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View Full Version : What happend before we were born, death and dreams.

07-03-2015, 01:50 PM
What happens from the Islamic perspective when we die?
One of the most fascinating aspects of Arabian culture is that the Arabs did n0t believe in the afterlife.
This is really interesting because most cultures have a concept of the afterlife. The Arabs didn’t believe in the afterlife. They said “We live and we die and nothing kills us but time”.
The Arabs said “And will we be decayed bones, dust in the earth and brought back to life?!”
“They say: Who is going to revive these dead and decayed bones?”
The Quran answers them “The one who brought them to life the first time, He will do it the second time” The Quran says “We created you the first time”, the commentators say the second time around is always easier. If it was done once it can be done again.

How did the Quran deal with this belief?
Because it is very interesting that the Arabs didn’t believe this. How did it deal with it? the way that it dealt with it was to tell Arabs to look at the dead earth, and the Quran said what it means “We take a dead earth, send down rain from the heaven, it mixes with the seeds and we bring the earth back to life again and like that you will be brought back”.
Now with regard to this analogy, there’s a hadith (narration) where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says that every human being has what’s called `ajbu al-zanab (the wondrous tail / tailbone). It’s at the tip of the coccyx, and it’s the seed of the human being.
So the Muslims believe that there is a seed that every human being has, and like seeds - seeds are very interesting because they are very hard to destroy, you swallow seeds, they come out the other end. Hydrochloric acid doesn’t break them down. In fires, seeds stay like forests that are burnt down come back to life because of seeds that are there that are not destroyed. Drought comes and kills everything but the seeds, it's when the rain comes back it come back to life.
Now the belief of the Muslim is that every human being has a seed, and that seed will not be destroyed. We don’t know where it is or what it is. The hadith indicates that it is in the coccyx. But we don’t know what size it is or what it looks like, nothing like that. But from that seed every human being will be recreated from a divine rain. And it’s interesting that we deny the resurrection and yet our own culture is talking about recreating human beings from one cell, bringing back the entire human being by cloning one cell, because all of the information about you is contained in one of your cells.
One verse in the Quran says “We will continue to show them our signs in their selves and on the horizon until it becomes clear to them that what we are saying is true”, so the belief in The Resurrection is absolutely fundamental to the Islamic tradition, and there’s a belief that every soul will be completely renewed. But the body that’s recreated is not the same as this physical body.
This is what we call the world of spirits. One of the things of the world of spirits according to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is if you met people in the spiritual round, because we actually intermingle, if you met people in the spiritual realm you will have a natural affinity for them in this realm. So there will be people that you meet in your life that you immediately connect with. And this is believed to be a pre-worldly meeting that is replicated in this realm, and this is a recognition of that. And likewise the people most distant from you on that level, will be people that you not attracted to them. And this can also be within families and within religious traditions, in other words it could be a Muslim. For a Muslim it could be a Muslim that you are not comfortable with.
You are not supposed to be mean or cruel to them, or take them as enemies or something, but to recognize that there are natural affinities and these affinities are from a pre-worldly recognition and there’s a hadith in which The Prophet said: “Souls are like regimented ranks, those who knew each other before feel affinity in this realm, and those who did not have differences.”
So if you look at the metaphor here, you have the armed forces and they are all on the same side, but when marines are at a bar drinking and then some navy boys come in there’s all this kind of aggression that will often happen because they are from different regiments. These guys are another group even though it’s the same army. They are another group and there’s that kind of animosity that result from not being from the same regiment.

Sleep: The Little Brother of Death
Now this area is the world of life choices and efforts. This is called `aalam al-Dunia. So you enter into this, and from here you move into the barzakh. Now according to the hadith, when your soul dies it hovers above your body, and it’s a very discomforting experience. And this is why a sleep is considered to be the little brother of death in Islam, and the Quran talks about “We cause them to die and there are those who return to their bodies and others that we keep them”
In other words, sleep is a type of death, one of the things sleep is the indication of the Afterlife, because what happens when you go to sleep is like you live your life, you go to sleep and you enter into this barzakh, and then waking up is like the resurrection. You come back into the body and you wake up, you are resurrected. During sleep, you can live lives. You can have extraordinary dreams, you can feel like you were dreaming just all these things happened, and those are indications of another world. And this is why the Muslims believe that the dream realm is a very important realm, and they differentiate between dreams.
The Quran differentiates between dreams that are like what we call food dreams, you eat a lot of food before you sleep and then you have all this funny garbled dreams, but you are still in what’s called `aalam al-khayal (imaginary world). It is part of the unseen realm. But there are also true dreams, and the more one’s spirituality soul work becomes loosened, the more access they have to that realm. And the more opaque and materialistic they are, the more cut off they are from that realm. So there are people who literally their dream world is incredibly rich. In our tradition there are many people who saw the Messenger of Allah every night in their dreams, like Imam Malik ibn Anas. He said he never woke up without seeing the Prophet in his dreams.
There are others who have what are called true dreams in which there’s information given to them. And much of the dream realm is symbolic. And there’s an extensive science of dream interpretation in Islam. several books are written on it where you will see very specific things that have very specific meanings. And this is a first-century work by Ibn Sireen, which is about dream work; very extensive if you see this it means this and there are multiple interpretations. It doesn’t always mean one. But that work deals with these other realms.
There are also spiritual journeys that are taken in the unseen world, so people who have very profound spiritual experiences in their souls. Now the Mi`raj of the Messenger is believed wasn’t a dream. It was a journey of the soul and the body. Although time expanded because he returned to his bed and it was still warm. So he went through this entire experience.
He saw many things on that journey he described them. In fact I see Phalasius work indicates that much of the Divine Comedy is actually taken from a very famous exposition of the Messenger’s journey through the hells and through the heavens, the seven heavens, until you have the artifice vision which was the result of that.

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