On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (Sal Allahau Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wasallam) said:
A man sinned greatly against himself, and when death came to him he charged his sons, saying: When I have died, burn me, then crush me and scatter [my ashes] into the sea, for, by Allah, if my Lord takes possession of me, He will punish me in a manner in which He has punished no one [else].
So they did that to him. Then He said to the earth: Produce what you have taken-and there he was! And He said to him: What induced you to do what you did? He said: Being afraid of You, O my Lord (or he said: Being frightened of You) and because of that He forgave him.
It was related by Muslim (also by al-Bukhari, an-Nasa’I and Ibn Majah).