Mohammed's Teaching on the Torment of the Grave
June 2012 version
Many religions, not just Islam, teach about torment in Hell for the wicked after death. However, Islam also has a different concept, which can easily be confused with torment in Hell. It is torment in the grave itself.
Where Mohammed may have First Heard This Unusual Teaching
A Jewish woman told Mohammed "May Allah protect you from the torment of the grave." After that, Mohammed prayed for refuge from the torment of the grave. Sunan Nasa'i vol.2 no.1479 p.281-282
"'Amra reported that a Jewess came to 'A'isha to ask (about something) and said: May Allah protect you from the torment of the grave! ... I heard 'A'isha say: I listened after this to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) seeking refuge from the torment of Fire and the torment of the grave." Sahih Muslim vol.2 book 4 no.1973,1974 p.428
What Actually Happens at Graves?
One night Mohammed saw that Moses was praying in his grave. Sunan Nasa'i vol.2 no.1637 p.1640
However, inconsistently, Adam and Moses argued in Heaven. Ibn-i-Majah vol.1 book 1 no.80 p.47-48
Once Mohammed passed by a dead Jewish woman's grave whose family was weeping over her. Mohammed said, 'You are crying over her, and she is being tormented in her grave. 'Aisha said that did not necessarily mean the dead are tormented by the weeping of the living. Muwatta' Malik 16.12.37
A Jewish woman died, and Mohammed said her relatives' lamenting was tormenting her in her grave. Ibn-i-Majah vol.2 book 6 no.1595 p.446
A Jewish woman allegedly said people were tortured in the grave due to soiling themselves with urine. Sunan Nasa'i vol.2 no.1348 p.217
Mohammed putting a fresh twig on a grave can benefit the unbelieving dead Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 2 no.575,576 and footnote 496 p.171-172
"Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle passed by two graves and said, 'Both of them (persons in the grave) are being tortured, and they are not being tortured, for a major sin. This one used not to save himself frombeing soiled with his urine, and the other used to go about with calumnies (among the people to rouse hostilities, e.g., one goes to a persona dn tells him that so-and-so says about him such-and-such evil things)." Bukhari vol.8 book 72 ch.46 no.78 p.49
Mohammed said a person was tortured in their grave for soiling themselves with urine. Bukhari vol.1 book 4 no.215,217 p.141,142. Ibn-i-Majah vol.1 book 1 no.347-349 p.198-199
"Once the Prophet, while passing through one of the grave-yards of Medina or Mecca heard the voices of two persons who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, 'These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid).' The Prophet then added, 'Yes! (they are being tortured for major sin). Indeed, one of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmity between friends)." Bukhari vol.1 book 8 ch.57 no.215 p.141
"Two old ladies from among the Jewish ladies entered upon me [A'isha] and said, 'The dead are punished in their graves,' but I thought they were telling a lie and did not believe them in the beginning. When they went away and the Prophet entered upon me, I said the whole story. He said, 'They told the truth; the dead are really punished, to the extent that all the animals hear (the sound resulting from) their punishment.' Since then I always saw him seeking refuge with Allah from the punishment of the grave in his prayers." Bukhari vol.8 book 75 ch.38 no.377 p.251
Alleged miracle of Mohammed telling which grave to dig up to get treasure. Also, it is OK for Muslims to dig up the graves of non-Muslims if they will get some benefit by it. Abu Dawud vol.2 no.3082 and footnote 2556 p.878
How Certain Is This Teaching, According to Mohammed?
What Mohammed Said About This for Others
"I once prayed behind Abu Hurayra over a child who had never done a wrong action and I heard him say, 'O Allah, give him protection from the torment of the grave.'" Muwatta' Malik 16.6.18
A Jewess told either Mohammed or a Muslim man they would be put to trial in the grave. Sunan Nasa'i vol.2 no.2068 p.537
There is some torment for Muslims in their graves. Sunan Nasa'i vol.2 no.2066 p.536
Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 33 ch.1008 no.6438 p.1400 "...And if you were to ask Allah to provide you refuge from the torment of the Hellfire, or from the torment of the grave, it would have good in store for you and better for you also." Also Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 33 ch.1008 no.6440 p.1401
"Abu Huraira reported: ... and should thus say: 'O Allah! I seek refuge with three from the torment of the Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trial of life and death and from the evil of the trial of the dajjal." Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 4 ch.218 no.1217 p.291
Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 4 ch.218 no.1218 p.291 says similar.
Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 40 ch.1187 no.6865 p.1490 "revealed in connection with the torment of the grave."
See also Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 35 ch.1129 no.6534, 6536, 6568, p.1420 and vol.4 book 35 ch.1132 no.6571 p.1426
Mohammed heard two dead people being tormented in their graves. Sunan Nasa'i vol.2 no.2072A, vol.2 no.2072B p.539
What Mohammed Feared For Himself
"'A'isha reported: The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) entered my house when a Jewess was with me and she was saying: Do you know that you would be put to trial in the grave? The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) trembled (on hearing this) and said: It is the Jews only who would be put to trial. 'A'isha said: We passed some nights and then the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Do you know that it has been revealed to me: 'You would be put to trial in the grave'? 'A'isha said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) seeking refuge from the torment of the grave after this." Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 4 ch.218 no.1212 p.290
Abu Huraira reported: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) seeking refuge from the torment of the grave after this (after the revelation)." Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 4 ch.218 no.1213 p.290
"She ('Ai'isha) said : Never did I see him (the Holy Prophet) afterwards but seeking refuge from the torment of the grave in prayer." Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 4 ch.218 no.1214 p.290
"Masruq reported this hadith on the authority of 'A'isha who said: Never did he (the Holy Prophet) say prayer after this in which I did not hear him seeking refuge from the torment of the grave." Sahih Muslim vol.1 book 4 ch.218 no.1215 p.291
What the Bible Says
Jesus triumphed over sin, Satan, and the grave. That is why Jesus, and Jesus alone, can open the scroll with seven seals in Revelation 5:5. Because Jesus triumphed, he leads us in trimphal procession in 2 Corinthians 2:14.
The Bible speaks with great seriousness of Heaven and Hell, but it does not teach anything about harm to a person due to their physical body, or anything about their grave, or lack thereof, after death. Whether a Christian is buried, cremated, eaten by wild beasts, or martyred by being burned to ashes, that has no effect on their soul. It is the soul that is immortal, not our current bodies. But regardless of what happens to our "tents" after we die, we will be physically resurrected with new, better physical bodies. Now, here is a secret, a mystery, that early Christians were taught.
"Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, andthis mortal body must put on immortality." 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (NET)
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