Let us sit and listen to a lesson given by the Prophet (SAAS) himself, the journey of the soul. You will be taking this journey soon. Narrated Al-Baraa' ibn 'Aazib (RAA): We followed the Prophet (SAAS) out to attend the funeral of one of the Ansar men. When we reached the grave - before the man was buried - the Prophet (SAAS) sat down (facing the Qiblah) and we sat down encircling him. We sat still as if birds were on our heads, silent. The Prophet (SAAS) had a stick in his hand with which he would scratch up the sand. [He gazed at the sky and then down to the ground, repeating this three times] Then he said, "Seek the protection of Allah from the punishment of the Grave." He then continued, "When the believing soul is reaching the end of his time on earth, starting out in the hereafter, angels with white faces shining like the sun descend upon him from heaven, bringing with them one of the shourds of Paradise and Hanoot. They sit down around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head and pronounces, 'O blessed soul, come out to the forgiveness and pleasure of Allah.' The soul will then come out like a drop of water coming out of the mouth of a waterskin. And the Angel of Death will take it. Until his soul comes out, every angel between the heavens and earth will pray for him, as will every angel in heaven. The gates of heaven will be opened for him, and the people in every level of heaven will pray to Allah to permit his soul to ascend through their domain.
When the (Angel of Death) has taken the soul, the (other angels) do not leave it in his hand for a moment; immediately they take it and wrap in the shroud and scent it with Hanoot. This is the meaning of Allah's words:
[...When death approaches any of you, Our Angels take his soul, and they never fail in their duty.]
- An'am 6/61
At that moment a scent shall emerge from the soul, a scent not unlike the finest musk found on earth. They shall take the soul up (to the heavens) and whenever they pass a group of angels, the (angels) will remark, 'Who is this blessed soul?' They will say, 'It is so-and-so, the son of so-and-so' using the best names that they were addressed with in this world.
(They shall go on) until they reach the first heaven. They shall ask for it to be opened and it shall open for them. In each heaven, those who are closest to Allah will accompany him to the next heaven until they reach the seventh heaven, where Allah - Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala - will say, 'Register the book of My slave in 'illiyyun.'
[And what will explain to you what 'Illiyyun is? (It is) a register (fully) inscribed, to which bear witness those nearest to Allah] Mutaffifoon 83/19-21.
So his book will be registered in Illiyun. Then Allah (SWT) will say, 'Take him back to the earth for this was my promise: I created them from it, I shall return them to it, and I will resurrect them from it again.
He will be taken back to the earth, and his soul will be returned to his body. [And he will hear the footsteps of his companions as they leave him.] Two stern Angels will come to him, [rebuke him] and sit him up. They will ask him, 'Who is your Lord?' He will answer, 'My Lord is Allah.' They will ask him, 'What is your religion?' He will say, 'My religion is Islam.' They will ask him, 'Who is this man who was sent among you?' He will say, 'He is the Messenger of Allah (SAAS).'
Yu Thabbitul Allahu al ladheena Aamanu bil Qawl ath-thabiti fil Hayatid Dunya wa fil Aakhirah
A voice will call from Heaven, 'My slave has spoken the Truth, so furnish his grave from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.' Some of its breeze and scent will reach him, and his grave will be widened for him as far as the eye can see. There will appear before him a handsome, well dressed, and finely scented man, saying, 'I bring you good news which shall make you happy. I bring you good news of the good pleasure of Allah and Gardens of eternal blessing. This is the day you were promised.' He will say, 'And you, may Allah give you better news, who are you?' He will say, 'I am your good deeds, and by Allah I only ever saw you hastening to obey Allah, and ever reluctant to disobey Him, so may Allah reward you with good.'
Then a gate of Paradise and a gate of Hell will open for him. And it will be said, 'this is your place if you had disobeyed Allah, but Allah has given you this instead of that.' When he sees what is in Paradise he will say, 'My Lord! Hasten the coming of the Hour...' It will be said, 'Dwell in patience.'
As for the Disbelieving (corrupt) man, when he leaves this world and enters the Hereafter, stern and harsh angels come down to him from heaven, their faces are black and they bring with them sack-cloth from Hell. They sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits at his head and says, ' Come out O evil soul to the anger and wrath of Allah!'
The soul will be dragged out of his body with as much difficulty as a many-pronged skewer being dragged through wet wool (the veins and nerves will be destroyed by it.)
He will be cursed by every angel between the heaven and the earth, and by every angel in the heaven. The gates of heaven will be locked and the people of every heaven will pray to Allah to not allow his soul to ascend through their domain. He will take it and immediately put it into the sack-cloth, stinking like the foulest stench of dead flesh ever experienced on earth. They will take the soul up and whenever they take it past a group of angels, they will say, 'Who is this evil soul?' They shall say, 'It is so-and-so, son of so-and-so,' using the worst names he was addressed with on earth.
(They will go on) until they reach the first heaven; they will ask for it to be opened for them, and it will not be opened. (Then the Messenger of Allah - SAAS - recited):
[..No opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the Garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle..] A'raf 7:40
Allah ta'ala will say register his book in Sijjin, in the lowest earth. Then Allah will say, take him back to the earth for this was my promise; I created it from it, i will return them to it, and i shall resurrect them from it again. So his soul will be thrown down from heaven until it reaches his body. Then he recited:
[..If anyone assigns partners to Allah, he is as if he had fallen from heaven and been snatched up by birds, or the wind had swooped (like a bird on its prays) and thrown him into a far distant place.]Al-Hajj 22:31
So his soul will be returned to his body ( and he will hear the footsteps of his companions when they leave him ). Two stern angels will come to him, rebuke him and sit him up. They will ask him, 'Who is your Lord?' He will say, Haa Haa, I do not know. They will ask him. 'What is your religion?' He will say, 'Haa Haa, I do not know. They will ask 'What do you say about this man who was sent among you? He will not even know his name. But he will be told. Muhammad. And he will say, 'Haa Haa, I do not know. I heard the people saying such and such.' He will be told May you never know.'
Then a voice will call from heaven and will say, 'He has lied. Furnish his grave from Hell and open for him a gate from hell.' So some of his heat and venom will reach him and his grave will be constricted until his ribs are crushed together.
There will appear before him a man with an ugly face, badly dressed, and foul smelling. He will say, 'I bring you bad news, this is the day you were promised. He will say, 'and you, may Allah give you even worse news! Who are you? Your face brings bad news!' He will say, 'I am your evil deeds, by Allah I only ever saw you reluctant to obey Allah and ever eager to disobey Him. May Allah repay you with evil.'
Then there will be sent to him one who is blind, deaf, and dumb. Who will carry in his hand an iron rod which if he were to beat a camel with it, it would turn to dust. He will beat him with it until he turns to dust. Then Allah will restore him then he will be beaten again. He will emit a scream which the whole of creation will hear except men and jinn. Then a gate will be open for him to hell. And his grave will be furnished from hell. He will say, 'My Lord, may the hour never come.'
This is the journey we shall all take. How many have stopped to think about and prepare for this journey. If you were given warning that the Angel of Death would visit you after Maghrib, what would you do till then? Wouldn't you pray continuously and cry at Asr Salah. Wouldn't you give Sadaqah and throw this world from your heart. Wouldn't you come back to Allah with a sincere repentance? One day, not too far from now, you will be going back to your Lord and He will ask you all of that which you did.