BARZAKH – برزخ
AL-‘ÂLAM AL-BARZAKH – عالم البرزخ
Literally: ‘Âlam is a world. A realm. A universe. A class of beings. A state or period of life. A condition or circumstance of life. The generality of mankind. The public.
Literally: Barzakh is an obstacle. A barrier. An obstruction. A veil between two things or two places. An interval or connecting stage between two things or states.
The intermediate realm. The grave.
Al-‘âlam al-barzakh is a great ma’nawî realm that the rûh stays in after death until the final judgement mentioned in the Qur’an (17:52) (23:100).
Transient property becomes eternal. For this fading life, which is given to the Zuljalâl One Who is Al-Qayyûm Al-Bâqî and is spent for His sake, transforms into an eternal one, and gives eternal fruits. In which case, the moments of life apparently perish and rot like seeds and kernels. But they bloom and sprout the flowers of happiness in al-‘âlam-al-baqâ. And each becomes a luminous and companionable view in al-‘âlam al-barzakh.
The Sixth Word-The Fist Profit
Man resembles a seed. Just as the seed has been given significant ma’nawî equipment by Qoudrah and a subtle valuable programme by Qadar so that by working beneath the earth, it may emerge from that narrow ‘âlam, enter the broad ‘âlam of the air, ask its Khâliq to be a tree with the language of disposition and find a perfection worthy of itself. If due to its bad temperament, the seed spends the ma’nawî equipment given to it to attract certain detrimental materials beneath the earth, it will rot and decay without benefit in that narrow place, in a short time. But if the seed employs its ma’nawî equipment well by conforming to the takwînî command of فَالِقُ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى1 it will emerge from that narrow ‘âlam and its tiny particular haqiqah and its ma’nawî rûh will take the form of a great universal haqiqah through becoming a huge tree giving fruits. Thus, in exactly the same way, significant equipment by Qoudrah and valuable programmes by Qadar have been committed to man's essence. If under the soil of worldly life in this narrow earthly ‘âlam, man spends such ma’nawî equipment of his on the desires of nafs, he will rot and decay like the rotten seed for a minor pleasure, in a brief life, in a narrow place and troublesome state; he will load the ma’nawî responsibility on his unfortunate rûh and depart from this world. If he does tarbiyyah such seed of disposition with the water of Islam and light of îmân under the soil of ‘ubûdiyyah, conforms to the commands of the Qur'an and turns his ma’nawî equipment towards their true aims, he surely will be a valuable seed and splendid machine containing the equipment of a permanent haqiqah and eternal tree, which will produce branches and buds in al-‘âlam al-mithâl and barzakh and which will be the means to infinite perfections and ni’mahs in the ‘âlam of âkhirah and Jannah; he will be a blessed and luminous fruit of the tree of the universe.
The Twenty-Third Word/Second Discussion/2nd Subtle Point
The Fourth Level of Life is the life of the shahîds. According to the nass of the Qur'an, the shahîds have a level of life higher than the people of the grave. Since the shahîds sacrificed their earthly lives on the way of haqq, out of His perfect munificence, in al-‘âlam al-barzakh, Janâb-i Haqq bestows on them a life resembling earthly life but without the sorrow and hardship. They do not know themselves to be dead but only know that they have gone to a better ‘âlam. They derive pleasure with perfect happiness. They do not taste the bitterness of separation within death. Although the rûhs of the people of the grave are eternal, they know themselves to be dead. The happiness and pleasure they experience in the barzakh cannot reach the pleasure experienced by shahîds. Just as two men, in a dream, enter a beautiful palace resembling Jannah; one knows that he is dreaming. The pleasure and enjoyment he receives are very deficient. He thinks: "If I wake up, all this pleasure will disappear." While the other man does not know that he is dreaming. He experiences true happiness and pleasure.
In al-‘âlam al-barzakh, the benefits of the dead and the shahîds from the life of barzakh are thus different. It is certain and has been established by innumerable incidents and riwâyât that the shahîds manifest this way of life and know themselves to be alive. To a degree that this level of life has been illuminated and proved by many repeated events like Hazrat Hamza Radhiyallahu ‘Anh, the Sayyîd of the shahîds, protecting those who have refuged to him, performing and making performed their worldly matters.
I myself, even, had a nephew and student named Ubeyd. After he became a shahîd at my side and in my place, when I was a prisoner-of-war at a place three months' distance away, in a ru’yâ as-sâdiqah2 I entered his grave, which was in the form of a dwelling place under the earth, although I did not know where he was buried. I saw him at the level of life of shahîds. He knew me to be dead. He said that he had wept much for me. He knows himself to be alive, but because he had retreated from the Russian invasion, he made a beautiful dwelling place under the ground for himself. Thus, this particular dream, through certain conditions and indications, gave me a conviction for the above-mentioned haqiqah at the degree of witnessing (Shuhûd).
The First Letter/First Question
“During my student years, I heard from credible people who narrated from important Imams that: “When a serious, desirous, sincere student of ‘ilm passes away while learning, they will be granted the same state of training in the barzakh, as though they are in a ma’nawî madrasa, in a state befitting that ‘âlam” This narration was often discussed among the students of ‘ilm at the time.” Kastamonu Addendum (280)
“It has been seen on numerous occasions by ahl al-kashf of graves, that like shahîds, in their graves, some enthusiastic and serious students of ‘ilm who die when busy with their studies suppose themselves to be alive and still studying. Indeed, while observing a student who died when studying ‘ilm of sarf and nahw3 , one such ahl al-kashf of graves was curious what answer the student would give to Munkar and Nakir in his grave, and he heard that when the questioning malâikah asked him: مَنْ رَبُّكَ 4 , the student replied that malâikah: "مَنْ5 is the subject, and رَبُّكَ6 is its predicate." He gave a grammatical answer, supposing himself to be in his madrasa.” The Rays ( 353 )
1 (Who causes the seed and the fruit-stone to split and sprout.)
2 The true dreams of the accepted, respectable and trustable people. The veracious dreams, which their haqiqahs occur in this world as it is seen.
“Experiencing them numerous times, ru’yâ as-sâdiqah became for me like decisive proofs at the degree of haqq al-yaqîn, that Ilahî Qadar encompasses all things. Yes, especially the last few years, these dreams have reached such a degree that it has become certain for me that the most insignificant events and unimportant dealings and even the most commonplace conversations I will have the following day are written and recorded before they occur, and that by dreaming of them the night before, I have read them not with my tongue but with my eyes. Not once, not a hundred times, but perhaps a thousand times, the things I have said in my dreams or the people I have dreamt of at night, although I had not thought of them at all, turned out exactly or with little interpretation the following day. It means that the most insignificant events are both recorded and written before they happen. That is to say, there is no coincidence, events do not occur arbitrarily, they are not without order.” The Letters ( 410-411 )
3 (grammar and syntax)
4 (Who is your Rabb?)
6 (your Rabb)