Islam teaches that this life is only a test of conduct for each individual, to see whether or not he or she will follow the commands of Allah. In the hereafter, people will be resurrected; they will stand before Allah for a just reckoning of their deeds and actions while they were alive on earth. People with good deeds will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to Allah’s heaven. However, those with records of many bad deeds will be punished and cast into hell.
People have been given knowledge of right and wrong, instinctively and through revelation; they must choose their path in this short life. Their choices in this life will ultimately determine their places in the eternal life to come. Allah has said in the Qur’an: “So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Qur’an 99: 7-8)
Belief in the Day of Judgement implants in the human heart, the consciousness of Allah. It impels people and society at large to obey Him sincerely without any external pressure. Effectively, the hereafter for the individual starts right after his or her soul departs from the body. Shortly after the burial, two angels come to the grave and ask the following three questions (like a final examination):
Who is your Lord?
What is your religion?
Who is your prophet?
Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) said that the believer would not have difficulties in answering these questions correctly, while the unbeliever would not be able to give the right answers.28 Depending upon the result, a person will begin to either suffer or enjoy his or her stay in the grave. The grave will either expand or contract, to give comfort or torture to its dweller, depending upon what they deserve. (As narrated in hadiths recorded by Bukhari and Ahmad)