What are the three states of existence according to the Holy Quran?
It might be explained at this stage that according to the Holy Quran there are three states of existence. The first is the world, which is called the first creation and is the state of effort. In this world man works good or evil. After resurrection the virtuous will continue their advance in goodness but that would be by the sheer grace of God and would not be the result of any effort of man.
The second is the intermediate state which is called barzukh. In Arabic idiom barzukh is something which is situated between two other things. As that state will be between the first creation and the resurrection it is called barzukh. This expression has always been employed for the intermediate state. Thus it comprehends a great hidden testimony in support of the existence of the intermediate state. Barzukh is an Arabic word which is compounded of Barra and Zakha, which means that the manner of earning through action has ended and has fallen into a hidden state. Barzukh is a state in which the mortal condition of man is dissolved and the soul and the body are separated. The body is buried in a pit and the soul also falls into a sort of pit which is indicated by the expression Zakha, because it is no longer able to earn good or evil which it could only do through its relationship with the body. It is obvious that the health of the soul is dependent upon the health of the body. An injury inflicted upon one part of a person's brain causes loss of memory, and an injury occasioned to another part destroys the faculty of reflection and brings about unconsciousness. Similarly a convulsion of the brain muscle or a swelling or a hemorrhage or morbidity may be causing obstructions lead to insensibility, epilepsy, or cerebral apoplexy. Thus our experience teaches us definitely that the soul, divorced from the body, is utterly useless. It is entirely vain to imagine that our soul without its body can enjoy any kind of bliss. We might entertain such a fancy but reason lends it no support. We cannot conceive that our soul which is rendered helpless by minor upsets of the body could continue in a perfect condition when its relationship with the body comes to an end altogether. Does not our daily experience teach us that the health of the body is essential for the health of the soul? When one of us reaches extreme old age his soul also falls into dotage. Its store of knowledge is stolen by old age as is said by God, the Glorious. Another matter that must be kept in mind is that in His word God has described as dead those people who are involved in vice and error and has declared the virtuous as alive. The reason for this is that the function of the lives of those who die in a state of neglect of God, for instance, eating and drinking and indulgence of their passions are cut off, and they have no share of spiritual sustenance. They are truly dead and will be revived only for punishment. After Barzukh there is the state of resurrection. In that state every soul good or bad, righteous or disobedient, will be bestowed a visible body. That day has been appointed for the perfect manifestations of God, when very person will get to know the Being of his Lord fully, and everyone will arrive at the climax of his recompense.
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