so excited, let us move on to the hadiths about life in the grave. Listen to what the Prophet (pbuh) said regarding the issue:

11 – THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY THOSE WHO DENY THE HADITHS RELATED TO LIFE IN THE GRAVE

LIFE IN THE GRAVE IN HADITHS

B- We will talk about hadiths related to life in the grave in this chapter. However, I will not quote hadiths for you here. For, you have probably heard some of the hadiths related to penalty or reward in the grave already. If you wish, you can type "hadiths about life in the grave" and click on the internet to find the hadiths with their resources. I do not need to tell you the hadiths you can reach with a click. I will deal with something else in this chapter.

A- You are right; I have heard many hadiths about life in the grave. And as you have said, I can find many hadiths on the internet with their resources. However, I think most of those hadiths are fabricated. I do not believe in those hadiths.

B- This is the point I will mention. I know that if I tell you a thousand hadiths without mentioning this point, you will say, "They are fabricated." Therefore, the hadiths that I will show as evidence will not be of any value for you. If you believed in hadiths, you would believe penalty in the grave. For, you have said, "I have heard many hadiths". The problem about you and people like you is not to know hadiths and to hear hadiths but not to believe in hadiths. For this reason, we will deal with this issue in this part of the work.

A- I think it is all right for me. However, I want to say again: I do not believe in anything other than what is in the Quran. You should show me things from the Quran.

B- Then, I will ask you a very simple question. If you can answer this question from the Quran, I will believe you. Tell me: How many rak’ahs is the noon prayer?

A- It is very easy. I perform it every day; it is 4 rak’ahs.

B- From which verse of the Quran did you learn that the noon prayer was four rak'ahs? In which chapter is it written?

A- I know that it is not mentioned in the Quran.

B- No, you have said: "I do not believe in hadiths, I do not believe in anything other than what is in the Quran." So, you should show me the number of the rak'ahs of the noon prayer in the Qur'an.

A- It is not written in the Quran. How can I show it?

B- Since it is not in the Quran, how you know that the fard of the noon prayer is 4 rak’ahs? 

A- It is written in hadiths. And everybody performs it as 4 rak’ahs. I suppose it is true.

B- Good, but you contradict yourself with this answer. First, you say: “I do not believe in anything other than what is in the Quran.” Then, you say: It is written in hadiths that the noon prayer is 4 rak’ahs. Which one of your statement should I believe? Your denying hadiths or accepting them?

A- Since rak’ahs of prayers are not written in the Quran, we have to look at hadiths. However, I will not believe in hadiths regarding other issues. 

B- You say other issues. Then I will ask you again:

- The Quran says, "Give zakah." How much of our wealth should we give?

- The Quran says, "Circumambulate the Kaaba." How many times should we turn around the Kaaba?

- The Quran says, "Perform Prayers." How many times a day and how shall we pray?

- The Quran says, "Go to hajj." How are we going to perform hajj?

- The Quran orders many other things like these, but it does not tell us how to do most of them. How shall we perform these deeds of worship?

Look, you cannot find even a very simple issue like the number of rak’ahs of prayers in the Quran and you have to refer to hadiths. You cannot even perform prayers without hadiths. Besides, I have only asked the number of rak’ahs; I have not asked about the details of the prayer. How will you answer me if I ask you, "How do you perform prayers?"

A- The answer is very easy. I will make intention, utter takbir by touching my ears with my hands. 

B- Why do you touch your ears with your hands? It is not written in the Quran.

A- Well, you do not have to raise your hands.

B- Just a minute. The statement “You do not have to raise your hands” does not exist in the Quran. You said you spoke based on the Quran. We are still at the beginning of the prayer but you cannot decide whether it is necessary to raise the hands or not. We have not mentioned ruku’ and sajdah yet. This is only the beginning of the prayer. There are thousands of issues apart from prayer in Islam; you might not find them clearly in the Quran. What shall we do then? Should we make them up because we cannot find them in the Quran or should we look at the practices of the Prophet?

A- We can refer to hadiths regarding issues like prayer, but there is no need to refer to them regarding other issues.

B- So, you now accept that some of the hadiths are true. Is that right? At first, you said, "They are all fabricated," and now you say, "Some might be right." You proceeded a lot in this short time. You used to deny all of them but now you deny some of them. Well, I will ask you something: What do you take into consideration when you accept or refuse a hadith? What rules of jarh and tadil do you use?

A- What is jarh and tadil? I decree based on my own mind. If I find a hadith logical, I accept it; if not, I refuse it.

B- Woe on your mind! Things happen to you because of your mind. Get rid of your mind and get a new one. Change your views. The issue we are talking about is a very dangerous issue. This issue has been discussed a lot and it will be discussed a lot. The size of this work does not allow us to deal with it in detail here. However, after you, we will deal with the issue of hadith with a person who denies hadiths like you. I advise you to watch that work. You will see how that person who denies hadiths is convinced and has to accept hadiths– with the help of Allah - in that work. I will not start discussing this issue now. However, it has become clear from our conversation up to now that we cannot even know the number of the rak’ahs of prayers. Let alone performing a prayer, we cannot even start a prayer.

I will tell you very important things now. Listen to them very carefully. I will tell you what a big crime you commit by denying the hadiths about life in the grave. 

The hadiths about penalty and reward in the grave were reported to us from a group of Companions. Some of those Companions are as follows:  Anas bin Malik, Abu Hurayra, Hz. Aisha, Abdullah Ibn Masud, Zayd bin Thabit, Hz. Abubakr’s daughter Hz. Asma, the Prophet’s wife Hz. Maymuna, great tafsir scholars of the Companions, Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn Umar, Jabir Ibn Abdullah, Hz. Uthman, Amr Ibnul As, Bara bin Azib, Zayd bin Arqam, Abu Ayyab al-Ansari, Abu Said al-Khudri, Abdurrahman bin Samura, Abu Qatada, Hz. Ali, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari and other Companions

So many Companions - these are the highest of the Companions - reported hadiths about penalty and reward in the grave. You call all of the hadiths they reported as fabricated. Now, I will list the sins you commit. Maybe you have your share of some kind of guidance and these crimes will bring you to reason and repent.  

THIS IS YOUR FIRST CRIME: Those Companions, some of whose names we have mentioned and some we have not, reported hadiths about life in the grave by referring to the Prophet. In other words, they said, "We heard that the Messenger of Allah said this and that." Their statements reached us through a chain of narrators, that is to say, in the form of this person heard from that person and that person heard from such and such a person, etc. There is no break in between. There is no interruption in the chain. However, you say, "These hadiths are fabricated." What you say means this: "Those Companions slandered the Prophet. They told lies about our Prophet.”

There are two alternatives: Either the Prophet uttered those hadiths or he did not utter them. We believe that he uttered them and we approve the Companions. You believe that he did not utter them. In that case, in your eye, those Companions, among whom are the great Companions like Hz. Ali and Hz. Uthman told lies – God forbid - and slandered the Prophet. Thus, you can understand what a big crime you commit. You call the great Companions liars and slanderers.

A- I do not call them liars; I say the people who came later fabricated hadiths by using their names. 

B- Each branch of science has its own methods and methodologies. Apparently, you do not know about some of the methods related to the science of hadith. There is a term called sanad (chain of narrators) in the science of hadith. The chain of the narrators of hadiths are based on the Companions like the links of a chain. It is very clear who said what. If there is an interruption in the chain, it is not called mutawatir.  The hadiths about life in the grave are mutawatir. In other words, they reached us through so many people who cannot be doubted. So, unlike what you say, the people who came later cannot fabricate hadiths using the names of the Companions. It is immediately understood from the sanad of the hadith.

Your first crime was to call the Companions who reported the hadiths related to life in the grave liars and slanderers. Your second crime is as follows:  

YOUR SECOND CRIME IS AS FOLLOWS: Although the hadiths related to life in the grave life were reported by about 25 Companions, the Companions that you called liars and slanderers are not only those 25 Companions. Your slander covers all of the Companions. For, if the Prophet (pbuh) had not uttered hadiths about life in the grave and if those 25 Companions had fabricated hadiths, the other Companions would not have allowed it and they would have denied the Companions that reported hadiths regarding the issue. They would have said, "The hadith reported by that person about life in the grave is fabricated. At that time I was also there and the Prophet did not say something like that"

However, the other Companions did not deny those 25 Companions, who reported the hadiths related to life in the grave, and kept silent. Their silence gives consent. If those hadiths had been false and fabricated, the other Companions would immediately have intervened and told the truth. However, they did not do so. You cannot find any information in any fiqh and siyar book about a Companion rejecting and criticizing these hadiths.

Your denial of these hadiths means accusing all of the Companions of telling lies. Do you think that these noble people, who sacrificed their lives and wealth in the way of Allah, tried to destroy Islam and include superstitions into the religion after the death of the Prophet (pbuh)? Is that what you believe?

A- No. Can anybody believe it?

B- However, when you deny hadiths, this is the result that occurs. If the Prophet had not uttered those hadiths and if those 25 Companions had fabricated them – God forbid - , why did hundreds of other Companions not oppose them and keep silent? Is it possible for these people, who sacrificed their lives for Islam, to keep silent in the face of lies told on behalf of the Prophet?

See what a big crime you commit by denying hadiths. With this denial, you virtually accuse all of the Companions of slandering. However, the Prophet stated the following about them: "My Companions are like stars; you will find the right way whomever of them you follow." Do you not understand what a big crime it is to call the Companions, whom the Prophet praised like that, fabricators, liars and slanderers?

A- I have started to shiver. What big outcomes occur from a statement that seems simple to me when I say it!

B- Your crimes do not end with this one.

YOUR THIRD CRIME IS AS FOLLOWS: The generation that started with the Companions and Tabiun reported those hadiths. Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Ibn Majah and other hadith scholars collected them in their books. If these hadiths are fabricated, none of these scholars are real scholars. They did not notice fabricated hadiths and recorded them in their books as true. They conveyed those hadiths for years and could not notice the fabricated hadiths that you noticed at first sight. So, they are so ignorant – God forbid. They cannot even distinguish between black and white.  

Your denial results in these things, which I feel ashamed of saying even hypothetically. Do you ever when think what will happen to you when these great Companions and scholars, whom you slander, will get hold of you on the Day of Judgment? 

A- You have really brought me to reason. I have never imagined that calling a hadith fabricated would have so big results. I have never thought of what you have told me.   

B- There are more crimes that you committed but as I have said before, the size of this work is not enough to explain the other crimes. Inshallah, I will discuss this issue with a denier of hadiths in detail. I refer the rest to that work and I will tell you the following as my last word here: Pull yourself together. Do not deny and slander the narrators of hadiths, the Companions who approved them by keeping silent and the scholars who reported them by denying the hadiths that are at the level of tawatur. Otherwise, your regret in the hereafter will be so big that you cannot imagine.

I end this issue here and move on to the next evidence. In the next evidence, we will deal with the consensus (ijma) regarding the issue.

12 – THE CONSENSUS (IJMA) OF SCHOLARS ON LIFE IN THE GRAVE

B- In this chapter, we will deal with the statements of scholars about life in the grave. Before quoting their statements, I want to tell you about a general rule:

Regarding a controversial issue in a branch of science or art, the views of the geniuses and experts of that science and art are valid. No matter how intelligent a person is, his view is not valid and is not taken into consideration if he is not an expert in that science or art.

For instance, the view of a great engineer is not taken into consideration regarding a minor disease. The view of doctors is valid regarding the science of medicine and the view of an ordinary doctor is preferred to the word of a genius in another branch of science. Similarly, the view of scholars and mujtahids are valid in religious sciences. Therefore, regarding the issue whether life in the grave exists or not, your view, my view or the view of a person who is not a scholar regarding this issue is not taken into consideration. 

A- I accept this rule. Only experts of an issue can speak regarding that issue.

B- Since we agree about this issue, let us listen to the statements of Islamic scholars who have the right to speak regarding the issue whether life in the grave exists or not:

When Hz. Uthman stood next to a grave, he would cry until his tears wetted his beard. They said to him, “You do not cry when you mention Paradise and Hell but you cry because of fear of grave.” Hz. Uthman said, “The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following about grave: “The grave is the first stage of the Hereafter. Whoever is delivered from it, what comes after it is easier. If he is not delivered from it, then what comes after it is harder. I have never seen a scene as horrible as the grave.” (Ibn Majah, Zuhd, hd: 4267)

Imam Rabbani states the following: Penalty in the grave is one of the penalties of the hereafter. It does not resemble the penalty in the world or penalty in the dream. To think like that originates from the ignorance about penalty in the grave. A person who does not believe in penalty in the grave, becomes a person of bid’ah. A person who says, “I do not believe in penalty in the grave even if there are hadiths about it; mind and experience do not accept it” becomes an unbeliever. (Mektubat)

Imam Ghazali states the following: Penalty in the grave will be inflicted upon both the spirit and the body. (İhyau Ulumiddin)

Abu Hanifa states the following: It is true that the spirit is returned to the body, that the grave will squeeze unbelievers and some sinful believers and that they are punished in the grave. (Qawlul-Fasl)

Imam Suyuti states the following: The spirit of every dead person is attached to its body in a way that we do not know. The spirits are allowed to affect their bodies and to remain in the graves. Even if the body decays in the grave, the connection of the spirit with the body is not broken. (al-Mutaqaddim)

Zabidi states the following “The hadiths about the mischief (test) in the grave are mutawatir.” Then, he mentions the names of 25 Companions who reported the hadiths about life in the grave. After that, he quotes the texts of the hadiths reported by those Companions and states the resources of those hadiths. (Sharhul-Ihya)

Saduddin Taftazani, who is one of the great imams related to creed, states the following: Penalty in the grave is true for some unbelievers and sinful believers. The grant of boons in the grave by Allah to believers in a way that Allah knows and wishes is true too. They are all certain by verses and hadiths. (Sharhu’n- Nasafi)

There are hundreds of statements like those ones that we can quote. We mentioned some of them while interpreting the verses at the beginning of this work. The decree “Penalty in the grave is true” exists in all creed books without exception. Not to believe in penalty in the grave after these statements means to accept that all of the Islamic scholars throughout history agreed on something wrong unanimously. Can you accept something like that?

A- No, nobody can say that all Islamic scholars agreed on something wrong unanimously; and nobody will believe it.

B- Since nobody can say and believe so, it is necessary to believe that life in the grave is true. For, Islamic scholars agree on it.

A- Is it not possible to believe in a view other than theirs?

B- I will answer your question from the Quran. The following is stated in verse 115 of the chapter of an-Nisa: “If anyone contends with the Messenger even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men of Faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell,- what an evil refuge!”

Imam Shafi showed this verse as evidence that ijma (that is, the unanimous agreement of Islamic scholars on an issue) is an evidence in shari’ah and that it is haram to oppose a decree about which there is ijma. Imam Shafi explains how this verse is evidence for ijma as follows:

“As this verse expresses, “following a path other than that becoming to men of Faith” is forbidden and haram. Then, it is fard to follow the path of believers. The path of believers is called ijma. This verse is clear evidence that ijma is a religious evidence and that it is not possible to oppose Islamic scholars related to an issue that they agree on. ”

In that case, we have to believe in penalty and reward in the grave. For, Islamic scholars agree unanimously on it. There is not even a slight disagreement about it. No Ahl as-Sunnah scholar denied life in the grave. This is a very great evidence that life in the grave is true and real.  

I want to show you another ijma now. This is the ijma of saints of Allah. Let us see what those friends of Allah stated regarding the issue.

13 – THE UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT OF THE SAINTS WHO COULD SEE INSIDE THE GRAVES ON LIFE IN THE GRAVE

B- Now, we will use the news given by the saints who could see inside the graves as evidence for the issue. They are a group of saints of Allah that can observe the states of the grave with the grace of Allah. Thousands of saints of Allah like that saw that penalty and reward in the grave was true and informed people about what they saw.  Allah probably lifted the curtain for them occasionally so that they would tell the ummah what they saw and would warn them; thus, they observed life in the grave at the level of certainty at those times.

A- All right but how can we believe the truthfulness of the news given by them? What if they lied?

B- Now I ask you: You believe in the existence of places you have not been to and have not seen by trusting in those who have seen them. You even trust astronomy scholars; and you believe in and do not doubt the existence of a star in the distance of several light years. If they say it, it is evidence for you. You never say, "I do not believe what I do not see, what if they lie, etc." Have you ever seen and been to all of the places whose existence you believe in? Of course not. You believe because people say, “They exist.”  

Since you have such infinite trust in others, what is the reason for your mistrust in the friends of Allah called awliyaullah?  Have you ever heard any lies from them? Why do you not believe in the statements of these people who escape from a slight sin as if they escape from Satan, let alone telling lies?

All the news they gave correspond one another though they lived in different ages and in different places. One of them confirms another one by saying, "Yes, I saw the same thing." Just think about it: Why should so many people tell lies to deceive you and to slander Allah. If you read about their life a bit, you would know how true the news they gave would be and you would never doubt them.

In this part, I will not quote the news given by them. I refer them to relevant books. For, if we start to deal with this news, we cannot finish it for days. For, this news is a big issue and is narrated in volumes of books. I regard it enough to say the following for the time being: We believe based on the news given by the friends of Allah who could see inside the graves that life in the grave is true and real. The observation of so many friends of Allah cannot be imaginary. They never say, "we saw" about something that they did not see. If they say, "we saw", it means they saw and what they saw was true and real.

Let me briefly summarize our talk from the beginning to the end of this work:

- First, I showed you verses about life in the grave.

- Then I reported the hadiths related to this issue to you.

- Then, I told you about the ijma of the scholars.

- And in this part, I have used the news by the saints based on their observations regarding the issue as evidence.

- I also proved at the beginning of the work that the denial of life in the grave can never be proved through the rule “A denial that is not related to a particular place cannot be proved.”

Now tell me, we have been talking for hours; you have listened to so many evidences; what is your final word?

A- My final word and first word is this: Alhamdulillah Praise be to Allah that I have found you. You saved me from a great loss. I now believe in life in the grave with the certainty of two plus two equaling four. May Allah be pleased with you! However, I have a problem.

B- Tell me. What is it?

A- Yes, I believe life in the grave but the traces of the doubts placed in my heart by unbelievers still hurt me. I wish I had not listened to them at all, but it happened.  I would like to ask you something. I have some questions regarding the issue. Let me ask you about them so that you will save me from these doubts and delusions.

B- Brother! Guidance and cure come from Allah. A slave can only be a means. Since you want our friendship to continue longer, ask your questions. May Lord inspire the answers that will convince you to my heart. I hope the answers I will give you be a cure for my soul, for you and for our injured brothers like you.

A- Then, I will ask my first question.

14 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 1

A- I will ask my first question. I know the answer to this question because I have been with you since the beginning of this work. I feel the need to ask this question because there might be some people who start to watch this work from this chapter. For, the question I will ask is an issue that those who deny life in the grave constantly ask about. They say there is no verse about life in the grave in the Quran. If there were life in the grave, it would be mentioned in the Quran. That it is not mentioned in the Quran proves that this life does not exist. What would you say about it?

B- I say this is a big slander on the Quran. Allah Almighty states the following in verse 38 of the chapter of al-An'am: “Nothing have we omitted from the Book.” So, everything exists in the Quran based on their value. However, some issues are mentioned frequently and clearly but others are only indicated with a sign.

To say that there is no such thing as life in the grave in the Quran originates from not knowing the Quran. We are now in part 14 of this work. The first ten parts of this work were about the analyses of the Quranic verses about life in the grave. That is, we examined the verses of the Quran in 10 parts. We show the first 10 chapters to the eyes of those who say, "There is no such thing as life in the grave in the Quran." And when we finished part 10, we said: "There are more verses of the Quran about life in the grave. Let us stop here so as not to lengthen the issue." If you want, we can mention a verse that we have not mentioned in those 10 parts. Thus, the statement, "there are more verses" will be verified here.

A- Yes, it would be nice. In the first 10 parts, you quoted many verses. And you said, "there are more." It would be nice if you mentioned here one of the verses you did not mention.

B- The following is stated in verses 26 and 27 of the chapter of Yasin:

“It was said: ‘Enter thou the Garden.’ He said: ‘Ah me! Would that my People knew (what I know)! -For that my Lord has granted me Forgiveness and has enrolled me among those held in honor’!”

The person who is mentioned in the verse and who is addressed as ‘Enter Paradise!’ is Habib an-Najjar. His story is narrated in detail in tafsir books; therefore, we will not deal with that story here. Those who wish can refer to tafsir books. The point we will deal with here is as follows:

When Habib an-Najjar was martyred, the angels said to him: "Enter paradise!" It is understood from this order that the soul is the eternal and immortal. It has a life of peculiar to it.

However, those who deny life in the grave say that the spirit has no life until the Day of Judgment and that the reward or punishment is after Doomsday. This verse denies them. If it were as they said, Habib an-Najjar would not be addressed as "Enter Paradise!" Habib an-Najjar lived about 2,000 years ago. If he does not have a life now, what is the point of saying to him: "Enter Paradise!"? Has he been dead for 2,000 years though he was addressed as "Enter Paradise!"? Has he not been given the reward promised to him though 2,000 years passed?

Moreover, the verse goes on and proves the permanence of the spirit and the realm of Barzakh. Habib an-Najjar says, "I wish my people knew that my Lord had granted me Forgiveness and had enrolled me among those held in honor."

According to Ibn Abbas and Imam Mujahid, Habib an-Najjar uttered this statement after he was killed. It is understood that there is a life after death. Habib an-Najjar spoke in this life. This verse is an evidence for the existence of the realm of barzakh and life in the grave. At this stage, the spirit is alive without a body; it speaks, hears, feels, is pleased, feels sorry, and hears like the people in the world.

They say there is no life after death. Now we ask, if there is no life, where did Habib an-Najjar speak? Was his soul still dead when was addressed as "Enter Paradise!"? If he had not been put into Paradise at once, would he have not been addressed as “You will enter Paradise?” instead of "Enter Paradise!"?

We should add the following: As the Prophet expresses, the spirits of martyrs are in Paradise until Doomsday and they are granted boons there. The other believers cannot attain those boons. Habib an-Najjar attained those boons because he was martyred.

That the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw the prophets in the sky in Miraj (Ascension) is an evidence for this issue. For, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw the spirits in their luminous bodies. They performed prayers alive in their graves. "

There is a lot more to say regarding the issue and there are many more verses to show. However, we regard the verses we quoted in the first 10 chapters enough. We mentioned one different verse here. It is understood from all those verses that those who say, "There is no such thing as life in the grave in the Quran" are the poor people who do not know the Quran. Everything is in the Quran but eyes are necessary to see them.

A- I agree with you. I already know very well that there exists life in the grave in the Quran from the verses in the first 10 parts. As I said at the beginning of this part, I wanted to mention life in the grave again since those who deny it say that it does not exist in the Quran. Now I will ask the second question.

15 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 2

A- My second question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “The Day of Judgment is a day of judging. There is no punishment without judging. There is no judging in the grave. Therefore, there must not be any penalty in the grave.” What would you say regarding the issue?

B- In the Quran, the worldly penalties that were inflicted upon the nations of Hz. Nuh, Hz. Hud, Hz. Salih and the other prophets are narrated. For instance, the nation of Hz. Nuh was drowned in the sea; the nation of Hz. Hud was punished by a wind and the nation of Hz. Salih was punished by a severe noise.

Along with the collective destruction of the cruel nations, the destruction of individuals is also mentioned in the Quran. For instance, the story of Qarun (Croesus) is narrated and the following is stated: “Then We caused the earth to swallow up him and his house.” The following is stated about the Pharaoh: “We did drown him.” The following is stated for Nimrod: “We made them the ones that lost most.” The following expression is used for the destruction of cruel people and individuals: “such is Our requital of those who do wrong.”

We understand from those verses that reckoning is not necessary for punishment. For, those nations were destroyed and punished without being reckoned. I will give you some more examples of destruction without being reckoned:

The following is stated in verse 152 of the chapter of al-A’raf:

“Those who took the calf (for worship) will indeed be overwhelmed with wrath from their Lord, and with shame in this life: thus do We recompense those who invent (falsehoods).”

The following is stated in verse 13 of the chapter of Yunus:

“Generations before you We destroyed when they did wrong: their messengers came to them with clear-signs, but they would not believe! Thus do We requite those who sin.”

Let us have a look at verse 127 of the chapter of Taha:

“And thus do We recompense him who transgresses beyond bounds and believes not in the Signs of his Lord: and the Penalty of the Hereafter is far more grievous and more enduring.”

The following is stated in verse 17 of the chapter of Saba’:

“That was the Requital We gave them because they ungratefully rejected Faith: and never do We give (such) requital except to such as are ungrateful rejecters?”

There are tens of more verses like the ones above in the Quran. Those verses show that Allah punishes cruel people not only in the hereafter but also in this world. Why should He not punish in the grave?  

You said in the question: “Those who deny life in the grave say, ‘The Day of Judgment is a day of judging. There is no punishment without judging.’

Do they not ever see those verses, which state that there can be punishment without judging? Or, are these grievous penalties inflicted upon them not punishments?

Do they not ever think that judging and reckoning, that is, the opening of the books of deeds, the setting up of the Scales (Mizan) and the questioning of people are not for Allah to know the state of His slaves? They aim to show the slave about his state. Otherwise, Allah Almighty already knows the state and the end of His slaves through His endless knowledge.

Otherwise, do they think that Allah does not know the state of His slave when they say, "The Day of Judgment is a day of judging. There is no punishment without judging"? So, according to them, does Allah not know who is righteous, who is cruel, who is a person of Paradise and who is a person of Hell? Will He know them after Reckoning? And will He punish them after knowing it? They have so bad thoughts about Allah. What does "There is no punishment without judging" mean? Is this statement not contrary to Allah's eternal knowledge and His following statement, which is repeated tens of times in the Quran: “Thus do We requite them”?  

B- By Allah, you are right. I mean so many nations of prophets were destroyed. Croesus, the Pharaoh, Nimrod, etc. were destroyed and some of their penalties were inflicted upon them in this world. It means judging is not necessary for punishment. Allah already knows everything.

A- Then, why should judging be necessary for the penalty in the grave? Why should penalty in the grave not be applied without judging since it is applied in the world?  Allah knows the sins of His slaves; why should He not punish them without judging? Are the misfortunes that hit us not because of the sins we commit, let alone the destruction of the nations of the prophets and oppressors? Are the earthquakes, fires, accidents and other disasters that hit people not due to the oppression and rebellion of the slaves? The following is stated in verse 41 of the chapter of Rum, indicating this issue:

“Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil).”

Do the verse above and tens of more verses not show that it is possible to punish without judging?

A- Yes, they do. As you have already said, Allah knows everything. Judging aims to show the slave his state. It is not for Allah to know the state of His slave. Allah can treat His slaves based on what He knows... All right! I have received the answer to my question. I have understood how nonsensical their statement The Day of Judgment is a day of judging. There is no punishment without judging is. It means they have never read the Quran. They have not seen how the oppressors were punished when they were in the world without being judged. Why should Allah, who punishes them in this world like that, not punish them in the grave?

B- Mashallah, you have understood the issue very well. May Allah make them understand too!

A- Amin. Now, I will ask you my third question. This is my question:  

16 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 3

A- My third question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “A person is punished for a crime only once. It does not fit the glory of Allah Almighty to punish a person for the same crime again and again. In that case, there should be no penalty in the grave. It is not appropriate for Allah's mercy to punish a person for the same crime both in the grave and in the hereafter.”

B- Before answering the question, I would like to draw attention to this reality: It is impossible to think that Allah will oppress people. For, oppression means to violate others’ rights. Since the whole universe belongs to Allah, others have no right over Allah; therefore, it is not possible to say for a person “He was oppressed by Allah."

We cannot have any rights over Allah Almighty. No matter how He treats us, it is right, fair and wise. If he wished, he would punish us ten times, or even a hundred times for a crime, not once. And this would not be oppression and injustice. However, Allah Almighty, who is merciful toward his servants in every act of His, treats His slaves mercifully and does not punish them twice for the same crime.

The meaning of punishing twice is as follows: If a person has committed a sin and has been punished for it - according to Allah's shrai’ah - in the world, that person is not punished for that sin in the hereafter. For example, it is haram to drink alcohol and it necessitates punishment in the hereafter. However, if a person is caught while drinking or if he confesses his sin, and if he is punished for this crime, his sin of drinking is forgiven; he is not punished for it in the hereafter. The statement “A person is not punished twice for the same crime” is valid for states like that.

A- However, I still have not received the answer. My question was as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “A person is punished for a crime only once. It does not fit the mercy of Allah to punish a person for the same crime both in the grave and in the hereafter. In that case, there should be no punishment in the grave. "

B- I was about to give the answer. What I have told you so far is the expression of a reality. Now, I will answer the question. Let alone penalty in the grave, even a thorn that pricks the foot of a believer is atonement for his sins. Therefore, the penalty in the grave is atonement for the sins of a person. Let me clarify it some more:

It is possible to divide people into three groups. The first of these groups is believers who will go directly to Paradise. The second group is unbelievers who will go to Hell and remain there forever. The third group is the sinful believers who have belief but who abandoned fard deeds and committed haram deeds in the world. They will go to Paradise after being punished in Hell for a while. Now let us analyze your question based on these three groups:

The following statement for the believers, the first group, who will go to Paradise directly is meaningless: “A crime is punished only once. A person is not punished both in the grave and in the hereafter for the same crime. Therefore, there should not be penalty in the grave.” For, they will not be punished in the grave; they will be rewarded. So, you cannot ask your question for the first group.

That question is also meaningless for the people of Hell, the second group.  For, they will remain in Hell forever. Their punishment is eternal. A million years is like a drop in the sea compared to eternity. It is not even a drop. So, let us consider, for example, someone who lived 5,000 years ago and died as an unbeliever. There is no drawback to punishing that person in the grave. For, this person will remain in Hell forever. It does not matter whether his penalty began five or ten thousand years earlier or later. Is there any difference between five/ten thousand years and a second or even a third on our time compared to eternity?

So, we cannot utter the following statement for the second group either: “A person is punished for a crime only once. In that case, there should be no punishment in the grave.”

A- All right! I agree that we cannot say this about the two groups. For one of them is a person of Paradise; he will not be punished anyway. The other will remain in Hell forever. There is no harm in starting the penalty immediately. However, we can utter this statement about sinful believers. Will they be punished both in the grave and in Hell?

B- As I have said at the beginning, even if a thorn pricks the foot of a believer, it is atonement for his sin. In fact, penalty in the grave is a kind of blessing for sinful believers. For the penalty inflicted upon him in the grave is atonement for some of his sins. The penalty of some sinners in the grave becomes atonement for all of their sins and saves them from Hell. So, penalty both in the grave and in Hell is for those whose penalty in the grave is not enough for atonement for their sins.

Our Lord is so merciful that He regards every trouble that His slave suffers as atonement for his sins. If he gets sick, becomes sad, is hit by a misfortune, and even if he has difficulty in breathing, they will be atonement for their sins. Penalty in the grave is a misfortune like that. On the one hand, it is a grievous penalty but on the other hand, it is atonement for sins.

A- Wow! How meaningless is their statement "A person is punished for a crime only once. A person should not be punished for the same crime both in the grave and in the hereafter. In that case, there should be no punishment in the grave." However, when man does not know the answers, he gives importance to such valueless words. When I heard your answer, the issue became clear like the sun. May Allah be pleased with you! I have received the answer to this question very well. Now I will move on to the fourth question.

17 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 4

A- My fourth question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “The following is stated in verse 80 of the chapter of an-Naml and verse 80 of the chapter of ar-Rum: ‘Truly thou canst not cause the dead to listen’. That the dead cannot hear anything indicates that there is no life in the grave. For, if they were alive, they would definitely hear. Since they cannot hear, there is no life in the grave.” What would say about this claim?

B- First, I would say, “Subhanallah!” Then, I would say, “Do they not understand the Quran at all?” What else can I say? Do they understand the following from the verse “Truly thou canst not cause the dead to listen”?: The Prophet used to go the graveyard to convey the message of Islam to the dead; and did Allah prohibit the Prophet from conveying the message of Islam to dead people by sending down this verse? Is the meaning of this verse “Do not convey the message of Islam to the dead; they will not hear you”?

Have you ever heard the Prophet go to the graves and invite the dead to Islam by saying “O dead people! Believe in Allah, perform prayers, give zakah, etc.”? If you understand the phrase “the dead” in the verse as “the dead in the graves”, you have to accept the reason for the revelation of this verse as something like that. That is, the Prophet tried to convey the message of Islam to the dead in the graveyard and Allah prohibited him from doing so by stating that the dead would not hear. Do they really understand this from the verse? I cannot say anything in the face of their ignorance.

A- You are right. The Prophet did not try to make the dead hear; so, why should this verse be sent down? Besides, the curtain is raised for a person that dies and he starts to see things clearly. There is no need to tell him.

B- Definitely. However, if a person accepts the phrase “the dead” in the verse “Truly thou canst not cause the dead to listen” as “the people in the grave”, he will have to accept a nonsense like the Prophet trying to convey the message of Islam to the dead. Suppose that he accepted this nonsense. Verse 25 of the chapter of ar-Rum continues as follows: “Nor canst thou make the deaf to hear the call; Nor canst thou lead back the blind from their straying.” In that case, those verses were sent down due to an incident like this one according to them: The Prophet tried to tell a deaf person about Islam or said to a blind person, ”See!” Then, Allah sent the following verse:  “Nor canst thou make the deaf to hear the call; Nor canst thou lead back the blind from their straying.” Is that the meaning of the verse?

A- Definitely not. Then, who are the dead, the deaf and the blind mentioned in the verse?

B- They are metaphorical expressions. What is meant by the phrase “the dead” is those whose hearts and minds died, by the phrase “the deaf” is those who do not hear the truth and do not heed the truth, and by the phrase “the blind” is those who do not see the truth and are spiritually blind in the face of the truth. If you do not accept it like that, you will have to accept that the deaf will never be able to find the true path with the phrase “Nor canst thou make the deaf to hear the call” and that the blind will never be able to see the true path with the phrase “Nor canst thou lead back the blind from their straying.” When you accept it, how will you explain the fact that there are a lot of hearing impaired and visually impaired believers who are on the true path?

For instance, let us deal with verse 46 of the chapter of al-Hajj. The following is stated in that verse:

“Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts.”

The phrase “it is not their eyes that are blind” is used in this verse. If somebody said, “The phrase ‘it is not their eyes that are blind’ is used in the verse. However, there are a lot of eyes that are blind. There are thousands of blind people. It means the verse is mistaken – God forbid!”, what would you say?

A- I would say nothing but laugh. Then, I would say, “There is metaphor in the verse. What is meant by eyes not being blind is seeing the evidences related to the existence and oneness of Allah in the universe all the time. The eyes are not blind related to seeing them. However, as the verse expresses it, sometimes the hearts become blind and cannot see and understand what the eyes see. That is the meaning of the verse.

B- You have explained it in a nice way. Yes, what is meant by eyes not being blind is seeing the evidences related to the existence and oneness of Allah all the time. However, if a person did not understand it like that and understood it as eyes would not be blind literally, and if he showed blind people and said, “The Quran says it is not their eyes that are blind but there are blind people here”, you would only laugh at him.

You can only laugh at those who deny penalty in the grave and show the phrase “Truly thou canst not cause the dead to listen” in the verse as evidence for the non-existence of life in the grave. What else can you do but laugh at those who think they are really dead people though the verse uses a figurative expression and means those whose hearts are dead?

You can understand the following from this attitude of theirs: they are very unfortunate in terms of understanding the Quran. They misunderstand even the verses that are understood very easily. Can the words of the people who are so unfortunate in terms of understanding the Quran be relied on?

A- You are right but those who do not know what you have narrated are easily deceived by their words. I know it because I was also deceived by them. I have received the answer to my question very well. As you have said, if we do not understand the verse like that, it is necessary to accept that the Prophet went to the graveyard and preached the dead people there; and hence Allah sent down the verse “Do not preach the dead; they will not hear you.” I do not know what to call a person who accepts it.

B- It is certain that you cannot call him a sane person. We can use the following incident narrated in Bukhari and Muslim, which are the soundest resources after the Quran in Islam, about the hearing of the dead in the grave:   

During the Battle of Badr, about 70 polytheists were killed. The dead bodies of 24 of them were thrown into one of the wells of Badr. On the night when the Prophet (pbuh) was about to leave Badr, he walked toward the well into which the dead bodies of the polytheists were thrown. His companions followed him. The Prophet halted at the edge of the well. He shouted, “O those who were thrown into the well!” Then, he uttered their names one by one. He addressed them as follows: “You were such a bad group toward your prophet. You denied me but others approved me. You expelled me from my hometown but others welcomed me. You fought me but others helped me. Have you too found true what your Lord promised you? We have found true what our Lord promised us.” Hz. Umar said, "O Messenger of Allah! Why are you speaking to bodies that have no souls?" Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "By Allah in whose hand of power my soul is, you do not hear what I say better than they do. However, they cannot answer me."

A- There is no need to speak more regarding the issue. May Allah be pleased with you! I have received the answer to my question fully. Now I will move on to the fifth question. My fifth question is as follows:

18 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 5

A- My fifth question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “It is clearly stated in the Quran that polytheists and other oppressors will be punished. However, they will all take place after the Day of Judgment. For instance, look at the following verses:  

“As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter.” (Aal-i Imran, 3/56)

“…If they repent, it will be best for them; but if they turn back (to their evil ways), Allah will punish them with a grievous penalty in this life and in the Hereafter.”(at-Tawba, 9/74)

“For them is a penalty in the life of this world, but harder, truly, is the penalty of the Hereafter.”(ar-Ra’d, 13/34)

The verses above show clearly that Allah will punish them both in this world and in the hereafter. Therefore, there is no penalty in the grave.” How would you answer their claim?

B- They say penalty in the hereafter is mentioned in such and such verses but penalty in the grave is not mentioned; therefore, there is no penalty in the grave.

They do not think this at all: Penalty in the grave is one of the penalties of the hereafter. It is specifically mentioned in some parts of the Quran. I reported at the beginning that it was specifically mentioned in fifteen verses. It is like the following example: When we say worldly life, we mean the period from our state in our fathers’ backbones, in our mothers’ wombs, the changes we undergo in those wombs, coming to the world as babies, to our youth, our middle age, our old age and our death. The worldly life is made up of these stages. The Quran sometimes mentions those stages and these stations of life specifically. That is, it sometimes mentions our states in the womb, sometimes our babyhood sometimes our old age specifically. It sometimes calls all of them together "worldly life".

Similarly, the Quran sometimes mentions life in the grave specifically. It sometimes says otherworldly life meaning all of the stages of this long journey that will start with death and end with Paradise and Hell. Life in the grave is just one station of this journey. So, when "the penalty in the Hereafter" is mentioned, it means one of the realms of the hereafter and it includes penalty in the grave, which is a station of that long journey.

However, those who deny life in the grave want to see penalty in the grave specifically in each verse in which penalty is mentioned. I even watched somebody who denied life in the grave on TV the other day. He stated the following about the non-existence of life in the grave: “The following is stated in the chapter of al-Fatiha: 'Allah is the Master of the Day of Judgment.' Life in the grave is not mentioned in the verse. Therefore, there is no life in the grave.”

I would have liked to be there and ask him the following question: Well, it is not mentioned in this verse that Allah is the owner of the world. Then, is Allah not the owner of the worldly life?

What a strange reasoning it is! If something is not mentioned in a verse, it is decreed that it does not exist. Then, according to them, if there were life in the grave, the meaning of the chapter of al-Fatiha would be as follows: “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. There is life in the grave. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds; There is life in the grave. Most Gracious, Most Merciful; There is life in the grave. Master of the Day of Judgment. There is life in the grave.”

That is, life in the grave would be mentioned at the end of every verse. According to them, if life in the grave is not mentioned in a verse, it is decreed that it does not exist. Can there be such a reasoning?  

I will ask you a question now:

“Those who establish regular prayers and give in regular charity, and also have (full) assurance of the hereafter.”

In the verse above, performing prayers, giving zakah and belief in the hereafter are mentioned. If I say, “There is no such thing as fasting and hajj because only prayer and zakah are mentioned in the above-mentioned verse of the chapter of an-Naml. If there were other deeds of worship, they would be mentioned too. Besides, belief in the books and prophets is not necessary because only belief in the hereafter is mentioned in that verse. If it were necessary to believe in the angels, books and other things, they would be mentioned in the verse.” How would you answer such nonsense?  

A- The answer is very easy. The deeds of worship and principles of belief that you claim to be non-existent are mentioned in other verses of the Quran. They do not have to be mentioned one after another. Sometimes prayer, sometimes zakah, sometimes fasting, and sometimes hajj and other deeds of worship are mentioned. The truths of belief are like that. It is not decreed that they do not exist if they all are not mentioned in one verse. It is necessary to look at the other verses of the Quran.

B- How nicely you answered! Our answer to the following statement is just like your answer: "Penalty in the hereafter is mentioned but penalty in the grave is not mentioned after it. Therefore, there is no penalty in the grave.”

In addition, we address them as follows: In the Quran, a certain worldly penalty is sometimes mentioned. Storms, flood, earthquake and other worldly disasters are mentioned specifically. Sometimes all of them are indicated by “worldly penalty”.

Similarly, penalty in the grave is sometimes mentioned explicitly on its own in the Quran. Sometimes, penalty in Hell is mentioned specifically. Sometimes, penalty in the hereafter is mentioned but all of the penalties like penalty in the grave and penalty in Hell, and the troubles and penalties in all of the other stations of the hereafter like going to the Gathering Place, Reckoning and passing over the Bridge (Sirat) are meant.   

A- I have received the answer to my question in a convincing way again. It is certainly not necessary to mention penalty in the grave at the end of every verse. It is sometimes mentioned explicitly and sometimes implicitly. It is sometimes stated by a verse and sometimes by a hadith. And you have already shown fifteen verses indicating life in the grave clearly. There are also hadiths narrated from twenty-five Companions. In addition, there is unanimous agreement and ijma of the Companions and the scholars of this ummah. Are they not enough? There is no need for anything else. I have received my reply fully. Now I will move on to the sixth question. My sixth question is as follows:

19 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 6

A- My sixth question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say the following is stated in verse 21 of the chapter of an-Nahl:

‘(They are things) dead, lifeless: nor do they know when they will be raised up.’

It is stated in the verse above that they are not alive, that they are dead and that they do not know when they will be resurrected. So, there is resurrection only on the Day of Judgment. Both the phrase "dead, lifeless" and the phrase "nor do they know when they will be raised up" mentioned in the verse are evidences that there is no life in the grave. These statements of theirs sound quite logical. How would you answer them? I think this question is quite hard.

B- Whether a question is easy or difficult varies from person to person. The answer is easy for a person who knows and difficult for a person who does not know. Their statements sound quite logical to you. When you look at the meaning of the verse, you become convinced. This originates from the fact that you do not know the ilm of the Quran. You cannot find anything to say against their words because you do not know the verses before and after this verse. Now when I give the answer to the question, you will see how easy the answer is, and you will witness how they play with verses and distort the meaning of verses.

A- I am really curious! Come on! Give me the answer at once. I thought this question could not be answered.

B- They say it is stated in verse 21 of the chapter of an-Nahl that they are not alive but dead and that they do not know when they will be resurrected. According to them, "Since they are not alive and they are dead and they do not know when they are to be resurrected, there is no such thing as life in the grave. If there were life in the grave, they would not be mentioned as dead already."

That is what they say. Now I will ask you a question: Who are "they" in the phrase "They are dead, lifeless" mentioned in the verse? Who are meant by them? Have you ever thought about that?

A- Are they not the dead? I think the dead are meant by the word "they".

B- Let us have a look at the previous verse then. We were talking about verse 21 of the chapter of an-Nahl. Now let us have a look at the meaning of verse 20. For, what  is meant by "they" is mentioned in verse 20. The meaning of verse 20 is as follows:

“Those whom they invoke besides Allah create nothing and are themselves created.”

In that verse, the idols that the polytheists worship are mentioned in the verse. The extended meaning of the verse is as follows:

“The idols that the polytheists worship by leaving Allah cannot create anything. That is they cannot respond to the prayers of the polytheists, cannot give them what they want, and cannot protect them from the things they fear. For, they have no power to make or create anything. Let alone creating, they themselves are created beings. That is, the polytheists made them with their hands by shaping and carving them. How can a being that needs man for its existence be a god?  

After this explanation, comes verse 21 of the chapter of an-Nahl and it states the following: "They, that is, the idols that the polytheists worship, have no life, let alone having the power to create." The following is understood from this expression: It is necessary to be alive in order to be a deity. How is it possible to mention the deity of a non-living being and to worship it?  

A- I am astonished now! I am amazed how verse 21 had a meaning due to verse 20. However, there is something that is still not clear for me. I will pray to you if you help me understand that point. The point is as follows: All right. I understand that the idols that the polytheists worship are mentioned in the verse; it is stated that they cannot be deities since they cannot create, that they themselves are created and that they are dead. It is not possible for a being with those qualities to be a deity. For a deity creates; He is not created and He is alive. Since idols do not have those qualities, they are not worthy of being worshipped. I have understood all of them. However, if the verse is about idols, what is the meaning of the expression “nor do they know when they will be raised up?” at the end of the verse? Will the idols be resurrected?

B- Yes, idols will also be resurrected. The evidence for it is verse 98 of the chapter of al-Anbiya. The following is stated in that verse:

“Verily ye, (unbelievers), and the (false) gods that ye worship besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell.”

What is meant by the phrase “the (false) gods that ye worship besides Allah” in the verse are the idols. The following is stated in verse 24 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

“Fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones.”

The stones mentioned in the verse are idols with the unanimous agreement of the scholars. There are other verses regarding the issue. Allah will resurrect the idols in the form of living beings on the Day of Judgment and these idols will say that they are far from the worship.

Ibn Abbas states the following regarding the issue:

"Idols will be resurrected and life will be given to them on the Day of Judgment. Satans will also be with them and they will state that they are far from those who worshipped them. Then, Satans and polytheists will be taken to the fire with a command."

A- Fasubhanallah! I was amazed by these explanations! The ilm of the Quran is so vast. Actually, I was afraid of asking you the question at first. For, it seemed to me that there was no answer to that question. The verse sounded to me as if there was no life in the grave. However, when you explained it, I understood that the verse had nothing to do with life in the grave.

B- Let this be a lesson to you and the people who believe their words. They do it all the time: They hide the beginning and the end of the verses and use them as so-called evidence for their wrong views. In fact, believe me that they also know what I have told you. Is it possible for a person who quotes verse 21 not to know verse 20? Let alone knowing tafsir, if you just look at the meaning, you can understand that idols are meant by it. However, they sell their afterlife for the world. They are puppets of some people and they try to corrupt this religion deliberately. From now on, your duty, like my duty, and the duty of our listeners - if they accept - is to work hard to eliminate their mischief. Those who know should write and tell people; those who do not know should work to spread these writings and words.

A- I say inshallah and promise to work in order to spread these truths. Let us end this issue here. The issue has become as clear as the sun. Now I will move on to the seventh question. My seventh question is as follows:  

20 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 7

A- My seventh question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, ”The following is stated in verse 56 of the chapter of ad-Dukhan:

‘Nor will they there taste Death, except the first death.’ It means man will be killed once. In that case, there must be no resurrection in the grave. For, if we are resurrected in the grave and killed again, we have to be resurrected again before the Gathering. In that case, we will taste death twice.” What would you say against this claim?

B- We did not mention two deaths and we did not say, “We will die again after we are resurrected in the grave and then we will be resurrected again.” Why should we answer their claim? If there were death and resurrection again after the resurrection in the grave, this claim would be right.

We said, “People die in this world and are resurrected in the grave. A person leads a life in the realm of barzakh and is removed from the grave without being killed when Doomsday strikes.” This view is the view of Ibn Masud, Ibn Abbas, Imam Dahhak, Imam Qatada, Abu Malik and other scholars. Man is killed in the world and revived in the grave. After his resurrection, he is removed from his grave without being killed again when the Trumpet (Sur) is blown for the second time.

A- In that case, is the issue as follows?: Man does not taste death twice. After he is killed in this world once, he is resurrected in the grave and he lives in the realm called the realm of barzakh like that until Doomsday strikes. Then, he comes out of the grave when the Trumpet is blown for the second time and goes to the Gathering Place.   

B- Yes, exactly. There are different explanations made here, though. However, this is the view of the majority of the Islamic scholars. I regard it enough to quote the view of the majority of the Islamic scholars here. So, the verse “Nor will they there taste Death, except the first death” does not indicate anything related to the non-existence of life in the grave. For there is no more death after the resurrection in the grave; therefore, man does not taste death twice.

A- This question has come to my mind now: Those in the world and in the grave will die when the Trumpet is blown for the first time. This will be the first death of those in the world and the second death of those in the grave. However, you said those who were resurrected in the grave would not die again.   

B- The ones in the grave do not die by the blowing of the Trumpet for the first time, but they enter into a state of sleep as the hadith states it. Then, they are removed from their graves by blowing of the Trumpet for the second time. So, there is no death for them again, but a state like sleeping. As it is stated in the verse they even ask, “Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?”

A- I was going to ask a question about this verse. Then, let me ask it later and let us analyze the meaning of this verse in more detail later. I have received the answer to this question too. I will move on to the eighth question now. My eighth question is as follows:

21 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 8

A- My eighth question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “The following is stated in verse 51 of the chapter of Yasin:

‘The trumpet shall be sounded, when behold! from the sepulchers (men) will rush forth to their Lord!’

This verse indicates the non-existence of life in the grave.” How would you answer their claim?

B- I cannot see anything related to the non-existence of life in the grave in the verse. How should I answer it? The verses states the following: “The trumpet shall be sounded, when behold! from the sepulchers (men) will rush forth to their Lord!” What is the part that indicates the non-existence of life in the grave here?

A- I do not know. I asked you because they said so.

B- They always do like that. They show verses that are not related to the issue and make explanations that are not related to the verse. Those who see this say, "Wow! They always speak from the Quran. They always show verses as evidence." However, what they say has nothing to do with the meaning of the verse as it is the case here. It is stated in the verse that those who are in the graves will come out of the graves and run to their Lord when the Trumpet is blown. The meaning of the verse can be understood as follows: They live in a realm called the realm of barzakh. The gate of entrance and exit to that realm is the grave. When they die, they enter the realm of barzakh through that gate, go out of that gate and run toward their Lord when the Trumpet is blown. Is there any drawback to understanding this verse like that?

A- No, there is no drawback.

B- Actually, that is the meaning of the verse. Is it necessary for a person to be dead in the grave in order to go to the Gathering Place? I cannot find the smallest sign of the non-existence of life in the grave in the verse you mention. I speak because I wonder how they produced evidence related to the non-existence of life in the grave from that verse.

A- By Allah! I want to say "They got it from here," but I cannot find anything. In that case, I will retract my question or I will say your answer is enough and move on to the ninth question. My ninth question is as follows:

22 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 9

A- My ninth question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “The following is stated in verse 185 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran:

‘Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense.’

The Quran states that the thawabs of our deeds will be paid to us on the Day of Judgment in the verse above and similar verses. However, according to the belief in life in the grave, the grave is a garden of Paradise due to our deeds. This belief means that the rewards of our deeds will be paid to us before the Day of Judgment. This is contrary to the expression of the verse.” What would you say against their claims?

B- I am astonished by their claims and see how weak they are related to proving their claims. They say, "It is stated in the verse that the reward will be given on the Day of Judgment; therefore, there should not be life in the grave life and reward should not be given there. If there is life in the grave and if reward is given there, it will contradict the phrase ‘on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense’ in the verse.” Can it be regarded as evidence?

I am surprised how a scientist can bring such evidence. Actually, they are not scientists; therefore, it is in vain to be surprised. Now I ask you: Does the phrase "on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense" in the Quran mean no amount of reward will be given to anyone before that day?

Are the breaths that we take, the food we eat, the clothes that we wear, the houses we live in, and the numerous blessings that we are granted not gifts and rewards from our Lord? Are the salvations of the prophets and their tribes from the persecution of the oppressors mentioned in the Quran not rewards? Is it not a reward when are saved from a trouble after we pray to our Lord? Is it not a reward for us when our jobs are eased, our sustenance is increased and the misfortunes that hit us are eliminated due to our worshipping and righteous deeds?

Can we deny the grants and rewards of our Lord to us in the world by accepting the phrase “on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense” as absolute? Definitely not. Since rewards can be given in the world, why should they not be given in the grave?  

The phrase “on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense” states that the real and eternal reward is in the hereafter. It does not deny the reward in the grave. Yes, the real reward is in the hereafter because Paradise is there. However, that expression does not mean that no reward will be given anywhere else.
Let us express it with some verses from the Quran:

The following is stated in verse 22 of the chapter of Yusuf:

“When Joseph attained His full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right!”

It is stated in the verse above that Hz. Yusuf (Joseph) was rewarded even when he was in the world.

Sons of Israel addressed as follows in verse 57 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

“And We gave you the shade of clouds and sent down to you Manna and quails, saying: "Eat of the good things We have provided for you.”

The boons given to the people of Hz. Musa (Moses) due to believing in Hz. Musa and showing patience in their belief are mentioned in the verse above. You said rewards would be given only on the Day of Judgment. What would you say in the face of the rewards given to the people of Hz. Musa for their good deeds?

There are many more verses like those verses in the Quran; they narrate the rewards that the righteous people are given in this world because of their belief and patience. And those verses end as follows: "Thus indeed do We reward them." Shall we ignore these verses?

We cannot interpret the verses stating "the reward is on the Day of Judgment" as "there is no reward in this world and the grave." We already see so many rewards of our Lord in this world. When we receive a favor from an unexpected place, we even say "Fasubhanallah! I have done a favor and the reward came at once." Anyone can see lots looks of examples like that in his life.  

To sum up, the verse "on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense" does not indicate that there will be no reward in this world no reward will be given in the grave. However, it shows that the greatest reward is in the hereafter, which is Paradise and seeing Jamalullah (the beauty of Allah). Compared to this reward, other rewards have no value.

A- I have received the answer to this question fully. Actually, I have guessed the answer as you said but I felt the need to ask in order to be sure. Now I will move on to the tenth question. My tenth question is as follows:  

23 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 10

A- My tenth question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “The following is stated in verse 4 of the chapter of al-Infitar:

‘And when the Graves are turned upside down;- (Then) shall each soul know what it hath sent forward and (what it hath) kept back.’

It is stated in the verse above that man will know what he did and what he did not do when he comes out of the grave. However, according to the belief of life in the grave, a person already knows what he did and what he did not do. It means belief in life in the grave is contrary to the expression of this verse.” What would you say against their claim?

B- I will show you a few verses: The following is stated in verses 30 and 31 of the chapter of Fussilat:

“In the case of those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah’, and, further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time): ‘Fear ye not!’ (they suggest), ‘Nor grieve! but receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), the which ye were promised! We are your protectors in this life and in the Hereafter: therein shall ye have all that your souls shall desire; therein shall ye have all that ye ask for.’”

According to those verses, man knows before he breathes his last what the recompense of his deeds will be. The angels give a believer the good news of Paradise due to his deeds. However, giving this news is for not only believers but also unbelievers and sinners. Let me give you an example:

The following is stated in verse 93 of the chapter of al-An’am:

“If thou couldst but see how the wicked (do fare) in the flood of confusion at death! - the angels stretch forth their hands, (saying),’Yield up your souls: this day shall ye receive your reward,- a penalty of shame, for that ye used to tell lies against Allah, and scornfully to reject of His signs.’”

It is stated in the verse above that the oppressors learn at the time of their death what their end will be. It means man learns in his last breath what he did and what he did not do by abandoning. There is no need to wait for the grave. There are so many verses about learning one’s fate at the last breath that I find those two verses enough so as not to lengthen the issue. I would like to ask the people who deny life in the grave the following question:

You said man knew what he did and what he did not do, that is, what would happen to him, only when he came out of the grave. It is declared in the verses I showed that man finds out about his end before he enters the grave. What would you say in the face of these verses?

A- Interesting! When they deny life in the grave, they show verse 4 of the chapter of al-Infitar and say, "This verse shows that man will know what he did and what he did not do only after coming out of the grave. This necessitates the non-existence of a grave life." However, it is stated in the verses you show that man knows and sees his end before entering the grave. He does not have to leave the grave to know it.

B- Definitely. However, what man knows in each station may be a little or a lot. What he knows at the time of death may be a little compared to what he knows when he leaves the grave. What he knows when he leaves the grave is less than what he knows at the time of Reckoning. For instance, the following is stated in verses 13 and 14 of the chapter of al-Isra:

“On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open. (It will be said to him:) ‘Read thine (own) record: Sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee.’”

So, what man knows when he leaves the grave is very little compared to what he knows that day. Everything will be dealt with in detail on the Day of Reckoning.

Man knows where he will go at the time of death. He is treated according to his deeds in the grave. When he comes out of the grave, he knows more about the states of the hereafter and understands very well what he did and what he did not do. When the book of deeds is given to him in the Gathering Place and when his organs are allowed to speak, everything becomes clear. Therefore, there is no contradiction between the verses. Every verse gives information from a different station.

When man lives in this world, he knows what he did and what he did not do. For example, if you ask a seventy-year-old man, "What deeds did you do and what deeds did you not do?", he will tell you what he did and what he abandoned one by one. In other words, it is not necessary for man to come out of the grave to know what he did. He knows it when he is in this world too. However, the moment of leaving the grave is a moment when the regret of sinners is at the highest level. For this reason, it is very meaningful and appropriate for that information to be given there.

A- I noticed something interesting. You proved the existence of life in the grave clearly through verses and hadiths. They cannot show any verses stating "There is no life in the grave." They always try to prove their claims through indirect ways. For example, they say, "The verse says: 'Man knows what he did and what he did not do know when he comes out of the grave.' Therefore, there should be no life in the grave. If there were, man had to know it while he was still in the grave.”

However, if we accept this statement of theirs, we have to deny angels’ informing man about his fate in his last breath. However, there are a lot of verses regarding the issue. We also should not know what we have already done in this world and what we have left. However, we all know very well what we have done and what we have left. So, what is meant by the verse is not "They know only here, not anywhere else." What is meant by the verse is the regret here is more.

B- Mashallah! You have also become a scholar. You explain the issues very well. I think maybe I should ask and you should answer from now on.  

A- It is not like that. When I listen to you, issues become so clear; I am surprised why they do not think that way.  

B- Do not get surprised because they also think and know what I tell you. It is not necessary to be a scholar to know these things. They do it deliberately. This is because their aim is not serve this religion, but to distort this religion. For this reason, do not get surprised by what they say. If you are to be surprised, be surprised by how a person sells his religion for this ephemeral world while there is an eternal world.

A- May Allah be pleased with you! I do not only learn information about life in the grave but also listen to nice advice. We have finished this issue here. Now I will move on to the eleventh question. My eleventh question is as follows:

24 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 11

A- My eleventh question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “The following is stated in verse 52 of the chapter of al-Isra: 

‘It will be on a Day when He will call you, and ye will answer (His call) with (words of) His praise, and ye will think that ye tarried but a little while.’

Allah Almighty likens death to sleeping in the verse above. We sleep for hours but we think we have slept for a very short time by losing our concept of time; similarly,   we will experience a non-existence until we are resurrected. If there were life in the grave before the Day of Judgment, we would not think that we stayed there for a little while.” How would you answer this statement?

B- They contradict themselves and misunderstand the verse again with this statement. They contradict themselves because they liken death to sleeping. In fact, according to them, the spirit dies with the body and the spirit has no life until the Day of Judgment. Though they believe so, they liken death to sleeping. In sleeping, man has a life. They do not believe in the life of the spirit after death; so how can they liken death to sleeping? This statement of theirs is an evidence showing that they do not even know what they believe in.

They misunderstand the verse again. They always interpret the phrase "ye will think that ye tarried but a little while" as the period between death and Doomsday. However, this expression indicates the time period when they stay in the world. For, there are verses similar to this verse in the Quran and the word "world" is clearly mentioned in those verses. For instance, the following is stated in verses 112-114 of the chapter of al-Muminun:

“He (Allah) will say: ‘What number of years did ye stay on earth?’ They will say: ‘We stayed a day or part of a day: but ask those who keep account.’ He will say: ‘Ye stayed not but a little,- if ye had only known!’”

The word "earth" is clearly mentioned in that verse. Allah Almighty asked them how many years they stayed on earth, and they said that they stayed one day and even less. So, the person who goes to the hereafter thinks that he lived in the world for one day or less.

The following is stated in verses 102-104 of the chapter of Taha:

“The Day when the Trumpet will be sounded: that Day, We shall gather the sinful, blear-eyed (with terror). In whispers will they consult each other: ‘Ye tarried not longer than ten (Days)’; We know best what they will say, when their leader most eminent in conduct will say: ‘Ye tarried not longer than a day.’”

The word "earth" is clearly mentioned in that verse. Some of them think they stayed ten days in the world, and the wisest ones say they stayed one day.

This meaning is also mentioned in verse 46th verse of the chapter of an-Naziat.

However, they thought that the phrase "ye tarried but a little while" mentioned in verse 52 meant the period between death and Doomsday. So, they could not understand the Quran again. The place in which people think they stayed for a short time is the world. For, this is clearly expressed in other verses.

I do not understand how they misinterpret verses. For, they claim that the spirit dies when a person dies. There is no time concept for something that is dead; why should it think that it stayed for a short or long time? Only a living being can think. For instance, if you asked a stone, “How long have you been here?”, how would it answer if it spoke? It does not know since it is not alive; and it cannot understand the question; nor can it answer.

I mean, they are in a dead end street. They deny themselves and they misinterpret verses. They understand the statement, "ye will think that ye tarried but a little while", which is uttered for the world, as uttered for the period between death and Doomsday as if it is not mentioned in other verses. What else can we say to them?

A- Alhamdulillah. I have received the answer to this question too. I do not find it necessary to lengthen it. Now I will move on to the twelfth question. My twelfth question is as follows:

25 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 12

A- My twelfth question is as follows: Those who deny life in the grave say, “The following is stated in verse 9 and 10 of the chapter of al-Adiyat:

‘Does he not know,- when that which is in the graves is scattered abroad; and that which is (locked up) in (human) breasts is made manifest?’

This verse states that what is in the hearts will be revealed on the Day of Judgment. However, according to belief in life in the grave, what is in the hearts is revealed by a questioning in the grave before the Day of Judgment. So, the belief in life in the grave is contrary to this verse." What would you say against their statement?

B- I say, "It is a statement that is not even worth answering." Does this verse, which they show as evidence, mean that what is in the heart will never be revealed except on the Day of Judgment? Now I will show you a verse

The following is stated in verse 154 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran:

“…They say (to themselves): ‘If we had had anything to do with this affair, We should not have been in the slaughter here.’ Say: ‘Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death"; but (all this was) that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts. For Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts.’”

This verse was sent down about the Battle of Uhud. Be careful what Allah states in the following part of the verse: “but (all this (the defeat in the Battle of Uhud) was) that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts.”

They say what is in the heart would be revealed on the Day of Judgment? Does this verse not state clearly that what is in the heart will be revealed in this world?

They deny life in the grave by saying that what is in the heart will be revealed only on the Day of Judgment. Then, how will they explain the statement “but (all this was) that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts” mentioned in verse 154 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran?

Now, let us have a look at the meaning of verse 72 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

“Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But Allah was to bring forth what ye did hide.”

This verse states that Allah will reveal in this world what those people mentioned in the verse hide. And at the end of the story, what is in their hearts is revealed. However, they say the only place where what is in the hearts will be revealed is the Day of Judgment.

It is stated in many verses of the Quran that man is subjected to testing so that what is in his heart will be revealed. There are so many verses; which one shall I show? 

A- I wonder if I have understood it correctly: They show the verse "Does he not know… that which is (locked up) in (human) breasts is made manifest?" as evidence and say, "What is in the hearts will be revealed on the Day of Judgment. Therefore, there must not be life in the grave. For, if there is life in the grave, what is in the hearts will already be manifest there, which is contrary of the statement of the verse." You answered their claim as follows: "The statement that what is in the hearts will be revealed in the hereafter does not mean that it cannot be revealed any other time. For, it is mentioned in those verses that what is in the hearts is revealed in the world through testing. If it is accepted that what is in the hearts will be revealed only in the hereafter, and not anywhere else, we will have to ignore tens of verses of the Quran." Did I get it right?

B- Yes, you got it right. I mean I say there cannot be such evidence. You cannot deny life in the grave by showing the verse that tells ‘what is in the hearts will be revealed in the hereafter’. This is an irrelevant relationship. What is meant by what is in the hearts being manifest in the hereafter is telling man what is in his heart. This meaning is expressed as follows in verse 284 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

“Whether ye show what is in your minds or conceal it, Allah Calleth you to account for it.”

As this verse expresses, Allah will reveal what is in our hearts on the Day of Reckoning and will call us to account with it. There is no such fine accounting in the grave.
There is no connection between revealing what is in the hearts in the hereafter and the non-existence of life in the grave; why do we talk about it and why do we answer such a meaningless statement?

A- Yes, there is no connection but they speak so deceptively that those who do not have enough ilm (knowledge) think there is a connection. That is why I asked you this question.

B- My sorrow and complaint is not about you, but those who waste our time by establishing such irrelevant connections. I mean I cannot understand how a person uses the verse about revealing what is in the hearts in the Hereafter as evidence for the non-existence of life in the grave. Although it is mentioned in many verses of the Quran that what is in our hearts is revealed through many tests, how do they limit revealing what is in the hearts with the hereafter? I cannot understand how they can say, "There is no life in the grave!" based on it.

A- Alhamdulillah. I have received the answer to this question too. I do not find it necessary to lengthen it. Now I will move on to the thirteenth question. My thirteenth question is as follows:

26 – QUESTIONS ASKED BY THOSE WHO DENY LIFE IN THE GRAVE – 13

A- My thirteenth question is as follows: We have answered the questions asked by those who deny life in the grave up to this part. Now, I ask you to answer a question by some people who accept life in the grave but who deviate from the path of Ahl as-Sunnah.

B- Tell me. What do they say?

A- They say, “The following is stated in verse 52 of the chapter of Yasin, in which getting up from the grave is narrated: ‘Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?’ This verse shows that life and penalty in the grave is something like sleep. Man suffers when he sees a nightmare in his sleep; similarly, they see a nightmare of penalty when they sleep in the grave. There is no real penalty in the grave.” What would you say against their claim?  

B- The answer is very easy, but before I start to answer, I want to say something: Did hundreds of thousands of scholars who lived in the last 14 centuries and enlightened their centuries with their knowledge and wisdom not see and read verse 52 of the chapter of Yasin? Or, did they read it but not understand it? And did those who cannot read the Quran properly understand what those scholars did not understand? I want to say this first: Unfortunately, it has become a disease of this century to oppose all Islamic scholars by showing a verse from the Quran immediately regarding all issues. A person who is a bit sane understands how harmful it is to oppose true scholars by becoming arrogant as if he is the first person to understand the meaning of that verse. Anyway, a sign is enough for a clever person; therefore, I will move on to the answer to your question without lengthening the issue:

You said, they say, “The following is stated in verse 52 of the chapter of Yasin: ‘Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?’ This verse is an evidence for – so called – life in the grave being something like sleeping. There is no real penalty in the grave, but something like a nightmare. If they suffered penalty in their graves, they would not say so.”

They said such things. Now I will give you the correct explanation of this verse. You will understand how wrong their statement is with it.

Some scholars like Ibn Abbas, Imam Qatada, Ubayy b. Ka'b and Abu Salih explained this verse as follows: The Trumpet will blown twice. When it is blown for the first time, the penalty of those in the grave is ended; and they fall asleep until the second blow. There are forty years between two blows. It is certain that this period is forty years based on the hadith reported by Imam Muslim and Bukhari from Abu Hurayra. Penalty in the grave is removed in this period of forty years between the first blow and the second one; the dead are in a state like sleeping during this period. Due to this state, they say, "Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?" Thus, according to these scholars whose names we have mentioned, their statement, "Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?" is not evidence that penalty in the grave is like sleep. On the contrary, it is evidence that there is a sleep-like life of 40 years between the two blows of the Trumpet. The people of grave utter this statement after their penalty is removed and after they sleep for 40 years between the two blows.

However, according to some scholars like Imam Tabari and Ibni Kathir, the penalty in the grave is not removed even between these two blows. According to these scholars, the reason why the people of the grave say "Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?" is that penalty in the grave will be regarded as slight compared to penalty in Hell. When they see the punishment of the hereafter, they will regard the penalty in the grave as something light like sleep and utter that statement.

Here I would like to quote something from Fakhrurrazi, who is known as the Sun of Imams. He states the following: "Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?" means "Did Allah raise us with the promised resurrection, or were we awakened from sleep?" It is like the following example: Somebody tells a man that an enemy that he cannot cope with is going to come toward him. When that person sees a horrible looking man walking toward him, he feels frightened and asks himself, "Is that the man?" The expression "from our beds of repose" indicates that the meaning of the verse is like that. For, they thought their grave was a sleeping place. This shows that they doubt whether they slept and then were awakened or they were raised after death. However, they regard resurrection to be more likely. For, they thought of these two possibilities together and said, "Who raised us up?" as a sign showing that they thought it was the resurrection promised to them. They said "from our beds of repose" as a sign of showing the possibility of getting up from sleep.

A- Believe me I am astonished by these explanations of the scholars. How differently they thought, what deep meanings they reached and how beautiful explanations they made! I am amazed and I say May Allah be pleased with them. May Allah be pleased with you too! Our friendship has lasted for about four hours. You have proved the existence of life in the grave to me with verses, hadiths and the unanimous agreement of the scholars of this ummah with the certainty of two plus two equaling four. You have also answered the thirteen questions I asked you in a way that would convince my heart and soul. Now, if someone still says, "I do not believe", what shall we do and what shall we say to him?

B- My dear brother! Guidance is from Allah; He has it in His hand. We can only invite people to guidance. We fulfill our duty and declare the truth as loudly as we can. We cannot intervene in guidance.

A- Do you want to say something as your final word?

B- May Allah Almighty accept this conversation! May he forgive us for the sake of the truths mentioned here! May He be pleased forever with all of our brothers who contributed to the preparation and distribution of this work! May He not deviate us from the service of the Quran and belief until death! Amin!

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