I’ve heard that a dead body can sense pain and can hear. When there is no Soul in the body, how can it sense pain? Since, the ‘Ruh’ is separated from the body are there two different entities here?

One is required to be very careful when handling a dead body, so as not to cause harm to it. Is it the body that feels or the Soul, as these are now separated from each other. Please explain this state of human being in detail as to what the body feels and goes thru?. Also please explain how we should behave towards the dead body, as there are lots of myths about this topic. Please narrate the Sahih Ahadith regarding this topic.

Answer

Nabi [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] mentioned, ?Breaking the bone of a deceased is similar to breaking it when alive.?

With regards to the commentary of this Hadith, al-Teebi states that the deceased should not be disregarded and dishonoured. Ibnul Malik [ra] states that it points to the fact that the deceased also feels the pain. Ibn Hajar [ra] states this Ahadith alludes to the fact that the deceased also enjoys and takes comfort (from) those things that a living person does.

In Faatawa Shaamiyah, it is stated that when bathing the mayyit, water should not be too hot as the mayyit also feels pain and is harmed just as the living. As with regard to hearing, many Ahaadith conform this, but it should be understood that Allah grants permission for the mayyit to hear what Allah wishes, i.e. a person cannot hear of his own free will. As with regards to the soul being separated from the body, according to some scholars the soul is returned to the body in the grave. It should be understood that in this worldly life, the body is subservient to the soul. If the soul is punished or given pleasure, then the body will follow suit. Ibn Qayyim [ra] writes that we have sent many examples of this kind in this world that a person sees himself eating in a dream and when he wakes up, finds the taste of food, etc. The effect first was on the ruh which then passed on to the body. (Kitaab al-ruh pgs.56, 80)

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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