Question: Is there such a thing as squeezing of the grave?
Of course there is. A person who does not believe in the torment in and squeezing of the grave becomes a bid‘a (heresy) holder. But a person who says, “I do not believe in the torment in the grave, whether it is written in hadîth-i sharîfs or not,” has left the fold of Islam.
Hadrat Imâm-i A’zam declares:
“The soul’s being returned to the body in the grave, squeezing of the grave, and torment in the grave are true” (Qawl-ul fasl).
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî declares:
“Squeezing of the grave is a fact” (Vol. 3, Letter 17).
Hadrat Imâm-i Ghazâlî, on the other hand, declares:
“The torment in the grave will be inflicted on both the soul and the body” (Ihyâ).
There is questioning also for those who die on land or in the sea. (Nuhbat-ul-la’âli, p. 116; Bidaya, p. 91)
Just as everybody, including prophets, will be questioned in the Hereafter, so the squeezing of the grave will apply to everybody. It will squeeze disbelievers and sinners extremely severely, but it will squeeze prophets, the Blessed Companions, and the pious people gently, as if stroking them. It is stated in hadîth-i sharîfs:
(If anyone were to be saved from the squeezing of the grave, Sa’d bin Mu‘adh would have been saved from it.) [Imâm-i Ahmad]
(The grave squeezed Yahyâ, son of Zakariyya, because of barley he had eaten.) [Imâm-i Râfiî]
(The squeezing of the grave is the atonement for a Believer’s sins that have not been forgiven.) [Imâm-i Râfiî]
(I swear that 99 dragons torment a disbeliever in his grave until the Resurrection.) [Abû Ya’la]
(If a person does not perform namâz though he has no good excuse, Allahu ta’âlâ will give him 15 kinds of plague. Six of them will come in the world; three will come at the time of death; three will come in the grave; and three will come when he is rising from the grave. Kinds of torment he will suffer in the grave are:
1. The grave will squeeze him. His bone will intertwine.
2. His grave will be filled with fire, which will scorch him day and night.
3. Allahu ta’âlâ will send a huge serpent to his grave. It is not like terrestrial serpents. It will bite him at every namâz time daily. It will never leave him alone any moment.) [Qurratul’uyûn]
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî declares:
A good person, a fortunate person is one whose faults, sins, being forgiven through grace and mercy, are not cast in his teeth. If a person’s sins are cast in his teeth, and if, being pitied for this reason, he is made to suffer only worldly torment and thus becomes purified of his sins, he, too, is quite fortunate. Also a person who, not being purified with this only, suffers the grave’s squeezing and tormenting for the rest of his sins, and who is taken without any sins to the place where people will gather on the Day of Judgement, is very lucky. If, instead of this, he is punished in the next world, it is still mercy and justice. But on that day those with sins, those who are in an embarrassing position, those with dark faces will be in a very difficult situation. But of those people, the ones who are Muslims will still be pitied and will attain mercy at last, being freed from the eternal torment of Hell; and this is a very great blessing, too. (Vol. 1, Letter 266)
After interment, the deceased will return to an unknown life and will be either in blessings or in torture. As it was declared in hadîth ash-sherîfs, two angels named munkar and nakîr, in the guise of two unknown horrible people, will come to his grave and question him. The graves of those who will give precise answers will enlarge and a window will be opened to Paradise. Every morning and every evening they will see their places in Paradise, and angels will do them favours and give them good news. He who cannot answer precisely will be beaten with iron mallets so severely that every creature but mankind and genies will hear him cry out. His grave will become so tight that he will feel as if his bones would intertwine. A hole will be opened to Hell. In the morning and in the evening he will see his place in Hell. He will be tortured bitterly in his grave till the Resurrection. (Belief and Islam)