Where Do Souls Go After Death?

Source: http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-the-scholar/muslim-creed/the-unseen/478497-where-do-souls-go-after-death.html
Question and answer details
As-salamu `alaykum. I would like to ask that when a Muslim person dies, does he/she go directly to the heaven or hell. Or as per my understanding we all will go to heavens or hell after the Day of Judgment?So, please, clear my confusion that where the dead person remain till the Day of Judgment.I mean where are all the Muslims who passed away right from the time of Adam (peace be on him)? Jazaka Allah Khayr.
Wael Shihab

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Brother, thank you for your question and apparent interest to know more about Islam and its teachings.

In fact, issues related to the unseen cannot be known except through the Qur’an and/or the Sunnah. Between life in this world and the Hereafter there is an intermediary phase, which is called Al-Barzakh.

Responding to your question, Dr. Wael Shihab, PhD in Islamic Studies, Al-Azhar University, and the Head of the Shari`ah Dept. of OnIslam.net website, stated,

Thank you for your good question.

It is clear that your question is related to the realm of the unseen issues (ghaybiyyat) that are known only through wahi (revelation), the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

According to the Qur’an, there is an interval between life in this world and the Hereafter. This is called Al-Barzakh, which stands for an intermediary stage between this life and another life in the Hereafter; it’s an interval between death and the Day of Resurrection. Allah says:

{Before them is a Barzakh until the Day they are raised up.} (Al-Mu’minun 23: 100)

This does not mean that there would be special places for every soul, but the souls of dead people are in different places according to the level of their Iman or otherwise.

Scholars have more than five different views about the abode of the souls after death. Ibn Al-Qayyim listed these views and preferred the view that there is no certain abode for the souls and that they stay in several places. Some of these souls stay in graveyards, others are in Paradise, others are kept at the doors of Paradise and others roam free. Some will have their graves like gardens of Paradise and some will have their graves like pits of the Hellfire. All of these cases and states of people will be in the period of Al-Barzakh, each one according to the status of his or her Iman.

 May Allah accept your and our good deeds, ameen.

Allah Almighty knows best.


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