After death, which people get questioned and which people don’t?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The matter of death is to come upon every soul. The Quran is clear in its statement, that every living soul shall taste death.
The matter of the grave and its questioning is clearly mentioned in the hadith of Imam Abu Dawood. The narration from Bara bin Azib states we went out with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) accompanying the bier of a man of the Ansar. When we reached his grave, it was not yet dug. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sat down and we also sat down around him as if birds were over our heads. He had in his hand a stick with which he was scratching the ground.
He then raised his head and said: Seek refuge with Allah from the punishment in the grave. He said it twice or thrice.
The version of Jabir adds here: He hears the beat of their sandals when they go back, and at that moment he is asked: O so and so! Who is your Lord, what is your religion, and who is your Prophet?
Hannad's version says: Two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: Who is your Lord?
He will reply: My Lord is Allah. They will ask him: What is your religion? He will reply: My religion is Islam. They will ask him: What is your opinion about the man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: He is the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). They will ask: Who made you aware of this? He will reply: I read Allah's Book, believed in it, and considered it true; which is verified by Allah's words: "Allah's Book, believed in it, and considered it true, which is verified by Allah's words: "Allah establishes those who believe with the word that stands firm in this world and the next."
The agreed version reads: Then a crier will call from Heaven: My servant has spoken the truth, so spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him from Paradise, and open a door for him into Paradise. So some of its air and perfume will come to him, and space will be made for him as far as the eye can see.
He also mentioned the death of the infidel, saying: His spirit will be restored to his body, two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: Who is your Lord?
He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. They will ask him: What is your religion? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. They will ask: Who was the man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: Alas, alas! I do not know. Then a crier will call from Heaven: He has lied, so spread a bed for him from Hell, clothe him from Hell, and open for him a door into Hell. Then some of its heat and pestilential wind will come to him, and his grave will be compressed so that his ribs will be crushed together.
Jabir's version adds: One who is blind and dumb will then be placed in charge of him, having a sledge-hammer such that if a mountain were struck with it, it would become dust. He will give him a blow with it which will be heard by everything between the east and the west except by men and jinn, and he will become dust. Then his spirit will be restored to him. (Abu Dawood hadith 4753 chapter Questioning and punishment in the grave)
From the above-mentioned hadith we can understand that every person who departs this world must answer the questions in the grave, there is no exemption made in this hadith.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Irfan Ali
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham