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You Are Here: Knowledge Base Aqeedah (Pillars of Faith) Faith in the Hereafter

The reality of transmigration of souls

 Q: Our philosophy teacher told us that the soul moves from one person to another. Is this correct? If this is correct, then how can the soul of one person be called to account and punished then moved to another person who will also be brought to account because of the deeds of the same soul?

A: It is not true that the soul moves from one person to another as is claimed by this philosophy teacher.

This is based on the following Ayah (Qur'anic verse) in which Allah (Exalted be He) says: "And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam‘s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): 'Am I not your Lord?' They said: 'Yes! We testify,'  lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: 'Verily, we have been unaware of this.' "[Surah Al-A`raf, 7: 172]   

Regarding the interpretation of this Ayah, Malik related in his Muwatta' that `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked about the interpretation of this Ayah: "And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam‘s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): "Am I not your Lord?" They said: "Yes! We testify," lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: "Verily, we have been unaware of this." [Surah Al-A`raf, 7: 172]

Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) being asked about it (the same Ayah) and he (peace be upon him) answered: Allah created Adam, then passed His right hand over his (Adam) back, and brought forth from it his offspring, saying: I have these for Jannah (Paradise) and these will do the deeds of those who go to Jannah. He (Allah) then passed His hand over his (Adam) back and brought forth from it his offspring, saying: I have created these for Hell, and they will do the deeds of those who go to Hell.

Accordingly, Ibn `Abdul-Bar said: This Hadith was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in different authentic narrations on the authority of `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, `Aly ibn Abu Tablib, and Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with all of them) and many others. Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim community) have unanimously agreed on this opinion, saying:

Claiming that the soul moves from one person to another is the claim of those who believe in the transmigration of souls. They are extreme disbelievers and their claim is mere falsehood.


May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and 'Ifta

    Member                Member                   Deputy Chairman                   Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud     `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan     `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify     `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

Permanent Committee Fatwas > Group 1 > Volume 2: (`Aqidah 2) > The Sects > Transmigration of souls > Movement of a soul from one person to another > The reality of transmigration of souls / Third and fifth questions from Fatwa No. 5167


Reference: qsep.com