Pearl of Wisdom

'Verily the one who answers every question posed to him is insane.'

Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq [as]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 117, no. 15

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Barzakh – The State Between This World And The Hereafter

The literal meaning of Barzakh is a veil or a curtain which stands between two things and which does not allow the two to meet. For example, that part or region of the ocean in which waves of both the sweet and the salty waters bounce and get God has provided between them an invisible veil whereby one cannot overcome another. (Ma Ra Jal… S. Rahman: 19-20). It is called Barzakh. But technically Barzakh is a realm kept by the Lord of the Universe between this world of ours and the forthcoming Hereafter in such a way that both might maintain their individual limits. Barzakh is a state between these worldly and otherworldly affairs.

Halfway Bounder Between Rewards And Punishments

After entering the world of Barzakh one does not experience physical pains like headache, toothache and such other troubles. Such suffering form a part of the essentials of the material world. But there, in Barzakh, it is the realm of abstracts or of incorporeal beings. Of course, it can also not be called the Hereafter which may mean that there will be only darkness for the sinners and only light for the obedients.

Some people asked the Imam (a.s.) about the duration of the world or realm of Barzakh. He replied: It is from the moment of death upto the time when all will rise from their graves regaining life. (Min Heen… Behaarul Anwaar). The Holy Quran says: “Behind them is Barzakh till the Day of Judgement”.

The Allegorical World And The Allegorical Body

Barzakh is called Allegorical World also, because it is just like this world. But is so in shape and form. But it is different and distinct from the viewpoint of its substance and especiality. After our death, we enter a realm which, in comparison, is like this world vis a vis a mother's womb.

Similarly, out bodies also will be allegorical (Misaali) bodies in Barzakh. This is to say that they will appear quite like our worldly material bodies but, factually, it will not be this body (containing skin and flesh). It will be an elegant, fine and exquisite body. It will be finer than air. There will be no barriers for it which our bodies face in this material world. It (the Barzakh body) can see anything and everything from everywhere everytime. There will be no difference for observation whether some thing is on this did of a wall or on the other side.

Imam Jafar (a.s.) says: “If you see that Misali body you will say: Lo, it is the same worldly body.” (Lav Ravati… Beharul Anwaar). For example, if you happen to see your father in your dream, you will observe him only in his worldly material body whereas his body (and matter) is in the grave and this form which you see in the dream is his allegorical form. The Barzakhi body also has eye but there is no fat or liquid in them. Those eyes do not suffer any pain till the Day of Resurrection. Those eyes can see things and can see well but they never become weak nor they require spectacles. Here is an example for more explanation: -

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