Friday, July 25, 2008

Is Death painful?

For this we must first understand the aspect of punishment (adhab). Punishment for sins is in seven stages. Before we look at them it is necessary to know that adhab is not revenge of Allah, nor does Allah enjoy punishing mankind. It is a form of cleansing and curing just like a doctor who cures his patients. The cure may entail the need of pain - injections, operations.......and is not the result of the doctor being cruel to the patient but rather being merciful and kind. Similarly, adhab cleans a person so he/she may be able to enter the pure destination of the pleasure of Allah (Janna). The seven stages of punishment are i) In this world ii) When death comes iii) The squeeze of the grave iv) Barzakh v) Day of Judgement vi) The bridge of sirat (From mahshar to Janna over Jahannam) vii) Jahannam The Punishment therefore is on a graded basis. If ones sins have been answered for in this world and tawba done then Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) says that death is like a fragrant breeze. However, if the sins have not been cleansed then death is painful. Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) says: "Whatever a mu'min suffers at the time of death, it is for the purpose of cleansing him/her from sins so that he would come into the hereafter pure and unblemished deserving the eternal reward of Allah without any obstacle between him/her and the reward."After burial, and when those who have buried the dead person have gone away, two angels visit the grave. One is Munkar and the other Nakeer. The soul re-enters the body and they ask questions on belief:Who is your Lord? What is your religion? What is your book? What is your qibla? Who is your Prophet? Who are your Aimma? This questioning is the composition of talqeen which is recited at the time of burial. Talqeen (which means to teach) should be recited daily at bed time so one is in a constant state of preparation for answering Munkar and Nakeer.Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) has said:"Who so ever is subjected to the questioning in the grave, is also squeezed in the grave"*For some it will be like the embrace of two friends but for those whose sins have still not been cleansed by death, it is severe. *Be it a grave in water, earth or where ever, for it is the abode of the soul.

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