Islam and Reincarnation
Many Muslims mistakenly believe that after death the soul resides at the place where the body has been buried, awaiting the resurrection. What does the holy Quran teach?
In the Surah 2: 28 God says:
How can you reject faith in God? Do you not recall that you were once without life, and Allah gave you life; then God will cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and finally to Allah will you return.
The above verse speaks clearly to the reality of reincarnation. Life and death are given to us as gifts from Allah. The cycle is continual. We are born, we die and then we are born again and again. Eventually we return to the Source.
According to some Sufi Islamic beliefs the following are our cosmic journey:
(1) We (our higher self – Ruh/Spirit) were originally with the Light (Allah, the Divine Source) in the Throne of Allah;
(2) We descended from the Throne into the Cosmos (with the first station being Bakka);
(3) We incarnated into the world of matter (with our spirits- Ruh – being joined by the soul – nafs);
(4) Our dual selves (Spirit and Soul) now take on a body;
(5) Our bodies die. The soul and spirit now divide. The sould re-enters the astral planes, living with other spirits (wherein we learn, progress, heal, etc); The spirit returns to Bakka;
(6) The soul now descends again into the worlds of matter, reincarnating (numerous times);
(7) Eventually our soul(s) ascend to ever higher (or lower) states of vibration (heavens, paradise, hells);
(8) At the End of Time we will finally be drawn back to the Source (the Throne) and reunited with the Light.
One of the things we should note here is that the final act at the End of Time of reuniting with the Source is an act of grace. No one can earn reunification. It is a gift of Allah. However, our stations both in the worlds of matter and on the astral planes depend on our own efforts. The cosmos operates like music. We go to that which we resonate with.
In the Quran Sura 18: 45 is the another verse that hints reincarnation:
Set forth to them the similitude of the life of this world: It is like the rain which we send down from the skies: the earth’s vegetation absorbs it, but soon it becomes dry stuble, which the winds do scatter: It is Allah Who prevails over all things.
The image here is powerful. The “rain” symbolizes the descent of our higher self (Ruh – sparks of light) to the earth. We are absorbed here in the world of matter. Like the vegetation, where some are roses, others lillies, others trees, we all reach up towards the heavens, the sun, the moon and the stars. We blossom. We give off fragrances (manifesting good/ill deeds and accumulating Karma). Each has his/her place in the eco-system (the divine plan and cosmic structure).
Then we die. The wind (the Spirit) scatters our souls (referring to both the scattering of our karma into the world and the reincarnation of our lower souls – nafs – into other bodies). And the process begins again, with the rain (Ruh) descending to the earth. Eventually the Source (Allah) “prevails” over the cycle of reincarnation by drawing all things back to Itself.
Different people understand the Quran in different ways. This is the reason there are so many groups and sects in Islam. Unfortunately many are fighting and even killing each other. Most of the Muslims do not belief in reincarnation but it seems that the Quran gives some hints to belief in reincarnation. The Quran even says clearly about the cyclic nature of the universe starting by the Big Bang and ending with the Big Crunch.
[The Quran 21: 30] Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the Earth were of one piece, then We parted them…Will they not then believe.
[The Quran 21: 30] The day when We shall roll back the skies, like a scribe rolls up a written document. As We began the first creation, We shall surely repeat it. It is a promise (binding) upon us. Indeed it will happen…
[The Quran 10:4] To Him is your ultimate return, all of you. This is GOD’s truthful promise. He initiates the creation, then repeats it…
Yes, reincarnation is the repetition of the same process again and again. In the natural world we are seeing the repetition everywhere. Therefore, it is obvious that it is not just one Big Bang or one Big Crunch. It is endless Big Bangs and endless Big Crunches.
Many top-ranking modern scientists are also saying about the cyclic nature of the Universe. Scientists are not blind believers. Due to the endless Big Bangs and endless Big Crunches, reincarnation becomes a reality. Therefore, the holy Quran definitely does not rule out reincarnation. We just need to study the Quran more carefully with broaden and open mind.