The word Aakhirah means the Hereafter.
This refers to the eternal life after death.
Every one of us will die and leave this world.
When death comes it puts an end to our bodies but it does not destroy our souls.
The soul continues to live after death.
There are a few stages the soul goes through after death.
The first stage after death is the Qabr, the grave.
It is also called Barzakh, the barrier.
This is because death is like a barrier and after dying the soul can never come back to this world.
Two angels called Munkir and Nakiir come to question the dead person when he is laid in his grave.
They will ask him three questions : “Who is your Lord?”, “What is your religion?” and “Who is your prophet?”.
The Muslim will correctly answer, “My Lord is Allah! My religion is Islam! And my prophet is Muhammad[s]!”
Only the Muslim who died with iman (true faith in Allah) will readily answer these questions.
The grave will then expand to as far as the eyes can see and become a most beautiful garden, like the gardens of Jannah.
A window to Jannah will be opened into his grave and the sweet fragrance of Jannah will blow into his grave.
He will be shown his palace in Jannah.
The beautiful youths and maidens of Jannah will keep him company in his grave.
He will rest peacefully in his grave until the Day of Judgement.
On the Day of Judgement, his soul will once again be reunited with his body in the most beautiful form.
The Kaafir (non-Muslim) will not be able to correctly answer the questions of Munkir and Nakiir in the grave.
The grave will then contract and crush him until the ribs of one side of his body pierce the ribs of the other side.
The flames of Jahannam will then enter his grave.
The most terrifying gigantic serpents, scorpions and monsters of Jahannam will torture him in his grave.
He will suffer the worst punishments in his grave until the Day of Judgement.
On the Day of Judgement, his soul will once again be reunited with his body in the most horrible form.
Wicked Muslims who have not repented from their sins will also be punished in the grave.
The pleasures or punishments of the Qabr will even come to those who have not been buried after death, like those who’s bodies have been burnt to ashes or eaten by wild animals.
Then the Day of Judgement will commence in which Allah will weigh the deeds of all Human beings. This is the second stage.
Those who have iman (belief) and many good deeds will be welcomed into Jannah (paradise).
Those who died as kuffaar (disbelievers) and those wicked Muslims with few good deeds will be cast into the fire of Jahannam (hell). This is the third and final stage.
Jannah and Jahannam are two physical places beyond our universe which have already been created.
They are both perfect and complete. Jannah is perfect in its pleasures and beauty and Jahannam is complete in its pain and its horror.
Jannah and Jahannam exist forever.
Jannah is a place of only beauty, luxury and pleasure reserved for the good Muslims.
Both the soul and the body will enjoy perfect happiness and pleasure in Jannah forever.
The pleasures and beauty of Jannah are beyond our imagination.
There are many levels in Jannah, each one more beautiful than the next.
Jannah has palaces, gardens, rivers, trees, fruits, beautiful girls, handsome boys, clothing and jewels more beautiful than anything we know or can imagine.
It has delicious foods and cool sweet drinks unlike anything we have on earth.
Beauty and happiness continuously increase in Jannah and never decreases.
No one ever dies in Jannah and there is no sickness, pain, sorrow, impurity, stench or cruelty there.
There is also no time in Jannah
It never ends.
The greatest blessing in Jannah is that we will see Allah.
The joy of seeing Allah will be greater than any other pleasure.
Jahannam is a place of only horror, pain and suffering reserved for the Kuffaar (disbelievers) and the wicked Muslims.
Both the soul and the body will suffer absolute sorrow and pain in Jahannam forever.
The suffering and horror of Jahannam are beyond our imagination.
There are many levels in Jahannam, each one more terrifying than the next.
Jahannam has blazing fires of black flames which are thousands of times hotter than the fires of this world.
It has rivers of fire, trees of fire, fruits of fire and thorns, gigantic serpents and scorpions, clothes and bracelets of fire more terrifying and horrible than anything we know or can imagine.
It has choking foods and boiling, bitter drinks unlike anything we have on earth.
Ugliness and sorrow continuously increase in Jahannam and never decreases.
No one ever dies in Jahannam and there is only suffering, pain, sorrow, impurity, stench and cruelty there.
There is also no time in Jahannam.
It never ends.
The worst punishment in Jahannam is that the people of Jahannam will never see Allah, ever.
The sorrow of not seeing Allah will be worse than any other pain.
No one will be able to come out of Jahannam ever.
Only the bad Muslims, after serving their punishment, will be removed from Jahannam and thereafter will be entered into Jannah.
Some bad Muslims will also be saved from the punishment of Jahannam by the Shafaa’ah (intercession) of the blessed Prophet Muhammad [s].
May Allah protect us from Jahannam and bless us with Jannah, Aamiin.