Before the creation of Adam, Allah Almighty created the souls of all humans – and at that time these souls had all life – on the other hand, the clay which had no life was being made into the body of Adam – Adam was being created in a lifeless form – now there was neither life in them nor any movement, neither the heart was beating nor there was breath – then (according to Surah Al-Hijr) Allah Almighty commanded the angels
‘When I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.’
The body of Adam was in a lifeless state and the angels were waiting for the moment when the soul would enter Adam – as soon as the soul entered Adam, the body of Adam began to breathe, it became a breather
As soon as he had to breathe, all the angels of the sky fell in prostration for Adam
Thus began the creation of man, now the soul entering Adam could also be called Nafs because it started the act of breathing from it
In this way, the soul has three names in Abrahamic religions
Nasmah, i.e., like air
Nafs, i.e., from which the act of breathing continues
Human souls are still together in the upper world, it is in the Hadith
Sahih Bukhari Chapter: The Souls are like conscripted soldiers
The souls are like conscripted soldiers, those who recognize each other (in the spiritual world) will have affinity in the world and those who do not recognize each other will be at variance
So this souls are interactive beings who when pass by each other, and there is consciousness in these souls – on the contrary, the bodies in which they go are unconscious and in the event of the soul leaving, they return to the same state
The souls born from this army of souls are taken and they are completely separated from this army and brought down to the womb of the mother on earth below the seven heavens.
The concept of Ensoulment or The Arrival of the Soul in the Offspring of Adam
Human life began, and now it was the turn of the offspring of Adam – a sperm came out of the body of Adam and went into the womb of Eve – there this sperm was soulless – it had life like a germ but no soul. The Hadith details that the heart starts beating in the womb after 6 weeks (42 days after the arrival of semen) – it can be heard from the eighth week.
Narrated by Huzayfa bin Asid Ghafari, I heard from the Prophet (peace be upon him), he was the truthful and the trusted, he said: ‘When 42 nights pass over the sperm, Allah sends an angel to it, who shapes its form, ears, eyes, skin, flesh, and bones. Then he says, O Lord, is it male or female? Then whatever Allah wills, it happens – the angel writes it down, then he says, O Lord, what is its age? So Allah commands whatever He wills and the angel writes it down, then he says, O Lord, what is its sustenance? The Lord commands whatever He wills and the angel writes it down – then the angel takes that book in his hand and comes out, in which there is neither any shortage nor any excess.” (Sahih Muslim, Chapter of Destiny)
Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah has appointed an angel over the womb of the mother. He keeps saying, O my (Lord, so far) this is a sperm. O my Lord, (now) this is a clot (i.e., a lump of coagulated blood). O my Lord, (now) this is a lump of flesh. Then when Allah intends to complete its creation, the angel asks, O my Lord (what is the command about it) will it be a man or a woman, unfortunate or fortunate, what will be its sustenance and what will be its age. So in the mother’s womb, the angel writes all these things as he is commanded. That is why it is said that every child is born with its sustenance and age.
After the state of the lump (linguistic meaning chewed matter), the heart beats in the womb – as if it has now become a statue in which the soul comes – forty-two days later the angel comes and it can be heard on it. The heartbeat is one thing, so the Hadith and science say the same thing.
Note: A strange narration in Sahih Bukhari mentions that the soul comes in the womb after 4 months, which contradicts the correct narration of Sahih Muslim – this narration is attributed to Ibn Masood, according to which the soul comes after 120 days i.e., 4 months.
Narrated Hasan bin Rabi, narrated Abu Ahwas, from Al-A’mash, from Zaid bin Wahb, Abdullah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told us, and he is the truthful, the trusted, he said: “Indeed, one of you is created in his mother’s womb for forty days, then he becomes a clot like that, then he becomes a lump of flesh like that, then Allah sends an angel and he is commanded with four words, and he is told: write his deeds, his sustenance, his age, and whether he is unfortunate or fortunate, then the soul is breathed into him, for indeed a man among you does work until there is only an arm’s length between him and Paradise, then his book precedes him, and he does the work of the people of Hellfire, and he
does work until there is only an arm’s length between him and Hellfire, then his book precedes him, and he does the work of the people of Paradise.”
Each of you, your creation is gathered in your mother’s womb for forty days, then you remain a clot for the same period, then a lump of flesh for the same period, then Allah sends an angel to write four words, he is commanded to write his deeds, his sustenance, his age, and whether he is unfortunate or fortunate, then the soul is breathed into him…. (Sahih Bukhari Chapter Beginning of Creation. Sahih Muslim Chapter of Destiny)
Although this narration has been declared authentic by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, there is a solitary narration from Zaid bin Wahb in its chain, and according to Imam Al-Faswi, there is a defect in his narrations.
Tahawi has discussed this narration in Mushkil Al-Athar and then said
And we have found this hadith from the narration of Jarir bin Hazim, from Al-A’mash, which indicates that this speech is from the speech of Ibn Masood, not from the speech of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.
But Tahawi said this must have been told to Ibn Masood by the Prophet, peace be upon him.
The narrator says that the chain which has been declared authentic has a solitary narration from Zaid, which is not strong.
Thus, it has been coming in the offspring of Adam that after 42 days the soul comes, science says that then the human heart beats.
The soul in the human body now stays until death, it cannot come out – it is also the work of angels to take it out, just as it was the work of angels to put it in the body.
The Departure of the Soul from the Body at Death
It is in the Quran:
“Until, when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and they do not fail in their duties.”
The meaning of Tawaffa is to take possession, to grip tightly – this word is metaphorically spoken on death that so-and-so has died i.e., death has come.
“If only you could see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): “Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayat with disrespect!”
“Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die during their sleep. He retains those souls for which He has ordained death, whereas He releases the rest for an appointed term.”
Allah holds or retains the soul on which He commands death, i.e., it is not left back in the body now.
For the same reason, the body decays – the Quran says:
“We already know what the earth diminishes of them, and with Us is a retaining record.”
It is in Sunan Ibn Majah:
Narrated by Abu Bakr bin Abi Shaiba, narrated by Abu Muawiya, from Al-A’mash, from Abu Salih, from Abu Hurairah, he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Nothing of the human being will decay except one bone, and it is the tailbone, and from it will the creation be composed on the Day of Resurrection.”
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Every part of a man’s body decays, except for one bone, and that is the tailbone (the last bone of the spine), and from it, the human will be created on the Day of Resurrection.
The Journey of the Soul’s Return to the Higher Realm
After death, the soul is returned to heaven.
There is a narration in Sahih Muslim, narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him):
Narrated by Ubaidullah bin Umar Al-Qawariri, narrated by Hammad bin Zaid, narrated by Budail, from Abdullah bin Shaqiq, from Abu Hurairah, he said: “When the soul of the believer departs, two angels receive it and ascend with it.” Hammad said: He mentioned its pleasant smell and mentioned musk. He said: “And the inhabitants of the sky say: ‘A pure soul has come from the earth, may Allah bless you and the body you used to inhabit.’ Then it is taken to its Lord, the Almighty, and then He says: ‘Take it to the end of the term.’ He said: “And indeed, when the soul of the disbeliever departs – Hammad said and mentioned its stench, and mentioned a curse – and the inhabitants of the sky say: ‘A wicked soul has come from the earth.’ Then it is said: ‘Take it to the end of the term.’ Abu Hurairah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) returned a cloth that was on him, on his nose, like this.”
In this way, whether the soul is of a disbeliever or a believer, it goes to the sky or the higher realm – in this state, the soul of a believer stays on a great tree in heaven until the Day of Judgment.
It is in Al-Muntakhab from Musnad Abd bin Humaid that Ka’b bin Malik, when he was on his deathbed, and in Musnad Ahmad, it is narrated:
Narrated by Abdur Razzaq, he said: Narrated by Ma’mar, from Az-Zuhri, from Abdur Rahman bin Ka’b bin Malik, he said: Umm Mubashir said to Ka’b bin Malik, while he was in doubt: “Read the Salam on my son,” meaning Mubashir, so he said: “May Allah forgive you, O Umm Mubashir, have you not heard what the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘Indeed, the soul of a Muslim is a bird hanging in the trees of Paradise until Allah, the Almighty, returns it to its body on the Day of Resurrection.’ She said: ‘You have spoken the truth, so I seek forgiveness from Allah.’
The State of Sleep
In the Quran, the word Tawaffi is also spoken for sleep, in which the soul is seized – along with this, we know that in sleep, a person breathes, mutters, he also sweats – he is alive i.e., this is not the act of seizing that happens at the time of death.
In sleep, the soul is seized within the body and the soul is not separated from the body – whereas in the act of death, the soul is separated from the body so that it can be returned to the same thin state that was of Adam – for the same reason, after death, the body becomes dust and after sleep, this does not happen – in sleep, there is consciousness but subconsciousness is limited – because of this consciousness, the sleeping person wakes up on noise.
The State of Unconsciousness
Unconsciousness is also sleep but deep sleep – in this state, even if a doctor cuts the body of a person, he does not get the news – the body cannot feel the pain of this torment – during this time, the soul is in the body but cannot feel the torment of the doctor and the surgeon.
is the difference between sleep and unconsciousness? It is only a difference in consciousness – in sleep, there is memory, a person sees dreams in which he sees his relatives and loved ones or those people whom he has met i.e., the consciousness in the brain has not completely ended yet – in sleep, one part of the brain fully works and creates dreams.
In contrast, in unconsciousness, memory is completely eliminated – along with this, the sensation of pain is also eliminated.
Unconsciousness is such a deep sleep in which both subconsciousness and consciousness are limited.
Whether it is sleep or unconsciousness, in both of these, the soul is confined within the body, which is said in the Quran to be seized.
The meaning of Qabz in Arabic is neither to remove nor to pull, but the alternative word for this Qabz in English is to ‘seize’, and in Urdu, it is to ‘grip’.
The Earth is in constant torment from Allah?
A critic commented on this writing, saying that the Earth obeys Allah’s command – its stones fall out of divine fear, meaning there is consciousness in the soil, and it was found that the soil feels torment – his claim was that the human body, even after becoming dust, suffers torment.
In response, I said, yes, Allah has informed that the soil has consciousness and the entire universe prostrates to it, even to the extent that the shadow of the body of a disbeliever is also prostrating to Allah, but the disbeliever is not doing so – in this way, the entire universe has become obedient to Allah, but it is not in the Quran and Hadith that this Earth feels Allah’s torment. When Allah inflicts torment on a disbeliever or fills the womb of this Earth with lava, He is not tormenting the Earth, but He has placed a property in the Earth that it tolerates this degree of intensity, it does not call it torment. It was found that the Earth and its soil, its stones, are conscious of the existence of Allah, but do not feel torment.
Similarly, there are trees, it is in the Hadith that it can cry when the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not deliver a sermon near it, meaning trees also have consciousness – but we know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered to cut the tree.
‘Whether you cut down (O Muslims) the tender palm-trees, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah, and in order that He might disgrace the rebellious.’ (5)
The date-palm trees you cut down or left standing on their roots, it was by Allah’s leave, and so that He might disgrace the transgressors.
If trees felt torment, the Prophet, the mercy to all worlds, would not have ordered them to be cut down.
On the same basis, Nawawi’s saying is that torment is not possible without a soul, and Anwar Shah Kashmiri’s saying is that inanimate objects do not suffer torment.