The Salaf and the 'ulama' believe that after death a person is either punished or blessed in the grave. On the Day of Rising, souls are returned to their bodies and they rise from their graves to stand before their Lord to be judged. The proofs of this from the Qur'an and ahadith are numerous.
From the Qur'an
“O self at rest and at peace, return to your Lord, well-pleasing and well-pleased! Enter among My slaves! Enter My Garden.” (Surah Al-Fajr, 89: 27-30)
Allah also says:
“So Allah safeguarded him from the evil things they plotted and a most evil torment engulfed Pharaoh's people —the Fire, morning and night, to which they are exposed; and on the Day the Hour takes place: 'Admit Pharaoh's people to the harshest punishment!' ” (Surah Ghafir, 40: 45-46)
And again, He says:
“Leave them until they meet their Day when they will be struck down by the Blast: the Day their ploys will not profit them at all and they will not be helped. And those who do wrong will have a punishment besides that but most of them do not know it.” (Surah At-Tur, 52: 45-47)
And He says:
“We will give them a taste of lesser punishment before the greater punishment, so that hopefully they will turn back.” (Surah Fussilat, 32: 21)
Ibn Abbas referred to this verse as confirmation and proof indicating that punishment in the grave does take place.
From the Ahadith
Ibn Abbas related "Once the Prophet was passing by the graves of Madinah when he heard the cries of two people who were being punished in their graves. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, 'They are being punished, but they are not being punished because of a major wrong action — and yet their wrong actions are serious. One of them used not to avoid (being soiled with) urine, and the other used to go about spreading false rumours.' Then the Prophet (Peace be upon him) asked for a green palm tree branch and split it into two and placed one piece on each grave, saying, 'May their punishment cease for as long as these pieces of branch do not dry out.'"
Zaid Ibn Thabit said, "The Messenger of Allah was riding with us towards the dwellings of Banu an-Najjar when his mule shied so that he nearly fell off. He saw that there were four or five or six graves there. He said, 'Which of you knows about who is buried in these graves?' Someone said, 'I do.' So the Prophet asked, 'What state were they in when they died?' He replied, 'They died as mushrikun.' He said, 'These people are being punished in their graves. If it were not for the fact that you would stop burying your dead in graves if you could hear the torment in the graves which I can hear, then I would certainly have made you listen to it.' Then, turning his face towards us, he said, 'Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the Fire.' We said, 'We seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the Fire.' He said, 'Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave.' We said, 'We seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave.' He said, 'Seek refuge in Allah from turmoil, both apparent and hidden.' We said, 'We seek refuge in Allah from turmoil, both apparent and hidden.' He said, 'Seek refuge in Allah from the trial of the Dajjal.' We said, 'We seek refuge in Allah from the trial of the Dajjal.'"
Abu Hurairah related that the Prophet said, "When you finish the last tashahud, you should seek refuge in Allah from four things: from the punishment in the grave, from the punishment in the Fire of Hell, from the trials of life and death, and from the trial of Al-Masih Ad- Dajjal."
The Questioning in the Grave
Qatadah related from Anas that the Prophet said, "When a dead person has been laid to rest in his grave, his companions leave him — and even while he can still hear their footsteps, two angels come to him and make him sit up and ask him, 'What did you use to say about this man (Muhammad)?' The mumin replies, 'I bear witness that he is Allah's slave and His Messenger.' Then they will say to him, 'Look at the place you might have had in the Fire of Hell — Allah has given you a place in the Garden instead of it,' and he will see both places." Qatada also said, "We were told that his grave would be made spacious." Then Qatada, continued with the transmission of Anas who said, "When a munafiq or a kafir is asked, 'What did you use to say about this man (Muhammad)?' he replies, 'I do not remember — but I used to say what other people used to say.' So they will say to him, 'You did not know and you did not follow guidance.' Then he will be hit so hard with an iron hammer and he will give such a cry that everything near him will hear it, except for the jinn and people."
Al-Bara' Ibn Azib related that the Prophet said: "When a Muslim is questioned in his grave, he will testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah — and this is what is meant by the words of Allah :
“Allah makes those who have iman firm with the Firm Word in the life of the dunya and the akhira." (Surah Ibrahim, 14: 27)
It should also be pointed out that the punishment of the grave is the punishment in the barzakh to which Allah refers in the Qur'an:
“When death comes to one of them, he says, 'My Lord, send me back again, so that perhaps I may act rightly regarding the things I failed to do!' No indeed! It is just words he utters. Before them there is an interspace until the Day they are raised up.” (Surah Al-Mu'minun, 23: 99-100)
Anyone who dies and deserves punishment, will receive part of it in the grave.
 Al-Bukhari, 3/242; An-Nasa'i, 4/106.
 Muslim, 17/202; Ahmed, 3/103, 144-145.
 Al-Bukhari, 3/241.
 Al-Bukhari, 3/232-233; Muslim, 17/203; Ahmed, 3/126, 233.
 Al-Bukhari, 3/231-232; Muslim, 17/204.
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