Salafy Ink Publications

When a Person Dies, Does He or She go to Paradise or the Hellfire Right Away?

Imām ‘Uthaymīn was asked...

When a person dies, does he go to Paradise of the Hellfire right after, or does he remain in the grave until Yawnul Qiyaamah? We request clarity with additional details concerning this. Thank you.

As for the body of the dead, then it will remain in the earth where it was buried until the Day of Judgement, Allah (The Most High) says:

And the horn will be blown; and at once from the graves to their Lord they will hasten.

And He (the Most High) says:

And behind them is a barrier until the day they are resurrected.

So it (i.e. the body) will remain in the earth, but as far as hig spirit (ar-Ruh) then it will be in Jannah or the Hell fire as Allah (Most High) says:

The ones whom the angels take in death, [being] good and pure; [the angels] will say, 'Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used to do.'

So it is lear that this statement is at (the time of his) death, it means they will enter Paradise the day of their death, but this is only the spirit and not the body. It is authentically reported on the Prophet ﷺ said:

Verily the dead in his grave who is a believer will have a door opened to Paradise, from it will come a fragrant breeze and blessings; but as for the kafir (disbeliever) then the foul stench (of Hell) will come to him and there will enter upon (him) Punishment.

And Allah (Most High) says:

The fire, they are exposed to it morning and evening. And the Day the Hour appears, the people of Pharoah will enter the severest punishment.

In another recitation:

And the Day the Hour appears and it will be said, "Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment

And His (Most High) saying:

Indeed, those whom the angels take [in death] while wronging themselves - [the angels] will say, "in what [condition] were you?" They will say, "We were oppressed in the land." The angels will say, "Was not the earth of Allah spacious [enough] for you to emigrate therein?" For those, their refuge is Hell - and evil it is as a destination

And His (Most High) saying:

And if you could but see when the angels take the souls of those who disbelieved... They are striking their faces and their backs and [saying], "Taste the punishment of the Burning Fire. That is for what your hands have put forth [of evil] and because Allah is not ever unjust to His servant."

So this is evidence that the dead from the believers will be rewarded in Paradise from the day of his death, and the Disbeliever will meet his punishment in the Hellfire from the day of his death. And this as it relates to the Spirit (Ar-ruh), but as for the body, then it will remain in the earth until the Day of Standing. Thus, the Spirit (Ar-Ruh) will either be subjected to torment or pleasure/ease as is demonstrated in the hadith.