Will spirits faint in the Gathering Place?

The Details of the Question

Does a spirit faint? How will a comatose patient, who is unconscious, die consciously? When the Trumpet is be blown all living beings in the world will die. However, the spirits that have died before and left their bodies will faint. The Prophet will be the second person to recover consciousness after Hz. Musa (Moses). (Bukhari, Tafsir, 9; Muslim, Fadail, 10, 161, 162) Does a spirit faint according to this narration? How will a comatose patient, who has lost his consciousness, feel death?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to what scholars state, the word “Saiqa” mentioned in the verse generally means to die. (see Nawawi, Sharhu Muslim, 15/130-131; Ibn Hajar, Fathu’l-Bari, 6/443-446)

However, according to what some scholars like Ibn Athir state, this word is widely used in the sense of dying but it is actually used for a person who dies or faints due to a horrible sound that is heard. (see Ayni, Umdatul-Qari, 12/251)

Since dying is for people who are alive, it is something not understandable that the first hadith states that Hz. Musa dies as a result of the first blowing of the Trumpet. For, we have no knowledge stating that Hz. Musa is alive like Hz. Isa (Jesus).

Some scholars like Qadi Iyad settle this issue as follows:

The word “SAIQA”does not mean death here; it means “fainting”.

That Hz. Musa’s returning to normal state after “SA’Q” is expressed with the word “AFAKA” strengthens this meaning. For, the word “BUITHA” is used for reviving after death and “AFAKA” for recovering consciousness after fainting. That the word “AFAKA” was used when Hz Musarecovered consciousness after fainting at Tur strengthens this meaning.

Accordingly, the word “SA’Q” here expresses the fainting originating from fear after reviving, not death. (see Nawawi, ibid; Ibn Hajar, ibid; Ayni, ibid)

- It is understood from these explanations that this fainting occurs after people revive and come out of their graves “because they fear by thinking that they will be reckoned then”.

After reviving means after spirits uniting with bodies.

It means the fainting of people who consist of spirits and bodies is in question here, not the fainting of the spirit only.

- In addition, there is another interpretation regarding the issue:

The prophets including Hz. Musa have a different life from that of other people in the realm of barzakh. Prophets are superior to martyrs, who are stated to be alive by the verse. Then, their life is stronger.

Accordingly, it can be said the concept “SA’Q” is used in the sense of fainting for all prophets and dying for the people who have not died yet. (see ibid)

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