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Do Souls of the Dead Return Back to this World?

Compiled by Shawana A Aziz

From As-Sunnah Bimonthly Islamic Newsletter

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...

Whilst some take this concept very seriously, and make use of un-Islamic measures, like the hanging of amulets and pagan rituals to protect themselves from the revengeful soul, others simply consider these issues to be unimportant and do not bother to seek knowledge about it.

But the fact remains, that not only do many people fear the souls, but entire religions are focused around ancestor and soul worship. Large amount of wealth is spent on making offerings to the souls and many rituals and festivals are held in this regard, for example, many people believe that the deceased visit this world on the 15th of Shabaan (8th month of the Islamic Calendar) and they call it 'Eid of the Dead.' Some even go to the extreme of preparing the foods that the deceased liked!

It is therefore essential that the Muslims be informed about the gravity of this call and be educated about the correct Islamic Aqeedah (belief). This article is specifically aimed to expose the falsity of these beliefs and bring to the reader authentic proofs from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, which undoubtedly reject the soul's return. We hope that this article will dispel doubts and confusion around the subject. And with Allah lies all success.

Islamic Concept of the Soul:

Soul is from the matters of the unseen and nothing can be said in its explanation without established proofs from the Book and the Sunnah. The knowledge required for our welfare in this world and the Hereafter has been conveyed to us by the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), and there is no need to seek any goodness beyond that. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "There is nothing that will take you closer to Paradise but that I have enjoined it upon you, and there is nothing that will take you closer to Hell but that I have warned you from it." [Musnad ash-Shafi'e and others]

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

Death

Death occurs when the soul separates from the human body and enters the realm of 'Barzakh', which is the period between one's death and the Hereafter.

Appearing of the Angels

(a) The Believing Soul: Angels with faces shining bright like the sun descend from the Heavens, carrying a shroud and fragrance of Paradise and sit away from him as far as the eye can see. The Angel of Death then approaches and says: "O good soul, come out to Allah's forgiveness and pleasure." The soul then comes out as gently as a drop from a water-skin, and he seizes it. Within the blinking of an eye, the other Angels take the soul and put it in the shroud and fragrance. There will then come from the soul, a fragrance like that of the sweetest musk found on the face of Earth.

(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

(a) The Believing Soul: The Angels ascend the believing soul to the Seventh Heaven and every group of Angels they pass asks: "Who is this good soul?" to which they reply: "So and so, the son of so and so." using his best names by which people called him on the Earth. Then the believing soul is presented before Allah. Allah, the Great and Glorious, says: "Record the Book of My servant in the Illiyyoon and take him back to Earth, for I created mankind from it, and I shall return them to it, from it I shall bring them forth again."

(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

(a) The Believing Soul: The Soul is temporary restored in the body. Two Angels come to it and ask: "Who is your Lord?" He replies: "My Lord is Allah." They ask: "What is your religion?" He replies: "My religion is Islam." They ask: "Who is this man who was sent among you?" and He will reply: " He is the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)." They ask: "What was the source of your knowledge?" He replies: "I have read Allah's Book, believed in it and declared it to be true." Then one cry is heard from the Heaven: "My servant has spoken the truth..."

(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

(a) The Believing Soul: Some of the joys of Paradise and its fragrance come to him and his grave is made spacious for him as far as an eye can see. 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?" 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."

(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."

From the above we know how the soul is taken out of the human body upon death and presented before Allah. If the soul is righteous, it enjoys the bounties of Allah and if it is wicked, it suffers the torment of the grave, which is very severe and none can escape its anguish and suffering. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "This Ummah will be tried in its grave. If it were not for the fear that you might not bury your dead, I would pray to Allah to make you hear what I hear." [Saheeh Muslim]

Uthman Ibn Affan (radhiallahu anhu) used to cry until he wet his beard, if he was to stand on a grave. He was told: 'You mention the Heaven and the Hell-Fire and you don't cry, but when you mention the grave, you burst in tears!' He said: 'I heard the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) saying: "The grave is the first stage of the Hereafter, whoever passes it will be at ease afterwards, and if he does not succeed in it, he will be in worst of conditions." I also heard him saying: "Never have I seen a sight more horrifying than that of grave."

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, etc…etc…?

Barzakh forbids any Return

Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) have clearly defined to us journey of the soul after death and the abode of both, the disbelieving souls and the righteous souls. This period between the death and the Hereafter is known as 'Barzakh'. Linguistically, 'Barzakh' means a veil, barrier or partition between two things.

Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) defines Barzakh as a Hijab (a partition of veil). Al-Qurtubi, in his exposition states: 'The Barzakh is a barrier between two things. It is the stage between this world and the other world - from the time of death until the time Resurrection. Thus, whoever dies enters the Barzakh"

[See al-Qurtubi's Tafseer, vol.12, p.150] Once the soul enters the realm of Barzakh, there is no return for it back into the world as is clearly known from the Qur'aan and the Ahaadeeth of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam).

Allah says regarding the evil soul: "…when death comes to one of them (who joins partners with Allah), he says: "O My Lord! Send me back to life. In order that I may do good deeds in the things that I neglected. By no means! It is but a word he says. And before him is a Barzakh until the day they are raised up." [Soorah al-Mu'minoon (23): 99-100]

This verse reveals the condition of the disbeliever upon death; when he faces the realities of the Hereafter, he wishes to return back to the world and mend his mistakes, in order to avert the punishment. But he is plainly refused and confined in the grave and punished for his sinful actions because he has entered the Barzakh. It is impossible for him to escape the strong Guardian Angels of Allah and return back to this world.

The abode of the righteous soul is Paradise, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "The soul of a believer is a bird eating from the trees of Paradise until Allah restores it to its body on the Day of Resurrection." [An-Nasa'ee, Ibn Majah and others. Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee Sharh al-Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah (p. 455, footnote: 1)]

It is unlikely that the righteous soul, who is surrounded by the bounties of Allah, would leave the blessings of Allah and come to the world.

Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "No servant who has good in store for him with Allah and dies ever wants to return to the Earth - even if he were to have the whole world and everything that is in it - except for the martyr. That is due to what he sees in the nobility of martyrdom. Verily, he would like to return back to the Earth, in order to be martyred another time." [(Saheeh) Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee (1341)]

But as the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) informed, even the martyr is refused the permission to return, he (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "The souls of the martyrs live in the bodies of green birds who have their nests in chandeliers hung from the throne of the Almighty. They eat the fruits of Paradise wherever they like and then nestle in these chandeliers. Once, their Lord cast a glance at them and said: "Do you want anything?" They said: "What more can we desire? We eat the fruit of Paradise wherever we like." Their Lord asked them the same question thrice. When they saw that they would be continued to be asked and not left (without answering the question), they said: "O Lord, we wish that You may return our souls to our bodies so that we may be slain in Your cause once again. When He (Allah) saw that they had no need, they were left (to their joy in Heaven)." [Saheeh Muslim (4651)]

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.

Observed Phenomenon

If spirits do not return back to this world, then what is the explanation for the Observed Phenomenon, like the physical appearance of the dead, speaking of the souls through medium, and leaving messages for the living using Ouija boards? And how do these spirits answer every question correctly about the life and character of the dead?

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 spiritualists, who claim to have contacts with the spirits of the dead from an Islamic point of view, are in fact un-religious and liars. They make contacts with the Jinn through evil incantations and demonic rituals and perform extraordinary feats with ease through them. Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said: "Many of those people (the so called spiritualists) write the Words of Allah in blood or other impure substances. They write or make other statements that are pleasing to Shaytaan." [See Majmoo al-Fatawa, v.19, p.35]

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.

This incident is also related in the Qur'aan in Soorah al-Anfal (8): 48: "(Remember) when the Shaytaan (evil Jinn are called Shaytaan meaning 'devils') made their (evil) deeds seem fair to them and said: 'No one of mankind can overcome you this Day (of the battle of Badr) and verily, I am your neighbor (for each and every help).' But when the two forces came in sight of each other, he ran away and said: 'Verily, I have nothing to do with you. Verily! I see what you see not. Verily, I fear Allah for Allah is severe in punishment."

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]

The Qareen: Every human has been assigned a Jinni to be his constant companion. He is called 'Qareen' and he encourages evil desires.

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) once told his companions: "Everyone of you has been assigned a companion from the Jinn." They asked: "Even you, O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)!" He replied: "Even me, except that Allah has helped me against him and he has submitted. Now he only tells me to do good." [Saheeh Muslim]

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


SPIRIT POSSESSION

Another widespread fallacy is the concept of spirit-possession, during which a supposed spirit (of a dead person) occupies the human body and the individual experiences fits and epilepsy. The Shaytaan has used this false belief so strongly to corrupt people's Aqeedah that some of those who believe in spirit possession even commit acts of Shirk, like performing un-Islamic rituals and offerings at the tombs, hanging amulets containing words of disbelief, etc. to protect themselves from possession and to seek treatment.

It should be made known that most of these cases are due to psychological illness, mistakenly understood to be spirit-possession. The reason behind the prevalence of this misconception, to some extent, is the practice of some exorcists, who have made exorcism a way of obtaining money from the common masses. They convince people into believing that they have been possessed by spirits and earn money in the name of treatment. However, real cases of possession are very few and they are due to the Jinn, who occupy the human body and not spirits. And Al-hamdulillah, Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) have rightly guided us in this regard; anybody possessed by the Jinn can be cured by the prescribed treatment mentioned in the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), Insha'Allah.

The Reality : In light of what has preceded (about the soul and its journey after death in the previous article), it can be undoubtedly said that spirits of the dead do not return back to the world after death. Thus, it is not possible that the spirits can possess the human body. The only possible source, which could be involved in possessing human body, is the Jinn.

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) states in Majmoo al-Fatawa, "The existence of the Jinn is an established fact, according to the Book, the Sunnah and the agreement of the early scholars. Likewise, the penetration of a Jinni into a human body is also an established fact, according to the consensus of leading Sunni scholars. It is also a fact witnessed and experienced by anyone who reflects on it. The Jinni enters the one seized by fits and causes him to speak incomprehensible words, unknown to himself; if the one seized by fits is struck a blow sufficient to kill a camel, he does not feel it."

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]

In this verse, Allah compares the state of those who eat Riba, on the Day of Judgment, with the one beaten by the Shaytan leading him to insanity. The word used in this verse for insanity is 'mass', which also means devil possession. Since Allah has made the Qur'aan, the most truthful book, it can never contain a false comparison.

?Therefore, this verse proves the truthfulness of Jinn-possession. Al-Qurtubee writes in his Tafseer of this verse: "This verse contains proof against those who deny the possession by way of Jinn, claiming that it is a result of natural causes, as well as those who claim that Shaytaan does not enter humans nor does he touch them."

Clear Evidence of Jinn possession from the Sunnah are in a number of authentic tradition, one of which is related by, Ya'la Ibn Murah (radhiallahu anhu), who says: "I saw Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) do three things which no one before or after me saw. I went with him on a trip. On the way, we passed by a woman sitting at the roadside with a young boy. She called out, 'O Messenger of Allah, this boy is afflicted with a trial, and from him we have also been afflicted with a trial. I don't know how many times per day he is seized by fits.' He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: 'Give him to me.' So she lifted him up to the Prophet.

He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) then placed the boy between himself and the middle of the saddle, opened the boy's mouth and blew in it three times, saying, 'In the name of Allah, I am the slave of Allah, get out, enemy of Allah!' Then he gave the boy back to her and said: 'Meet us on our return at this same place and inform us how he has fared.' We then went. On our return, we found her in the same place with three sheep. When he said to her, 'How has your son fared?' She replied: 'By the One who sent you with the truth, we have not detected anything (unusual) in his behavior up to this time…" [Musnad Ahmad (vol: 4, p. 170), and al-Haakim, who declared it Saheeh]

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

There could be three main reasons for possession, as suggested by Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah):

(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."

EXORCISM to Free a human from Jinn-Possession

To exorcize the Jinn is obligatory according to the principles of repelling oppression, aiding the oppressed, enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil, just as it is with human. [Shaikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdillah al-Baaz, al-Mujtama' Magazine, no. 830, 18/8/87, p. 39-41]

A question was posed to Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) regarding the subject, he expressed the same view and added: "… In (exorcism) there is also alleviation of grief and suffering of the oppressed. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) is reported by Abu Hurayrah in Saheeh Muslim (vol: 4, no: 6250) to have said: "Whoever relieves a believer of one of the tragedies of life, Allah will relieve him of one of the calamities of the Day of Resurrection…" Jaabir (radhiallahu anhu) also reported in Saheeh Muslim (vol: 3, no: 5456) that when Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) was asked about incantation, he replied: "Whoever among you is able to help his brother, he should do so."

However, help should be justly rendered according to the methods prescribed by Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). For example, Islamically based prayers, words and phrases should only be used in the way they were used by the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) and his Companions. When commanding the Jinn to righteousness and prohibiting it from evil, it should be done in the same way that man is ordered and forbidden. Whatever is allowable in the case of humans is also allowable in the case of Jinn." [As-Shiblee's Ahkaam al-Jaann, chapter. 53, p.147-8]

Pre-requisites of the Exorcist:

Treatment of fits due to Jinn possession requires two essential factors from the possessed and the healer.

(a) Turning truthfully to Allah alone and having full conviction that the remembrance of Allah and Qur'aanic recitation will effect the person and the Jinn. The stronger the faith, the stronger will be the effect.

(b) Using correct means to drive the Jinn away, as taught by Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam).

For, surely this type of treatment is, in fact, war against the Shaytaan and the warrior will not be able to defeat his enemy unless he fulfills two conditions; that his weapon is sound and sharp, and that his arm is strong. Whenever either of these two conditions is not met, a long sword will be of no value! [See Zaad al-Maa'ad p. 67-69]

"Such a person (who exorcizes the Jinn) is a soldier of Allah, and since exorcism is among the greatest forms of Jihad, he should beware not to help his enemy overcome him by his own sins. If the circumstance is beyond his capacity, he should remember that Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity. He should not expose himself to tribulation by taking on what he is unable to handle." [Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmoo al-Fatawa]

Methodology:

The following are some ways of exorcism, which have been deduced from the practice of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) and the Sahabah (radhiallahu anhum), any of them may be used to drive the Shaytaan away:

(a) If the possession is due to magic, then the most effective way is to find and undo the charm used in bewitchment.

(b) Address the Jinn and inform him that their acts are either abominable or tyrannical.

(c) Cursing the Jinn

(d) Reciting certain Qur'aanic verses or prayers taught by Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), like Ayat al-Kursee (Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 255), Basmalah (verbal saying of: 'Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem'), Ta'awwuth (saying "I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Shaytaan), making Adhaan or Iqaamah, etc.

(e) Beating: If the above-mentioned steps fail to bring the desired results, then the exorcist may strike the possessed individual in order to inflict pain on the possessing spirit. These blows fall upon the Jinn and the possessed human does not feel them.

Interview

Name: Abdul Majeed Ali Hasan

Profession: Imaam and Khateeb in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs for the U.A.E Government

1: Identify some signs of real possession

Possession implies control over the mind of the possessed person by the Jinn. Allah, the Exalted, has granted Jinn, the power to control the activities and thoughts of the human. Thus, the Jinn during possession controls the intellect power of the possessed in such a way that the possessed looses all power to think and speak from his will. He does not remember his previous sayings or what he is about to say, he may also perform certain abnormal actions, which are beyond human might.

Allah speaks about such possession in the Glorious Qur'aan in Soorah al-Baqarah, verse: 275: "Those who eat Riba (usury) will not stand on the Day of Judgment except like the standing of the person beaten by Shaytaan (Jinn) leading him to insanity..." According to Imam Al-Qurtubee, this verse is an evidence of Jinn possession over human. Also, a number of evidences of Jinn possession can be found in the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger. One of which is reported in Majma'uz Zawaid (9/3-4), where Allah's Messenger is reported to have performed exorcism.

2: What percentage of the cases you meet is actual possession?

Majority of the cases are due to psychological illness, wrongfully assumed to be possession. Therefore, normally, when an individual is brought to me for treatment, I ask for a medical report. Only when it becomes clear to me that the individual is free from any illness, I start my treatment based on the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.

Many people who come for a treatment do not have any illness or possession, but their sickness is mere imagination, due to watching horror movies and reading novels, which propagate possession.

3: Describe one case of exorcism, which you may have performed.

Al-hamdulillah, I have cured many people who were severely possessed by Jinn. One of them was in the year 1996, when in my mosque after delivering the Friday sermon, a young man was brought to me who was suffering from severe neck pain. The people who brought him to me said that he was unable to straighten his neck after 12.00 pm, and he would shout very loudly due to severe pain. On the first day, I recited over him, Soorah al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Qur'aan, and Aayat al-Kursee (Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 255) seven times. The man regained his health and walked out of the mosque with no pain at all.

The next day, he was again brought to the mosque complaining of the same neck pain. I took him to my house and recited Soorah al-Fatihah, Aayat al-Kursee, few verses of Soorah al-Jinn, Soorah an-Nas, Soorah al-Falaq, Soorah al-Ikhlas and Soorah al-Kafirun. After a while the man started to snore like a lion, I stopped the recitation and asked him to return back to his house. Suddenly, he started to utter some words in Arabic, which were not clear to me. Once more I started the recitation of Soorah al-Jinn and he shouted: "Do not read it... it burns me inside." I asked him his name, he replied: 'Muhammad.' I was shocked because Muhammad was not the name of the man possessed… it was the Jinn speaking. Al-hamdulillah, I asked Allah's Help and made Dawah to him. I explained to him the importance of his name and that it is wrong on the part of a Muslim to hurt his Muslim brothers. I inquired about the reason why he possessed the man and he said: "This man urinated on my head in the Rasal Kahimah Roundabout." This Roundabout is very close to my mosque, where people usually gather and sit.

I then requested him to forgive the man, since his act was unintentional and he did not see the Jinn. Al-hamdulillah, he agreed to leave the body and work as a good Muslim. He also promised to never hurt anybody after this, and establish regular prayers. Then, he left… Al-hamdulillah.

4: How do you protect yourself from possession?

A number of Ahaadeeth mention Du'aa (supplications), which prevent the Shaytaan from harming us, I strictly adhere to them. From among them is as Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said that Shaytaan runs away when Adhaan or Iaqamah is pronounced, I always make sure to answer the Adhaan, which is also mentioned in the Hadeeth to be a way of preventing Shaytaan.

(b) Reciting the last two verses of Soorah al-Baqarah every night,

(c) reciting Aayat al-Kursee as is the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)

(d) reciting the last four Soorahs of the Qur'aan

(e) Morning and Evening Supplications,

(f) supplications before entering the bathroom and after coming out of it, supplication upon wearing clothes, upon entering the house, and others which are mentioned in the Sunnah.

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