I have a question: please explain to us the types and manner of reckoning in the grave and on the Day of Resurrection. Sometimes we read in the hadith that whoever is examined thoroughly at the Reckoning will be punished, and that the believer will not see anything but the presentation of deeds. In the Holy Qur’an we read that every deed that a person did he will see it, even if it was an atom’s weight of good or evil, i.e., even a drink of water will be counted as a blessing and he will be brought to account for it, regardless of whether he was a believer or a disbeliever – Allah forbid. We hope that you can explain that.
Praise be to Allah.
The punishment and bliss of the grave are proven according to the texts and scholarly consensus. The basic principle is that the punishment or bliss of the grave will affect the soul, and the soul may be connected to the body so that it will feel some of the punishment or bliss.
With regard to the reckoning, there is no reckoning in the grave; rather there will be punishment for some of the deeds that one did, or bliss in the grave for one who is among the people of good. As for the reckoning, it will come on the Day of Resurrection.
The basic principle is that all people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection, except for one type of people on whom Allah will bestow His grace, so He will admit them to Paradise without any reckoning or punishment beforehand, as has been explained in the answer to question no. 4203.
At-Tirmidhi (3357) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: When this verse was revealed: “Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delight (you indulged in, in this world)” [at-Takaathur 102:8], the people said: O Messenger of Allah, about what delight will we be asked? For all we have are the two black ones (dates and water), and the enemy always near and our swords are always at the ready. He said: “But it is what shall come.”
Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said, commenting on this verse:
That is: then you will surely be asked on that Day about gratitude for the blessings that Allah bestowed upon you of good health, security, provision and so on, and how you responded to His blessings by giving thanks to Him and worshipping Him.
End quote from Tafseer Ibn Katheer (8/474)
At-Tirmidhi (2417) narrated – and classed it as saheeh – that Abu Barzah al-Aslami (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A person’s feet will not move on, on the Day of Resurrection, until he is questioned about his life and how he spent it, about his knowledge and what he did with it, about his wealth, from where he acquired it and on what he spent it, and about his body and for what he wore it out.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Qataadah said: Allah will ask each person about what He bestowed upon him of His blessings and whether he fulfilled His rights over him.
The blessings that will be asked about are of two types: those that he acquired by permissible means and disposed of in lawful ways: he will be asked about whether he gave thanks for them; and those that he acquired by prohibited means and disposed of in unlawful ways: he will be asked about how he acquired them and how he disposed of them.
End quote from Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (1/84)
He also said:
Everyone will be asked about the blessings that he enjoyed in this world: did he acquire them in permissible and lawful ways or not? If he is saved from this questioning, he will be asked another question: did he give thanks to Allah, may He be exalted, for it then use it to help him obey Him or not? So the first question will be about the means of acquiring it and the second question will be about the way in which he disposed of it.
End quote from ‘Uddat as-Saabireen (p. 157)
The reckoning on the Day of Resurrection will be of two types:
The presentation of deeds. This will be only for the believer. He will be questioned about his deeds, his knowledge and the blessings that Allah bestowed upon him. He will respond in a way that will put him at ease and explain his point in a convincing manner and in a way that will cause the blessings of Allah to continue to be bestowed upon him.
And when his sins are shown to him, he will admit them, then Allah will conceal them for him and will pardon him for them.
This will not be a thorough examination and he will not be interrogated. Then he will take his book (record of deeds) in his right hand, and he will turn to his family in Paradise happily, because he has been saved from the punishment and has attained reward.
Al-Bukhaari (6536) and Muslim (2876) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever is examined thoroughly at the Reckoning will be punished.” I said: Didn’t Allah, may He be exalted, say: “He surely, will receive an easy reckoning” [al-Inshiqaaq 84:8]? He said: “That is the presentation of deeds.”
Al-Haafiz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: al-Qurtubi said: What is meant by “That is the presentation of deeds” is that the reckoning mentioned in the verse refers only to the presentation of the believer’s deeds to him so that he will acknowledge Allah’s favour to him by concealing them in this world and by pardoning him for them in the Hereafter.
Ahmad (24988) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) about the easy reckoning. I said: O Messenger of Allah, what is the easy reckoning? He said: “A man’s sins will be shown to him, then he will be pardoned for them; whoever is examined thoroughly at the reckoning is doomed.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Zilaal al-Jannah (2/128)
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The believer will be brought to account but it will not be a reckoning in the sense of a thorough examination, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever is examined thoroughly at the reckoning is doomed – or will be punished.” Rather his reckoning will be the presentation of deeds.
End quote from al-Liqa’ ash-Shahri (1/378)
Al-Bukhaari (2441) and Muslim (2768) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Allah will draw the believer close and screen him and will say, ‘Do you admit such and such sin, do you admit such and such sin?’ and he will say, ‘Yes, O Lord.’ Then when he has admitted his sins and thinks that he is doomed, [Allah] will say, ‘I concealed them for you in the world and I forgive you for them this Day.’ Then he will be given the book of his good deeds. But as for the kaafir and the hypocrite, ‘the witnesses will say, “These are the ones who lied against their Lord!” No doubt! the Curse of Allah is on the Zaalimoon (polytheists, wrongdoers, oppressors)’ [Hood 11:18 – interpretation of the meaning].”
The reckoning in which they will be thoroughly examined. This is the reckoning of Allah for the disbelievers and whomever He will of the sinners among those who affirmed His Oneness. Their reckoning may be a lengthy and difficult, according to the quantity of their sins. With regard to these sinners among those who affirmed His Oneness, Allah may admit whomever He will of them to Hell for some time, then He will bring them forth and admit them to Paradise for ever.
Muslim (2968) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said:
They said: O Messenger of Allah, will we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection? He said: “Do you have any problem in seeing the sun at noon when there are no clouds?” They said: No. He said: “Do you have any problem in seeing the moon on the night when it is full, when there are no clouds?” They said: No. He said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you will not have any greater problem in seeing your Lord than you do in seeing either of them. Allah will meet His slave and will say: O So and so, did I not honour you, make you a chief, give you a spouse and subjugate horses and camels to you, and give you the opportunity to be a leader? He will say: Yes. He will say: Did you think that you would meet Me? He will say: No. He will say: Then I will forget you as you forgot Me. Then He will meet a second person and will say: O So and so, did I not honour you, make you a chief, give you a spouse and subjugate horses and camels to you, and give you the opportunity to be a leader? He will say: Yes, O Lord. He will say: Did you think that you would meet Me? He will say: No. He will say: Then I will forget you as you forgot Me. Then He will meet a third person and will say something similar to him, and he will say: O Lord, I believed in You and in Your Book and Your Messengers, and I prayed and fasted and gave charity, and he will mention as many good things as he can. He will say: Stop here.
Then it will be said to him: Now We will send Our witnesses against you, and he will think to himself: Who can bear witness against me? Then a seal will be placed on his mouth and it will be said to his thigh, his flesh and his bones: Speak. His thigh and his flesh and his bones will speak of his deeds, so as to establish proof from himself. That is the hypocrite, that is the one with whom Allah will be angry.”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) differed concerning the words “Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delight (you indulged in, in this world)” [at-Takaathur 102:8]: does this refer to the disbeliever or to both the believer and the disbeliever? The correct view is that it refers to both the believer and the disbeliever. Each of them will be questioned about the delights and blessings they indulged in, but the disbeliever will be asked by way of rebuke, whereas the believer will be asked by way of reminding. The questioning of the believer will be by way of reminding him of the blessings that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, bestowed upon him, so that he will rejoice and will realise that the One Who blessed him in this world will honour them with His blessing in the Hereafter. As for the disbeliever, it will be a questioning by way of rebuke.
End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh (98/9)
And Allah knows best.