Friday, July 25, 2008

BARZAKH

wa min waraaihim barzakhu ilaa yawmi yubathoon"...And before them is barzakh (a barrier) till the day of Qiyama. Suratul Mu'minun 23:100 Barzakh is the period of time in the grave from burial upto the day of Qiyama. Life in barzakh is characterised by the liberation of the nafs from the fetters of the body. The nafs is also no longer harassed by passion and instinct. There is no question of time or space in barzakh just as in dreams, thus the horizon of a human being's vision is vastly enlarged. Everything can be imagined in a single instant. The nafs of he/she who is virtuous is no longer constricted in the cage of the world and will delight in roaming freely through the infinite. However, to the mu'mineen whose sins have not been cleansed by death, and by the squeeze in the grave,Our 6th Imam has said: "We will intercede for you on the day of Qiyama, but by Allah, I am worried about you for the period when you will be in barzakh." The nafs is on a different realm after death, yet it does not completely sever it's relationship with the body which it used as it's vehicle for it's destiny. It is reported in Vol 3 of Al-Kafi that a companion of Imam Ali (A.S) was once with the Imam at the cemetery of Waadi us Salaam. He said:"Imam stood in the cemetery as though he was addressing a gathering. I remained standing with Imam until I became tired and sat down. When I got tired of sitting I stood up again and remained standing until I got tired again and sat down once more. Finally, I stood up and said to Imam - I fear for you, seeing you stand for so long, please rest a little!" Imam replied: "O Habba! I am standing here talking to the mu'mineen!" Habba asked: "Do they have conversations with each other?" Imam replied: "Yes! Once the veil is lifted you will see them gathered in circles talking to each other.""Are you speaking of their bodies or their arwaah?"Imam replied: "Their arwaah" It is reported in Al Mahaasin that Abu Baseer - a companion of our 6th Imam says that there was a discussion on the arwaah of righteous mu'mineen in the presence of Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.). Imam said;"The arwaah of mu'mineen meet each other....they talk to each other and recognise each other, when you see someone there, you will say. 'This is so and so." Those in barzakh can also establish contact with those in the world. In Vol 1 of Al-Kaafi it is reported that Imam Ja'fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) has said: "...Amongst the believers (who have died) are those for whom Friday is a day of visiting, and there are also those the balance of whose deeds permits them to see them."In the same volume it is reported that someone asked Imam Ali (A.S.) whether the dead were allowed to visit their relatives. Imam confirmed that they were and the questioner asked - when and how often? Imam replied: "Every week, every month, or every year depending on their spiritual rank and capacity." Those in barzakh can be divided into 4 groups: 1. The true mu'mineen. Perfect in faith and with taqwa in their actions. Any mistakes or sins were cleansed by worldly troubles and/or the pangs of death. They are therefore at peace in Barzakh eagerly awaiting qiyama. 2. The confirmed unbelievers and hypocrites whose reward for good deeds has been recompensed in the world and/or ease at death. They also, if required, are further recompensed by ease in barzakh. However, they do not wish for the day of qiyama. 3. Those who are neither of the above two groups. Children, those afflicted with lunacy and those who were so far away from the message of Islam that they do not know of the word of Allah. They will be in a state of slumber, their fate to be decided by Allah on the day of Qiyama. 4. The final group is those of mu'mineen whose sins were not cleansed by worldly troubles, the pangs of death and the squeeze of the grave. For these, barzakh will be a place of punishment.

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