The return of the soul in the worldly life

Q: I would like to tell Your Eminence that I have read the book entitled Al-Qawl Al-Jaly fi Hukm Al-Tawassul bel-Naby wa Al-Waly by the Salafi Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Salam Khadir. This book was corrected, and some comments were added to it by Shaykh Isma`il Al-Ansary, and it was printed by the press of Presidency of the Departments of Scholarly Research, Ifta', Da`wah and Guidance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On the twelfth page I found the following narration: What is reported by Ibn Abul-Dunya with his Sanad on the authority of Thabit on the authority of Anas who said: We visited a man from Al-Ansar, and he was sick and unable to move, so we did not leave till he died, we covered his body with some of his clothes. He then said: I unveiled his face, and we did not leave until we ate with him. Kindly, what is your opinion regarding this? Is it possible to return the soul by seeking the help of one of the `Awliya'? I hope you explain this issue in the light of texts of the Qur'an and Sunnah, may Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) guide and bless you and us with good, and make the Hereafter better for you than this worldly life.

A: Firstly: This story is utterly baseless, for which we know not any evidence. Supposing that it is valid, it could be said that the act of death that happened was not real as far as these people (Part No. 3; Page No. 127) are concerned, and that his soul was not really captured, such as in the case of those suffering heart failure. In this case the soul of the patient is not captured, rather he enters a state of stillness followed by movement of the body once more, and here people think that his soul returned to him contrary to the reality that it was not really captured. Secondly: Returning a person's soul to his body after it has been captured is only possible by the Power of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), but proving that it took place needs evidence. Thirdly: The Qur'an contains some evidence indicating the return of souls to some creatures, for particular wisdom known to Allah (Exalted be He). Allah (Exalted be He) says concerning the murdered person from the Children of Israel the following: And (remember) when you killed a man and fell into dispute among yourselves as to the crime. But Allâh brought forth that which you were hiding. So We said: “Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow).” Thus Allâh brings the dead to life Similarly, concerning the returning of the soul of `Uzair and his donkey after one hundred years of their death. He (Exalted be He) said: Or like the one who passed by a town while it had tumbled over its roofs. He said: "Oh! How will Allâh ever bring it to life after its death?" So Allâh caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long did you remain (dead)?" He (the man) said: "(Perhaps) I remained (dead) a day or part of a day". He said: "Nay, you have remained (dead) for a hundred years, look at your food and your drink, they show no change; and look at your donkey! And thus We have made of you a sign for the people. Look at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh". When this was clearly shown to him, he said, "I know (now) that Allâh is Able to do all things." Concerning His returning of the souls of (Part No. 3; Page No. 128) the birds, He (Exalted be He) also said: And (remember) when Ibrâhîm (Abraham) said, "My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead." He (Allâh) said: "Do you not believe?" He [Ibrâhîm (Abraham)] said: "Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith." He said: "Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise." May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.