Rewards and Punishments of Barzakh as Mentioned in Reports and Traditions
Many traditions discuss reward and punishment in Barzakh. Here we suffice with a few.
In Biharul Anwar Vol: 3 there is a quotation from the Tafsir of Ali bin Ibrahim Qummi (who has quoted Imam Ali.) according to which the Holy Prophet said, "When the offspring of Adam (man) enters the last day of this worldly life and the first one of the Hereafter, his wealth and children and his deeds appear before him. He turns his face towards his wealth and says, 'By God! I had too must lust and greed for you and was also very stingy. Now how much of mine is with you for me?' The wealth responds, 'Take only that much which can suffice for your shroud.' Then he looks at his children and says, 'By God. I loved you very much and was always protecting and defending you. Show me how much of my portion is now with you for me.' They reply, 'We only will take and bury you and that is all.' Finally he turns towards his deeds and says, 'By God, I was very careless with regard to you and I had disliked you. Yet am I to get any share from you?' The deed says, 'Yes. I will be your companion and friend in grave and will also remain with you in the Hereafter, until both of us would be made to stand before Almighty Lord.'"
If this person was an obedient one and so a friend of God, his deed will approach him in beautiful and handsome shape adorned in the best attire full of pleasing fragrance and say, "I give you good tidings that you will get Rowh and Raihaan (heavenly bounties) and divine graces. Welcome." He will ask, "Who are you?" He will reply, "I am your good deed. Come; let us proceed towards paradise form this world." This body recognizes the one who gives a wash to it and asks him, giving him an oath, to carry it speedily to his destination. When this body enters grave, two angels who examine every dead, come to him in a fierce form dragging their lengthy hair on the ground and tearing the earth with their teeth. Their eyes dazzle like lightning and their voice furiously roaring. They ask the body, "Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet? What was your religion? (Etc)." The body says, "My Lord is only one God who has no partner and my prophet is Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and my religion is Islam." Then the angels tell him, "May God keep you steadfast on the things, which you like." The same has been hinted in the Holy Quran:
Allah confirms those who believe with the sure word in this world's life and in the hereafter, and Allah causes the unjust to go astray, and Allah does what He pleases. (14:27)
Then they widen his grave as far as eyes can see and open therein a door in the direction of paradise, telling him, "Now you sleep restfully with cool eyes just as a lucky and successful youth goes to sleep."
Similarly, God has given a hint in this verse also:
The dwellers of the garden shall on that day be in a better abiding-place and a better resting-place. (25:24)
But if the body is that of an enemy of God, his bad deed approaches him in the worst kind of dress emanating foul smell and tell him, "Take tidings of getting hot hell water as drink of entering hellfire." He also sees the one who washes him and tells on oath to the bearers of his body to leave him alone and not to take him to his grave. When they bury him, two examiner angels arrive. First they drag out his shroud and then ask him, "Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet and what is your religion?" He replies, "I do not know." The angels tell him, "May God not allow you to know and be guided." Then they hit him with a fire mace so harshly that it frightens everything in the world except men and animals. Then they open up a door facing hell in his grave telling him, "Now you may sleep in the worst condition." Then they squeeze his grave to such an extent that it is almost sandwiched, making his brain matter come out from his nails and flesh and God makes snakes and scorpions etc. attack him and to bite and sting painfully till the Day of Resurrection. On that Day, he will be made to rise from his grave. The torture will be so severe that he will wish Qiyamat to come soon.
Adapted from the book: "The Hereafter (Ma'aad)" by: "Ayatullah Dastghaib Shiraazi"
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