Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. What is the meaning of barzakh?
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
According to the Lisan al-Arab dictionary by Ibnu Manzur: The meaning of barzakh is a place between this world and the hereafter before we are assembled in Mahsyar, which is during the time when a person dies until the day of resurrection. Thus, whoever has passed away will enter the realm of barzakh. (See Lisan al-Arab, 3/8)
It is stated in Mukhtar al-Sihah: The meaning of barzakh is a wall separating two matters. It also means whatever is in between this world and the hereafter since the death of a person until he is resurrected. Hence, whoever has died means that he has entered barzakh. (See Mukhtar al-Sihah, pg. 73)
Al-Jurjani in al-Ta’rifat said: al-Barzakh (البرزخ) is mentioned three times in the Quran and they are all stated as a noun. Literally, it means something that separates two matters. (See al-Ta’rifat, pg. 45)
Allah SWT state:
وَمِن وَرَائِهِم بَرْزَخٌ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُون
“…and behind them is a barrier until the Day they are resurrected.”
Surah al-Mukminun (100)
Imam Ibn Kathir explained the meaning of al-Barzakh in the above verse by citing several opinions of scholars, among them are:
- Muhammad bin Ka’ab defined it as something between this world and the hereafter, neither from among the living who are able to eat and drink nor among the people of the hereafter who will receive their punishment or rewards from their actions.
- Abu Sakhr said, al-barzakh as grave of another realm, where it is neither in this world, nor is it in the hereafter. They will stay here until the day of resurrection.
- Al-Dahhak said, it is a duration of time between death and the day of resurrection.
- While Mujahid defined al-barzakh as a separator for those (who dies) from returning to this world. (See Tafsir al-Quran al-`Azim, 5/494. Also see Ma’alim al-Tanzil, 5/428)
Whereas, Imam al-Qurthubi explained the above verse stating that barzakh is a realm between death and resurrection. (See al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Quran, 6/113)
Syeikh al-Maraghi said: “In front of them something is spread preventing them from returning to this world until Judgement day. This is the final decision where they are no longer able to return to this world. If they are unable to return before the day of Judgement, obviously they are unable to return to this world after it and it will impossible for them to return to this world forever after they are resurrected, where they will live in the hereafter forever.” (See Tafsir al-Maraghi, 9/4690)
According to the above discussion, it is understood that barzakh is a place for the deceased until they are all assembled in Mahsyar. It is a place between the world of the living and the hereafter. Thus, whoever who passes away means they have entered barzakh.
May Allah SWT save us all from its punishments and bless us with His blessings and help. Amin.