In Mishkat it is mentioned that the grave of Sa’d (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was closed upon him. Is there any reason for this, or does this mean that everyone’s grave closes upon him
The Hadith you are referring to is as follows:
Sayyiduna Jabir (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that we went to the Janazah of Sayyiduna Sa’d bin Mu’adh (radiyallahu ‘anhu) with Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). When Nabi (sallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) completed the Janazah Salah and Sa’d (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was buried, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said ‘Subhanallah’, so we also said ‘Subhanallah’, then Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said ‘Allahu Akbar’, so we also said ‘Allahu Akbar’. Someone asked ‘O Rasulullah’, why did you say ‘Subhanallah and ‘Allahu Akbar’? Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: ‘The grave had narrowed in on this pious slave of Allah Ta’ala then Allah Ta’ala widened it.”
(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3 pg. 360)
Difference in the type of squeeze
Majority of scholars are of the opinion that the grave narrows in on everyone, however there is a difference between how it is done for a believer and a disbeliever.
As for a believer the grave closes in on him for a short while and then expands. The reason for this is that no person is free of sins, so this squeeze of the grave is as a recompensation. The disbeliever’s squeeze will be perpetual till the day of Qiyamah.
Ibn Abid Dunya (rahimahullah) offers a different explanation. He says that man is created from sand and it is as though sand is our mother. So when a believer is buried the grave gives him an affectionate squeeze due to the long separation, like how a mother hugs her child. As for a disbeliever he gets squeezed and crushed until his ribs interlock.
(Sharhus Sudur pg.105-108, At Tadhkirah pg. 90)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
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