What is the Realm of Barzakh? Where is it?

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What is the Realm of Barzakh? Where is it?
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Dear Brother / Sister,

The Realm of Barzakh is the name of the realm where the spirits will stay until the Day of Judgment or the name of the realm of the grave. (as-Sayyid ash-Sharif al-Jurjani, at-Tarifat, Cairo 1938, p. 38; Raghib al-Isfahani, al-Mufradat p. 56).

In the Quran, the word barzakh is used in the sense of the curtain (veil) that separates the world and the realm of the grave (al-Mu'minun, 23/100). We understand from this verse that the spirits do not die; after the death of the body, they live in a realm called barzakh in the Islamic terminology.

Shah Waliyyullah Dahlawi answers the question, “How is life there?” as follows: "In this realm, people (that is, their spirits) have numerous layers. However, in general, there are four layers. The first one is the people who are awake; they are the people to be rewarded or punished due to their good or bad deeds. The second group is the people who sleep and dream; they are rewarded or punished in their dream. The third group is the people whose animal and angel aspects are weak. There are also the people of virtue with good spirits (probably the fourth group); they live together with angels and lead a life like angels.“ (Hujjatullahi'l-Baligha, Cairo 1355, I, p. 34-36)

As it is known, the spirits are the order of Allah. Their true nature is not known; when people die, their spirits go to another realm temporarily; they live comfortably or they are punished there depending on their deeds. That realm is called “the Realm of Barzakh”; it is a realm different from the world and the hereafter. The realm of sleep is between life and death; similarly, the realm of barzakh is between the world and the hereafter. Only Allah knows its true nature. (Ömer Nasuhî Bilmen, Büyük İslâm İlmihali p. 28),

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