The Grace of Death (adapted from Hd. Ibrahim Hakki)

Allah Most High, says in the Holy Quran:

"Surely we give life and cause to die and to Us is the eventual coming."   (50/43)

"The death from which you flee, will surely overtake you, then you will be sent back to the One who knows both the seen and the unseen and He will deal with you according to what you did."   (62/8)

"If you are sincere in your belief in the abode of the hereafter with Allah, then look forward to death."   (2/95)

 "If you die or if you are killed while you live your life in Allah’s way, surely Allah’s mercy and His protection are better than all that you can gather as the joys of this life."   (3/158)

"Those are the ones who say when a misfortune befalls them: "Surely we are Allah’s servants and to Him we shall return."   (2/156)

"Allah takes their souls at the time of their death and those die not during their sleep; then He withholds those on whom He passed the decree of death and sends the others back till an appointed time. Surely this is something to reflect on in one’s life."   (39/42)

"The true believers will surely be in gardens of bliss."   (52/17)

"The believer is told at the time of his death: "O the believer who is at peace and content with his Lord; return to your Lord well - pleased, well pleasing. So enter amongst My good servants and enter My paradise."   (89/27-30)

And Allah says in a tradition that He communicated to the Prophet Muhammad, (Peace and blessings be upon him):

"If my believing servant knew what would happen to him when his life ends, he would not wish to stay in this world and would pray and keep begging Me ‘O my Lord take me, take me…’ "

And the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: "'When the light of faith enters the heart of the believer, his heart expands.' And people asked him: 'What is the sign of this?' And he said: 'Such a person recoils from the life of this world and before death comes upon him he prepares for it.'"

And he said:  "When one is warned of death, one should see the uselessness of the goods of this world and leave them."

 "The one who remembers death has his heart heedful, his life cleansed. The world loses its importance and he comes close to his Lord."

 "For the one whom Allah blessed with faith, remembrance of death is sufficient as an admonisher."



"The wisest of men are those who often reflect on death, and prepare for it, thus gathering the greatest honors in this world as well as the hereafter. They will then leave this world contented."

"O my people, lessen your aspirations and increase your remembrance of death."

"When one dies, one’s eyes turn up, looking for the Beloved."

"Do not think that the believer dies; he only moves from one house to another."

"The faithful who crosses the bridge of death is in the presence of his Beloved."

"Men are asleep, they will wake up when they die."

"Remember the dead kindly; do not ever curse them; rather, wish for Allah’s mercy upon them."

"Men fear and wish to flee from death, yet it is death which saves them from mischief."

"To the faithful one, death is Allah’s best gift, his support of life, peace, paradise."

"Death is the faithful one's recompense, his prize, his joy, where he finds his comfort; death is his blissful feast, the promised meeting with his Lord."

"This life is a prison for the faithful. Death is his freedom."

"The best of aspirations for a believer is the end."

"Death is a blessing for a righteous believer for Allah says "For those who keep their duty to their Lord, for them are gardens, wherein flow rivers, to abide therein forever, an entertainment from their Lord. And that which Allah has in store for the righteous is best."   (3/197)

"Whether a believer is righteous or sinful death still is a safe haven for him."

"For most people riches, good health and a good life are the sources of felicity; for me want, pain, and death are more precious, sweet and much better."

"I look forward to my departure from this life and I wish it for my friends."

"What I wish for myself I wish it for my friends. I wish the gift of death for myself, because I am tired, imprisoned in this house of conceit and yearn for my home, the garden of peace and bliss."

"I look forward to death and hope for the same for the people I love, as I know that is the time we will meet our Lord."

"Whoever yearns for his Lord could but look forward to his death, because that is the path which will lead to Him."

"It is with death that one rids oneself from the barriers of this world and the lover meets the Beloved."

"Death is a retirement from the lies of this world and finding the comfort of eternal truth."

"Do not think of death as disappearance and the end of existence; on the contrary, it is to leave the temporal body and to live forever."

"Death is an evolution from one state to another, to move from one place to another."

"We are not going to disintegrate and disappear. At death we move from one state to another in order to continue to be."

"Men’s self has four homes: the smallest is his mother’s womb, then he moves to this world, then to a narrow grave, then to the vast realm of souls. Each place has its own rules and state."

"The expectation of the ones who are looking forward to their death is much like the unborn child in his mother’s womb. He wants to be born, yet when he is born he cries. Men also fear and shed tears thinking of death. But he is like the child who breathes air, tastes the mother’s sweet milk and sees the sunshine, and who does not wish to go back to the womb. The dead who meet their Lord and find peace in the hereafter do not wish to return to the life of this world, as the child, who sees the light and the sight of this world, forgets the dark and narrow womb. The dead who reach the higher realms of the souls, forget the temporal life in this world."

"The angel of death pulls the life from the body of the faithful, like pulling hair from soft dough."

"Azrail is the Archangel who has the duty to take the life of man. He seizes the soul of the faithful one kindly, the Angel appears to him as extremely beautiful, loving and compassionate. Although other magnificent miracles may appear to the faithful one at the time of death to distract him, just to see the beauty of the angel of death is sufficient blessing for him."

"At the time of death the believer does not feel pain, he marvels at the beauty of the angel of death."

"Our Lord assists the believer who is dying by making him forget both his worries of the world and his fear of uncertainties in the hereafter."

"When Allah seizes the life of the faithful, his soul finds comfort from pain and the load of the body."

"The body is the cage of the bird of soul, which is imprisoned in it. Death is its escape from the cage, its freedom."

"The state of the souls after death is like birds flown away from their cages, sitting and singing on branches of high trees. They recognize each other, they are free and joyful."

"At the time of death, the appearance of few drops of sweat on one’s forehead and some tears in the eyes and the opening of the nostrils are good signs of felicity in the hereafter."

"The dead know who washes them, who dresses them in their shroud, who are present during their funerals, who are the ones during the final rites at the grave site."

"The grave hugs the body of the faithful like a mother who has lost her child and found him, and a window opens where he views his abode in paradise and a rain of Allah’s mercy falls on his soul."

"The souls of the faithful become like beautiful green birds fluttering in groups in the skies of purgatory and once a week they descend to the world and leave again."

"Man’s soul is reincarnated in the hereafter in the form of their dominant character which they showed in this life."

"It is possible to know whether the state of the dead is good or bad in the hereafter. This knowledge of the soul of the deceased is sometimes given through inspiration to the ones concerned as comforting good news, or if bad, as a warning for himself. This may happen to all believers in dreams but to the ones who are close to Allah this news may be revealed in a woken state."

These are some of the words of the Prophet of Allah on death, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.


Life wrung into this body

Bird of paradise confined.

Broke away from the cage

Shattered by the hand of God,

Flew free, spreading its wings

Singing melodies of love and joy

In the heavens of exalted souls.

Heedless to any place but the narrow cage

Life used to mourn if it ever got away

Now knows to live in the rose garden

Of blissful souls, thankful for having shed

The heavy corpse. Say: Greetings Oh Death!

A bird is your soul caged in this corpse

If its wings are not tied, why not let it fly?

If you only knew the beauty of the hereafter

Your love would shatter this ornate cell

And find peace and freedom in perpetuity.





Reality of Death


Oh dear one, know that the ones who know have said that that which precedes our death, which we call life is temporal; it passes very quickly, while life after death in the hereafter is for eternity. The reason that man was brought to this life is to give him a chance to obtain a fortune which is inexhaustible, a felicity which is limitless and forever.

This everlasting fortune and limitless happiness depend on spending one’s life in achieving perfection, knowing the truth and assuming the divine attributes of beauty, grace, mercy and kindness. That is possible only if one is conscious and heedful. One can be heedful only if one is determined to truly, sincerely look and see what is around and in him and in everything he perceives, and to reflect upon and to recall to mind the beauty, wisdom and the reason of their creation by the Creator.

To see reality, the reason for its creation, its beauty, and to take lessons from it is only possible for man through the use of his five exterior and five interior faculties; seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching and the common sense with which the impressions received by the external senses turn into ideas, imagination, thinking, recollection and memory.

These ten faculties are doors to the knowledge of the One who created all and everything! Man contains these capacities within this temporal body of flesh which is made out of four principal elements of earth, water, air and fire. Soon it will dissolve, decompose, disappear back to earth, water, air and fire. So whoever is heedful will use the aptitude and the faculties in this temporal body to prepare for the hereafter in this life; cleansing himself from the mire of the flesh, to find the freedom and peace in coming close to his Lord.

Beware. Know that all the beauty, power, knowledge, riches, and the glory of your physical existence are temporal, but the reality of man, the soul which the body momentarily contains is divine, never will perish and is ever – living. The soul will soon leave this body, and that is called death.

If your purpose in life is to follow the desires of your flesh, which are attached to this world, since it is made out of the same matter, then indeed death will be filled with terror, and impossible to bear: for it is terrible to separate oneself from the only thing you have and that you love. But if you are cognizant of an afterlife, and faith in the existence of an eternal soul apart from the flesh, your human soul may become a master instead of the slave to your animal self; you may be saved from the fear of death, and you may even look forward to it, because the soul is from the angelic realms and is in exile in this body, in this world. It yearns to return home to the eternal peace and felicity of the hereafter. It is suffering from the separation and distance from its origin, and looks forward to freeing itself from the cage of this body, wishing to fly home free at death.


The one who is aware sings:


When I know my soul will live forever

Joyfully I make ready in this world

Drinking the wine of love of my Maker

Celebrating the day I meet my Lord.


Hz. Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

"A prolonged old age is a torment for the soul, while death is relief and a solace."

When someone told a mature friend with a perfected soul that he had dreamt that his friend was to die in a year, the man shed tears. He said: "Why lament when I know that you neither enjoyed nor valued the life of this world. Are you afraid of death now?" His friend said: "No my friend, in fact, I fall asleep each night wishing not to wake up. If I cry it is because I have to suffer this life for another whole year.

Oh! While the spirit yearns for its home in a rose garden,

How to suffer the hell of this boisterous world!"


The nightingale, imprisoned in his ornate

Cage, receives his daily fare gratis.

Oh! the sweet perfume of distant gardens. In exile,

Always remember the paradise you seek.


Preparation for Death


Oh dear one! Know that the ones who know claim that the fear of death originates from the ignorance of what death really is. Do all faculties of thought, perception, feeling and emotion belong only to this physical existence? When the body is lifeless and gone, is nothing left? Is neither a trace nor an effect of what one has done in this life totally lost? Is death worse than the misery of old age, and succumbing to the horrific pains and suffering of sickness and infirmity, or wondering what will happen to one after one dies, or losing all goods one possesses in this life? All this and many other worries that torment men are all nonsense and a deception of ego and imagination. Fear of death is a handicap which prevents man from living this life as it should be lived and to prepare for the eventual return to one’s Lord.

To eliminate these fears, know that the faculty of intelligence, which man associates with the physical brain, uses that organ only during his lifetime, but is independent of it. Human reason uses the mind while it is alive, and then disposes of it like a writer who uses a pen to write his thoughts, then stops using it, while the thoughts are still there. Know that the mind, as well as the rest of the activity of the living human body, is driven by the first created Universal Intelligence, which is the same as the ever - living soul.


Crack the feeble cage of flesh. Fly free

And head towards love, hope; Flee folly,

Fear; find the sanctified garden where

You belong, to live blissfully in eternity.


If you think that nothing will be left when the body is lifeless, and all you have done, good or evil, will die with it, you are wrong. The human soul emanates from the universal causal intelligence, which is the light Allah created first, and descends to the realm of the souls. Passing through the angelic realms, it enters the material world of sedition and trials and invades the living body which it controls. The divinely ordained purpose of this process is for the soul to achieve perfection in this body during the short period of worldly life, to come to know its Lord and come close to Him, and to obtain the high level which was the reason of its creation.

But the flesh and its worldly desires oppose this control and restriction of the soul. There is a continuous fight during which the world and its temptations are an allied force to the flesh. Thus, if the soul while in the body fails to master it and fails to achieve the level of perfection, and instead, by its thoughts, feelings, words and actions generates mischief, hatred and destruction, at death it will leave the body and be imprisoned in its grave, in the intermediary realm between here and the hereafter, in which not only the sinful soul but also the ideas accumulated in this life will dwell together with one’s past sinful actions and bad character, which will appear to it like a continuous nightmare till the day of last judgment.

And if the soul, by the strength of faith and by constant effort, is able to be the master of the flesh, and if its thoughts, feelings, words and character are in accordance with Allah’s ordinances, thus achieving the high level of perfection which is the purpose of its creation, then the tomb turns into a rose garden where it is not confined, but free to soar sometimes up to the angelic realms or to visit the world of the living below if it wishes. All this is like beautiful dreams of its final destination in paradise, waiting for the day of truth where it will find the Beloved for which it was yearning.


Our life is an endless ocean of misery

Waves of matter and action soon pass,

Dissolve. Its origin and its end are one.

Between them we are but unborn shades.


If you fear that nothing will be left when life leaves the body, know that the body is alive because it contains the human soul, and that soul is a substance which is permanent, everlasting, which does not perish or change with the destruction of the body which houses it. The soul is the essence of the body: as when the snow melts the water stays or if an apple or an orange is squeezed and turned into pulp its sweet juice stays, or if the light in a house is out it does not put out the light of day; when the body goes, the soul stays. But he who does not know himself, and who is not aware of his essence, thinks when the light in the house is out, sunlight has vanished.


Your mortality is etched into your flesh, which

Crushed like fruit, will yield succulent juice.

Poured into the fountain of eternal death

You will become a fathomless ocean.


And know that when the soul leaves the body, it becomes more enlightened about the past life as well as the future eternal life, just as when you take a mirror out of its case, you will see your face, or as the sword cuts when it is out of its sheath! The bird of paradise flies away from its cage and soars towards the heavens above, the pure soul leaves the earthen vessel, flies high to view the secrets of both worlds at all times.


Oh heart! leave the cell of suffering

Find the celestial rose-garden

Soft flesh, the poisoned armor,

Is not suited for the phoenix’s nest.


In another sense, the body is an animal of burden carrying the soul. When the soul spreads and covers every part of the surface of the body and further penetrates inside and is infused in the flesh, the physical being appears to be beautiful and its actions right and successful. And when the soul releases the surface of the body and separates itself to a certain degree, the body falls asleep. And when it totally detaches itself from the flesh death occurs. Thus there is a great resemblance between sleep and death.

That is why the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) has said:

"Sleep is the sister of death."

The believer should consider the time of death like falling asleep and rest, comfort and peace which comes with it.

As one dreams during sleep when the soul rises above the body it views things hidden from the woken eye, both of this world and the hereafter. In death, freed from the material world, the soul soars infinitely higher and wider and is aware of much of both worlds.

The state of the dead is like an animal of burden which has shed its heavy load and freed itself from being tied or led by the nose to far places which it did not wish to go, and is set free in an endless plain of green grass, blooming flowers and clear lakes. And by the end of his life man is released from being a slave to the desires of his flesh and from being driven by the ambitions of his ego, from resentments, hatreds, frustrations and pain caused by circumstances beyond his control. In death, he finds freedom, peace, comfort and security.

Thus the fear of the pain of dying is an absurdity. It is one’s own self-inflicted fear that causes the pain. As Allah Most High says:

"Do not tyrannize yourselves."

Allah never orders man to deny himself what is good for him. He only asks the believers to refuse for themselves that which is harmful for them. Thus the fear of the pangs and fear of death is tyrannizing oneself, which is forbidden by God.


Give up this doom-laden sinning carcass

Which enslaves you into forced labor

Seek salvation in death where the garden

of freedom is abloom

Sleep groom, dream of your heaven-bride.


Know that the death of the body is the rebirth of the soul. And that reborn soul will enter an eternal life, will find the home from which it was exiled, and there the lover will meet the Beloved.


Death was destined where I was born.

For so long I have awaited its arrival.

Begone, putrid flesh! Death, in your

Embrace I want to live anew.


Think of this world as a tree and man as its fruit. When the fruit is green, unripe, and sour, it is firmly attached to the tree, but when it is ripe and sweet it is picked and is separated from the tree. And man, as long as he is not developed, is imperfect and has not grown into the state which his Creator meant him to be, will be attached to and be a part of this world, which is called being alive.

A man conscious of his inner self and his origins will know that this life is but a short period of growing and should eventually be left to start a new life of continuity. He is not deceived by the size and the shape and the delusions of the world, its colors, smells, wealth and pleasures which are all temporal. He seeks what is right and permanent and looks forward to his death.


Oh heart! When you know yourself

May your soul become enamored of love.

Death is a white pearl hiding love

Die and be raised up

Drink from the fountain of life

And forsake this land of empty woe.

Reach to the angelic realms

The blind see this world as fruitful

As sweet as a ripe pink peach

Oh pure heart! Convince them that death

conceals the hidden treasure, nectar

Which provides all sustenance.

If you truly submit to God

Grace and gentleness will clothe you

and He will be your generous host, welcoming

His strayed Beloved, now returned.

Death mirrors your state; in it,

You will see your destiny.

If your life here is embellished

Angels of mercy overflow your cup.

If you reek of sin’s stench,

The djinns will punish you in kind.

Oh heart! Time is short. Hurry! Be pure.

Death looms open-armed on the horizon.


Disgrace of Old Age, Miracle of Death and

the Liberation of the Soul


Oh my dear, know that the ones who know have said that there are two sorts of death: one is voluntary, could be reached with one’s own will and effort, and the other one is natural, when the life leaves the body against one’s will. Thus life should also be of two sorts:  a life in one’s hand, lived with a purpose, with a beginning and an end, and a natural life, of which one does not know when and how it began, and if it really ends when one breathes one’s last breath. It is reported that Plato said: "Die with your will so that you live forever."

And the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Die before dying," indicating that voluntary death is the cause of eternal life.

Man is free to live this life as he chooses. He may heedlessly spend it eating drinking and playing games, having fun, forgetting his end. Or he may use his mind and know that life is short. If it were possible to stay here forever, then where are the people of the past? And if he receives any lesson from his everyday experience, he sees that all these things which he accumulated, thinking they would be valuable: success, fortune, fame, friends and games, either get lost, or turn against him to become trouble, anxiety, grief and sickness. Rarely is one able to hold on to the seductions of the world. Soon will come the miseries of old age, an imprisonment in a body of constant aches and pains, power, feeling, thought, memory all gone, shriveled, unable to move or do all those good things one thought one enjoyed, a disgrace to one’s family and friends, afflicted with sicknesses, spending all the fortune accumulated with a life of hard work just to stay alive.

Woe to the he who has spent his voluntary life for a momentary mirage. If he is wise, he spends this life in preparing for the felicity of the eternal life, realizing the existence of a personal devil called ego inciting him at every moment, opting for the wrong over the right, and having total control over the body, manifesting itself as the desires of the flesh. Then he will know that his soul, which is divine, is imprisoned by this enemy hidden somewhere in his being.

Your salvation is in living this life trying to free yourself from the slavery of your ego and the lusts of your flesh, and making your soul the master of your being, thus dying to yourself, before dying.

That is when the soul is saved from the confinement of space and time and is already at home in infinity, while it is still dwelling in this life. Thus prayed the blessed Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, saying:


"May Allah bless us with welcoming death.

So while we are still here alive,

We will feel relieved, saved from

The tyranny of our own selves;

Lifted towards him, consoled and in peace."


Hopefully you are convinced by now that death is not non - existence. It is the separation of the fine matter from the coarse matter in one’s being. Besides the physical body, a live human being contains two souls, the animal soul and the human soul. The animal soul is a fine substance like vapor, generating from a spot in the heart, made out of the blended essence of the four primary elements of earth, water, fire and ether, from which the flesh as well as all matter is made. Its constitution is neutral and temperate, and its effect reaches to the brain and to all other organs through the circulation of blood. The actions of all the limbs as well as the sensations of all one’s faculties and the working of the mind in man are totally influenced by the animal soul. The animal soul has the aptitude as well as the distinction of obeying the human soul, yet it has to be taken care of and educated, to be in a state of equilibrium and good health so that it accepts the influence of the human soul. This education transpires through the following of the prescriptions ordained by the Creator.

When the constitution of the animal soul is totally imbalanced, the energy, perceptions, and the rationality of the human being becomes futile, diminished, and finally cease to function, and the physical body dies. By the disappearance of its effects on the lifeless body, the animal soul also disappears. But the human soul of divine origin is incorporeal, it neither joins to nor separates from anything material. It is a ray from the first created light called the Primordial Intellect, the light in which God could be perceived. All prophets, saints and the wise ones agree that it is eternal and exists forever after the death of the physical being.


Why doesn’t the soul fly bird-like

towards God’s love call?

Why does the fish expire

When moved to fresh waters?

Why does the hunting falcon fall

Upon its prey’s flesh, and not

Return to its master’s arm?

All worlds above and below sing

“Return to Me”– the Lord’s call.

What do we find in this mean ground

Besides pain and heavy hearts?

Separated from tranquil gardens.

Oh soul! Be a phoenix and spread

your wings. Return to your Owner.

Let he who clings to the earth have it.

The lover will encounter the beloved

When earth covers the coffin.


Approaching of Death and  Time of Death 

Soul Leaving the Body and State of the Soul in Transition


Oh my dear! You must know, if a human being cannot stand up, he may be called weak; if he does not even have the strength to sit, he is gravely ill; if he cannot even respond to talk, he must be terminally sick; if he cannot even breathe, he is dead. And now he is reborn into a new life which is eternal, the same way he came to this world, when he was separated from the world of the spirit, to which he has now returned.

The truth about death is the separation of a pure, incorporeal phantom of light which has integrated with the body during its lifetime. That pure light is the human soul. For someone who has lived the life of a believer in sincerity, decency and good deeds, at the moment of death he assumes the purity and beauty of the separated soul and becomes it. For the one whose soul was sullied by a life of indecency, villainy, deceit and lasciviousness, his departed soul, bound for hell, is also his abode. This separation of the singular essence from the compound matter in one’s being and one’s transformation from visible existence to conceptual essence, is called death.


O friend, stop cudgeling your brains

Your hair falls, your bones rot, but you remain.


Usually that is how death comes; some predestined reason causes a disease, an accident or violence which weakens the flesh to the point of extinction. Depending on the gravity of the situation and the extent of care, sooner or later the time of death arrives. The sign of the time of death is when the pallid figure suddenly opens his eyes, recognizes people around him, may even sit up, talk, ask for food, so that people around him may think he is getting well, while the affliction has already conquered the body and replaced life. It is like a spark before the fire goes out. But in the light of that spark, the patient remembers all his life, and feels as if he may return to life, although he scarcely finds the strength, which is all but gone.

This is another kind of perception, different from the time when the body was totally under the control of the animal soul. Now the animal soul has lost its hold. The human soul, which is about to fly away, is still in the body, and it has the last chance to glimpse the world through human eyes, which it did not have too many occasions to do during the lifetime of the body.

So in this state the dying person attempts to move, looks around and at people, as if he is seeing them for the first time, brings his hands to his face and torso, touching as if he is blind to figure out shapes of things through touch; then he may straighten and smooth the sheets and blankets over him and pull on his clothes, or put his legs together and fold his arms or close his eyes tight and bare his teeth, or turn his back to the people present and cry. These and other strange actions may be shocking and painful for the onlooker.

But in reality, the dying person is experiencing the withdrawal of the animal soul from the body which is trying to pull it with him. At the same time, the human soul is being distilled from every part of the dying person into a single essence. There is a great last altercation going on between the body and the soul. That is what is called the throes of death, which is described in religious terms as the altercation between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment who have come to possess the soul of the dying.

This conflict has always existed in a person's being during his lifetime, but now the complex character of the physical being is synthesizing into an incorporeal essence and emerging from the body. The tremor of the fight becomes more violent, as if the wailing body insists that the vapor of the soul which is emanating from it and leaving it is still his and fights to keep it. But finally the soul, shedding the dust of the earth, vapors of the water, breaths of air, and sparks of fire, leaves the body, free and carefree, and wanders around the body for a time, then flies away.

The corpse left alone in the grave has the potential for another existence too: to become a plant of beautiful color, shape and taste, perchance to give joy to the living. The entombed corpse of the one who lived as a believer receives the affection of each particle of earth which lovingly covers it, and savors all sorts of sweet tastes until it is raised again on the day of last judgment. In the case of a corpse befouled by sin, however, its own chemistry becomes its torment, torturing it till the day of last judgment.


You have born this life’s tribulations

Now behold lasting life’s elations

Why detest death, fearing grave’s isolation?

You are of the same earth which covers you,

Now embracing you with a mother’s affection.


The state of the soul which has freed itself from the body is like someone who is asleep, as he sleeps often dreams of things he as done while awake. Happy occasions as well as difficult and painful instances in his life reoccur in his dreams. Thus is the condition of the soul in the hereafter a repetition of his past behavior, beliefs, deeds, words and thoughts during his previous life.

Man achieves the level of perfection during life by his own efforts. Thus if his previous life was spent in sincerity, decency and productivity in doing good, he will find himself in a state of peace and comfort, without any fear of divine punishment, receiving a taste of his Lord’s favors in the hereafter which is a testimony of his past life.

  If his past life was spent in a mixture of good and error, his place in the hereafter will be that of confusion between doubt and security, again a direct reflection of his life on earth. And if, while the soul was in the living body, it experienced nothing but evil, in the hereafter it will suffer in the company of the person's own ugly behavior, sins and disasters caused during his miserable life. Thus, there is hardly any difference in the state of the soul during the transitory period between death and the day of last judgment from that which man experiences in this life: joy and peace during a life of faith in and obedience to one’s Lord, or, the doubt, fear and pain he experiences during a lifetime spent in revolt to his creator. The words of the messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) proves this:


“All praise to our Lord, who brought us back to life after He took our life and returned our souls back to us.”


And our Lord said:


“They die as they live, and they will be resurrected as they died.”


If you know yourself and if you know your soul and live your life right, why fear death? A charge laid upon you by God in this life is:


“This life on earth is God’s charge laid upon you. How you keep it will prove you His servant true.”


To Where Do the Souls Return?


Oh dear one! Know that the wise ones say that when the soul leaves the body it ascends to where it descended from. None of the souls ascend higher than the level of spheres where they originated from, unless they have evolved into perfection while they are in the bodies where they were destined to go. There are nine heavenly levels.

The highest is the ninth empyrean sphere of heavens, home of the perfected souls, nearest to the divine light of the causal intelligence which is Allah’s original creation, and the rest return to the various planetary constellations they came from; the lowest level of the abodes for the souls is the sphere of the moon, where the soul dwells till the day of last judgment.

Each heavenly sphere has a part of the divine causal intelligence of a different level, and this intelligence affects the life of the body while the soul is present within it. If the soul remains with its original intelligence intact and unsullied during life, at death it returns to the level of the heavenly sphere from where it came. The magnetism of divine wisdom pulls to itself the appropriate soul. These spheres of ideas and souls, where they dwelled before they descended to the bodies bringing them life, are endowed with pure wisdom. The souls are brought higher than their original spheres, the purer and wiser they are. If during life the souls attain higher knowledge and perfection, they return to levels higher than their original ones, and they dwell in the hereafter in peace and felicity until the Day of Last Judgment.


This coarse dirt of flesh hides my divine soul

It is time to uncover and become beauty whole.


During its life in the material world, if the human soul succumbs to the animal soul with which it cohabits in the human body, it loses its divinely endowed purity and wisdom. Weakened it becomes inactive, imprisoned in the body, and in death it is left imprisoned together with the animal soul in this world, which is a part of the lowest of the nine heavenly spheres: that of the moon. And it suffers till the time of last judgment.

When everything in the creation dies and disappears, when the angel Israfil blows his horn for the third time on Doomsday, all the souls high and low will find their bodies and everyone will be resurrected and see the result of what they have done during their lifetime.

This is the opinion of the wise men of all ages, except for those who have invented the idea of reincarnation, reasoning that man cannot achieve perfection unless he changes his nature, that only being possible by changing lives, thus necessitating reincarnation: being reborn in different bodies at different times.

This is an idea which would exclude all moral concepts of making an effort to ameliorate one’s character, trying to live a lawful, orderly and a decent life. Further, it cancels all sense of responsibility, the idea of divine reward and punishment, the day of last judgment, paradise and hell and the belief in one and unique God. On the other hand, certain facts of life, on which they base their false conclusions are true, and precisely when religious scholars place those issues in the right light, the results are as we have mentioned in our contention, which is in accordance with our religion.

The distance between this life and the hereafter is the moment of death. That is why it is said that:


"Doomsday for each person is the moment of his death.”


Know it is only a single breath,

The distance between this life and death.

So close, so close, this world to the next,

From swaddling cloth to shroud offers little wealth.


If your soul emerges with the last breath

Of a life lived in good moral health

You will not be left under dark earth

But live in the light of renewed birth.


So know your essence, your soul, your real self. Recognize that you are more than just earth and earthly. You are a pure, undefiled soul. You are the purpose of the creation of earth and heaven. You are the essence of all that is fundamental ad transcendental in the creation. You are the microcosm of the macrocosm. You are the seed of the tree of universe whose form and performance is your mode and manner. You are the pith of the world; the elements, heavens and the flesh are but your shell. You are an adorned core of the universe whose branches are your arms. You are that dot; when you move you write the story of all that exists.

If you know yourself as such, then you will also know your Lord and you will be pleased with Him and love Him. And you will never fear death and consider it as a grace of God, because you will then see this worldly body of yours as the mountain of Kaf, which surrounds your life on all sides, rendering it dark, dreary and lonely. And you will recognize your soul as the phoenix which will carry you to eternal beauty and peace.


Why doesn’t the soul fly bird-like

towards God’s love call?

Why does the fish expire

When moved to fresh waters?

Why does the hunting falcon fall

Upon its prey’s flesh, and not

Return to its master’s arm?

All worlds above and below sing

“Return to Me”– the Lord’s call.

What do we find in this mean ground

Besides pain and heavy hearts?

Separated from tranquil gardens.

Oh soul! Be a phoenix and spread

your wings. Return to your Owner.

Let he who clings to the earth have it.

The lover will encounter the beloved

When earth covers the coffin.


Resurrection, Paradise and Hell


Oh dear one! Know that two of the ninety-nine divine attributes of Allah are the All Gracious and the All Mighty. The manifestation of His attribute the All Gracious in the hereafter is paradise, and the disclosure of His might is in hell. The Holy Qur’an says that Allah taught our father Adam “all the names”; hence all of His divine names are manifest in man. Both grace and might as well as all the imaginable attributes and possibilities, both good and bad are within man’s character. If man serves his negative attributes, and behaves like an animal instead of a human being, he will on the moment of his death risk leaving this world in the character of a wild animal. And when he will be resurrected on the day of last judgment, he will be raised in the state in which he died; the envious one will be raised with the head of a green-eyed wolf, the enraged one will be raised looking like a mad dog … and they will all be led to hell.

If the divine attribute of graciousness is dominant in a man, and his character is adorned with gentleness, affection, beauty and harmony, he will pass through the gate of death with ease, and on the day of last judgment he will stand in front of his Lord in confidence, and enter paradise. Thus if man’s soul is marked with the attributes of wrath and might he is doomed to be under the tyranny of his animal self; he will be arrogant, ignorant, rebellious, mean and abject. If his soul is ruled by the divine attribute of grace he is pure wisdom, beauty and love.

When a human being is blessed by his Lord’s benevolence and his own efforts to reach a certain level of consciousness, he is constantly observing and reasoning. Impressions and thoughts are either good or bad. Negative thoughts and impressions are a product of his own character; and such an unfortunate person is under the influence of his ego, his animal soul, and already in this life he suffers the torments of hell, a taste of his afterlife!

Someone with a positive frame of mind who sees the beauty and the truth in things is under the influence of the divine attributes of All Gracious and he is the manifestation of Allah’s mercy, law and compassion upon the creation, and he tastes the peace and felicity of paradise in this world. It is your choice: if you ally with your ego, your personal devil, your animal soul, you will burn in hell, whose fire you have brought yourself. If you cleanse your heart from the dirt of the desires of the flesh and selfishness, and embellish it with the beautiful divine attributes which the Creator has placed in you, then you will abide in paradise, whose perfume and tastes you have brought yourself.


Paradise and hell both

Are your companions

On this brief life’s path


A palace way up high

Or a dungeon down below

Can be where you will abide.