Material or Immaterial Resurrection (ep 28)
Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem.
Alhamdu lillahi rab il a’aalamin.
Wasalatu wasalamu ala khayri khalqihi Muhammadin Wa Alihi Al Tayyibeen Al Tahireen.
Is Resurrection material or immaterial?
In other words that our souls,our spirits will be revived definitely. Are our bodies, this physical body is going to be resurrected too or not?
In many books of (Tafseer) and Islamic philosophy a long debate and discussion is going on between various opinions. So for the spiritual and immaterial resurrection it is agreed by all. Some Muslim philosophers thought that we do not have any philosophical or logical support for the bodily resurrection but we only hear that and read it from the Quran and from the (Hadeeth).
However, since we consider the Quran as the prime source and reference for all information we get about the faith, about the creed, about what to believe in, we must admit that it is both the spiritual and materialistic, the spirit and body, both elements are there to be resurrected. Of course some people would think that if it is the body to be resurrected as the cells are always ruined and replaced by new cells and this continues as some scholars in Physiology say that every seven years the whole cells, the old cells totally are changed and we are facing new cells and new organs wether we agree with this or not, wether we believe in it or not but definitely the cells which have been replaced by new ones mean that they are different and by saying so some people think that which of these bodies will be revived, will be resurrected. Indeed we have stem cells to answer this question. Which means that although all other cells are changeable but the stem cell is unique and that is the main structure of Human bodies. In other words, we see that what is mentioned in the Quran about the joy and bliss in Paradise is it only spiritual, only psychological, emotional or really the body enjoys that type of bliss and bounty.
Of course we see that Ayat in the Quran refer to this joy both psychological and physical.
Bodily joy IS there.
If we remember what we said before, that our organs will stand as witnesses and give testimony in the Diving Court of Justice and there are many Ayat about that in the Quran, we mentioned some of them previously.
Remember that it becomes clear that it is not only the spirit and soul, rather bodies, organs, eyes, ears, skin, feet and all other organs which will be present there and will be summoned there.
In addition to that we see in the Quran that some people or when it is the time of resurrection they will be raised from the grave and they rush towards that Day of Judgement to receive whatever records to be held accountable for their deeds or to see the whole history, the whole life they spent wether was in obedience to Allah swt or it was in disobedience, it was the path of guidance or in the full darkness of being misled, or misguided or corruption.
So all these references, all these teaching from the Quran prove one thing and that is not only our souls and spirits will enjoy or the other way around they suffer from the chastisement of the Day of Judgement and what follows after, it is both the spirit and the body which bare witness to all that. It is reported that at the time of the Prophet (saww), Ubey Ibn Kaab came to the Prophet (saww) and he was having a decayed bone between his fingers. Whilst he crumbled that piece of bone, decayed bone and turned that, crumbled that into some dust and very very tiny ashes, then he asked the Prophet (saww) ‘Do you think that Allah will revive this bone after it has been reduced to dust?’
In the Quran we read that is in Surah Yaseen
(gala man yuhyeel Ithaama wa hiya rameem)
Do you claim Oh Messenger of Allah swt that this bone after being decayed and turned into dust God will or Allah will revive and send it back to life?
The Prophet (saww) responded ‘Yes! HE will raise you and send you to Hell!
So this clarifies the idea of the (aqeeda) in Islam that although after death the body is buried and it takes millions of years in some cases to be there and it turns into dust, ashes or whatever but, Allah swt will assemble or reassemble all these again and give life to it.
(Qul yuhyeeha allathee ansha’ahaa awwala marra) - The one who gave life to these organs and these bones and these different parts of your body. The one who turned the sperm and and egg, the fertilised egg into a foetus, then it moved from one stage to the other until a complete embryo or foetus later on opening their eyes to new horizon after the birth.
So all these Allah swt did whilst nobody assisted HIM.
Allah swt fashioned every single cell and organ of each of us within the womb.
Gave it the proper and appropriate nourishment, preparing all the requirements for a person, an individual to step into the new world after being born.
(Qul yuhyeeha allathee ansha’ahaa awwala marra) - The one who did it the first time, Allah swt is going to do it again and always if the first time for any product can face or may face, in our understanding, some difficulties ,of course the second time the success in the first attempt becomes the success in the first attempt makes the second and third and other steps to come much easier and this is logical analysis to help us with the one who gave us the life in the beginning is able to give that to us again.
According to Islamic understanding every human being is assisted and consists of three elements. The body, the soul and the spirit.
Lets examine each of these.
When we talk about the body this is an element which is shared by all animals. All animals have the same body, similar function and characteristics.
The subject to the Scientific research that is Biology, Physiology, medicine, surgery etc.
Of course there are many similarities between our organs as a body with some other animals and one of the methods and tools for success in surgery and the progress in medicine is that the tests and the trials are made on the bodies of animals first then to dead bodies and later on all the Physicians, all the Surgeons get trained about what is in theatre, in the theatre room.
All examined in Biology, Physiology, Eminology, Medicine, Surgery are alike.
Alike in a sense that this is only the physical part of our body.
So, in this sense we see that the flesh, bone,skin, blood, nerves and others are something which constitute the characteristics of the body and this is what we share with all animals.
This is the first element which we got.
The second is the spirit.
When we talk about the spirt, we are talking about the life and of course we will see that element that maintains the life for each body.
Muslim Jurists deem that in the end of the fourth, beginning of the fifth month of the pregnancy, the spirit (rouh) is breathed in the body and this starts to constitute something alive until birth is given, then this continues until the last breath which is followed by death.
So, this spirit is in many occasions referred to Allah swt. Honoured and elevated and is dignified by Allah swt says that it is from MY spirit. So we read in many Quranic references like in Surah 15;29, Surah 38;72 and Surah 32;09 that Allah swt specifically says that the spirit is blown and breath in the bodies of human kind as MY spirit or part of MY spirit.
Of course it is not physical, the spirit is not Materialistic.It is Immaterial but that is breathed.
(fa itha sawaytuhu) for Adam (as)
(fa itha sawaytuhu wa nafakhtu feehi min ruhi, faqa’oo lahu sajideen) And in many other occasions we see that either it is used for Adam (as) as a symbol of human beings walking on the Earth or the first generation on this Earth to whom we belong, or it is about Maryam (as), Mother of Isa (as), that Allah swt says that since there was no father, according to the Quran and only the mother was there, so (Inna mathali Isa inda Allah ka mathali Adam, khalaqahu min turab)
If you think that how its possible that a boy or a little infant is born only from a mother without a father then what do you think about Adam (as) who did not have either of his parents so don’t worry when Adam was , according to the Quran was born without parents so Isa (as) being born without a father is much easier or more understandable.
Allah swt says that Maryam bint Imran (fanafakhna feeha min roohina) - We breathed in Her from our spirit.
Why is Allah swt emphasising and focusing and repeating that many many times in the Quran to tell us that this spirit is something SO important because without the spirit we are like any other animal so we can be judged as animals.
What distinguishes us from animals is this breath of Allah swt
(Fa itha sawaytuhu fa nafakhtu feeh min ruhi) That is what gives significance to each human being.
Of course when we refer to these Surah 21;91 and Surah 66;13 they all speak about we breather into HER (which is Maryam) from our spirit. So all these from her conception of Prophet Isa (as) becomes very very clear.
Thats why one of the titles given to Isa (as) is (Rouh Allah)- The spirit of God.
Anyway, so for the body we share that mostly with all other animals.
For the spirit it is unique and we are distinguished from animals and that is glorified and dignified.
Distinguished because being referred and honoured to being referred to Allah swt.
The third element is the soul and how can we define or differentiate between soul and spirit although both of them are Immaterial?
I give you this example: When you are asleep, your body is here on the bed, it is in the bed. That doesn’t change. It doesn’t move anywhere. Your spirit again is there because the moment that the spirit separated from, disconnected from the body death is there.
We can’t imagine life without this connection between spirit and body.
So what is that element which travels miles away, tells you about news which will happen in the next week or next month or in the future?
To connect the past, future and present all together.
So like a film when you have a camera and you shoot one, for example, scene, then when you turn it that it is the past and now it is what? the present.
The other shot to come will be the future but when you give that film to the one who prints it and makes all that where the past,present and future are all gathered there. So who is doing that?
What is the element inside us which enables us get that information not knowing the past, present and future?
Not bothering with the barriers, with the space, with the walls and all these can happen in as short minutes as possible.
So that is our soul.
So in the story of Ibrahim (as) seeing in his dream that he is slaughtering his own son, his body was there, his spirit was there, it did not disconnect but his soul was informed about what will happen or the command of Allah swt.
The same with the dream of Prophet Yusuf (as) when he saw the Sun, the Moon and eleven Stars are prostrating before him.
What was the element through which and by which he saw all that dream?
It was his what? His soul.
And in this way we see that Allah swt explains the whole idea in one Ayah and that is in Surah 39;42 (It is Allah who takes Souls at the time of death and in the sleep of those who are still alive; He then withholds those upon Him or whom he had decreed death and returns the others to their bodies for an appointed time).
so this is all to tell us about all the three dimensions, body, spirit and soul work together here on either the time of death, of course the body is left in the grave. The soul and the spirit are separated and departing.
On the Day of Resurrection all come again to work together.
The body, the soul and the spirit.
May Allah swt make us upon or amongst those who get the maximum salvation on the Day of Judgement.
Allahumma sali ala Muhammadin Wa aali Muhammad.