Reading # 9: Islamic Perspectives on death
- Prophet Muhammad recorded revelations of Allah in Quran (sacred text).
- Allah (the one God) required surrender of human will to divine will (obedience)
- “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet”
- Life of charity, regular prayer, fasting and pilgrimage
- If devoted to Allah, rewarded after death. The wicked, unbelievers and polytheists get eternal
- Resurrection of dead results in separation of righteous and wicked.
- Allah= supreme power (over life & death); divine creator and recreator (resurrection)
- “Other gods” not real and have no power
- Sleeping like dying, awaking like resurrection. When sleep, Allah takes soul and gives back when
awaken. So humans died daily & death shouldn’t be feared. Sleep is a rehearsal for final death.
- While wait for resurrection, faithful dead sleep peacefully (rest) and only Allah knows how long
slept before resurrection.
- Living and dead could communicate in sleep (messages, visions, dreams)
- Naf= soul (and body?), spirit= ruh
- Soul extracted from body at death. Peaceful for righteous, violent for wicked & unbelievers.
- Wicked souls (but not righteous) interrogated by angels of death
- Jahannam= place of punishment/fiery torment; heavenly garden= place of reward. Not finalized
until after resurrection but get a “taste” of it.
- After burial, 2 scary looking angels (Munkar & Nakir) visit soul in the grave and interrogate soul
about beliefs and deeds in life (trial of the grave). Mourners during funeral may whisper answers
to questions into ear of dead.
- If pass interrogation, experience comforts of heavenly garden. If fail, feel torment of Jahannam.
- After resurrection, righteous go to eternal garden paradise (flowers, fine food, fine cloths, fine
women for men, etc.). Wicked go to fiery eternal punishment with no way out.
- 150 years after prophet Muhammad’s death, Sufi mystics emerged