Saturday, 4 February 2012

“Before them is a Partition till the Day they are raised up.” (Al-Mu’minun: 100)

Barzakh is a different form of the world on earth for the dead with of course a different dimension (since we can't see the spirits/souls through our naked eyes) where all the souls after death go no matter muslims or non muslims, until the Day of Judgment when everyone will be resurrected from their graves.

The Qur'an says: "The intermediate realm extends from now until the time of resurrection"(23: 100).

To make things more clear, literally Al-Barzakh means interval or a barrier between two things. Allah Almighty says:

“Between them is a Barzakh (Barrier) which they do not transgress.” (Ar-Rahman: 20)

And technically, it stands for an intermediary stage between this life and another life in the Hereafter; it’s an interval between death and the Day of Resurrection. Allah says:

“Before them is a Partition till the Day they are raised up.” (Al-Mu’minun: 100)

The state of death is a special condition, which cannot be matched with the condition of man before death or after Resurrection because the dead becomes dependant upon only what he has earned (in his lifetime) except those acts which have been singled out by the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Seeking Shifa�ah from the dead is not among those actions which the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) mentioned and therefore, it is not allowed to include it.

Without doubt, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), after his death, leads a life of Barzakh, which is better (akmal) than the life of the Shuhadah (martyrs) , but it is neither the kind of his life before his death, nor is it like his life on the Day of Judgment. It is a life, the reality and condition of which, is not known to anyone except Allah. Therefore, it is mentioned in the hadeeth of Allah�s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), ��Allah will restore my soul to me.� [(hasan) Abu Dawood]

Thus, (the above) clearly explains that he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is dead and that his soul has departed his body, but it returns back during salaam. Proof of his (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) death from the Qur�aan and the Sunnah are very well-known and it is an agreed upon matter among the people of knowledge. However, it (his death) does not reject his (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) life in the Barzakh, just like the death of the Shuhadah (martyrs) does not deny their lives of the Barzakh, which has been mentioned in the saying of Allah, �And say not of those who have been killed in the Way of Allah, �they are dead.� Nay, they are living, but you are unaware of it.� [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 154]

We have extensively explained the subject of supplicating to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) because of the many doubts*10 in this matter that call to Shirk and worship of the dead besides Allah.

We ask Allah to safeguard us and all the Muslims from that which contradicts the Shareeah. And Allah is the All-Knower.

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Translator's Notes

*9: The Meaning of al-Barzakh
Linguistically, 'al-barzakh' means, 'a veil, barrier or partition between two things'. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) defined Barzakh as a Hijab (veil). Adh-Dhahhak (taba'iee scholar of Tafseer) says, 'Barzakh is the stage between this world and the Hereafter.' [See al-Qurtubee's Tafseer (vol.12, p.150)]

Al-Qurtubee, in his exposition on these various interpretations states, 'The Barzakh is a barrier between two things. It is the stage between this world and the other world - from the time of death until the time of Resurrection. Thus, whoever dies enters the Barzakh.' [See al-Qurtubee's Tafseer (vol.12, p.150)]

The life of Barzakh is a matter of Ghayb (unseen), which is known to Allah Alone. He does not reveal the Ghayb to anyone except to His Messengers from amongst humans and angels. He, the Exalted, says in the Qur'aan, �He is the Knower of the Unseen, and He does not reveal His secrets to anyone. Except to him whom He chooses, namely, a Messenger of His.� [Soorah al-Jinn (72):26-27] Allah revealed some matters of the Ghayb to His Messenger, Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), who informed us of them. Apart from the information, we have received from Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), we know nothing about the Ghayb, for he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) alone was our source of information about the Ghayb. We, therefore, have to suffice with what has reached us from him (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Along these lines, our knowledge about Barzakh is also limited to what we have been informed about by the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Any speculation, claims, or analogy made concerning the life and conditions of Barzakh, which have no basis from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, is unreliable and futile.

*10: The doubts and misconceptions that lead to Shirk are many and some of the most common are�
(a) the Messengers and the pious are more alive and able in their graves, than during their worldly lives. This false belief has lead some to call upon the Messenger or the pious for intercession.

(b) the Messengers and the pious have been entrusted with distributing certain provisions like livelihood, offspring, tranquility, etc. This false belief also causes some to directly address the Messengers and the pious for their needs. This is again major shirk.

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