Praise be to Allaah.
When the son of Adam dies and his soul departs and he is placed in his grave, then he is in the first stage of the Hereafter, because the grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter.
It was narrated that Haani’ the freed slave of ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan said: when ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan stood by a grave he would weep until his beard became wet. It was said to him, “You remember Paradise and Hell and you do not weep, but you weep because of this?” He said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The grave is the first of the stages of the Hereafter; whoever is saved from it, whatever comes afterwards will be easier for him, but if he is not saved from it, what comes afterwards will be worse for him.’” And the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have never seen any scene but the grave is more frightening than it.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2308; Ibn Maajah, 4567; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1684).
The two angels who are charged with questioning come to him and ask him what he used to believe in in this world, who was his Lord, what was his religion and who was his Prophet. If he gives a good answer, that is good, but if he does not answer them they inflict a severe and painful beating on him.
If he was one of the righteous, angels with white faces come to him, but if he was one of the evildoers, angels with dark faces come to him. This is the fitnah or tribulation that he suffers.
It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, ‘Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-kasali wa’l-haram wa’l-maghram wa’l-ma’tham. Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min ‘adhaab al-naar wa fitnat il-naar, wa fitnat il-qabri, wa ‘adhaab il-qabri, wa sharri fitnat il-ghina wa sharri fitnat il-faqair wa min sharri fitnat il-maseeh il-Dajjaal. Allaahumma ighsil khataayaaya bi ma’ al-thalji wa’l-baradi wa naqqi qalbi min al-khataaya kama yunaqqa al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas, wa baa’id bayni wa bayna khataayaaya kama baa’adta bayna al-mashriqi wa’l-maghrib (O Allah! I seek refuge with You from laziness and old age, and from debts and sins; from the torment of the Fire and from the tribulation of the Fire, and from the tribulation of the grave and the torment of the grave, and from the evil of the tribulation of wealth, and from the evil of the tribulation of poverty, and from the evil of the tribulation of the Dajjaal (Antichrist). O Allah! Wash away my sins with the water of snow and hail, and cleanse my heart from sin as a white garment is cleansed from filth, and put a great distance between me and my sins, as great as the distance You have made between the East and the West).”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6014).
Ibn Hajar said:
The phrase “from the tribulation of the grave” means the questioning of the two angels.
With the name Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.
“And no friend will ask after a friend, Though they will be put in sight of each other― the sinner’s desire will be: would that he could redeem himself from the Penalty of that Day by (sacrificing) his children, His wife and his brother, His kindred who sheltered him. And all, all that is on earth so it could deliver him: By no means! For it would be the Fire of Hell,” (70:10-15)
“And We saved those who believed and used to fear Allâh,
(who) keep their duty to Him and avoid evil;” (41:18).
It is not just the cultural identification a person can be proud of. Proud in knowing that these African American people stood up for themselves (and in so doing, for all African Americans) as a people and built an African American Empire admired the world over. More accurately, it should be termed Nation Day, as a purely cultural observance for those who choose to do so; while at the same time leaving the religous pantheon based in paganism in the past.