The souls of the dead returning to the world
Fatwa No: 250615

Question

Assalamualaikum sheikh .... i want to know can the souls of the death return to this world... I read ibn al qayyum said the souls are free to roam..if it is true how can we refute sufis who say we can ask help from dead since there souls are free to roam in this word and hence can help them

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The souls cannot return to the worldly life after death as they are now in the Barzakh (stage between this world and the next). Allaah will return them to their bodies on the Day of Judgment to resurrect people from their graves. Allaah says (what means): {Say, “The angel of death will take you who has been entrusted with you. Then to your Lord you will be returned.”} [Quran 32:11]

The fact that the soul is returned to the body in the grave and the deceased is made to sit up to be questioned does not refute what we have said here as this is related to life in the Barzakh not in this world. Indeed, the souls remain, but the bodies decay.

As regards calling upon the dead and asking them for help, then this is another matter that is not related to whether their souls remain and move around and so on. Calling upon someone other than Allaah and seeking someone's help is forbidden in Islam, regardless of who that creature is, whether it is a Jinn or a human, a pious person or an evil person, an angel or a Prophet. If the matter was based on the ability to move around or existence, it would have been permissible to call upon the angels and the Jinn, but there are Islamic texts forbidding calling upon anything other than Allaah and clarifying that this is Shirk (associating partners with Allaah). Allaah says (what means): {And [He revealed] that the Masjids are for Allaah, so do not invoke with Allaah anyone.} [Quran 72:18] Allaah also says (what means): {And do not invoke besides Allaah that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers} [Quran 10:106]

Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that once he was riding behind the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the Prophet said to him: “O young man, I shall teach you some words: Be mindful of Allaah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allaah; if you seek help, seek help of Allaah. Know that if the whole nation were to gather to benefit you with something, they would not benefit you with anything except that which Allaah has destined for you; and if they were to gather to harm you with something, they would not harm you with anything except that which Allaah has destined against you. The pens have been lifted and the sheets have dried”." [At-Tirmithi and Ahmad]

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 22722.

In fact, the problem with the Sufis and others is that they have adopted beliefs and followed methodologies without knowledge, and when the people of truth clarified to them that those beliefs were invalid, they began searching for justifications and evidence. They adopted beliefs before they sought evidence of their validity, and this is a great door to misguidance, to the extent that some of them fabricated Ahaadeeth and attributed them falsely to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) allegedly lying in his favor. As-Suyooti,  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him   said in his poem Al-Alfiyyah: “Among them are Sufis who fabricated, while they are seeking reward for what they claim.

The correct course of action is that a Muslim first seeks evidence and then adopts a belief. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Ash-Sharh Al-Mumti’: “We have seen the problem of those who profess a belief and then seek evidence on the basis of their belief, so you find them favoring their belief and then they struggle to prove what they want to prove, and they endeavor to falsely refute what they want to refute; this is indeed a problem and no one is safe from it except those whom Allaah wills.” [End of quote]

For benefit about the movement of the souls of the dead, please refer to Fatwa 11722.

Allaah Knows best.

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