Let’s say you’re in bed and you realize you’re not feeling too well… you snooze in and out of sleep, go in and out of dreams, get flashes of past memories or wonder around in future hopes… Then you want to move your arm and you realize you can’t! How can it be? You literally can’t move your arm! “Am I paralyzed?” you begin to think in horror… You want to scream out for help, but you can’t!?
Then suddenly your daughter throws herself on you and starts weeping in anguish, “Mum! Mum! Please don’t leave us…. Please don’t die!”
You try to yell out “I’m not dead!!!” but not a sound comes out! You can’t even move your lips!
At this point others begin to crowd around you, they’re all crying and mourning in grief…
Suddenly you feel a sense of freedom to move so you get up and start walking around the room, you walk up to your friends and family and tell them “Look I’m here, I’m not dead, stop crying!” but nobody can hear or see you…
You daughter is a mess… her weeping gives you pain, you want to comfort her, you want to tell her you’re ok but there’s no way of making contact! You can’t touch, you can’t talk, you can’t move an object…
They sit around you and start praying, and sharing their past memories of you…
Then after all the hustle is over, they wash you and wrap you in a shroud and place you in a coffin!
Meanwhile you’re aware of all of this, you’re watching and observing it all…
They take you to the cemetery and you see the grave that has been dug for you…
Slowly they place you inside… and they start burying you while you’re alive! You’re fully awake and conscious just as you are right now, while they are burying you! They start throwing soil on you, you know you’re going to be prisoned under, buried alive, but you can’t do anything to stop it!
An indescribable horrific pain and suffering begins…
Remember the hadith:
“People are asleep, with death, they will awaken!”
Hadhrat Osman (ra) would sit by a grave and cry until his beard would be soaking wet. When they asked him, “You don’t cry when you hear about heaven and hell but you cry here before a grave?”
He replied, I heard from the Rasul of Allah (saw):
“The grave is the first station of the life after death. If one can pass this station the rest will be easier. But if he can’t, the rest will be even more difficult. The grave is far more horrid than any horrific scene I have ever seen!”(Tirmidhi)
The person’s bodily functions stop functioning, his brain stops operating, and his lifeless body is buried. Then….
Ibn Omar (ra) narrates:
“When the deceased person’s worldly ties are cut off he is shown his future place, depending on whether he is a person of hell or heaven. Then he is told, “This is your place until Allah raises you again on Doomsday for Mahshar(the place of gathering).”
So, what does this mean? Let’s examine this place of sitting and waiting in the grave a little further…
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates:
The Rasul of Allah (saw) said:
“When one of you is buried, two angels, black and blue, come to him. One of them is called Munkar, and the other Nakir. They ask: ‘What did you used to say about this man?’ So, he says what he was saying (before death) ‘He is Allah's servant and Rasul. I witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His Rasul.’ So, they say: ‘We knew that you would say this.’ Then his grave is expanded by seventy cubits, and it is illuminated for him. Then it is said to him: ‘Sleep.’ He asks: ‘Can I return to my family to inform them?’ They say: ‘Sleep as a newlywed, whom none awakens but the dearest of his family.’ And he sleeps until Allah resurrects him from his resting place.
If he is a hypocrite he says: ‘I heard people calling him a Rasul, so I said the same; I do not know for sure’ And they say: ‘We knew you would say that.’ So, the earth is told: ‘Constrict him.’ And it constricts around him, squeezing his ribs together. He continues being punished like that until Allah resurrects him from his resting place.”(Tirmidhi)
This is the inevitable end of those who assume that they are their body! Just like you dream of things that you busy yourself most with during the day and you can’t escape it in your dream… just like you can’t change or stop a nightmare… in the same way the natural outcome and consequence of living a life based on identifying with one’s body will be suffering in the grave. Everyone will see the direct outcomes of his actions in the world when he’s in the realm of the grave.
If one hasn’t consciously prepared himself for the life of the grave where his ties to his body will be ceased, then this will be his inescapable end.
How about if the deceased isn’t buried but cremated instead?
The result of this is worse. In the grave you will suffer maybe fifty years, maybe a hundred or two hundred years, at some point your body will eventually totally decompose, but with cremation you’re watching your body burn while you’re fully alive and conscious! Can you imagine the pain this will cause!? Imagine you saw this in your dream? What a nightmare! And it’s a constant state of suffering, over and over again, perhaps until Doomsday.
What about if the deceased is thrown into water?
Imagine seeing yourself drowning in your dream!
Burying and allowing the body to decompose is the wisest option, thus it has become the religious custom.
Are all the deceased imprisoned in the grave?
The deceased are in two groups:
The first are the martyrs who have given their lives up for the sake of Allah, and the saints (walis) who have experienced the mystery of “dying before death”. After they enter the grave and are called to account by the angels they are released to roam about freely until Doomsday.
The second group is further divided into the believers, who will suffer for a period before they are shown their place in paradise and put to sleep until doomsday, and the unbelievers, who also suffer for a period and then shown their place in hell before being out to sleep to see nightmares until doomsday.
When one experiences death and is left alone in the grave with his holographic spirit body he will be subject to immense suffering. Why?
Think about it... Under normal conditions you live your daily life with your biological body but when you see a nightmare you are terrified. It is not your biological body that is terrified, it is your spirit, or magnetic-radial body.
Your conscious mind has no effect while your dreaming, you don’t feel like you are physical body in your dreams you feel more like your magnetic body.
And hence your nightmare gives you a hellish experience. Even though your physical body is sleeping in a comfortable bed untouched by it all.
Usually our dreams are affected by our conditioning, the cosmic effects we receive, our thoughts and emotions… depending on these we either see nice dreams or nightmares.
“SLEEP IS THE BROTHER OF DEATH!”
A part of life after death is of this kind.
All of the active qualities in your brain that you are aware or unaware of are uploaded to your astral body or spirit!
Your life after death will continue with your spirit body at the level of your consciousness at that very last instant just before you die.
You will begin to see all the things that you were veiled from seeing while alive due to the limitations of bodily senses. Your sight will become clear.
You will see clearly the conditions you are subject to, what you will live in the future, and the end of the world!
And you will realize that you have failed to develop and attain certain powers that you should have during your worldly life. And there is no way of having access to your brain, the loading machine which was your only tool to load those powers to your spirit.
A spirit can only be developed by its own brain; no other brain can upload any qualities to it.
So, when you die and your brain stops working you can no longer upload new forces and qualities to your spirit.
Your stuck with what you have. Forever.
This realization then will bring about such immense remorse that it is not possible to describe this pain.
You have an infinite life ahead of you and no way of attaining any other new skill, tool, power, or ability!
And thus, your new life begins.
But you are unable to shape or channel this life, just like when you are in a dream.
You are totally and automatically subject to the conditions of your new life without the ability to change anything because you haven’t attained the necessary powers to do so!
Welcome to endless nightmares to which you haven’t prepared yourself!
This is the suffering of the grave!
This is why the Rasul of Allah (saw) says,
“When the person is buried in his grave, he will scream with such agony that all of the beings, other than humans and the jinn, will hear it!”
To top it off, he will constantly be shown his place in hell and told “this is where you are going to go” and then he will be shown paradise and told, “this is what you missed out on” deepening his suffering.
This is the situation of the common people.
If he is a believer, on the other hand, if he has engaged in certain practices and prepared himself for the afterlife, he will be shown his place in paradise where he will go, and he will also be shown hell and told “this is what you have been saved from!”
He will be told, “this is where you could have gone but your preparative practices have exempt you from it!”
So far, I have been talking about the states of hell and heaven in the grave. Not the actual heaven and hell.
I will discuss them in detail later.
Now there is also another group in the intermediary realm. Those who have attained certain spiritual power… the Saints…
These noble beings are those who have reached and experienced their essential reality, have changed their compositions and have discovered their divine potentials to activate certain spiritual powers!
They will be able to interact with one another during this phase. They will come together and converse with one another. They will share their insights with one another and have discussions.
This realm also has an administrative system and these souls will be trained and recruited for certain activity. On earth, there is a hierarchy of administrators in the intermediary realm referred to as the 4’s, the 7’s, the 12’s and the 40’s, there is an active administration in the afterlife as well.