Volume - V / CHAPTER - 1 / LESSON NO: 3
Q 1: What is "Aalam-e-Barzakh"?
A. The world which is situated between the mortal and immortal worlds is called "Aalam-e-Barzakh" (a period or state between death and resurrection). All humanbeings and genies have to stay in it after death according to their status. "Aalam-e-Barzakh" is far larger than this world. It has the same attachment with this world as the world has with a mother's belly (womb). Some enjoy comfort and some face discomfort there.
Q 2: Does the soul remain in association with the body after death or not?
A. The soul remains in association with the body. The soul will necessarily feel what will happen to the body notwithstanding its separation from the body just as it used to feel in the lifetime rather more than that. Man (body) drinks cold water, eats sumptuous food and enjoys fresh air and cozy bed but his soul feels the taste and delicacy of these things. Similarly, their actions and reactions also reflect on the body but the soul faces affliction. Besides, there are some other specific causes and conditions of comfort and discomfort for the soul which make it exhilarated or dismal. Exactly the same things happen to the soul in "Aalam-e-Barzakh".
Q 3: What does happen to the dead in "Barzakh"?
A. 1."Zughta-e-Qabr" i.e. after burial grave presses the dead. If the dead is Muslim grave presses it as if a mother hugs her child lovingly and in case the dead is infidel then the grave becomes so tight that his ribs are intertwined.
2. The dead hears the sound of the steps of people who leave graveyard after having buried him. Then two angels namely "Munkar" and "Nakeer" guised in horrible figure come to the grave tearing through the earth and question the dead harshly viz: Who is your "Rab" (Sovereign Lord)? What is your religion? And what did you use to say about him i.e. the Holy Prophet Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa (may Allah's choicest blessings & peace be upon him).
3. If the dead is believer he will answer the questions as: My "Rab" is Allah. My religion is Islaam. And he is the Messenger of Allah (Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa [Sallal Laahu Alaihei Wasallam] may Allah's choicest blessings & peace be upon him).
4. If the dead is hypocrite or infidel he will say: Alas! I know nothing. I used to say what I heard people say.
5 . Grave of the believer will be enlarged and a door opened to Paradise whereby he will receive the fragrance of Paradise.
6 . Some disobedient believers will face torment in proportion to their sins. But later when Allah will please they will be absolved either by His mercy or by the supplications/intercession of the spiritual guides of the dead or Allah's saints. Some Muslim scholars maintain that torment is removed from the graves of believers as the Friday night falls.
7. For an infidel or hypocrite, a bed of fire will be laid in his grave and he will be dressed with the garment of hell-fire. A door will be opened to Hell and the angels of torment will be posted there to torment him. Besides, snakes, scorpions etc. will also keep tormenting him.
8. The virtues and good deeds of believer will adopt beautiful and pretty shapes to please him and as against this the evils and bad deeds of infidel and hypocrite will change into dogs, wolves and other dreadful animals to torment him.
9. The souls of believers, be they at their graves or on "Zam Zam" (sacred well adjacent to holy Ka'bah) or in between the sky and earth of on the heavens or above the heavens or in celestial lanterns beneath the "Arsh" (throne) or in "A'laa Illi-yeen" (the highest position, place) are granted freedom to go where they wish to. They see one another, inquire about their relatives and see those who visit their graves and also listen to their words.
10. The souls of infidels are imprisoned within the precincts of cremation ground. They are not allowed to go anywhere. However, they see and recognise those who visit their graves or cremation ground and also hear their speech.
11. The dead responds to "Salaam" (salutation) and also speaks which all creatures but mankind and genies hear.
Q 4: Does only the body receive reward and torment or both the soul and body receive?
A. Both the soul and body receive reward and torment. An Hadees to this effect says: a cripple was lying in an orchard and witnessing fruits but could not pluck those due to his disability. Perchance, a blind went by there. He called the blind and advised him to carry him (cripple) on his shoulders to pick fruits from trees which they will eat. The blind concurred and lifted the cripple on his shoulders. He plucked fruits which they both ate.
Who is to be held responsible for the crime? Definitely the both. So it is clear from the given example that blind is the body and cripple is the soul.
Q 5: How will the body receive reward or torment in grave after its decompositon?
A. Though the body may decompose or turn into dust yet the vital constituents of it will remain intact till the Doomsday. These basic constituents will be subjected to reward or torment and the body will be reassembled or reconstructed on the very constituents on the Day of Judgement which is called "Ujbuz Zanb" (the atom). The Nature has created and preserved such marvellous constituents in the back-bone of humanbeings which can neither be seen by any microscope nor fire or the earth can burn and annihilate them.
These very constituents of the dead person will face torment or enjoy reward in grave. "Azaab-e-Qabr" (torment in grave) and "Tan'eem-e-Qabr" (Divine blessing in grave) are the truth which nobody but only a "misguided" will deny.
Q 6: Where will the dead be questioned if not buried?
A. The dead that is not buried will be questioned where it is thrown or left unburied at the place it died and will also receive reward or torment there even if one is eaten up by a lion that will be questioned in the lion's stomach and will also receive torment or reward therein.
Q 7: whose bodies will not decompose and remain intact?
A. The earth will not decompose the bodies of the Prophets, saints, Ulama (religious scholars), martyrs, those who learn(t) the Holy Quran by heart and also follow(ed) it, those who love Allah and His beloved Prophet, those who never disobey Allah and those who busy themselves in reciting Durood Shareef (invocation of Allah's blessings on the Holy Prophet).
He who utters derogatory words against the Prophets like "they died and turned into dust" is an insolent, misguided and disbeliever.
Q 8: Does alms-giving or charity benefit the dead or not?
A. "Sawaab" (reward of virtue) of prayer, fast, "Zakaat" (poor-due), "Sadaqah" (propitiatory charity), Haj, recitation from the Holy Quran, remembrance of Allah, visiting graves, alms, charity and of every sort of prayer and goodness (irrespective of "Fard" or "Nafl") can be conveyed to the dead and it will reach all of them.
Reward of the one who conveys "Sawaab" of any of these virtues will neither be diminished nor it will be distributed among the dead but instead each of the dead will be given the aggregate amount of Sawaab by the grace of Allah Almighty and the sender/conveyor may be given equal to the total reward of all the dead. For example, one does a virtuous deed which carries ten goodnesses and he conveys it to ten dead. Every dead will get ten goodnesses and the sender will receive 110 goodnesses.
An Hadees says: the believer who recites "Qul Hu-wallah" (Surah Ikhlaas) eleveen times and conveys its reward to the dead ones will get reward equal to the number of dead.
The dead also gets, by the grace of Allah Almighty, the reward of any good work or recitation from the Holy Quran done by an under-age boy and conveyed to him.
It is made clear here that one should not understand that nothing is left after conveying "Sawaab" of any "Fard" act to the dead. After performance of "Fard" and conveying reward thereof to the dead he is relieved of the Fard and that is no more due to him. The prevalent method of "Faateha" is a sort of "Eisaal-e-Sawaab" (conveying reward of virtuous deed to the dead) which is lawful, desirable and commendable act under Shari'ah.
Q 9: What is the method of "Eisaal-e-Sawaab"?
A. Surah Faateha is recited in "Eisaal-e-Sawaab" (conveying reward of virtuous deed to the dead) which is called "Faateha" and also regarded as "Nazar-o-Niyaaz" of Allah's saints as a mark of respect.
The method of it is that one should recite Surah Faateha, "Ayatul Kursi" once and Surah Ikhlaas, three or seven or eleven times, preceded and followed by Durood Shareef at least thrice and then raise his hands (with the palms facing the heavens) and say: O' Allah! what reward of the recitation of these Quranic verses and Durood Shareef (if food and cloths etc.are also there then mention them) I am to be given by You, grant me that according to Your infinite grace not commensurate with my action and get it all conveyed to such and such saint (for example: Hadrat Saieyyedina Ghous-e-Azam [may Allah be pleased with him]) on my behalf, his respected forefathers, teachers, spiritual guides, his off-spring, disciples, followers and those who love him and my parents and such and such and all male and female believers of the past, present and future i.e. from the time of Prophet Adam to the Doomsday and then pass both the hands on his face.