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Immortality of the Soul (Surah Az-Zumar)


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Author Topic: Immortality of the Soul (Surah Az-Zumar)  (Read 363 times)
Zeynab
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« on: February 02, 2007, 02:18:01 am »

 BismEm



Allah receives (men's) souls at the time of their death, and that (soul) which dies not (yet) in its sleep. He keeps that (soul) for which He has ordained death and dismisses the rest till an appointed term. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who take thought.  (Az-Zumar 39:42)


Some people interpret this verse as referring to dying in one's sleep.  Somehow, I don't agree with this interpretation.

I would explain as follows:

Basically this lovely Verse tells us about the immortality of the soul.  When we die, Allah separates the soul from the body.  But death does not kill the soul.  The term 'sleep' is apparently the analogy for death.  Thus, Allah says that the soul does not die in its sleep .. meaning, the soul does not get destroyed after death.  It's only the body that turns into dust.   Since the soul does not die, Allah preserves it.  And during this period, soon after death, only the physical body is dismissed or destroyed for a certain period ... meaning, till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will recreate our former bodies and unite it with our souls that Allah had kept intact in His custody.  And only Allah knows best.

Your views would be appreciated.
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N. Truth Seeker
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2007, 01:27:43 am »

 salamem


Now when I read this verse carefully, your perception of the analogy between death and sleep makes sense.  The verse does convey the information of immortality of soul. 

When body dies (or goes to sleep for an unknown period of time, i.e. worldy death), then the soul passes out.  Allah keeps that soul alive even though the body in which that soul was encased is gradually destroyed.  The words "dismisseth the rest till an appointed term" apparently convey the meaning that the body will be destroyed and mingle with dust for a limited period, because on the Day of Judgement, every individual will again be raised alive with their body & soul.  But only Allah knows best and only Allah has the true explanation.

Thank you sister.
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 01:51:20 am »

 BismEm


Good tafseer.  I too agree with this more than the one about dying while asleep.  though people who pass away in their sleep are very lucky.  that's what i think, becoz it seems to be a peaceful way of dying.  but only Allah knows the truth about this matter. 

people talk with a lot of confidence as to who died peacefully and who didn't.  i often wonder, when we say of someone dying peacefully, isn't that only our perception?  how can we (even the best doctor in the world) ever know what exactly the person went thru during his or her last moments?  except for Allah, it's impossible for anyone to know that. 

actually the medical experts have started to accept such facts.  according to latest theories, medical scientists say that we assume people who are in comma are not aware of what's going on around them.  but this could very well be wrong.  research shows that it might be quite likely in various comatose conditions, the person who can't talk or open their eyes, can actually hear and understand what's happening around them.  considering this, people should be very careful about what they say before those who are in comma.  we think they can't hear us but maybe they can.
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2017, 11:11:53 am »

Salams all.  Sister Zeynab's interpretation is quite an eye opener.  I mean, I didn't think of the analogy of sleep with death.   Pickthall's translation makes this interpretation a possibility. But certain other translations don't.   The more general explanation of this Verse is reference to sleep as a form of death along with the actual death, in that, the soul passes out of the body during sleep as it does during death .... the only difference being that the soul returns to the body of those who are asleep after they wake up because death isn't yet ordained for them, while for those whom death is ordained by The Almighty, He keeps their souls.   And of course, those who are asleep and get back their souls when they awake only get it back temporarily ("till an appointed term").

The following are two other translations, one from the standardi Sahih International  and the other from the late Abu Alaa Maududi. 

"Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought."  39:42   (Standard Sahih International translation).

"It is Allah Who takes the souls at death and the soul of the one, who has not yet died, during sleep. Then He withholds that for whom He decrees death and restores the souls of others till an appointed time. In this there are many signs for the people who reflect."  39:42  (Maududi translation).
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2017, 11:34:40 am »

Walaikum Salaam Sis Heba.  Many thanks for your input.  You are right, the explanation you mentioned is the more accepted one according to most other translations.  I also checked it with Corpus Quran.

"Allah takes the souls (at the) time (of) their death and the one who (does) not die in their sleep.  The He keeps the one whom, He has decreed for them the death, and sends the others for a term specified."  39:42 (Corpus Quran Word by Word translation in English).

Actually what made me think of the comparison of death with sleep is that part of Pickthall's translation, quote: "and that (soul) which dies not (yet) in its sleep."  The translation of this part of Verse 42 of Surah Az-Zumar is more specific in the translations which you posted and also in the translation of Corpus Quran which make it clearer that the reference is to the souls of the people who are asleep. 

It's also a very important Quranic confirmation to remember that our souls pass out of our bodies while we sleep .. and comes back when we awake only in those who still have some time left in this earthly world.  Alhumdulilah .. awesome!

Many thanks again dear Sis.    Allah bless.
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 11:39:15 am »


You're most welcomed dear Sis  Smiley




Actually what made me think of the comparison of death with sleep is that part of Pickthall's translation, quote: "and that (soul) which dies not (yet) in its sleep."  .


Yes, after studying your interpretation, I knew what you meant.  In Pickthall's translation it does convey that impression.  But other translations make it more specific.
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