By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam
10 Jun 2021
Barzakh is a phase happening between death and resurrection
The word ‘Grave’ is also used to refer to the Barzakh
The human beings will reside in the World of Barzakh as per their ranking based on piety
Happenings after death
Three Questions will be asked by the angels Munkir and Nakeer in the grave
The believers will succeed in replying to the three questions
Answer: Barzakh is an Arabic word that literally means ‘barrier’, ‘separation’ or ‘hindrance’. The World of Barzakh (Aalam-e-Barzakh) designates a phase happening between death and resurrection. The word ‘grave’ in its widest sense also refers to the Barzakh because this is the period intervening between this world and the next, therefore a world itself. After death and before Resurrection, all the human beings and Jins will have to live in the world of Barzakh as per their ranking. Barzakh is much larger than this earth. It is a place where some will live with comfort while others will confront hardships.
It is the popular belief of the Muslim faith that every person will lead a fixed lifespan on earth. The fixed life can neither be increased nor decreased. When the time of a person’s fixed lifespan completes, Hazrat Izra’eel in Arabic or Azrael in some Jewish traditions (the angel of death) appears and removes his soul. The person observes the presence of Angles to his left and right, for as far as his eyes can see. This is the time when the reality of Islam becomes more obvious than the brightness of the sun to every person. After the angel of death, Hazrat Izraeel captures the soul of a person, his phase of Barzakh starts.
It is the faith of Muslims that even after death; the soul is somehow linked to the body of man. Even after leaving the body, the soul experiences and feels everything that is inflicted on the body, just as it takes place during worldly life. Just as the body experiences five senses on earth, so too the soul has its own sensations, through which it feels happiness or sadness. The soul of a person continues to have such sensation in the World of Barzakh.
What does happen to the soul of a person in the World of Barzakh?
After death and according to one’s ranking based on piety and taqwa, the souls of the believers reside in different places of the World of Barzakh. The souls of some believers reside on their graves, while some reside near the well of Zamzam, some reside between the skies and the earth, some reside in the first sky, some reside in the second sky and so forth, right up to the seventh sky, while some reside even higher than the skies. No matter where the soul may be, it remains connected to its body. It recognizes and observes those who come to its grave. It even hears their words. The power of seeing by the soul is not only restricted to near the grave. (Bahare Shariat, vol. 1, p.101)
It is narrated in a hadith that “When a Muslim passes away, his path is cleared. He may go anywhere he desires”.
Some popular beliefs about the happenings after death, with reference to Bahare Shariat of Allama Sadrush Sharia Amjad Ali Qadri, are as follows;
It is an act of kufr to believe that soul enters another boy after death, be it that of another human or animal, which is known as ‘Tanasukh’ or ‘Awagawan’ i.e. re-incarnation.
It is the popular belief of Muslims that death refers to the separation of the soul from the body. It does not mean that the soul dies. Hence it is misguidance to believe that the soul is totally obliterated.
When the people return after burying the dead person, the deceased hears the sound of their footsteps. Just then, two angels namely Munkir and Nakeer appear in dreadful forms. They awaken the deceased and ask him three questions as follows;
1. Who is your Rab [Lord]?
2. What is your Religion [Deen]?
3. What did you use to say about this person?
If the deceased is a Muslim, he will reply to these three questions as follows;
1. My Lord is Allah.
2. My Religion is Islam
3. He is the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)
The angels will then ask
the deceased as to who informed him of this and he will say,
I read the Book of Allah and believed in it, confirming whatever is in it”. It is narrated in other narrations that after receiving the reply from the deceased, the angels will say, “We knew that you are going to say this”. Then a voice will call out from the sky saying:
“My Servant has spoken the Truth. Prepare for him the bed of Paradise (Jannat), adorn him in the garb of Jannat and open for him a door leading to Jannat”. Then the cool and fragrant breeze of paradise will flow into his grave and his grave will be extended for as far as his eyes can see. It will then be said to him, “Sleep as a bridegroom sleeps”.
This status will be commonly exclusive to the chosen servants or the pious servants of Allah. However, if Allah wills, then the common believers too can benefit from this as well, otherwise, the expanding of the grave will vary for each person, depending on his religious status or piety.
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