God says in Qur’an:
They ask you ˹O Prophet˺ about the spirit. Say, “Its nature is known only to my Lord, and you ˹O humanity˺ have been given but little knowledge.” [Qur’an 17-85] (1)
The soul is a special creature; you can not see it but can feel it. Allah (God) and His Prophet Muhammad have told us little information about it, but only Allah knows all about it. Now, let’s see…
What Is the Soul?
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) Saying:
Souls are troops collected together and those who familiarised with each other (in the heaven from where these come) would have affinity, with one another (in the world) and those amongst them who opposed each other (in the Heaven) would also be divergent (in the world).” [Sahih Muslim](2)
The soul is a creature with a special nature, Allah created it after the creation of Adam’s body then put the soul inside Adam’s body.
Remember, O Prophet˺ when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human being from sounding clay moulded from black mud.So when I have fashioned him and had a spirit of My Own ˹creation˺ breathed into him, fall down in prostration to him.” [Qur’an 15- 28:29] (3)
Conditions of the Soul
And by the soul and ˹the One˺ Who fashioned it, then with ˹the knowledge of˺ right and wrong inspired it! Successful indeed is the one who purifies their soul.” [Qur’an 91- 7:10] (4)
There are Three Conditions for the Soul in the Human Body:
– The soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil:
.. indeed the soul is ever inclined to evil..” [Qur’an 12- 53] (5)
– The reproaching soul:
And I swear by the reproaching soul [to the certainty of resurrection].” [Qur’an 75- 2] (6)
– The reassured soul:
˹Allah will say to the righteous,˺ “O tranquil soul! Return to your Lord, Return to your Lord, well pleased ˹with Him˺ and well pleasing ˹to Him˺.” [Qur’an 89- 27:28] (7)
What Are the Secrets of the Soul?
-The soul is the secret of the life of the human body; when it leaves the body, the body dies.
-Souls don’t die. Allah has created them until the Hereafter.
The Soul Associates with the Human Body in Five Conditions:
- With the fetus in its mother’s womb.
- After birth in this worldly life.
- During sleeping, it becomes between the association and leaving.
- After the death in barrier life.
- In the Hereafter.
– Worldly life. The barrier of life. The Hereafter
*In this worldly life the soul becomes a follower to the body where it becomes a good soul or a bad soul.
*In the barrier life ( the life between the worldly life and the Hereafter), the body becomes a follower to the soul where soul if goodwill rewards or if bad will punishment.
*In the hereafter life both body and soul are finally combined together again to take the final account paradise or hell.
Soul after Death
The soul leaves the body in two conditions:
- During sleeping:
˹It is˺ Allah ˹Who˺ calls back the souls ˹of people˺ upon their death as well as ˹the souls˺ of the living during their sleep. Then He keeps those for whom He has ordained death, and releases the others until ˹their˺ appointed time. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect.” [Qur’an 39- 42] (8)
2. At death:
The soul leaves the body at death and returns to it when the two Angels of grave ask him about:
-Who is your God?
-Who is your prophet?
-What is your religion?
Then the soul may be raised to the sky or imprisoned in the earth according to the deeds of its companion.
Prophet Muhammad described what he saw at the night of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi’raaj (miraculous night journey of the Prophet (PBUH) to Jerusalem then to the heavens):
when I reached the nearest heaven, Gabriel said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered: ‘Gabriel.’ He asked, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Yes, Muhammad I is with me.’ He asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel said, ‘Yes.’ So the gate was opened and we went over the nearest heaven and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked towards his right, he laughed and when he looked toward his left he wept.” [AlBukhari](9)
Soul Reward or Punishment
After the death of the body, souls start a new life called the barrier life. In this life, the soul may be rewarded or punished according to its deeds.
The souls which are rewarded can visit each other and remember what was done in the worldly life, can hear the speech of the visitors but visitors cannot hear them. Souls cannot benefit themselves or others and the prayers of people for them reach and benefit them.
Umar said: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) showed us one day before (the actual battle) the place of death of the people (participating) in (the Battle) of Badr and he was saying:
This would be the place of death of so and so tomorrow, if Allah wills. Umar said: By Him Who sent him with truth, they did not miss the places (of their death) which Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had pointed for them. Then they were all thrown in a well one after another. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) then went to them and said: O, so and so, the son of so and so; O so and so, the son of so and so, have you found correct what Allah and His Messenger had promised you? I have, however, found absolutely true what Allah had promised with me.
Umar said: Allah’s Messenger, how are you talking with the bodies without soul in them. Thereupon he said: You cannot hear more distinctly than (their hearing) of what I say, but with this exception that they have not power to make any reply.” [Sahih Muslim](10)
Souls who get punished become in suffering until their punishment finishes, either in the barrier life or in the Hereafter in hell, each one according to his/her deeds in worldly life.
Finally, Allah, our God, tells us the secret of how to make our souls rewarding in this world life or in barrier life or in hereafter life :
And as for those who were in awe of standing before their Lord and restrained themselves from ˹evil˺ desires, Paradise will certainly be ˹their˺ home.” [Qur’an 79- 40:41] (11)
Does the Islamic view about the soul represent something sufficient and new for you? Share your thoughts with us about what you miss.