According to Islamic belief, the afterlife commences with the barzakh. After death, souls move on to the barzakh, where they experience many things, until the blow of the trumpet and the subsequent arrival of the Day of Judgment. This PowerPoint presentation examines what happens in that time in the barzakh according to Qur'an and hadith (especially from the Shi'i school of thought). Large file size is due to embedded video clips.
What happens in the barzakh? (Hereafter, Islamic belief, afterlife)
in the barzakh?
25 September 2016
We will intercede on your behalf
on the Day of Judgement; but by
Allah, I am worried about you in
the barzakh”. – Imam al-Sadiq (A)
َل ِونُع ِجْار ِبَر َالَق ُتْوَمْلا ُمُهَدََحأ اءَج اَذِإ ىَّتَحَرَت اَيمِف اً
ِاِلَص ُلَمَْعأ يِلَعاَهىنِإ ىَّلَك ُتْك
ِمْوَي ََلِإ ٌخَزْرَب مِهِائَرَو نِمَو اَهُلِائَق َوُه ٌةَمِلَكَنوَُُعُْْي
When death comes to one of them, they say, ‘My Lord! Take me back, that I may act
righteously in what I have left behind.’ ‘By no means! These are mere words that he
says.’ And ahead of them is a barrier until the day they will be resurrected. (23:99-
What is it like to die?
Imam Zain al-’Abidin (A) was asked about death.
He replied, “It is for the believer like removing
dirty clothes, or like removing heavy shackles and
chains, and changing to the finest and best clothes,
or the finest horses and most lovely abode.
And for an unbeliever it is like changing fine
dresses and cosy abodes for the dirtiest and
roughest clothes, and worst and most unspacious
abode, and greatest punishment”.
“Patience…death is nothing but a bridge which takes
you from difficulties and troubles to the vast Paradise
and everlasting bliss. So, who among you would not
like to go from the prison of the world to the palace
of the Paradise? But these enemies of yours will go
from a palace to a prison and ever-lasting punishment.
My father said that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Verily
the world is the prison for the believers and paradise
for the unbelievers’. And death is the bridge for these
(believers) to their Gardens, and for those
(unbelievers) to their Hell. I do not tell lies, nor was I
told lies”. - Imam Husain (A) on Ashura
َح َوَهل اَذَه ىنِإِقَيْلا ُّقِي Indeed this is the certain truth (56:95)
Who do we see?
“One day when Ibrahim (A) returned home he saw an individual
whose beauty and countenance was the like that he had never
encountered before. He asked, “Who are you?” “I am the angel
of death”, he replied. He said, “Glory be to God! How can
someone who sees you dislike you, when you are so beautiful?”
The angel replied, “O Friend of the all-Merciful! When God
desires goodness for an individual He sends me in this form to
him. But when He desires to punish him He sends me in a
different form.” – Imam al-Sadiq (A)
“O Ali, verily who love you will be glad in three places: at the
time of death, because you will be there visiting them; at the
questioning in the grave as you will be there teaching them; and
at the time of coming before Allah, because you will be there
introducing them” – the Prophet (S)
ِِْيَط ُةَكِآلئَمْلا ُمُاهىفَوَتَت َينِذىلاْاد ُمُكْيَلَع ٌَّلمَس َنوُلوُقَي َياَِِب َةىنَْاْل ْاوُلُخ
Those whom the angels take away while they are pure – they say [to
them], 'Peace be to you! Enter paradise because of what you used to
Those whom the angels take away
while they are wronging
themselves. Thereat they submit:
'We were not doing any evil!‘ Yes,
indeed Allah knows the best what
you used to do! Enter the gates of
hell to remain in it [forever]. Evil is
the [final] abode of the arrogant.'
Were you to see when the
wrongdoers are in the
throes of death, and the
angels extend their hands
[saying]: 'Give up your souls!
Today you shall be requited
with a humiliating
punishment because of
what you used to attribute
to Allah untruly, and for
your being disdainful
towards His signs.’ (6:93)
We carried the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his troops
followed them out of defiance and aggression. When drowning overtook him, he
said, “I believe that there is no God except Him in whom the Children of Israel
believe, and I am one of those who submit [to God]!”
[It will be said] “Now?! When you were disobedient before, and you were among
the agents of corruption? So today We shall save your body so that you may be a
sign for those after you.” And many people are oblivious to Our signs. (10:90-92)
ِيىسال َنوُلَمْعَي َينِذىلِل ُةَبْىوالت ِتَسْيَلَوْلا ُمُهَدََحأ َرَضَح اَذِإ ىَّتَح ِاتَئُتُْْت ِّنِإ َالَق ُتْوَم
َكِئَلُْوأ ٌارىفُك ْمُهَو َنوُتوََُي َينِذىلا َالَو َناآلاًيمَِلأ ًًاَذَع ْمَُهل ََْدَتَْعأ
Repentance is not for those who persist in committing misdeeds.
when death approaches any of them, they say, “I repent now.”
Nor is it for those who die while they are faithless. For such We
have prepared a painful punishment. (4:18)
How late is too late?
"Whoever repents one year before his death, Allah will turn
(mercifully) to him." Then he said: "Surely, a year is too long;
whoever repents one month before his death, Allah will turn
(mercifully) to him." Then he said: "Surely a month is too long;
whoever repents one day before his death, Allah will turn
(mercifully) to him." Then he said: "Surely a day is too long;
whoever repents one hour before his death, Allah will turn
(mercifully) to him. Then he said: "Surely an hour is too long;
whoever repents while his soul has reached here" - and he
pointed with his hand to his throat - "Allah will turn (mercifully)
to him." - the Prophet (S) in his final sermon
"When the soul reaches here“ – he
pointed to his larynx – “there is no
repentance for the knower; but there is
repentance for the ignorant.” - Imam al-
Have you had any warnings of death in this
What happens in the barzakh?
• Squeezing of the grave
• Questioning in the grave – Munkar and Nakir, or
Mubashshir and Bashir
• Loneliness and adjustment
• Reliving one’s life; writing and closing the book of
The talqin: What can you deduce from it?
Listen and understand, listen and understand, listen and understand, O______ son/daughter of_____. Are you on
the same covenant (‘ahd) on which you were when you parted from us? That covenant is the testimony of the fact
that there is no God but Allah, Who is only One and Who has no partner.
And the testimony that – without doubt – Muhammad, may the peace of Allah be on him and his descendants –is
the slave and prophet of Allah and is the master of all the prophets and is the last of them.
And that Ali is the chief of the believers and the leader of all the successors, and he is an Imam whose obedience
has been made obligatory on the whole world.
And that Hasan and Husain, and Ali son of Husain, and Muhammad son of ‘Ali, and Ja’far son of Muhammad, and
Musa son of Ja‘far, and ‘Ali son of Musa, and Muhammad son of ‘Ali, and ‘Ali son of Muhammad, and Hasan son of
Ali, and Muhammad, the awaited one, son of Hasan – may the peace of Allah be on them all – are the Imams of all
believers and are the authorities on the whole world, and all these Imams are guides for the pious persons.
O______son/daughter of______, when the two favourite angels sent by Allah to approach you and inquire from
you about your God, your prophet, your religion, your book, your qiblah and your Imams, do not be afraid or
grieved or worried, but say in reply…
Can the deceased understand?
The Companions of the Garden will call out to
the Companions of the Fire: "We have indeed
found the promises of our Lord to us true: Have
you also found Your Lord's promises true?" They
shall say, "Yes"; but a crier shall proclaim between
them: "The curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers.”
What happens next?
• Meeting with familiar souls
• Separation from the grave
• Travelling to other parts of the barzakh
(including wadi al-salam and wadi al-barahut)
“Souls occupy forms that resemble human bodies and live in
gardens of paradise; they recognize and communicate with one
another. And when a new arrival joins them, they leave him
alone for a while to recover after his difficult experience. Then
they ask him about different individuals; if he says that they
were alive when he died they become hopeful that he may
join them, but if he says that they had died, they cry out, “he
has fallen, fallen.” – Imam al-Sadiq (A)
• Reward and
• Sleeping and the
• The next phase
A deeper discussion of the nature of the barzakh
What do we bring to the barzakh?
• Embodiment of deeds
• Righteous children
• Copies of the Qur’an which s/he used to read
• A public well or canals
• Charity that continues
• A good practice
• An evil practice
• Books and students
• What do we look like in the barzakh?
• What can we do for people in the barzakh?
• Can people in the barzakh interact with us?
َُت ََْل ِِتىلاَو اَِِتْوَم َيِح َسُفَنْاْل ىَّفَوَتَي ُىاَّللْيَلَع ىَضَق ِِتىلا ُكِسْمُيَف اَهِامَنَم ِِف ْتَتْوَمْلا اَهىَرُْخْاْل ُلِسْرُيَو
ىكَفَتَي ٍمْوَقِل ٍتََي َآل َكِلَذ ِِف ىنِإ ىًّمَسُم ٍلََجأ ََلِإَنوُر
Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that have not
died in their sleep. Then He holds on to those whom He has ordained
death for, and sends back the others until a specified time. There are
signs in that for a people who reflect. (39:42)
Preparing for the journey:
Sleep, the partner of death…