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Reincarnation and the Return in Islamic Scriptures

Does Reincarnation explain the concept of the Return of souls to this world after death? 

The Raja’a or the return of souls back into this world after death is a phenomenon that has been mentioned in the ahadith of the End Times.

From the Ahadith of the Ahlulbayt PBUT

THE RAJA’A WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD BEFORE

Zurarah said: I asked Aba Abdillah (pbuh), meaning Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh), about these great matters such as the Raja’a (The Return) and its likes, so he (pbuh) said: “Verily, this thing you are asking about, its time has not arrived yet, and Allah SWT has said: {Rather they have denied that which they do not encompass in knowledge and that the interpretation of which has not yet come to them}” (Holy Quran, Yunus verse 39)

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.40, hadith 4

 

The return of souls mentioned in the QURAN

Himran ibn A’ayun narrated: I asked Abu Ja’far (pbuh): “Is there anything that took place in the Children of Israel, which will not take place here?” He (pbuh) said: “No.”

Then I asked: “So tell me about the saying of Allah (on the Children of Israel): {Have you not considered those who went forth from their homes, for fear of death, and they were thousands, then Allah said to them, Die, and then He again gave them life} (Holy Quran, Al-Baqara verse 243) So did Allah bring them back to life until the people looked at them and then He SWT caused them to die again, or He SWT brought them back to this world?” So he (pbuh) said: “Rather, He SWT brought them back to this world and they lived in houses and ate food and married women, and they remained alive after that until Allah willed, then they died after fulfilling their age.”

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v. 53, p. 74, hadith 74  

Mukhtasar Basa’er Al-Darajat, Al-Hassan Al-Helli, 1st ed., p.23-24

The return of souls mentioned in THE QURAN

{They shall say: Our Lord! Thou hast caused us to die two deaths, and Thou hast given us twice to live; now we confess our sins. Is there any way out?} (Holy Quran, Ghafir verse 11)

Imam Al-Baqir (pbuh) said about this verse:

“This is exclusive to those who return to this world after death, and this is their (statement) on the Day of Judgment. So far (from mercy) are the oppressing people.”

 – Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.116, hadith 139

The return of souls mentioned in THE Quran

Abi Baseer said: Abu Ja’far, meaning Imam Al-Baqir (pbuh), said to me: “Do the people of Iraq deny the Raja’a (The Return)?” So I said: Yes. So he (pbuh) said: “Haven’t they read the Quran {And the Day when We will gather from every nation a group}?” (Holy Quran, An-Naml verse 83)

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.40, hadith 6

Raja’a and the Day of Resurrection are not the same

Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) was asked about the saying of Allah SWT {And the Day when We will gather from every nation a group of those who deny Our signs, and they will be [driven] in rows} (Holy Quran, An-Naml verse 83).

So he (pbuh) said: “What do the people say regarding it?” So I said: “They say it is about the Day of Resurrection”.

So he (pbuh) said: “Would Allah gather on the Day of Resurrection one group from every nation and leave the rest?! Rather indeed it is about the Raja’a (The Return). As for the verse of the Day of Resurrection it is the following: {…and We will gather them and not leave behind from them anyone * And they will be presented before your Lord in rows, [and He will say] You have certainly come to Us just as We created you the first time. But you claimed that We would never make for you an appointment}” (Holy Quran, Al-Kahf verses 47-48).

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.51, hadith 27

– Mukhtasar Basa’er Al-Darajat, Al-Hassan Al-Helli, 1st ed., p.41-42   

From Muthannah Al-Hannat, from Ja’far ibn Muhammad (pbut), that he (pbuh) said: “The days of Allah the Almighty are three, the day the Qa’im rises, the day of the Return (the Raja’a) and the Day of Resurrection.”

– Ma’ani Al-Akhbar, Muhammad ibn Ali Babawayh ‘Al-Sadooq’, 1st ed., p.366

Raja’a explained by Prophet Muhammad PBUHAHF

Al-Ma’mun Al-Abbasi questioned Imam Al-Rida (pbuh) in a long narration saying: “O father of Al-Hassan what do you say about the return? Al-Rida (pbuh) said: It is the truth, and was present with the past nations and the Quran spoke of it and the Prophet of Allah (pbuhahf) has said: this nation shall have all what the past nations had the example of ‘sandal by sandal and arrow by arrow’…”

– Uyun Akhbar Al-Ridha, Muhammad ibn Ali Babawayh ‘Al-Sadooq’, 1st ed., v.2, p.218

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.59, hadith 45

returning after martyrdom

Zurara narrated: I did not want to ask Imam Al-Baqir Aba Ja’far (pbuh) about the Raja’a (if death and being slain are the same). So I had a good idea to inform him of my need, so I said: “Tell me about who was killed and died” He (pbuh) replied: “ No, death is death and killing is killing”. So I said: “No one is killed except that he dies”. So He (pbuh) said: “O Zurara! The saying of Allah is more truthful than your saying, Allah has differentiated between dying and being killed in the Quran”. Then He (pbuh) recited {So if he was to die or be killed} (Holy Quran, Al-Imran verse 144) and {And whether you die or are killed, unto Allah you will be gathered.} (Holy Quran, Al-Imran verse 158). “So it is not as you said O Zurara, death is death and killing is killing, Allah the Almighty said: {Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their own selves and their wealth [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah?} (Holy Quran, At-Tawba verse 111)”. I said: “Allah the Almighty says: {Every soul will taste death} (Holy Quran, Al-Anbiyaa verse 35). Do you see that the one who is killed (by weapon) does not taste death?” So He (pbuh) said: He who is killed by the sword is not like the one who dies in his bed. Whoever was killed (from the believers) must return to the world till he tastes death (natural death)”.

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.65, hadith 58

the believers returning after death is from the power of allah

Abdurrahman ibn Qasir narrated that Imam Al-Baqir (pbuh) recited the verse: {Surely Allah has purchased from the believers their own selves} (Holy Quran, At-Tawba verse 111) and then said: “Do you know who is being referred to?” So I said: “The believers fight, so they kill and are killed” He (pbuh) said: Anyone among the believers who was killed will be resurrected till he dies, and anyone among them who died (a natural death) will be resurrected till he is killed. And this is the power of Allah, so do not deny it.”

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.74, hadith 73

 

Imam Al-Baqir (pbuh) said: “There is no believer except that he has a death and a martyrdom.” 

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.64, hadith 55

All the Prophets return to grant victory to Imam Ali PBUH

Faydh ibn Abi Shaybah narrated: I heard Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) recite this verse {and when Allah took the covenant of the prophets} (Holy Quran, Al-Imran verse 81) and say: “All the prophets believe in the prophet of Allah [Muhammad] (sawas) and give victory to Ali the Commander of the Believers (pbuh)”. He (pbuh) said: “Yes, and Allah has not sent a prophet nor a messenger since the time of Adam (pbuh) except that He has resurrected them all back to the world, to fight along with Ali ibn Abi Taleb the Commander of the believers (pbuh)”. 

Mukhtasar Basa’er Al-Darajat, Al-Hassan Al-Helli, 1st ed., p.25-26

The Return and the resurrection are two separate events

Further, on the commentary of the verses {Nay! You shall soon know. Thereafter nay! You shall soon know.} (Holy Quran, At-Takathur verses 3-4) Abdullah ibn Najih narrated that Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) said: “The first instance refers to Al-Karra (return to this world) and the second instance refers to the Day of Judgment.” 

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.120, hadith 156

The punishment in the world is a “Return with Loss” as mentioned in THE QURAN

Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Al-Hussein narrated: My father asked Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh): “What do you say about Al-Karra (return)?” He (pbuh) said: “I say that which Allah, the Almighty the Glorious, said and sent its interpretation to the Messenger of AllahAllah, the Almighty the Glorious, said: {They say: That is then a return with loss} (Holy Quran, An-Nazi’at verse 12). This is if they return to this world while the revenge from them has not been completed (i.e. it is a return with loss since their punishment in this world has not ended and the punishment of the hereafter is awaiting them).” 

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.44-45, hadith 17

the returning of souls to this world happens over and over in rounds

AbdulKareem ibn Umar Al-Khatha’mi said: I heard that Aba Abdillah Imam Al Sadiq (pbuh) said: Iblis said to Allah: {He said: my Lord! Then respite me till the time when they are raised} (Holy Quran, Al-Hijr verse 36) and Allah SWT did not accept his request and said:

{He said: so surely you are of the respited ones till the day of the Known Time.} (Holy Quran, Al-Hijr verses 37-38). So when the day of the Known Time comes Iblis, may Allah curse him, and all his followers since the creation of Adam (pbuh) till that day, appear. That time will be the last Return (Raja’a) of the Commander of the Believers (pbuh).

So I said to Aba Abdillah (pbuh): “And is it Rounds?” So he (pbuh) said: “Yes, it is Rounds and Rounds, and indeed there is no Imam in a century except that the righteous and the immoral return with him during his age, so that Allah makes the believer victorious over the disbelievers. So if the day of the Known Time comes, the Commander of the Believers (pbuh) will return among his companions, and Iblis comes among his companions, and their appointment will be in a land from the lands of the Euphrates which is called ‘Al-Rouha’ which is close to your Kufa. 

So they will fight a fighting which no one has fought since Allah the Almighty created the worlds.

It is as if I am looking at the companions of the Commander of the Believers (pbuh), they take back a hundred steps and it is as if I am looking at them while some of their feet have reached the Euphrates, at that moment [the manifestation of] Allah, the Compellor, the Almighty and Glorious, descends {…in the shadows of the clouds with the angels [as well] and the matter is [then] decided} (Holy Quran, Al-Baqara verse 210) and the promise will be fulfilled; and the Messenger of Allah (sawas) has a bayonet of light in his hand, so if Iblis looked at him (sawas), he will return backing down turning on his heels. 

So his companions say to him: Where are you going while you are victorious? Iblis says: {surely I see what you do not see, surely I fear Allah} (Holy Quran, Al-Anfal verse 48) so the Prophet (sawas) will catch him and will stab him between his shoulders, and such will be the destruction of him and the destruction of all his followers, so then Allah the Almighty the Glorious will be worshipped [truly] and no one will associate partners to Him, and the Commander of the Believers (pbuh) will rule for 44,000 years, until the man from Ali’s (pbuh) Shia will have a thousand sons from his loins … and this is when two dark green gardens will appear near/at the mosque of Kufa and what surrounds it, by what Allah wills.”

Mukhtasar Basa’er Al-Darajat, Al-Hassan Al-Helli, 1st ed., p.26-27

God supports the believers by allowing them to return

Abu Abdillah (pbuh) said about the Raja’a: “Yes, it is Rounds and Rounds, and indeed there is no Imam in a century except that the righteous and the immoral return with him during his age, so that Allah makes the believer victorious over the disbelievers.” 

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.42, hadith 12.

Mukhtasar Basa’er Al-Darajat, Al-Hassan Al-Helli, 1st ed., p.26-27

The return of the believers

Muhammad ibn Al-Tayyar said that Abu Abdillah (pbuh) said regarding the verse {And the Day when We will gather from every nation a group} (Holy Quran, An-Naml verse 83): “None of the believers were killed except that they return so that they die, and none of the believers died except that they return so they be killed.”

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.40, hadith 5

“How amazing it is, that dead people will be resurrected alive by Allah, time after time…”

Abu Hamza Al-Thimali narrated that Abu Ja’far (pbuh) said in a hadith about the Raja’a: “…so how amazing it is that dead people will be resurrected alive by Allah, time after time, while they had carried their swords, striking with them the heads of the tyrants/oppressors and their followers, until Allah fulfils what He has promised them…”

Al-Iqath Min Al-Hoja’a BelBorhan A’la Al-Raja’a, Al-Hurr Al-Amili, 1st ed., p.287, hadith 66

The matter of believing souls returning to support the Qa’im PBUH

Asem ibn Humayd narrated that Abu Ja’far Al-Baqir (pbuh) said: 

“The Commander of the Believers (pbuh) said:

Verily Allah The Blessed The Exalted, the One, The Indivisible, He made Himself singular in His oneness, then He spoke a word, so it became a light, then He created Muhammad (sawas) from that light […] so how amazing! And how could I not be amazed from dead people whom Allahwill resurrect alive, they will respond, one group after another group, with the response “at your service, at your service, O Caller of Allah!” 

They will walk in the paths of Kufa, carrying their swords on their shoulders, in order to strike with them the heads of the tyrants/oppressors and their followers, from the tyrants/oppressors of the first ones and the last ones! Until Allah fulfils what He has promised them in His SWT saying: 

{Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them successorship upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them, and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has preferred for them, and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me} (Holy Quran, An-Nur verse 55)

Meaning worship Me while feeling safe, they do not fear anyone from my servants, they do not have Taqiyyah.

And verily,  for me is the round after the round, and the Raja’a (the return) after the Raja’a, and I am the companion/owner of the Raja’a and the Rounds.”

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p. 46-47, hadith 20

-Mukhtasar Basa’er Al-Darajat, Al-Hassan Al-Helli, 1st ed., p. 32-33

the supporters of the Qa’im pbuh will keep being born

So Jabir said: O my master, where will those ones be?

So he (pbuh) said: “O Jabir, they will be in the backs of their fathers until the Known Time (the time of the Qa’im pbuh), so they will move from the pure loins to the purified wombs… [until he said]… O Jabir, how will you be when the Naqous shouts, [and he pointed to Al-Hussain (pbuh)], and his light illuminates between his eyes, so he comes forth by his time, with a long longing/ yearning, he shall shake [the earth] and make it collapse, and the believers will be with him from everywhere.

By Allah, if I willed, I would name them one by one by their names and the names of their fathers, for they will keep being born from the loins of men and the wombs of women, until the day of the known time!”

Ilzam Al-Nasib fi Ithbat Al-Hujjah Al-Gha’eb, Ali Al-Ha’eri, 2nd ed., v.2, p.246

Mashariq Anwar Al-Yaqeen, Ragab Al-Barsi, 10th ed., p.168

Al-Iqath Min Al-Hoja’a BelBorhan A’la Al-Raja’a, Al-Hurr Al-Amili, 1st ed., p.375, hadith 140

The Commander of the Believers and the Imams after him return to this world

It is narrated on the commentary of the verse: {And say, “[All] praise is [due] to Allah. He will show you His Signs, and you will recognize them. And your Lord is not unaware of what you do.” (Holy Quran, An-Naml verse 93)  Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) said: “When the Commander of the Believers and the Imams (pbut) return, their enemies recognize them when they see them and the proof that the Signs are the Imams is the saying of the Commander of the Believers (pbuh): ‘God has no sign greater than me’. So when they return to the dunya (world) their enemies recognize them if they see them in the dunya”.

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p. 53-54, hadith 31

Allah promises to help the messengers when they return to this world

From Jamil ibn Darraj, he said: “I asked Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) about the word of Allah the Almighty the Glorious:  {Surely, we shall give victory to our messengers and the believers both in this world and on the day when the witnesses rise.}” (Holy Quran, Ghafir verse 51

He (pbuh) said: “By Allah this will be in Al-Raja’a (the Return). Do you not know that many prophets of Allah were not given victory in this world and were killed, and Imams were killed and were not given victory? So that will be in Al-Raja’a.”

I said: {Listen for the day when the caller will call from a nearby place. On the day when they will hear the shout in truth. That is the Day of the Emergence.} (Holy Quran, Qaf verses 41-42

He (pbuh) said: “That is Al-Raja’a (the Return)” 

Mukhtasar Basa’er Al-Darajat, Al-Hassan Al-Helli, 1st ed., p.18-19

A crowd from every nation 

Ibn Abi Umair narrated from Mufaddal from Abi Abdillah (pbuh) about the saying of Allah the Almighty: {On that day we shall gather a crowd from every nation} (Holy Quran, An-Naml verse 83), he (pbuh) said: 

There is not a single believer who was killed except that he returns to the world until he dies, and none return except the ones who have reached the epitome of faith and the ones who have reached the epitome of disbelief.”

Tafsir Al-Qommi, Ali Ibrahim Al-Qommi, 1387 H edn., v.2, p.131

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.53, hadith 30

Imam Ali mentions the RAJA’A in a supplication 

Duaa of The Commander of the Believers (pbuh) in glorifying Allah and praising Him, Al-Sahifa AlAlawiyya:

“…then He created them from a sperm and they were nothing, a proof of their return as a new creation after they have been perished, just as He created them the first time.”

-Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.91, p.231, hadith 8

the dead ones return to defy the oppressors

Imam Ali (pbuh) said: “Astonishment and all astonishment is between Jamadi and Rajab.”

So a man stood up and said: O Commander of the believers, what is this astonishing matter which you are still being astonished by?

So he (pbuh) said: May your mother mourn over you! And what matter is more astonishing than dead ones striking every enemy of Allah and His Messenger and his Ahlulbayt!     

And this is the interpretation of this verse: {O you who have believed, do not make allies of a people with whom Allah has become angry. They have despaired of the Hereafter just as the disbelievers have despaired of the companions of the graves} (Holy Quran, Al-Mumtahana verse 13)

Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.53, p.60, hadith 48

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