Jul 10, 2018 14:09 UTC

As per the Islamic teachings, individuals maintain their perception, senses, and aspirations after death.

It was mentioned that upon death, the bond between human body and human spirit is severed; with the human spirit continuing to exist in the transitional world between this world and Hereafter; otherwise known as Barzakh. As it was said, individuals maintain their perception, senses, and aspirations after death.

After death, human body is decomposed and scattered. However, his spirit is transferred to a delicate body in Barzakh, which does not maintain many aspects of human body in the material world. This delicate body doesn't have mass or weight, but has shape and size, resembling the individual's natural human body in the material world, in regards to these aspects.

In Barzakh, humans appear in a framework similar to their physique in the material world. Thus, others recognize these individuals based on the shape of the latter in the material world, asking about the well-being of those who they knew in this world.

In the meantime, the individuals who have entered Barzakh also recognize their associates and friends, over there.

In Barzakh, human spirit is liberated from the yoke of materialistic restrictions. Time and space are irrelevant for mankind, in his dreams. This is also the case for mankind in Barzakh.

Grave is mankind's first abode in his journey toward Hereafter, leaving the individual at a point of no return. When the individual passes away, and is placed in his grave, he experiences a highly difficult time. The first night in grave is even difficult for the pious and faithful individuals. Nonetheless, the individual can change the quality of that night and reduce his fear and anxiety with his appropriate beliefs, good intentions, and desirable and merited deeds.

One or the most important developments of the first night in grave is the questions asked by the angels. Two angels ask questions about the faith, beliefs, and deeds of the newly deceased. One of these angels is situated on the right hand side and the other is located on the left hand side of the deceased, asking a series of questions, one after the other.

Some analysts opine that the life of individuals in Barzakh is similar to the life of individuals in the material world, who have been summoned and questioned by a judicial organization for administration of their cases, while these individuals await their hearing.

The 4th Infallible Imam of the Prophet of Islam's Household, Imam Sajjad (AS) pointed out that the first question you are asked after death is the God who you worshipped; the religion you were committed to; the book you read; the Imam you accepted and complied with; the path you chose in your lifetime, and the way you earned and spent your wealth and belongings.  So, one should take a deep look at himself and get prepared to answer these questions on the first night in grave.

Obviously, the said cases are also key questions which individuals encounter in their lifetime, too. In other words, upon pondering and contemplating these questions, the individual finds the appropriate lifestyle which he must adopt.

If the individual finds the righteous path and truly follows the teachings of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), and the prominent religious figures; he will make righteous remarks, and will appropriately answer angels' questions, upon divine blessings. Such an individual has attained salvation. At this point in time, two angels herald the righteous individual that he is heading toward Heavens. After this phase, numerous divine blessings are bestowed upon the faithful individual.

However, if the deceased is one of the stubborn disbelievers; those two angels appear in a violent and horrifying manner before him. The stubborn disbeliever fails to respond to the questions of angels because he has diverted from the righteous path and has committed innumerable sins in his lifetime; with the angels telling the disbeliever that he is headed toward Hell. For such an individual, grave is a reminder of his loneliness and fears.

Islamic texts and sources have mentioned factors that cause hardships or prosperity and comfort in Barzakh. Some of the factors which lead to hardships in Barzakh are negligence of prayers; refusal to assist the poor and needy; mistreatment of one's spouse and family; and gossiping.

On the other hand, some of the factors, which lead to human prosperity and happiness in Barzakh are martyrdom for the sake of God; and appropriate observation of prayers. Meanwhile, pleading to God for forgiveness of the deceased, leads to the welfare and happiness of their spirits in Barzakh.

One of the other factors that lead to salvation of mankind is expression of kindness toward the Prophet of Islam, and his Infallible Household.