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Usool E Salasa are the three fundamental principles of Islam. And Islam is based on what Allah سبحانه و تعالى commands all of us to do (In the Quran) and what His beloved Prophet Muhammad  صلى الله عليه وسلم demonstrated through his Sunnah (His Lifestyle and His Sayings) as per the understanding and practice of His Sahaba.  In a famous hadith Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم narrates about the three questions which are asked to every human being whether he/she is a Muslim or Non-Muslim.


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Punishment of grave is proven from Qur’an also, as it is mentioned in Surah Ghafir, Allah سبحانه و تعالىsaid: In front of the Fire will they be brought, morning and evening: and (the Sentence will be) on the Day that Judgment will be established: "Cast ye the People of Pharaoh into the severest Penalty!" Qur’an.Surah Ghafir 40:46


If thou couldst see, when the angels take the souls of the Unbelievers they smite their faces and their backs "Taste the penalty of the Blazing Fire. Qur’an.Surah Anfal 8:50



Narrated by AbuHurayrah رضي الله عنهم, The Apostle of Allah used to seek refuge from the torment of the grave, torment of Hell and the trial of Dajjal. Sahih Muslim 1220 and 1224        


First stage of the Hereafter

When the son of Adam dies and his soul departs and he is placed in his grave, then he is in the first stage of the Hereafter, because the grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter. 


When ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan رضي الله عنهمstood by a grave he would weep until his beard became wet. It was said to him, “You remember Paradise and Hell and you do not weep, but you weep because of this?” He said, “The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘The grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter; whoever is saved from it, whatever comes afterwards will be easier  for him, but if he is not saved from it, what comes afterwards will be worse for him.’” And the Messenger of Allah  صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “I have never seen any scene but the grave is more frightening than it.” Tirmidhi, 2308; Ibn Maajah, 4567; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Jaami’, 1684). 


The 3 questions

The two angels (Munkar and Nakeer) who are charged with questioning come to him in grave and askhimabout what he used to believe in this world. Their three questions, which are known as "the three questions of the grave" are:


Who is your Lord?

What is your Religion?

Who is your Prophet?

As such, it is obligatory that every Muslim man and woman have a firm, if not basic understanding of these three questions as the foundation of his/her aqeedah in Islam.


If he gives a correct answer to these 3 questions, that is good, but if he does not answer them they inflict a severe and painful beating on him.


The First is Knowledge of Allah

It is obligatory upon every Muslim, male or female, to know their Lord by His Essence, His Names and Attributes, His Actions and Allah said that, “There is nothing like unto Him. And He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” Qur’an.Surah Shura 42:11

The servant must know that Allah سبحانه و تعالى is his Creator (khaaliq), Sustainer (raaziq) and the controller of his affair. Rather, He controls the entire universe.

He is deserving of that, because He is to be worshiped alone without any associate. And every act of worship that is directed to other than Him is a nullified act of worship.

And the servant must believe that He has Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes which have come in the Book of Allah سبحانه و تعالى and in the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم.

What every Muslim must know and believe about Allah سبحانه و تعالىforms the basis of Tawheed.


The Second is Knowledge of the Religion of Islam with Its Evidences

This is a wide topic, because the Religion of Islaam comprises within it all obligations, whether related to statements, actions, outward or inward.

It comprises everything that Allah سبحانه و تعالى ordained for the world of mankind and the world of Jinn from the duties and obligations and prohibitions and other than that from the Shari’ah. Due to this, Allah سبحانه و تعالىsaid concerning His Right, “Verily, the Religion with Allah is Islam.” Qur’an.Surah A’le ‘Imran 3:19


This does not mean that the average Muslim must have in-depth knowledge of the various Shari'ah and Fiqh rulings. No, what is meant here is that the average Muslim must have knowledge about the basic matters of Islam as it relates to him.

He must know what is Tawheed and its categories. He must know what Islam means and its pillars. He must know what is Eeman and its pillars. And he must know the evidences for them. He must know the conditions and nullifiers for the various acts of worship such as prayer, fasting etc... and how to perform them correctly.

Allah سبحانه و تعالى
has informed that whomever wishes to worship Allah سبحانه و تعالى with a Religion other than the Religion of Islam, then his worship is false and his statement is rejected. So Allah سبحانه و تعالىsaid, “And whomsoever seeks other than Islaam as a Religion, then it will never be accepted from him. And in the Hereafter he will be from amongst the losers.” Qur’an.Surah Aalí- ’Imraan 3:85

Therefore, the Muslim must know his religion. It is not sufficient to be a Muslim in just name only.


The Third is Knowledge of the Prophet

From the obligations from which no one is excused from being ignorant of is knowledge of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and knowledge of what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمcame with.

It is not sufficient for the Muslim, male or female, that everyone from amongst them says, ‘I know about the Messenger of Allah, and he is Muhammad Ibn ’Abdullaah .’ This is not sufficient. Rather, one must know that he was sent by Allah سبحانه و تعالى.

Allah سبحانه و تعالى
revealed a Book to him and commanded him to explain it and he commanded him to call upon the Ummah to hold firmly to this Book and to what he صلى الله عليه وسلمcame with from his noble Sunnah. So due to this, knowledge of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمcan be enumerated within the following affairs:

[1]: Knowing him as a person. The Muslim must know who he was, where he came from and how he lived his life.

[2]: Loving him more than one loves himself, his wealth, his father and his son.

[3]: Loving what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمcame with, generally and specifically.

[4]: Acting upon that in hopes of the mercy of Allah سبحانه و تعالى and in fear of His punishment.

Therefore, knowledge of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمmeans that the Muslim must have a basic understanding of his Seerah, the Book that he came with and the Sunnah that he taught.

Scholars view

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمت الله said:  Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) رحمت الله was asked about this matter, and we will quote his reply in full: 


“Indeed, the torment and blessing happen to both the soul and the body, according to the consensus of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah. The soul is blessed or tormented separately from the body, and it is blessed or tormented in connection with the body. The body is connected to it, so in this case the blessing or torment happens to them both, and it may happen to the soul separately from the body. 


The view of the pious predecessors and imams of this ummah is that when a person dies, he will be in a state of blessing or torment, and that happens to his soul and his body. After the soul has departed from the body, it remains in a state of blessing or torment, and that is sometimes connected to the body and the blessing or torment happens to them both. Then when the Day of Resurrection comes, the souls will be returned to their bodies and they will rise from their graves to meet the Lord of the Worlds. The physical resurrection is a matter upon which the Muslims, Jews and Christians are agreed.”  (Qur’an.Surah Rooh, p. 51, 52) 


Al-Nawawi رحمت الله said: 

“If it is said, we see the deceased and how he is in his grave, so how can he be questioned, made to sit up and beaten with iron rods, when no mark is left on him? The answer is that this is not impossible, and indeed there is a similar case in our regular lives, that of the sleeper who feels joy or pain of which we feel nothing.  A person who is awake may also feel joy or pain because of something he hears or thinks about, and those who are sitting with him feel nothing of that. Similarly, Jibreel used to come to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and tell him of the Wahy (Revelation), and the people present were unaware of it. All of that is clear and evident.” (Sahih Al Muslim, 17/201) 


Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah رحمت الله said: 

“When a person sleeps, he may feel joy or pain, and that happens to his soul and his body. He may dream that someone is beating him and wake up with pain in his body, or he may dream that he is being fed some good food, then wake up with the food in his mouth. This is something that really happens. If the body and soul of a sleeping person can experience joy and pain that are not felt by the person next to him, and a sleeper may even cry out because of the intensity of pain or fear of what is happening to him, and those who are awake can hear him, and he may speak, reciting Qur’an or dhikr, or talking to someone, and those who are awake can hear that, even though he is asleep with his eyes closed, and he does not hear them if they speak to him – then how can we deny that the one who is buried in his grave also feels things, when the Messenger  صلى الله عليه وسلمhas told us that he “hears the sound of their footsteps” and “You do not hear what I say any better than they do”? 


We cannot say that the blessing or torment that the dead experience is like that which a sleeper experiences when he dreams, rather that blessing or torment is more complete and more far-reaching; it is a real blessing and a real torment. But this example is given to show that this is possible. If someone were to say that the dead person does not move in his grave, and the soil does not change, and so on, this matter may be explained in more detail, but that would take too long to explain here. And Allahسبحانه و تعالى knows best. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى bless our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمand his family and companions. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/275, 276) 


Dua to be safe guard from punishment of Grave

Narrated from ‘Aa’ishah رضي الله عنه that the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلمused to say, ‘Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-kasali wa’l-haram wa’l-maghram wa’l-ma’tham. Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min ‘adhaab al-naar wa fitnat il-naar, wa fitnat il-qabri, wa ‘adhaab il-qabri, wa sharri fitnat il-ghina wa sharri fitnat il-faqair wa min sharri fitnat il-maseeh il-Dajjaal. Allaahumma ighsil khataayaaya bi ma’ al-thalji wa’l-baradi wa naqqi qalbi min al-khataaya kama yunaqqa al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas, wa baa’id bayni wa bayna khataayaaya kama baa’adta bayna al-mashriqi wa’l-maghrib (O Allah! I seek refuge with You from laziness and old age, and from debts and sins; from the torment of the Fire and from the tribulation of the Fire, and from the tribulation of the grave and the torment of the grave, and from the evil of the tribulation of wealth, and from the evil of the tribulation of poverty, and from the evil of the tribulation of the Dajjaal (Antichrist). O Allah! Wash away my sins with the water of snow and hail, and cleanse my heart from sin as a white garment is cleansed from filth, and put a great distance between me and my sins, as great as the distance You have made between the East and the West).” Sahih Al Bukhari, 6014


Ibn Hajar رحمت الله said: The phrase “from the tribulation of the grave” means the questioning of the two angels.



The Three Fundamental Principles (Usool ath-Thalaathah) - by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (may Allah have mercy on him)


Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles (Sharh Usool ath-Thalaathah) by Shaykh Zayd ibn Haadee al-Madhkhali (may Allah have mercy him)


See Also: Unique aspect of Hereafter in Islam; Life after death

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