Thursday, 13 October 2011

Life after death: Barzakh.

Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) takes men's souls at the time of their death, and the soul which does not die, He takes in sleep. Then He keeps the soul that is destined to die at that time and returns the others to life for a set period.' (39:42)

All Praise belongs to Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD), the Lord of the Universe, the Master of this world and of the Day of Judgment.
Peace and blessings be on the Prophet of Islam and on his Progeny who warned us that love of this world is a dangerous affliction and that it is the root cause of all diseases afflicting the human race.
All other diseases are really branches stemming from this main root.
And the cure of this affliction is to keep reminding oneself constantly of Death.

This is a story that was once told to me and I thought of sharing this here.

A man once saw in his dream that a lion was chasing him. The man ran to a tree, climbed on to it and sat on a branch.
He looked down and saw that the lion was still there waiting for him.
The man then looked to his side where the branch he was sitting on was attached to the tree and saw that two rats were circling around and eating the branch.

One rat was black and the other one was white. The branch would fall on the ground very soon.
The man then looked below again with fear and discovered that a big black snake had come and settled directly under him.
The snake opened its mouth right under the man so that he will fall into it. The man then looked up to see if there was anything that he could hold on to.
He saw another branch with a honeycomb. Drops of honey were falling from it. The man wanted to taste the honey. He drank one drop.
The honey was very sweet in taste.
So, he wanted to taste another drop, then another and then another. As a result, he got lost into the sweetness of the honey.
Meanwhile, he forgot about the two rats eating his branch away, the lion on the ground and the snake that is sitting right under him.
After a while, he woke up from his sleep.

To get the meaning behind this dream, the man went to a pious scholar of Islam. The scholar said "The lion you saw is your DEATH.
It always chases you and goes where ever you go. The two rats, one black and one white, are the NIGHT and DAY.
Black one is the NIGHT and the White one is the DAY. They circle around, coming one after another, to eat your time as they take you closer to death.
The big black snake with a dark mouth is your GRAVE. It's there, just waiting for you to fall into it.
The honeycomb is this WORLD and the sweet honey is the LUXURIES of this world. We like to taste a drop of the luxuries of this world and it's very sweet.
Then we taste another drop and then another. Meanwhile, we get lost into this world and forget about our TIME, our DEATH and our GRAVES."
May Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) wake us up from the sleep and save us before it's TOO LATE?

Life after death: Barzakh.
Man instinctively desires to have an understanding of the life Hereafter, i.e. the life after death and the state of the Barzakh (the interval between death and resurrection), which we all have to face.
Knowledge of "Barzakh" is required because Barzakh is completely different from this world.
So man wishes to know how his present lifestyle and his activities here will affect his life in Barzakh.
Certain questions rise in his mind, like: what sort of people will he encounter there?
 What kind of beings lives there?
 Do eating, drinking, sleeping, waking, friendship, enmity etc. exist there, and if so in what form?
What is the span of time between death and resurrection (Barzakh) and what will his activities be in this period?
What do happiness and wretchedness in Barzakh entail?

Man with his limited senses and knowledge is unable to understand or even correctly perceive the state of life in Barzakh, as he does not have any knowledge about the state of affairs there. Man's senses are so weak, that even in this world, which is so small compared to the universe, one is a prisoner of time and space and he is incapable of looking into the future.

Life after death is of course, an especially difficult topic to analyze, understand and then explain in simple language is next to impossible. This is because man has only experienced a life which is very limited; in comparison, Barzakh is infinite and unlimited. Apart from this, the events which will take place after death are those which are yet to occur; and man's knowledge and information are always based on past events which have already occurred. Hence how can man have knowledge of a thing which is not yet to experience?

The fact is that our present material and elemental body, by virtue of its very nature, is in a dark and impenetrable veil, not allowing man to see into any other world. Death, in fact, is the name of emerging from this curtain and once this curtain is removed, man is able to see that which was hidden to his eyes before, and he becomes aware of facts which he was unaware of, until then.

'Certainly, you were heedless of this (Day), now we have removed your veil from you, so now your right is sharp'(Sura Qaaf Verse 22)

That is to say, in this world you were ignorant of facts. Now after death we have removed from your eyes the material curtain so that you may clearly see the Hereafter.

But it is not so. Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) has given man a way out. The sole means which can help man are the revelations and scriptures or the Holy Books, and side by side those pious and holy personalities whom are commonly called Prophets and their true successors. These men are the only sources of illumination and guidance which man has to take him out of the narrow straits of darkness, ignorance and bewilderment. The lives of the Prophets and their successors were free from all attainments. They were the Truthful, the Witnesses. They were certainly neither frauds and liars, nor simpletons and fantasizing men who, either out of greed or ignorance, created fantasies or presented them to men. On the contrary, on the basis of their wisdom, knowledge of facts and their in-depth understanding, and also as being a source of peace and blessing for entire mankind, they should be considered as the best amongst the human race. Many of their sayings appear strange and even wrong but are in fact right. This because their knowledge stems from the fountain of revelation and the Holy Books, and these is free of error and doubt. Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) has revealed these books of guidance and light to wipe out ignorance and for awakening of mankind. The best, most complete and perfect of these books is the Holy Qur'an. Similarly, amongst the righteous guides, the Holy Prophet stands out as the best and most perfect.

The interval between death and the Day of Resurrection is called Barzakh in Arabic. The literal meaning of Barzakh is obstruction or barrier. Since this period is a barrier is between this world and the life hereafter, which is why it’s called Barzakh.

The grave is either the garden of Paradise or the pit of Hell-Fire. O People make your graves as gardens of Paradise by doing righteous deeds; and do not make your graves the pits of Hell-Fire by doing evil deeds.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Mercy- All  Praise be to Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD), Lord of the worlds, and  blessings be upon the best of His creation, Muhammad,  the Chief of Prophets, and upon his progeny and upon  his companions and those guided aright through the  firm faith and those who followed them earnestly up  to the Day of Resurrection. |

From the teachings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) it becomes clear that after the demise of a person we apparently take him to be lifeless, but he remains alive, although his life is different is different from our lives. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said that the act of breaking a bone of the dead body causes him as much pain as is felt by a living person.  One day the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw Amr b.  Hazm   (Allah be pleased with him) leaning over a grave. He forbade him to vex the dead body.

When a man dies, he is consigned from this world to Barzakh. Regardless of the fact whether the dead body is laid in the grave or cremated, he retains the power of understanding and comprehension.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said that when the corpse is put in the bier and the people carry the dead body to   the graveyard, if he is a pious person, he requests them to carry him as fast as they can and if he is a wrong doer, he curses the wretchedness in store for him and asks where he is being led to.

He is also reported to have said that except human beings everything else hears the cries of the dead body. If a man were to hear the cries of the dead body, he would faint.

Since the people usually bury the dead body, there is only the word "grave" which finds mention in the traditions in regard to happiness or punishment of Barzakh. This does not mean that those who are cremated or cast adrift in the river do not remain alive; in Barzakh. The fact is that reward and punishment pertain to soul.   It may also be remembered that the Almighty Allah is so potent that He can assemble the scattered particles in order to inflict punishment.

According to a tradition a sinful person while dying, advised his sons to cremate half of his dead body after his death and scatter his ashes in the air and flow the other half in the sea. After that he expressed his apprehensions that Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) would restore him to life in spite of the precaution he had taken for his safety. He would give him awful punishment which would be more than the punishment borne by any other man. When he died, his sons acted upon his advice. Then Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD)commanded the sea to assemble all the particles that it contained. The sea did that. Similarly, the air, in obedience to the command of Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD), assembled all the parts that it contained. The Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) gathered together all the particles and restored him to life and asked him why he made such a will. He submitted that he had done so for fear of Him and He was best Knower.Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) forgave him. Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) forgives those who fear Him.

From the tradition it is also clear that the believers in Barzakh not only pay a visit to one another but also ask the new entrants about the condition of their acquaintances in the world.

Sa'id b. Zubair (mercy of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said: "When a man dies, the members of his family, who have passed away, in Barzakh welcome him in the same way as the living persons receive a man in the world on his return from a foreign country.  "When a man dies his relatives in Barzakh, who are already dead, surround him and feel much greater pleasure in meeting him than that felt by a living person in the world at the time of receiving a man on his return from a foreign country.  Qays ibn. Qabisah (Allah be pleased with him):- .is reported to have said: "The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) disclosed on one occasion that a disbeliever could not speak to the dead. Somebody asked him whether the dead could converse to each other. He replied in the affirmative and added that they also pay a visit to one another.

The Description of Barzakah

The literal meaning of the word Barzakah is 'barrier between two things'. From Islamic point of view Barzakah is the period which intervenes between this world and the life hereafter commencing immediately after the death of a man and ending on the Day of Resurrection. As soon as a man dies, he enters Barzakah.

Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) by His Divine Power and Sound Judgment, created Adam (blessings of Allah be upon him) from dust and taught him the name of everything, glorified his position by enjoining upon the angels to fall down before him in prostration and He made his abode in paradise, caused him to fall down on the earth with a view to fulfilling {he purpose for which He had created him. In this way, his first lodging was paradise, the Second was the world, the third was Barzakah and the fourth again paradise. The first dwelling place of his offspring is the belly of mother, the second is the world, the third is Barzakah and the fourth is either Paradise or Hell.  Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) allotted appropriate functions for each abode and called the world a field for practical work and a cultivation ground for the Hereafter. He bestowed a great favor upon man by sending Prophets for guidance in order to enable humanity to discriminate between right and wrong. Those who followed the teachings of the prophets and were known as believers and those who went astray were called disbeliever. The interval between Death and Resurrection is called Barazakh. During this period a believer feels happy whereas a disbeliever suffers torments. The real reward or punishment will be given on the Day of Judgment after due reckoning. .,

Origin of Death

Hasan (blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said that when Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD)) created Adam (blessings of Allah be upon him) and his progeny, the angels humbly pointed out to Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) that the offspring of Adam would not be accommodated on the earth.Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) proclaimed that He would then bring death into being. The angels said that it He created death they would not be able to lead a pleasant life. Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) proclaimed that He shall inspire them with hope.

Mujaahid (mercy of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said that when Adam (blessings of Allah be upon him) was caused to fall down on the earth, Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) enjoined upon him to construct for destruction and to beget children for death. (Abu Naum)

O then who dwell in the highest palace, you will soon be buried in dust. An angel makes an announcement daily "Give birth to the children for death and fashion then, for destruction".

Under the Grave

When a pious man dies, he is made to sit by the angels. He attains a position that neither anxiety nor grief overtakes him. First of all, a question pertaining to Islam is put to him. After that he is asked about the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He says that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had brought clear signs from Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) and that he believed those signs to be true in their entirety. After that he is shown a place in hell which presents scene of pandemonium. Then diverting his attention to the scene, he is told thatAllah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) had saved him from that punishment. After that he is shown a place in paradise, richly bedecked' and elegantly adorned, where he observes pleasant sights. Then he is told that he would be given the very abode when he would be brought after the Last Day since during his life in the world, he believed in the Last Day and he died when he held the same belief, so on the Day of Resurrection, he would be resurrected from the grave in the very same state.

When a wicked man dies, he is seated in the grave but he is overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. The same questions that have been mentioned above are put to him. He says that he knows nothing about anything. He used to repeat what he heard from the people. At first, the gate of paradise is opened. After displaying its adornment and elegance, and all riches contained therein, he is told that it was his original dwelling place. But it had been denied to him. Then a spectacle of hell is shown to him. He observes there a state of pandemonium. Then he is informed that he would be given that abode because during his life in the world he entertained doubts and died in the same state, so, on the Day of Resurrection, he would be resurrected from the grave in the same state.

Abu Qutaadah (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said that one day a funeral procession happened to pass by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). When the latter saw it, he remembered that either that man would feel pleasure or would cause others to feel pleasure. He explained that it is after death that a believer feels pleasure when he is relieved of the worldly worries and troubles to find place in the neighborhood of the Almighty Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD). This was the case of a man who feels pleasure. On the death of a wrong doer, the other men, inhabiting towns and villages and the trees and animals feel pleasure since with his death the creation is relieved of the calamities which fall upon the earth because of his outburst of riots in the cities; the trees dry up and the animals hardly get fodder. It is for this reason that on his death all feel pleasure because evil shadow of his sins creates troubles for everyone.

Ibn 'Umar (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said that once the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) caught hold of his shoulder and advised him to live in the world like a stranger or like a traveler.  Ibn 'Umar (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said that at dawn one should not wait for night and at night one should not wait for dawn. When one enjoys good health, one should make provision for combating with disease (because during the period of his illness he would be getting reward for his good} good deeds done in the state of health, so one should make provision for death.

The Cry of the Grave

 Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said that once he, in the company of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!, joined a funeral party. When the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reached the graveyard, he went to a grave and told that there was not a single day that the grave did not make the clear announcement. "O, the Offspring of Adam! You have forgotten me, I am a place of solitude, I am an abode of loneliness, I am a lodging of wilderness, I am a dwelling place of worms and I am much straitened provided the Almighty expands me in the case of a person whom He holds in esteem. After that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: The grave is either one out of the gardens of paradise or one of the pits of hell.

Horrors of the Grave

 Abu Sa'id Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said: One day when the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to the mosque, some people were grinning with delight. He said: Had they remembered death (which brings pleasures to an end) they would have refrained from indulging in things that excite laughter. The grave of everyone makes this announcement daily, "I am a place of solitude, I am a lodging of wilderness, I am a dwelling place of worms". When a believer is buried, the grave says "I welcome your suspicious arrival. I am pleased to meet you. Of all the men who passed by me, I liked you most. You have come to me today. I will show you how I shall treat you." After that the grave expands to such an extent that the dead body finds open space as far as his eyes can see, and a window opening towards paradise, sending out breeze and sweet fragrance.

When a wicked or disbeliever dies, the grave says, "Your arrival is evil. I am displeased to meet you. Of all the men who passed by me, I disliked you most. You have come to me today. I will show you how I treat you." After saying so, the grave becomes narrow to such an extent that his bones and ribs of one side pierce into those of the other side. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) demonstrated it by putting and pressing the fingers of one hand into those of the other hand. Then seventy serpents begin to bite him, which are so venomous that if one of them were to sting the earth, it would not grow grass till the Last Day. All these serpents will continue to sting him till the Last Day. After that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him} remarked, "Grave is either one of the gardens of paradise or is one of the pits of hell."

Ibn 'Umar (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said that a man asked the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to tell him as to who was the wisest and the most cautious of all men. The latter told: it was the man who always remembered death in the world and who always made preparations for death. Such are the people who are honored not only in this world but also in the life hereafter.

       The stay in the world is short-lived but its allurements are many.
      Who is honored in the world is dishonored in the life Hereafter, Which is wealthy here, is a beggar there.
      He who is young is bound to decay and he who is alive is bound to die.
      One should keep himself away from it lest it should deceive him because it turns away its face very soon.
      Foolish is he who is taken in by its baits.
      Where those who were are enamored of it and who populated big cities, dug canals, planted big gardens and departed after staying for a short time?
     They always thought of their sound health but the improvement in health provoked the lusts of the flesh in them and they indulged in committing sins.
     Their abundant wealth was an envy of all men in the world. Even though they had to face difficulties, yet they amassed large sums of money.
     The people were jealous of them but they went on accumulating wealth.
     They bore troubles ungrudgingly for the sake of amassing wealth.
     The lust has deformed their bodies. The worms have eaten up their joints and bones.
     They used to take rest on comfortable beds, exalted thrones and cozy cushions and had a train of attendants to wait on them.
     Their friends, relatives and neighbors were always ready to flatter them. Can anybody tell about the hardships borne by them?
     The poor, the rich, all are lying on the same ground. Where is the wealth of the wealthy? Has his wealth helped him? - Has the poverty of the beggar harmed him?
What has become of their fluent tongues what has become of their eyes which used to roll in their sockets in all directions?
     What has become of their soft skins, beautiful and good-looking faces and their tender bodies?
     What a ruin worms have wrought to their bodies their complexion turning dark, their flesh being eaten up, their mouths covered with dust, limbs disembodied and joints                            broken.
     Where are their servants, who attended them and were at their beck and call?
     Where are their apartments where they used to take rest?
     Where are their treasures of wealth, which they had amassed?
     Neither did their attendants make provision for their food enabling them to eat it in the grave, nor did they provide him with a bed and a pillow.
    They threw him on the ground without any tree or a plant of flower to cast shade upon him. Now they are lying forlorn in darkness.
    They remain unaffected whether it is days or night. They can neither meet friends nor call any one of them.
    What a change their tender figures have undergone!
    The bodies of all men and Women are decomposed.
   Their limbs are disembodied, their eyes get out of their sockets, their necks are separated, their mouths are filled with water and pus and the worms and insects crawl in     all parts of their bodies
  They are in a deplorable condition and their wives have been bound to nuptial ties with another person and have been enjoying themselves.
  Their sons have taken Possession of their properties and the inheritors have distributed the property.
  But there are also fortunate beings that are enjoying themselves in the grave, their countenances are fresh.
  These are the same people who remembered this home (grave) while lying in a home of deception (world) and preferred to meet the demands of the Hereafter to the demands of the mortal world, and made the provision and preparations for a journey towards the grave.
    When a man is destined to die sooner or later, he should not entangle himself into the allurements of the world.
Does he think that the world will stand by him? Does he think that he will live for ever in this transient world?

When the angel of death approaches him nobody will save him from his clutches.
He is bound to leave behind him in the world his huge building, the ripe fruit of his gardens, his cozy cushions and his summer and winter suits.
Sweat will stream down his body.
He will feel thirsty and the agonies of death will make him toss in the bed.

The man, who today on the death of his brother, his son, his father, shuts their eyes, who on one occasion washes the dead body and shrouds it in the coffin, while on other occasion participates in the funeral gathering and lays the dead body in the grave, must bear in mind that he will pass through the same trial tomorrow.

    "The man always runs after a thing which is bound to perish, and is engrossed in high hopes and great expectations.
He does not know that -- day-dreams can never be realized. He spends his - day in forgetfulness and passes his day in UN mindfulness and passes his night in slumber, while death is hovering over his head. He will repent of what he is doing today. He is leading his life like that of animals."

 3:185. every soul will taste of death. And you will be paid on the Day of Resurrection only that which you have fairly earned. Who so is removed from the Fire and is made to enter Paradise, he indeed is triumphant. The life of this world is but comfort of illusion.

16:32. those whom the angels cause to die (when they are) good they say: Peace be to you! Enter the Garden because of what you used to do.

21:35. every soul must taste of death, and we try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And to us you will be returned.

32:11. Say: The angel of death, who has charge concerning you, will gather you, and afterward to your Lord you will be returned.

39:42. Allah receiveth (men's) souls at the time of their death, and that (soul) which death not (yet) in its sleep. He keepeth that (soul) for which He has ordained death and dismisseth the rest till an appointed term. Lo herein verily are portents for people who take thought.

56:83. Why, then, when (the soul) comes up to the throat (of the dying)
56:84. and you are at that moment looking
56:85. And We are nearer to him than you are, but you see not
56:86. Why then, if you are not in bondage (to us),
56:87. Do you not force it back, if you are truthful?

63:11. But Allah reprieveth no soul when its term comes, and Allah is Aware of what you do.

67:2. Who Has created life and death that He may try you, which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty, Forgiving,

15:26. Verily We created man of potter's clay of black mud altered,

7:172. And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their reins, their seed, and made them testify of themselves, (saying): Am I not your Lord? They said: Yea, verily. We testify. (That was) lest you should say at the Day of Resurrection: Surely! Of this we were unaware;

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life.
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, and a debt to be paid.
Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life
In the book of life every page has two sides: we human beings fill the upper side with our plans,
Hopes and wishes, but providence writes on the other side, and what it ordains is seldom our goal.
             Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyways.
The Prophet (saw) said: "Shall I tell you something that is the best of all deeds,
constitutes the best act of piety in the eyes of your Lord, elevates your rank in the hereafter,
and carries more virtue than the spending of gold and silver in the service of Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD),
or taking part in jihad and slaying or being slain in the path of Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD)?
" They said: "Yes!" He said: "Remembrance of Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD)."
May Allah make our efforts sincere and keep us all on the straight path...........

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ALLAH ne Kasam!! absolutely Awesome!!...

May ALLAh give you and me and all muslims tawfeeq to understand and realise we should prepare for death and always ask ALLAH for forgivness and his Mercy

and our love increases for his beloved Muhammad sallalahu alahyhi hi wasallam!!