Life in Barzakh
Fatwa No: 83719

Question

1) Regarding Souls (Ruh) Can any chapters from Qur'an be recited and it's reward be offered to any Dead person's Soul? Or can we sacrifice Halal animal for any Dead person in Eid -ul-Azha even though he (dead person) had not wished it.2) Can Dead person's Soul ask for forgiveness of the living one's Soul?3) What is the Tafsir (Interpretation) of the verse "It is Allah Who Takes the souls at death, and those that die not during their sleep, those on which he has passed the decree of death, he keeps back, but the rest he sends for a term appointed ". [39:42]4) Do the dead person's soul know or get a briefing of the present living souls daily/weekly events about their deeds, etc. like TV news channel journals reporting?5) Can dead person's soul tell us where is hidden treasure/wealth kept by someone and how?6) Can sleeping person walk, beat and do other work like an awake person? Is there any Islamic explanation to this type of behaviour?7) Can any Sleeping person in his/her dreams receives punishment or reward or any news that can be seen by us e.g. a mans gets punishment on his face in his dream and sees a mark when he gets up or receives any thing to eat and when gets up that thing is in his hand. Is there any reality to all this type of events in light of Sahih Hadith? Should we believe?Please let me know if there is any authentic book in English on souls.May Allah reward you for this and your efforts and help us to strive the straight path (Sirath al-Mustakim).

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Ibn al-Qayyim is one of the best scholars who wrote about soul and its states of affairs. Here are some selections from his book al-Ruh "The Soul" that can be an answer to your question. 'Souls are subject to worldly rules that govern bodies in simple words, The Souls and bodies feel pain, taste bliss and assume causes of ease and torture. Bodies in this life are seen and souls are hidden, and bodies are like tombs to souls.
The souls in al-Barzakh (life in tomb after death) are visible and the bodies are hidden in tombs. The souls are subject to al-Barzakh rules. At the same time, such rules govern the bodies. Thereupon, both parties are subject to the some rules, i.e. feel pain or taste bliss just as happened to them in the worldly life. Know thoroughly of the above-named situation so as to remove any form of ambiguity. Allah, in His Mercy, Kindness and Guidance, gave us an example of a sleeper in the present life. The sleeper feels pain and torture, both in his soul and body. For instance, if a sleeper saw in a dream that he was beaten, he might find the trace on his body in the morning. If he saw that he was eating and drinking, he may find a trace of that on his mouth, and feel satiated. What is more amazing is when you see a sleeper beating and pushing something in his dream, but he did not feel it. That is because the soul used the body from outside it and if the soul entered it, the sleeper would wake up; page: 64.
Ibn al-Qayyim added: 'It is more amazing when you find two sleepers in one bed, the first's soul feels bliss and he finds the trace of that happiness on his body when wakes up; on the opposite side, the other's soul feels pain and finds the trace of torture on his body in the morning. But, no one knows the other's news although they are in the same bed. That is to know that the issue of al-Barzakh is more unusual'. Page 64.
As for meeting of souls of the dead with those of the living, I can state that there are innumerable incidents that prove the truthfulness of this subject.
Perception and the true state of affairs constitute the most reliable witnesses to the fact that souls of the dead meet those of the living just as the living souls meet one other. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {It is Allâh Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.}[39:42].
Abu 'Abdullah Ibn Mandah reported from … Sa'id Ibn Jubair that Ibn 'Abbas, while commenting on the above-mentioned verse, said: 'It has come to my knowledge that the souls of the living and those of the dead meet one another in a dream, and they ask one another. Then, Allah holds the souls of the dead and sets free those of the living to their bodies'.
Ibn Abu Hatim in his Tafsir (commentary on Qur'an) reported from Abdullah Ibn Sulayman … from al-Suddi who said: "Allah's Statement (and those that die not in their sleep) means that He takes away their souls during sleep to meet the souls of the dead. And both parties consult and know one another. Then, the living soul returns to its body, and that of the dead one is put under control till the Day of Judgement". Page: 20.
In another quotation Ibn al-Qayyim said: 'Meeting between the souls of the living and those of the dead indicates that the living one sees the dead one in a dream and asks him about some news. Then, the dead one informs the living one of some unknown news to the latter. And may be it becomes true.
Perhaps the dead one informs the living one of an amount of money he buried it in some place and no one else knows about it. And may be the dead one informs the living one of some debt, providing the latter with bits of evidence. The dead one may be inform the living one of the latter's actions that no one else knows about or…
Generally speaking, the life of al-Barzakh is a matter of al-Ghaib (unseen), and we have to believe that what is recorded in the Qur'an and Sunnah is sufficient. A Muslim should not busy himself with such things. But, he/she has to evaluate his/her deeds to determine they are in harmony with the teachings of Islam. And then, one has to do one's best to be a true Muslim.
For more details please read the Fatawa:
83233 and 83539.                                                                  Allah knows best.

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