Monday, February 11, 2008
The Squeeze of the Grave
Today I went for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). After years of ruling out various conditions, I was diagnosed with MS. But now I have a new pain management doctor and he wants to do his own tests to confirm the MS diagnosis. Ahhhh, ok ... here we go again. (It took me a long time to gain a level of acceptance about my condition.)
Anyhow, if you look at the image above, you can understand how anxious an MRI can make someone feel. Even if it is an "open MRI" (sides of it are open so you can see a little bit, doesn't feel so confining), it can still be a frightening experience. After you are settled and braced up, you lie there, ready to be slid into the machine, listening to the steps of the nurse/technician as they leave the room. Then they slide you into the machine. It is inches from your face! A tight fit indeed!
While I was under there today, a thought came into my mind: I was reminded of the "squeeze of the grave".
(Image from: http://indianmuslims.in/a-ramadan-visit-to-the-two-holy-masjids/)
The squeeze of the grave occurs after the deceased Muslim hears the thumping of his companions' shoes as they walk away from his grave.
No one is spared it. Whether he be a Believer or a Disbeliever!
I haven't been able to find a lot of detailed information about the squeeze of the grave other than the following:
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said that the torment, squeezing, and terror that happens in the grave are things by means of which sins are expiated. (Majmoo' Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah, vol. 7, p. 487-501). http://www.islam-qa.com/index.php?ref=13693&ln=eng&txt=repentence
In his book, Life in Al-Barzakh, Muhammad al-Jibaly states:
"No human being will be spared the squeeze of the grave. However, the following hadith indicates that it is not at the same degree of severity for all people; some of the believers are released from its grip quicker than others. Iban `Abbas (ra) said that Allah's Messenger (saw) said:
'If anyone were to escape from the squeeze of the grave, it would be Sa`d Bin Mu`ath; however, he was squeezed once and then released.' (At-Tabarani in al-Kabir; Sahih ul-Jami by al-Albani No. 5306)"
Can we be spared from excessive horror in the grave if we live our lives here in the dunya aiming to please Allah (swt) and by following Sirat al-Mustaqeem (the Straight Path)? Insha Allah, yes.
Alhamdulilah, I was grateful to have this reminder today.
May Allah (swt) spare us from excessive torment in the grave and grant us a quick squeeze/Ameen.