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Barzakh– The State Between This World And The Hereafter

The literal meaning of Barzakh is a veil or a curtain which stands between two things and which does not allow the two to meet. For example, that part or region of the ocean in which waves of both the sweet and the salty waters bounce and get God has provided between them an invisible veil whereby one cannot overcome another. (Ma Ra Jal… S. Rahman: 19-20). It is called Barzakh. But technically Barzakh is a realm kept by the Lord of the Universe between this world of ours and the forthcoming Hereafter in such a way that both might maintain their individual limits. Barzakh is a state between these worldly and otherworldly affairs.

Halfway Bounder Between Rewards And Punishments

After entering the world of Barzakh one does not experience physical pains like headache, toothache and such other troubles. Such suffering form a part of the essentials of the material world. But there, in Barzakh, it is the realm of abstracts or of incorporeal beings. Of course, it can also not be called the Hereafter which may mean that there will be only darkness for the sinners and only light for the obedients.

Some people asked the Imam (A.S.) about the duration of the world or realm of Barzakh. He replied: It is from the moment of death upto the time when all will rise from their graves regaining life1. The Holy Quran says: Behind them is Barzakh till the Day of Judgment﴿.

The Allegorical World And The Allegorical Body

Barzakh is called Allegorical World also, because it is just like this world. But is so in shape and form. But it is different and distinct from the viewpoint of its substance and especiality. After our death, we enter a realm which, in comparison, is like this world vis a vis a mother's womb.

Similarly, out bodies also will be allegorical (Misaali) bodies in Barzakh. This is to say that they will appear quite like our worldly material bodies but, factually, it will not be this body (containing skin and flesh). It will be an elegant, fine and exquisite body. It will be finer than air. There will be no barriers for it which our bodies face in this material world. It (the Barzakh body) can see anything and everything from everywhere everytime. There will be no difference for observation whether some thing is on this did of a wall or on the other side.

Imam Jafar (A.S.) says: “If you see that Misali body you will say: Lo, it is the same worldly body.”2  For example, if you happen to see your father in your dream, you will observe him only in his worldly material body whereas his body (and matter) is in the grave and this form which you see in the dream is his allegorical form. The Barzakhi body also has eye but there is no fat or liquid in them. Those eyes do not suffer any pain till the Day of Resurrection. Those eyes can see things and can see well but they never become weak nor they require spectacles. Here is an example for more explanation: -

Picture In The Mirror, With Two Stipulations

Scholars and those who are experts in rhetoric's have compared the Barzakhi body with what one sees in a mirror in front of him. Of course there are two differences. First, the said picture is actual (not a mere reflection) and second, it achieves senses. The Misaali body is actual and it also senses and understands things.

One of its examples is the same dream which we have. Therein we travel immeasurable distances in a split second. We, in no time, reach Holy Mecca, Holy Mashhad and all other places. We also see and hear people over there and also talk there. But all these things are not performed by bodily organs. Not only this, better and higher and finer things like various kinds of tasty food, good-looking faces and pleasing fragrance as well as attractive songs etc are also instantly available to the Misali body, things which are unimaginable here. All these things are found there in Barzakh and the souls can benefit from all these things in their allegorical (misali) bodies3.

All Food Articles And Fruits Combined In Only One Thing

Since the foods and drinks and fruits etc all such things in the realm of Barzakh are fine and as have nothing to do with matter, it is quite possible for them, as is mentioned in narrations, to combine in one thing according to the desires and wish of the faithful. For example, there is date fruit but you wish to eat (taste) an apple. The former instantly turns into the latter or in any other form of your liking. All of it depends on your wish.

It is mentioned in a rivayat that the Holy Prophet once said: I saw my respectable uncle Hamza after his martyrdom. A plateful of heavenly pomegranate was in front of him. He was eating from that plate. All of a sudden, I saw that the pomegranate at once changed into date fruit. (Summary of the rest of the narration is that the Holy Prophet said: I asked my honourable uncle what kinds of deeds are most beneficial there (in the Hereafter)? He said: Three things count here the most: Giving water to the thirsty, reciting Durood to the Holy Prophet and His Progeny and love for Ali Bin Abi Talib). In short, the things of that realm are lateef (fine) and are not made up of matter, one thing turns into another and into many other forms and shapes instantly at the will of the faithful.

The Degree Of Effects

Compared with this world, one of the specialities of the realm of Barzakh is effectiveness. In the science (Ilm) of Hikmat (physics) there is a theoretical discussion the description where of is of no use for the common masses. So we will proceed after making only a hint to that thing (Mudrak) meaning a thing that can affect and the thing which gets affected are two things. The more these two things are powerful, the more will be their feeling.

These fruits and these sweets and the pleasure which we derive in this world are in comparison with those in the realm of Barzakh, like a drop in the ocean. The tastefulness there is immeasurably more than it is here. If only a part of the face Hoorul-Ain (heavenly Houri) becomes unveiled, it will dazzle the eyes of the whole world. If the entire of beauty of that fairy opens it will outwit the shining of the sun. Doubtlessly absolute beauty is available only there.

The Divine Words are: Inna…Amala (S. Kahf: 7) meaning: We have made whatever is in the world an adoration but it is a beauty which is a test or trial. The intention is to differentiate between child and a major person whereby it may be known as to who becomes mad after this toy of children (this material world) and who does not pay any attention to this plaything. The real pleasure lies in the real beauty and in trying to attain it.

A Man In The Grave Who Hosted Others

The power of effect is so much in the realm of Barzakh that it cannot even be imagined in this world. Some times we come across events has been which can guide the people living in this world. One such effective event has been quoted by the late Naraaqi in his book Khazaain: During my youth I was busy, along with my father and other relatives, in visiting people on the occasion of the holidays of Navrooz. It was Tuesday and we had gone to a friend's house which was situated near a graveyard in Isfahaan. We were told that he (my friend) was not present in his house. As we were somewhat tired we turned towards the graveyard with a view to take some rest and also to visit the graves of the faithful. There we sat down in a spot. One of our companions, pointing his finger toward a nearby grave, said jokingly: O resident of the grave! These are holidays. Will you not host us? We heard a voice from that grave: On next Tuesday you will be my guests here. All of us became spell bound and also frightened thinking that perhaps, all of us would be dead by next Tuesday. So we engaged in performing as many good deeds as possible and also began to write our Wills. Then arrived the following Tuesday and yet all of us were safe and alive. We gathered at a place and after consultations decided to go to that grave and see what happen. Perhaps that voice might not have meant our death but might have any other aim behind it.

So when we approached that grave some one from us said: O occupier of this grave! Fulfill your promise. Suddenly we heard a voice from that grave: Welcome. (Here it should be understood sometimes, Lord Almighty removes that veil in front of eyes which prevents us from observing the things belonging to the realm of Barzakh so that people may take lessons of admonition). At once, we saw that it is a very big green garden. Pure water streams are flowing in it. Trees therein are full of various kinds of fruits available in every season. Colourful birds of innumerable kinds are busy singing melodious sweet songs. In the midst of that garden there stood a spacious grand mansion which was fully decorated. All of its windows opened towards the garden. When we entered that building we saw that a very handsome man was sitting there. When he saw us he stood up in respect. Then he put before us various kinds of foods and drinks and sweets the like of which we had never seen before, nor even imagined. We enjoined this feast fully.

More significant statement of him was: We had never seen so much tasteful things before and that our desire was never satiated even after taking it and that the more we ate the desire increased. Then many other kinds of eatables were also brought and we went on enjoying them. Thereafter when we got up that gentleman accompanied us until we got out of that garden.

Reward Of Honest Selling And Of Offering Prayers In Time

Before leaving, my father asked that gentleman: Who are you? For what did the Almighty God grant you so much honor and position that you are able to host even the whole world if you so desire? What is this place of residence?

The gentleman replied: I belong to your native place and was selling meat in such and such street. People asked: How did you get this high position and lofty rank? He said: It is all due to only two things. During my entire time I never gave less to buyers and I also never failed to offer prayer in the first (the earliest) time. If I heard the voice of Adhan while weighting meat I used to leave my shop at once and rush to the Masjid. So the Lord of the worlds granted me this place after my death. Last week you had asked me to host you. At that time I did not have permission to accede to your wish. I have obtained it this week.

Thereafter, one of us asked him about the duration of his age. He told the questioner: You will live for ninety years, and that man is still alive. Then he told me: You will live for so many years according to which there are yet ten to fifteen years to go. All of us said him goodbye. He saw us off. As we turned our face we found us sitting by his grave as before.

Lasting Pleasure In The Realm Of Barzakh

Another specialty of the realm of Barzakh is its eternity or everlasting nature. Here (in this material world) nothing is everlasting. Beauty fades out soon. Food remains tasty only upto the time it is in the mouth, that is, only for a few moments. Same is the case with marriage and marital joy. These foods and fruits are also not long lasting. After some time they become rotten and useless and distasteful and foul. Nothing here is everlasting. But nothing gets deteriorated or corrupted in the realm of Barzakh because that world (in the Hereafter) does not depend on matter. Everything is everlasting there. As a testimony to what I have mentioned here, I would like to mention a case involving the great scholar and religious jurisprudent Allamah Shaykh Mehdi Naraqi. By the way, let me also say that presenting some truths while narrating an event in a nice way makes it easily comprehensible. That is why actual events and true happenings are also presented during the discussion of religious beliefs and doctrines.

A Clock Full Of Rice

Shaykh Mehmood Iraqi, at the end of his book Daar-us-Salaam, quotes the late Naraqi (r.a.). He said: When I was a Mujawar (living near) Najafe Ashraf there, fell a severe famine. One day, I came out of my house. My children were hungry and crying for food. I went to Waadi Ye Salaam with a view to seek the removal of our sorrow and gloom through the medium of the visit to the dead among the faithful. There I saw that some people brought a dead body and also asked me: You may also accompany us. We have come here for making this body join with pious souls of this Holy place. Then they took that corpse to a wide big garden and placed it in one of the palaces situated in that garden. All means of comfort were available in those palaces. When I saw all this, I also followed them and entered that palace along with them. There I saw a young man dressed in royal clothes sitting on a golden throne. When he saw me, he called me by my name and made me sit by his side very respectfully. Then he told me: You do not recognize me. I am the same body which has been just brought here. My name is so and so. I was a resident of such and such city. The group which you saw in my funeral procession was that of the angels who brought me from my city upto this garden. This is one of the heavenly gardens. Hearing these things my gloom disappeared and I desired to see that garden thoroughly. When I got out of that palace I saw a number of such palaces. When I looked into them I found my parents and many other near and near ones. They made me their guest. I thoroughly enjoyed the eatables served by them. In the midst of these comfortable and luxurious moments, I suddenly remembered my family members and imagined how much hungry they were. This thought made me gloomy once again. My father asked: What happened to you all of a sudden? I replied: My family members are restless due to hunger. My father said: Here is a heap of rice. My father asked me. Take out of it. I took off my clock and filled it with that heavenly rice. My father asked me. Take it up and carry it to your family. When I lifted up the clock, I found myself in the aforesaid Vaadiyus Salaam. My clock was, of course, full of that rice. I took it to my house. My wife asked: From where have you brought this? I replied: What have you to do with this question? Briefly speaking we ate that rice for quite a long time but it never finished. At least my wife forced me to tell her what had happened. Thereafter when went to take out that rice we found nothing.

A similar event has been written in the book Daar Us Salaam. Interested readers may refer to it.

Animals Hear The Voice Of The Dead

The aim of my talk is to throw light on the everlastingness of the other world (Barzakh), be it regarding bounties or of about their tastefulness or joy. On the other hand, the calamities of that world are also very hard and everlasting. May God protect! If a man gets entangled the torture in Barzakh and if we hear anyone of his terrible shrieks, all the terrible things of our world will appear nothing to us compared to that in Barzakh.

It is mentioned in Beharul Anwaar, Vol: 3, that the Holy Prophet said: I was grazing sheep before I was made His messenger by Almighty God. During those days I used to observe (as you might have also) that goats and sheeps were becoming still all of a sudden as if shocked deeply by something. You might have also observed that sometimes poultry birds like hen jump off and stop picking their food even when no danger (like animal) is seen anywhere near them. After I began getting revelations, I asked for the reason of such unusual happenings and Jibreel told me that in the realm of Barzakh, sinners get divine punishments. Their cries are heard by all except men and jinns. Such voices shock animals and they stop taking food etc.

Cries Raised By A Hashimi Murderer In His Dream

It is mentioned in Daarus Salaam of Noori that, as per a narration in the book Sawab Al Aamaal by Sadooq (r.a.), an exceptionally handsome and good-looking youth who was a solider in the army of Umar bin Saad in Karbala, was also the killer of one of the brothers of Imam Hussein (A.S.). The narrator says that, I could see that the face of that fellow had become very black after the event of Karbala. He had also become very thin and extremely weak. I inquired about his conditions from his neigbours. They told that ever since he returned from Karbala, every night, he shrieks and cries loudly in his dreams awakening us also. I went to him and asked about the matter. He replied: At night time the Hashimi youth who was killed by me comes in front of me and pushes me towards fire. It makes me cry loudly and I cannot sleep.

Advice Of A Perfumer And Demand By A Jew Of His Trust

There are many events in this world to prove the existence of the realm of Barzakh. Their description will become lengthy. So we suffice with only one such happening. The famous pious scholar Syed Hashimi Bahrani (r.a.) has been quoted in Daar As Salaam at p. 247 of vol. 1. It is written that: There was a perfumer in Najaf-e-Ashraf who used to give advice (admonition) to people at his shop daily after the mid-day Zuhr prayer. Many people used to gather in his shop. A prince from India had become a resident of Najaf-e-Ashraf. Once he had to undertake a journey. So he went to the said perfumer and gave him, as his trust, a bag containing precious stones and pearls etc. Then he went on perfumer. The perfumer denied saying I do not know about any such trust. That prince became very uneasy and finally went to the Holy grave of Ali (A.S.) and said: O Ali! I left my comfortable residence just to live near your Holy Shrine for some time. I had left my precious property as a trust with such and such perfumer in Najaf. Now he is denying of any such trust. I have no wealth except that, nor have I any proof of depositing my property with that perfumer. Now there is none save you who can help me with justice. During that night, I saw Ali (A.S.) in my dream. He was saying: Next morning, when the gate of the city opens, you go out and demand your trust from the very first person whom you you see there. He will make your trust return to you. Accordingly that man went out of the city gate and saw a weak and aged pious man who was holding firewood on his shoulders. He wanted to sell it, for fulfilling the needs of his family members. The Indian man felt ashamed of asking anything from such a poor gentleman. So he did not day anything and returned to the Holy Shrine of Amirul Momineen (A.S.). The following night also he saw the same dream and got the same order from Ali (A.S.). The next morning also he saw the same poor old man and did not tell him anything. During the third night too he saw Ali (A.S.) in his dream and heard the same words. In the following morning, he told the wood seller his need telling him what had happen. After thinking for a while, that old man told the prince: Come to the perfumer's shop tomorrow after Zuhr prayer. I will arrange for the return of your trust.

Next day when people gathered at the perfumer's shop, the old man said to the perfumer: Today let me in the duty of giving advice to people. That man agreed. The pious man began his talk: O dear listeners! I am so and so and son of so and so. I am very fearful in the matter of observing rights of others. By the grace of God I have no greed for money at all. I am a contented man and have taken to a corner for worship. Yet, I have come into a difficult situation. I want to make you aware of it. I advice you all also to fear God's anger and the fire of hell. Once I had to take a loan due to urgent need. I took a loan of ten Qeeraan from a Jew and gave him a word that I would return it within twenty days paying him half queeraan daily. I did accordingly for five days. But thereafter I could not find that Jew. On making inquiries, I was told that he had left for Baghdad. After a few days, I saw in my dream that it is Resurrection and I and many other people have been made to stand in a counter for giving replies in the Divine Court. By the Grace of God, I got relief soon and then, joining the successful people, went towards paradise. When I reached the Siraat bridge I heard the roar of hell. Then I saw that the creditor Jew lept like a flame of fire from hell, came across my path and said: Pay me back my five queeraans and proceed further only after doing so. I implored him humbly and earnestly saying: I was in search of you for paying up the debt but you could not be found. But he said: I will not allow you to go further unless you pay up my money. I said: I have nothing here just now. He said: Okay then allow me just to put my finger on your body. I agreed. When he touched my chest with his finger, it burnt my body so severely that I woke up crying loudly. I saw that my chest had a wound of burning and it is still painful. I undertook many treatments but to no avail. Then he showed his chest to the gathering at the perfumer's shop. Seeing it, people began to weep fearing their own Hereafter. The perfumer also became very fearful of God's anger. He took that Indian to his house, returned his trust to him and begged for his pardon.

Can Such Things Be Denied Absolutely

Logic says that if we come across a thing which is difficult to comprehend it should not be instantly and out rightly rejected or denied. Logic says that it can be possible. For example, if an astrologist says that there are some stars around Mars and that they too revolve around Mars just as the moon revolves round the earth. Should this claim be rejected at once? No. It may be true. The great scientist Shaykh Boo Ali Seena says: If you hear news or event you should imagine it as possible until its impossibility is not established logically. (Kullu Shay in…burhaan).

Suppose you hear that a baby has been born with two heads. As this is not logically impossible, say that it may be so.

Three Kinds Of News

First: News for the inadmissibility of which there is no logical proof should not be rejected or denied.

Second: News which has some proofs thinking over which intellect may decide that it should be accepted.

Third: If the one who brought news has, with him, some testimony from the Lord of the universe which is called a miracle. In this case intellect decides that it should not be rejected but compared with the second stage it should be definitely accepted and one must remain satisfied.

There Is No Logical Argument Against Resurrection

Just think over and say is their any argument of any of the kinds mentioned above to reject the news of life after death? Can anyone argue and give any logical proof to show that there can not be any questioning after death and that the grave cannot pressurize or there is no realm of Barzakh or the other world called Qiyamat or Resurrection or Maad?

O you owners of intelligence! Just decide whether there is any differnce in the news given by an astrologist that Mars and Jupiter have four thousand stars or planets and the news given by the Prophet of God (peace be upon him and his household) that there are ninety-nine pythons in the grave to punish the denier of God? Is there any difference so far as the giving of news is concerned? Perhaps somebody may say that the claim of the astrologer is based on feeling or that it is after seeing through eyes. Then we will say that, doubtlessly, the messenger has also said everything after observing and feeling. During the night of Meraaj (ascension) he had seen and all felt all things with his physical sense organs. Rather, his Holy soul covers the knowledge of all worlds and realms. The sight or faculty of seeing can make a fault but the sight of the soul of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household) can never err. There can be a mistake in the eyesight of an astrologer or an astronomer but there is no question of any error in the feeling and observation and intelligence of the Messenger of God.

Before his becoming the Prophet of God, the people of Mecca used to call Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household) 'As Saadiq- Al Ameen' meaning: (The most true and trustworthy person). There was not even a single person who had ever found any untruth in what he had said or done nor had anyone found any dishonesty in his dealing, behaviour or attitude towards all. So, a part from his witness and testimony, if the permanent proof of Muhammad's Messengership and the everlasting miracle, Quran also tells us about Resurrection, punishment in grave and rising bare-bodied on the Day of Judgement, is it reasonable not to believe it?

Burial Of Fatima Binte Asad, Mother Of Amirul Momineen (A.S.)

When Fatima Binte Asad, mother of Ali (A.S.) breathed her last, Amirul Momineen (A.S.) went weeping to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and said: My respected mother has expired. The Holy Prophet said: It is my mother who has expired. There was a wonderful affection in the relation between the Holy Prophet and Fatima daughter of Asad. The later had looked after the former just like a caring and loving mother for quite a long time. At the time of her burial, the Holy Prophet took off his shirt and told people to dress the late Fatima in it. People did so. Then first the Holy Prophet himself slept in that grave for a few moments and prayed for her forgivance. After the grave was filled up, he stood near it and, after a while, said loudly: Ibnak…Jaffar (Your son, your son, but not Jafar and Aqeel). People asked about the reason of doing so. The Holy Prophet replied: Once I was talking about the rising of the bare-bodied dead on the Day of Resurrection. Fatima Binte Asad came to me weeping and said: I wish that you might cloth me in your shirt after I die. She was very fearful also about the squeezing of grave. So, before she was buried, I myself slept in her grave for some time and prayed: O God! Protect her from the squeezing of grave. But the reason of my uttering the words 'Ibnak…' was that, when the angels asked her about God, she replied: Allah, when they asked about messenger, she replied: Muhammad but she could not give any reply (because this event was much prior to Gadir-e-Khum when Ali (A.S.) was announced as the Amir of Momin) I made a Talqueen (advised) to Fatima to say: Your son (Ali) not Jafar or Aqeel.

Fatima Binte Asad Was Much Fearful About Post Mortem Events

Despite the fact that Fatima binte (d/o) Asad was very great pious and graceful lady who had the honour of being the mother of Amirul Momineen (A.S.) and who had been the guest of God for three days in the House of God (Kaaba) (on the occasion of Ali (A.S.)'s birth) and who was the second woman to put faith in the Messengership of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household) and who was a very great and humble worshipper of only one God was so much afraid of the events to take place after her death and the Holy Prophet did to her as mentioned above. Then who and what are in comparison with her? Let us all seriously think and worry about our own future.

Well, let us go back to the main issue. The truthful announcer of every thing, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) says that there will be questioning and squeezing of grave and rising bare-bodied on the Day of Judgement.

Effectiveness Of Soul In Physical Body

Though it will be the soul which will be rewarded of punished, it is also possible that, under the effectiveness of the soul, the body may also feel it. Sometimes it does so happen that, owing to the soundness of the soul, the body also does not disintegrate in the grave. It remains fresh even for a thousand years. There are many testimonies to this fact. For instance, the body of Ibne Babuya (r.a.), around one hundred fifty years after his death in the time of Fateh Ali Shah, was found fresh. Not only this but, more astonishingly, even his kafan (shroud cloth) also was not worn out not the colour of henna on his nail faded out after such a long time!

The Body Of Shaykh Sadooq Was Found Fresh

It is written in Rawzat-al-Jannat that a hole had developed in the grave of Shaykh Sadooq (r.s.) due to heavy raining around the year 1238 H.E. People thought of filling it up. So they entered the tomb and found that his body was safe and sound though his physique was rather bulky. The colour of henna was also traceable on his nails. This news spread in Tehran. When Fateh Ali Shah heard it, he along with some government officials as well as religious scholars went to the tomb to enquire. They all saw what they had heard. The king ordered to close the hole and to rebuild the tomb over the grave with decorations.

The Fresh Body Of Hurr And The Handkerchief On His Head

Similar is the event of Hurr bin Yazid Riyahi. Hadith writer (Muhaddith) Jazaari has mentioned it in Anwaar-e-Nomaaniyah like this: Shah Ismail Safavi went to visit Karbala and when he came to know that some people have no good opinion about Hurr, he ordered the excavation of his grave. So when the grave was opened people saw that the martyr's body was exactly in the same condition as it was on the day of his martyrdom in Karbala. There had been no change at all in it. So much so that even his handkerchief also was intact on his head. Since it was historically known to all that the chief of all martyrs, Imam Hussein (A.S.) himself had tied his own handkerchief on the wounded head of Hurr Shah Ismail ordered that the kerchief may be untied so that he may take it to put it in his own Kafan as a good luck sign. As soon as the kerchief was removed people saw that blood gushed out of shi head wound. So it was replaced where and as it was and blood stopped flowing. Thus people knew that Hurr's condition was good (that God was pleased with him and that God had given him a good great reward due to his assistance to Imam Hussein (A.S.) in Karabla). The king built a grand tomb over his grave and appointed a servant to look after.

A Suckling Babe In The Grave Of Abu Jafar Kulaini (r.a.)

The tomb of Shaykh Kulaini (r.a.), author of Kaafee, is situated near the bridge in Baghdad. A fellow from the oppressor rulers thought of destroying the Holy shrine of Imam Moosa Kazim (A.S.) so that people may stop visiting Kazimain. His minister was a Shia (in heart). He became restless to find out any way to stop that fellow from his evil intention. But he was unable to say anything openly because any doubt of his being a Shia was enough to put his life in danger. Anyway, they proceeded to Kazimain with the aforesaid evil intention. As soon as they approached the Baghdad bridge, the minister said: Here is the grave of a big Shia scholar who was one of the delegates of Imam Kazim (A.S.), and people say that his body is still fresh and that it will always remain fresh and safe. If the king agrees this may be checked. If it is found that what people say is correct then it would not be wise to touch the tomb of Imam Kazim (A.S.). The ruler agreed and, as per the king's command, the grave of Kulaini (r.a.) was opened. They saw that his body was quite fresh and not only that, more surprising was the existence of also the fresh and safe body of a little child by Kulaini's side. It could not be known whether the child was related to Kulaini (r.a.) or not. What is worth nothing is what can a soul do. If any other person also comes close to a pious soul it also is affected thereby. No doubt the Holy Progeny are the fountainhead of good and so their corpses are also alive and people can see occasional miracles from their graves.

Contrary to it, if somebody is a person of hell, the chastisement to his or her soul also affects the body. Accordingly, when Bani Abbas overpowered Bani Umayyah and destroyed them totally and even dug out their graves it was observed that nothing except some body traces could be seen in the grave of the cursed Yazeed.

Fire Of Barzakh Leaps Out Of A Grave

Quoting narrations of some reliable and trustworthy people, the late Shaykh Mehmood Iraqi has mentioned in Daar-us-Salaam that once we went to the graveyard of Imamzada Hasan (Tehran). Sun had not yet set. One of our companions sat down on the stone of a grave. Suddenly he shouted: Please lift me up. When we lifted him we saw that the stone was almost red hot.

Just think. How great is the chastisement meted out to the soul that even gravestone also becomes so hot. He says: I recognized the owner of that grave but I would not disclose his name so that he may not be defamed among people.

Also it is said about another man who was buried in Qum. Flames of fire were leaping out of his grave which had burnt down carpets over there.

Shaykh Shoostari (r.a.) mentioned in his Fire Hotter Than The fire Of This World

Admonitions that the Lord of the worlds has said: Naaarun Haamiyah meaning: Hot fire. Is there, then, any cold fire also? Yes. If it is possible to make comparison, the fire in our world is cold compared to the fire of Barzakh. Nature makes us a comparison between the two fires and to understand which one is really hot.

Saaiqah (The Lightning In Space) Is The Biggest Worldly Fire

Shaykh Shoostari (r.a.) says that if a comparison is made between the fire of wood and charcoal and the fire of Saaiqah (lightning in the sky) it will be known that Saaiqah is a thin (fine) fire which is created by the bouncing and hissing of clouds. It is so hot that it burns out everything it touches and then slips away instantly. It neither returns nor stays anywhere. Nothing can make it cold. If it falls on a tree it turns it into coal at once. If it falls on an ocean it burns it upto its bottom and fries even the fish in the bottom of the sea. Only Saaiqah is the real fire. The embers in a hearting also is fire but that fire can be put off by shedding a little water or some dust on it. Its heat and burn has some limitations.

Now you will have understood that the fire of Barzakh cannot be compared with the fire of this world, not even with Saaiqah (lightning). If someone's allegorical body and his soul is under torture in Barzakh, it is possible (though not always necessarily) that his or her material earthly body may also get affected. What is contrary to it is also observed. Pleasing and sweet fragrance spread in the absence of any scent, or flowers or burning of aloes wood from the graves of some dear servants of God.

Those Who Do Not Experience Fear

In the news and hadiths of Holy Imams there are tidings showing that some good servants of God are protected by God from the fear and punishment in the grave during the period of Barzakh. Some of them are those to whom Talqeen was recited. Here we mean the third Taqleen which is recited after burial.

Yahya Bin Abdullah says: I have heard from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) that: What prevents you from reciting the words which protects your dead from seeing Munkar and Nakeer in their graves? I asked: Maula! What should we do? He said: When the dead has been buried, its guardian should sit near the grave and taking his mouth nearer to the head of the dead, recite loudly: Yaa Fulaan…Quboor. Then he said: Munkar and Nakeer tell one another to return as Hujjat (argument) has been taught to this dead4. (The first Taqleen should be recited at the last moments of the dieing person and the second at the time of lowering the body in the grave.

It is likely that some one may say: What can a dead person understand? But, as we have described earlier, the soul (spirit) of the dead remains near its body and hears better than we can. Some may also ask: How can an admonition (taqleen) recited in the Arabic language be understood by a non-Arab body? The reply is that, when one goes away from this material world of water and earth all languages are equally comprehensible for him or her. Linguistic limitations belong only to the material world.

Death At A Time Of When Mercy Is Rising

Another group of people who are protected from the squeezing of grave and fear and Barzakh torture are those who die between time of Zuhr on Thursday and Friday, as these are the hours when divine mercy rains allowing such persons its full benefit. God covers them in His kindness. This is also a kind of divine kindness that he showers on His servants.

Jareedatain And Testimony Of Forty Persons

The burying of Jareedatain (meaning: Two green branches of date tree or plum or pomegranate) along with the body of the dead is one of the things about which it is promised that these things come in the way of the chastisement in grave. Of course date branches are the best and they must be green.

There are many narrations on this matter in Vasaail-us-Shia, Kitaabut Tahaarat, Baab: 13. One by Imam Baqir (A.S.) is as follows: The Imam (A.S.) says: The body is not punished until the said branches remain green and God wiling, it will not even after the branches become dry.

One more protecting thing is the testimony of fourteen or more persons about the true belief of the dead and their prayer for the forgivance of the dead. Imam Sadiq (A.S.) is quoted in Anwaa Re Nomaaniyah. He said: If forty persons gather near a dead and say: Allahumm… meaning: O God! We know nothing except the good deeds done by this person. God responds: I have accepted your testimony and have forgiven all of his sins not known to you.

Hazrat Dawood Did Not Offer Burial Prayer For A Worshipper

Imam Sadiq (A.S.) is also reported to have said that there was a worshipper among Bani Israel about whom God revealed to Dawood (A.S.) that he (said worshipper) was a hypocrite. When he died, Dawood (A.S.) did not offer prayer on his body. Others went and forty persons prayed for the salvation of the dead, saying: O Lord! We know nothing about this man except that he was doing good deeds and you know better. So kindly forgive him (Allaahumm Ma…Lahu). Then when that body was given a wash another group of forty persons arrived and they also uttered the same words as they did not know about the hidden matters of that deceased. Then it was asked through revelation to Dawood (A.S.): Why did you not pray for him? Dawood (A.S.) replied: O Lord! I did not pray You had informed me that he was a hypocrite worshipper. A voice came from heaven: Though it is true, a group of people has testified that he was a good man so I also confirmed it, accepted their testimony and forgave him. It also is a very great kindness of the Almighty that He pardons His servants and does not punish them even though they were not eligible for such salvation.

Testimony Of Momins By Khaake Shifa (healing earth) On The Shroud Of Allamah Majlisi (r.a.)

It was because of this that pious people, especially earlier religious ulema (scholars) used to keep their coffin cloth (shrouds) ready before hand and to request their friends and the faithful people to write their testimonies of that coffin cloth. Muhaddis Jazaairi (r.a.) writes: That his teacher Allamah Majlisi (r.a.) use to request his Momin friends to write their testimonies with the earth of Karbala on his shroud and they used to comply, by recording: Laa Raib Fee Eemaaniri meaning: Doubtlessly he was a faithful person and put their seal under it.

Among all such things done for protection from the chastisement in grave effectively is to place (put) the Holy earth of the grave of Abu Abdillah al Hussein (A.S.) in one's grave and also to annoint the forehead and both palms of the dead with it.

The Good Deeds Which Reach The Dead After Death

Among the beneficences of good deeds which benefit one in his grave are the good deeds which are being performed in this world under the nayabat (succession) or the reward of such good deeds which is being given to the dead as a gift. The foremost among them is the repayment of his loans (debts) and the performance of the prayers and fasts left out by the dead. Similar to it is the performance of the Haj pilgrimage which the dead could or did not undertake. Thereafter to spend money on poor in the way of God as Sadaqah and to pray and seek the pardoning of the dead. There are many narrations by Ahle Bayt on this subject5. The summary of these narrations is that if some one performs good deeds like Namaz, Roza, Hajj and Sadaqah etc for a deceased person, the Lord of the Universe makes its reward reach the dead and also grants a manyfold reward to the performer of such good deeds.

Numerous Gifts As A Reward Of Spending (Sadaqah) For The Dead

Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.) says: It also happens that a body is under pressure in grave and then he is given ease and comfort. Angels tell him or her that this is the result of such and such good deed sent to you by your such and such well-wisher in the world. Such rewards are very big in proportion to the good deeds performed for them. Imam Sadiq (A.S.) has been quoted in Vasaail-us-Shia that Almighty God commands seventy thousand angels to proceed towards the grave of that lucky person. Every angel has, in his hand, a plate full of heavenly bounties of paradise. They tell the dead: Be you in peace and safety, O servant of God! O friend of God! This gift has been sent to you by such and such friend. Then his grave becomes brightly lit up and God the merciful granted him one thousand cities and also one thousand houries and a thousand precious robes and fulfils one thousand of his wishes.

Request Of The Dead To The Living

It is mentioned in Jaani-ul-Akhbaar that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) said: Go on sending gifts to your dead. The companions asked: O Messenger of God! What can be a gift for the dead? The Hazrat said: Dua (prayer) and Sadaqah (spending money for poor). Then he added: Every Friday night, the spirits of the dead come to the first (nearest) sky and, standing in front of their homes, cry out weeping sorrowfully: O my family members! O my children! O my parents and O my near and Dear ones! Be kind to us. God will be kind to you. We have to account here for what wealth and property we had in the world and by which others are being benefited there. Please do us some favour, be it through a dirhams (coin) or bread or a cloth. God will adorn you with heavenly dress…(Upto end of hadis).

Barzakh Is In The Veil Of This World

Some may think as to where such a vat world (realm) of Barzakh is at all situated? Our brain (intelligence) is unable to comprehend it. We will only say that the realm of Barzakh is in a veil and hence invisible to the physical eye. There are many narrations to make us understand this matter. For example: This world of ours, along with its vast lands and skies, if compared with the realm of Barzakh, is like a tiny spot in an endlessly big forest. So long as a man lives in this world, he is like a silk worm or like an unborn child in mother' s womb. When he dies, he becomes free. Of course, he remains in this very world and does not go away and out of it, but now he has no limitations like time and space because these things are limited only to this material world.

The Realm Of Barzakh Has Encircled This World

If it is said to a baby in the womb is told that there is a very vast world beyond you present station which is nothing in comparison with that one he is unable to understand or comprehend it. Similarly, we who are able now to see only through the physical eyes cannot comprehend the other world which is hidden from our eyes.

Almighty God says in the Holy Quran: Fa Laa…Ya'Maloon (Surah Sajdah: 17) meaning: No body knows which things have been provided for him which can cool their eyes. This is the reward of the good deeds done by them in the world. We only know that as the trust informer (peace be upon him and his household) has informed us of it we testify to it. The realm of Barzakh has encircled and covered our present physical and material world just as this world has covered the world in womb. No other example is more explanatory.

Souls (Spirits) Are Friendly With One Another And Please One Another

Asbag bin Nabatah says: I saw my leader Amirul Momineen (A.S.) standing at the gate of Kufa looking towards the desert. It appeared that he was busy talking with some one but there was no one. I also stood up. After a long time I felt tired. So I sat down and got up again after a while. But Ali (A.S.) was still busy talking. I went a step forward and asked: O Amirul Momineen! Who is it you are talking with? He said: This talk of mine was to please the spirits of the faithful. I asked: Which faithful. No one from those who have passed away is present here. He said: Yes, they are present here I again asked: They are present here physical or in spirit? He replied: Their spirits. Had you been able to do so, you could have seen how they gather at a place, talk mutually and please one another remembering the gifts and bounties of God.

Waadiyus Salaam Is The Station Of The Spirits Of The Faithful

It is mentioned in other hadiths that any faithful person who passes away either from the east or the west of this world finds that his spirit or soul which remains in his allegorical body have their place in Waadius Salaam near (in the neighbourhood of) Amirul Momineen (A.S.). In other words, Najaf-e-Ashraf is an exhibition of the higher world. Likewise, for the Kafirs (unbelievers) their stations in Waadiy-e-Barhoot which is situated in Yaman (Oman) in a fearful and barren land where even birds do not venture to go. This is a place for the appearance of mean souls.

Nearness To Amirul Momineen Ali (A.S.) Attainable Through Knowledge And Virtues

Whatever you have heard about importance of nearness to Amirul Momineens (A.S.) is about spiritual neighbourhood, whatever one's physical distance from Najaf-e-Ashraf. In fact nearness to Ali (A.S.) is attainable through knowledge and actions. When a man commits a sin he becomes away from Ali (A.S.) in proportion to the seriousness of his sin. Very nice if the soul is with Ali (A.S.) and body also gets buried near him in Najaf-e-Ashraf. It is indeed a very big fortune. But if, God forbid, one is physically buried in Najaf-e-Ashraf but his soul is under torture in Waadiy-e-Barhoot, it is a terribly bad luck. So all of us should try our best to make our spiritual relation with Ali (A.S.) more and more strong and close. Doubtlessly, physical burial in Najaf-e-Ashraf also is not without benefits and has perfect effectiveness because of being buried there is, in a way, a means to nearness to the Amirul Momineen (A.S.).

A Dead Body Which Was Brought From Yaman To Najaf-e-Ashraf

It is mentioned in Madinat-ul-Ma Aajiz that, one day, Ali (A.S.) was sitting with his companions at the back of the gate of Jufa. Looking up he said: Do you also see what I am seeing? People said: No, O Amirul Momineen! He said: I can see two persons who are bringing a dead body on the back of a camel for so that it may bury here. It will take yet three more days for them to reach here. On the third day thereafter Ali (A.S.) went again with companions to see who comes. First people could see that a camel was coming towards them with a body on its back. A man was holding the rein of that camel in his hand. Another man was walking behind that camel. When they came nearer, Amirul Momineen (A.S.) asked: Whose body is this? Who are you and from where are you coming? They replied: We are from Yaman and this is the body of our father who had willed that his body should be carried to Iraq for being buried in Najaf-e-Ashraf. Ali (A.S.) asked: Did you ask him the reason for it? They replied: Yes. Our father was saying that a man will be buried there who will be able, if he likes, to make intercession for the entire gathering on the Day of Resurrection. Maula-e-Kaainaat Ali (A.S.) said: By God. I am indeed that man.

The One Who Gave Shelter to Grass Hoppers Around His Tent

In connection with benefits for those who are buried near Ali (A.S.)'s tomb Muhaddis Quni (r.a.) has given a very appropriate example in Mafatee-ul-Jinaan. There is an Arabic proverb: Ahmaa…Jaraad meaning such and such person is superior than the one who gives shelter to grasshoppers who took his shelter. The story is like this: A man named Madlaj bin Suwaid who belonged to the tribe of Tay was, one day, sitting in his tent. He saw that a group belonging to the Tay tribe was approaching his tent holding big bags and many utensils. He asked their condition. They said: Many grasshoppers have descended around your tent. We want to catch them. Hearing this, Madlaj got up, took a spear in his hand and ascending his horse declared: By God, I will kill anyone who even touches these grasshoppers. These grasshoppers are my neighbours and they have come in my shelter. How can you catch them? It will never be allowed. Then he defended his grasshoppers till the sun rose higher and it became hot and the grasshoppers flew away. Then he said: Lo. Now the grasshoppers have left my neighbourhood. Now it is your look out to deal with them.

In short, it is obvious that if some one takes himself in the neighbourhood of Ali (A.S.), thereby taking his shelter will surely be benefited by his support.

The Relation Of Soul With Grave Is Very Close

Muhaddis Jazaairi (r.a.) mentions at the end of Anwaar-e-Nomaaniyah: If you ask when souls live in allegorical bodies in Vaadiyus Salaam, why we have been asked to visit graves (for reciting Fatihaa and prayers)? And how do the souls understand that a visitor has arrived when they are not present in the graves? The reply is that it has been narrated form Imam Sadiq (A.S.) that though the souls live in Waadiyus Salaam, their relations with graves remain intact and they know about the visitor and they recognize them. The Holy Imam has said that souls are like sun. The sun remains in the sky its rays cover the whole earth. Likewise, the souls covering or encirclement is Ilmi (concerned with knowledge and comprehension).

Reflection Of Sunrays In A Mirror

Just as the appearance and reflection is relatively much more at a mirror the attention of souls and their covering is more at their graves. It is so because the soul had lived in those bodies for several years and gained much favours due to them. That is why they will focus their attention there. This also provides an answer to the one who asks as to why we should go to grave when the Imam is present at every place and thus, there is no difference in one place and the other. Doubtlessly the graves of Holy Imams and religious leaders are the centres of the attention of Holy souls and the places where divine favours keep raining. Angels come and go there. So, if anybody wants to get full benefit from those Holy personalities he should never give up visiting the Holy shrines and must try their best to go there.

Why No Reward Or Punishment Is Given To This Earthen Body?

Some people raise here a weak doubt and say: The soul after one's death gets connected with a fine body called allegorical body which is just like this earthen body, as has been described earlier, and also sees (tastes) reward or torture with the same allegorical body. Now here arises a question: When man had worshipped God in this earthen body how reward is given to the other body? Or man had committed sins in the material body which has been disintegrated now after death then how is it that the punishment is meted out to the other body? There can be several answers to this question.

Every Soul Has Two Kinds Of Bodies

As Alamah Majlisi (r.a.) has written, allegorical body is not any outward thing which may be brought near the grave after one's death and then, for example, it may be said to it: O soul! Now live in this body. Rather, an allegorical body is a fine ody which lives even now in this world living with man' earthly body. Every soul has two bodies: A fine (thin) body and a tough foul body. Man has prayed and sinned in both these bodies. This matter must be well understood. So we are giving the example of a dream. During a dream, these two bodies get separated. What a man sees in his dream is the behaviour or deed of this allegorical body which walks, talks etc. Within twinkling of eye man reaches Karbala-e-Moalla, Holy Mashad, tours from east to west. This shows that the allegorical body remains with man always but after death; it separates from the material earthen body. This statement of Majlisi (r.a.) is a very studied one. There also is many more witness.

Anyhow, It Is The Soul Which Gets Either Punishment or Reward

Another answers it that, after death, human soul turns into the same earthen form of body. It does not get connected with any outside body. Rather the soul takes up the form of material body. Now, you may call it an allegorical body or Barzakhi body or soul/spirit. But, as it is fine, elemental or material eyes cannot see it. Summarily speaking, it was only the soul/spirit which had committed sins in the world and hence it is only the soul/spirit is being punishment after death. Now, it may be chastised either by getting it connected with the allegorical (Misaale) body or it may be getting punishment absolutely by itself, constantly. Of course, on the Day of Judgement, all will rise and gather only in this very worldly and material body form.

Description Of Reward And Punishment In Barzakh In The Holy Quran

'An naaru…azaab' (Surah Mominun 40:46) meaning: They will be thrown in fire in the morning and in the evening and when Qiyamat will occur (it will be ordered) “Inflict the severest punishment on Aale Firon.”

This is one of those verses of Quran which testify to punishment in Barzakh. The above ayat refers to those people of the Pharoah who died of drowning in the Nile. Ever since that day, they are regularly brought near fire every morning and every evening. This will continue till the Day of Judgement where after they will be given the severest chastisement.

Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.) says that there is no morning or evening in the Hereafter, that the said punishment in morning and evening refers to the realm of Barzakh.

They Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) said: If the dead person is one of the people of hell, his place in hell is shown to him every morning and every evening in his grave (Barzakh period). If he or she is of the people of paradise, he or she is shown his or her palace in paradise and told that this will be your station in the Hereafter.

People Will Lies Either In Comfort Or In Pain So Long As There Are Days And Nights

'Fa Amal…Arz (S. Hud 11:106-108) meaning: Those people who are unfortunate will burn in fire until this earth and sky are in place. They will cry and shriek heartrendingly except those whom your Lord likes. Verily your Lord does what He likes and those who are lucky and fortunate will live in paradise so long as the earth and the sky remain.

The Imam (A.S.) says that this verse also refers to the realm of Barzakh and the reward and punishment mentioned in it is also the consequence in Barzakh because, there is no question of earth or sky in the Qiyamat as the Holy Quran mentions: Izas Samaaun Shaqqat (sky will get torn) and this earth will also be there. It will also be changed: Yaw Ma…Qahhar' (Surah Ibrahim 14:48).

Habeeb Najjar (A Faithful In Pharaoh’s People) In The Paradise Of Barzakh

'Queelad Khulil…Mukrameen' (Surah Yaa-seen: 26-27). This Holy verse refers to Habeeb Najjar who was Faithful despite belonging to Aale Phiraun. When he invited his people (community) to put faith in God's messengers, people threatened him (as described at length in the explanation of Surah Yaa-Seen) in Qalb-e-Quran by martyr Dastgaib). Finally they hanged him on an impaling stake and beat him to death. After his death, when he got his reward he said: I wish my people (community) would have known that I have been pardoned by God and that my Lord has placed me among the respected.

Here comes the Divine Word: “He was told: Enter paradise.” Imam (A.S.) says: Here paradise means the paradise of Barzakh (pre-resurrection). In another narration, it is mentioned that it means worldly heaven which is lower than the paradise in Hereafter.

In short, this Holy verse shows that as soon as the Momin (Faithful) of Aal-e-Firaun was martyred he entered paradise instantly. Since his community till then was in the world, he wished that they might know how many bounties the Most Merciful Lord had given to him (so that they too would have stopped disobedience and repented for their misdeeds and turned towards God).

Hard Life And Punishment In The Grave

“Wa man…A'maa” (Surah Tahaa 20:124) meaning: The one who will turn away his face God verily will live a hard and painful life and he will be raised blind on the Day of Resurrection.

Most of the commentators are of the opinion that here 'Hard Life' means chastisement in the grave. Sayed-us-Saajideen (A.S.) also is reported to have taken this meaning.

Barzakh To Last Till All Will Be Made To Rise From Graves On The Day Of Qiyamat

“Hattma…Yub Asoon” (Surah Mominoon, V: 99-100) meaning: So much so that when death comes to any of them the disbelievers) he says: My Lord! Send me back to the world so that I may perform some good deed to compensate what I left. In response, he will be told: Never (you cannot return). He says a fruitless thing. And after them is Barzakh till the Day when people will be made to rise and gather.

This verse shows it very well that man has a life after death and before the Day of Judgement. It is in between the two. It is known by the name of Barzakh.

Personality Of Man Due To His Spirit Or Soul (Rooh)

In short, thinking over this verse and many other ayats, it is clearly understood that human soul is a reality which is different from body. There surely is a connection between the spirit and the body. Soul governs the body through intention and intelligence and manages the latter's affairs. In fact, a man's personality belongs to his or her soul and not to the body which ends with death. (Every movement comes to end and body turns into a heap of dust). Following the disintegration of its parts, the body becomes dust. Man's reality and personality or individuality is his spirit which survives even after man's death and lives either in permanent happiness or eternal trouble depending on his pre-death intentions and performance, having nothing to do with the condition of his or her earthly (worldly) body. This is a universal truth.

Islamic scholars have, in order to prove that soul is something different from body and that it does not vanish due to death and that the rules governing it are different, put forth many arguments and logical evidences. But, after the presentation of the Word of God and the hadiths and statements of the holy Prophet and pious Imams (A.S.) there is no need of reiterating the said scholarly statements. This issue is now brighter than sun for us.

Paradise In Barzakh For The Satisfied Soul

One of the Barzakh related verses in the Holy Quran are the last ayat of Surah Al-Fajr: “Ya Aliutahann…Jannatee” (Surah Fajr: 89 V: 27-29). In this verse the satisfied soul is being addressed at the moment of death: “Enter My Paradise.” It has been explained as the paradise in Barzakh. Similarly it is said: “Join and enter the group of My servant” (meaning: Fee Muhammad Wa Aalihi). There are other verses also hinting at heaven and hell in Barzakh but what we have said is enough. (Ayatullah Dastgaib (r.a.), the martyr of alter, had explained these verses in dept which has been published in Nafs-e-Mutmainnah).

Barazakh Reward And Punishment As Mentioned In Akbaar and Hadith

There are many hadiths mentioning reward and punishment is Barzakh. Here we suffice with a few.

In Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol: 3 there is a quotation from the tafseer of Ali bin Ibrahim Qumi (who has quoted Ali a.s.) according to which the Holy Prophet said: When the offspring of Adam (man) enters the last day of this worldly life and the first one of the Hereafter, his wealth and children and his deeds appear before him. He turns his face towards his wealth and says: By God! I had too must lust and greed for you and was also very stingy. Now how much of mine is with you for me? The wealth responds: Take only that much which can suffice for your Kafan cloth (shroud). Then he looks at his children and says: By God. I loved you very very much and was always protecting and defending you. Show me how much of my portion is now with you for me. They reply: We only will take and bury you and that is all. Finally he turns towards his deeds and says: By God, I was very careless with regard to you and I had disliked you. Yet am I to get any share from you? The Aamal (deed) says: Yes. I will be your companion and friend in grave and will also remain with you in the Hereafter (Qiyamat) too, until both of us will be made to stand before Almighty Lord.

If this person was an obedient one and so a friend of God, his deed will approach him in beautiful and handsome shape adorned in the best attire full of pleasing fragrance and say: I give you good tidings that you will get Rowh and Raihaan (heavenly bounties) and divine graces. Welcome. He will ask: Who are you? He will reply: I am your good deed. Come, let us proceed towards paradise form this world. This body recognizes the one who gives a wash to it and asks him, giving him an oath, to carry it speedily to his destination. When this body enters grave, two angels who examine every dead, come to him in a fierce form dragging their lengthy hair on the ground and tearing the earth with their teeth. Their eyes dazzle like lightning and their voice furiously roaring. They ask the body: Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet? What was your religion? (Etc). The body says: My Lord is only one God who has no partner and my prophet is Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household) and my religion is Islam. Then the angels tell him: May God keeps you steadfast on the things which you like. It is the same thing his has been hinted at the Holy Quran: Yusabbitullaah…Aakhiram (Surah Ibrahim14, V: 27). Then they widen his grave as far as eyes can see and open therein a door in the direction of paradise, telling him: “Now you rest sleep restfully with cool eyes just as a lucky and successful youth goes to sleep”.

Similarly, God has given a hint in this verse also: Ashaabul…Maqueela (Surah Furqaan: 25, V: 24). But if the body is that of an enemy of God, his Amal-e-Bad (bad deed) approaches him in the worst kind of dress emanating foul smell and tell him: Take tidings of getting hot hell water as drink of entering hellfire. He also sees the one who washes him and tells on oath to the bearers of his body to leave him alone and not to take him to his grave. When they bury him, two examiner angels arrive. First they drag out his coffin cloth (kafan or shroud) and then asked him: Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet and what is your religion? He replies: I do not know. The angels tell him: May God not allowed you to know and to be guided. Then they hit him with a fire club so harshly that it frightens everything in the world except men and animals. Then they open up a door facing hell in his grave telling him: Now you may sleep in the worst condition. Then they squeeze his grave to such an extent that it is almost sandwitched, making his brain matter come out from his nails and flesh and God makes snakes and scorpions etc. attack him and to bite and sting painfully till the Day of Qiyamat (Resurrection). On that Day, he will be made to rise from his grave. The torture will be so severe that he will wish Qiayamat to comes soon.

Faces In Barzakh Will Be Like People’s Faces In This World

There is a narration from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) in Amaali of Shaykh Toosi (r.a.). At the end of it, the Imam has said: When Almighty Allah recovers one's soul (Rouh), He send his soul in its worldly form and shape. There they eat and drink and when a new man (spirit of another dead) arrives to them they recognize him in his worldly face and form and shape. In another hadis the Imam has said that the spirits of the faithful meet one another and talk with one another and recognize one another so much so that if you happen to see any one of them you will say this is so and so.

Spirits Ask The Men Arrivals About Others

In another hadis, the Imam said: The spirits dwell in body forms in a garden in paradise. They recognize and known one another. They ask questions and get replies from one another. When a new spirit comes to them they say: Leave it (as it is) because it is arriving towards us after being freed from a great calamity (that is death). Then they ask it: What about so and so and such and such person? If he replies: He was alive until I came here, the spirits express their hope that (God willing, he will also come to us). But if the newly arrived soul says that he had already left the world they say: He has fallen down. It means that when he has not yet come here, he surely must have gone to hell.

Spirits Meet Their Worldly Relatives And Friends

There are some narrations in Behaar-ul-Anwaar, Kaafi and other books. Their gist is: The spirits living in Barzakh come to visit their near and dear ones. Some of them come daily, some once in two days, some once in three days, some on every Friday, some once in a month and some once a year. This difference depends on their condition, places of dwelling and their freedom or captivity.

According to a narration, a faithful soul sees nothing except the well-being and pleasing things about his or her near and dear ones. If there is anything contrary to it, that thing is not shown to him or her (soul in Barzakh). Such distributing things are being kept unknown for it so that it may not become unhappy. The spirit of a Kafir (denier) sees nothing except bad and painful things about its near and dear ones.

Hauz-e-Kausar In Barzakh

Abdullah bin Sanaan has been quoted in several books of Akhbar and Hadith. He asked from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) about Hauz-e-Kausar (a heavenly spring). He replied: Its length is equal to the distance between Basra and Yeman (Sanaa). When I expressed my astonishment he asked: May I show it to you? I said: Yes, O my Master! Then the Hazrat took me out of Medina. There he kicked the ground on one spot and told me: See (Veils before his eyes were removed by the order of the Imam so he said): I saw that a big spring is flowing, the shores of which are not visible except the spot on which we were standing and which was like a small island. I saw a spring at one bank of which snow white water was flowing in waves and on the other bank whiter than snow milk was waving and in between the two waved wine which had fine red colour that was more attractive than topaz both in shining and fineness. I had never before seen such a wine of the best quality flowing between pure milk and snow white water.

I said: O Master! I may be sacrificed on you. From where this spring flows! The Hazrat replied: As mentioned by Almighty Allah in the Holy Quran, there is a spring of milk, a spring of water and a spring of wine in paradise. All these three springs come from there. (The narrator says): I saw many trees on both the banks of this spring and a houri near every tree. She had so beautiful head hair the equal of which I had never seen before. There was a utensil in the hands of every fairy. The said vessels were so beautiful that I had never seen such utensils in the world. They did not belong to this material world. He hinted to a houri to serve water. She filled that utensil from that spring and presented it to the Hazrat. He drank from it. He asked her again to fill it. She complied with the command and the Hazrat gave that utensil to me. I drank from it and found that I had never tested such a nice and testy and pleasing drink ever before. It had a fragrance of musk. I said: May I be sacrificed on you. Whatever I observed today is such that I had not only never seen before but also never even imagined before, (that such things could ever be available in the world).

The Hazrat said: This is a small specimen of the bounties provided by God Almighty for our Shias, which you have seen now. When somebody leaves the world his or her spirit is being taken to this stream and around this garden of paradise. He eats its fruits and drinks its wines. Whenever our enemy dies, his soul is being taken to Vaadiy-e-Barhoot. He remains in its torture forever. He is forced to eat 'Zuqqoom' (a thorny cactus tree) and drink Maa-e-Hameem (hot hell water). So pray God for being protected from the said Barhoot valley.

Kausar And Hameem At The Moment Of Death

Among those people who were shown the paradise of Barzakh in this world are those companions of the chief of martyr Imam Hussein (A.S.) to whom the Holy Imam had shown their places and stations in Barzakh.

In Behaar-ul-Anwaar, Vol: 3, it is mentioned that Imam Baqir (A.S.) said: No Momin leaves this world leaves this world unless, at his last moments, angels make him drink the Kausar water. Likewise no denier dies until he is made to drink Hameem.

Barhoot — A Sample Of Barzakh Hell

As has been stated earlier, 'Waaiy-us-Salaam' is the dwelling place of lucky souls who gather there. And Barhoot which is a barren waterless desert is the place where dirty and evil souls are put to torture. It is a specimen of Hell of Barzakh. This hadis will make the matter more clear: -

One day a man went to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) the last messenger of God, and, expressing his restlessness and anxiety, said: I have seen a very strange thing. The Holy Prophet asked: What is it? He replied: My wife became seriously ill. People told me: If you bring water from a well situated in the vale of Barhoot, her illness can be cured. (Some skin diseases are cured by mineral waters). So I got ready and proceeded towards that valley with a leather bag to fill that water and also a cup for fetching it from the said well. There I saw a very very frightening forest. Despite being afraid, I gathered courage and went on in search of that well (At last I found it). Suddenly I heard the voice of tinkling of a chain from above. That chain came down. I saw that a man is caught in that chain and requests me to give him some water as he was dying of thirst. When I raised my head to offer him a cup of water what I saw was that he was fastened to that hanging chain. Whenever I tried to give him water that fellow was dragged up to the red-hot sun. Then I tried to fill my bag with water. That man was again lowered by the dangling chain suddenly and complained bitterly about his deadly thirst. I tried to hand over water vessel to him but he was again pulled up right upto the sun. It happened for the third time too. At last I tied my water bag and could not give any water to him. I have become terribly frightened by observing all this and have come to your honour to ascertain the reason of this all. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) replied: That unfortunate man is Qaabeel, son of Adam (A.S.). He had killed his brother Haabeel.

Fa Taw Wa At…Khaasireen (Surah Maaidah: 5, V: 30). He will remain in this condition of torture till the day of Qiyamat and will finally fall in the painful punishment of Hell.
* The Hereafter - Ma'ad. Chapter 2. By Ayatullah Dastghaib Shiraazi (q.s.).

1- Min Heen… Behaarul Anwaar.
2- Lav Ravati… Beharul Anwaar.
3- Wa Laa… Aale Imran: 169.
4- Vasaail-us-Shia, Book of Cleanliness, chapter 35.
5- Interested persons may refer to Vasaail-us-Shia, Kitaabut Tahaarat, Abwaab-e-Ehtezaar, Baab 27, and Abwaab-e-Qazaae Salaat Baab 12 wherein there are 26 hadiths. They may also study Baab-e-Hajj-va-Waqf in the same book

2180 View | 07-03-2011 | 04:56


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