A POPULAR THEME OF MANY HORROR AND THRILLER NOVELS, MOVIES AND TELEVISION PROGRAMS CENTERS AROUND THE FALSE BELIEF THAT WHEN SOMEONE IS KILLED UNJUSTLY, HIS SOUL RETURNS IN ORDER TO SEEK JUSTICE, OR IT KEEPS WANDERING UNTIL JUSTICE IS DONE TO IT. REPEATED EXPOSURE TO THIS FALSE CONCEPT FROM EVERY FORM OF MEDIA HAS LEAD MANY TO UNKNOWINGLY BELIEVE IN IT...
The Jews asked Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) about the soul and in reply the Qur'aan said: "They ask you concerning the soul. Say that the soul is from Allah and you have not been given knowledge of it except a little." [Soorah al-Isra (17): 85]
The Soul is a creation of Allah, whose function is to bring life to the human body. It remains with the human body throughout the life and departs at death. After which the souls are either held in Paradise or punishment. There is no returning back of the souls of the righteous people from Paradise, and no escaping of the souls of evildoers from the punishment of the grave. Therefore, pious or evil, the souls do not return to this world, neither to take revenge nor to assist the living. Neither is there any concept in Islam, which explains that justice is dependant upon the soul's coming back and setting things aright. Islam teaches that Allah is responsible to see that every being gets its due right and injustice does not go unpunished.
Journey of the Soul after Death
Appearing of the Angels
(b) The Disbelieving Soul: Angels with black faces come down to him from the Heaven with hair-cloth and sit away from him as far as an eye can see. The Angel of death comes to him and says: "O wicked soul, come out to the displeasure from Allah. The soul becomes scattered in the body, and the Angel of Death draws it out as violently as a spit is drawn out from moistened wool. He then seizes it, and when he does so, the other Angels do not leave the disbelieving soul in his hand for an instant, but put it in that hair-cloth and from it comes forth a smell like the most offensive corpse found on the Earth.
Ascending to the Heaven
(b) The Disbelieving Soul: The Angels take the disbelieving soul up to the Heaven and do not bring it pass a company of Angels without their saying: "Who is this wicked soul?" to which they reply: "So and so, the son of so and so." Using the worst names that he was called in the world. When he is brought to the lowest Heaven, request is made for the gate to be opened for him, but it is not opened for him. Allah, who is most Great and Glorious, then says: "Record his Book in Sijjin (the lowest place) and his soul is thrown down to Earth."
Questioning in the Grave
(b) The Disbelieving Soul: Angels approach the disbelieving soul for questioning, but he can barely answer their questions by saying: 'Alas! I do not know…'
The Abode and Companion
(b) The Disbelieving Soul: Some of the Hell's heat and hot air comes to him, his grave is made narrow for him such that his ribs interpenetrate into each other. A man with an ugly face, ugly garments and an offensive odor comes to him and says: "Be grieved with what displeases you, for this is your day which you have been promised." He asks: "Who are you? For your face is most ugly and brings evil." He replies: "I am your wicked deeds." He then says: "My Lord, do not bring the Last Hour."
To the living, the grave is simply an empty, dark hole in the ground, but to the dead it is a window into either Paradise or Hell, where he faces the realities of the Hereafter all by himself. The grave is a place of solitude, and there is no greater isolation than this! What can be a bigger isolation for someone, than being separated from parents, family, and relatives? One leaves back all his possession and wealth and is put in the grave, under gravel and sand? Nothing accompanies the dead in his grave except his deeds, Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "Three things follow a dead man, two of which will return and one will remain with him. His people, his property and his deeds follow him but his people and property return, while his deeds remain with him." [Saheeh al-Bukharee (8/ 521)]
At this time, if one's deeds are good and righteous, they become for him a good company. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "(After the questioning) a man with a beautiful face, beautiful garments and sweet odor comes to the righteous slave and says: "Rejoice in what pleases you, for this is your day which you have been promised." He asks: "Who are you? For your face is perfectly beautiful and brings good." He replies: "I am your good deeds." He then says: "My Lord, bring the Last Hour; my Lord bring the Last Hour, so I may return to my people and my property." Regarding the evildoer, he (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "… a man with an ugly face, ugly garments and an offensive odor comes to him and says: "Be grieved with what displeases you, for this is your day which you have been promised." He asks: "Who are you? For your face is most ugly and brings evil." He replies: "I am your wicked deeds." He then says: "My Lord, do not bring the Last Hour." [Saheeh al-Jami as-Sageer, 1/1676]
All this and the Hereafter has still not commenced for us. So, let this be a reminder for all to prepare for death by doing good deeds in accordance to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, even if it means to give a trifle in charity. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "Protect yourself from the Hellfire, even by a part of a date (that is given in charity)." [Saheeh al-Bukharee]
After clarifying the good and evil in this world, Allah, the Exalted, has given every man a free will to choose between them. It is up to the individual, whether he takes enough good deeds to accompany him in his grave, or he chooses to carry the burden of evil deeds. This choice of evil and good is only valid as long as one is alive. As death approaches, all deeds come to an end and the person becomes weak and helpless; so helpless that after death he is in need of the living to give him ghusl, shroud him, place him in his grave and make Du'aa for his forgiveness. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "When the coffin is ready (for its burial) and people lift it on their shoulders, then if the deceased is a righteous person he says, 'Take me ahead,' if he is not a righteous one, then he says, 'Woe to it (me)! Where are you taking it (me)!' And his voice is audible to everything except human beings; if they heard it they would fall down unconscious." [Bukharee (2/ 462)]
After knowing the realities of death, how helpless and weak man becomes after death, and how he faces the realities of the Hereafter and witnesses the great Power of Allah - Can a Muslim, who believes that Allah alone has the Power to benefit and harm, accept that a dead man's soul can come back to this world and help the living? Or after witnessing the Power of Allah the dead would dare to scare the living, harm them, possess them or demand offerings from them?
Barzakh forbids any Return
These and many other proofs from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah deny the concept of the soul's return, and thus there remains no doubt that souls of the dead do not return back to the world.
Appearing of the Spirits: The alleged appearing of the spirits is an ancient claim. Many a time, it is fabrication simply through deception, trickery, and psychological influence. In other cases, it is done through the use of Jinn. Deception is an old and well-known trick that the Jinn use to mislead mankind; they play with the minds of humans in order to ruin their religion and cause them to commit Shirk. A clear understanding of the topic should help the Muslims not to be deceived by the spiritualists.
The Jinn (sing. Jinni): The Jinn are a living creation of Allah, created from smokeless flame of fire. They share the material world with the humans. Though they are invisible to us, they eat and drink with us, and also have the ability to inhabit the human body and influence our thoughts. They are stronger than humans and can take different forms and shapes. Amongst them are Muslims and Kafirs; the Kafir Jinn help their counterpart among the humans in evil acts.
When the spiritualist contacts a Jinni, the Jinni takes advantage of his ability to acquire different forms and adopts the appearance of the dead and pretends to be the returned souls. This is one of the ways by which the Shaytaan attempts to deceive humans and lead them astray. For example, on the Day of the Battle of Badr, a devil came to the polytheist of Quraysh in the shape of Suraqah bin Malik.
Another incident is related in Saheeh al-Bukharee; a Jinni came to Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) several times, when he was in charge of the alms in Ramadan. Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) narrates: "Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) ordered me to keep Sadaqah (al-Fitr) of Ramadan. A man came and started taking handfuls of the foodstuff (of the Sadaqah, stealthily). I took hold of him and said: "By Allah, I will take you to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)." He said: "I am needy and have many dependents, and I am in great need." I released him, and in the morning Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) asked me: "What did your prisoner do yesterday?" I said: "O Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)! The person complained of being needy and of having many dependents, so, I pitied him and let him go." Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "Indeed, he told you a lie and he will come again." Then the visitor came again and the same episode repeated twice, after which Allah's Messenger asked: "O Abu Hurayrah! … Do you know whom you were talking to, these three nights?" Abu Hurayrah said: "No!" He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "It was Shaytaan." [Saheeh al-Bukharee 3/ 505]
Similarly, the Shaytaan makes use of this extraordinary ability of taking the appearance of the dead people, and performs supernatural feats at graves and tombs. People witness these unusual events and increase in the veneration of the dead. Eventually, these unusual events cause people to have faith and hope in the powers of the dead and they call upon the engraved to fulfill their needs instead of Allah and thus commit Shirk...and this is exactly what the Shaytaan (Kafir Jinn) intends.
Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said: "To take the graves as idols is the first step towards polytheism; it is why some visitors to graves hear the voices near the graves, see certain visions before them, witness strange forces in operation which are taken for a miracle of some righteous deceased people whereas sometimes they are the Jinn and the Shaytaan. For instance, they observe a grave being cleft and the deceased comes out of it, talks with people and embraces them. Such a thing you will witness near the graves of the Divine Apostles and other people, whereas in reality it is Shaytaan. Indeed, the Shaytaan assumes the form of a human being and says: 'I am so and so Prophet.' 'I am so and so Shaikh'; and he tells a lie… The ignorant person believes that the one who came out of the grave, who caressed him or conversed with him, was the inmate of the grave, or was a righteous person or a Divine person. In contrast to it, a perfect believer knows without any shadow of doubt that he is Shaytaan." [Kitab al-Wasilah (English Translation) pp. 42]
It is this Qareen, who is responsible for knowing the character and deeds of the dead. For example, during s?�ances (apparently) a Jinni often pretends to contact the dead and allows them to speak to the living. In fact, the Jinn had contacted the Qareen of the dead. The Qareen, who was a constant companion of the dead person and knew his entire life history, will be able to mimic the voice of the deceased and answer any questions accurately (about the dead person's life), thus fooling those present into believing that they are in the presence of spirits.
In Conclusion, souls of the dead cannot and do not come back to earth, they cannot appear to or converse with the living inhabitants of the Earth. Causing people to believe in the return of the souls is one of the means adopted by Shaytaan to misguide mankind. By pretending to be returned souls of the dead along with the performance of extraordinary feats, they deceive people into believing in the powers of the dead. This has become a religious science of its own having no basis in the Qur'aan or the Sunnah. Ultimately, it leads to the worship of the souls of the dead and in reality worship of the Shaytaan himself. [See Majmoo al-Fatawa v.1/p.359-61]
The Supernatural is thus not the World of Spirits and Lost Souls, but the World of Jinn
Evidence for Jinn Possession
Allah says: "Those who eat Riba (interest) will not stand (on the Day of Judgment) except like the standing of a person beaten by the Shaytaan leading him to insanity ('mass')." [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 275]
This authentic narration describes how Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) commanded the Jinn possessing the boy, to leave. Also, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) is reported to have said: "Verily, Shaytaan flows in the blood-streams of Adam's descendants." [Saheeh Muslim (vol: 3, no: 5404)]
Causes of Possession
(a) The occasional possession of man by the Jinn may be due to sensual desires on the part of the Jinn, passions or even love, just as it may be among humans.
(b) Majority of the possessions are the result of hatred and revenge of the Jinn, because of some wrong done to him. For example, when humans accidentally harm or hurt the Jinn by urinating on them, by pouring hot water on them, or by killing some of them, the Jinn think that they have been harmed intentionally. Though humans may not realize what they have done, the Jinn are by nature ignorant, very harsh and unstable in their behavior, so they may revengefully punish humans much more than they actually deserve.
(c) Possession sometimes also occurs as a result of plain evil on the part of the Jinn, just as evil and mischief occurs among humans for similar reasons. [See Majmoo al-Fatawa vol: 19, p. 39]
"Jinn mostly gain control over those who have little religious inclination and those whose hearts and tongues faith has deserted. Those whose souls are desolate of the remembrance of Allah and of the formulas of strengthening faith."