Hadrat Kumayl Radiyallaahu Anhu says: “I was once with Hazrat Ali Radiyallaahu Anhu on a journey, when we reached an uninhabited place where there was only a graveyard nearby. He visited the graveyard and began addressing the inmates of the graves saying “O you dwellers of the graves! O you who lie in ruins! O you who live in wilderness and solitude! How are you living in the other world? What is your news from there?”

Then he paused for a moment and continued “The news from our side is that the wealth and riches you accumulated have long been distributed; your children became orphans; your widows have long since remarried. Now let us hear from you.”

Then he turned to me and said: “O Kumayl! If they could speak, they would have answered that the best of provisions is indeed Taqwa.” Tears started flowing from his eyes as he added, “O Kumayl! The grave is a container of one’s deeds…but one only realizes it after death.”

 Our good and bad acts are stored up in our graves.  In a hadith it is said that every person meets his good deeds in the grave in the shape of a pleasant companion who befriends him and consoles him there. But his wicked deeds assume hideous shapes with repulsive smells, which add to his misery. In another Hadith it is said, “Three things accompany a person to his grave. 1) His wealth (as was the prevalent custom amongst the Arabs of the time), 2) his relatives, and 3) his deeds. His wealth and his relatives return after burying him, but his deeds go in and stay with him in the grave.”

Once the Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam asked the Sahabah Ridwaanulaahi Alaihim Ajmaeen “Do you know in what relation your relatives, your wealth and your deeds stand to you?”

The Sahabah replied in the negative. The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said, “These are like a person who has three brothers. When he is about to die, he calls one of his brothers to him and asks him: “Brother! You know my condition. What help can you give me at this time?” That brother replies “I shall call the doctor to you, nurse you and attend to your needs. And when you are dead, I shall bathe you, enshroud you, and carry you to the grave. Then I shall make Dua for you after you are buried.” This brother is his relatives.

He asks the second brother the same question, and he replies “I shall remain with you for as long as you are alive. As soon as you die, I shall leave you and become someone else’s.” This brother is his worldly wealth.

He then questions the last brother, who replies “I shall not abandon you even in your grave, and I shall accompany you into that place of absolute solitude. When your deeds are weighed in the balance, I shall lend my weight to the scale of your good deeds and weigh it down.” This brother is the personification of his good deeds.

Now tell me, which of the brothers do you regard the most useful to the person?” The Sahabah replied “O Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam! The last brother is indeed the most useful to him. There is no doubt about it. The other two brothers were utterly useless.”

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