Download PDF: [S] The Souls of a Believer and a Disbeliever
Hadrat Sayyiduna Barra bin ‘Aazib – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates:
One day we accompanied Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – to a Janazah of an Ansaari. However, since there was a delay in the preparation of the grave, we had to wait a little longer. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – then sat on one side and we sat around him with our heads bowed. (This was the immense respect that the blessed Ashaab had when in front of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. Their blessed heads were bowed to such a degree that people looking from the back would assume that these people who had no heads).
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – then raised his blessed head and instructed us to seek refuge from the punishment of the grave. (This he did two or three times). He then explained, “When a person severs his connection with the world and turns towards the Hereafter (in other words, the time of death is near), at that moment, Angels with bright faces full of Nur appear in front of him. (Their faces appear) as if the sun is on their faces. They also have a silk cloth from Jannah as a kafan and the fragrance of Jannah. They sit around the person as far as the eyes can see. The Angel of Death then appears and sits at the head side of the person and says to him, “O pure soul, leave the body to receive the Divine Mercy of Allah Almighty and also His Divine Pardon.”
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – continued, “(When he hears these words), the soul of the believer leaves his body with great ease as water leaves a fragrance. The Angel of Death then takes this soul and at that time the Angels who are present do not leave this soul (in the hands of the Angel of Death) even for one moment. In other words, merely to touch this soul, they immediately take it away from the hands of the Angel of Death.
They then place this in the special cloth which they had brought together with the fragrance which they had brought with them. Hence, a most sweet fragrance emanates from this soul which is more sweeter in smell than all the fragrance which has appeared from the beginning of time until the last moment of the earth.
How they welcome the soul of a believer
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – then states, “Those Angels then carry that soul towards the heavens. As they travel with this soul towards the heavens, other Angels from the earth and heavens who pass by inquire from them about who this pure soul is. The Angel reply that this is the son of so and so. The Angels also describe him with the best of names by which he was remembered with on earth. This type of questions and answers continue (as they travel further).
This continues until they reach the first heaven. The door of this heaven is then opened for them and the special Angels on this heaven accompany them to the next heaven. In this manner, with immense respect, they reach the seventh heaven. Allah Almighty then commands the Angels to leave the Record of Deeds of this servant in the (maqam) of Illiyeen and return the soul back to earth so that it can answer the questions in the grave. Allah Almighty also declares that He has created the person from the earth and it would be returned to earth and from the earth, again it would arise. This soul then returns to the body on earth and thereafter, two Angels appear in front of him who allow him to sit up and ask him about who is his Lord. The person answers that his Lord is Allah. He is then asked about his religion and the person replies that his religion is Islam. They then ask who is this (i.e. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) who has been sent among you. The person replies that this is Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. They then ask him how he knows that this is the Messenger of Allah and the person replies that he had read this in the Divine Book of Allah and had brought faith on Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and had accepted it as the truth.
Suddenly a voice is heard saying, ‘My slave is indeed true (or has spoken the truth), therefore stretch out for him Jannah. Allow him to adorn the clothes of Jannah and open for him the door of Jannah.’ The doors of Jannah are then opened for him and the person is able to smell the sweet fragrance of Jannah. His grave is then made as expansive as possible.”
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – then states, “At that moment, a most handsome looking person with the best of clothing and the best of fragrance appears in front of him and says to the deceased person, ‘Glad tidings for you for those things which will make you joyous. (In other words, those things have been created for you which no eyes have seen and no ears have heard). This is that day which has been promised to you in the world.
The believer then asks this person who he is and also informs him that indeed he is most good looking and has brought glad tidings for him. The person replied, ‘I am your good deeds (which has appeared in this form). Today is that day which has been promised to you on earth.’
When the believer hears this, he declares, ‘O My Creator! Please establish the Day of Judgement so that I can return to my family and friends. (This is mentioned three times by the deceased. In other words, the true believer would be that person who would want the Day of Judgement to appear quickly as possible so that he could enjoy the benefits of what has been promised to him.)
The soul of the disbeliever
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – stated that when the disbelieving person’s connection with the world comes to an end and he prepares to leave for the Hereafter (in other words, the moment of his death approaches), at that moment, Angels with black faces appear in front of him. (These are Angels of punishment). They also have with them a sackcloth. They also sit around him (in such) numbers as the eye can see.
Then the Angel of Death appears and sits at the head side of this person. He then says to the person, ‘O filthy and impure soul, leave the body so that you can receive the dire punishment of Allah Almighty. (When the soul of the disbelievers hears this), it tries to spread all over the body (to escape because now it has seen for itself the dire punishment which is in store for it. In other words, it tries to hide in the body). In fact, the soul of the disbeliever is pulled out of the body like the wool of an animal is dragged out of the skin in such a violent manner that at times, the skin is also dragged out.
The Angel of Death then grabs this soul and the Angels who are waiting, snatch this soul from the Angel of Death and quickly press it into the sackcloth which they came with. This soul also appears with such a foul smell that it covers the earth. These Angels then take this soul towards the heavens and which group of Angels passes them they inquire about the identity of this foul smelling soul. The Angels who are carrying this soul reply that this is the son of so and so. They also mention his bad attributes and bad character by which he was known on earth with. When they reach the door of the first heaven and ask for the door of the heaven to be opened, at that moment, the door of the heaven is not opened for them.”
Substantiating this, at that moment, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – also recited the following verse which is found in Surah Al ‘Araf verse 40 which is:
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَاسْتَکْبَرُوۡا عَنْہَا لَاتُفَتَّحُ لَہُمْ اَبْوٰبُ السَّمَآءِ وَلَا یَدْخُلُوۡنَ الْجَنَّۃَ حَتّٰی یَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِیۡ سَمِّ الْخِیَاطِ ؕ وَکَذٰلِکَ نَجْزِی الْمُجْرِمِیۡنَ ﴿۴۰﴾
“Indeed those who denied Our signs and were conceited towards them – the
gates of the heavens will not be opened for them nor will they enter Paradise until the camel goes through the needle’s eye; and this is the sort of reward We give the guilty.”
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – continued, “Allah Almighty then commands that the register of deeds of this person be recorded in Sijjeen which is the lowest part of earth. The soul of the disbeliever is then thrown back to earth. This fact is also mentioned in the Qur’an. In Surah Hajj, verse 31, the Qur’an declares:
حُنَفَآءَ لِلہِ غَیۡرَ مُشْرِکِیۡنَ بِہٖ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّشْرِکْ بِاللہِ فَکَاَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَآ ِٔ فَتَخْطَفُہُ الطَّیۡرُ اَوْ تَہۡوِیۡ بِہِ الرِّیۡحُ فِیۡ مَکَانٍ سَحِیۡقٍ ﴿۳۱﴾
“and whoever ascribes partners to Allah is as if he has fallen from the sky and
the birds snatch him or the wind blows him away to a far-off place.”
When his soul returns to his body, the two Angels appear in front of him and they make him sit up violently and ask him about who is his Lord and he replies that he is unaware. (In words, he acts as if no one had taught him this or he acts like he was completely unaware and therefore should be considered as innocent).
The Angels then ask him about Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and again he admits that he does not know.
Then a voice is heard from the heavens, “This person is a liar, therefore lay out for him a bed of fire and open for him the door of Hell.” The person is then able to smell the bad odour of Hell and is able to feel the intense heat of Hell. His grave is made so constrained for him that his ribs appear on opposite sides of his body. Suddenly, a most ugly looking person appears in front of him who himself is full of bad odour and informs him that bad tidings will come to him which will make him even more sad. He is also informed that this is the day which he was promised in the world. The deceased will ask this person who he is and he reply, ‘I am your bad deeds’. The person will then scream, ‘O Lord, please do not establish the Day of Judgement’. (In other words, from that moment onwards, he will dread the appearance of the Day of Judgement)
In another report, it is mentioned that, “When the soul of a believer leaves the body then every Angel in between the earth and heaven and every Angel in the heaven send mercy (or blessing) on this soul. When the soul of the believer is taken to the heavens, then every Angel in every heaven asks that it be given the opportunity of taking this soul further. (In other words, so that it can also be honoured with taking the soul of a believer).
“As for the soul of a disbeliever it is pulled out in such a violent manner that it appears to have been pulled out even with the veins of the person. All the Angels in between the heavens and earth and all the Angels in the heavens curse this soul and the Angels in the first heaven also plead to Allah Almighty not to allow this cursed soul to enter.” (Abu Daud Shareef)