Originally Posted by Bangsta
They are in their graves, this period is known as the Barzakh (kind of like the in between period from this life to the life of the hereafter.)
When a person dies, two angels will approach them [Munkar & Nakir] and ask them three questions:
Who is your Lord? [Maa Rabbuk?]
Who is your Prophet? [Maa Nabiuk?]
What was your religion? [Maa Deenuk?]
We know that every prophet came to his people to call them to Islaam [submission to Allaah], so the answer to the first question would be that Allaah is our Lord, Islaam is our religion, and the prophet may differ according to each person. However, since Muhammad (peace be upon him) came for all of mankind, then anyone who is alive after him has to accept him and therefore answer: Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a response to the 2nd question. Whether they are a jew, christian, hindu or whatever, since this is the final Messenger Allaah sent to the world.
A person can only truelly answer these if they really obeyed and believed in the Messenger.
If the person was a sinner, they may get punished in their grave. However, this may be an expiation for them so they don't be punished in the hellfire. This is in regard to the believers. For the disbelievers - the end of this life is the beginning to an endless life of sorrow. We seek refuge in Allaah from that.
If the believer answered the questions correctly, then the angels will open a window in their graves. They will say that this is your place in the hellfire, but this is your place now in jannah [the gardens of paradise] since you believed and obeyed the Messenger etc.
However, for the disbeliever or hypocrite - they will say that 'i heard the people say so and so, so i went along with it.' - they won't answer the questions properly because they were not true believers in this life, so the angels will open the window of paradise and say that this would have been your place in jannah, but this is your place in the fire. We seek refuge in Allaah from that.
The people in the graves will remain there for as long as Allaah wills, and then the hour will be established. The graves will be overturned and some scholars say that a liquid will come down [like rain] - and we will grow back to life [like the plants do when rain is sent.]
On that day every person will be in a state of terror, except those who used to fear this day in this life.
It is) a Day whereon men will be like moths scattered about,
And the mountains will be like carded wool.
Then, he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) heavy,
Will be in a life of good pleasure and satisfaction.
But he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) light,-
Will have his home in a (bottomless) Pit.
And what will explain to thee what this is?
(It is) a Fire Blazing fiercely!
[Qur'an Surah Al Qaar'ia 101]
but I think I read somewhere that our Prophet already saw the hell and the heavens..
He did, and he is the best of the creation of Allaah, out of all of the creations of Allaah - Allaah preferred the children of Adam, and out of all the children of Adam, Allaah preferred the Prophets, and out of all the Prophets, He chose Muhammad (peace be upon him), and He chose the best people among them to be his companions/sahabah (may Allaah be pleased with them.) And it is the followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) who have recieved the many blessings from Allaah, out of a mercy for us.
And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Taiyibat (lawful good things), and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preference.
(And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imam [their Prophets, or their records of good and bad deeds, or their Holy Books like the Quran, the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), etc.]. So whosoever is given his record in his right hand, such will read their records, and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.
And whoever is blind in this world (i.e., does not see Allah's Signs and believes not in Him), will be blind in the Hereafter, and more astray from the Path.
[Qur'an Al Israa' 17: 70-72]
and he said that he saw a lot of women in hell... How did he see these people if judgement day didn't come yet?
So out of the creation of Allaah, Allaah allowed His chosen Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) to see the hellfire and paradise [which are already created by Allaah and existing while we are still living today.]
He (peace be upon him) went to the journey of Israa' wal Mi'raaj (the Night of Descent to Palestine and above the heavens to meet Allaah, and see His Paradise and Hellfire etc.)
You might want to check this link for abit more info on it inshaa Allaah:
Now the difference between the punishment of the grave is that the punishment someone recieves in the grave is only applied to the soul, therefore those who are being punished in the grave (we seek refuge in Allaah from that) are not being punished physically, and Allaah knows best.
This thread discusses this issue in abit more depth inshaa Allaah:
Also, some scholars are of the view that there are other ahadith which support that others are in paradise (and like you stated, others of the fire), however - this is only spiritual/with the soul, and no-one will truelly enter Paradise or the Hellfire with the physical body except after
the Day of Judgement.
That is when those who are in the hellfire will recieve the full torment, with the physical body (because on the Day of Judgement we will come back to life in our real bodies), and those who enter Jannah/Paradise by Allaah's Mercy will enter with physical bodies also to enjoy it's pleasures etc. This is unlike the jews and christians who claim that the hereafter is only spiritual.
The scholars from IslamQA say:
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah has created Paradise and its creation is complete, because He says in a hadeeth qudsi: "I have prepared for My righteous slaves that which no eye has seen…" And because the Messenger
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw it on the night of the Israa' and Mi'raaj, and because of other proofs (daleel).
Will any humans enter it before the Day of Resurrection?
There are two aspects to this:
1. Entering it in spirit only
, as is the case with the dead. This is proven in the case of the Prophets, and of the martyrs (shuhadaa') whose souls are in the crops of green birds which roam about in Paradise. This is also known from the ahaadeeth in which the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) describes how he entered Paradise in dreams, which has to do with the soul or spirit.
2. With regard to entering Paradise in both body and soul
, this will happen on the Day of Resurrection for both humans and jinn. The only exception to this is Adam (peace be upon him) who was in Paradise before he came down to this earth, as was mentioned by Ibn al-Qayyim and others.
And Allaah knows best.
And Allaah knows best.