Thursday, 8 November 2018

Every Soul Must Taste Death


Death is a harsh and fearful reality faced by everyone who lives.No one has the power to avoid it, nor does anyone around the dying person have the ability to prevent it. It is something which happens every moment and is encountered by the old and the young,the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak. They are all the
same in that they have no plan or means of escaping it, no power, no means of intercession, no way to prevent it, nor to delay it, which shows that indeed it comes from One having tremendous power-so that the human is helpless in this regard and can only submit to it.

Indeed, when a loved one dies, the affair of death is given more attention and the world becomes tasteless for some time. This is the way it should be whether someone dies or not, in order that we may make more effort in preparing for the meeting with our Lord.
Buraidah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “ I forbade you to visit the graves, but now visit them for that makes you mindful of the hereafter.” Narrated by Imams Ahmad and Al-Tirmithi, and the latter also declared it sahih (authentic).

And let us not be deceived by this worldly life and its glitter.

Allah says:

'O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers. And spend (in charity) of that with which We have provided you, before death comes to one of you and he says: "My Lord! If only You would give me respite for a little while (i.e.return to the worldly life), then I should give Sadaqah (i.e.Zakaat) of my wealth, and be among the righteous [i.e. perform Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah)]. And Allaah grants respite to none when his appointed time (death) comes. And Allaah is All-Aware of what you do.'
Qur'an 63:9-11 (Surat Al-Munāfiqūn)

The Mysteries Of The Soul

“And they ask you (O Muhammad), concerning the Ruh (the spirit); Say: “The Ruh (the Spirit): its knowledge is with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given a little,” Al-Isra 17:85

The majority of Islamic scholars agree that nafs (soul) and ruh (spirit) are two names for one in the same thing, and as such are interchangeable. You will find throughout the Qur’an and the Sunnah the term ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ used intermittently. Some scholars of Hadith hold the opinion, that the ruh is other than the nafs , but the nafs, which is in the form of man, is dependent on the ruh for existence.
Mans nature (i.e. nafs) is filled with vanities, desires and passions. It is the source of trials and afflictions, and there is no enemy more hostile to him than his own nafs. Thus, the nafs wants and loves nothing other than the things of this world, while the ruh longs for the Hereafter and invites to it.
The Souls Form

According to Ibn al-Qayyim and affirmed by Ibn Abul-‘Izz al-Hanafi, we find their description of the “souls” form described and explained as follows:

“The spirit is an entity which differs from the physical, tangible body. It is a higher type of luminous (or light-like) being, alive and moving, and it penetrates the limbs, circulating through them as water circulates throughout the petals of a rose, as oil circulates throughout the olive, and as fire circulates throughout the burning embers of coal.”

Related by Ibn Abul- ‘Izz al-Hanafi in ‘al Aqeedat at Tahawiyyah

Descriptions of the spirit as “light”, it’s mode of penetration of the body, and it’s shape cannot be proven by the Qur’an or the Sunnah. These descriptions can only be considered conclusions based upon their own understanding of the “proofs”.

The Sunnah is replete with description of the state and the nature of the soul. These Hadith substantiate the view held by dependable scholars:

An example of the physical and psychological punishment awaiting the disbeliever's occurs in the following portion of a long, authentically related Hadith:

“....The Angel of Death says: “O you foul soul, come out to the anger and wrath of your Lord” The soul inside the disbeliever's body is overcome by terrible fear (and does not want to deliver itself up), whereupon the Angel of Death violently pulls it out like multi-pronged skewers, being yanked out of wet wool - tearing with them the arteries and nerves..”

Related by Bukhari

It is also narrated in an authentic Hadith Um Salamah reported:

“Allah’s Messenger (saws) entered upon Abu Salamah (i.e. his corpse), whose eyes were wide open. The Prophet (saws) closed the lids and then said: “When the Ruh (spirit) is taken out, the eyesight follows it (i.e. watches it ascend).”

Related by Ahmed and Muslim

These Hadith indicate in two ways that the soul is indeed a form. First of all, something must have form in order to be grasped and extracted. And second of all, eyes can only visualize something that has form.

Two Deaths and Two Lives

In the Qur’an Allah (swt) has mentioned two deaths and two lives.

“How can you deny Allah (swt) when you were dead, he gave you life, then he gave you death and he is going to give you life once again and you will come back to us.”

Al Baqarah 2:28

“....The kafir will say on the day of judgment -Oh Allah, you have bound us to die twice, and you gave us life twice, and now we admit our sins, so is there any way out for us?.....”

Ghafir 40:11

The first death is the state of the soul when it was first created. Allah (swt) creates first of all from the sperm, it turns into ‘Alaqa’ (leach like substance), then the ‘Mugarah’ (little piece of flesh), and when it is in the shape of a fetus (after 120 days), the soul is breathed into it. This is the moment when life begins. When the soul leaves the body (when death occurs), this is the second death and then Allah (swt) gives them a new form and this is the second life.

This life now is the most important one, because what we do in this life, determines what happens in the next.

A third of our life is spent in sleeping. While we are sleeping our souls leave our body.

“Allah (swt) takes souls at the time of their death and (the souls) of those that do not die, during their sleep. He retains those souls for which he has ordained death, whereas he releases the rest for an appointed term.”

Az-Zumar 39:42

The soul can experiences pain and emotions and we know this by the fact that we dream.

The Prophet Muhammad (saws) said;

“The clearest among you in his dreams are the clearest among you in his faith. If you speak the truth all the time, then your dreams will be true, but if you speak lies all the time then your dreams will be false.”

Sahih

“If you could see, when the wrongdoers taste the pangs of death, and the angels stretch their hands out (saying), “Deliver up your souls. This day you will be awarded a degrading punishment.”

Al-An’am 6:93

Here it is stated that death is painful for the disbeliever's. Although, they are ordered to surrender their own souls to the angels, they are unwilling; therefore, the soul must be forced out as it does not wish to meet its punishment.

The term “akhriju anfusakum” used in this Qur’anic verse literally mean “expel” or push out your souls, indicating that the soul becomes a separate entity from the physical body.

The Meetings of Souls

Souls of the Dead Meeting with Each Other

The souls of the dead may be divided into the following two categories:

1. Favored souls (i.e. those of pious believers)

2. Punished souls (i.e. those of the sinful believers and disbeliever's)

The souls of the second group are confined to places of punishment and are too preoccupied with the torments of the grave to be able to meet or visit with each other. However, the blessed and favored souls of the pious believers are free to roam and meet. They may visit and discuss with each other their previous existence on earth. In the barzakh every soul will be with companions of like nature. (refer: Ibn al-Qayyim’s Kitab ar-Ruh page 28)

The following Hadith is a direct reference and clear proof that , in general, the souls of pious believers are able to meet and converse with each other.

Abu Hariarah (raa) reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said:

“Verily, the soul of the believer (after death) soars up to the heavens, whereupon the souls of other believers come to it, seeking news about those they know from the people of the earth.”

Related by Muslim, Bukhari and Ahmad

Souls of The Dead Meeting with Souls of The Sleeping

Since the souls of the living (which are sleeping) and the souls of the dead can roam in the spiritual world - for they are not tied to their earthly bodies - it is certainly possible that they meet and converse. This deduction is confirmed by the majority of dependable Qur’anic commentators, foremost among them; Imam Ibn Jareer at-Tabari and Ibn Katheer.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Allah takes the souls at the time of death and (the souls) of those that do not die during their sleep. He retains those souls for which He has ordained death, whereas he releases the rest for an appointed term.”

Az-Zumar 39:42

Ibn al-Qayyim mentions two view points regarding the tafseer on this verse. The first view is there are two points in time at which Allah takes souls: death and during sleep. Death may occur during sleeping or at other times. The soul taken at death is “retained” soul referred to in this verse. The “released” soul is that which is taken during sleep and is returned to its respective body upon awakening.

The second position in regard to this verse is that both the “retained” soul and the “released” one are taken during sleep. Then those who have completed there specified period of life are retained, while those who have not completed their time are returned to their bodies. This view suggests that the verse refers to only souls that die in their sleep and the souls which are returned to their respective bodies upon awakening, and does not mention the “retained” souls that die at times other than during sleep.

When I was researching this topic: I found it very hard to get information from the Qur’an and Authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (saws)

I think an appropriate way to finish is to re-quote the ayah from the beginning of this paper:

“And they ask you (O Muhammad) concerning the Ruh (the spirit): Say: “The Ruh (the spirit): its knowledge is with my Lord, And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given but a little.”

Al-Isra 17:85

For further reference please refer to: Mysteries of the Soul Expounded by Abu Bilal Mustafa al-Kanadi

Friday, 2 November 2018

The Soul After Death


Imam Ahmad (17803) narrated that al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Verily, when the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him angels from heaven with white faces, as if their faces are the sun. They bring with them one of the shrouds of Paradise and some of the perfume of Paradise. They sit with him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death (peace be upon him) comes to him and sits by his head and says, ‘O pure soul, come out to the forgiveness and pleasure of Allah.’ Then his soul comes flowing out like a drop of water flowing from a cup. Then he takes the soul, and no sooner does he seize it but they take it and place it in that shroud and perfume. Then out of it comes the most excellent fragrance of musk to be found on the face of the earth. Then they ascend with it and they do not pass by any group of angels but the angels ask, ‘Who is this pure soul?’ and they reply, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so’ – using the best names by which he was known on earth. Then they bring it to the lowest heaven, and ask for it to be opened, and it is opened for him. Those who are of high rank in each heaven accompany it until they approach the next heaven, and so it goes until it reaches the seventh heaven. Then Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon (the highest heaven) and take him back to the earth, for I created them from it, and I shall return them to it, then I shall take them out from it again.’ Then his soul is returned to his body and two angels come and make him sit up”
Then the hadith mentions the questioning in the grave, then it mentions how the soul of the disbeliever is taken, then it says:

“Then they ascend with it and they do not pass by any group of angels but the angels ask, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they reply, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so’ – using the worst names by which he was known on earth. Then they bring it to the lowest heaven, and ask for it to be opened, and it is not opened for him.” Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning): “… For them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle” [al-A’raaf 7:40]. Then he said, “Then Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen (the lowest Hell) in the lowest earth. Then his soul is cast down.” Then he recited (interpretation of the meaning): “… and whoever assigns partners to Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place.” [al-Hajj 22:31]. He said, “Then his soul is returned to his body and two angels come and make him sit up” Then it mentions the questioning in the grave

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:This hadith indicates that the soul will remain after it departs the body, contrary to the misguided teachings of the mutakallimeen (Muslim philosophers); and that it will ascend and descend, contrary to the misguided teachings of the philosophers; and that it will be returned to the body; and that the deceased will be questioned, then he will be subjected to bliss or punishment. End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (4/292)

Ibn Maajah (4262) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Angels come to the dying person and if the man was righteous, they say: ‘Come out, O good soul that was in a good body, come out praiseworthy and receive the glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven, and it is opened for it, and it is asked, ‘Who is this?’ They say:  ‘[It is] So and so.’ It is said: ‘Welcome to the good soul that was in a good body. Enter praiseworthy and receive the glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it is brought to the heaven above which is Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. But if the man was evil, they say: ‘Come out O evil soul that was in an evil body. Come out blameworthy and receive the tidings of boiling water and dirty wound discharges, and other torments of similar kind, all together [cf. Saad 38:58]. And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven and it is not opened for it. And it is said: ‘No welcome to the evil soul that was in an evil body. Go back blameworthy, for the gates of heaven will not be opened to you.’ So it is sent back down from heaven, then it goes to the grave.”

These two hadiths describe what happens to the soul after death and before burial: if the person was a believer, then the angels give him glad tidings, before taking his soul, of the forgiveness and good pleasure of Allah, then they perfume it, then they take it up, in a blessed state, to its Lord, may He be glorified. Then Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: “‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon (the highest heaven) and take him back to the earth.” So the soul is returned to the body in which it was, then the individual is questioned in the grave; Allah makes him steadfast at the time of questioning, and makes his grave spacious for him, as far as his eyes can see.

But if it is the soul of a disbeliever, then the angels give him the tidings of hell and divine wrath, then they take his soul up, cursed, humiliated and afraid, and the gates of heaven are not opened for it, then it is thrown back down to earth, then it is returned to its body, then the individual is tormented in his grave and it is compressed on him, and there comes to him the heat and smoke of Hell.

With regard to the period between the departure of the soul and burial and questioning in the grave, for the believer it is the first stage of eternal happiness, as he is given the glad tidings of Paradise and eternal bliss, and his book is recorded in ‘Illiyoon (the highest heaven); then his soul will rejoice and be happy, and will never feel misery again.

But for the disbeliever, it is the first stage of eternal torment, as Allah is angry with him and does not give permission for the gates of heaven or the gates of mercy to be opened to him, and his book is recorded in Sijjeen (the lowest Hell); then his soul will be wretched and he will never feel happy again.

And Allah knows best.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Step by Step Guide to the Janazah (Funeral) Prayer in Islam

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) explained how the funeral prayer is to be done. It is done as follows:

You say the first Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”), then you seek refuge with Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan, then you say Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem and recite al-Faatihah followed by a short soorah or some aayahs. Then you say Takbeer and send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as one does at the end of the prayer. Then you say a third Takbeer and make du’aa’ for the deceased. The best is to say:

“Allaahumma ighfir lihaayina wa mayitina wa shaahidina wa ghaa’ibina wa sagheerina wa kabeerina wa dhakarina wa unthaana. Allaahumma man ahyaytahu minna fa ahyihi ‘ala’l-Islam wa man tawaffaytahu minna fa tawiffahu ‘ala’l-eemaan. Allaahumma ighfir lahu warhamhu wa ‘aafihi wa a’fu ‘anhu, wa akrim nuzulahu wa wassi’ madkhalahu waghsilhu bi’l-maa’ wa’l-thalj wa’l-barad, wa naqqihi min al-khataaya kama yunaqqa’ al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas. Allaahumma abdilhu daaran khayra min daarihi wa ahlan khayra min ahlihi. Allaahumma adkhilhu al-jannah wa a’idhhu min ‘adhaab il-qabri wa min ‘adhaab il-naar wa afsah lahu fi qabrihi wa nawwir lahu fihi. Allaahumma laa tahrimna ajrahu wa la tadillanaa ba’dahu

(O Allaah, forgive our living and our dead, those who are present among us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our males and our females. O Allaah, whoever You keep alive, keep him alive in Islam, and whoever You cause to die, cause him to die with faith. O Allaah, forgive him and have mercy on him, keep him safe and sound and forgive him, honour the place where he settles and make his entrance wide; wash him with water and snow and hail, and cleanse him of sin as a white garment is cleansed of dirt. O Allaah, give him a house better than his house and a family better than his family. O Allaah, admit him to Paradise and protect him from the torment of the grave and the torment of Hell-fire; make his grave spacious and fill it with light. O Allaah, do not deprive us of the reward and do not cause us to go astray after this).”

All of this was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). If you make du’aa’ with other words, this is OK, for example, you could say, “Allaahumma in kaana muhsinan fa zid fi ihsaanihi wa in kaana musee’an fa tajaawaz ‘an sayi’aatihi. Allaahumma ighfir lahu wa thabbit-hu bi’l-qawl il-thaabit  (O Allaah, if he was a doer of good, then increase his good deeds, and if he was a wrongdoer, then overlook his bad deeds. O Allaah, forgive him and give him the strength to say the right thing).” Then you say a fourth Takbeer and pause for a little while, then you say one Tasleem to the right, saying “Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaah.”
Kitaab Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol 13, p. 141

Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Shroud (Kafan) of a Female


The Shroud (Kafan) of a female should consist of five white garments, (Two winding sheet, a long loose sleeveless shirt {From shoulder to feet}, a waist wrapper, and a head veil ), these should be large enough to cover the whole body and may be perfumed with incense, a loin cloth may be used to bind the upper part of her legs, use 4 tie ropes, each one is 7 feet long.

Steps of shrouding :

The garments are spread out ( First: winding sheets {7 x 7 feet}, Second: the long loose sleeveless shirt {3 1/2 x 14 feet, with a hole in the middle line for the head}, Third: waist wrapper {6 feet x 3 1/2 feet }, Fourth head veil {a 4x4 square feet white sheet}, and Fifth: the loin cloth {12 inches wide x 4 feet long} ).
The deceased, covered with a sheet, is lifted and laid on her back on the shroud.
Some scent or perfume may be put on those parts of the body upon which one rests during prostration, that is the forehead, nose, hands, knees, and feet.
The loin cloth is bound round her upper legs (Acts like underwear).
The waist wrapper is tied in place.
Put on the sleeveless shirt (Long to cover the body from the shoulder to the feet) .
Put the head veil.
The deceased’s left hand should be placed on her chest, then put her right hand on the left hand like the way in the Salat (Prayer).
The edge of the top sheet is folded over the deceased right side, then the other edge over his left side. Then the second sheet should be folded the same way.
These sheets should be fastened with a piece of cloth {Tie ropes}, one above the head, another under the feet, and two around the body.

NOTE: There is no Islamic teaching of writing any thing on the shrouds.

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