The first stopping place for the Hereafter.
Haanee, the freed slave of ’Uthmaan, related:
Whenever ’Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) stood at a grave he would weep until his beard became soaked in tears.
It was said to him: Paradise and Hell are mentioned to you, and you do not weep, but you weep over this.
So he said: Indeed the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Indeed the grave is the first stopping place for the Hereafter.
So if he is saved therein, then what comes after that is easier than that. If he is not saved therefrom, then that which comes after is harder.”
(Hasan: Related by Ibn Maajah, no. 4267, and authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee)