By: Mass Shiara Usuf
The very mention of an unexplained appearance or what’s very commonly called “a ghost” brings fear into the hearts of many, almost everyone. Most of us have heard of people mentioning that they had seen so and so, who had died, reappearing in the house or area where he had died. Some of us might even have experienced hearing somebody talk and sound the same as our dead uncles and aunts.
Then we also have cases of dead people walking about, standing next to the bed of their loved ones, making strange and haunting sounds, or also apparently talking to us through somebody using their own voices. I recently also came across the mention of a school being closed down because there was a “ghost” in the school.
So what do we do now??? People die, but they seem to be coming back, and putting fear into our minds and hearts. A grandparent who might have been very dear to us, a lady whom we loved the most and who had loved us back, dies and seems to be haunting and having fun with it. Does that even make sense? Why would a person who loves us so much make us scared after they are dead? We see loved ones dying and we cry so much due to their demise. So why are we scared when they “apparently” come back? Shouldn’t we be head over heels over the fact that they are back? Its seriously a food for thought. Its high time to get this fear off of our hearts and find the logical Islamic explanation.
Do Souls Come Back?
At the moment of death, in Islam, the angel of death arrives to retrieve the soul from the body. This angel (Israel ASWS) is an angel that delivers the soul and takes it to the next realm of this world, namely, the Hereafter. There is evidence in the Quran to prove that once the soul is taken from the person, it is not given a second chance to return back to this earth. This evidence being a very strong evidence against the belief that dead people walk about freely on earth creating havoc.
Allah mentions in Surah Al-Muminoon (23:99-100):
“Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: “My Lord! Send me back, So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!” No! (Kalla) It is but a word that he speaks; and in front of them is Barzakh until the Day when they will be resurrected.”
These are the verses where Allah describes the plight of the unsuccessful people in the Hereafter. These people had wasted their lives in this world by not being righteous and drawn towards the temptations, wrong doings and false deities of this world, that after they die when they finally see their deed of accounts in front of Allah, they shiver and shudder in fear. They in fact, beg their Lord to send them back to this world so that they may return and do good in this world. For now, after seeing the Truth and the Haq of Allah’s words, they believe with certainty and want to return to get more chances.
Allah also says:
“And if you only could see when the criminals shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back, that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.” (Surah As-Sajdah (32:12))
However, once man dies, his time is done. Its too late for a second chance. Allah has definitely given man, innumerable chances, and all he had done was waste those opportunities and the Mercies that were bestowed upon him, taking everything that was given to him for granted. Another verse which explains this further is in Surah Ghafir (40:12) where Allah says,
“Therein they will cry: “Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not what we used to do.” (Allah will reply:) “Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it And the warner came to you. So taste you (the evil of your deeds). For the wrongdoers there is no helper.”
The In Between
In verse 100 of Surah Muminoon (quoted above) Allah says, “and in front of them is Barzakh until the Day when they will be resurrected”
Which brings me to the definition of what actually is Barzakh. According to Muhammed bin Ka’b: “Al-Barzakh is what is between this world and the Hereafter, neither they are the people of this world, eating and drinking, nor are they with the people of the Hereafter, being rewarded or punished for their deeds.”
So very clearly Allah explains to us that we will never be given a second chance to return to this world. Ever. After the death of a person, in front of them is the barrier from this world and the hereafter. There is no way that Allah would allow them to cross that barrier and enter into the present realm of this world. In addition, the second assurance is, where Allah confirms to us saying that until the day of Resurrection, dead people will be behind this barrier, full description of which only Allah has knowledge of. Barzakh is a place where the people will either suffer as per their wrongdoings in this world, or would enjoy the bliss of rewards as per the righteous acts that they do in this world.
These verses actually gives us some awakening notes, and points to ponder, making it the right time to WAKE UP:
- Life in this world is temporary. Our aim and efforts should be directed to the life in the Hereafter, which is permanent and definite. Our actions in this world is what will give us the rewards or the torments of the Barzakh and will decide our plight on the day of Resurrection (the day our bodies and souls will once again be united).
- Its thus high time for us to make efforts to do as much righteous deeds as we can. As and when you remember Allah, praise and glorify your Lord and seek forgiveness for whatever sins you do. If you do not wish to be amongst those that will be begging Allah to send you back to this world (an effortless plee once you die), then start today and change for the sake of YOUR life in the hereafter.
- And last but not the least, there is no such thing as ghosts or dead people walking around as dead aimless souls, in Islam. Enough of Quranic evidences suggest strongly against any such possibility.
May Allah help us all to be successful Muslims Inshallah in this world and the Hereafter. Aameen!