Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Punishment of Grave Happens to Soul Not Corpse (Part 2)

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

اللهم صلى على سيدنا ونبينا محمد وبارك وسلم وصلى عليه

In a previous post I explained my belief that the delights or punishment in the grave, as part of the life of the Barzakh, is in relation to the soul of the deceased only, and not to its corpse. This is because when a person dies, his or her soul is permanently separated from the body, as Allāh Ilāh al-ālihah says:

اَللّٰہُ یَتَوَفَّی الۡاَنۡفُسَ حِیۡنَ مَوۡتِہَا وَ الَّتِیۡ لَمۡ تَمُتۡ فِیۡ مَنَامِہَا ۚ فَیُمۡسِکُ الَّتِیۡ قَضٰی عَلَیۡہَا الۡمَوۡتَ وَ یُرۡسِلُ الۡاُخۡرٰۤی اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی

Allāh takes away the souls of human beings at the time of their death; and during their sleep of those also that are not yet dead. And then He retains those against which He has decreed death, and sends back the others till an appointed term

(Sūrah 39:42)

Allāh says He retains or withholds the souls of those upon whom is the decree of death, meaning they are withheld from returning to their bodies in this world, unlike the souls of those who are sleeping, who are returned. This is a strong proof against the doctrine of those who believe the soul returns to the body in the grave after death.

It is reported from sayyidinā Ka’b bin Mālik al-Ansāri (radi Allāhu anhu) that the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu alaihi wa-ālihi wasallam) said:

إِنَّمَا نَسَمَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ طَيْرٌ يَعْلَقُ فِي شَجَرِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَى جَسَدِهِ يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُهُ

The nasamah [soul] of the Believer is a bird suspended from a tree in Paradise until Allah returns it to its body on the day He raises him

(Muwatta Malik, #49)

This also makes plain that the soul of the deceased isn’t returned to its body until the Day of Resurrection. When sayyidinā Umar al-Fārūq (radi Allāhu anhu) saw the Prophet (sall Allāhu alaihi wasallam) addressing the dead polytheists after the Battle of Badr, he asked him:

كَيْفَ تُكَلِّمُ أَجْسَادًا لاَ أَرْوَاحَ فِيهَا

"How are you speaking to bodies that have no spirits inside?"

(Sahīh Muslim)

ِThe Prophet (sall Allāhu alaihi wasallam), rather than negate the idea that dead corpses are lifeless and are bereft of spirits, simply replied, as narrated by umm al-Mu’minīn Ā’ishah (radi Allāhu anhā):

إِنَّهُمُ الآنَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ الَّذِي كُنْتُ أَقُولُ لَهُمْ هُوَ الْحَقُّ

Now they know that what I used to say to them is the truth

(Sahīh al-Bukhāri)

This explains that the Prophet (sall Allāhu alaihi wasallam) was not speaking to the corpses in the well at Badr with the understanding that they could actually hear him. Rather, it was for his own satisfaction that he, while apparently addressing them, taunted their slain corpses with the words “have you found what Allāh and His Apostle promised you to be true? For indeed I find what Allāh promised me to be true!”. It is also narrated that after sayyidinā Ibn az-Zubair (radi Allāhu anhumā) was martyred by means of crucifixion, sayyidinā Ibn Umar (radi Allāhu anhumā) entered the Mosque and addressed Asmā bint Abi Bakr (radi Allāhu anhumā) with these words:

إِنَّ ‌الْجُثَّةُ ‌لَيْسَتْ ‌بِشَيْءٍ  وَإِنَّمَا الْأَرْوَاحُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ

The juththah [corpse] is nothing; for indeed the spirits are with Allah

(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, #32705):


In an enigmatic response, it appears that sayyidatunā Asmā bint Abi Bakr (radi Allāhu anhumā) compared her martyred son, Ibn az-Zubair (radi Allāhu anhumā) to the Prophet YahyāJohn the Baptist, peace be upon him:

وَقَدْ أُهْدِيَ رَأْسُ يَحْيَى بْنُ زَكَرِيَّا إِلَى بَغِيٍّ مِنْ بَغَايَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ

The head of Yahyā son of Zakariyyā was gifted to a baghiyy [immoral woman] from the immoral women of the children of Israel

(ibid)

Incidentally, this is a proof that the word ‘baghiyy’ doesn’t necessarily mean prostitute, for neither the evil Herodias nor her daughter Salome were prostitutes.

Among the classical Ulamā who affirmed this belief that the soul doesn’t return to its body after death until the Resurrection, and therefore the punishment or delights of the grave affect the soul only were Ibn Hazm and Ibn Maysarah (Majmū’ Fatāwa Ibn Taymiyyah; v.4 p.262). Ibn Hazm wrote:

وَهَذَا حق لَا يدْفع عَذَاب الْقَبْر لِأَن فتْنَة الْقَبْر وعذابه وَالْمَسْأَلَة إِنَّمَا هِيَ للروح فَقَط بعد فِرَاقه للجسد

The punishment and trial of the grave is for the spirit only after its separation from the body

فصح بِنَصّ الْقُرْآن أَن روح من مَاتَ لَا يرجع إِلَى جسده إِلَّا إِلَى أجل مُسَمّى وَهُوَ يَوْم الْقِيَامَة

It is correct, from the text of the Qurān, that the spirit that died does not return to its body until the appointed term, and that is the Day of Resurrection

فصح أَن ذَلِك لأرواحهم فَقَط بِلَا شكّ وَأما الْجَسَد فَلَا حس لَهُ

The corpse has no sensitivity in it

وَقد صَحَّ عَن النَّبِي صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم أَنه رأى مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام قَائِما فِي قَبره يُصَلِّي لَيْلَة الْإِسْرَاء وَأخْبر أَنه رَآهُ فِي السَّمَاء السَّادِسَة أَو السَّابِعَة وَبلا شكّ إِنَّمَا رأى روحه وَأما جسده فتوارى بِالتُّرَابِ بِلَا شكّ فعلى هَذَا أَن مَوضِع كل روح يُسمى قبراً فتعذب الْأَرْوَاح حِينَئِذٍ وَلَا تسْأَل حَيْثُ كَانَت

It is correct that the Prophet sall Allāhu alaihi wasallam saw Moses peace be upon him standing in his grave, praying, on the night of the Isrā. And it is reported from him that he saw him in the sixth or seventh heaven. Without a doubt, he saw his spirit, but as for his [Moses’s] body, it is hidden in the dust undoubtedly. Based on this, the place of every spirit is named ‘grave’, and the spirits are thus punished, and do not ask where they are (al-Fisl; v.4, pp.56-57):




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