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 Chapter 5: Experiences of the Soul after Death

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Ahmed
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PostSubject: Chapter 5: Experiences of the Soul after Death   Chapter 5: Experiences of the Soul after Death Icon_minitimeTue Oct 02, 2007 5:20 am

Chapter 5: Experiences of the Soul after Death

The new world of Barzakh begins when the person?s soul leaves his body and
his short life on this earth comes to an end. The dying man experiences things
which cannot be comprehended by the people around him. As his soul leaves his
body through his nostrils, his eyes follow his soul. For this reason, the
Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) advised the people to close the eyes of
the deceased to make his appearance less ghastly. Allah Almighty says about this
moment of dying.



"Then why do you not intervene when the soul (of the dying man) reaches the
throat. And you are at that time looking . We are nearer to him , but you do not
see. And why do you not, if you are exempt from accountability, call back the
soul if you are truthful?." (Soorah Al-Waqiah v 83-87)



As the person dies and enters a new world, a window into the 'Akhira' is opened
for him to allow his soul to view Heaven and Hell. Death is a time of truth and
the lies with which disbelievers surround themselves in this world are exposed.
These lies include the denial of the existence of Allah, rejection of the
punishment of the grave, and denial of the Day of Judgement.



So when death comes to the disbelievers and they feel the heat of the raging
fires of hell, they begin to plead for a second chance on earth to do good. But
all their pleading is in vain.



?Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, ?O my Lord. Send me back to
life. In order that I may do good deeds in the things that I neglected.? By no
means! It is but a word he says. And before them is a barzakh until the day they
are raised up." (Surah Al Mu?minun v 99-100)



The journey of the soul from the earth to heaven where it meets its Lord is
described vividly in the following hadith :



Al-Bara b. ?Azib said: We went out with the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihe
wa-sallam) to the funeral of a man of the Ansar and came to the grave. It had
not yet been dug, so Allah?s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihe wa-sallam) sat down
and we sat down around him quietly. He had in his hand a stick with which he was
making marks on the round. Then he raised his head and said, ?Seek refuge in
Allah from the punishment of the grave
; saying it twice or thrice. He then
said, ?When a believer is about to leave the world and go forward to the next
world, angels with faces white as the sun come down to him from heaven with one
of the shrouds of paradise and some of the perfume of paradise and sit away from
him as far as the eye can see. Then the angel of death comes and sits at his
head and says, ?Good soul, come out to forgiveness and acceptance from Allah.?
It then comes out as a drop flows from a water-skin and he seizes it; and when
he does so they do not leave it in his hand for an instant, but take it and
place it in that shroud and that perfume, and from it there comes forth a
fragrance like that of the sweetest musk found on the face of the earth. They
then take it up and do not bring it past a company of angels without their
asking, ?Who is this good soul?? to which they reply, ?So and so, the son of so
and so?, using the best names by which people called him on the earth. They then
bring him to the lowest heaven and ask that the gate should be opened for him.
This is done, and from every heaven its archangels escort him to the next heaven
until it is brought to the seventh heaven, and Allah who is great and glorious
says, ?Record the book of my servant in Illiyyun and take him back to earth, for
I created mankind from it, I shall return them into it, and from it I shall
bring them forth another time.? His soul is then restored to his body, two
angels come to him, and making him sit up say to him, ? Who is our Lord? He
replies, ?My Lord is Allah.? They ask, ?What is your religion?? and he replies,
?My religion is Islam.? They ask, ?Who is this man who was sent among you?? and
he replies, ?He is Allah?s Messenger.? They ask, ?What is your [source of]
knowledge?? and he replies, ?I have read Allah?s Book, believed in it and
declared it to be true.? Then one cries from heaven, ?My servant has spoken the
truth, so spread out carpets for him from paradise, and open a gate for him into
paradise.? Then some of its joy and its fragrance comes to him, his grave is
made spacious for him as far as the eye can see, and a man with a beautiful
face, beautiful garments and a sweet odor comes to him and says, ?Rejoice in
what pleases you for this is your day which you have been promised.? He asks,
?Who are you, for your face is perfectly beautiful and brings good?? He replies,
?I am your good deeds.? He then says, ?My Lord, bring the last hour; my Lord,
bring the last hour, so that I may return to my people and my property.?



But when an infidel is about to leave the world and proceed to the next world,
angels with black faces come down to him from heaven with hair-cloth and sit
away from him as far as the eye can see. Then the angel of death comes and sits
at his head and says, ?Wicked soul, come out to displeasure from Allah.? Then it
becomes dissipated in his body, and he draws it out as a spit is drawn out from
moistened wool. He then seizes it, and when he does so they do not leave it in
his hand for an instant, but put it in that hair-cloth and from it comes forth a
stench like the most offensive corpse found on the face of the earth. They then
take it up and do not bring it past a company of angels without their saying,
?Who is this wicked soul?? to which they reply, ?So and so, the son of so and
so?, using the worst names that he was called in the world. When he is brought
to the lowest heaven request is made that the gate be opened for him, but it is
not opened for him. (Allah?s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihe wa-sallam) then
recited, ?The gates of heaven will not be opened for them and they will not
enter paradise until a camel can pass through the eye of a needle.?
Allah
who is most Great and Glorious then says, ?Record his book in Sijjin in the
lowest earth,? and his soul is thrown down. (He (sallallaahu alaihe wa-sallam)
then recited, ?He who assigns partners to Allah is as if he had fallen down
from heaven and been snatched up by the birds, or made to fall by the wind in a
place far distant.?
His soul is then restored to his body, two angels come
to him, and making him sit up say to him, ?Who is your Lord?? He replies, ?Alas,
alas, I do not know.? They ask, ?What is your religion?? He replies, ?Alas,
alas, I do not know.? They ask ?Who is this man who was sent among you?? He
replies, Alas, alas, I do not know.? Then one cries out from heaven, ?He has
lied, so spread out carpets from hell for him, and open a gate for him into
hell.? Then some of its heat and hot air comes to him, his grave is made narrow
for him so that his ribs are pressed together in it and a man with an ugly face,
ugly garments and an offensive odor come to him and says, Be grieved with what
displeases you, for this is your day which you have been promised.? He asks ?Who
are you, for your face is most ugly and brings evil?? He replies, ?l am your
wicked deeds.? He then says, My Lord, do not bring the last hour.?



In a version there is something similar containing this addition :



?When his soul comes out every angel between heaven and earth and every angel in
heaven invoke blessings on him, and the gates of heaven are opened for him, no
guardians of a gate failing to supplicate God that his soul may be taken up
beyond them. But his soul, i.e., the infidel?s, is pulled out along with the
veins and every angel between heaven and earth and every angel in heaven curse
him, and the gates of heaven are locked, no guardians of a gate failing to
supplicate God that his soul may not be taken up beyond them." (Ahmad
transmitted it)



The person who answers the questions correctly and is destined for paradise will
feel that his grave is expanding and becoming a garden of paradise. The angels
will tell him gently, ?Sleep like the sleep of a bride.?



But the person who fails to answer the questions correctly will feel the grave
closing in on him and a door into hell will be opened for him. His mortal body
will decompose and eventually disappear into the ground, but his soul will
continue to feel the punishment it earned in its life on earth. The punishment
of the grave is the first hurdle the person has to overcome after death, and if
he overcomes it easily, the rest of his trial on the Day of Judgement will be
similarly easy. For this reason, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihe
wa-sallam) used to recite the following du?aa frequently :



?My Lord, I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the grave, and seek refuge
in You from the torture of the hell fire, and I seek refuge in You from the
trials of the false messiah, and I seek refuge in You from the trials of living
and dying.?



Zaid b. Thabit narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)
and his Companions were passing through a belonging to the Banu An Najjar when
the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) mount shied and almost unseated him.
They were close to a few graves in which polytheist were buried, so the Prophet
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said, ?These people are being tortured in their
graves, and were it not that you would stop burying your dead, I would ask Allah
to let you hear the punishment in the grave which I can hear.? (Saheeh Muslim)

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