Fifteenth Hadeeth

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with them, said: “The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, once passed by two graves and said, "These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid). One of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine, while the other used to go about with Nameemah (i.e. Tale-bearing, calumnies, etc. to make enmity between friends)." The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, then took a green leaf of a date-palm tree, split it into (pieces) and fixed one on each grave. They said, "O Messenger of Allaah! Why have you done so?" He replied, "I hope that their punishment might be lessened till these (the pieces of the leaf) become dry." (1).

This is a great Hadeeth which is highly charged with great meanings, important rulings, noble instructions, sublime morals, issues, wisdoms and many other benefits. We will touch upon them in detail in the following points:

Firstly, as for the narrator’s saying, “The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, once passed by two graves…”, it means that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, passed by two dead people; however, he, peace and blessing be upon him, mentioned the two graves instead of mentioning those who are in them. Their names were not mentioned in this Hadeeth nor any other Hadeeths. Therefore, Muslim scholars view that it is not permissible to mention the names of those who did something bad as a kind of concealing them. It is really a recommended act. As for the good deeds, one should mention them and praise their doers, provided that this is done while they are not present.

Secondly, as for the Prophet’ saying, "These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid)…”

According to the narration reported by Al-Bukhaari, there is an addition, “…Certainly…”meaning it is a major thing. Such sentence means that they are tortured for a sin, they were believing or the addressed people believe, that they are not major sin in the Sight of Allaah The Almighty as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {…and thought it was insignificant while it was, in the Sight of Allaah , tremendous.} [Quran 24:15] (2).

It was also said that the meaning is that it is not something difficult for them to protect themselves from it. It was said it is not a major sin by itself; however, it becomes so by keeping doing it repeatedly. This sentence actually proves the punishment of the grave and this is the opinion of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa'ah (3) and those who agreed with them unlike some deviant groups in this regard who deny the punishment and reward of the grave. Texts of the Noble Quran and honorable Sunnah (i.e. Prophetic tradition) proved it. Amongst the texts that gives an explicit evidence is the saying of Allaah The Almighty about the people of Fir‘awn (i.e. pharaoh): {The Fire, they are exposed to it morning and evening…} [Quran 40: 46] (4).

Some scholars of Tafseer (i.e. exegesis of Quran) said that what is meant is the torture of the grave.

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said that a Jewess came to her and mentioned the punishment in the grave, saying to her, "May Allaah protect you from the punishment of the grave." ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, then asked the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, about the punishment of the grave. He, peace and blessing be upon him, said, "Yes, (there is) punishment in the grave." ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, added, "After that I never saw the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, but seeking refuge with Allaah from the punishment in the grave in every prayer he prayed." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] (5).

It was narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said, "When anyone of you dies, he is shown his place both in the morning and in the evening. If he is one of the people of Paradise; he is shown his place in it, and if he is from the people of the Hell-Fire; he is shown his place there-in. Then it is said to him, 'This is your place till Allaah resurrect you on the Day of Resurrection."[Reported by the Seven Collectors of Hadeeth who are Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daawood, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa’i, and Ibn Maajah] (6).

It was narrated on the authority of Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said, "When (Allaah's) slave is put in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their footsteps and if they leave him, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask, 'What did you use to say about this man (i.e. Muhammad)?' The faithful Believer will say, 'I testify that he is Allaah's slave and His Messenger.' Then they will say to him, 'Look at your place in the Hellfire; Allaah has given you a place in Paradise instead of it.' So he will see both his places." The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “He will see both of them.” Whereas a hypocrite or a non-believer (when asked, "What did you use to say about this man."), He will reply, "I do not know; but I used to say what the people used to say." So they will say to him, "Neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Quran)." Then he will be hit with iron hammers once, that he will send such a cry as everything near to him will hear, except Jinn and human beings.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] (7). 

And many other Hadeeths like this which prove that one will be rewarded or punished in his grave.

Thirdly, “…One of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine,…) while the other used to go about with Nameemah (i.e. Tale-bearing, calumnies, etc. to make enmity between friends)."

According to another version: “…he did not take care to avoid his urine…”

In a third report: “…he did not avoid urine...”

In a fourth report: “…One of them used not to protect himself from his urine…”

They all mean that he did not use something to shield himself from his urine, i.e., he did not protect himself from it. Some scholars said: “It means that he did not cover his ‘Awrah (i.e. private parts). The first meaning is actually more correct and Allaah Knows best. That is because the punishment is annexed to not avoiding urine to mean that the primary reason for the punishment is because of urine. If we interpret it as just meaning uncovering the ‘Awrah, this sense is lost. This was expressed by Ibn Daqeeq Al-‘Eed, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

Stating in this Hadeeth that not avoiding urine and not taking care of it is the cause of the punishment of the grave really indicates that Islam is the religion of purity and cleanness. And as it is encourages; rather, orders people to purify their hearts from their dirties and treat them from their diseases such as grudge, spitefulness, envy, hatred, and the like and makes a great reward for this and a great punishment on the opposite of this, it actually does the same regarding purifying the apparent impurities. It is something of great importance. Thus, Muslim individual should purify, clean, and protect himself from all impurities so that he may not be exposed to the punishment and wrath of Allaah The Almighty.

Nameemah or malicious gossip means telling one person what another said in order to cause trouble between them. It is to spoil the relationships of people, whether it is by words or action, whether it is between two individuals such as the husband and his wife, friends, relatives and the like, or between two organizations, societies or countries. All what may corrupt such relationships is included in Nameemah.

There is absolutely no doubt that it is something prohibited. It is one of the major sins. This is proved by the Noble Book of Allaah The Almighty and the honorable Sunnah of His Messenger, peace and blessing be upon him. Also, it is prohibited by the general rulings of Sharee‘ah (i.e. Islamic revealed laws). There are many texts prohibit it. They come in different styles. Sometimes it comes in the prohibition form, another bears a threat for those who did it, a third has intimidation of doing it, a fourth bears explanation of the punishment of those who are doing it and the like.

Amongst such texts is the saying of Allaah The Almighty: {[And] scorner, going about with malicious gossip - A preventer of good, transgressing and sinful.} [Quran 68: 11 -12]

Allaah The Almighty also says (what means): {Wayl (i.e. Woe) to every scorner and mocker.} [Quran 104: 1] (8).

Wayl is a valley in the Hellfire. If all of the mountains of this life were put in it, they will be melt from its severe heat, may Allaah guard us again it.

Amongst the reports of the Sunnah, Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported that Huthayfah, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, saying, ‘A Qattaat will not enter Paradise.” (9).

Qattaat is the one who commits Nameemah (tale-bearing and malicious gossip).

In another narration reported by Muslim: “A Namaam will not enter Paradise.” (10).

Also, Imam Muslim reported on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “Should I inform you that slandering, that is in fact a tale-carrying which creates dissension amongst people.” (11).

 Imam Ahmad and others reported from ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Ghanam that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “The best among you are those who, when they are seen, Allaah The Almighty is remembered (i.e., they are very pious).’ And the worst among you are those who spread malicious gossip, cause trouble between friends, and seek out the faults of good people.” (12) and the like of the other many texts.

It is sufficient that it is one of the causes of the punishment of the grave. Thus, every individual Muslim, be male or female, has to avoid such destructive disease and explore every avenue to treat himself if he has something like this so that he may not expose himself to the punishment and wrath of Allaah The Almighty. Anyone approached with a story, who is told, ‘So-and-so says such and such about you’ or ‘So-and-so does such and such against you, then has to reject it so that he may not be a prey for the who does such malicious gossip. Imam An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, Anyone approached with a story, who is told, ‘So-and-so says such and such about you’ or ‘So-and-so does such and such against you must do six things:

1- disbelieve it, for talebearers are corrupt, and their information unacceptable;

2- tell the talebearer to stop, admonish him about it, and condemn the shamefulness of what he has done;

3- hate him for the sake of Allaah The Almighty, for he is detestable in Allaah's sight, and one has to hate whomever Allaah The Almighty hates;

4- not think badly of the person whom the words are supposedly from;

5- not let what has been said prompt him to spy or investigate whether it is true;

6- and not to do himself what he has forbidden the talebearer to do, by relating it to others and say, So-and-so does relates such and such to me. In this way, one will be himself a talebearer and did what he forbade the talebearer to do.

Fourthly, the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, then took a green leaf of a date-palm tree, split it into (pieces) and fixed one on each grave. They said, "O Messenger of Allaah! Why have you done so?" He replied, "I hope that their punishment might be lessened till these (the pieces of the leaf) become dry."

This action from the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, refers to the mercifulness of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, towards his nation for Allaah The Almighty may lessen punishment for the two dead people. One may ask, is this action permissible in all of such cases? Answer: according to the majority of Muslim scholars, it is not something permissible because it is an act of worship and requires a proof and there is nothing in religion what proves it. As for this story, the wisdom behind it is actually unknown and therefore the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, did not do this with others except those two dead people nor anyone of the companions of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, did it after him. Allaah Knows best.

 

__________________________

 

1) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Wudoo’ (i.e. Ablution) the chapter of one of the major sins is not to protect oneself (one's clothes and body) from one's urine (i.e., from being soiled with it) 1/91, no. 216.

2) Soorat An-Noor, Ayaah (i.e. verse): 15.

3) Muslims who hold fast to the way of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, his companions, and those who followed their path in beliefs, speech, and actions. They also avoid innovation in matters of the religion. They represent the "Saved Group" depicted by the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. (Translator)

4) Soorat An-Noor, Ayaah (i.e. verse): 15.

5) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Al-Janaa’iz (i.e. Funerals), the chapter of the punishment in the grave 1/4308, no. 1372, and reported by Muslim in the Book of Solar Eclipse in mentioning the punishment of the grave in the prayer 2/509, sixth vol, no 8.

6) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Al-Janaa’iz (i.e. Funerals), the chapter of the deceased is shown his actual place (in Paradise or in Hell) 1/409, no. 1379.

7) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Al-Janaa’iz (i.e. Funerals), the chapter of the punishment of the grave 1/408, no. 1374.

8) Soorat Al-Humazah, Aayah (i.e. verse): 1.

9) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Al-Aadaab (i.e. Good Manners and Form), the chapter of what is disliked of Nameemah (i.e. tale-bearing) 4/1912, no. 6056, and Muslim in the Book of Imaan (i.e. Faith), the chapter of the talebearer shall not enter Paradise. 1/285, no. 169.

10) Ibid.

11) Reported by Imam Muslim in the Book of Al-Birr and As-Silah (i.e. Virtue, Enjoining Good Manners, and Joining of the Ties of Kinship), the chapter of the prohibition of tale-bearing. 6/122, no. 102.

12) Reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad 6, no. 459.

 

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