A Brief Description of Life After Death
By H.M. (3rd Year Alimah Student, DarusSalam Seminary)
Death is inevitable; every soul shall face it. As Muslims, we believe in life after death. We believe that one’s Hereafter begins when they enter the grave. In Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, it is narrated on the authority of Ibn ʿUmar that the Prophet (upon him be peace) said:
“When one of you dies, he is shown his final abode in the morning and in the evening. If he is from the People of Paradise, he will see himself as one of them. And if he is from the People of Hell, he will see himself as one of them. Then, it will be said to him: ‘This is your place until Allāh resurrects you on the Day of Resurrection.’”
The grave is the first leg of one’s journey into the Hereafter. When one is placed in his grave and those who attended his funeral depart, two angels come. These angels’ names are Munkar and Nakīr. They will speak to him in his native language. And they will ask him three questions: “Who is your Lord?” “What is your religion?” “Who is this man who was sent to you?”
A believer will answer by saying: “My Lord is Allāh.” “My religion is Islām.” “This is Muḥammad.” Then, it will be said to him: “Look! This was your abode in Hell and Allāh replaced it with an abode in Jannah.” His grave will be widened and filled with lushness until the Day of Resurrection.
A disbeliever will reply to the first and third question by saying: “I don’t know.” And regarding the second question, he will say: “I don’t know; I used to say what the people said.” It will be said to him: “You did not know, nor did you follow.” Then, he will be struck with an iron bar. The pain will be so severe that he will scream out, the sound of which will be heard by everything around him except for by men and the jinn. Then, his grave will constrict in on him until his ribs are pushed together. This will be his condition until the Day of Resurrection.
On the Day of Resurrection, the trumpet will be blown and all of mankind will rise out of their graves. Every person will be taken to account for the actions he committed in this life.
Allāh will allow some people to enter Paradise without an account. The deeds of all mankind will be weighed in the Scale. And no deed will be unaccounted. Allāh says:
“We will set up the just balance on the Day of Resurrection. No soul will be dealt with unjustly, not in the least. We will bring forth [any deed whose weight is] even the weight of a mustard seed, and sufficient are We to take account.”
Those whose good deeds outweigh their evil deeds will receive salvation. And those whose evil deeds outweigh their good deeds will be damned. Once a person’s deeds are measured, he is given his Book of Deeds in either their right or their left hand. If one’s good deeds are weightier than their bad, he will be given his book in their right hand. And if his bad deeds outweigh the good, he will be given it in his left. Allāh says:
“Regarding one who is given his book in his right hand, he will be reckoned with an easy reckoning. And he will go back to his people joyful. And regarding one who is given his book behind his back, he will call for perdition and enter into a burning fire.”
After the Scale, the people will cross the Bridge. Jibrīl will be at the first part of the Bridge and Mīkāʾīl at the middle point. They will ask those crossing it how they spent their lives, their youth, and whether they practiced on their knowledge. On both sides of the Bridge there will be hooks that will seize those whom they were commanded to seize. Those whom they seize will be flung into Hell. Some people will cross the bridge as fast as lightning; and others as fast as wind; then, some like a bird in flight, some like galloping horses, and others like a sprinting man. Their speeds will be according to the quality of their deeds.
The Prophet (upon him be peace) will be standing on the Bridge saying: “O my Lord! Grant protection! Grant protection!” The deeds of some will be so few that they will not be able to walk. In fact, some will crawl across the Bridge. Whoever reaches the other side will be successful. And whoever falls in, will enter the Fire.
One’s final abode is either Paradise or Hell. Those who did good deeds and believed will enter Paradise while those who disbelieved and did evil will enter Hell.
The first person to enter Paradise will be the Prophet Muḥammad (upon him be peace). After him, the rest of his nation will enter. In Paradise, there will be no death, no illness, and no old age. The inhabitants of Paradise will be thirty meters tall and thirty-three years old. Every person will live in luxury.
Hell will be the abode of the one who committed evil and disbelieved in Allāh. They will be punished severely therein. There will be no death to relieve them of their pain and suffering. Allāh says: “Those who disbelieved are clothed in garments of fire; boiling water will be poured over their heads, melting them. And for them are whips of iron.” This will be the outcome of those who have no faith.
Death is a reality as well as life after it. Many people wonder if there will be something after death. We know that there is a life afterwards. Allāh has mentioned this many times in the Qurʾān. The Prophet (upon him be peace) has mentioned it many times too.
– Ḥāmidī, Ismāʿīl b. Mūsā. Sharḥ al-Ḥāmidī ʿalā al-ʿAqīdat al-Ṣughrā. Cairo: Muṣṭafā al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī, 1358/1939.
– Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-ʿAzīm. 8 vols. Riyadh: Dār Ṭaybah, 1420/1999.
– Nawawī, Yayḥā b. Sharaf. Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn. Beirut: Muʾasasat al-Risālah, 1419/1998.
 Q, 21:47.
 Q, 84:7-12.
 Q, 71:19-21.