Ibn al-Qayyim on Life in the Grave

Abu Abd Allah al-Qurtubi said, “The application of the tradition to the swooning of creation on the Day of Resurrection is no difficulty. But if it is applied to the swooning of death at the time of the blast on the trumpet, then the mention of the Day of Resurrection means is: When the blast of Resurrection is blown on the trumpet, I am the first to raise his head, but behold, Musa is grasping one of the supports of the throne. I do not know whether he recovered before me or at the same time, in the swooning of al-Tur.” I said, “Giving the tradition this meaning is not sound, because the Prophets questions whether Musa recovered before him, or did not swoon, rather at the same time, in the swooning of al-Tur.” So the meaning is, “I do not know whether he swooned or did not swoon.” He said in the tradition, “I am the first recovers.” This indicates that the Prophet ( swoons with those who swoon, and that the question results in whether Musa swooned and recovered from his swoon before him, or whether he did not swoon. Where the thing meant by it the first swooning, which is the swooning of death, then he would necessarily imply that his death occurred, and he would have questioned whether Musa died or did not die. This is preposterous from many aspects, for he knew that it was a swooning of fear and not a swooning of death’; and then the verse does not indicate that all the spirits die at the first blast. Truly it indicates that the death of the creatures is at the first blast, and every one who has not tasted death before it tastes it at that time . But as for those who have tasted death, or those on whom death has not been decreed, the verse does not indicate that they die a second death. And God knows best.

If it is asked, “How do you deal with his statement (p.57) in the tradition, “People swoon on the Day of Resurrection and I am the first from whom the earth splits open, and I find Musa grasping the support of the throne”? one replies, “There is no doubt that this version occurred in this form, and questions have arisen from it. But the narrator came upon a tradition, and combined the two versions. This and the two traditions occur as follows. One of them is “People swoon on the Day of Resurrection, and I am the first who recovers.” The second is like this: “I am the first from whom the earth splits open on the day of Resurrection.” So in Al-Tirmidhi and others from the tradition of Abu Sid al-Khurdri, who said: “The Messenger of God said, ‘I am lord of the children of Adam on the Day of Resurrection, and there is no boasting. In may hand is the flag of praise, and there is no boasting. There is no prophet on that day, Adam or anyone else, who is not under my banner; and I am the first from whom the earth splits open and there is no boasting.’” Al-Tirmidhi said, “This is a tradition which is beautiful and sound.” ? The narrated interpolated this tradition in the other one. And our Shaykh, Abu ‘l-Hajjaj al-hafiz used to say that.

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