Wednesday, October 26, 2022

New Light on Soul or Spirit: An Ideological Challenge to Islam?

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam 26 October 2022 How Will Muslims Confront New Developments Regarding The Soul Or Spirit. Main Points: 1. The Quran says little about the soul or spirit. 2. New developments regarding the soul present an ideological challenge to Islam. 3. Past life experiences have become a reality. 4. Some people claim they remember their past life family. 5. In India a number of past life and rebirth cases have come to light. ------ A five year old girl belonging to a Hindi speaking Hindu family of Bikaner, Rajasthan in India speaks English in Californian accent. Her parents say they have never been to California and they do not see English programmes on the television. The girl claims her original home is in California where they own cows and camels. She also says she is a yoga teacher and performs some Yogasanas. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Islam and Mysticism: Is ‘Nafs’ Soul? (Part - 1) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A 14 year boy of Palwal near Delhi border claims he knows his past life and his past life family. In his previous birth, he had met with an accident and died when he was 35 years old. He was reborn in a family in a village 12 kilometres away from his village. When he was three years old, he started telling his parents that his original home was in another village and insisted them to take him to his original home. When he grew 5 years old, his parents took him to his home of the previous birth, he recognised his wife, four daughters, parents and his close friend of the previous birth who was now fifty years old. He told them some facts which only they knew. There was a very famous case of rebirth during Gandhi Ji’s time. A married woman of Lucknow had died after giving birth to her son after a Caesarean operation. After her death, her husband remarried. After some time, a girl child was born to a family of Delhi. When she was three years old, she started telling her parents that her original home was in Lucknow. Initially the parents ignored her claim but as she grew older she insisted her parents more regularly to take her to her original home. When she became 12 years old, she told her parents the address of her previous home and the personal details and name of her husband. The parents contacted the man in Lucknow and he confirmed that his first wife had indeed died after the birth of their first son. The man came from Lucknow and met the girl. She told the man some intimate truth to him which only the husband and wife knew. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Islam and Mysticism: Is ‘Ruh’ Soul? (Part 2) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are similar cases of rebirth which cannot be denied as the people are alive. One common feature of all these cases is that all these cases of rebirth are of persons who had died an unnatural death. If the persons, who were children when they started claiming rebirth, are believed, then our concept and belief about the soul and spirit will have to be reoriented and the scriptures need to be reinterpreted in the light of new developments regarding the soul. The recent developments (which are available on YouTube) do not prove the Quran wrong because the Quran has not divulged anything about the soul. And there must be some wisdom behind it. If the Quran had categorically and clearly said something about the soul, there would not have been any room for contradicting it for Muslims but since the Quran has kept it a closely guarded secret, it has kept the door for new research on the issue open. Once the people had asked thd prophet pbuh what the soul or spirit was. The revelation to the question was: "They ask you concerning the soul, say the soul is from the Amr of God and you have been given a little knowledge."(Bani Israel: 85) The verse can be interpreted as that God did not want to divulge the secrets about the soul because the people during that time had not a developed intellect to understand the depth of the soul and so the secret of the soul will be revealed any future. There are a number of examples of revelations of secrets many centuries after the revelation of particular verses. For example, the dead body of Pharaoh was discovered in the 19th century. Noah's Ark was discovered in the 20th century. There is a verse in the Quran which says that God reveals secrets of things in due course. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Islam and Mysticism: What Else Is Confused With Soul? (Part 3) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The time for every news (information) is predetermined and you will know it soon."(Al Anam: 67) This verse indicates that the truth or secrets of many things are guarded by God and disclosed in a particular age according to His scheme of things. So the secrets of soul is gradually being disclosed gradually in the 21st century. Although the Quran does not reveal anything about the soul, some hadiths tell us that the soul hovers above the dead body after the death and goes with the funeral procession till the grave. He can hear and see the people assembled at his home and in the funeral procession. The boy of Palwal said that after his death, his soul sat on the Neem tree in his courtyard for 12 days. He could see his family members and relatives and would also try to talk to them but they did not see or hear him. After the ritual of Hawan was completed on the 12th day, he left his home and spend some days wandering in the wilderness. According to Reiki master N. K. Sharma, anyone can go to his past life and it is as easy as dreaming. He claims that more than 20 thousand people have experienced their past life and found out the root of the problems in their present life. How this is possible can be understood through the belief of Buddhism on this issue. According to Buddhism, man takes rebirth due to his Karma. His karma in this birth determines his condition in the next birth. Buddhism also says that the soul is not a separate entity in the body. It is not like water poured into a glass and then poured out keeping the glass in its previous condition. A man's living body is constituted of five elements: Physical body, feelings, ideation, mental structure and consciousness. All the deeds, aspirations, passions, memories and fears are kept stored up in his spirit. All these together make a new personality in his new birth. Death does not break the flow of memories of the previous birth. It only causes a temporary pause in the flow of consciousness. Therefore, the memories, aspirations and deeds of the previous lives remain stored up in the consciousness and lie supressed. In case of accidental deaths, the break of flow of consciousness is abrupt, that's why, the three people mentioned above remembered their past life. Their case also shows that the soul has a deep attachment to the family they left and, so they want to reunite with their previous families. The man of Palwal had four daughters and one son. Therefore, the soul showed deep attachment with them and wanted to come back to them. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and the Sciences – On Soul and the Creation of Man (Part 2) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The scholars of Buddhism and Upanishads also say that dreams are often glimpses of one's past life. The people and places one sees in dreams are more often are of his past life because of the memories stored up in the consciousness. The Quran on some occasions speaks of Nash'at al Aakhir (next life). Since we do not interpret these verses from the point of view of rebirth, we interpret them as the life in the Hereafter. In the light of the fast developments and incidents related to rebirth, it can be said that in near or far future, people will be aware of their past life and therefore will shape their behaviour and deeds in the present life in order to have a good life in the next birth. ----- S. Arshad is a columnist with URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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