Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Life after Death

Nasmah. There exists a subtle vapour in the body of man, which is the creation of the essence of his four humours. Those four humours are: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile, but among them the proportion of blood is large, so much so that it can be said that the subtle vapour is its essence. These four humours are made of four elements, namely, air, earth, water and fire. This vapour is just like a white fog, pervading the whole body and is responsible for its functioning.

Physicians know very well that so long as it is in the body, man is alive, but as soon as it separates from it, he is dead. We call this subtle vapour Nasmah (the spirit). It is in the body, as the rose-water is in the rose, or as the fire is in the charcoal, but this spirit is of inferior type.

Death. At the time of death, it is the Nasmah which separates from the body and its separation becomes the cause of death. The connection of soul, however, remains with it intact. The soul penetrates the Nasmah there as it had penetrated the body here, and as the body was a vehicle for it in this world, similarly the Nasmah would be the vehicle for the soul in the next world.

When man dies, his earthly body decays, but its decay in no way affects the soul, as it maintains its connection with the Nasmah which does not completely disintegrate; and its (Nasmah’s) condition at that time is like that of an expert writer with his fingers cut off, still retaining the faculty of writing. The Nasmah after man’s death retains in its airy essence almost all the faculties of the head and heart.

The actions of the animals, even though optional, leave no abiding impression on their hearts. It is temporary and disappears very soon. The case of man is quite different. Whatever action he performs, if done deliberately, its impression stays on his heart and the heart, in a way, absorbs that impression and makes it as its own. The intention for action, however, first proceeds from his Rational Soul and, after the action is performed, returns to it rather comparatively strong and clings to it and becomes inseparable. Thus, his actions done with the full presence of his mind are preserved in his Nasmah and after death, when his body will decompose, they will appear to him in true colours.
Shah Waliyullah of Delhi

Saying of the Prophet: People are asleep, and when they die, they awaken.

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