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What happens to the souls in barzakh?


We know that the shaheed is not dead and are living amongst us and are getting their risk but I want to know that what happens to the other people like us who are not shaheed and die a natural death at hands of Izrael? What happens to our soul where it goes do we go in eternal slumber or we go to a place called barzakh and please tell me more about barzakh?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The life of this world is nothing in comparison to the life of the Hereafter.  The experiences, happiness and sorrows of this life are microscopic in relation to the Afterlife.  The phenomenon commences when the soul exits the body.  At such a crucial stage, there are two groups: the fortunate ones and the wretched ones.[i]

The fortunate ones are received like kings.  Hundreds of angels receive them, fragrance surrounds them and light engulfs them.  They are escorted to Almighty Allah Ta’ālā in a convoy of light comprised of the angels.[ii]

The wretched ones are terrorised from the moment they sight the hereafter unfolding.  Repulsive black angels, putrid smell and fire grasps them.  Their souls are ripped out of their bodies and driven to Almighty Allah.[iii]

Once the soul exits the body, it enters Inter-space (barzakh).  This is another world and realm altogether.  This is the intermediary state between the two worlds.[iv]

The treatment one receives in Inter-space (barzakh) is a reflection of one’s deeds and actions in this world.  If a person was an obedient slave of Almighty Allah, he will be entertained with royalty.  If he was anything to the contrary, words cannot describe his ordeal.  This concept can be understood by analogising Inter-space (barzakh) to waiting in transit at an airport.  The holders of privilege cards and bonus points’ holders are reclining in the first class luxury lounges.  Some are entertained in the business lounge, others are offered free meals, and some are only entitled to a free drink.  There will be those passengers who are not entitled to anything.  Worse than that, some passengers are left stranded in transit, others face ordeals and troubles with flight cancellations and suffer prolonged anxiety.  This is a depiction of the souls in Inter-space (barzakh).  Different souls receive different privileges based on their ‘points’ they score in this world.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyyah rahimahullah explains the condition of the souls in this intermediary realm in his renowned work, Kitāb al-rūh.  He mentions that everyone’s soul is in the following different stations within Inter-space[v]:


1)     ‘A῾lā ῾illīyīn (The highest station): This station is exclusive for the Prophets (alaihim al-salām).  Even in this station, there are different echelons and spheres.

2)     In green birds: These are the souls of the martyrs who did not have any debt outstanding.  Some martyrs will not receive this station due the debts they owe.

3)     Courtyards at the gates of Paradise: The souls of the pious believers will dwell here.

4)     Graves: souls of a percentage of the righteous believers will be in their respective graves.

5)     Earth: a number of wretched souls will be constrained to the Earth.  They will not be privileged to go to the Heavens.

6)     Cauldrons: The souls of the fornicators will be gathered in these huge cauldrons.

7)     Rivers of blood: The souls of the evil ones will be drowning in rivers of blood whilst being pelted with boulders.

8)     Sijjīn: The souls of the disbelievers will be shackled in this realm which is situated beneath the seventh Earth.


The higher the station, the more the soul will be entertained with the blessings of Allah.  Likewise, the lower the station, the more wrath and torment will be let loose on the soul.

May Allah Ta῾ālā make us from amongst the ones who dwell in the highest of stations.  Ameen.

Every person should be striving to attain the highest of ranks in the Hereafter.  The real winner is he who attains a lofty rank and a real loser is he who loses the opportunity to attain a rank.  Once we leave this world, nothing materialistic will be of any benefit.  If we contemplate on these ranks and the events we have to still attend, it will most certainly motivate us to please Allah the Almighty.

There are some deeds every Muslim should do daily without fail to safeguard his/her faith.  Below is a checklist which everybody should try and adhere to.  Every night, take account of yourself and see if you practiced the ‘5 points’.

Men must perform their 5 times salāh in the masjid with the congregation.  Likewise, women should perform 5 times salāh at home in the recommended time.

Recite a portion of the Qur’ān daily according to one’s capacity.

1)     Study the English translation of the Qur’ān for 10-15 minutes daily.  We recommend Ma’āriful Qur’ān by Mufti Muhammad Shafi sahib or Tafseer Uthmani by Maulana Shabeer Ahmed Uthmani sahib (Allah have mercy on them).

2)     Perform zikr (remembrance of Allah) daily.  The recitation of 100 times Salawāt on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), a 100 times Istighfār and a 100 times third kalimah some time in the morning and evening.

3)     Do your utmost to fulfil the rights of people.  Do not oppress or hurt anyone.


If there is a downpour of rain and we see shelter, we immediately run to that shelter.  Likewise, when there is a downpour of trials, the shelter is the company of the pious and god-fearing.  Frequent the gatherings of the pious in your locality.  It is a praiseworthy work with the sole aim of refreshing and reviving the faith of the people.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Faraz Ibn Adam,
Student Darul Iftaa


Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Husain Kadodia.

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