Category Archives: The Afterlife

Why do Women Make up the Majority of the People of the Fire?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Why do women make up the majority of the people of the Fire?

The reason for this is that there are more women than men in total, so just as the majority of the people of the Fire are women, likewise the majority of the people of Paradise are women. A male believer will marry at least two women in Paradise (not to mention the hur al-`ayn – the maidens of Paradise) so there are at least twice as many women in Paradise as there are men. In fact, there are more. Out of his concern for the Ummah, the Prophet ﷺ warned women of two things which may cause them to enter the Fire – not appreciating their husbands and cursing excessively.[1]


[1] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

The Body and the Soul


Sayyidi Habib Umar assists with the burial of Habib Muhammad, the brother of  Habib Abu Bakr al-Adani bin Ali al-Mashhur. May Allah have mercy upon him.

Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) discusses the relationship between the soul and the body and the consequences of the soul dominating the body and vice versa. This is an extract from a talk delivered in the mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa on 18th Jumada al-Akhirah 1435 / 17th April 2014.

The affair of the body is contemptible when it is compared with the soul. Allah says: The soul is from Your Lord’s affair.1 For this reason the soul lives on forever, whereas in most cases the body turns to dust. Allah allows worms and other creatures to consume the body. Some people are proud of their bodies, but if they were to reflect on this, their pride would disappear. Once the worms have consumed the body they consume each other, until there is only one left and it dies of hunger. This shows us that death comes to everything, and that Allah alone is the Living who never dies.

The knower of Allah, Sayyidi Ahmad bin `Alwan, said: “Whoever’s main concern in this life is nourishing their body then let them seek their reward from the worms.” Such people did not nourish their souls but instead spent their lives strengthening and nourishing their bodies. This is what people hear today: “Your bodies, your bodies – concern yourselves with your bodies – your appearance, your health, your physique!” It as is if they do not possess souls. They thus miss out on the unique attributes of the soul. The physical attributes of the body then dominate the soul. Their souls in a sense die so that their bodies are like graves before they enter their graves. Their souls are buried in their bodies before their bodies are buried in the earth.

Imam al-Haddad says:

The world of the soul is certainly better and loftier than the world of the body

And this is clear to anyone who possesses knowledge

Why have you thus spent your life striving

To serve your body and your physical form?

You have done wrong, my son, and it is only yourself that you have wronged,

And wronging the self is the worst type of wrong

Arise, may Allah guide you, from the slumber of heedlessness

And trivial pleasures and do not base your actions upon illusion

Those who take advantage of the gifts bestowed upon this Ummah, however, may receive Allah’s bounty. Their bodies are then ennobled: They lie in the earth but no creature is permitted to consume them. These bodies attain special attributes. No substances have been placed on them to preserve them, but rather their souls had a strong attachment to the Living, the Remaining and He decreed that their bodies remain. They released themselves from being restricted to their physical and carnal nature and were concerned with their souls. They thus became completely spiritual, so that their bodies were given some of the attributes of the soul. Their bodies thus resembled the soul, which cannot be consumed by worms and cannot return to dust.

Shaykh `Isa al-Bayanuni said:

A body which has become dominated by the love of Ahmad:

By Allah the earth cannot consume it

How can the earth consume it, when its heart was filled

With love for him and its mouth was filled with praise for him?

He did not say anyone who merely loves the Prophet , but rather: “A body which has become dominated by the love of Aḥmad.” When Shaykh `Īsā died, he was buried in al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah. Every time they unearthed his grave, they found his body in the same state that it was in when he was first buried.

The hadith tell us that there are five categories of people whose bodies do not decay: the Prophets, the Martyrs, the scholars who act on their knowledge, those who memorise the Qur’an and then give the Qur’an its due and those who give the call to prayer for seven years for Allah’s sake without receiving any wage. These people’s bodies remain preserved in the earth under Allah’s care. At the first blast on the Horn, Allah causes every living thing in the heavens and earth to die. He then brings back all the bodies that had turned into earth: As We originated the first creation, so We shall bring it forth again. It is a promise binding upon Us. Truly We shall fulfil it.2 Then the trumpet will be blown a second time and everyone will be resurrected from their graves: Then it is blown another time and there they stand, awaiting.3

1 Al-Isra’, 17:85

2 Al-Anbiya’, 21:104

3 Al-Zumar 39:68


On the Wisdom of Reciting al-Fatihah and Donating Its Reward to the Dead

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What is the wisdom behind reciting Surat al-Fatihah and donating the reward for its recitation to the dead?

It is recited because it is the greatest chapter of the Qur’an and there is a great reward for reciting it. It should thus be given precedence over other verses or chapters of the Qur’an. However, donating the reward of any recitation of the Qur’an is one of the best actions that someone can perform on behalf of a dead person. The dead are those most in need of these gifts, since they no longer have the ability to act. They may, however, still receive them from people whom Allah has given the opportunity to act while they are still alive. May Allah make us among the people of the Qur’an and among those who act according to it. May He have mercy on those among us who are dead and those who are alive, O Most Merciful, through Your immense mercy.

The ‘Greatest Intercession’ and the Intercession of Allah’s Chosen Slaves

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What is the difference between the ‘Greatest Intercession’ and the intercession of Allah’s chosen slaves?

The ‘Greatest Intercession’ is specific to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. It is also known as the ‘Praiseworthy Station’ (al-Maqam al-Mahmud). It takes place when the Prophet intercedes on behalf of all people that they be moved from being exposed to the sun to the place where the judgement will take place. Everyone, whether they are believers or non-believers, will benefit from this intercession.

After that comes the intercession of the various prophets. Each prophet has a greater right than anyone else to intercede for his own nation, and he may be given the permission to intercede for people not from his nation according to his station with Allah and his relationship to those people. After that comes the intercession of the people of extreme truthfulness  (al-siddiqun) and the scholars, then the intercession of the martyrs and the pious. Some believers will be given permission to intercede for themselves; others will be given permission to intercede for two or three people; others will be given permission to intercede for a group of people. Each person is given this permission according to his rank with Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said that Uways al-Qarani will be given permission to intercede for people as numerous as the Arab tribes of Rabi`a and Mudar, which amounts to millions of people.