Does the Soul Leave Your Body When the Angel of Death Comes to You

CategoriesDeath & Burial [139]

Fatwa ID: 04261

Answered by: Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh

 

Question

 

Does the soul leave your body when the angel of death comes to you? or after when you’re questioned in the grave. because if Angel Israfeel takes away your soul right away. How do the two angels in the grave question people?

 

 

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

Answer:

 

Death is not a complete annihilation of the soul. Rather it is the transition of the soul from the earthly realm to the realm of Al-Barzakh.

 

What happens to the souls is explained in the following Hadith of the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him):

“When the believer is about to depart from this world and go forward into the Next World, angels with faces as bright as the sun descend from the heavens and sit around him in throngs stretching as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits at his head and says, "Good soul, come out to forgiveness and pleasure from Allah!" Then his soul emerges like a drop of water flows from a water-skin and the angel takes hold of it. When he has grasped it, the other angels do not leave it in his hand even for the twinkling of an eye. They take it and place it in a perfumed shroud and a fragrance issues from it like the sweetest scent of musk found on the face of the earth.

‘Then they bear it upwards and whenever they take it past a company of angels, they ask, "Who is this good soul?" and the angels with the soul reply, "So-and-so the son of so-and-so," using the best names by which people used to call him in this world.

They bring him to the lowest heaven and ask for the gate to be opened for him. It is opened for him and angels who are near Allah from each of the heavens accompany him to the subsequent heaven until he reaches the heaven where Allah the Great is. Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, 'Register the book of My slave in 'Illiyun and take him back to earth. I created them from it and I return them to it and I will bring them forth from it again."

'His soul is then returned to his body and two angels come to him. They make him sit up and say to him,

• "Who is your Lord?" He replies, "My Lord is Allah."

• They ask him, "What is your religion?" He replies, "My religion is Islam."

• They ask him, “Who is this man who was sent among you?” He replies, “The Messenger of

Allah."

• They ask him, "How did you come to know these things?" He replies, "I read the Book of

Allah believed in it and declared it to be true.

"Then a Voice from on high declares, "My slave has spoken the truth, so spread out carpets from the Garden for him and open a gate of the Garden for him!" Then some of its fragrance and perfume comes to him, his grave is expanded for him as far as the eye can see, and a man with beautiful garments and a fragrant scent comes to him and says, "Rejoice in what delights you for this is the day which you were promised." He asks, "Who are you? Yours is a face which presages good." He replies, "I am your good actions." Then he says, "0 Lord, let the Last Hour come soon so that I may rejoin my family and my property!"

‘When an unbeliever is about to depart from this world and go forward into the Next World, angels with black faces descend from the heavens carrying rough hair-cloth and sit around him in throngs stretching as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits at his head and says, "Foul soul, come out to the wrath and anger of Allah! "Then his soul divides up in his body and it is dragged out like a skewer is pulled out of wet wool. Then the angel takes hold of it. When he has grasped it, the other angels do not leave it in his hand even for the twinkling of an eye. They take it and wrap it in the rough hair-cloth and a stench comes out of it like the worst stench of a corpse on the face of the earth.

‘Then they take it up and whenever they take it past a company of angels, they ask, "Who is this foul soul?" and the angels with the soul reply, "So-and-so the son of so-and-so," using the worst names by which people used to call him in this world. They bring him to the lowest heaven and ask for the gate to be opened for him. It does not get opened.'

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, then recited, "The gates of heaven will not be opened to them nor will they enter the Garden until the camel passes through the eye of the needle." (2)

'Then Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, will say, "Register his book in Sijjin in the lowest earth." Then his soul is flung down.'

The Prophet then recited, 'Whoever associates anything with Allah, it is as though he has fallen from heaven and the birds snatch him away or the wind sweeps him headlong into a place far away.'(3)

'Then his soul is returned to his body and two angels come and say to him, "Who is your Lord?" He replies, "Alas, alas, I do not know!" Then a voice calls from on high, "My slave has lied, so spread out carpets from the Fire for him and open a gate of the Fire for him!"

Then a hot blast from it comes to him, his grave is made so narrow for him that his ribs are pressed together, and a man with a hideous face and clothing and a foul odor comes to him and says, "Grieve on account of what has brought you disgrace for this is the day which you were promised." He asks, "Who are you? Yours is a face which presages evil." He replies, "I am your bad actions." Then he says, "O Lord, do not let the Last Hour come!"

Reference:

Reported in Musnad of Ahmad Hadith No. 18534, Shu’ayb al-Arnaut et al edition, Mu’assasah al-Risālah, Beirut)

 

 

Only Allah knows best

Written by Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

 

 

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