Relation between Soul and Corpse After Death?
One of the folk beliefs widespread among the Muslims today, but which is ultimately baseless and absurd, is the idea that after death there is still some sort of relation between the soul of the deceased and its corpse, to the extent that if the corpse is harmed in some way the pain will be conveyed to and felt by the soul. This is the official doctrine of misguided sects such as the Deobandis and Barelwis, but also other so-called scholars and religious leaders, for example:
“Imam Jad el-Haq Ali, who also was the Grand Imam of al-Azhar before Imam Tantaawy, argues that the dead body remains sensitive to the outside world and feels pain. The Imam backs his thought by one Hadith which reports the Prophet as saying, ‘breaking the bones of the dead is similar to breaking those of the living’ (al-Wafd 28.1.1996)” (Mohammed Tabishat, The Moral Discourse of Hadith in Modern Cairo: Persons, Bodies, and Organs; p. 151)
Jad al-Haq Ali Jad al-Haq
The Hadith quoted by the ‘Grand Imam’ and other scholars who promote this fallacious doctrine is narrated by the mother of the believers, sayyida A’ishaRA:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ كَسْرُ عَظْمِ الْمَيِّتِ كَكَسْرِهِ حَيًّا
رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے فرمایا مردے کی ہڈی توڑنا زندے کی ہڈی توڑنے کی طرح ہے
Allah’s Apostle ﷺ said: “Breaking the bone of the deceased is like breaking the bone of a living.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
However, it is quite foolish to understand from this Hadith that the deceased person feel the pain of a bone breaking in his corpse just as a living person feels pain if one of his bones were to be broken. Rather, the obvious and apparent meaning of this Hadith is that the gravity and sin of breaking the bone of a deceased person’s corpse is the same as that of breaking a living person’s bone. This is because Islam enjoins respectful treatment and honoring of a dead corpse, and to defile or desecrate a dead corpse is a grave sin.
The reality is that after death, a soul is permanently cut off from this world. Death itself is defined as the permanent separation between soul and body. Thus the earthen body after death decays into nothing but bones and dust. It has no life or sensation in it whatsoever.
And Allah knows best.