What is Correct?
An Islamic perspective on the transmigration of the soul
Mufti Muhammad Qasim Attari
Causes of various experiences and perceptions:
Whether one experiences perceptions associated with transmigration or other types of experiences, they are all the work of the mind or soul, the reality of which we cannot fully comprehend. I will write about such accounts in a separate book. However, for now, due to brevity, I will mention that the causes behind insights or experiences ascribed to rebirth are not exclusive to experiences ascribed to rebirth, rather, they are related to the theory of internal forces. Some of these are misunderstood, which results in forming a belief in rebirth or some other concept. Of the things mentioned below, one or more are the cause in such cases:
The first cause:
In some instances, the cause is déjà vu. Déjà vu is a perception which is created due to an interruption in the signalling of the brain in acquiring information, which causes us to think that we have already seen the thing we are seeing, but in reality, we have not previously seen that thing or place.
The second cause:
At times, phenomena from the world of similitudes (aalam al-misaal) become apparent. The brain processes these, making it seem as though something like this occurred in the past, but they are only images from the world of similitudes that become imprinted on the mind.
The third cause:
Every human has a cognate jinn. In many instances, it acts mischievously and brings about various thoughts to the mind.
The fourth cause:
The works of the soul are very intricate and obscure. Moreover, the reality of the soul is unknown, and Allah Almighty has not granted common people much knowledge regarding it. We are not aware of the things that are known through the power of the soul. Most things ascertained through the unveiling of secrets are only based upon the strength and ascension of the soul. The memory cannot fully preserve these, because the things which the soul grasps are countless, whereas the power of one’s memory is somewhat weak in comparison. When the realisations of something significant are placed in a small enclosure, they cannot be enveloped in their entirety. As a result, matters are misconstrued, and in some cases, the mind concludes this to be reincarnation.
The fifth cause:
In many cases, it is a person’s imagination and thoughts that cause something to start appearing just how they imagined it to be. For instance, a person who thinks of frightening things in the dark starts seeing them, even though in reality there is nothing there.
The sixth cause:
Some people have remarkable mental faculties, such as intuition, and intellectual acuity and acuteness. Due to these faculties, many things become apparent to them, or their minds comprehend them. In comparison to others, they see things more deeply. Sometimes they are correct, and sometimes they are not.
The seventh cause:
Some people increase their cerebral abilities through exercises, such as the Platonists in the distant past, and present-day sadhus. Through various exercises and exertion, such cerebral faculties of these individuals begin to function which do not function in general conditions. These people even disclose bewildering news and perform acts which cannot be understood at face value. However, all of what they disclose is not true, for a person’s capabilities can vary, external forces play a part, and there can also be satanic involvement.
In summary, just as one has known senses, there are also inner senses; just as one has outward capabilities, there are also inner capabilities; and just as there are external causes, there are also internal causes. Additionally, the devil also influences human affairs, and a person makes mistakes whilst using his external and internal senses and capabilities. Therefore, his acts or experiences which have the possibility of being wrong cannot be understood as certain or definite. Moreover, when there is conclusive and undeniable proof before you that goes against one’s observation or senses, then it is necessary to consider one’s experiences or senses wrong. For instance, if a reliable person informs someone that his father has passed away, whereas the person whom this news is given to is sitting before his father and speaking to him, will you believe in the news of the reliable person, or will you believe in what you are witnessing with your own eyes? Undoubtedly, you will consider the news to be incorrect and will affirm that the one conveying the news is mistaken.
Similar is the case of the finite creation’s susceptible senses and the informing of the All-Knowing Creator and Lord, for if Allah Almighty gives news regarding something and the entire creation says otherwise, then the entire creation can be wrong, but the news given by Allah Almighty cannot be incorrect. Understand from this the issues regarding transmigration, reincarnation and rebirth, as many people believe in transmigration on the basis of their flawed insights or experiences. However, the Creator of the universe has stated that there is no returning to the world after death; nobody will be given respite. Instead, there is the life of the grave and the isthmus life (Barzakh). After that, there is the life of the Hereafter, which is the Day of Judgement, where people will be raised in order to be taken to account, and after that, they will enter Paradise or Hell.
Therefore, as Allah Almighty and His messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم have informed us of this belief, any thought, belief, perception, realisation, observation or experience in opposition to this is invalid and rejected; the only truth is that which Allah Almighty has stated.
May Allah Almighty preserve our faith and grant us life and death upon sound belief. اٰمین