Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beyond the Veil

My two cents on a discussion on beyond the veil...
Hi,I just wanted to chip in this interesting discussion with the Islamic perspective. As you know, we muslims definitely believe in after-life. But, we also believe that when we die, we will remain in a sleep-like state(*) till the Day of Reckoning, when all souls will be raised back to life.
Some believe that the dead do have dreams... pleasant dreams for the good people, scary dreams for those who've accumulated many bad deeds in their worldly life. But, no, I don't think they travel in their dreams to our realm. I'm not very clear on this, but I understand the bodies will be reconstructed and perfected for immortal, eternal life. Reason being that
(i) we are told that we will abide their forever
(ii) on judgement day, our own bodies, hands, feet, et all, will testify against ourselves, such that nobody can except to get away with lying.
This brings up the interesting question of how do we explain visions of those who are no more... do they return? Well, the one explanation that most religious scholars seem to concur on is that these are basically dJinns(genies) who
(i) have information of our and other people's past lives
(ii) they appear as that person
How do they have intimate information? It is also believed that there is a dJinn associated with each human throughout our lives, such that they know of all things past. dJinns themselves are a community, and as such, able to exchange notes.
As far as the Holy Quran is concerned, though it acknowledges the existence of dJinns, and speaks of their ability to whisper thoughts in our minds, it nowhere explicitly details the above explanation, at least as far as I know. Nothing can be stated for certain, as none of the living have crossed over and returned to tell the tale; and the few who do, well we really don't know what their source is.
We believe dJinns are another creation, created from smokeless fire; generally invisible to humans. Satan is a dJinn. We also believe that they are communities of dJinn, families, procreation, etc, like any other human or animal community we are able to observe; There are good dJinns and bad dJinns, believer and non-believers, helpers and hinderers; dJinns are known to have served Prophet-King Solomon. Satan(named Iblis) was one of the angels when God created Adam... when God ordered all present to prostrate/submit to Adam, Iblis refused (Holy Quran 2:34); he was haughty, because he took pride in his being created from fire, whereas Adam was from clay; God dislikes arrogance, and thus Iblis was disgraced. Instead of repenting, he vowed to take it upon himself to hinder humans from the path of God, and asked God to grant him permission till the end of this-world time (doomsday) to mislead humans (Holy Quran 4:119). We are told that Iblis and his host of satans have no real power upon us, that it is in our will whether to do their bid or to reject it, and those who remember God and seek guidance will ultimately be the ones who prevail.(Holy Quran 7:200-206)
A question:If the dJinn can "whisper thoughts in our minds," would you describe them as spirit-beings as opposed to material (physical) beings? Do they have gender, form, specific names and identities?
Yes, I'm sure they all must have some names or numbers or codes to interact within their community; spirit-beings as in 'in another dimension? like angels, invisible to us?' yes, if that's what you are trying to ask; material(physical) beings also as they are created from smokeless fire... guess the correct answer is spirit-beings to us, physical beings in their own dimension(world)

(*)except those who have proven beyond doubt that they deserve punishment, for them the torture probably begins in the grave; (Pharoah is one of the examples usually cited).

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