Sharh as-Sunnah : Lesson 44: Point 69
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And know that the souls of the martyrs are within the bellies of green birds, which roam freely in Paradise and they return to shelter to lamps beneath the Throne.
And the souls of the wicked and the disbelievers are in the well of Barahoot and are in Sijjeen.
His saying, “And know that the souls of the martyrs are within the bellies of green birds, which roam freely in Paradise,” for the rooh (soul) by means of which a person lives and moves and grasps things by his senses, it is a secret matter from the secrets of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High. No-one knows it except Allaah, meaning no-one knows its true reality except Allaah, the Majestic and Most High.
He, the Most High, said:
وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
And they ask you about ar-rooh (the soul). Say, the soul is from the private affairs of my Lord and you have not been given of knowledge except a little.(Sooratul-Israa· (17), aayah 85)
1st explanation of aayah: Upon the basis that what is meant by the rooh here is that by which a person lives; a person and an animal and the rest of the things possessing souls.
2nd explanation of aayah: It is otherwise said that what is meant by ar-rooh; a type of the angels and Allaah knows best.
And the rooh in the Arabic language is a term, which is used to refer to that by means of which the possessors of souls will live because al-hayaat (life) is of two categories:
- Hayaatu-Harakah: (Moving Life) – a life which involves movement; animate life and this occurs with those things possessing souls.
- Hayaatu-Numoo: (Developing Life) – life that merely involves something growing and growing, this is what occurs in trees and plants.
And from them (types of life) is the life of the embryo in the womb of its mother before the soul is breathed into it. But when the soul is breathed into it then it becomes animate life, the life of movement. As for before that then it is just the rooh (spirit), which is the life of growth.
And the rhetorical theologians and the philosophers are in confusion about the true reality of the soul and they are unable to comprehend it and they stumble and make many mistakes and were unable to comprehend it.
 We find the like of that in:
يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا
The day when the rooh and the angels will stand in rows.
(Sooratun-Nabaa· (78), aayah 38)
 Translator’s side point: With regard to different types of life, you can refer to Zaad ul-Ma`aad of Imaam ibn ul-Qayyim volume 5 page 755.
 Translator’s side point: Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah said on this point:
His saying, “You should know that the souls of the martyrs are in the bellies of green birds that roam around freely in Paradise and they return to lamps beneath the Throne,” this occurs within a hadeeth reported by Muslim (1,887) and it is the `aqeedah (creed and belief) of the Ahl ul-Sunnah W`al Jamaa`ah.
As for his saying though that, “the souls of the wicked and the disbelievers are within the well of Barahoot and they are in Sijjeen.” Then I say, as for the well of Barahoot then it is a well to the East of `Adan; Aden of this place in Southern Yemen, between it and between Hadhramawt.
And the saying that, “the souls of the wicked and the disbelievers are gathered within it,” there is no authentic proof for this. However, it occurs in a narration whose chain of narration contains a majhool (a person who’s unknown); being reported from `Abdullaah ibn `Amr radiyAllaahu `anhumaa as was mentioned by the one in the footnotes.
Shaykh Ahmad said, “I say what is correct is that which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, informed of:
كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْفُجَّارِ لَفِي سِجِّينٍ
The book of the wicked, they (the wicked), their souls will be in Sijjeen. (Sooratul-Mutaffifeen (83), aayah 7)
And the word As-Sijjeen is an intensive form from As-Sijn (restriction) and it is a tight or restricted place and it (Sijjeen) is in the lowest depth of the earth as was said by the People of Knowledge. We ask Allah for safety and security from it, Aameen. And we seek Allaah’s refuge from His anger and from His painful punishment and Allaah grants success.
Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee hafizahullaah said in his explanation,
“And likewise, the souls of the believers in general, there occurs in the hadeeth that the soul of the believer will be a bird, which will come and go in Paradise. The souls of the martyrs, it occurs that they will be in the belly of green birds, which come and go in Paradise and the souls of the believers in general, it is established also in the saheeh that they will be birds that come and go in Paradise and this is from the proofs from the bliss of the grave for the soul enjoys bliss just as the body enjoys bliss.
And as for the matter of the souls of the disbelievers that they will be in the well of Barahoot, this is not authentic and it is a well in Hadhramawt. And it occurs in some reports, which are brought by the scholars of Tafseer and perhaps they are reports from the Banu Israa`eel (People of the Book), which we do not affirm and we do not deny but however, nothing is established on this.
The saying of the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam:
“The soul of the believer will be a bird, which will eat from the trees of Paradise until Allaah resurrects it returning it to its body on the day when He resurrects it.”
This hadeeth was declared saheeh (authentic) by Shaykh al-Albaaniyy in Saheeh al-Jaami` as-Saheehah no. 995 being reported by Imaam Maalik in his Muwatta, Imaam Ahmad, An-Nasaa`ee, Ibn Maajah and others from a hadeeth of Ka`b ibn Maalik radiyAllaahu `anhu.
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
Listen to the full Audio Series of Sharhus Sunnah
Sharh-us-Sunnah – Shaykh Saalih Fawzaan – Dawood Burbank [Audio|En]