Reincarnation For Alawites and the Newborn’s First Cry

Thursday 10 December 202003:03 pm
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التناسخ عند العلويين وبكاء المولود لحظة خروجه إلى الحياة

Many sects and religions, such as Buddhism, Judaism, Druze, and Alawites among others, believe in rebirth. Alawites (or Alawis) believe that the reincarnation of lives is one of the highest manifestations of divine justice on earth, viewing this concept of justice through more than one way.

For instance, they consider it unfair that a soul is not granted more than one life to do as it pleases ahead of God’s judgement. Even though God can distinguish believers from non-believers, they say His wisdom dictates that a soul experiences many lives ahead of judgement, so that they won’t have any excuses when the time comes.

In their view, it is impossible for the soul to rise to heaven or enter hell without having been reincarnated for hundreds or thousands of times within the human body. The goal here is for the soul to fulfill its duties toward God during those lives and enter heaven, or fail and enter hell instead.

Every time a soul is reincarnated, it is called ‘Jeel’ (meaning generation), while the person who remembers his past life is usually called a ‘Mojayyal’ within the Alawite community.

Alawis believe that during every rebirth, the believer’s soul is vetted and cleansed of sins through prayer, worship and good deeds, coming increasingly closer to God until it reaches and enters the higher kingdom of heaven. Meanwhile, a disbeliever’s soul grows more wicked with each reincarnation, slowly approaching hell.

Alawis believe that during every rebirth, the believer’s soul is vetted and cleansed of sins through prayer, worship and good deeds, coming increasingly closer to God until it reaches and enters the higher kingdom of heaven

Alawites do not believe in the notion that when a person’s good deeds outnumber their bad deeds, they would enter heaven, or vice versa. Instead, they see that divine justice comes when a person enters heaven as an absolute believer, and same goes for the concept of hell. This can only happen through reincarnation; a believer cannot enter heaven with one ‘atom’ of disbelief in his heart, and conversely, a disbeliever cannot enter hell with an ‘atom’ of faith in his heart.

Surely, they do not fail to notice that a person cannot possibly get rid of this ‘atom’ entirely. If a person, not matter how wicked, did a simple good deed throughout his life – such as help his neighbor carry his things – then he would acquire this ‘good atom’. If his neighbor had asked for help and he did not oblige, then he would acquire an ‘atom of evil’. So what is the correct answer when it comes to this ‘atom’ that prevents the believer and nonbeliever from reaching their respective destinations?

The righteous soul ascends to heaven and remains for nine months in a place called Ain Al-Hayat. At birth in the body assigned to it by God, it descends... Its sadness for leaving paradise manifests in the crying of a newborn the moment he comes to life.

One spiritual leader answers with, “When it comes down to the survival of one ‘atom of evil’ within a person versus another ‘atom of good’ in another, then each of these ‘atoms’ would torment its owner since it does not belong to his very essence, causing them to become unwanted and unwelcome. In turn, divine wisdom and justice dictates that the believer takes the ‘atom of good’ within the disbeliever, while the disbeliever takes the ‘atom of evil’ within the believer, so then the former rises to heaven and the latter falls to hell.

Evidently, there are six stages that every soul must pass through before it reaches the seventh and final stage where heaven resides for the faithful spirit and hell awaits the unfaithful ones.

For Alawis, two different perceptions can be applied when asked the question, “Does the soul of someone who has died transfer directly into the body of a newborn child?”

The first dictates that a righteous soul does not immediately merge with the body. Instead, it ascends to heaven and remains for nine months in a place called “Ain Al-Hayat” – meaning the eye or essence of life – to enjoy the bliss of sweet paradise. The moment of birth of the body assigned to it by God, the soul descends from “Ain Al-Hayat” accompanied by angels to gently guide it into its new body, and its sadness for leaving paradise manifests in in the crying of a newborn the moment he comes out into life… Whereas a wicked soul is taken to hell to suffer, and nine months later angels retrieve it from hell to command it to enter the newborn’s body, which cries at the moment of birth in fear of having passed on to somewhere with more suffering.

Alawites regard all believers as brothers, and that all disbelievers are brothers; therefore, the soul can reincarnate into the body of any person from any religion in the world.

Meanwhile, the second perception states that as soon as the soul – whether righteous or wicked – departs from the body, it inhabits another one born at the exact same moment. Of course, both these perceptions are acknowledged and accepted by all Alawites.

In reality, there are many people in the Alawite community who speak of a past life and remember some of its details. Curiously enough, most of those who remember a past life are those who had died instantly as a result of a gunshot, traffic accident, or the like.

Alawites regard all believers as brothers despite what their religion or sect is, extending the same reasoning for all disbelievers being brothers too; therefore, the soul can reincarnate into the body of any person from any religion in the world.

Alawis see that a soul must do as God commands and avoid what He forbade if it wants to enter heaven. The first and last criterion for believing in God is action and deeds, not knowledge, according to what is stated in the Quranic verse of Surat Al-Tawbah: {(105) And say, "Do [as you will], for Allāh will see your deeds, and [so will] His Messenger and the believers. And you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you of what you used to do."}, as well as the Quranic verses of Surat Al-Zalzala: {(7) So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. (8) And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.}

In their opinion, knowledge without good work and deeds is useless since if all religious knowledge a person possesses is not transformed into good behavior and deeds, then he has no excuse and it can be used against him. At the same time, they do not undermine the importance of education, even encouraging to seek knowledge in all areas of life.


*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Raseef22

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