A: Transmigration of souls (Tanasukh) means attachment of souls, after dissolution of the elemental bodies, with other bodies in the same perceptible world. There are many groups which believe in transmigration of souls. Some say that the human soul, after death and decay of his body is transferred to the body of another person and this group is called Nasookhiyah.
Another group believes in transmigration of human soul after death to bodies of animals, beasts or reptiles in accordance with their deeds. For example, souls of auspicious persons to bodies of noble animals, like horse etc. and souls of vicious fellows to bodies of wretched animals like dog or pig; like soul of a brave person to body of a tiger; that of a harmful and brutal fellow to body of a wolf; soul of a greedy and avaricious person to body of an ant or mouse etc. This group is called Mansookhiyah.
Yet another group believes in transmigration of human soul after death to vegetables, trees, grass etc. and this group is called Fusookhiyah.
Yet another group says that souls turn into materials like stone and this group has been named Rusookhiyah.
Thus believers in transmigration of souls are of four kinds:
Nusookhiyah. Mansookhiyah. Fusookhiyah and Rusookhiyah.
Still there also are other absurd beliefs, the description of which will make discussion very lengthy. All these beliefs are wrong.
Firstly, this belief is against essentials of lslam (rather against all heavenly religions) because according to Islam the souls, after death and after questioning in grave and end of Purgatory (Barzakh - after death till Resurrection), will be raised once again with bodies they had in their worldly lives and that in Qiyamat, after accounting of their deeds, will be either rewarded or punished as explained in detail before. Believers in transmigration of souls reject all these essentials: like Paradise, Hell and everything related to them. On the contrary, in
their view, rewards and punishments can be given only in this world. They deny that God-worship and good deeds will lead to heaven and evil deeds will send one to Hell. Thus all arguments based on true religion reject this be lief of transmigration of souls.
Secondly, when body is perfected in the womb and is ready to be connected to the soul, the soul created by Almighty Allah's graceful source joins with it. In these circumstances, if the soul, which departed from a body after death, again joins with this body, it would be joining of two souls in one body, which is wrong both from the viewpoint of essentials and logic, because everyone knows that he or she has only one soul not more.
Thirdly, we say that a body from the time of its creation, advances towards perfection and all its perfections appear in stages of action. Likewise, the soul or spirit, during its connection with the body, advances towards perfection and its faculties acquire abilities. How then is it possible for it to connect with a body, which is merely an embryo and a defective body? It would necessitate that a perfect soul should become imperfect to advance to perfection along with an imperfect body.
There are other reasons as well in rejection of transmigration of souls, but what is said is sufficient here. What is necessary to mention is that in Islam, there are two kinds of deformation (Maskh) and both are contrary to what the above mentioned believers in transmigration of souls believe:
One of them is worldly deformation and the other is disfigurement in Hereafter. The former is one in which Almighty Allah, to admonish all people in the world, punished those who revolted against God, who left God-worship, defied His commands and mean thoughts got rooted in their hearts making them wayward; and who led others on the wrong path. God hastened to disfigure them making their faces according to their inner state. Therefore some changed into monkeys, some dogs and some pigs. The Holy Quran says:
وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ
"...and of whom He made apes and swine..." (Al- Maidah, 5:60)
In the case of People of Saturday (Ashaabe Sabt) He says:
فَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ
"…so We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated. "(Al-Baqarah, 2:65)
Obviously this is against what believers in transmigration of souls say, because according to them, after death the souls of the deceased enter bodies of similar animals as mentioned earlier and what the Holy Quran mentions is the changing of one's outer appearance into what is in one's interior.
They initially possessed human bodies, but since their deeds were extremely disgraceful and they were adamant, the Almighty Allah changed their bodies into animal forms in such a way that their relatives and acquaintances could recognize them even after they were turned into animals and they themselves also would recognize their acquaintances and even talk to them. Their acquaintances would ask them: Did we not admonish and restrain you from evil? Since they could not justify, they would only weep.
According to numerous narrations, those whom the Almighty Allah had disfigured could not, thereafter, live for more than three days and animals of this world are actually offspring of animals other than the said disfigured ones. The reason why these animals are called disfigured (Mansookhaat) is that some evil human beings were turned into their forms and were destroyed thereafter. ·
As regards disfigurement of hereafter, what is mentioned in a number of traditions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) is that on the day of Grand Gathering in Hereafter some people will arrive with appearance of what they were internally in their worldly lives, that is, according to what they had earned through the freedom given to them. It will have nothing to do with bodies of other creatures (as believers in transmigration of souls say). They will appear as they were intemally. They will be recognized by others, who will know who he is and how he or she was.
In other words, on Judgment Day, the internal will overcome the external. As a holy verse says:
يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ
"On the day when hidden things shall be made manifest...” (At- Tariq, 86:9)
Hence some people will appear like angels, as they did not do anything in the world but good. Their deeds were like deeds of angels. They worshipped and obeyed only One God and never committed any evil and all benefited from them. Contrary to this, some people whose faces will be like their interior and as ugly as Satan. They will be those who committed only evil in the world and others were only harmed and deceived by them. Their deeds were devilish.
There will be yet another group of people who will appear like pigs and other carnivorous animals; some like quadrupeds and some in form of insects and reptiles etc. as mentioned in a following verse:
وَنَحْشُرُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَىٰ وُجُوهِهِمْ
"...and We will gather them together on the day of resurrection on their faces ...” (Al-Isra, 17:97)
It is mentioned in some commentaries of Quran that: 'Like animals whose heads are downward'. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is reported to have said:
"Indeed Allah will gather the people according to their intentions on Judgment Day."
He also said:
"'People will be gathered with their intentions and their inner beings and they will be gathered with the faces worse than that of monkeys and pigs."
It is mentioned in Tafsir Majmaul Bayan referri ng to the holy verse:
يَوْمَ يُنْفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا
"The day on which the trumpet shall be blown so you shall co1ne /orth in hosts. “(An-Naba 78: 1 8)
That the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: My Ummah will be gathered in ten different forms as distinguished by Almighty Allah from Muslims and with their forms changed. Some are in form of monkeys, some pigs and some upside down. They will be killed in this condition through divine chastisement. Some are blind, some deaf and some dumb and they don't understand anything. Some chew their own tongues. Puss flows from their mouths, which is abhorred by all in the field of Gathering. There also will be some with their hands and feet cut off; some will be hung by branches of fire. Some give out foul smell worse than rotten corpses. Some would wear shirts of tar sticking to their skins.
In the form of monkeys are those who slandered others and created trouble through tale telling; like pigs are those who did not keep away from unlawful acts; walking upside down were usurers; blind are the oppressive rulers and men of power; deaf and dumb are the self-conceited; who chew their own tongue were judges and scholars who acted against their own statements; those who harassed their neighbors would have their hands and feet cut off; fellows hanging on fire branches used to aid oppressive rulers and those who stink worse than corpses are followers of lust and who did not pay God's rights from their property; wearing clothes of fire are the proud and arrogant ones.
There are many traditions of this kind, but this much is sufficient.
Sayyid Abdul Husayn Dastghaib