Fearing Allah

Q: Would you please show the Sanad (chain of narrators) of the following Hadith and explain whether it is Sahih (authentic; that has been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish) or not? May Allah reward you! The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, A man used to do sinful deeds, and when he was about to die, he said to his children, "After my death, burn me, crush me, and scatter the ashes into the air. By Allah! If Allah has control over me, He will show me such punishment as He has never shown to anyone else." When he died, his children did accordingly. Allah ordered the earth saying, "Collect what you hold (of his particles)." It did so, and he (the man) was standing. Allah asked (him), "What made you do what you did?" He replied, "O my Lord! I was afraid of You." So Allah forgave him.

A: Imam Al-Bukhari related in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith, Chapter on "Fearing of Allah": I was told by `Uthman ibn Abu Shaybah that he was told by Jarir from Mansur from Rib`y on the authority of Hudhayfah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, (Part No. 1; Page No. 367)  There was a man among the people who lived before you who expected no good (in the Hereafter) because of his deeds. Therefore, he said to his family, "When I die, take me, burn me and throw my ashes into the sea on a windy day.'' They did accordingly, but Allah collected his particles and asked (him), "What made you do what you did?" He replied, "The only thing that made me do it was my fear of You." Thus, Allah forgave him. Musa narrated that he was told by Mu`tamir that he was told by Ubay who was told by Qatadah that he was told by `Uqbah ibn `Abdul-Ghafir on the authority of Abu Sa`id (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Amongst the people who were before you, there was a man whom Allah had granted wealth and children. When he was on his deathbed, he said to his children, "What type of father have I been to you?" They replied, "The best father." He said, "But he (i.e. your father) has not saved any good deeds with Allah (for the Hereafter); if he should face Allah, he will be punished. So listen, when I die, burn my body until I become charcoal and then grind me (into powder), and when there is a stormy wind, scatter me (my ashes) in it." He made them promise (to do this) and they did so. Then Allah said: "Be!" and the man appeared, standing. Allah said: "O My Servant! What made you do what you did?" He replied, "Fear of You." So Allah bestowed His Mercy upon him. I narrated this to Abu `Uthman who said that he heard it before from Salman. Yet, the latter added, Scatter my ashes into the sea, or something like that. Due to fearing Allah and ignorance of the generality of Allah's Power, this man (Part No. 1; Page No. 368) instructed his children to do the aforementioned. As a result, Allah showed Him mercy and forgave his sins.After mentioning this Hadith and the scholars' debate about it, Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him) stated, "This man was ignorant and doubtful concerning the Power of Allah. He doubted the fact that Allah is able to restore the son of Adam if his particles are burnt and scattered and that He is able to resurrect him. His belief contradicts two basics of Iman (Faith): First: Belief in Allah (Exalted be He), i.e. believing that He has power over all things. Second: Belief in the Last Day, i.e. believing that Allah will resurrect the dead and call them to account. However, this man had faith in Allah and in the Last Day as a whole, he believed that Allah will reward and punish him after death. Thus, his fear of Allah's punishment for his sins was regarded as a good deed. Therefore, because of his belief in Allah and in the Last Day and this good deed Allah forgave him. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.