Saturday, May 5, 2007

Torture Of The Grave

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside


I missed this article yesterday in the paper, here it is online.

It's about the Muslim belief of what happens after you die, and its very interesting (read: slightly horrifying):
According to Islamic doctrine, between the moment of death and the burial ceremony, the spirit of a deceased Muslim takes a quick journey to Heaven and Hell, where it beholds visions of the bliss and torture awaiting humanity at the end of days.

By the time corpse handlers are ready to wash the body, the spirit returns to earth to observe the preparations for burial and to accompany the procession toward the cemetery. But then, before earth is piled upon the freshly dug grave, an unusual reunion takes place: The spirit returns to dwell within the body.

In the grave, the deceased Muslim - this composite of spirit and corpse - encounters two terrifying angels, Munkar and Nakir, recognized by their bluish faces, their huge teeth and their wild hair.

These angels carry out a trial to probe the soundness of a Muslim's faith. If the dead Muslim answers their questions convincingly and if he has no sin on record, then the grave is transformed into a luxurious space that makes bearable the long wait until the final judgment.

But if a Muslim's faith is imperfect or if he has sinned during life by, for example, failing repeatedly to undertake purity rituals before prayer, then the grave is transformed into an oppressive, constricting space.

The earth begins to weigh down heavily upon the sentient corpse, until the rib cage collapses; worms begin to nibble away at the flesh, causing horrible pain.

Continue reading here.

 
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