~ Thus transmitted
It is unfortunate that the reality of “DEATH” is not known in a true sense in our time, and DEATH is commonly assumed to be someone’s “ending”. Actually, without being an end, DEATH is nothing more than a transition from the physical world to a world beyond the physical! It is just a transformation!
Right after a person’s separation from his physical body through DEATH, his life goes on within a “spirit” — hologramlike body of frequencies— either in the grave or outside. That is, DEATH is the continuation of life, beginning with the spirit body after the end of life with the physical body.
The Quran that informs the fundamentals of Islam explains “death” as follows:
“Every SOUL will taste DEATH!”
What we call DEATH is the transference into a life at a universe of frequencies within a spirit body after separating from the biological material body. As the brain ceases to function, the bioelectric energy outspread to the body disconnects and the body loses the electromagnetic force that normally keeps the spirit tied to body. So the human SPIRIT is released to a new life independent from the physical body. Such an event is what is meant by DEATH.
All the activities realized through the brain of a person throughout his lifetime are stored in his spirit, i.e., hologramlike body of frequencies, like the waves of sound and vision. Therefore, the spiritual dimension is directly accessed without any change noticed of life on dying. The person continues his life in a form of SPIRIT the same way as he was within his physical body!
There is one difference however: Although he is still completely alive and conscious (aware) as before, he cannot conduct his physical body any more! Similar to a permanent vegetative state (PVS) patient (the state of being permanent vegetable) [he is alive and aware]! He can observe everything going on outside, can hear and sense them, but he cannot communicate or respond in any way to his physical surroundings in the outside world.
Following is a saying of Mohammed aleyhessalaam about death as the great Islamic Scholar and Sufi Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumi recounts it in his book entitled “Marifatname (Book of Gnosis):”
“The deceased (one who tasted death) knows those who washed his body, who shrouded the corpse, who performed the funeral service for him, who attended his funeral procession, who descended the corpse into the grave and who prompted over his grave!”
“Do not cry out by slapping your cheeks and tearing your clothes beside the deceased for he is tortured by your wailing!”
This shows that he will be seeing and feeling troubled of the others’ emotional states.
I want to draw your attention to the following saying of RasulAllah, that will make us clearly comprehend that, even though someone in grave —who has experienced his death,— has lost his tie with his physical body, he will still be living on in an aware and conscious state within his “spirit” and besides he will be hearing the addressing from outside.
As Talha radhi’allalhu ahn narrated:
“On the day of the battle of Badr, RasulAllah (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered that the twenty four corpses from the Quraish tribe should be picked up altogether. They were then thrown into a pit among the ditches of Badr; so, had more dirt added to it.”
When a victory was gained, RasulAllah used to take up temporary quarters in the open fields gained from the enemy tribes each time for three days. As it was the third day of the battle of Badr, he ordered his camel to be brought. Food for the road was put upon the load.
As RasulAllah rode on, the companions followed him. Meanwhile they talked among themselves that RasulAllah was probably going for a purpose. At last, RasulAllah stopped by a ditch where the killed had been thrown, and then called them by the name of their fathers: “O, Aba Jahil Ibn-i Hisham! O, Utbe Ibn-i Rabia, O, So-and-so!! . . . Would not you be joyful now if you believed and obeyed “ALLAH” and HU’s Rasul? The Killed! We have indeed found the victory that our Lord promised us. Have you, too, found the victory that your Lord promised you, indeed?”
On hearing him speak, Omar r.a. asked:
“O RasulAllah! How do you address people already cadaverous?”
RasulAllah replied: replied:
“I swear by Whom in Whose hands Mohammed’s soul is that you are no better than they at hearing what I say!”
In this event recounted in Bukhari , RasulAllah corrects a great misunderstanding by an occasion.
No hadith can be better to correct such a false belief that “men are laid into their graves being as dead and they are raised to life later again on the Day of Resurrection (qiyamat).”
In fact, men are put into grave in an aware, conscious and an alive state same as in our current state of life, and they hear the addressing from outside as easily as if they are outside.
Othman bin Afwan r.a. who is the third khaliph to RasulAllah, used to shed tears until his beard got wet if he stood by a grave. He was asked once:
“You do not cry when remembering heaven and hell, but why do you shed tears because of the fear of the grave?”
“As I have heard from RasulAllah, the grave is certainly the first of stations in the next world! If a person is freed from there, it will be easier to be released from the others to come. If he fails to become free from there, the others to come will then be more fierce!”
Othman then continued:
RasulAllah said that: “I have never seen a TERRIBLE sight worse than that in a grave!”
Standing by the grave of Sadd bin Muaz who was a leading Islamic figure and martyr for the Islam (shahid), RasulAllah (salla’llahu aleyhe wasallam) once said:
“Such a distinguished servant was he that heaven trembled and its doors were opened for him and thousands of angels came on earth. Even he felt so squeezed into the grave that his bones almost crackled!
If it were possible to escape from the torment of the grave and the afflictions after death, it would first have been bestowed on Sadd! He was immediately delivered from such afflictions owing just to the spiritual state he had reached; that is all
Take a minute to consider this! If men were not in an alive state, i.e., conscious in their graves, would such a torment ever be under consideration?
It was once asked to Hazrat Nabi:
“O RasulAllah! Who is the most aware and conscious among the believers?”
“Those who most often remember what befalls a man on death and who prepare themselves doing their best for such a life beyond death. They are the wisest, the most conscious and aware ones.”
In another statement he noted that:
“The most conscious and the most farther-sighted man is he who makes himself (his soul) subject to divine orders and who deals with the deeds that will bring benefit after death. Weak is he who remains dependent on his own (selfish) desires and then expects favor from ALLAH!”
Ibn Masud who was among the companions (ashab) of RasulAllah, tells the following about the torment in grave:
“As I have heard from RasulAllah: “Sinners will surely be exposed to the punishment (azab) of the grave; the beasts even have a sense of hearing their cries.”
Narrated Abu Said al Khudri:
RasulAllah (salla’llahu aleyhe wasallam) notified: “The unbeliever is obsessed by ninety nine monsters in his grave, each biting and stinging him until Doomsday. If any one of them had ever breathed over the earth, no grass would ever be able to grow then!”
Narrated Ibn Omar radhi’allahu ahn: RasulAllah notified:
“When anyone of you dies, he is shown his place both by day and night. If he is one of the people of paradise; he is shown his place in it, and if he is from the people of Hell-Fire, he is shown his place there-in. Then it is said to him: ‘This is your place till ALLAH will resurrect (baa’th) you on the Day of Resurrection!”
Now let us also pay attention to another point that is a sentence we recite in Amantu (faith):
“Wal baa’th u bad’al MAWT” meaning “and [I believe] to revive right after (as a consequence of) DEATH”
Examine this carefully! We do not say: “Wal baa’thu bad’al KIYAMAT (DOOMSDAY).”
It is that, the event implied by the word “baa’th” is not one after DOOMSDAY, but that after TASTING DEATH!
In this world, a person lives with his known physical body along with the spirit body constructed by his physical brain. In parallel, great Islam scholar (alim) and Sufi (mutasawwuf) Imam Ghazali tells the following in the explanation of the name AL-BAIS in his book entitled “The Interpretation of Asma Al-Husna”:
“Most people are taken in by false conjectures and vague imaginings regarding this fact, the upshot of which is their imagining death to be mere absence, non-existence, or that the “baa’th” brings forth something new in the wake of this absence, as in the first creation. Before all, their presumption that death is non-existence is a mistake, as is their opinion that the second revival is like the first one.
Concerning their belief that death is non-existence, it is groundless. Indeed, the grave is either one of the pits of the fires of Hell, or a garden out of the gardens of Paradise.
Interior vision has guided the masters of intellectual perception to the fact that man was created for eternity and that there is no way for him to become non-existent. Of course, there are times his tie with his corpse is cut off when it is said “he is dead”; or other times his tie may return, and it is said “he has enlivened, he has come to life.”
Now, concerning their hypothesis that the resurrection is something like the first coming-to-be, that is not sound, they are wrong in their assumption, for the “resurrection” refers to another sort of creation quite unrelated to the first coming to life.
To tell the truth, human beings undergo a number of revivals, not only two.”
On tasting death, human spirit is released from the physical body, so the life goes on within spirit, which experienced death, in a grave until Doomsday. Far later it is once more revived (baa’th) on the base of its current (today’s) characteristics during the term when the earth is corrupted in the heat of the Sun; which is known as “Doomsday!” And ultimately all those bodies are formed by baa’th for the final time in accordance with the environment they reach.
Are we going to have our current awareness, perceptional- comprehensional mechanism in grave, also?
Abdullah bin Omar told about this point. During a talk with RasulAllah about two angels known as Munker and Nakir who examine people in their graves, Hz. Omar asked:
“O RasulAllah! Are we going to be awake in the grave?”
“Of course. The same as you are now!”
What happens to the person who has tasted death, who is lucid, conscious but his physical body left out of order.
Shall we learn this from Anas radhi’allahu ahn:
“RasulAllah (salla’llahu aleyhe wasallam) said: When a servant is laid in his grave and his companions return, he even hears their footsteps leaving his grave. As they get away, two angels come up to him, make him sit up and then ask:
‘What did you used to say about this man named Mohammed?’
If he is a faithful believer, he will answer:
‘I bear witness that Mohammed is the servant of ALLAH and HU’s Messenger.’
On his answer, it will be said to him:
‘Have a look at your place in the Hell-Fire! ALLAH has replaced it for you with a place in Paradise.’
RasulAllah added: He will then see his places both in Paradise and in Hell. added: He will then see his places both in Paradise and in Hell.
But if he is a non-believer or a hypocrite, (a Muslim by name,) he will answer: ‘I do not have a certain idea. . . nothing more than what the people used to say!’
It will be said to him:
‘Neither did you know nor take the guidance!’
Then he will be beaten by a mallet, and he will send such a cry that will be heard by whatever near to him except human beings and jinni!” (Bukhari)
Let us finally note the following hadith to conclude the subject.
“The deceased, —the person who tasted death— is tortured for the wailing of his relatives over him.”
Many more hadithes of RasulAllah concerning this issue are available in related hadith books where they can be further studied.
As a brief conclusion from all:
Human beings NEVER DIE, BUT TASTE DEATH; so his dimension of life changes.
On tasting death, the person loses his tie with his physical body and goes on living from then onward within his hologramlike body of frequencies, i.e., his ‘spirit”.
Therefore, awake is everybody when they are put into grave.. And they keep on living there in an aware and conscious state until the Resurrection day, when each person takes over a new body suitable to the conditions of that term.
We shall briefly mention now what else is undergone after death is experienced.
When DEATH is experienced, the person’s perception of the external world still continues for some more time. Just the same as though he had been living within his biological body, he follows what is going on around himself, hears people’s conversations and their wailing..
During that period he feels as if a patient in permanent vegetative state. He observes all events from outside, however he cannot communicate any response to the outside world. By then, the time for the corpse’s bathing comes. As for the reason for washing the dead corpse… The wisdom in bathing the corpse, as far as we could make it out, is to provide the body whose cellular life still continues, with a bioelectrical reinforcement by way of osmosis. So that the person may carry on his contact, though one sided, with the world for some more time that he used to move about in a while ago with his physical body.
The dimension of life that begins at the time of DEATH is TASTED and continues till the Resurrection day is known as the universe of BARZAKH (Isthmus). The life beginning by death is divided into three phases:
B. Life in the world of grave,
C. Life in the Isthmus (Barzakh).
A. Life in a Grave:
This is the stage entered upon by someone’s baa’th within his hologramlike body of frequencies —his spirit— after his tasting death, and it lasts as long as someone’s life in his grave continues perceiving his physical environment. During that stage he continues perceiving the events that happen around himself both prior to his burial into the grave and thereafter. This transitional stage resembles that of a period between our waking and sleeping in our beds that is experienced everyday by all of us.
Prior to falling asleep, one lies in his bed conscious and awake, aware of his surroundings, the softness or the hardness of the bed he lies on. Similar to a man who is about to sleep, someone in the grave in this first stage perceives everything around and inside a grave as if he is still alive.
Just like a man who is conscious of his environment and meantime falls into sleep into a world of dreams, someone in grave perceives the occurrences inside his physical grave as well as outside.
Meanwhile he is about to begin his journey into HIS OWN WORLD of GRAVE. Right then, two angels as noted in the Deen-i Islam come up and ask three questions: “Who is your Lord?”, “Who is your Nabi?” and “What is your Book?”
PAY ATTENTION! There is no question in the GRAVE concerning someone’s sect, order (mazhab) or cult (tariqat)! Never an imam of any cult nor any sect is discussed there!
THOSE WHO THINK THAT THESE SORTS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED IN GRAVE ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE DEEN. Neither in the Koran nor in any of Mohammed’s aleyhessalaam hadithes is there an instruction showing that such a thing as a cult or sect will be asked! The sects and the other organizations have been established long after Hazrat Mohammed’s aleyhessalaam transition into the universe of Barzakh. . . that such things do not serve in the universe of Barzakh! Subsequent to that examination is the transition of person into either his world of grave or into the universe of Barzakh.
What is the difference between the “world of grave” and the “universe of Barzakh”?
B. Life in the World of Grave:
In this stage, a person in grave resembles that of a man who is completely asleep in the world of dreams being unaware of his entrance to the world of dreams, and he continues to observe his life as though still in his waking life.
Just like we experience our actual lifetimes in this world as if our only life, the person who has entered for his life in the world of grave experiences his new dimension of life the same way as his only life there. In the subsequent course, he either lives pleasing dreams of Heaven (jannat), enjoying himself peacefully, which is known as the “heaven in the grave,” or lives in the nightmare kinds of frightening dreams of Hell among severe tortures and torments, “the Hell-fire in the grave.” That phase keeps on the same way until Doomsday.
This is a person’s life in his world of grave during his stay in a grave.
The following hadith-i shariff of our Nabi instructs that state:
“The grave of a human is either a garden out of the gardens of Paradise (jannat), or a hole out of the holes of Hell.”
Besides that there is a life in the universe of Barzakh.
C. World of Barzakh Life:
This is the dimension of life which is experienced by the martyrs (shahid) who have died on the path to “ALLAH” fiysabiilAllah, Anbiya, Rasuls and awliyaullah who have been known, if so mentioned, have died before death actually came to them. There they move freely within their “spirit bodies” as being liberated from the limitations of the grave life.
In the life of BARZAKH: Martyrs (shehids), Friends of ALLAH (awliyaullah) and Rasuls are able to move, to travel and make communication freely with each other owing to their status.
Besides, there is a hierarchy in the Barzakh life; and executives there in that hierarchy.
Out of those in the Barzakh life, a group of awliya who have reached the spiritual state of “fatih” during their lives in this world, can communicate with the ones in this world. However those awliyaullah who have reached the spiritual state of “qashif” but who have not attained “fatih” cannot get in direct communication with those in the world though they are completely free in their universe.
Each person continues his life after the EXPERIENCE OF DEATH either within his own world of grave or in the Barzakh as his spiritual station (martaba) allows him. Such a life awaits every one of us!
- Article by Ahmed Baki, cited from the site Seeker after Truth