Commentary on the Hadith concerning the punishment on the one who does not protect himself from the urine

Praise be to Allah,


It was narrated that ibn ‘Abbaas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (PBUH) passed by two graves, and he (PBUH) said,

“They are being punished, but they are not being punished for anything grave (i.e., it was not difficult to avoid). One of them used to walk around spreading malicious gossip, and the other did not protect himself from his urine.” He (PBUH) called for a palm branch, split it in two, and then planted one piece on one grave and the other on the other grave. Then he (PBUH) said, “Perhaps it (the punishment) will be reduced for them so long as this does not dry out.”[i]



In another narration:


Narrated ibn ‘Abbaas (May Allah be pleased with him): Once the Prophet (PBUH), while passing through one of the Heytaan (gardens or graveyards) of Al-Madeenah or Makkah, herd the voices of two persons who were being tortured in their grave. The Prophet (PBUH) said,

“These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid).” The Prophet (PBUH) then added, “Yes! (They are being tortured for a major sin). Indeed, one of them never saved himself from being soiled with urine, while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmity between friends).” The Prophet (PBUH) then asked for a green branch (of a date-pal tree), broke it into two pieces, and put one on each grave. On being asked why he had done so, he (PBUH) replied, “I hope that their torture might be lessened, till these get dried.”[ii]


This action was a kind of invocation on the part of the Prophet (PBUH) for the deceased persons.[iii]


Important Points Derived from the Hadeeth:


  1. Affirmation of the punishment in the grave, as has been well established in the authentic hadeeth and this is the madh-hab of the majority of the Muslim Ummah.


  1. Neglecting to protect oneself from impurities (najaasaat) is a cause or reason for the punishment in the grave. Therefore, everyone must take precautions against impurities, since the hadeeth indicates the fact that urine has a special relationship to the punishment in the grave [as one of its causes]. This is confirmed by what is reported by al-Haakim and Ibn Khuzaimah:


“Most of the punishment in the grave is from [not protecting oneself from] urine.” Ibn Hajar said: “Its chain of narrators is Saheeh (authentic).”


  1. The prohibition of an-Nameemah (carrying tales between two people to cause enmity between them), and that an-Nameemah is a cause or reason for the punishment in the grave.


  1. The mercy or compassion of the Prophet (PBUH) for his companions, and his eagerness and concern to distance them from any harm or evil.


  1. It is encouraged to cover the sins and faults of others, as the Prophet (PBUH) – perhaps intentionally did not identify or mention the names of the two people who were being punished in the graves.
  2. His statement: “They are not being punished for a major sin,” – means: their punishment is not due to a sin which was a major (difficult) thing for them to avoid. Surely, avoiding an-Nameemah or protecting oneself from urine (at the time of relieving oneself) is not extremely difficult to do. However, their punishment was severe due to the harm/evil which resulted from their actions.


  1. That Allah could reveal it to the people to manifest a sign from the signs of the prophet (PBUH) or a ‘Karaman from the miracles of the walee (the pious believer).


  1. Calling attention to the great significance of the prayer as not fulfilling one of its conditions is a reason for the punishment in the grave.


  1. The shafaa’h (intercession) can be effective for a specific time because of the statement of the prophet (PBUH): “perhaps the punishment will be lightened on them as long as these two are not dried up.”


Shaikh Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on his soul) said,


“It is not a sunnah for us to place a date-palm leaf on the graves because we do not the occupant of the grave is being punished. Therefore, placing a date-palm leaf on his grave is to have a bad assumption about him and an expectation that he is being punished”.[End Quote]


We may understand it as meaning that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) hoped that Allah would reduce their punishment so long as these two branches remained fresh, so it was not a long period. This was to warn against doing what they did, because their actions were serious as it says in the report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “But it is serious.”


Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:

That is not prescribed in Islam, rather it is bid’ah (an innovation) because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only placed the palm-leaf stalk on the two graves of the people whose torment he was made aware of; he did not place them on any other graves. From that, we know that it is not permissible to put them on graves, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” According to a version narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does anything that is not part of this matter of ours (Islam), will have it rejected.”

Similarly, it is not permissible to write on graves or to place flowers on them, because of the two hadeeth quoted above, and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade plastering over graves, erecting structures over them, sitting on them and writing on them”.[iv]


Putting roses especially on graves is not permissible if the person doing so intended to imitate the Kuffar (disbelievers). The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) warned us against imitating the Kuffar saying: “He is not amongst us who imitates the people different from us. Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians.” Reported by Tirmidhi.[v]

Allah Knows Best


Copied from Sources:

Arousing the Intellects with the Explanation of Umdatul Ahkaam. The Book Of At-Taharaah by Allama Sheikh Salih Ibn Uthaymeen (May Allah have mercy on him). page 52

Tayseer al-Allaam Sharh Umdatul-Ahkaam by Shaykh Abdullah ibn Abdur – Rahmaan Aal Bassaam. Page 40



[i] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 4, Hadeeth Number 218, p. 173; Saheeh Muslim, Volume 1, Book 1,

Hadeeth Number 677, p. 414

[ii] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 4, Hadeeth Number 216, p. 172

[iii] Fath al-Baaree, Volume 1, p.232.

[iv] Majallat al-Buhooth al-Islamiyyah, 68/50.


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