This is another great question that involves the grave and the matters connected to it.
As-Salaamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,
I had a question:
Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah said, ‘The ḥadīths are mass-transmitted regarding the spirit returning to the body at the time of questioning. The questioning of the body without the spirit is the position of one group, including Ibn az-Zāghūnī, and it has been related from Ibn Jarīr – and the majority refuted him.
There are others who hold the opposite position and say that the questioning is for the spirit and not the body. This has been stated by Ibn Ḥazm and others, including Ibn ʿAqīl and Ibn al-Jawzī, and it is incorrect. Otherwise, there would be nothing particular about the grave in this matter.’
The statement is from Majmu’ al-Fatawa, but is that really the final position of Imams Ibn ‘Aqeel and Ibn al-Jawzi?
Are you referring to Majmu`a Fatawa or Majmu` Al-Fatawa. The former is 37 volumes and the sum total of his rulings running in an almost chronological order. The latter is everything in the former but also another collection known as Al-Fatawa Al-Kubra.
As for the statement above and the position of the Imams in question, one of the authoritative commentators on the Lum`ah, Imam Najm ud-Din Ibn Hamdan (d. 695 AH), made the following statement:
والنعيم والعذاب للأرواح وأجسادها مع ردها إليها بعينها بعد فنائها وقبله. وقال ابن الجوزي في المنهاج: إنما تعذب الأرواح دون الجسد. وقال أحمد: الشهداء بعد القتل باقون يأكلون أرزاقهم، وقال: الأنبياء أحياء في قبورهم يصلون. وقال: الميت يعلم بزائرة يوم الجمعة بعد طلوع الفجر وقبل طلوع الشمس وإن الله يعذب قوماً في قبورهم. وقيل في صفة الحور والولدان احتملان. ولا يقطغ بإعادة السقط الذي لا روح فيه ولا بعدمها، كالجماد. وأن التناسخ باطل. وأن أرواح المسلمين في حواصل (طير) خضر تعلق في الجنة. وأرواح الكفار في حواصل طير سود تعلق في النار، وقيل: في برموت، وهي بئر بحضرموت. وبإحياء الميت وكلامه في قبره لمنكر ونكير وسؤالهما له، وثوابه فيه وعقابه للروح والجسد وضغط… إلخ
وقال ابن حمدان أيضاً: قال ابن عقيل: ولا يستحب تلقينهم لرفع القلم.
Taken from Nihayah Al-Mubtadi’in fi Usul id-Din, pp. 54-55
The dispute centres around the issue of the soul when it has left the body at the time of death and gone on the other side of the barzakh. Does it come back to the body for the questioning, does the questioning happen immediately after death and before burial or immediately after burial?
The issue is that that the soul is being asked the question, not the body or both? The position of Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi (d. 597) is that the punishment is for the souls and the questioning as it is what animated the body and gave it life. The punishment of the grave is thus for the soul while the eternal judgement is for both, soul and body.
The same position is from Ibn `Aqil (d. 513), while the depended upon position is that the deceased in his grave is questioned and that the reward and the punishment is for the body and soul as Imam Ibn Hamdan (d. 695) mentions in the quote I gave and upheld by all other commentators and the great preponderance of theologians.
It is a branch issue based on two ahadith on the topic that are disputed about that could go in either direction.
I hope that this was of some assistance and benefit to you.
brother in Islam,
Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali