15 Nov The Spirit In The Intermediate World.Part2
The intermediate world is the realm where the spirit feels the “breath” of the bliss of Paradise or the punishment of Hell. If we led a virtuous life in the world, our good deeds (e.g., prayers, recitations, acts of charity) will appear as amiable fellows. Also, windows onto heavenly scenes will be opened for us and, as stated in a hadith, our grave will become like a garden of Paradise. However, if some of our sins still remain unpardoned, regardless of how virtuous we were, we may suffer some punishment in the intermediate world until we become deserving of Paradise. Unbelievers who indulged in sin will be met by their deeds, which will assume the forms of bad fellows and vermin. They will see scenes of Hell, and their graves will become like a pit of Hell.
When we are alive, our spirit suffers pain and feels joy and happiness. Although it feels pain apparently through the nervous system and uses this extremely complicated system to communicate with all bodily parts, scientists still do not understand how it interacts with the body, especially with the brain. Any bodily failure that causes death can make the nervous system stop operating. However, it has been established scientifically that certain brain cells survive for a while after death. Scientists try to receive signals from such cells . If they succeed in doing so and can decipher those signals, it will be useful, especially in criminology, in solving unsolved crimes. For example, the Qur’an tell us how, during the time of Prophet Moses, upon him be peace, God revived a dead person, who identified his killer:
When Moses said to his people: “God commands you to sacrifice a cow” … they sacrificed her, a thing they had scarcely done. And when you killed a living soul, and disputed thereon—God disclosed what you were hiding—so We said: “Smite him with part of it”; even so He brings to life the dead, and He shows you His signs, that haply you may have understanding. (2:67, 71–73)
As the spirit suffers pain and feels happy, and as it continues its relation with the body (via those essential bodily particles that do not rot) in the intermediate world, it is meaningless to discuss whether the spirit, the body, or both will enjoy Paradise or suffer Hell.
Since the spirit lives the worldly life together with the body and shares all its joys and sorrows, God will resurrect people both bodily and spiritually. The Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’a agree that the spirit and the body will go either to Paradise or Hell together. God will build bodies in forms unique to the Hereafter, where everything will be alive:
This life of the world is but a pastime and a game. Lo! the home of the Hereafter, that is life if they but knew (29:64).
Spirits in the intermediate world will see and hear us, provided God allows this. If He does, He may permit some saintly people to see, and hear, and communicate with us.
Our account is not closed after we die. If we leave behind good, virtuous children, books or institutions from which people continue to benefit, or if we have raised or contributed to raising those who benefit others, our reward increases. If we leave evil behind, our sins increase as long as our evil harms others. Therefore, if we want to help our beloved ones who have died, we should do good deeds. If we help the poor, take part in Islamic services, lead a good and virtuous life, and especially spend to promote Islam and the good of Muslims and humanity at large, we will cause their reward to increase.