Question: In her home country the non-Muslims usually burn the bodies of the dead. How do they return them to the grave? Are they punished like other non-Muslims?
This is a very interesting question. Perhaps some might think that they can undermine Allah, God forbid or that he can play games with Allah, that he can enjoy his life and then run away from his misdoings by cremating his body to ashes. That is not going to happen. The Prophet (PBUH) has informed us in several sound hadith the story of a man from the past who, when he felt near to his death, gathered his children and made his will. He advised them that if he ever dies, burn his body into ashes then wait for a windy day and let his ashes be distributed in the wind everywhere over the land, rivers, and oceans. He thought that way his atoms would be spread everywhere and it would be impossible to assemble his body again. When he died, his children honored his will and once they did Allah reassembled all of the atoms and ashes of his body that were scattered all over and Allah asked him, Yea Abdi ma amalakka? Oh servant, why did you do that? He Replied, O Allah, I had transgressed a lot against myself and had disobeyed you a great deal and I was afraid of meeting you. Allah Subhanna wa Taala said, I have forgiven you your sins. The Prophet was telling us about this incident that happened in the nation before so that doesn’t mean that this is permissible, it is prohibited yet he is informing us of Allah’s power of reassembling the dead whether they have been swallowed by a fish or eaten by wild animals or have been in explosions inna Allahu Alla kulla shain Qadir (He is capable of all things) I have traced the meaning of one verse in Sura Yassin and it is in more than ten tufsir (interpretation). The verses in
أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الإِنْسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُبِينٌ (77) وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلاً وَنَسِيَ خَلْقَهُ قَالَ مَنْ يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ (78) قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِي أَنْشَأَهَا أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ
Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfah (mixed male and female discharge semen drops). Yet behold! He (stands forth) as an open opponent (77). And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: "Who will give life to these bones when they have rotted away and become dust?"(78) Say: (O Muhammad SAW) "He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation!"(79)
This is an amazing story Ubay ibn Khalif one of the Meccan chiefs came to the Prophet with a very old rotten bone and he rubbed it between his fingers and it turned into powder. Oh Muhammad do you claim that your Lord can revive this rotten bone after it has turned into powder and then reassemble it once again and bring it back to life? Look at the certainty in the answer of the Prophet. The Prophet smiled and said, Certainly Allah Subhanna wa Taala is capable of doing that and he will revive the dead and after you die he will revive you, resurrect you and take you into the fire of Hell. . Mankind doesn’t realize that Allah created him from a Nutfa, sexual discharge, a very insignificant thing, a disgraced thing and he made it into a perfect human being. Afterward he turns to be an opponent and a clear opponent to Allah Subhanna wa Taala. Then it says daraba Allahu methala (Allah put forth a parable) referring to the rotten bone that was brought to the Prophet. Who returns the dead after they were rotten. Did I say that it was Allah who brought it to life the first time and he will resurrect it and revive it once again and He is fully aware of all of His creation. If we read in the Quran Surah Al Ghaffir there is a very interesting verse which addresses this question. We all know that Musa’s Pharaoh and entire army was drowned in the sea and that means that their corpses were eaten up by the fish. Allah Subhanna wa Taala says to Pharoah concerning his people.
Surah Ghafir (40:46)
النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا غُدُوًّا وَعَشِيًّا وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُوا آَلَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَاب
The Fire; they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon, and on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Fir'aun's (Pharaoh) people to enter the severest torment!"
They are being exposed to fire in the morning and the evening, day and night. Somebody might argue and say that this will happen in the hereafter not in hayat albarzakh* but the continuation of the verse proves otherwise. Then on the day of resurrection they will be admitted to the worst and the more severe torment that means they are living in torment right now, they are being punished and on the day of resurrection there will be an even worse torment. From all of that we understand that even if the body was cremated, thrown into a windy desert, or in a stream or in the ocean, Allah is able to do everything As He created him the first time he is definitely able to recreate the atoms of the deceased and bring him to accountability and punishment or reward him with an exact recompense for his deeds in this life.
From Ask huda program
* hayat albarzakh: The life in the grave before resurrection