It is essential for those who will be admitted to Paradise to be cleansed of all their sins before they enter it. The sinners’ cleansing of their sins may happen in this world or in the Hereafter. In this world, Allaah has given His slaves ways of cleansing themselves thereof, by following their sins and evil deeds with prayers for forgiveness, sincere repentance and good deeds that erase sin.
With regard to the purification of the sinners in the Hereafter, this will be achieved in several ways:
1 – Prayers of the believers for the (deceased) believer, such as their offering the funeral prayer for him. It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah and Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no deceased person for whom a group of Muslims numbering one hundred offer the funeral prayer, all of them interceding for him, but their intercession for him will be accepted.” Narrated by Muslim, 947.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no Muslim man who dies and forty men who do not associate anything in worship with Allaah stand and pray for him, but Allaah will accept their intercession for him.” Narrated by Muslim, 948.
So it is known that this du’aa’ is one of the means of the deceased being forgiven.
2 – Acts of ongoing charity that the person did during his life will benefit him after his death.
3 – Good deeds done on behalf of the deceased, such as charity, Hajj, etc. These will benefit him, according to the texts of the saheeh Sunnah. It was proven in al-Saheehayn that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies owing fasts, let his heir fast on his behalf.” And it was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge and a righteous child who will pray for him.” Narrated by Muslim, 1638.
4 – What happens in the grave of the trial, squeezing and terror. These are things that expiate for sins.
5 – The intercession of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and others for sinners on the Day of Resurrection, as is narrated in mutawaatir reports in the ahaadeeth about intercession, such as the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the saheeh hadeeth, “My intercession will be for those among my ummah who committed major sins,” and “I was given the choice between admitting half of my ummah to Paradise and intercession, and I chose intercession because it is more general and greater. Do you think it will be only for the pious? No, it will be for the sinners who contaminated themselves with sins.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah 4311; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, 3480.
6 – The terrors, difficulties and hardships of the Day of Resurrection.
7 – The mercy and forgiveness of Allaah bestowed with no action on the part of His slaves. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Allaah created mercy on the day that He created it, and divided it into one hundred parts. He kept ninety-nine parts and sent one to all of His creation. If the kaafir knew of all that is with Allaah of mercy, he would never despair of Paradise, and if the believer knew of all that is with Allaah of punishment he would never feel safe from Hell.”