Sunday, September 18, 2016

On "Rooh"

I requested Saugoree uncle to write on the concept of "Rooh" from Islamic perspective. He was kind enough to do this for me. I am posting below but you can read this on his blog too here.

I wrote "Rooh" and not "Soul" because the word Rooh is slightly better understood by Muslims. The other reason is that in English sometimes "soul" can be used for persons like "I did not see a single soul in the ground" meaning a human being or a person, but Rooh is not used in this manner but always in the manner of the 'spirit' which again in English can be used with a different meaning so I did not say spirit either. 

Rooh is a non-corporeal or ethereal thing which is easier to understand but difficult to define. For discussion we will confine ourselves to Human soul. In the same way, we are quite familiar with 'life' and 'death' but defining these is not as simple. We know that when a person dies his/her rooh leaves the body and that is the teaching in all religions. Philosophy came to similar conclusions and science has nothing else to offer. 

We can say that there are two sources of human knowledge: 

One: Intelligence or Aql given to us by our Creator that we use both for philosophy as well as scientific study consisting of Observation, experimentations and Conclusion/derivation. Thomas Aquinas calls this "natural revelation" as compared to the revelation from God that we call scripture. and so the,

Second: is Revelation. Since we cannot observe or experiment on such ethereal substance we must depend upon God's revelation to determine the truth about rooh/soul. Most religions teach that Rooh is not destructible. 

Islamic perspective: Further knowledge about Rooh in Islam is based on Qur'an and Saheeh Ahadeeth. I frequently quote the Verse "They ask thee concerning the 'Rooh', Say, the Rooh comes from the command of my Lord; it is only a little of knowledge, that is given to you (O men)" (#85 of Sura Bani Israeel ). I feel as though here, the creator is telling us about rooh and saying that you can't have any more knowledge about it (That is not what most mufassireen say, that is only my feeling). From Saheeh Ahadeeth we learn: That 'rooh' enters the body (by the command of Allah) at a particular time while the body of human being is acquiring shape in the womb of the mother and it leaves the body (by the command of Allah) at the time of death. There is also some knowledge as to what happens to it after it leaves the body. Qur'an tells us it also leaves the body during sleep (Verse 42 of sura Zumur the 39th Sura) but still maintains a connection with the body but that connection is permanently lost at the time of death. After death (of the body) Rooh enters into a state of "in between" called Berzakh in Arabic (where it can meet with other "arwah" or roohs) and will reunite with the body (may be in a different way) at the time of resurrection (al-Quiyamah).


Books and Stilettos said...

Rooh leaves and enters the body during many times in the process creation of human beings - As Uncle mentioned above when one dies Rooh leaves permanently from the body but when we sleep at night Rooh leaves the body and comes back to us upon waking up by the command of Allah - Hence the dua of waking up which means "All praise is for Allah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the Resurrection "

But when we read aya 172 of surah Araaf -
where it says Alus-to- biRabbikum 'Am I not your Lord? This shows Allah created all human beings ( in its actual body /form /rooh ) all at once and took this covenant to declare to the humanity that he is The Rab and Islam is the deen . I am copying this part from another site for detail account of the event always fascinates me this event and I love this aya .

This event, according to several traditions, took place at the time of the creation of Adam. Apart from the prostration of the angels before Adam and the proclamation that man would be God's vicegerent on earth, all the future progeny of Adam were gathered, and were endowed with both existence and consciousness in order to bear witness to God's lordship. The best interpretation of this event is found in a statement by, 'Ubayy b. Ka'b, who has probably given the substance of what he had heard from the Prophet (peace be on him):

God gathered all human beings, divided them into different groups, granted them human form and the faculty of speech, made them enter into a covenant, and then making them witnesses against themselves He asked them: 'Am I not your Lord?' They replied: 'Assuredly you are Our Lord.' Then God told them: 'I call upon the sky and the earth and your own progenitor, Adam, to be witness against you lest you should say on the Day of Judgement that you were ignorant of this. Know well that no one other than Me deserves to he worshipped and no one other than Me is your Lord. So do not ascribe any partner to Me. I shall send to you My Messengers who will remind you of this covenant which you made with Me. I shall send down to you My Books.' In reply all said: 'We witness that You are Our Lord and our Deity. We have no lord or deity other than You.' (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, p. 135 - Ed.)

The point of this is that Rooh is Creation of Allah its sort of in a transitional phase throughout our lifetime and will unite with us by the decree of Allah in the afterlife -- that's What I understand about Rooh !

Books and Stilettos said...

Sorry but for some reason few lines didn't show in the first part of the comment .

Rooh leaves the body when one dies but re-enters the body in grave as Ahadith are clear about it ( Saheeh Bukhari 2/422) when Munkar Nakir come and ask questions in the grave - Rooh is returned back to the bodies for that - and after those questions are answered Grave is made easier for the righteous ones and tougher for the hypocrites (May Allah not make us of them )

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 132 Narrated by Uthman ibn Affan
The Allah's Messenger (saws) said: ‘Verily the grave is the first step in the stages of the Hereafter; if one finds salvation (at this stage) the succeeding (stages) become easy for him, and if he does not find salvation in it, what follows this stage is very hard upon him.’ Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) also said: ‘I have never seen a site more horrible than that of the grave!

Shaan said...

Wa Izz Akhazaa Rabbuka Mim Bani Adama Min Zahuurihim Zurriyyatahum Wa Ash-Hadahum Alaa Anfusihim Alastu Birabbikum, Qaloo Balaa Shahidna An Taqooloo Yawmal Qiyawmati Inna Kunna Aan Hazaa Ghafileena

(Quranic Surah 7:172)

Translation: “AND WHENEVER thy Sustainer brought forth their offspring from the loins of the children of Adam, He [thus] called upon them to bear witness about themselves: “Am I not your Sustainer?” – to which they answered: “Yea, indeed, we do bear witness thereto!” [Of this We remind you,] lest you say on the Day of Resurrection, “Verily, we were unaware of this”.
The above Quranic Verse depicts the event when Almighty Allah(SWT) created all souls from Adam to the last man to come on this earth till the end of this universe. After creating all souls, Almighty Allah(SWT) gathered them in a wide field to take witness as to whether He is their Sustainer. All souls replied that of course You (Allah) are our Sustainer.

When Almighty Allah(SWT) spoke: Alastobirabbikum, all souls replied: Qaloo Balaa. This was the style of bearing witness of the Oneness of Almighty Allah(SWT) by all souls. Thereafter, Almighty Allah(SWT) openly announced:

If anyone of you wants world and worldly status (Dunia), I shall grant;
If anyone of you wants Jannah, I shall grant; and
If anyone of you wants My Own Self (My Recognition), I shall grant too.

Books and Stilettos said...

Thank you Shaan .

mystic-soul said...

B and S: Really appreciate. It means a lot to me, taking out so much time and effort to pen your opinion on this.

Shaan: Thank you Man!!

bsc said...

To tell you the truth I did start writing about "Qaloo Balaa" meaning Ihd-e-alast but Found it a bit prolonged so crossed it off. I am obliged to B. and S and to Shaan to add to my writing JAK
As I understood the rooh comes back to the grave between the body and the shroud (one statement, ) while Munkar-Nakeer question. The answers are given by the rooh. Some other writing (like B&S wrote) says rooh returns to body for question-answer. Be that as it may I suspect rooh does not have to enter the body for answering. Physicians are aware of the facts of living humans who feel the pain in the absent arm(amputated for example). When I said permanently that also was provisional as made clear by you all that rooh will re-enter the body at Qiyamah time (Sura Jumah Aya #2 says .......They will appear as if drunk but they will not be drunk.....) JAK all of you for enhancing our concepts.

Books and Stilettos said...

All of you are amazing and its so much fun to be around ya' All :)

mehnaz said...

Such a beautiful post and responses!
I would look forward to another post by uncle on ihd-e-alast, as he said he wanted to.

mehnaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mystic-soul said...

Let me send email to uncle to do that post.