Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Shiite Belief in Parallel World and Parallel Body After Death

بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم


The soul taking on a ‘parallel’ body after death, in the world of Barzakh, is denied by the Hayati subsect of Deobandis and by the grave-worshiping Barelwis. But what about the Shi’ah? In this entry I shall introduce the reader to the Twelver Shi’ah position which matches my own regarding the reality of the ‘parallel’ body that is given to the soul after death. Before we get to that, let the reader know that the proof for the concept of a ‘parallel’ body, and indeed the idea that the ‘grave’ actually refers to a separate dimension in Islamic theology and not the actual burial plot, is not only textual but based on rational arguments too. We have already touched on this point in a previous entry, and, in sha Allah, will expand on this thought further in future entries.

Coming back to the Shi’ite position, ‘Ayatullah’ Sayyid Abdul Hussain, wrote in his book (translated to Urdu by Muhammad Baqir al-Baqiri al-Jawrasi):

برزخ کو عالم مثالی بھی کہتے ہیں کیونکہ وہ اسی عالم کے مانند ہے۔

برزخ میں تمھارا بدن بھی بدن مثالی ہے۔

“Barzakh is also referred to as Alam-i-Mithali [parallel world]In Barzakh your body is likewise a parallel body.” (Alam-i-Barzakh p. 82)

The author proceeds to quote a saying attributed to Imam Ja’far al-SadiqRA reported in Bihar-ul-Anwar of Mulla Baqir Majlisi:

امام جعفر صادق علیہ السلام فرماتے ہیں کہ اگر تم اس بدن مثالی کو دیکھو تو کہوگے کہ یہ تو بالکل وہی دنیاوی جسم ہے، اس وقت اگر تم اپنے باپ کو خواب میں دیکھو تو اسی دنیاوی بدن میں مشاہدہ کروگے۔ لیکن ان کا جسم اور مادّہ تو قبر کے اندر ہے، یہ صورت اور بدن مثالی ہے۔ برزخی جسم

“Imam Ja’far Sadiq peace be upon him says that if you were to look at a parallel body you would say that this is precisely that worldly body. At that time if you were to see your father in a dream you would witness that worldly body. But his material body is in the grave, this [other] image is another parallel body, the body of the Barzakh.” (ibid pp. 82-83)

The author goes on to explain that the soul leaves the material body at the time of death and is granted a parallel body in the Barzakh:

عقلی اور نقلی دلیلوں سے ثابت اور مسلّم ہے کہ آدمی موت سے فنا نہیں ہوتا بلکہ اس کی روح مادّی اور خاکی بدن سے رہائی کے بعد ایک انتہائی لطیف قالب سے ملحق ہوجاتی ہے

موت کے بعد سے قیامت تک آدمی کی روح کی اس حالت کو عالم مثالی اور برزخ کہتے ہیں۔

“It is proven and accepted from rational and textual evidences that man is not annihilated by death, rather, his spirit after being freed from the material and earthen body is joined to an extremely refined moldAfter death until the Resurrection, man’s spirit in this state is referred to as the parallel world and Barzakh.” (ibid pp. 140-141)

Another Shi’ite author, al-Haj Sayyid Imtiaz Haider Akhter, writes:

مگر اس کی روح غیر مادّی ہونے کے سبب سے نہ تو فنا ہوتی ہے اور نہ شکلیں بدلتی ہے اور نظام قدرت کے تحت اسے ایک ایسا مثالی اور لطیف جسم عطا ہو جاتا ہے جو مادی جسم سے مگر قوی اور غیر متغیّر ہوتا ہے۔ روح کو اسی لطیف جسم میں قیامت تک رہنا ہوگا یہاں تک کہ یوم بعثت وہ دوبارہ اس مثالی جسم کو ترک کر کے ایک بار پھر اپنے مادّی جسم سے داخل ہو جاۓ گی

“The spirit of the deceased, due to being immaterial, is neither annihilated nor does the appearance change, and in accordance with the laws of nature is granted a parallel and refined body which is stronger than the material body and is unalterable. The spirit will have to remain in this refined body until the Resurrection, when it will leave this parallel body and once again enter into its material body.” (Hayat Baad Az Maut p. 93)

On the next page, the author cites the same saying attributed to Imam Ja’far al-SadiqRA as mentioned earlier, and also confirms the fact that the Shi’ah believe that Barzakh is just another word for that parallel world:

برزخ خود ایک عالم مثالی ہوگا

“Barzakh itself will be a parallel world.” (Ibid p. 94)

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