Reincarnation in Islam
The word “reincarnation” derives from Latin , literally meaning, “entering the flesh again”.
Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. It is also called rebirth or transmigration, and is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence. It is a central tenet of all major Indian religions, namely Buddhism, Hinduism , Jainism, and Sikhism. It is also a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism , Theosophy , and Eckankar and is found as well in many tribal societies around the world.
Reincarnation or the transmigration of souls is that when the body dies, the soul moves to another body, where it will be happy or miserable as the result of its previous actions, and thus it moves from one body to another. This is one of the falsest of false beliefs, and one of the worst forms of kufr or disbelief in Allaah, His Books and His Messengers. For belief in the Hereafter, the Reckoning, Paradise and Hell are among the things that are well-known in the teachings of the Messengers and in the words of the Books which were revealed to them. Belief in reincarnation is tantamount to disbelief in all of that.
In our society today, it is believed that dead people can be seen living normally in other cities other than that of their deaths. This believe is supported by individuals who belief in “untimely death”, claiming that such incarnated individual has come to fulfil his or her destiny that was terminated.
In Islam, it is believed that everything that happens come from Allah, not excluding the death of youngsters. Therefore there is nothing as untimely death in Islam. Anyone who is dead has exhausted d appointed time and it is Allah who has taken his/her soul. There are no quranic verses, or Hadith of the prophet (PBUH) that supports reincarnation. However, we can find in the Qur’an evidences that shows the impossibility of reincarnation. They are grouped into three.
First : The ‘barzakh’ (barrier)
When death comes to one of them, he says, “My Lord, send me back so that I may do good deeds regarding what I have neglected.” But no! These are just words which he utters. A ‘barzakh’ (barrier) is placed behind them until the Day they are resurrected. 23:99-100
The above words confirm that when a person dies, God takes his/her soul while he is still in the process of imploring God for another chance. As soon as the human dies a barrier is immediately in place. This barrier prevents his/her soul from returning to earth. This barrier is maintained until the Day of Resurrection.
Second : Number of death’s (two death’s or one death?)
The mention of two deaths and two lives in 40:11 may cause some interpreters to somehow connect the Quranic teachings to the concept of multiple births, however on closer examination we realise that the opposite is true.
They said, “Our Lord, twice You have put us to death and twice You have brought us to life; now we have confessed our sins, is there any way out?” 40:11
The truth of the matter is that this very verse serves as another solid proof against any such theory. 40:11 traces the progress of our course from the feud in the Heavenly Society (38:69) to the Day of Judgement. We made a covenant with God (5:7) and then we were put to death. That was our First death.
The fact that we were all living in a previous life before being brought to earth is well confirmed in the Quran.
Consequently, the first death ended our life in the previous life which was in God’s Kingdom and not here on earth. The second death ends the life of the disbelievers here on earth, hence they say to God:
Twice You have put us to death and twice You have brought us to life.
The believers on the other hand do not taste the second death, after the end of their life on earth the angels invite them to enter Heaven, they do not die but move straight to Heaven.
Upon our first death, we were brought to this life to be given a further chance to redeem our souls and submit to God’s absolute authority. This is our first and only life on earth. The ‘one death’ for the believers and the ‘two deaths’ for the disbelievers set the rule that all humans have only one life on earth and that no one returns to earth after their death. This is clearly different from reincarnation which implies multiple lives and deaths for each individual.
Third : Apportioned share in life
In this life every human being is apportioned a share in accordance with God’s will. The Quran explains this concept in the following verse:
And seek, through what God has given you, the abode of the Hereafter, and do not forget your share in this world . 28:77
This means that God has decreed for each human a share in this earthly life, which is entirely dependent on His will, and has nothing to do with one’s actions in previous lives.
A concession for multiple lives would violate the concept of a fixed and preset share in this life, this is because each different life would encompass a different share, and not a set share as we read in 28:77.
God provides for whomever He wills without count. 24:38
Once again this verse points to the fact that there is no such thing as a Karma or debt. God out of His infinite mercy gives to whomever He wills without any count.
In conclusion, there are always some case studies which may influence one’s thinking causing some to believe in such multiple life theories. Many observations and beliefs are based on so called ‘past life recall’ or ‘dejas vu’. Many interpret such occurrences to having been living in a different place and time in a previous life. However, there are many plausible explanations to such phenomenon. One such explanation is the unseen contact with the jinn who could be transferring such visions to us and tricking us into believing that we were alive in a previous life and place. The stories of jinn and their interactions with humans is well documented in the Quran. It is worth noting here that the majority of the jinn are disbelievers, and it is understandable that they would try to trick us into thinking that we have numerous lives, and thus impale the urgency to strive for righteousness in this only life we are given.
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