The Meaning of the Squeezing of the Grave

CategoriesDeath & Burial [151]

Fatwa ID: 04632

Answered by: Maulana Qadeer Ahmed




Assalam Alaikum, I have two questions.

Firstly, my name is Raheem. Is this permissible in Islam? Ar-Raheem is Allah’s name but my name isn’t Ar-Raheem rather it just means mercy.

Secondly, regarding the first squeeze or contraction of the grave which happens to every person. Will it be different for the believer and disbeliever? Will it be painful for the believer?



In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful





Names like Rahim can be used independently and also with the word Abd before. Thus, one may call someone Rahim or Abdul Rahim. However, it is undesirable to call someone ‘Al Rahim’. (Ruhul Maani p.123 v.9)


Regarding your second question, there is a hadith in Mishkat (pg 26, the first hadith of the third section) where it is mentioned that the grave of Sa’d radiallahu anho was closed upon him. Is there any reason for this, or does this mean that everyone’s grave closes upon him?


Sayyiduna Jabir (radiyallahu ‘anh) reports that we went to the Janazah of Sayyiduna Sa’d bin Mu’adh (radiyallahu ‘anh) with Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhiwasallam). When Nabi (sallaahu ‘alayhiwasallam) completed the Janazah salah and Sa’d (radiyallahu ‘anh) was buried, Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhiwasallam) said ‘Subhanallah’, so we also said ‘Subhanallah’, then Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhiwasallam) said ‘Allahu Akbar’, so we also said ‘Allahu Akbar’. Someone asked ‘O Rasulullah’, why did you say ‘Subhanallah and ‘Allahu Akbar’? Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhiwasallam) replied: “the grave had narrowed in on this pious slave of Allah Ta’ala then Allah Ta’ala widened it.”(Musnad Ahmad 3/360)


The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the grave narrows in on everyone, however, there is a difference between how it is done for a believer and a disbeliever.


As for a believer the grave closes in on him for a short while and then expands. The reason for this is that no person is free of sins, so this squeeze of the grave is as compensation. The disbeliever’s squeeze will be perpetual till the day of Qiyaamah.


Ibn Abi Dunya (rahimahullah) offers a different explanation. He says that man is created from sand, it is as though sand is our mother. So when a believer is buried the grave gives him an affectionate squeeze due to the long separation, like how a mother hugs her child, as for a disbeliever he gets squeezed and crushed until his ribs interlock. (Sharhus Sudoor pg.105-108)



Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Maulana Qadeer Ahmed

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham



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